Sharing the news

What up peeps? Just saw the email from Don and thought it should be shared on The Lounge in the event you wanted to congratulate any of these fine folks. Here’s the email:


The Board of Trustees confirmed a number of appointments at Harold Washington College this morning, and I wanted to share the good news with you.

Kamran Swanson and Jacquelyn Cunningham were granted tenure. Congratulations to Professors Swanson and Cunningham for achieving this important career milestone. We are fortunate to have them on our faculty.

Dr. Yevgeniya Lapik was promoted from Instructor to Assistant Professor.

The Board renewed the 2nd year contract for the following faculty: Stephanie Burke, Dr. Lynn Clary, Rachel Sledd-Iannantuoni, Michael Laymon, Maria Ortiz, Sunny Serres, Galina Shevchenko, and Christopher Thomas.

Congratulations to all of these faculty for this recognition of their ongoing contribution to our students and the College.

Paul R. Thompson III is our new Dean, College to Careers. Paul has extensive private sector experience, including the start-up of a real estate development company and a stint at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young as a management consultant. Paul has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Western Michigan and an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. Paul joins my Executive Council and will report to me.

Dr. Rosie L. Banks, a member of our English faculty, is our new Associate Dean, Instruction. Rosie will join administration after she completes her teaching assignments this semester. She received her PhD in English from the University of Chicago this past Spring. Rosie will join Associate Dean George Bickford in reporting to Dean of Instruction Armen Sarrafian.

Juliana Tashiro joins Harold Washington College as our new Director, Strategic Initiatives. In this role, Juliana will oversee the execution of our operating plan and coordinate with the Office of Strategy and Institutional Intelligence at District Office. Juliana comes to us from Groupon, where she was a Merchant Experience Specialist. Juliana attended Orange Coast College (a community college) before transferring and receiving her BA at University of California – San Diego and MA at the University of Chicago. Juliana will report to me.

Maksym Petrov joins the Office of Information Technology team at HWC as a Systems Management Analyst from a position in the private sector. Maksym has a BA in Business Information Systems from DeVry University. He will report to Ewa Bejnarowicz.

Damon Washington joins our student services team as the Director, Student Activities. Damon most recently has been working at UIC as an academic advisor. He has a BA in Sociology from Western Illinois University. He reports to Associate Dean Patricia Cuevas.

Kelly Dobbins joins the 10,000 Small Businesses team as the Director, Alumni Affairs. Kelly comes to us from the Illinois Institute of Art, where she served as their Senior Career Services Advisor. She has a BS in Family and Consumer Services from Illinois State University and an MA in Professional Counseling from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. She will report to 10KSB Executive Director Bral Spight.

Courtney Gardner and Kehsi Iman Wilson join our advising team as College Advisors. Courtney has served as an adjunct professor at HWC since 2007. He has a BA in Biology from Syracuse University, an MA in sociology and an M.Ed. In Higher Education, both from Loyola University. Kehsi Iman is the Founder and CEO of Ntoso Nexus (, an organization that connects minority students pursuing post-secondary education with mentors. Kehsi Iman has a BS in Journalism from the University of Florida and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Florida. Courtney and Kehsi will report to Associate Dean Devon Glover.

Michael Walker Sr. moves to College Library Assistant III. Michael has worked at HWC since 1995. He is working on his AGS degree at HWC and expects to receive it next spring. Congratulations to Michael on this promotion.

Luis Garcia joins Associate Dean Cuevas’ team as our Veteran’s Services Specialist. Luis was most recently at St. Augustine College as a Career/Transfer and Veterans Specialist. Luis has his Bachelor’s in Social Work from St. Augustine. He also served as a Platoon Squad Leader in the United States Marine Corps.

LaZerrick Kennard is moving to College Library Assistant II in our Library department. LaZerrick has an AA from Harold Washington College and is working toward a BA at UIC. He has worked at HWC since 2008. Congratulations to LaZerrick on this promotion.

Please join me in congratulating these team members on their new roles. Their success will help support even greater student success at Harold Washington College.

That’s it. Reply to your heart’s content!

One thought on “Sharing the news

  1. Courtney Gardner,

    To be honest, I have never met you. I do not know what you look like. However, I know you and have known you for several years as the most amazing Social Science professor for ELL.

    Your accomplishments to my mind are most evident in the fact that every day English Language Learners come to my 100 writing class totally jazzed up about Soc Sci 101 with Gardner. Your students have sung your praises throughout the ELL Department for years. Your classes are filled because of your teaching and the respect and admiration of your students.

    Although we in ELL are thrilled for you that you have taken on an advising role, your absence in the classroom is deeply felt by all of us in ELL.

    Thanks for giving so much to our students.

    Jacqueline Cunningham

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