Biology Professor Dr. Laila Nimri earns 2023 Professor of the Year award

Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Written by: Carla Peterson

Laila Nimri walks and lectures in her classroom, passing two male students that are studying a mock spinal cord.
Professor Nimri engages with students in her lecture.

Seminole State College of Florida Biology Professor Dr. Laila Nimri was honored with the Association of Florida College’s (AFC) 2023 Professor of the Year award. In the 22 years she’s taught at Seminole State, she has made a difference in both students’ and faculty members' lives. 

With both domestic and international accolades, her journey has been outstanding. After getting her master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Iowa State University, she returned to Jordan where she worked as an assistant biology professor and later as an assistant dean until she moved back to the United States and was hired at Seminole State in 2001.

Professor of the Year Award

The Association of Florida Colleges Professor of the Year award is for recognizing outstanding faculty in Florida colleges. “If the submitted portfolio is up to the AFC standards,” Nimri explains, “the nominee with other nominees from any of the 28 Florida community and state colleges gets an invitation to have a 15-minute presentation that is evaluated by judges representing the AFC regions, which is the final step in the decision-making process of who will be the professor of the year.”

In the recommendation letter from Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Loretta Ovueraye, Nimri’s hard work is intertwined with her generosity. “Like all truly great teachers, Laila’s positive impact doesn’t end with her students,” Ovueraye said. “She freely shares lecture and laboratory materials that she has developed for her classes with her colleagues and the entire department has benefited from these resources. In her role as adjunct coordinator for General Biology I and Anatomy & Physiology I she has helped to launch the careers of several part-time instructors. We are truly proud of Dr. Nimri's work to support others.”

As a professor that truly enjoys teaching and interacting with students in the classroom, Nimri enjoys getting to know her students through her methods. She understands qualities like, “having preparation and confident presentation of material” and "believing in the ability of the students to achieve their goals” are critical in her impact as an educator. 

A History of Excellence

Since her first class 48 years ago, Nimri has focused on creativity and preparation in her classes, providing hands-on activities for her students. Her dedication to her profession has earned her many accolades including awards for outstanding academic achievements from the late His Majesty King Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan and His Highness Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan. Additionally, she has earned an AFC distinguished professor certificate, an excellence certificate and medallion from the National Institute for Staff and Organization Development, the Endowed Teaching Chair Award and Ken Sylvester Faculty Excellence Award from the Foundation for Seminole State College. 

“With strong support from the College, the dean and my colleagues at the Biological Sciences Department, faculty, staff, professional development events, my students, and my family I work to improve myself each year so that I can better prepare the leaders of tomorrow,” Nimri said. “I feel blessed to do what I love each day and am honored and grateful to be a recipient of the Association of Florida Colleges 2023 Professor of the Year Award.”

About the Association of Florida Colleges

The Association of Florida Colleges represents all employees, presidents, and trustees associated within the Florida College System. It has become the most inclusive higher education organization serving any college system in the nation. Today, all 28 of the state's colleges support the work of the Association through institutional dues as do nearly 7,500 regular and retired members through the sharing of their talents, time and energy. Like them on Facebook at and follow them on Twitter: @myafchome

About Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves more than 22,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A full-service education provider, Seminole State has thrived by adapting to and meeting the needs of an ever-changing, vibrant community. Seminole State offers 11 bachelor’s degrees in high-demand, high-growth fields; two-year associate degrees; specialized certificates; continuing professional education; adult education and guaranteed admission via DirectConnect to UCF® to the University of Central Florida for Associate in Arts (A.A.) graduates. By offering flexible, affordable, high-quality educational programs and services, the College continues to help students learn, succeed and GO Far. For more about Seminole State, visit

GO social with us! 

Facebook   Instagram   Linkedin   Twitter   Youtube

#SSC #GoStateGoFar