Balizan Earns International Honor

Sarah Balizan, DACC Science Assistant Professor has been selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) for the class of 2017.

She is the only educator in New Mexico to be so honored this year and the first New Mexico higher education teacher to be selected in the history of the program.

She joins an exclusive handpicked community of education innovators. Part of the responsibilities for Balizan’s appointment include being an author, advisor, ambassador, and advocate of what’s possible when using new technology to teach and learn. She is one of only 820 educators in the Americas that have been selected since 1994.

Balizan has worked at DACC for the past 7 years as an instructor in human anatomy and physiology, cellular and organismal biology and medical terminology. A graduate of the biology department at New Mexico State University (NMSU) she earned her bachelor of science in 2007 and attained her master of science in 2009 with a focus of bioinformatics and bioindustrial biology.

She has earned numerous awards including Apple Teacher Program Certification, an Eli Lilly Scholar, Alliance for Minority Participation undergraduate research assistantship, and is a sustaining member of the NMSU Teaching Academy.

“This technology has transformed my class room and labs by putting capability and information in students’ hands,” Balizan said. “By using touch screens and apps they are learning more and are more engaged in their education.” “I was incredibly honored and surprised with the award and I look forward to the next steps and advancement this will bring for DACC, the students and myself,” Balizan added.

Her appointment letter stated, “Apple is pleased to welcome Sarah Balizan to the ADE Class of 2017. The ADE Program began in 1994, when Apple recognized K-12 and higher education pioneers who are using a variety of Apple products to transform teaching and learning in powerful ways. Today it has grown into a worldwide community of over 2,500 visionary educators and innovative leaders who are doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom.”

For the past year Balizan and other DACC educators have been working with Apple to explore using new technology in the classroom. XCITE, the iPad initiative at DACC, is scheduled to begin in the fall 2017 semester with 28 instructors using apple products to enhance learning, creativity and student engagement. Balizan’s application video can be seen at