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News: Pastor wins Roane State's Outstanding Faculty Award

Dr. Sylvia Pastor holding award

August 18, 2021

By Bob Fowler
Roane state staff writer

Roane State assistant professor Dr. Sylvia Pastor has been named the winner of the community college’s annual Sarah Ellen Benroth Outstanding Faculty Award.

Announcement of the honor was made during convocation ceremonies to launch Roane State’s fall semester.

Pastor received a $1,000 check from the Roane State Foundation from an endowment established more than 25 years ago in memory of Mrs. Benroth, who was a teacher and school principal who encouraged students to strive for excellence.

Pastor also received an all-expenses-paid trip to participate in the nearly weeklong National Great Teachers Seminar in Hawaii. That event has been described by organizers as “a group of dedicated educators in search of the ‘great teacher’ within themselves.”

“I am so excited to have won the Benroth,” Pastor said. The Farragut resident teaches chemistry and organic chemistry at several campuses of the community college.

She previously was an adjunct professor at Pellissippi State and also taught at Tennessee Wesleyan. She’s now in her sixth year at Roane State.

Pastor has also worked as a quality assurance manager at an environmental analytical lab, interned at a nonprofit environmental research organization and did teaching and research as a graduate student at the University of California.

In 2018, she was named Tennessee’s Science Teacher of the Year in higher education by the Tennessee Science Teachers Association. Pastor was nominated by her peers for that honor.

The process of choosing the Benroth award winner involves the selection of each academic division’s nominees by secret ballot from a list of fulltime faculty members. A committee from the Roane State Faculty Senate – with at least one member from each academic division – then selects the winner.

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