Biology program director Dr. Jeffrey Sekavec is the recipient of the 2022 Colby Community College Tangeman Award for Teaching Excellence. The announcement came at the college's commencement ceremony on May 13 at the Colby Event Center.

The Tangeman Award was established in 1988 and named after the school's second president, Dr. James Tangeman, who served at CCC from 1972 to 1988. Each year the selection is made by a committee of previous recipients and current CCC students.

Sekavec is a CCC alumnus, and his ties to the college span more than two decades. His father is the late Dr. Jay Sekavec, the supervising dentist for the dental hygiene program. In 2018, the facility on campus was named the Dr. Jay G. Sekavec D.D.S. Lab.

Jeff graduated from CCC in 2004 and became close to acclaimed late chemistry instructor Dr. Max Pickerill. At one point, he lived for a semester in Pickerill's basement. Sekavec got his first experience in higher education instruction when team-teaching summer chemistry and then taught all of Pickerill's courses the semester he fell ill.

Sekavec said he was raised as a United States Air Force "brat" and lived and visited all over Asia. He later joined the Air Force and played football for the Falcons.

His diverse background includes working in law enforcement and training and consulting in the first responder realm. He has done graduate student teaching and research at Fort Hays State University and now serves as the Noyce STEM Education partnership site director. Aside from his role as biology program director at CCC, he is the STEM division chair.

For fun, Sekavec attends USAF Academy football games with his family and friends. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, and catching up with CCC alumni.

His associate of science degree in chemistry from Colby Community College was the starting point for a B.A. in biology from Bethany College, a master's degree in microbiology from Fort Hays State University, and a Doctor of Management with a concentration in homeland security from Colorado Technical University.

Throughout his career, Sekavec reflects on the teaching philosophy of his friend and mentor.

"As Dr. Pick always said, 'We don't teach a subject. We teach students.' The axiom is most certainly true as CCC changed my life!"