Sarah Hensley, athletic trainer, April Higson, administrative associate for Athletics, Physical Education and Health, and David Jones, vice-president of Advancement and Community Relations and executive director of the ACM Foundation, received Allegany College of Maryland’s 2021 Outstanding Achievement Awards for Excellence. They are shown with President Cynthia Bambara, second from right.
ACM EMPLOYEES HONORED FOR EXEMPLARY EFFORTS
CUMBERLAND, Md. (Sep. 9, 2021) – Allegany College of Maryland’s Employee Recognition Committee presented Outstanding Achievement Awards for Excellence to David Jones, the college’s vice-president of Advancement and Community Relations and executive director of the ACM Foundation, and Athletic Department staff members, April Higson, administrative associate of Athletics, Physical Education, and Health, and Sarah Hensley, athletic trainer.
Jones was nominated by his colleagues in Advancement who stressed Jones’s effectiveness as a leader and his decades-long efforts to expand academic opportunities for students through the growth of the ACM Foundation. “Both on campus and within the community, David is an exceptional leader and someone who goes above and beyond to promote the college, support faculty and staff, and make students the center of everything. He is a visionary who possesses a quiet strength that’s a rarity in today's world. He models professionalism, hard work, integrity, and exceptional supervisory skills. The college would not be the institution it is today without his leadership and vision.”
Through the generosity of college supporters and Jones’s guidance, the ACM Foundation is the second largest community college foundation in Maryland in terms of assets, awarding more than $1 million in scholarships annually. A dedicated community volunteer and tireless advocate for those less fortunate, Jones began his career at the college in 1996. He earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in education from Frostburg State University.
Higson and Hensley were nominated by Tommie Reams, the college’s director of Athletics, Physical Education, and Health. Higson, a graduate of the college, joined ACM in 1992. Hensley joined the college in 2015, having earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Shenandoah University.
Reams praised Higson’s willingness to help students, especially the college’s student-athletes. “April provides much more than administrative support. She offers guidance on a number of issues across campus and acts as their connection to advising, eligibility, transfer advising, and everything in between. April is that person that who makes our program different from all others. Students know they can count on her to help them no matter the situation. Eligibility issue, April can help. Advising issue, April can help. Title IX issue, April can help. Her knowledge of everything we do is so extensive that it can’t be replaced or overstated,” said Reams.
“A department of one, Sarah personally treats and cares for anywhere from 70 to 100 student-athletes per year,” said Reams. “She attends every practice, scrimmage, and game for every team hosted by the college, working incredibly long hours.” During the spring semester, Hensley served as a member of the COVID-19 Command Team, and provided weekly COVID-19 screenings for student-athletes and Athletics staff. Reams stressed Hensley’s positive demeanor and ability to juggle a taxing, constantly changing workload.
“April and Sarah serve in roles that are vital for any Athletic Department to succeed. Not only do they embrace those roles wholeheartedly, they consistently work together towards departmental improvement; they provide new ideas, streamline services, and spearhead initiatives that allow us to grow. Their work on [player] eligibility and COVID-19 [protocols for collegiate sports] alone warrants recognition. In any given year, we can’t function without them but during this past year, I guarantee that we wouldn’t have made it,” said Reams.