Faculty Stories: Julie Trytek

Faculty Stories: Julie Trytek

Program: Human Services

Even at a young age, Julie Trytek wanted to reach out to others and make a difference. 

“When I was about 7, there was a young woman in my neighborhood who lived with her parents and was unable to speak. She had disabilities that are still unknown to me, but as a child I would frequently visit their home to spend time with her and play,” she said. “I also saw the movie ‘The Miracle Worker’ about Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. I was inspired by how Annie helped Helen overcome what appeared to be impossible obstacles and assisted Helen in graduating college and becoming an advocate for social equality. I wanted to do the same for others.”

Trytek has an extensive background in substance abuse and has been employed in a variety of settings, including residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, outpatient, DUI and private practice. She has worked as a unit specialist (direct service tech), court liaison, community outreach coordinator and trainer for Motivational Interviewing, and her favorite position was as a counselor/therapist working directly with clients to provide clinical services. Previous employers include ProCare (Resurrection Behavioral Health), Hazelden, Cornell Interventions (Abraxas Youth and Family Services), Gateway Foundation, Palos Community Hospital and Timberline Knolls. 

With all of this experience, Trytek has much to share with her students at College of DuPage. She previously taught at Triton Community College (which she attended as a student), Waubonsee Community College and Argosy University.

“Teaching has always brought me a tremendous sense of satisfaction and fulfillment,” she said. “I thoroughly enjoy working with students and challenging them to challenge themselves. I appreciate watching them transform, grow and develop as they strive toward bettering themselves and their future.

“I like to bring creative ideas into the classroom and find new ways to share knowledge with students that foster self-discovery and awareness, progress, and looking at things from new and various perspectives. I want my students to recognize the importance of diversity, to embrace it and admire it rather than fear or dislike it. I also want them to walk away with self-awareness, including being able to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and how to use them in creative and stimulating ways. Lastly, if I am fortunate enough, I want them to have inspiration, confidence and commitment for their work in the human services field.”

Trytek remembers one mentor in particular from Triton who believed in and encouraged her, and she hopes to do the same for her students.

“Education and knowledge inspire me and I hope to never rest on my laurels. There is always room for growth and learning,” she said. “Working with students inspires me. Their enthusiasm, energy and thirst for knowledge are stimulating and help to avoid staleness in both the classroom and the human services field. I truly love teaching and feel fortunate to be at College of DuPage in such a commendable program and to work with such remarkable students.”

More about the Human Services program