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Havasu instructor will be honored at MCC graduation

May 2, 2019

A Mohave Community College math instructor will be honored at at the May 10 graduation ceremony.

Mohave Community College is honoring Laurel Clifford, a math teacher at the Lake Havasu City campus, for her outstanding efforts to help students.

“She is truly a phenomenal teacher who puts the students first,” wrote the student who nominated Clifford for the Ellen Licari Service to Students award.

Laurel worked with Ellen Licari at the Lake Havasu City campus. Licari was an MCC student advisor who passed away in 2011.

“She was a wonderful example of somebody who cared about students, so I was just humbled and honored that I would receive the award that is in her name.”

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Clifford and her husband moved to Lake Havasu City to be closer to family, and escape the rain and clouds. She joined MCC 20 years ago, pursuing her passion of educating, encouraging and empowering students to succeed in math.

According to a MCC press release, she developed some of her teaching style after reading studies about the Japanese approach to education -- looking at how the individual student thinks and what the student knows.

“So it’s taking the student’s ideas and saying, ’OK, what is correct about this, where are they heading with this and how can we build on that? Rather than saying, ‘You’re not doing it my way,’” said Clifford.

The college will honor her at the 48th annual Mohave Community College Commencement Ceremony, which will be the first large event held at the new Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse in Bullhead City.

“Laurel Clifford clearly puts the students first,” said Diana Stithem, MCC Interim President “If you can put people at ease, get them excited about learning math and have them succeed, you are doing something very special, which is a big reason she’s our 2019 Ellen Licari Award Winner.”