Dr. Mike Searcy, communication instructor at Somerset Community College, was recently
named the Looney-Benin Community College Instructor of the Year by the Kentucky Communication
Dr. Searcy received the state award during a recent joint KCA and the Tennessee Communication Association conference.
It is such a humbling experience to be selected for my work empowering and engaging students to learn to overcome speaking obstacles and relationship navigation through communication, said Dr. Searcy. To be recognized for this endeavor is a credit to the students of SCC more than to me.
Dr. Searcy is an 18-year veteran faculty member of higher education both within the United States and abroad. He obtained a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa in 2004. Since this time he has served on the faculty of the University of Illinois, the University of Hawaii and taught at The University of Tabuk and Taibah University, Saudi Arabia. He has been teaching at SCC since 2010. In addition to his teaching role, he also serves as the President of Communication Resource Consulting, Inc.
Dr. Searcy has always taken a global perspective to communication and understanding within education and consulting. He spent many summers in China and has taught workshops for the Lianing Education Bureau to public high school teachers both in China as well as the Chinese teachers in the United States. Dr. Searcy has published in the areas of online learning, nonverbal communication and cultural competence and he often works with organizations to improve intercultural cooperation.
The Looney-Benin Community College Teaching Award is named after Hope Benin and Robert
"Bob" Looney of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). Both
were active members of the KCA in the 1990s. They sponsored the Basic Communication
Course Annual Conference in Kentucky for many years. Benin is a professor of communication
at Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC). Looney was an award-winning
communication professor at BSCTC before his untimely death in 2009 at age 45.
The KCA, a not-for-profit organization, was established in 1931 for the promotion of effective teaching, research, and practice in the artistic, humanistic, and scientific principles of communication, while increasing the visibility and effectiveness of communication professionalism. The organization is comprised of communication instructors and professionals throughout the state of Kentucky, as well as Tennessee, Arkansas, and Indiana.