faculty member working with students

Outstanding Faculty Members

Two College of DuPage educators, who stand at the pinnacle of their profession at the Midwest's largest single-campus community college, annually receive accolades as winners of the Overall Outstanding Full- and Part-Time Faculty Member awards.

The College also recognizes other faculty members who have distinguished themselves with their teaching prowess. Further, the college honors two Outstanding Advisors of the year.

College-Wide Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member

Jane Vatchev

Jane Vatchev

College of DuPage Physical Education Assistant Professor Jane Vatchev is the College-Wide Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Representing the Physical Education, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division, Vatchev will receive a $1,000 award from the College of DuPage Office of the Provost, which annually recognizes outstanding teaching achievement.

Vatchev said she is honored to receive the recognition at an organization filled with talented educators.

“The past recipients of this honor have been excellent teachers so to be considered amongst that group is overwhelming and humbling,” she said. “This recognition truly reflects my entire department’s hard work and dedication. I feel blessed that I get to do what I’m passionate about every day with colleagues and students who inspire me.”

Sports has always been a part of Vatchev’s life.

“I grew up in an athletic family with three competitive brothers and a dad who was an amazing basketball player and golfer,” she said. “I also knew from about the age of 5 that I wanted to be a teacher. Combining those two passions was an obvious choice.”

Her 37-year physical education teaching career started at John Deere Middle School in Moline, then as a graduate assistant at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she earned her master’s degree. Moving back to the Chicago area, Vatchev was an adjunct faculty member at Lewis University, where she coached full time; taught at Walther Lutheran High School in Melrose Park; and became a full-time faculty member at College of DuPage, where she has been for 22 years.

Vatchev’s focal point of teaching is centered in the word “passion.”

“I love the connection with students—the instilling of knowledge about themselves, the subject and how it connects to their future,” she said. “There is such great satisfaction when you know that students have learned and grown through the process of your time together. My goal is to light a fire in each of my students and help them find what they love.”

Vatchev connects to students in the classroom by sharing stories that bring the subject matter to life. She creates real life projects and assignments, hoping to spark in them the passion of their future career.

COD President Dr. Brian Caputo enthusiastically endorsed Professor Vatchev’s selection for the honor. 

“Jane is one of the most talented and effective faculty members on a campus that is replete with exceptionally skilled professors,” he said.  “Unquestionably, she is a fantastic choice for this year’s award.”

In addition to teaching, Vatchev was the head COD men’s and women’s track and field coach for 13 years, and her teams won eight National Junior College Athletic Association National Championships (four men and four women), while 118 athletes were individual NJCAA National Champions and 220 athletes became NJCAA All-Americans.

In 2017, Vatchev developed the COD Athletic Hall of Fame to honor student athletes, coaches, and support staff whose actions and achievement in their sport brought distinction to the College.

“We’ve had so many talented past athletes and coaches at COD, and I wanted to honor that,” she said. “It has been a joy to see that come to fruition.”

As an educator, Vatchev said she is always learning and growing.

“I’m constantly asking for feedback in everything I do because I want to be the best educator I can be,” she said. “One of the things I’m reminded, especially during COVID, is that my students have so much more going on than what’s in the classroom. Maybe they are struggling with illness or family issues, and we need to show compassion and understanding.”

Looking forward, Vatchev is energized about the future of COD’s Physical Education, Fitness and Sports Studies program, including developing more articulation agreements for students.

“We are really excited about our PE articulation agreements, like our new 2+2 in Athletic Training with Aurora University,” she said. “We now have other schools seeking us out for partnership. At the end of the day, I will continue to inspire students to take their education as far as they can.”

Learn more about the Physical Education, Fitness and Sports Studies program at College of DuPage.

Jason Snart

Jason Snart

College of DuPage English Professor Jason Snart is the College-Wide Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Representing the Liberal Arts program, Snart will receive a $1,000 award from the Academic Affairs Division.

Snart said he is honored to receive the recognition at an organization filled with talented educators.

“Given how many great faculty there are among my colleagues, I’m humbled and even a bit intimidated,” he said. “These are big shoes to fill, not only those of past winners, but also in terms of the sheer talent I see around me at COD every day.”

A passion for creative writing and literature, combined with a love of learning, led Snart to make teaching his life’s work.

“It was obvious to me that teaching was a way I could continue to do what I loved about being a student,” he said. “While my title has changed, the spirit of how I feel about the classroom hasn’t. I feel as much as a student participant in the classroom as I do a teacher. I have the same level of enthusiasm for what I’m doing now than I did when I was a student.”

Not long after earning his Ph.D. in English at the University of Florida in 2002, Snart joined COD, where he teaches a variety of classes that includes composition, creative writing and literature. He emphasizes that there is no one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter approach to teaching and aims for an open environment in the classroom designed to encourage students to choose topics that interest them, instead of directing students to merely focus on completing the coursework.

“I try to challenge students—and encourage them to challenge themselves—in an environment that supports risk-taking and creativity,” he said. “I work to set things up so that students have the opportunity to be invested in what they are doing for the sake of what they are doing, instead of just trying to get a grade. When students have the opportunity to drive their own education, they often are more committed. That is when you see students dig in and do real work.”

For Snart, one of the most important and gratifying parts of teaching is seeing students have breakthrough moments in the classroom.

“It is not necessarily the ‘B’ student becoming the ‘A’ student,” he said. “The real breakthrough is when you see a student’s realization that they have gone above and beyond what they thought they were capable of doing.”

Snart believes in the College’s mission of providing open access to students from a wide range of backgrounds. His job involves undoing students’ self-perception.

“So many different kinds of students come through the door and many of them have never pictured themselves as a college student,” he said. “When students like that self-realize as college students and see what they can do, it can impact their life well beyond my class and far into their future education and even their career. My job as a professor is to scaffold opportunities for that to happen.”

Learn more about the English program at College of DuPage.

Theo Darden

Theo Darden

Theo Darden, Professor of Criminal Justice, has been named the College of DuPage College-Wide Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Representing the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Darden will receive a $1,000 award from the College of DuPage Foundation, which annually recognizes outstanding teaching achievement.

For Darden, a simple conversation with a sheriff's deputy while in college forged his future.

“Through that conversation, the deputy told me I had great communication skills and that I should consider law enforcement as a career,” he said. “I never thought more about that discussion until I was registering for classes my second year of college. I walked up to the registration window and declared my major as criminal justice. Working in law enforcement is not what I wanted to do early on in life, but now it’s everything that I am.”

His decision to go into law enforcement was solidified during his first week out of field training. 

“When I completed field training and began patrolling on my own, a college student tried to take her own life,” he said. “I was the officer that showed up with the ambulance and provided support to comfort her friends after the ambulance left. I brought the young ladies to the hospital and sat and talked with them for a few hours, listening to their stories about their friend and helping them sort through their emotions. A few weeks later, my police chief told me she had received a letter from the young ladies and wanted her to know how grateful they were for what I had done for them. Police officers have the ability to change lives just by being human and relating to others.”

Darden went on to have a satisfying career in criminal justice. He worked as a police officer and supervisor in three different agencies in Wisconsin for almost 17 years. He also worked for the Attorney General's Office in the Wisconsin Department of Justice as an education consultant for police training and curriculum development, training officer and as a special advisor to the Attorney General on school safety. Among his honors, Darden was named Wisconsin Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 1996.

With a storied career in criminal justice, there was always something about teaching that excited Darden. Despite being in his mid-thirties with the potential to continue advancing in his career, he decided to pursue his doctorate, which eventually led him to College of DuPage.

“I enjoyed training other officers and felt very passionate when speaking with people who wanted to work in this profession,” he said. “During my interview at COD, I was very comfortable. I needed an institution that would let me use my talents to build a 21st century curriculum and challenge students to change the world.” 

Through teaching, Darden developed a new passion—watching students learn, grow and become forward-thinkers.

“Students come in with practically a blank slate,” he said. “They come in with biases and misunderstandings that they don’t even know they have. It’s my job as an educator to open their minds and help them become aware of who they are so they can begin to understand those who they want to serve. It’s challenging, but when you see former students go across the world or across communities to serve others, that is what it’s all about. They come back to thank me, but I thank them. They did the work. I’m just a facilitator of information.”

Before each lesson, Darden shares what his students call “Dardenisms.”

“I like to share what I refer to as public service announcements with my students,” he said. “It’s all about the idea of keeping their flames lit, jumpstarting their curiosity, and encouraging them to think beyond their own socialization. If you keep students engaged, curious, and open-minded, that’s education. That’s when you see extraordinary things unfold right in front of you.”

Learn more about the Justice Studies program at College of DuPage.

Dilyss Gallyot

Dilyss Gallyot

Dilyss Gallyot, professor of Nursing at College of DuPage, has been named the College-Wide Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Representing the Nursing and Health Sciences Division, Gallyot will receive a $1,000 award from the College of DuPage Foundation, which annually recognizes outstanding teaching achievement.

Gallyot graduated from COD with an Associate in Science degree before earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northern Illinois University. She was named one of COD’s Distinguished Alumni in 2017. The Elmhurst resident worked full-time as a nurse for 16 years before she began teaching.

The COD alumna returned to campus to teach as a way of returning the favor to the College that got her started on her path.

“When I came here as a student, I had no idea what I wanted to do,” she said. “The faculty gave me such a great learning environment and allowed me to expand and grow in multiple ways. This place gave me the foundation that I needed. It gave me a gift. Returning here to teach allowed me to give back.”

She expressed the importance of applying what she has learned throughout her career to how she teaches her students.

“When I’m in the classroom, I have a large collection of narratives to draw upon,” she said. “I can tell them, ‘This is an example of what nursing does to make a difference for people and communities.’ Yes, they will be tired. There will be good days and some not-so-good days, but every day is a chance to walk through the door and make a difference.”

One of the classes that Gallyot teaches is “Role of a Nurse,” where she expresses the importance of professionalism, communication, collaboration and ethics.

“There are so many things I explore to get students to understand that nurses do more than just administer medication,” she said. “There are interpersonal skills you must develop to work with patients and families.”

Gallyot also puts a great amount of effort into helping her students succeed beyond the classroom. She works with graduates to coach them as they prepare for state board exams and stays in touch to offer career advice, such as what certain jobs entail and how to handle challenging situations at work.

She said one of the most fulfilling parts of educating is her enjoyment from watching students progress from being unsure of how to enter a patient’s room to confidently working with multiple patients.

“It’s so exciting to be a part of their journey,” she said. “I am delighted when they come to me with stories of how they applied what they learned in class to a clinical situation.”

Gallyot views her role at the College as an opportunity, rather than a responsibility.

“This is not a job that I ‘have’ to do. It’s a job that I ‘get’ to do,” she said. “My students come to me with a desire to help people. What I do is nurture and grow that desire. It’s so exciting to be a part of that journey.”

Looking ahead, Gallyot is enthusiastic about preparing future generations of nurses for careers in the industry.

“As I go through and further develop as a teacher and build relationships with students, I see that this community is filled with people who want to do good,” she said. “If I can give them a spark to want to continue improving, then I’m doing well. That’s what we’re all here for.”

Learn more about the Nursing program at College of DuPage.

Tom Carter

Tom Carter

Representing the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Division, Carter will receive a $1,000 award from the College of DuPage Foundation, which annually recognizes outstanding teaching achievement.

The Geneva resident earned a Bachelor of Arts from Drury College, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. from Duke University. He originally spent seven years as a diver for the U.S. Navy, then worked as a research physicist at Fermilab and as an engineer in the telecommunications industry. While he enjoyed all of these positions, Carter felt a strong attraction to teaching.

“When I first started, I thought, ‘All I need is enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject matter,’” he said. “What I learned is that students are more complex and that each student brings his or her own background and unique needs to class.”

He initially wanted to teach at a small liberal arts college, much like Drury.

“The first year I started at COD, in 2000, I wasn’t sure if this is where I wanted to stay,” he said. “But after a few years, I knew a community college was the place to be. Our sole goal is to support the students, and we have more immediate access to them at a community college.”  

Carter has worked closely with his students, promoting and arranging summer internships with national laboratories and research universities. He has helped sponsor and support on-campus initiatives such as the COD Robotics Team, the COD chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and STEMCON, the annual celebration of science, technology, engineering and math that brings thousands to campus. Carter also was a member of the team that founded the Engineering Pathways program that gives engineering students an opportunity to seamlessly transfer to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Outside of COD, Carter is the lead scientist for the QuarkNet science program for high school students at Fermilab and is a member of Fermilab’s science public lecture committee. He has served as a member of the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) physics panel and has been a member and chair of the national Committee on Physics at Two Year Colleges for the American Association of Physics Teachers.

One student who continually cites Carter as a mentor is Marsela Jorgolli, who was named to the All-USA Community College Academic First Team and received the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the first COD student to receive this national honor. She transferred to the University of Chicago, where she earned her bachelor’s degree, and later earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

“Marsela is one of those students who would have excelled in any situation,” he said. “If a student like Marsela goes on to accomplish big things, I only hope that I was a small part of it.”

Carter has yet to tire of teaching and is glad he has made it his career.

“Teaching has certainly been more demanding than I expected, but it’s more than lived up to my initial expectations,” he said. “What I hope is that I make a positive impact on someone’s life. For every Marsela, I also have that student every term in the back of my class on the first day, arms folded and clearly wanting to be elsewhere, who on the last day tells me they learned something. I feel good about that.”   

For more about the Physics program, visit www.cod.edu/academics/programs/physics.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 26,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

Karan Oliver-Tucci

Karan Oliver-Tucci

Karan Oliver-Tucci, assistant professor of Biology at College of DuPage, has been named the Overall Outstanding Faculty Member for 2016-2017.

Representing the Health and Sciences Division, Oliver-Tucci will receive a $1,000 award from the College of DuPage Foundation, which annually recognizes outstanding teaching achievement.

The Bloomingdale resident's original goal was to become a zoologist or veterinarian. However, after working in a veterinary clinic and holding a seasonal zookeeper job while in college, she realized it wasn't the perfect fit.

"I even participated in an Earthwatch research expedition to study black howlers in Argentina just to make sure I wasn't missing out on a research career," she said. "I still love animals but instead found my calling in the classroom."

Oliver-Tucci taught high school biology for several years and was then asked to teach an honors-level Anatomy and Physiology course. Although she loved teaching the A&P course, she didn't feel adequately prepared. So she returned to school and earned a graduate degree in Human Anatomical Sciences.

It was during graduate school when Oliver-Tucci discovered just how much she enjoyed working with college students.

"I feel very comfortable and happy in the classroom. I love the classroom dynamic, interacting with students, getting to know them and helping them reach their goals," she said. "Plus it helps that I am fascinated by all the intricacies of the human body so the subject matter stays exciting. Anatomy and Physiology is a discipline that constantly keeps me on my toes in order to stay current with new procedures, drugs and technological advancements. Even after almost 11 years here at COD, Anatomy and Physiology courses are still my favorite to teach."

Oliver-Tucci enjoys working with students who are completing their science requirements before enrolling in the College's health care programs, such as Nursing. They often spend multiple semesters in her classes and labs.

"I have the opportunity to learn about them as I prepare them for program-specific health care classes," she said. "After leaving my classes, they often come back to me with questions or see me in the hall and update me on their progress."

Oliver-Tucci enjoys the smaller class sizes at College of DuPage. At a large university, a teaching assistant would be leading the lab sessions, but Oliver-Tucci prefers being there and working alongside her students.

"I hope some of my passion for science rubs off on my students," she said. "I also want them to leave the course knowing they are capable of reaching their goals."

For more about the Biology program, visit www.cod.edu/biology.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 28,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

  • 2015-2016: Kathy Cabai
  • 2014-2015: Chris Miller
  • 2013-2014: Lubna Haque
  • 2012-2013: Ken Gray
  • 2011-2012: Sally N. Fairbank
  • 2010-2011: Michelle Moore

College-Wide Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Member

Sarah Magin

Sarah Magin

College of DuPage English instructor Sarah Magin is the College-Wide Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Magin is a COD alumna who found her way back home when she became an adjunct faculty member in 2012. Most recently she teaches English Composition 1101 and 1102.

Representing the Liberal Arts Division, Magin will receive a $500 award from the College of DuPage Foundation, which annually recognizes outstanding teaching achievement.

Magin studied English Literature at COD, then she graduated Knox College with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Gender and Women’s Studies.

Magin went on to earn a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While she was working as a teaching assistant, she decided to pursue a career in teaching.

“Once I started actually doing it in graduate school, I very quickly realized that I really liked teaching English composition,” said Magin. “I like interacting with students and supporting student success, development and progress.”

Magin embraces her role as a facilitator, and her definition of success is for her students to further develop themselves as readers, writers and critical thinkers, in all its forms.

The students who nominated Magin for the outstanding teaching award said she stands out because of how hard she works to make her students feel heard and comfortable in her classroom. Magin says a safe and inclusive learning community is key to helping students gain confidence.

“I want to help students realize their input is a valuable contribution to the success of the entire classroom,” Magin said. “To succeed, you need to rely on those around you for support, knowledge, and inspiration, and that goes both ways, as a teacher and a student.”

Magin also serves on the editorial board of COD’s student anthology publication ESSAI, which features some of COD’s students’ best academic writing of all majors and studies. Magin says the work is very rewarding, and it includes writing projects of all types, from business plans to cover letters to lab reports.

“No matter what job you have, you need to be able to clearly present ideas, and as needed, support them with research,” said Magin. “Critical thinking is a very important, powerful skill that you use all the time no matter what you do.”

Students said Magin strives to prepare her students for their future in both academia and beyond, and Magin says she believes it’s important to support students even after they’ve left the classroom.

“I look forward to interacting with my students and supporting them,” Magin said. “In a classroom community, the students are active agents of their own progress, and it’s essential to prioritize each student’s distinct path for success.”

Learn more about the English program at College of DuPage.

Krystle Conrad

Krystle Conrad

College of DuPage American Sign Language faculty member Krystle Conrad is the College-Wide Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Representing the Liberal Arts program, Conrad will receive a $500 award from the Academic Affairs Division.

An unexpected opportunity to teach ASL ignited Conrad’s passion for teaching and changed her career trajectory.

“Initially, I set out to become a graphic designer but that changed when a friend pulled me into teaching ASL at a local college,” she said. “I found that I really enjoyed teaching students and making a difference in their lives by providing authentic knowledge not only about ASL, but also about deaf culture and life experiences. I also enjoyed sharing stories and allowing students to understand my experiences growing up deaf.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree with emphases in computer graphics, digital imaging and publishing at Rochester Institute of Technology, Conrad followed her passion for teaching and earned a master’s degree in American Sign Language education at Gallaudet University. An adjunct faculty member at COD since 2015, she teaches American Sign Language II and III, as well as an ASL linguistics course.

Conrad, who has been Deaf since the age of 6, feels that it is important to provide a learning environment where students feel comfortable and welcome.

“As a Deaf, queer teacher, I aim to provide a safe place for everyone who walks into my classroom,” she said. “More than just teaching how to sign, I provide students an experience of culture, education, art and literature using resources within the deaf community, as well as my own personal experiences.”

Conrad said she tries to meet students where they are by providing a flexible and varied approach in the classroom.

“I use a variety of different materials, activities and lectures in the classroom because students have different skills, learning styles and backgrounds,” she said. “Adapting lessons to the students helps them stay engaged and interested. I work to ensure that all students in my class feel included, motivated and capable of learning.”

She said students who are learning ASL should not just learn vocabulary, but they also should try to gain insight into Deaf culture.

“I use a lot of activities in my classroom that demonstrate everyday dialogue,” she said. “Students interact using sign language with hands-on activities, projects and role-playing with authentic language context discourse. I also encourage students to interact with their classmates outside the classroom and to attend events incorporating sign language as often as they can. To get the full experience of the language, students have to go and interact with the culture.”

Learn more about the American Sign Language program at College of DuPage.

Patrick Idzik

Patrick Idzik


College of DuPage Speech Communication Adjunct Faculty member Patrick Idzik was selected as the College-Wide Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member for 2019-2020.

Representing the Arts, Communication and Hospitality Division, Idzik will receive a $500 award from the College of DuPage Foundation, which annually recognizes outstanding teaching achievement.

Idzik said he felt incredibly honored to be named Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member.

“Like so many educators here at COD, I have invested a great deal of time and effort in an attempt to bring the material to life and make it connect with students,” he said. “When you hear that your lessons inspire people to do better, try harder or think critically about something, you know you have made a difference.”

Idzik has taught sections of Speech 1100 and nonverbal communication classes, as well as a Speech 1100 class designed particularly for culinary and hospitality students. After earning his Associate in Arts in General Studies at COD, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and Rhetoric from DePaul University and his master’s degree in Communications from Michigan State University. He is currently working toward an Ed.D. at Aurora University with a focus on communication in the classroom.

A resident of Bloomingdale, Idzik said he approaches teaching with a focus on practicality, needs-based learning and ethical consideration. He added that since college can be a challenging time for students who are finding their identity, cultural understanding and empathy play a strong role in his lessons.

“Knowing what students need is essential in helping them retain information, so I keep up to date on research and trends in the field,” he said. “I also ask students what topics they would like to discuss early in the semester, do research on them and change my lessons accordingly to meet their needs. This way, students have a voice in what they learn, and I get to better understand their needs. Also, I strongly believe educators have an ethical consideration when addressing their students. I make sure the material I present meets a high level of scrutiny and peer review. I ask my students to do the same, sparking the critical thinking and skepticism needed in today’s world.”

Idzik, who has worked as a purchasing manager at his family’s engineering company and a divorce mediator, credits his high school history teacher with inspiring his passion for teaching and learning. While Idzik said he tries to make his lessons fun and engaging for students, there is one primary element to which he owes his success. 

“In short, I listen to my students,” he said. “I can’t know the level of stress they are feeling, so I ask about it. I ask what they’re anxious about, or how their day is going. They crave an outlet to express emotions that they’re only now feeling in some cases, allowing for raw and meaningful discussion. These conversations inform me about what trends my lessons should focus on, and have helped me form presentations on depression, social anxiety, abusive relationships and the effect of social media influence. Students listen to and engage much deeper with topics that affect them.”

He said he enjoys the challenges and opportunities that go along with teaching speech communications.

“Almost everyone hates public speaking and now they’re mandated to take this class,” he said. “That’s a pretty rough start. Because everyone must take speech, one class can be composed of dozens of different cultures, majors, races, creeds, abilities and backgrounds. Teaching a lesson where you can break through all the qualitative differences between people and connect with shared ideas is exceptionally challenging, and worth every second of effort.”

Pleased with his experiences at COD as both a former student and now a faculty member, Idzik said he is most impressed with the available resources at the College.

“When I was a student at COD over a decade ago, I had no idea how many opportunities I was surrounded by,” he said. “Now that I’m an instructor, I have the chance to go back and see all the parts of the College I missed out on. I get my haircut by cosmetology students in Addison, buy plants from our greenhouse, eat lunch at our incredible Wheat Cafe, peruse student galleries during breaks, take advantage of our incredible library resources and, most importantly, I tell my students about all of it. They get excited and engaged when they realize that their school has a lot more to offer than they initially thought.”

Learn more about the Speech Communication program at College of DuPage.

Ben Wahlund

Ben Wahlund

Benjamin Wahlund, part-time music instructor at College of DuPage, has been named the College-Wide Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member for the 2018-2019 academic year. 

Representing the Arts, Communication and Hospitality Division, Wahlund will receive a $500 award from the College of DuPage Foundation, which annually recognizes outstanding teaching achievement.

Wahlund, a Grammy-nominated music educator, composer and performer, serves as the Director of Percussion at COD and is a full-time instructor at the Northern Illinois University School of Music. His music compositions have won numerous international awards and are performed by professionals around the world. He graduated from NIU with a master’s degree in music theory and composition and a performance certificate in percussion.

The Aurora resident was drawn to COD because of the College’s diverse background.

“I can’t stress enough how powerful I believe the COD experience can be for people,” Wahlund said. “There is such a rich and diverse group of students here. We have those who are looking for a cost-effective model for education, students who simply want to grow and community members who are interested in augmenting their life experience. It’s great to celebrate that diversity.”

He expressed gratitude to the College community for awarding him with this year’s distinction.

“I feel like the community is reciprocating the appreciation I have for our students. It is quite touching to know that the special relationship we have with our students in the Music program is being recognized.”

Wahlund creates lessons and performances that allows for the different levels of experience and knowledge that students have in music. In doing so, he creates an environment that celebrates all students and their skills.

“If you went to a doctor who refused to see you because you weren’t easy to work with, they didn’t do any healing,” he said. “As teachers, we also can’t be picky about who we work with. I teach the people in front of me and that’s a terrific job.”

Wahlund said that he keeps students engaged by simply allowing them to explore and be themselves.

“I just try to help them find a vision, get the right tools, and I get out of the way. My goal is to celebrate curiosity. If an environment does not foster that, we won’t have any fun. I need to let the students bring their personalities to the table before I bring my own.”

Wahlund finds motivation in the opportunity to improve the world by empowering students to create music that makes people feel better.

“What inspires me as a teacher is that I know when music is being made in the right spirit,” he said. “Sometimes things can get challenging for all of us, and activities like music—and creating music—can make being alive more rewarding. Every day, I am working with students to stand for something that is good. We’re in the business of making beautiful things and I don’t wonder at night whether I spent my day doing what’s right.”

Learn more about the Music program at College of DuPage. 

Christopher Schneberger

Christopher Schneberger

Christopher Schneberger, part-time Photography instructor, has been named College of DuPage’s College-Wide Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member for 2017-2018.

Representing the Arts, Communications and Hospitality Division, the Chicago resident will receive a $500 award from the College of DuPage Foundation, which annually recognizes outstanding teaching achievement at the College.

As a child, Schneberger received a camera and, combined with his interest in drawing and painting, was intrigued by the potential of photography.

“With drawing and painting, there are so many variables. With photography, there’s a finished polish about it, a cinematic quality,” he said. “Photography combines my interest in artistic expression and technical acumen.”

Schneberger studied at the University of Florida where he was inspired by the work of Professor Jerry Uelsmann, a pioneer in photomontage. After earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts, Schneberger obtained a Master of Fine Arts in Photography at Indiana University and began teaching part-time at Columbia College in Chicago in 2002.

He later wanted to expand his educational opportunities and emailed the Photography program at College of DuPage to inquire about teaching possibilities. Photography professor Terry Vitacco replied with information about a part-time position.

“When I interviewed, I liked COD right away. It had a friendly vibe, from the professors to the outstanding facilities,” he said. “I started in 2014 and found the quality of the students excellent.”

In addition to teaching, Schneberger has built an impressive resume. His artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including shows at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art and the Annenberg Space for Photography in L.A., where he was excited to be in a show with Uelsmann; at Dorsky Projects in New York City; at Geocarto International in Hong Kong; and at Printworks Gallery in Chicago. He founded and ran the photography program at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago and is a founder and board member of Perspective Gallery, where he has curated several exhibitions of photography.

Scheberger is also a two-time recipient of an Illinois Arts Council individual artist grant and has presented at the Society for Photographic Education’s Midwest regional conference.

As for teaching, he is excited about passing along his knowledge to his students.

“I enjoy the craft of communicating material,” he said. “I remember how I felt about the medium when I was in school, and I get a thrill out of seeing a student get something in the same way I did when I was studying.”

For more about the Photography program, visit www.cod.edu/academics/programs/photography.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 26,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

Peter Kanetis

Peter Kanetis

Peter Kanetis, adjunct Philosophy and Religious Studies faculty and lecturer, has been named College of DuPage’s Overall Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Member for 2016-2017.

Representing the Liberal Arts Division, the Elmhurst resident will receive a $500 award from the College of DuPage Foundation, which annually recognizes outstanding teaching achievement at the College.

Although he loves to teach, Kanetis originally wanted to be an actor. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Communications, with an emphasis in radio, TV and film, from Loyola University. In 1995, he moved from the Chicago area to Los Angeles and spent eight years pursuing acting full-time.

“Unfortunately, I was part of the 97 percent who was not making a living as an actor,” he said. “To help make ends meet, I was substitute teaching in various Los Angeles high schools. Being in the classroom made me fall in love with teaching.”

Kanetis decided to return to school and enrolled at Biola University, where he earned two graduate degrees: in Christian Apologetics, a branch of theology, and Philosophy.

“I’ve always been fascinated with the ultimate questions in life,” he said. “Ever since I could remember, I would ask questions of why, questions of philosophy and nature, and anything else that really intrigued me. And whenever I would bring up these issues and questions in the classroom, I noticed that students had a hunger to discuss and learn more about them.” 

Kanetis taught philosophy and theology for one year at a high school in Riverside, Calif. But he wanted to dig deeper into the subject matter, especially during classroom discussions, and decided to teach at the college level. Moving back to Chicago, he began looking for positions and was hired as an adjunct at College of DuPage in 2010.

Because of his acting background, Kanetis enjoys combining religion and philosophy with his love of storytelling.

“I tell students that life is too short to miss the real thing, so seeking truth in every area of life should be a priority for all of us,” he said. “That way, we increase our chances of making wise decisions and gaining some happiness in this tough, tough life.”

What Kanetis enjoys most about teaching is helping his students gain critical thinking skills.

“Albert Einstein said, ‘Education is not the learning of many facts, but the training of the mind to think.’ The goal of teaching goes beyond giving students content. We can use the content as a means to an end of developing their ability to reason and evaluate various points of view,” he said. “What excites me most is helping my students become better thinkers and develop a hunger for truth. I want ideas to bother them but in a good way.

“I cannot think of a better way to make a living than discussing philosophy and religion with students who are eager to dig deeper into these issues.”

For more about the Philosophy and Religious Studies program, visit www.cod.edu/academics/programs/philosophy.

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 28,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

  • 2015-2016: Erika Rakas
  • 2014-2015: Caitlin Luteger
  • 2013-2014: Carol Carlson-Nofsinger
  • 2012-2013: Brian Clement
  • 2011-2012: Bärbel Thoens-Masghati
  • 2010-2011: Scott Lingenfelter

Outstanding Faculty Members

The faculty were selected for their excellence in teaching, service to the College, scholarly activities, community service and advising skills. Each will receive a monetary award from the College of DuPage Foundation.

Outstanding Divisional Full-Time Faculty Members

Kathy Cabai (Hampshire), Professor of Anesthesia Technology, Nursing and Health Sciences Division

Kathy Cabai has been instrumental in the development of the curriculum for the College’s Central Sterile Processing, Perioperative Nursing, Surgical Technology, Operating Room Patient Care Technician, Eye Care Assistant, Ophthalmology Technician, and Anesthesia Technologist programs. Cabai continues to act as a leader, mentor and educator to staff and students and inspires people to enter an area of health care about which she is passionate. For many years, she has served on various committees and has worked with educators in the Nursing program.

Robert Clark (Glen Ellyn), Associate Professor of HVACR, Business and Applied Technology Division

Bob Clark has led a redesign and restructuring of many of the classes, certificates and degrees within the HVACR program while dedicating countless hours to building out lab facilities with students, giving them practical knowledge and experience with a wide range of heating, cooling, electrical, airflow and electronic systems, equipment and technologies. Clark has provided expertise to the Welding, Manufacturing, Electro-Mechanical, Electronics, Horticulture and Automotive programs with electrical and hydronic consulting and installation guidance. He was the recipient of the Association for Career and Technical Education state and regional Career and Technical Education Educator of the Year awards in 2019. He has been a driving force in the Project Hire-Ed program creation and recruitment process.

Kathy Dexter-Mitchell (Naperville), Associate Professor of Mathematics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Division

As chair of the Math Transitions Committee, Kathy Dexter-Mitchell has invested extra hours and hard work to ensure the success of the College’s Math Transitions initiative. Her leadership has been critical to the memorandums of understandings with participating high schools and the formation of the local area panel. In addition to serving on the Calculus and Pre-Calculus committees, Dexter-Mitchell actively presents at conferences promoting the innovative Math Transitions initiative, including this spring at the League of Innovations, and is continually looking for new ways to improve the experience for her students.

Lisa Higgins (Oak Park), Professor of English, Liberal Arts Division

With a keen understanding of teaching and learning, Lisa Higgins carefully thinks about every aspect of her teaching, including the content she presents, how she organizes it, how she delivers it and how she evaluates learning outcomes. She chairs the College’s Honors Program and has expanded the Honors course offerings and recruited more faculty to create and offer classes. Higgins creates programming for honors students, including pizza study groups and ice cream socials, and she provides significant academic advising for students throughout the College.

Colin Koteles (Park Ridge), Reference Librarian, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division

Colin Koteles has continuously provided forward-thinking leadership in Library technologies since he began working at the College 18 years ago. He has created and maintained increasingly excellent iterations of the Library’s website, has built the library catalog interface and has developed crucial work tools for staff and library faculty. As the Library’s computing technology, graphic arts and multimedia technologies subject specialist, Koteles maintains a thoughtfully developed resource collection and delivers outstanding instructional support for his students and faculty. He also teaches a core course in the Library and Information Technology program and offers workshops to faculty and students on a variety of technical subjects, including electronic portfolio development and privacy protection.

Ken Paoli (Wheaton), Professor of Music, Art, Communication and Hospitality Division

Ken Paoli demonstrates a breadth of expertise, strong positive energy and leadership in various COD programs. He is an active composer and performer and brings to his work a true credibility in both areas. He has presented and had his music performed in North America, online and in Asia. Paoli is forward-reaching as a composer, bridging the areas of electro- and electro-acoustic music. He regularly presents at the College’s Music Fridays@Noon series, enlarging students’ perspectives with a firm grasp of the innovative and modern, as well as its historical grounding. He ably demonstrates that one can be an innovative composer and a commercial performer.

Julie Trytek (Elgin), Assistance Professor of Human Services, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division

Trytek has been a consistent driving force over this past year, planning and arranging a Recovery Symposium in September 2019, taking on a wide variety of courses, serving as a faculty advisor to a student club, and collaborating on a new open educational resource project for the Introduction to Addictions course. She is a strong researcher who consistently seeks out new information and findings from the field, which she shares with others and brings into her classroom.

Outstanding Divisional Adjunct Faculty Members

Ben Buchenot (Villa Park), Art Instructor, Arts, Communication and Hospitality Division

Ben Buchenot has been teaching wood firing, alternative firing methods and Introduction to Ceramics at the COD since 2013 and has brought a new voice and energy to the ceramics curriculum. Buchenot provides an endless pool of information and artistic experiences to his students to help them reach self-realization and find their individual voices as artists and independent thinkers. He has an amazing ability to engage students in critical and analytical discussions that inspire enthusiasm for the ceramics medium.

Denise Kurtz-Walden (Westmont), Horticulture Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division

Denise Kurtz-Walden is a dedicated, thorough and passionate instructor who brings real-world experience to the classroom and embraces new opportunities to challenge design students. She serves on the College’s Horticulture Program Advisory Board and is an integral part of the team that makes sure classes and events are industry-appropriate. She donates her time to lead the very popular annual Horticulture program’s Holiday Container Design classes, open to students, staff and the community. Her students’ work has been displayed in the Techcetera student gallery and at various College events.

Zhi Liu (Naperville), Languages Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

Zhi Liu supports both the French and Chinese disciplines and distinguishes herself in teaching and co-curricular activities. She has been a tireless advocate for student involvement and has contributed to countless activities and events, including the Multicultural Mashup, Celebration of the Francophone World, County Institute Day, European Studies Committee, the Wheaton Festival of Cultures and Mardi Gras. Lui has been one of the College’s most enthusiastic and successful recruiters for global education and served as faculty director in the College’s Study Abroad programs in France and China.

Jenny Cerpa (St. Charles), Surgical Technology Instructor, Nursing and Health Sciences Division

Jenny Cerpa stepped into the Clinical Chair role for the Surgical Technology and Central Sterile Processing and Distribution programs and tirelessly worked to secure sites for 25 students. She welcomed phone calls and texts on Sunday afternoons to make sure COD students received the best possible experience. She often met during off hours to help struggling students and worked with the Health Sciences team to offer as much support as possible.

Stacie Haen-Darden (Naperville), Criminal Justice Instructor, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division

Stacie Haen-Darden teaches both Criminal Justice courses like Juvenile Delinquency and two personal development courses, Career Development and College Success Skills. Haen-Darden also has taken the lead to ensure the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice program for youth from the Illinois Youth Center-Warrenville is successful and that participants earn 10 college credit hours in speech, English, career development and college success skills.

Kaitlin Burgess (Aurora), Mathematics Instructor, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Division

Kaitlin Burgess goes above and beyond in her adjunct role. She has stepped up to substitute for faculty members and is currently teaching Math 0465, an intensive project-based course to accelerate remediation. Burgess also assisted in a pilot of a potential new book for Math 0465. She is open to new ideas and always willing to help or meet with full-time faculty to discuss any topic.

Laura Nenninger (Wheaton), Student Success Counselor, Counseling, Advising and Transfer, Student Affairs Division

Laura Nenninger has been a member of the adjunct counseling faculty with the Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services department for 24 years. She carries a wealth of knowledge about general academic advising and personal counseling, with a particular involvement in the Honors program and COD scholarship students. Nenninger is an active member of the departmental Programming and Mentor/Mentee committees, as well as the E-Communications and Honors committees.

Outstanding Faculty Members for 2018 - 2019

These Divisional Faculty Members were selected for their excellence in teaching, service to the College, scholarly activities, community service and advising skills. Each will receive a monetary award from the College of DuPage Foundation.

Outstanding Divisional Full-Time Faculty Members

David Ouellette (Batavia), Assistant Professor of Art, Arts, Communication and Hospitality Division

David Ouellette serves as the chair of the Art program and is active in the development of field studies courses, is a member of the Animal Studies committee, and is part of the Pathways mapping initiative. He demonstrates a strong sense of leadership in the classroom and among his colleagues and is an exemplary faculty member in this regard. This past year, he led the remodeling of the McAninch Arts Center lecture hall into a state-of-the-art teaching facility.

Maureen Waller (Tinley Park), Professor of Nursing, Nursing and Health Sciences Division

Maureen Waller is involved in improving student outcomes in her role as coordinator and professor in the Associate Degree in Nursing program. She is a mentor to both faculty and students, often encouraging junior faculty to seek further education so they can become better teachers. Waller takes pride in providing exceptional support and service to new faculty and staff. She quickly identifies their individual needs and moves efficiently to provide necessary information, encouragement and direction.

Jim Filipek (Niles), Associate Professor of Manufacturing Technology, Business and Applied Technology Division

Jim Filipek has the vision to proactively pursue the reality of skills demanded by the manufacturing workforce. His vision and involvement with industry are what consistently generates manufacturing scholarships for students at College of DuPage. Because of his efforts on behalf of students and the community, COD’s Manufacturing Technology program is well known and respected.

Bob Hazard (Aurora), Associate Professor of English, Liberal Arts Division

Bob Hazard is a professor who is dedicated to his students and to the College. He is revered for his excellence in both teaching and advising. Over the years, Hazard has participated in numerous committees, programs and initiatives, serving on the Faculty Instruction Committee, Faculty Senate, English Department Standards of Academic Progress (SOAP) Taskforce, Academic Integrity Committee and Composition Steering Committee. He was instrumental in the organization and sponsorship of the COD Student Veteran’s Club and was a strong supporter for the first COD Veterans Read-In, which has become an annual event at the College.

Earl Reed (Naperville), Professor of Physical Education, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division

Earl Reed serves as Chair of the Physical Education department, where he has been a professor for 28 years. He has been an innovative leader in inspiring his colleagues and is a champion for students. Reed works closely with student-athletes in achieving success in the classroom and in life. He created a partnership with the ASEP coaching certification program, developed an intern partnership with Velocity Sports, and took the lead on the Sports Management 2+2 program being developed with Lewis University.

Jocelyn Harney (Naperville), Student Success Counselor, Counseling and Advising

Jocelyn Harney has dedicated the past 30 years of her career to the Counseling and Advising division at COD. As the former administrator over the area, she made it her priority to have the Counseling faculty reflect the diversity of the students on campus. She continues this effort by mentoring new and senior Counseling faculty members. She continuously advocates on a larger scale to preserve the integrity of the Counseling faculty as a unique and integral part of the College. In her role as a counselor, she has led the SOAP committee in the implementation of effective programming for students with academic difficulties. She currently leads a team of counselors working with the veteran population while educating staff on the needs of veterans.  

Michael O’Leary, Professor of Mathematics, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) Division

Michael O’Leary demonstrates excellence in his teaching and service to the College. His colleagues find him to be an invaluable asset to their discipline, through contributions to their curriculum and ability to teach a wide diversity of their courses. His mathematical publications exemplify scholarly activity worthy of recognition. He maintains currency in his discipline through his role in hosting a mathematical conference at COD, which raises the profile of the institution.

 

Outstanding College-Wide Adjunct Faculty Member

Benjamin Wahlund (Aurora), Music Instructor, Arts, Communication and Hospitality Division

Ben Wahlund is a Grammy nominated, award-winning music educator, composer and performer. He serves as the Director of Percussion at College of DuPage and full-time percussion instructor at Northern Illinois University. His music compositions have won numerous international awards and are performed by professionals around the world. Wahlund creates lessons and performances that take into consideration that students have different levels of experience and knowledge of music. In doing so, he brings together a musical experience that celebrates all students and their skills.

 

Outstanding Divisional Adjunct Faculty Member

Chris Oliva (Park Ridge), Motion Picture/Television Instructor, Arts, Communication and Hospitality Division

Chris Oliva teaches editing, directing and survey courses in the MPTV program. He is popular in the classroom, bringing the credibility of work experience as a professional editor, and has an open and energetic rapport with students. Olivia extends his collaborative manner to colleagues and frequently assists as a substitute instructor throughout the program.

Vasilios “Billy” Pappademetriou (Harwood Heights), Computer Information System Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division

Vasilios “Billy” Pappademetriou’s positive and encouraging demeanor has a lasting effect. His students regularly share feedback that he is a great instructor. Not only does he teach the course material, but he also encourages their success as citizens in a technology-driven world. He regularly advises his students about the CIS courses and progressions to success. He also serves as an adjunct at one of COD’s four-year transfer institutions, acting as a liaison and easing the transfer path for many students.

Eric Tan (Carol Stream), English Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

Eric Tan creates an engaging learning environment for students, who praise his ability to relate to them and bring relevant topics to class. He respects his students and has faith in their ability to achieve. Tan also contributes by working on the College’s annual Writing on the Edge Conference and collaborating with other faculty at COD to produce “Teaching Hacks,” a podcast on pedagogy.

Kelly Hand (Munster, Ind.), Reference Librarian, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division

Kelly Hand is effective and displays extraordinary knowledge, courtesy and perseverance in assisting students and colleagues. Her confidence and expertise make her an excellent instructor. She accepts numerous teaching assignments in all disciplines and welcomes the opportunities and the challenges of the research assignments and students’ information needs.  

Mark Boyle (Lisle), Geography Instructor, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division

Mark Boyle is a knowledgeable geographer who challenges his students about world events. Students consistently report that he presents information that is current and applicable to real-life situations. He helps students understand physical and human geography as well as ways in which geographical principles apply to housing, transportation and demographics. He is interested in inspiring students to think creatively and engages them in meaningful dialogue.

Jim Lungu (Naperville), Physics Instructor, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) Division

Jim Lungu is well known for his thorough but easy-going style, which guides students while still challenging them to gain the required knowledge. His approachable style helps motivate his students and gives them the confidence they need to be successful. As a practicing physicist working in the private industry, Lungu knows the real-world applications of the topics he teaches. His personal knowledge helps prepare the students for the trials they will meet after they leave his classroom.

OutstandigFaculty Member 2017 - 2018

Sixteen faculty members and advisors have been recognized as the 2017-2018 Outstanding Faculty Members and Outstanding Advisors at College of DuPage.

The faculty and advisors were selected for their excellence in teaching, service to the College, scholarly activities, community service and advising skills. Each will receive a monetary award from the College of DuPage Foundation.

College-Wide Outstanding Full-time Faculty Member

Tom Carter (Geneva), Professor of Physics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Division

Tom Carter has devoted his professional and much of his personal life to ensure the success of his students and the success of the College as a whole. He has worked closely with his students, promoting and arranging summer internships for students with national laboratories and research universities. He has helped sponsor and support on-campus initiatives such as the COD Robotics Team, the COD chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and STEMCON, the annual celebration of science, technology, engineering and math. 

Divisional Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Members

Cory DiCarlo (Wheaton), Associate Professor of Chemistry, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Division

Cory DiCarlo has brought the 21st century in terms of pedagogy to the department by adopting the “flipped classroom” model in his classes and continually works with students outside of class. He always jumps in to help supervise lab cleanliness, develop lab safety and cleanliness protocols, and deal with hazardous waste issues. He also is a new member of the College Curriculum Committee. 

Donna Gillespie (Glen Ellyn), Associate Professor of Spanish, Liberal Arts Division

Donna Gillespie employs a variety of student-centered approaches to Spanish instruction and incorporates cultural appreciation and global awareness to build a well-rounded and comprehensive learning experience. She has served numerous times as faculty director for the Costa Rica and Spain study abroad programs and developed the first service-learning component for the Costa Rica program. Her most recent initiative was leading a field study class to explore the history and narratives of the medieval pilgrimage route to Santiago, Spain. 

Mary Konkel (Chicago), Professor and Technical Services Librarian, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division

Mary Konkel has led the Technical Services Department through all aspects of acquiring and cataloging materials for the College’s Library. Her department is responsive to last-minute rush requests and always seeks out the most efficient, cost-effective method for acquiring materials. Konkel serves on the Bookstore Advisory Committee and was elected to the OCLC Global Council, where she is one of 48 librarians in the world representing the needs of OCLC’s 72,000 libraries. 

Robert Nichols (Chicago), Professor of Computer and Information Science, Business and Applied Technology Division

Robert Nichols is active in connecting the Computer and Information Systems program to all other areas it relates to, working directly with faculty in other disciplines to understand their program needs, refine their ideas as they relate to CIS topics, and provide insights into future ideas for program development. He has served on the Business and Applied Technology Division Curriculum Committee and continues to provide technical expertise, ICCB insights and focus to help the division maintain top-level curriculum. 

Andrea Polites (Downers Grove), Assistant Professor of Human Services, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division

Andrea Polites continuously challenges herself by taking on new classes to teach while pushing the boundaries of existing courses, updating material to be relevant and fresh for students. She coordinates presentations on campus featuring nationally renowned speakers and serves as a faculty liaison during ongoing discussions about the Pathways project on campus. Polites also initiated a new certificate program this past year and revises active course files to ensure that they reflect best practices. 

Lynda Randa (Manhattan), Associate Professor of Biology, Nursing and Health Sciences Division

Lynda Randa has been instrumental in bringing new ideas to departmental meetings and strives to do her best in all aspects of her work, including teaching, service to the College, curriculum planning and community service. Her experience as the Degree Requirements Committee Chairperson requires much time and effort. Randa’s knowledge and accuracy in advising students and faculty regarding program requirements, transfer guidance and degree completion requirements makes her a valuable resource and an excellent mentor.  

Stephen Thompson (Aurora), Professor of Speech Communication, Arts, Communication and Hospitality Division

Stephen Thompson incorporates some of the most challenging and contemporary research in communication into his work, developing a deep awareness of the field within a foundational course. He recently reimagined his approach to teaching Speech 1100, taking advantage of TED talks and the strategies used to produce them, recognizing that these novel talks have a specific structure and form to good communication in a contemporary manner. 

College-Wide Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member

Christopher Schneberger (Chicago), Instructor of Photography, Arts, Communication and Hospitality Division

Christopher Schneberger views photography as a discourse of visual ideas – seeing, thinking and responding to the medium and the history of it. His artwork is exhibited nationally and internationally, including shows at The Los Angeles Center for Digital Art and the Annenberg Space for Photography, both in Los Angeles; Dorsky Projects in New York City, Geocarto International in Hong Kong, and Printworks Gallery in Chicago. He is a two-time recipient of an Illinois Arts Council individual artist grant and is a founder and board member of Perspective Gallery, where he has curated several exhibitions of photography. 

Divisional Outstanding Part-Time Faulty Members

Robert Boyle (St. Charles), Automotive Service Technology Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division

Robert Boyle builds excellent relationships with his students and is always willing to come early or stay late to assist students with course or lab work. He assists the faculty team with programmatic questions and issues, such as repairing a broken transmission or vehicle where he has expertise. Boyle is a consistent contributor to program curriculum, equipment and tooling update suggestions. 

Donna Douglas (Glen Ellyn), Dance Instructor, Arts, Communications and Hospitality Division

Donna Douglas began studying ballet at the age of 4 and has studied dance continuously since then, currently at the Lou Conte Dance Center/Hubbard Street Dance Company in Chicago. She has been teaching dance in the region for more than 35 years. Most recently, Douglas led the re-writing of the curriculum and the development of an Associate in Applied Science degree proposal for the Dance program at COD. 

Sue Frankson (Aurora), English Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

Sue Frankson has been teaching English at College of DuPage for nearly 20 years, bringing passion to her craft and seeks constantly to improve and grow. She has served as a coach in the Writing Center, has been one of the faculty Lecturers in the English department, and has given generously of her time and talent in organizing and administering Writing on the Edge, the innovative annual conference for adjunct English instructors. 

Scott Milkovich (Glen Ellyn), Physics Instructor, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Division

Scott Milkovich is particularly good at bringing his experience in private industry into the class or lab, using real-world examples and showing students how professional graphs would look in a lab. Several of his teaching methods were adopted by the full-time faculty. Milkovich also attends statewide professional meetings to gain more insight into new teaching methods. 

Stacie Haen-Darden (Naperville), Justice Studies and Education Instructor, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division

In addition to teaching Introduction to Justice Studies, Justice Studies in the Media and Juvenile Delinquency for the Justice Studies discipline, Stacie Haen-Darden teaches Career Development and College Success Skills in the Education discipline. She developed the Justice Studies in the Media course and is instrumental in offering the College Success Skills course in ways that serve a variety of students.

Outstanding Faculty 2016-2017


Twenty-one faculty members and advisors have been recognized as the 2016-2017 Outstanding Faculty Members and Outstanding Advisors at College of DuPage.

The faculty and advisors were selected for their excellence in teaching, service to the College, scholarly activities, community service and advising skills. Each will receive a monetary award from the College of DuPage Foundation.

Outstanding Overall Full-time Faulty Member

Karan Oliver-Tucci (Bloomingdale), Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, Health and Sciences Division

Karan Oliver-Tucci has a passion for science and teaching, which is reflected in her work and dedication to her students’ success. She incorporates different learning styles into her lessons so that every student understands the material. One of the most innovative activities, noted by her students, uses Play-Doh to sculpt the muscles of the face. In addition to teaching, Oliver-Tucci was a member of the STEMCON 2016 inaugural team, held three Women in STEM workshops for local high school girls and is the advisor for the Anatomy and Physiology club.

Outstanding Divisional Full-time Faulty Member

Carolyn England (Winfield), Professor of Computer and Information Science, Business and Applied Technology Division

Carolyn England was the primary contributor to the development of the Linux curriculum. She also delivered the courses and tested the required hardware and software. England stays at the forefront of technology as the sole CIS faculty working with 3-D printing, creating prototypes and demonstrations used by faculty and students. She works to grow enrollments in STEM and Career and Technical Education courses, especially with female students, and she serves as one of the principle organizers of the annual STEMCON event.

Brad Killam (Fox Point, Wis.), Associate Professor of Art, Liberal Arts Division

Brad Killam assumed the responsibility of teaching, developing and leading the sculpture area in the Art program in addition to teaching classes in drawing, painting and design. He insisted on creating a Visiting Artist Program when the idea seemed impossible, and he develops quality student exhibits, such as the AFA Exhibition at the Wings Student Art Gallery. Killam also helps students focus and plan on taking the right courses in order to graduate with an Associate in Fine Arts degree, which concludes with a quality gallery exhibition.

Melina Martin (Wheaton), Assistant Professor of English, Liberal Arts Division

Melina Martin is devoted to making and achieving long-terms goals for her subdivision, division and the COD community. Not only does she chair the Composition Steering Committee, she also serves on several committees including Teaching with Technology. Martin embraced a leadership position early on and has conducted herself with professionalism and grace, listening to the needs and wishes of her committee members, organizing each meeting, taking meeting minutes and communicating effectively with colleagues. 

Joe Moran (South Elgin), Professor of Accounting, Business and Applied Technology Division

Joe Moran has contributed to the success of many students and faculty in his 20-plus years at COD, bringing industry experience into the classroom. He recently helped coach a team of students who tied their four-year counterparts for first prize in a public accounting firm-sponsored contest. Moran dedicates time and efforts to multiple faculty and college-wide committees and serves willingly as a mentor to new faculty, both full-time and adjunct. His community efforts include high school outreach and voluntary tax preparation.

John Paris (DeKalb), Associate Professor of History, Liberal Arts Division

John Paris has represented the Liberal Arts Division outside of his field, department and division, bringing quality educational opportunities to students from all walks of life and at all levels of experience and preparation. He has done this at College of DuPage as well as abroad and for international students for whom he often is one of the first contacts.

Gary Roby (Naperville), Associate Professor of Chemistry, Health and Sciences Division

Gary Roby’s major accomplishments include serving as the primary author of the department’s successful 2015 Center of Excellence application, current chair for the Chicago Chapter ACS Education Committee, and co-principal investigator on the National Science Foundation’s $650,000 STEM grant that was awarded to COD in 2016. He is a member of the Academic Calendar Committee, active with the Regional Science Olympiad and a member of the STEMCON planning committee. Roby is also an advisor for the Pre-Physician Assistant club. 

Dana Thompson (Lombard), Student Success Counselor, Student Affairs Division

Dana Thompson has been a long-standing contributor to the College’s mission of diversity and inclusiveness. She advises the Pride Alliance, which she has done for the past 13 years, and regularly offers programming on diversity. She is integral in leading the Counseling faculty’s education course offerings and started a Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership to learn how to further the College’s goals and empower students. Thompson also serves on the Learning Communities, New Student Planning Tool, Division Curriculum and Safe Zone committees.

Outstanding Overall Part-time Faculty Member

Peter Kanetis (Bloomingdale), Philosophy and Religious Studies Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

Since 2010, Peter has taught Philosophy and Religious Studies at COD and, for the past three years, has served as Lecturer for the program. He works hard to help his students develop their critical thinking skills to live better lives. Kanetis has helped organize four on-campus roundtable discussions focusing on philosophical and religious issues. In addition, he was part of the ReSET committee and continues to be a member of the American Philosophical Associate, the American Academy of Religion and the Evangelical Philosophical Society.

Outstanding Divisional Part-time Faculty Members

Naveeda Athar (Carol Stream), Human Services Instructor, Health and Sciences Division

Naveeda Athar, who has taught in the Human Services program since 2011, earned her Master of Science in Human Services and doctorate in Counseling, Adult and Higher Education from National Louis University. Her credentials include multiple clinical certificates and licenses such as becoming a Certified Domestic Violence professional. Athar is an active member of the Illinois Counseling Association and Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association as well as publishing on topics related to the human services field.

Donald Comstock (Glendale Heights), Suburban Law Enforcement Academy Instructor, Continuing Education

Donald Comstock is a DuPage County Sheriff’s Deputy and has served as faculty for SLEA since 2008, teaching forensic classes in both the basic academy and continuing education programs. For the past three years, he also has organized and facilitated the annual Forensic Training Conference held at SLEA. He is a certified Crime Scene Investigator and his expertise provides valuable information to academy recruits as well as seasoned officers who attend continuing education training.

Elizabeth Cooper (Glen Ellyn), Reference Librarian, Learning Resources Division

Elizabeth Cooper’s experience as the law librarian with the DuPage County Law Library has brought not only legal expertise but also more knowledge of county resources to College of DuPage and the Paralegal Studies program. She works with classes ranging from paralegal, speech and English to social sciences, health sciences and biology. She has been a guest speaker on legal resources for the Caregiver’s Support Group and serves on the Paralegal Advisory Council, providing input on curriculum and resources for the program.

Tricia Fiske (Wheaton), Physical Education Instructor, Health and Sciences Division

Tricia Fiske has been a member of the Physical Education Adjunct Faculty for 19 years and her primary area of expertise is yoga, which she has been practicing for more than 21 years. She was first a personal trainer, working one-on-one with private cardio clients, and taught step aerobics, spinning and Nia (which combines martial arts and dance set to music) before focusing completely on yoga. Fiske is a leader in the west suburban yoga community. 

Gloria Kas (Bloomingdale), Certified Nursing Assistant Instructor, Health and Sciences Division

Gloria Kas is an active member of the Certified Nurse Assistant Education Association as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health Nurse Aide Advisory Board. Her credentials include baccalaureate-prepared registered nurse, certified rehabilitation nurse and certified cardio-pulmonary resuscitation instructor from the American Heart Association. Kas creates innovative and interactive learning objects and collaborates with clinical instructors to provide a seamless transition from the lab to the clinical environment.

Mi Ran (Michelle) Lee (Elmwood Park), Korean Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

Michelle Lee motivates her students by creating a safe and friendly classroom culture, and she skillfully designs her instruction to challenge but not overwhelm students. She has been successful in growing the Korean program and serves as the co-advisor for the Seoul of Korea student club, which currently has more than 60 members. She invited students to a local high school fair to help represent COD’s Korean and Languages programs and is a tireless advocate for cross-cultural education and understanding.

Andreea Leonard (Chicago), Computer and Information Technology Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division

Andreea Leonard came to the CIT program with an impressive depth of teaching and technical experience. In a relatively short time, she has made an immediate impact as a supporting member of the CIT team, from her flexibility to teach all curriculum in two key areas, CompTIA A+ and Microsoft, to her positive impact on student learning.

Shelly Mocchi (Geneva), Interior Design Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division

Shelly Mocchi has dedicated more than 10 years to the success of Interior Design students. She has a strong professional background and brings the full range of her talents to class, pulling the best out of each student. She helps students put together projects that become part of their portfolios, which they use during job searches. Last fall, Mocchi graciously took over a class mid-semester and led students to produce outstanding work.

Wes Solether (Lombard), English Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

In addition to teaching ALP (Accelerated Learning Program) English, Wes Solether has been a contributor and team member to the WOTE (Writing on the Edge) Conference team. The WOTE conference, the only event of its kind in the country, is produced and implemented by adjunct faculty for adjunct faculty who teach in the areas of English and ELS. Solether also is working with his peers to create an electronic journal for adjunct faculty to publish their works on a national stage. 

Ben Wahlund (Aurora), Music Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

Since 2014, Ben Wahlund has led the College’s Percussion Ensemble, which has grown tremendously since he became director. Wahlund is known to welcome students with varied musical skills and expertise, often engaging students in musical performance who might never have chosen to do this. He has a lighthearted teaching style and a great sense of humor about his calling.

2015-2016

Outstanding Divisional Full-time Faculty Members

  • Tim Caldwell (Downers Grove), Assistant Professor of Fire Science, Health and Sciences Division
  • Tom Carter (Geneva), Professor of Physics, Health and Sciences Division
  • Maureen McBeth (Wheaton), Professor of Accounting, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Eva Maria Raepple (Woodridge), Professor of Philosophy, Liberal Arts Division
  • Tom Robertson (Wheaton), Associate Professor of Automotive Technology, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Debra Smith (Hanover Park), Reference Librarian, Learning Resources Division
  • Jason Snart (Wheaton), Professor of English, Liberal Arts Division
  • April Zawlocki (Bolingbrook), Assistant Professor of Education, Health and Sciences Division

Outstanding Divisional Part-time Faculty Members

  • Charles Dakarian (Elgin), Anatomy and Physiology Instructor, Health and Sciences Division
  • Aparna Dwivedi (Naperville), English Instructor, Liberal Arts Division
  • Chris Cannon (LaGrange Park), Graphic Design Instructor, Liberal Arts Division
  • Jennifer Gimmell (Naperville), Physics Instructor, Health and Sciences Division
  • Melissa Gomez (Wheaton), Speech Instructor, Liberal Arts Division
  • Melissa Heischberg (Roselle), Fashion Studies Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Chris Lexow (Hammond, Ind.), HVACR Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Carolyn Margrave (Naperville), Student Success Counselor, Student Affairs Division
  • Karen Miller (Carol Stream), Justice Studies Instructor, Health and Sciences Division
  • Kathleen Mullin (Elk Grove Village), History Instructor, Continuing Education Division

2014-2015

Outstanding Divisional Full-time Faculty Members

  • Bill Carmody (Glen Ellyn), Professor of Business Law, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Michael Foss (Countryside), Associate Professor of Automotive Service Technology, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Dilyss Gallyot (Elmhurst), Professor of Nursing, Health and Sciences Division
  • Carolyn Soo (Naperville), Professor of Mathematics, Health and Sciences Division
  • Danica Hubbard (Naperville), Professor of English, Liberal Arts Division
  • Helen Feng (Lisle), Professor of History, Liberal Arts Division
  • Carol Giegerich (Naperville), Student Success Counselor, Student Affairs Division

Outstanding Divisional Part-Time Faculty Members

  • Naveeda Athar (Carol Stream), Human Services Instructor, Health and Sciences Division
  • Nancy Farber (Naperville), Culinary Arts Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Robert Fultz (Lisle), Manufacturing Technology Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Mark Pusinelli (Western Springs), Computer Instructor, Continuing Education Division
  • Jeremy Croy (Elmhurst), Justice Studies Instructor, Health and Sciences Division
  • Sandra Kurby (Carol Stream), Physical Education Instructor, Health and Sciences Division
  • Jill Dziak (Bolingbrook), Physical Therapy Assistant Instructor, Health and Sciences Division
  • Barbara Myers (LaGrange Park), English and ESL Instructor, Liberal Arts Division
  • Robert Buitron (Geneva), Fine and Applied Arts Instructor, Liberal Arts Division
  • Zerrin Bulut (Oak Park), Humanities Instructor, Liberal Arts Division
  • Roberta "Bobbie" Rudnick (Naperville), Reference Librarian, Learning Resources

2013-2014

Outstanding Divisional Full-time Faculty Members

  • Amelia Barrett (Glen Ellyn), Professor of Theater, Liberal Arts Division
  • Denise Cote (Wheaton), Reference Librarian, Learning Resources Division
  • Tom Montgomery Fate (Glen Ellyn), Professor of English, Liberal Arts Division
  • Erich Hauenstein (Wheaton), Professor of Mathematics, Health and Sciences Division
  • Mark Pearson (Mount Prospect), Associate Professor of Architecture, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Sharon Roschay (West Chicago), Professor, Physical Therapist Assistant, Health and Sciences Division
  • Steve Schroeder (Warrenville), Professor of Speech, Liberal Arts Division
  • Herschel “Sonny” Smith (Lisle), Professor of Business/Marketing/Management, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Derrick Willis (Naperville), Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Health and Sciences Division

Outstanding Divisional Part-time Faculty Members

  • Naveeda Athar (Carol Stream), Human Services Instructor, Health and Sciences Division
  • Elaine L. Belanger (St. Charles), Student Success Counselor, Student Affairs
  • Amy Camp (Wheaton), English Instructor, Liberal Arts Division
  • Capper Grant (Villa Park), Paralegal Studies Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Ann Llewellyn (Lisle), Motion Picture/Television Instructor, Liberal Arts Division
  • Mary Ellen Mitterer (Glen Ellyn), Spanish Instructor, Liberal Arts Division
  • Rick Polad (Carol Stream), Earth Science Instructor, Health and Sciences Division
  • David Taylor (Maple Park), Biology Instructor, Health and Sciences Division
  • William Wolfe (Downers Grove), Computer and Information Technology Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division

2012-2013

Outstanding Divisional Full-Time Faculty Members

  • Theodore Darden (Naperville), Associate Professor, Justice Studies, Health and Sciences Division
  • Joyce Fletcher (Wheaton), Counselor/Professor, Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services, Student Affairs
  • Richard Jarman, Ph.D. (Glen Ellyn), Professor, Chemistry, Health and Sciences Division
  • Gerald Krusinski (Palatine), Professor, Mathematics, Health and Sciences Division
  • Marina Kuchinski (Wheaton), Professor, Art, Liberal Arts Division
  • Michael Losacco (West Chicago), Professor, Computer and Information Science, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Jackie McGrath, Ph.D. (Wheaton), Professor, English, Liberal Arts Division
  • Jane Murtaugh (St. Charles), Professor, Business/ Marketing/ Management, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Kent Richter, Ph.D. (Lombard), Professor, Philosophy/Religious Studies, Liberal Arts Division.

Outstanding Divisional Part-Time Faculty Members

  •  Elizabeth Anderson (Woodridge), English, Liberal Arts Division; Kim Crosby (Aurora), Nursing, Health and Sciences Division
  • Bonniejean Hinde (Wheaton), Sociology, Health and Sciences Division
  • Linda Jenkins (Wheaton), Paralegal, Business and Applied Technology Division; Peter Kanetis (Elmhurst), Religious Studies, Liberal Arts Division
  • Chris Kardaras (Lisle), Mathematics, Health and Sciences Division
  • Elizabeth Murphy (Wheaton), Music, Liberal Arts Division
  • Patricia Snyder (Wheaton), Catalog Librarian, Learning Resources Division
  • Craig Waldvogel (Naperville), Electronics, Business and Applied Technology Division.

2011-2012

Outstanding Divisional Faculty Members

  • Judy Burgholzer (Elburn), professor of Horticulture, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Mary Jean Cravens (Wheaton), associate professor of Sociology, Health and Sciences Division
  • David Fazzini (Elmhurst), professor of Physics, Health and Sciences Division
  • Kathy Kamal (Wheaton), professor of Art, Liberal Arts Division
  • Nancy Kett (Naperville), professor of Biology and Anatomy & Physiology, Health and Sciences Division
  • Christine Kickels (Lemont), reference librarian/professor, Learning Resources Division
  • Nicole Matos (Lombard), associate professor of English and ESL, Liberal Arts Division
  • Christopher Miller (Lombard), associate professor of Speech, Liberal Arts Division
  • Nancy Payne (Glen Ellyn), professor of Business/Marketing/Management, Business and Applied Technology Division.

2010-2011

The Outstanding Divisional Faculty Members

  • are Sandra Anderson (Des Plaines), associate professor, Spanish, Liberal Arts Division
  • Katherine Cabai (Elgin), professor, Surgical Technology, Health and Sciences Division
  • Robert Cappetta (Clarendon Hills), professor, Mathematics, Health and Sciences Division
  • Wendy Felder (Batavia), professor, Office Technology Information, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • David Goldberg (Naperville), professor, Political Science, Health and Sciences Division
  • Jennifer Hereth (Chicago), professor, Art, Liberal Arts Division
  • Nathania Montes (Oak Park), counselor/professor, Student Affairs Division
  • Mary Newman (Chicago), associate professor, English, Liberal Arts Division.

Outstanding Advisor Award Winners

Christine Jandak, Program Advisor, Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services, Student Affairs Division

Christine Jandak has become a valuable resource for both students and faculty in the Teacher Preparation/Education and Early Childhood Education and Care programs, as well as various certificate programs in the early childhood area. She advises students on certificate, degree and 3+1 programs as well as transfer options for pursuit of a degree in Education. Jandak offers her insight as a program advisor while serving on the both the Starfish planning committee and the Training committee.

Steven Mecker, Mathematics, STEM Division

Steven Mecker demonstrates his diverse mathematical knowledge in his classes, which include Finite Mathematics, Statistics and Calculus for Business. He also serves as an officer on the CODAA board for adjunct faculty. Students are impressed by his involvement in student clubs, especially during COVID-19. As a faculty advisor, Mecker made a concerted effort to keep students engaged, involved and working together during the pandemic. 

Devin Chambers (Glendale Heights), Counselor, Counseling, Advising and Transfer, Student Affairs Division

Devin Chambers has 12 years of experience advising and counseling high school and community college students in Chicago Public Schools, Harper College and COD, where he has taught Education 1105 (Career Development) the past two semesters. He is dedicated to assisting undocumented students with degree completion and the transfer process. Chambers is also involved with Black Student Alliance, Learning Communities and First-Year Experience planning, as well as multiple departmental committees.

David Rogers (Naperville), Graphic Design, Arts, Communication and Hospitality Division

David Rogers has taught and developed curriculum for courses in the Graphic Design program, most recently Graphic Design 1101 (Digital Graphic Applications) and 1103 (Project Plan for Graphic Design). Rogers has always made students a priority, from advising them with class schedules and career opportunities to coordinating the annual Graphic Arts Open House. He also has been involved with the Graphic Design Advisory Committee, high school and university articulation agreements, and the Cooperative Education program.

Michael Duggan (Winfield), Counselor, Student Affairs Division

During his tenure at COD, Michael Duggan has helped establish a variety of programs, including Project COACH, a vocational skills training program for students with developmental disabilities; Autismerica, a social/support group for students on the autism spectrum; and a chapter of Best Buddies for student-to-student mentoring. His first book, “First Class Support for College Students on the Autism Spectrum: Practical Advice for College Counselors and Educators,” was released in 2017. He is endlessly dedicated to his students and genuinely interested in their development and success.

Linda Jenkins (Wheaton), Paralegal Studies, Business and Applied Technology Division

As the faculty leader of COD’s Paralegal Club, Linda Jenkins works to bring in quality and informative speakers each week. She also runs the COD Chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), the paralegal honor society. Jenkins goes above and beyond to make sure that these two programs are both fun and educational. She cares deeply about each student in the paralegal program and does everything possible to make sure they are successful and grow to be as passionate as she is about the legal system.

James Filipek (Niles), Professor of Manufacturing Technology, Business and Applied Technology Division

Jim Filipek has been a strong champion for the Manufacturing Technology and Welding programs, advocating that manufacturing is a key process that helps sustain the world. Filipek’s ability to relate to students, his sense of humor, and his experiences in the manufacturing field and teaching help contribute to his students’ success. 

Edison Wells (Lombard), Student Success Counselor, Student Affairs Division

Edison Wells contributes to the Counseling discipline by lending his talents to the creation of the department’s advising video tools. Having served on the College’s Degree Requirement Committee, he spearheaded updates to the Student Planning Worksheets and has been the key point of contact for advising related to the College’s 3+1 programs.

Kim Oakley (Winfield), Program Advisor, Student Affairs Division

In her role as a program advisor for the Health Sciences area, Kim Oakley works with students interested in health careers to not only develop educational plans for the College’s competitive health care programs but also to continue their studies at transfer schools. She is committed to helping students identify resources within the College that can aid in their success. Her philosophy of advising is shaped in the belief that every student wants to be heard. She treats each student as an individual and each student’s story as a unique one.

Mia Poston (Wheaton), Associate Professor of Speech Communications, Liberal Arts Division

Mia Poston completed her doctorate from the University of Alabama in Communication and Information Sciences. She is an intense supporter of the Speech Assistance Area, helps coach the forensics team and participates on the “Faculty Advice” panel at New Student Orientation. Poston is an advocate of classroom-based advising and uses every opportunity she can to reiterate the importance of seeking early advising prior to the registration dates. She encourages students to be strategic when registering.

2015-2016

  • Sally N. Fairbank (Glen Ellyn), Professor of Paralegal Studies, Business and Applied Technology Division
  • Nancy Hemphill (Naperville), Student Success Counselor, Student Affairs Division

2014-2015

  • Cheryl Jackson (Olympia Fields), Professor of Health Information Technology, Health and Science Division
  • Donna Manning (Woodridge), Student Success Counselor, Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services

2013-2014

  • Susan Brodie, (Wheaton), Student Success Counselor
  • Joanne Wagner, (Naperville), Coordinator of the Computer and Information Technology

2012-2013

  • Christopher Johnston, (Carol Stream) Student Success Counselor 
  • Paul Sirvatka, (Glen Ellyn) Professor of Meteorology

2011-2012

  • Jim Allen, (Naperville), Professor of English
  • Jim Ryan,  (St. Charles), Health Sciences

2010-2011

  • Sandra Werner, (Hampshire),  Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services
  • Karin Evans, (Oak Park), Associate Professor of English.