Big Bend’s Bortz, Wallace to be Honored by ACT at Spring Conference

MOSES LAKE – Two Big Bend Community College employees were recently named recipients of awards by the Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT) and will be honored at the ACT Spring Conference on May 2 in Yakima.

The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges is a governor-appointed board that advocates, coordinates and directs Washington state’s public community and technical colleges. The ACT presents five awards in various areas each year based on nominations by each institution’s Board of Trustees.

Recipient of the 2024 ACT Faculty Member Award was BBCC Math Faculty and Math/Science Division Chair Dr. Tyler Wallace.

In his nomination statement from the Big Bend Board of Trustees, Dr. Wallace is described as dedicated to supporting students holistically, a transformative leader in mathematics education, and proactive in addressing challenges faced by Big Bend students.

“Dr. Tyler Wallace, an inspiration to our college, continually innovates his instruction to engage students. Accessibility to education is the cornerstone of Dr. Wallace’s approach to teaching. Dr. Tyler Wallace has been a transformative leader in mathematics education, implementing initiatives that have significantly improved student success. Under his guidance, the mathematics department pioneered an emporium-style math lab, boosting success rates in precollege mathematics by nearly 30 percent.

His innovation is evident on his social media platforms where he has earned more than 300,000 followers on his Tik Tok and Instagram accounts where his goal is to make math concepts more relatable to students.

Recipient of the 2024 ACT Professional Staff Member Award was BBCC Basic Education for Adults (BEdA) Director Jody Bortz.

She is described in her nomination statement from the BBCC Board of Trustees as committed to excellence, a state leader in identifying challenges and identifying solutions and a transformative leader.

“Ms. Bortz embodies Big Bend’s mission “To Serve as a Bridge, Stand as a Leader, and Support for Success. She is both a visionary and an achiever. She is dedicated to individuals who have very little access to education and she directly addresses their barriers and challenges.”

Bortz led the rejuvenation efforts of BBCC’s BEdA program and from 2021-22 to 2022-23 the program saw enrollment increase 233 percent (the largest in the state) and the expansion of the program from 21 classes in three communities to 40 classes in six communities.

“(Bortz’s) transformative leadership led to revamped policies, enhanced curriculum, and renewed relationships within the community which catapulted the program into a statewide beacon of excellence.”

Big Bend is proud to have employees such as these two serving our students and making a difference in our campus community.

Headshot of Jody Bortz
Jody Bortz
Headshot of Dr. Tyler Wallace
Dr. Tyler Wallace
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