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OJC Press Release ID: 2886

Monday, January 14, 2019

Otero Junior College Announces Employees of the Year


Otero Junior College announced the Employees of the Year at its All Staff meeting held on Jan. 11. Four awards are presented each year including: Professional-Technical Employee, Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, and Classified Employee of the Year.

Chris Smith, head men’s soccer coach, was awarded Professional-Technical Employee of the Year. His team finished last season with a 3.2 GPA which placed his team in the top 10 in the prestigious NJCAA Academic Team of the Year Award. This top 10 GPA is the highest GPA a men’s soccer team has had since the college started the program in 2010. According to Gary Addington, athletic director, Smith is a very optimistic coach that genuinely cares for his players. “He is committed to their success as people, students, and players. Smith is a team player within the athletic department and he is always willing to help other athletic programs; but he also makes himself available along with his team for other functions outside of athletics.” Addington said.

Angela Tarrant was awarded Faculty of the Year award. She is the program director for the Medical Laboratory Technician’s and Phlebotomy Program. Tarrant started the program at OJC in the fall of 2013. She explained that her greatest joy from teaching is seeing students get it. “I like seeing my students grasp concepts and also grasp the importance of the work they will be doing when they graduate.” Tarrant said. “The faculty are here to teach and see students succeed. It is great to watch my students who have struggled finically, no longer struggle.”

Dr. James M. Lind, Adjunct Faculty of the Year, is joining OJC full time as music faculty; however, for the past two years he has been a music adjunct instructor with OJC. Dr. Lind has a plethora of music experience. In his new role he will work to develop a music program and teaching classes in music theory, ear training, music history, and music appreciation. He is married with one daughter. In his free time, he enjoys performing music in all genres and settings, traveling, hiking, reading, watching sports, baseball and football, and relaxing with family. He hopes to develop a top notch music program in southern Colorado where students are encouraged in a creative environment. He wants each of his students to leave OJC prepared to face challenges in tomorrow’s world.

Joe Talmich was awarded the Classified Employee of the Year award. Since his hire date over 23 years ago, Talmich has worked in various areas and buildings on the OJC campus. Those that work with Talmich explained that it would be very hard to find any student/athlete who doesn’t know him on some level. The coaching staff at McDivitt Center were asked to sum up their opinion of Talmich and his impact to OJC. Great, awesome, 10 out of 10, excellent and loyal were the responses that were received and according to those around him, no surprise. “I love being a part of the OJC community and helping out.” Talmich said. The coaching staff explained that his positive attitude toward his work shows every day.

In addition to being honored at OJC during the All Staff Meeting, each of the honorees will be recognized at a special awards ceremony later in the spring, hosted by the Colorado Community College System in Denver.


Press Release Photo
Otero Junior College announced the Employees of the Year at its All Staff meeting held on Jan. 11. Pictured are OJC’s Employees of the Year (l-r) Dr. James Lind, Adjunct Faculty of the Year; Angela Tarrant, Faculty of the Year; Chris Smith, Professional – Technical Employee of the Year, and Joe Talmich, Classified Employee of the Year.