Susan Brodie, Joanne Wagner Named Outstanding Advisors

Susan Brodie

Susan Brodie

By Brian Kleemann

For their exceptional work with students, Susan Brodie and Joanne Wagner have been named College of DuPage’s Outstanding Advisors for the 2013-2014 academic year.

As recipients of this honor, they will receive a monetary award along with a personal plaque of recognition. Their selection was based upon demonstrated leadership within their respective divisions, participation in professional development opportunities, and individual comments from students on their nomination forms.

Brodie (Wheaton) is a Student Success Counselor who draws upon her past experiences to help students. As a former employee at IBM, she appreciated that company’s stance on having respect for the individual, and she follows that philosophy at COD.

“Every person coming to see me is important, and I must respect their differences,” she said. “I get students who dropped out of high school and have earned their GEDs, who have a perfect 4.0 and a 34 ACT, and who are 50 or 60 years old and are coming to college for the first time or returning for a specific goal. Part of the fun is really listening to each person and figuring out the right plan for that person. I want to ease their minds and lift their burdens so they are no longer worrying about their educational paths.”

Brodie, who played three sports as a student at DePaul University in Chicago, also works with COD athletes and can relate to their struggle to balance academics and athletics.

“For some students, I’m simply encouraging them to try out for a team. I want to show them they can do it,” she said. “I also help the student athletes with time management and course scheduling. I know the dedication needed to be a successful student-athlete and can help them build a schedule for maximum success in both areas.”

Wagner (Naperville) is coordinator of the Computer and Internetworking Technologies program who said she aligns her advising goals and objectives to the CIT program.

“Advising means providing students with an understanding of career paths in their area of interest,” she said. “It means providing COD/web tools and resources to help them make good choices and working with industry and student services to find internships and employment opportunities. It means offering advising support to them in all of the following areas: course selection, fulfilling general education requirements, concerns or questions about prerequisites, information about degree and certificate offerings, career advice, advice and information on transfer schools, plans of study, review of degree audits and progress checks toward graduation, student references, and recommendation letters.”

Wagner said advising is as important to her as teaching, and she sees it as integral to student success.

“It is my responsibility to ensure that our students reach their educational goals and, in the process, feel that they have all the support they need to help them succeed,” she said. “I love all aspects of both teaching and advising and find it impossible to separate the two roles.”