Kipp Named 2021 LCC Distinguished Faculty Award Recipient 

May 3, 2021

Melissa Kipp Distinguished Faculty Award
Photo: Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Jason Sharp, awards Melissa Kipp the 2021 Distinguished Faculty Award. Kipp, Graphic Design Technology Professor, was presented with the award on Friday, April 30.

Parsons, KS--Labette Community College announced that Melissa Kipp, Graphic Design Technology Professor, was named the 2021 Distinguished Faculty Award Recipient. The Distinguished Faculty Award is presented annually. Faculty members must be nominated by students or LCC employees to be considered by the selection committee. Criteria for the award include teaching effectiveness, college service, student involvement, and community service. All full-time faculty who have completed at least four years of full-time teaching at LCC are eligible to be nominated.

This award ceremony is to pay tribute to one instructor’s contribution to the central mission of the college- to provide quality learning opportunities to students of LCC. This award was developed to allow the college to publicly recognize and reward an instructor who has performed in an exemplary manner. 

She began working at LCC in 2008 as a Graphic Design Technology Professor. Kipp supports consistent high quality instruction, unique teaching methods and focuses on student learning through her educational philosophy by encouraging creative freedom so students can relate to textbook material. Kipp’s teaching philosophy is to provide students with the tools necessary to become an effective problem-solver while making educated design decisions. “I want students to reach beyond making something that “looks pretty” and justify how each decision communicates the objectives of the project. I provide students with a historical and current view of design fundamentals and assess their understanding through real-world design projects,” said Kipp. “By cultivating a safe and supportive environment to practice their visual vocabulary, students gain the skills necessary to confidently express their ideas while learning to receive and grow from constructive criticism.”

The field of graphic design is ever changing. “A learning environment which instills an enthusiasm of lifelong learning in students is an essential part of their education. With rapid changes in technology and software updates occurring every 3-6 months, it is vital that I utilize multiple methods of keeping up-to-date with the industry. I participate in professional development on a weekly basis through online video training. This training allows me to keep current with the eight Adobe software programs taught within the department,” Kipp said. 

Kipp’s enthusiasm for life-long learning and passion for visual arts motivates her students to succeed. “Ms. Kipp is completely deserving of the Distinguished Faculty Award. She has shown extreme compassion and care for her students and their success,” said a graphic design student. “She cares so much about our passions, and she never gets in the way of our creativity; she carries us into it. Ms. Kipp has always done her best to make sure each and every student feels comfortable and connected in class. She takes an interest in our lives which has allowed her classroom to become a safe place for everyone.”

The global COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the classroom setting in higher education. “When classes went to remote learning due to Covid last March, I had to adapt quickly to provide alternative resources and curriculum for students lacking appropriate technology,” Kipp said. Although Adobe offered free software access for those affected by Covid, several student did not have computers than could run the software. For assignments where there was no comparable resource, I created writing, drawing/sketching or photography alternatives to complete course requirements. We have continued a practice of recording in-class demonstrations, major projects and software skills. It really helps student’s further review.”

In addition to being a full-time instructor and LCC’s webmaster, her service to Labette Community College extends beyond the classroom. Kipp attends college athletic events, as well as student and graduation activities and serves the college and students on numerous campus committees, like the Instructional Outcomes & Assessment committee and hiring, awards, and program review committees. She also serves as an academic advisor to graphic design majors and is the Graphic Design Technology club sponsor. The student club extends learning through supplemental education in field trips, workshops and seminars. Kipp shares her talent and passion for photography and graphic design on campus by providing creation and input on marketing materials and web design. 

Kipp is invested in the local fine arts community. She has served as a photography judge in numerous County fairs, as well as judging web page design and digital video production. Kipp, along with LCC Fine Arts instructors, co-sponsor the annual High School Art Competition on the LCC campus. The event highlights the talents of nearly 150 area high school students through exhibition and judging. “I met Ms. Kipp 3 years ago at the high school art competition, she is reason I went with Labette. When I saw what she has done with the program I knew that she would give me all the tools I needed in order to succeed,” said one student. 

Kipp will be recognized for her commitment to Labette Community College and quality instruction during the Commencement ceremony on May 14, 2021. For more information about the Distinguished Faculty award, contact Janice Every at

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