For The Daily Southerner
Ralph Dawson Webb, chairman and instructor of respiratory therapy at Edgecombe Community College, has been named recipient of the 2010-11 Keihin Endowed Faculty Chair.
“I consider myself most fortunate, as I have performed daily what I consider to be my life’s calling and passion,” he said Tuesday in accepting the honor during a reception hosted by the ECC Foundation in the Mobley Atrium on the Tarboro campus.
The chair was endowed by Keihin Carolina System Technology through a $100,000 gift in 2007, and it rewards excellence in teaching.
As the Keihin chair holder, Webb will receive $2,500 and a chair with an engraved brass nameplate.
He has been an instructor at ECC for 22 years. Webb was instrumental in the establishment of ECC’s respiratory therapy program, and he has led the program since 1988.
A registered respiratory therapist, he holds a diploma from Lenoir Community College, an associate of applied science degree from Durham Technical Institute, a diploma from Duke University Medical Center, and a bachelor’s degree from Mount Olive College.
Webb is a state leader in respiratory care and has served as president, vice president, and treasurer of the N.C. Society for Respiratory Care. He worked extensively with members of the N.C. General Assembly as North Carolina enacted the Respiratory Care Practice Act in 2000, which legally credentialed and licensed respiratory care practitioners in the state.
In 2002, Gov. Mike Easley named Webb to the N.C. Respiratory Care Board, where he has served as both chair and vice chair.
Among his many awards, Webb received the ECC Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006 and was selected for Lifetime Membership awarded by the N.C. Society for Respiratory Care in 2009. In 2010, he was selected for Who’s Who Among Executives and Professionals.
“The Keihin Endowed Faculty Chair is the highest distinction the college can bestow on a member of its faculty,” said ECC President Dr. Deborah Lamm. “The award fosters academic excellence and recognizes creativity in instruction.”
In announcing the selection, Karen Andrus, executive director of the ECC Foundation, said Webb practices every day what he teaches. He “believes that only after true acts of devotion, encouragement, and commitment by the instructor can a student give his or her best toward achieving their educational and personal goals,” she said.
One student commented, “He is an amazing instructor. Each and every day, whether in the classroom, at a clinical site, or in his ever-open office, he uses creativity, ingenuity, innovation and imagination to broaden the minds of his students.”
Walter Williford III, clinical coordinator of pediatric respiratory care at Duke University, completed ECC’s respiratory care program in 1992. He said, “Recently the program at Edgecombe went through a reaccreditation process. During that process, 39 graduates showed up to support this instructor, Edgecombe Community College, and the field of respiratory care. A comment from one of the accreditation team says it all, ‘I have never seen this kind of response from past students of a program of this size anywhere.’"
Webb was selected by a committee of ECC personnel and KCST officials from a pool of six nominees who submitted a performance portfolio, a philosophy of teaching, and an essay. Other nominees were instructors Kim Bell, Kimberly Cobb Cherry, Francine Long, Carole Mehle, and Rebecca Stamilio.
Webb is the fourth Keihin Chair holder at the college. Previous recipients are instructors Bruce Panneton, 2009; J.H. Koonce, 2008; and Monika Fleming, 2007.