The Brice is right: Highline professor wins award

By Faaita Upuese - Staff Reporter

A Highline professor has received an award at the 23rd Annual Washington State Faculty and Staff of Color Conference.

The Faculty and Staff of Color Conference (FSOCC) had an award ceremony to celebrate professors across the region based on their service and excellence in teaching higher education.

"They told me I was nominated but I didn't know I had won," said Dr. Darryl Brice.

Dr. Darryl Brice is a professor at Highline who received the Faculty of the Year Award. The award recognizes excellence in teaching in Washington with faculty from diverse communities of color.

"This award means everything to me. First, it is great to be recognized for a statewide teaching award," said Dr. Brice.

"Second, it is even more special to be acknowledged by the Faculty and Staff of Color Conference because we face challenges and barriers that our white counterparts do not," said Dr. Brice.

"Lastly, this award is a collective award. This award is for all faculty and staff of color who rarely get acknowledged for the outstanding work we do with students daily," Dr. Brice said.

Dr. Brice teaches sociology but he's involved in many pro- grams at Highline.

He is currently involved with the Umoja Black Scholars program, faculty in residence with the Learning and Teaching center, MLK Week committee, Unity Week committee, a couple of tenure working committees, and chair of a post-tenure committee.

Dr. Brice said his goals as a professor would be to offer his students a quality educational experience, help as many of his colleagues as he can to reach their professional goals, and to publish at least two academic articles a year. However, he says that he also encounters problems as a professor.

"As a black male professor, I have faced several obstacles. When I first arrived at Highline

I had several instances where my colleagues treated me as if I was a student."

"The biggest obstacle now is being challenged in the class- room by students that have never had a black teacher or professor," said Dr. Brice.

He said that even though he's had 18 years of teaching experience, teaching awards, and a Ph.D., he still must prove himself to students who have preconceived negative notions about black people.

"I have learned despite the obstacles I have dealt with at Highline I also have amazing colleagues that I trust, and I know I can depend on when problems arise," said Dr. Brice.

Dr. Brice said he also learned to never underestimate how helpful and resourceful students are when he first arrived at Highline.

"My students are the ones that looked out for me. They suggested areas to look for housing, they fed me, and told me about events in the community that I should attend," Dr. Brice said.

"As a result, I am still friends with several students that I taught 15 years ago. In fact, many of these students are now family," said Dr. Brice.

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