Sixteen faculty members and advisers have been recognized as the 2017-18 Outstanding Faculty Members and Outstanding Advisers at College of DuPage.
The faculty and advisers 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, professor of Physics, Math and Natural Sciences Division: The Geneva resident 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, associate professor of Chemistry, Math and Natural Sciences Division: The Wheaton resident 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, associate professor of Spanish, Liberal Arts Division: The Glen Ellyn resident 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, professor and technical services librarian, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division: The Chicago resident 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, professor of Computer Information Systems, Business and Technology Division: The Chicago resident 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 Technology Division Curriculum Committee and continues to provide technical expertise, ICCB insights and focus to help the division maintain top-level curriculum.
• Andrea Polites, assistant professor of Human Services, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division: The Downers Grove resident 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, associate professor of Biology, Biology and Health Sciences Division: The Manhattan resident 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 chairwoman 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, professor of Speech Communication, Arts, Communication and Hospitality Division: The Aurora resident 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 re-imagined 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, instructor of Photography, Arts, Communication and Hospitality Division: The Chicago resident 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 Faculty Members
• Robert Boyle, automotive service technology instructor, Business and Technology Division: The St. Charles resident 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, dance instructor, Arts, Communications and Hospitality Division: The Glen Ellyn resident 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 rewriting of the curriculum and the development of an Associate in Applied Science degree proposal for the Dance program at COD.
• Sue Frankson, English instructor, Liberal Arts Division: The Aurora resident 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, physics instructor, Math and Natural Sciences Division: The Glen Ellyn resident 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, criminal justice and education instructor, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division: In addition to teaching introduction to criminal justice, criminal justice in the media and juvenile delinquency for the criminal justice discipline, the Naperville resident teaches Career Development and College Success Skills in the Education discipline. She developed the Criminal Justice in the Media course and is instrumental in offering the College Success Skills course in ways that serve a variety of students.
• James Filipek, professor of Manufacturing Technology, Business and Technology Division: The Niles resident 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, student success counselor, Student Affairs Division: The Lombard resident 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.