Pasco-Hernando State College has selected its recipients of the 2024 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence Awards.

Gina Rucavado, assistant professor, English; Ashley Cobb, program director, baccalaureate of supervision and management, and Douglas Perdue, emergency medical technician instructor, will join the ranks of past distinguished award recipients and be recognized along with Misty Renee Price, Ph.D., professor, accounting and PHSC Katherine M. Johnson Excellence in Teaching recipient, during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 25-28 in Austin, Texas.

“I was very surprised and honored to learn that I was an award recipient. We work hard to enrich the lives of students and to help them to achieve their goals. It is a career, but it is also a lifelong, profound commitment to your subject matter and to the students and communities we serve,” said Rucavado.

NISOD’s Excellence Awards recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. In 1989, in connection with the University of Texas at Austin national study of teaching excellence, NISOD hosted its first ceremony honoring NISOD Excellence Award recipients. The response to that ceremony was so positive that NISOD began what has become the largest and most inspiring gathering that recognizes the contributions and achievements of community and technical college faculty, administrators and staff.

“Countless educators have benefitted from NISOD’s professional development programs over the years. I appreciate NISOD for inspiring success in the classroom, for providing exemplary opportunities for educator advancement, and for supporting higher education initiatives nationwide,” said Jesse Pisors, Ed.D., PHSC president.

Excellence Awards recipients receive a specially cast pewter medallion hung on a burnt-orange ribbon. The names, titles, and colleges of all Excellence Award recipients are included in a special booklet that features congratulatory ads from many of the recipients’ colleges. In addition, presentations at the conference involving Excellence Award recipients are indicated in the conference program with a special icon.

“While recognition isn’t the reason I became an educator, it is nice to know that my work and effort is not going unnoticed and when peers and students acknowledge your accomplishments, it makes you feel like you have made a difference,” said Perdue.


“Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges’ mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” said Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s executive director. “The extraordinary work of these men and women includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work. We’re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.”

The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges. NISOD provides budget-friendly, high-quality, and faculty-focused programs and resources for community and technical colleges that want to make the most of their professional development dollars. For over 40 years, NISOD has aligned a wide array of benefits with the needs of our members, which explains why the American Association of Community Colleges named NISOD, “The country’s leading provider of professional development for community college faculty, staff, and administrators.” For more information about NISOD, visit