Faculty Spotlight: Matthew Medina
Matthew Medina knows from personal experience the quality of education at College of DuPage.
He is a former student who even worked as a custodian at COD many years ago. Now Medina is an assistant state’s attorney in Cook County’s Felony Review Unit. He also has taught at the Northwestern Business College and has authored three books.
He is returning to College of DuPage to teach several courses through the Continuing Education department.
"Although 'Armchair Lawyer' and 'Misunderstanding Miranda: Real Investigative Techniques' are similar, there will be different focuses for each class," he said. "In both, we will watch crime dramas such as 'CSI' and 'Law & Order,' and I will give students a guided tour through these shows. I want students to understand the real world verses Hollywood drama. I hope that students will dispel legal myths and decide where these dramas are on point, with my experience to guide the way."
Medina also will teach the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson in a third class entitled "A God in Ruins: Ralph Waldo Emerson's Essays Explored."
"Students will discover or rediscover the relevance of Emerson’s 'self-reliance' ethic and relate it to real-life problems," he said. "Emerson offers some interesting building blocks to enhanced thinking. He included many other writers’ ideas and gives, even in this day, emerging insight. In today’s lightning-fast world, Emerson’s essays are more relevant than ever.
"I am most excited about my upcoming class 'Eloquence: Persuasive Speech and Writing From Aristotle to Jay-Z.' I am excited because who could juxtapose Aristotle with Jay-Z? The class is based on a on a book that I am writing. The class will be extremely practical and a lot of fun because students will learn some of the techniques employed by such writers as Dr. Seuss and Shakespeare to learn that eloquence can come from diverse sources. I intend to identify and define 'eloquence' in order to make every individual's written and verbal eloquence become not only persuasive but impact the audience."
Leading a classroom has been part of Medina's life for many years. In addition to teaching at the Northwestern Business College as an adjunct law instructor, he has volunteered to teach the Illinois Domestic Violence Act to police and citizens. For 14 years, he taught at night while working during the day as an assistant Cook County state’s attorney in its Trial Division. His responsibilities included prosecuting domestic violence and other violent crime. In his current position, Medina analyzes and decides whether to approve or deny felony charges.
His books include "Real World Search & Seizure" and "Winning Court Testimony for Law Enforcement Officers: The Law, Art and Science of Effective Court Communication."
Medina loves teaching, especially when a student's eyes light up when they grasp a concept and can then apply it.
"Another reason I love to teach is that I learn from my students," he said. "Listening and participating in student discussions had taught me the value of learning as a process and not an end. The relationship between teacher/student and student/student is symbiotic – the whole is greater than its parts. I love that!
"Whether I am teaching criminal investigations, privacy law, the art of eloquence or the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, I want my students to develop critical thinking skills. I want my students to learn how to ask meaningful questions about important fundamental issues. I want my students to begin to identify the assumptions that underlie their thinking. They will be able to take all of these skills with them and apply them anywhere.
"This is greater than a homecoming. I am not back at College of DuPage to just thank those who helped me off the ground. My hope is to put some air in other’s balloons."
2014 College of DuPage