Yakima Valley College Foundation selects Lisa Dominguez for the Robert M. Leadon Excellence in Teaching Award

Yakima, Wash. — The Yakima Valley College Foundation is excited to announce the selection of Allied Health Instructor Lisa Dominguez as the 2021 recipient of the Robert M. Leadon Excellence in Teaching Award. The award was established by Velekanje Law Firm in memory of Robert M. Leadon, a Foundation Director who died in 1986. It recognizes faculty who, like Leadon, are well known for their commitment to excellence in teaching. The YVC Foundation Board of Directors makes the selection from nominations submitted by students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni.

After graduating from A.C. Davis High School, Dominguez completed her associate degree from Yakima Valley College before earning a bachelor’s of fine and performing arts from Western Washington University (WWU) in 1996.

In 1997, she returned to the Yakima Valley to raise her family and began working as the music director at Yakima Foursquare Church.

“I am a teacher first and a content expert second,” stated Dominguez. For the decade after earning her music degree from WWU, Dominguez taught private voice lessons, was a choir teacher at Riverside Christian School and spent most of her time as music director at Yakima Foursquare recruiting and teaching volunteers in music.

Then, in 2006, Dominguez experienced a health crisis that led her to become interested in health care.

“I went back to school first for phlebotomy and then for medical assisting,” she said. “I had intended to pursue more education to become a physician’s assistant but the ‘teacher bug’ caught me while I was working in entry level health care roles, and I decided to teach again.”

She started working part time as a YVC phlebotomy lab assistant in 2011 while working full time at North Star Lodge. Later she began working as an adjunct instructor while continuing to work at North Star Lodge and Yakima Integrative Health. In 2016, she completed her Master of Education in Learning and Technology from Western Governors University.

She was hired as a full-time temporary instructor in YVC’s Allied Health Department while also working on the grant-funded Prior Learning Assessment Project. In 2017 she was hired special faculty in Allied Health and has continued to work on various grant projects.

Currently, Dominguez teaches a variety of courses including phlebotomy theory and externship, medical terminology and medical assisting administrative procedures. She has also taught phlebotomy lab and care navigation: essentials and advanced, therapeutic communications, medical law and ethics, pharmacology, human body health and disease I and II, and medical assisting exam review. She has also taught and designed courses for Highline College, Walla Walla Community College and Renton Technical College in the fields of medical billing and coding, medical assisting, and project management.

“Lisa has been a leader in innovating instruction at YVC for more than 10 years. Her students benefit from her deep commitment to education and her innovation in course delivery. Lisa is a champion for supporting YVC students and brings a diversity of talents to our professional development programs,” stated Biology Instructor Matthew Loeser.

Currently she is part of the Assessment Team developing the campus wide Program Review Process.

“I have served with Lisa on YVC’s Assessment Committee where she has taken on a leadership role in addressing the NWCCU accreditor’s recommendations for needed improvement at our college,” stated Information Technology Instructor Stefan Apperson. “Her mind is always at work thinking of new and different ways to address difficult issues that need extremely well crafted solutions.”

Colleague Wilma Dulin, coordinator of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, said Dominguez is an asset to YVC and the Yakima healthcare community.

“I have had the privilege of working closely with Lisa and can attest to her incredible dedication to and skills for structuring programs to promote equity in access, learning and success for YVC students, YVC colleagues and Allied Health faculty,” Dulin said. “Three things stand out to me. First, Lisa has an incredible mind for details, for putting pieces together to form a unified whole. Second, Lisa has an incredible heart for equity — equity in access, equity in relevance, equity in success. Third, Lisa believes in capacity building for individuals and the college. Lisa is a tremendous asset to teaching and learning in general at Yakima Valley College and within the Allied Health community.”

To Dominguez, the most rewarding aspect of teaching has been seeing her students grow and become professionals in our community.

“Education opens doors and changes lives. I always want to be a part of helping people change the trajectory of their life through education. Education improves people’s income, self-esteem, ability to contribute to society in a meaningful way and, if they are parents, this can be multiplied exponentially over generations. Education is the key to transforming communities,” she concluded.

The Robert M. Leadon Teaching Award is a $1,000 unrestricted monetary award. It is open to any full-time faculty member who has completed three full years of teaching at Yakima Valley College. For more information contact Stacey Kautz at skautz@yvcc.edu or 509.574.4645.

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 / dwunderlich@yvcc.edu
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 / smenard@yvcc.edu