Tara Leszczewicz named COD Outstanding Collegewide Full-time Faculty Member

College of DuPage biology professor Dr. Tara Leszczewicz is the College-Wide Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Representing the STEM Division, Leszczewicz said she is honored to receive recognition from an organization filled with talented educators who work to foster supportive learning experiences.

“I strive to create the type of experience all students deserve and that I hope my children will experience when they venture into college,” she said. “I am grateful each day to have the privilege of being a professor at College of DuPage, helping students change their lives with education.”

Leszczewicz’s fascination with human anatomy and physiology led her to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Maryville University in St. Louis. Upon graduating, she went on to obtain a Master of Health Administration from Maryville.

“During this time, I continued to practice as a physical therapist in a variety of settings, finding my niche to be outpatient orthopedics,” she said. “Working with diverse patient populations ranging in age from 1 to 100 was very rewarding, as I was making a difference in the functional aspects of my patients’ lives while sharing my love for anatomy and physiology through patient education and explaining treatment rationales.”

Leszczewicz became an American Physical Therapy Association credentialed clinical instructor and began accepting physical therapist students for clinical education internships.

“After the first week with my first student, I knew what I ultimately wanted to do for the rest of my life – teach,” she said.

She earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Saint Louis University, providing her with the education necessary to teach at the collegiate level.

After moving to the Chicago suburbs, she continued working as a physical therapist while teaching part time at several local community colleges. Through teaching a variety of courses, Leszczewicz realized her passion was anatomy and physiology education.

“While I appreciated having the ability to make a difference in the quality of my patients’ lives, I feel fortunate to have the amazing opportunity to facilitate the learning of future health care providers and add value to their education with my clinical background,” she said. “I hope my students leave my class with new, enhanced life skills that promote personal, academic and professional growth such as self-advocacy, self-care, self-reflection, inclusion and time management.”

Leszczewicz wants her students to leave with a toolbox of study strategies to apply in subsequent classes. She embraces the challenge of helping all students wherever they are on the spectrum of preparedness, including those students with learning differences.

“My students leave knowing that our relationship together is not over, that my door is always open to support and mentor them along their academic journey,” she said. “I hope the life skills my students have developed over a semester, coupled with a strong knowledge of anatomy and physiology, will provide them the solid foundation needed to be successful in future coursework and in their chosen health care career as well as be able to effectively advocate for their own health care needs.”

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.