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Academic Deans

2016 Nomination Forms

Nomination deadline
March 4, 2016

Download the Nomination Form for the 2016 awards

2016 Committee Membership

History of the Award

Outstanding Faculty Awards Guidelines

Outstanding Faculty

Congratulations to our 2012 recipients of the following awards:

Each year one-full time faculty member at Jackson Community College is selected to receive the J. Ward Preston Outstanding Faculty Award. The recipient is chosen on the basis of:

  1. Excellence in teaching techniques
  2. Maintaining superlative rapport with students
  3. Use of innovative and interesting approaches; and
  4. Complete sense of dedication consistent with the finest traditions of Jackson Community College.

J. Ward Preston Outstanding Faculty

Anthony Cleveland

Associate Professor of Psychology


Anthony Cleveland may have come to teaching later in life, but now it is hard for him to express how happy and content he is in front of a classroom.

Students have recognized his talent. For his excellence in teaching and outstanding rapport with students, Anthony Cleveland, associate professor of psychology, is the 2012 winner of the J. Ward Preston Outstanding Faculty Award. 

Cleveland’s career began on a different track. With a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, he started out as a chemist and then moved into sales and marketing in the chemical industry. While he was successful in the corporate world, he was not fulfilled, and a mid-life experience led him to go back to school and enroll in a Christian seminary. It was there he discovered and fell in love with psychology. He worked as a psychologist in the foster care system in Detroit and practiced at a free clinic in Oakland County, then came to Jackson to work for a clinic with the chronic and severely mentally ill. It was during that experience he came across an ad for an adjunct professor of abnormal psychology at JCC and decided to try it.

“I had other life experiences, but I always felt like a square peg in a round hole,” Cleveland recalls. “From the first time I stood in a classroom, I felt like I was home. This is what I love. I tell my students jokingly that I never plan on retiring, I may just die in the middle of one of my lectures.”

He taught a semester as an adjunct, and then began teaching at JCC full-time in August 2002. Today he divides his time between classes in Lenawee County and Jackson. He loves the interaction with students.

“(Winning this award) is quite an honor, I am truly grateful,” Cleveland said. “It’s nice to have that public recognition.  What is even more overwhelming is when I have a student who comes back after a while, maybe they have gone on to their undergrad program or graduate school, and they tell me, ‘Tony, you made a difference.’ That’s better than any possible award I could receive, the affirmation from a student that it was good for them and that I do make a difference.”

In his spare time, Cleveland enjoys spending time with his family, working out, listening to and playing music, and reading, especially about psychology. He is happy teaching at JCC and hopes to continue as long as possible.

“It’s just wonderful how my life has turned out. Education is a noble and honorable profession. I am thankful beyond measure to be part of it.”


Each year, one Adjunct Faculty member at Jackson Community College is selected to receive the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award. The recipient is chosen on the basis of:

  1. Teaching excellence and innovation in support of the Learning college;
  2. Maintaining superlative rapport with students;
  3. Complete sense of dedication consistent with the goals of the department and the values of the college; and
  4. Having taught for JCC a minimum of ten semesters (not necessarily consecutive)

Outstanding Adjunct Award

Joann Rauback-Drayton
Adjunct Instructor, Music & Voicerauback-drayton


Joann Rauback-Drayton has been singing since she was a child. For almost 30 years, she has been teaching voice, directing and choreographing show choirs at Jackson Community College.  

For her commitment and excellence in teaching, Drayton is JCC’s 2012 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award winner. “I am fortunate to teach a subject for which the final exam is a public performance. Watching my students conduct themselves in a professional manner and sing with skill, backed by knowledge and artistry, and then seeing in their eyes the sense of accomplishment that comes with such a performance, brings me true joy,” she said.

Drayton brings a wealth of experience with her to the classroom. She became a professional folk singer in junior high school and later sang as an intermission act for Count Basie, and in a USO show with Bob Hope. She trained at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Her professional singing career includes leading roles in “La Boheme,” “Die Fledermaus,” and others, and she was a guest artist many times with symphony orchestras and more noted artists.

Active in church music since age 12, Drayton has conducted many choral ensembles, including 300-voice choirs at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center, and elite ensembles at the dedications of the Chicago and Detroit temples of her church. She has taught voice at Olivet College and music at the Da Vinci Institute. She has also staged and choreographed more than 70 full-scale musical theatre productions.

Winning the outstanding adjunct award came as a surprise.

“I was stunned, astonished, humbled and grateful,” Drayton said. “I think I hugged and kissed everybody in the room when the academic-robed parade, led by President Phelan, trooped into the Deans’ Office to proclaim my award, where I had been lured by a ruse.

“It was thrilling. I was so very happy.”

She is married to husband, Keith, who is a professor of music at JCC.



Students, faculty, administrators, and staff members are eligible to nominate faculty to receive these awards. Nominations are received during the months of September through February of each year. Nomination forms are available in each instructional building. Completed nominations should be sent to the Academic Deans' Office in BW 227.

Nominations should address as many of the four criteria listed above as possible, and must provide specific reasons why the nominee should receive the award. The quality, rather than the number or length of nominations will be considered by the selection committee. Nominations must be submitted by the end of February. Nominations should be typed or legibly hand written. Only one person must sign each nomination. No unsigned nominations will be considered. See the top of the page for nomination forms.

Updated: 07/03/2013

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