Today, I had the honor of being awarded the “Distinguished Full-Time Faculty of 2015-2016” award. Below is my speech:
Thank you very much for this honor.
I’d like to dedicate this award to my colleagues in the Applied Science department.
I have been fortunate to work on many interesting and important projects over the years and any good work that I have done at HWC in terms of Assessment or accreditation work, any good work that I have done with students – it is all because of the solid foundation I have had based on relationships with colleagues within my department. They have taught me well and this is what I’ve learned: it’s all about the daily interactions with others – that’s what matters most.
Dr. Sammie Dortch designed this department to be interconnected. She challenged all of the instructors to think about how our fields fit together and how we can work together to serve the students. And, that’s what we do best.
Dr. Heathfield, is an internationally recognized practitioner and published author in the field of Youth Work and what I have learned from Michael is that whenever I’m stuck on something it’s always best bring it back to asking the question, “how will this help our students”?
Professor Nix, is a lawyer and Criminal Justice Professor and what I have learned from Brian is how to be patient but also firm with students to help them to be successful.
Professor Ealey, is an Addictions Studies professor. I have literally been sitting next to Anthony for thirteen years. What I have learned from him is that the details matter and that students learn a lot from focusing on specific skills in addition to the big ideas. I’ve also learned how to be helpful. In 13 years whenever I’ve asked for help on something Anthony has always been there to help until the problem is solved.
The adjunct faculty of our department are all leaders in the profession, and what I’ve learned from them is the importance of giving back to the field because if we teach our students well, they will serve the young children and families of Chicago well.
Professor Eason-Montgomery, is professor of Criminal Justice and also Child Development, and what I have learned from Ellen is how to do everything with loving kindness; everything.
Professor Jones is a Child Development professor and what I’ve learned from Janvier is how to stay eternally curious about the teaching and learning process. I’ve learned how to be deeply reflective about pedagogy and how to laugh, a lot. And eat chocolate. I’ve learned a lot about the powers of chocolate.
Professor Asimow is a Child Development professor and longtime coordinator of the program and what I’ve learned from Jen is – basically, everything I know! She has been my mentor since the moment I was hired and I have learned from her every single day. There are too many things to list here, but overall she has taught me to be diligent – to keep pushing myself to learn more in order to be of service to our students and to the community. The greatest compliment I receive is when people confuse me for Jen.
All of this work has been anchored by a calm presence in the Applied Science office that was established for many years by then Department Secretary Latonya Henley who continues to be a massive support to our department even after being promoted, and that has been carried over by our current Department Secretary Sherri Hayden. The Secretary is the first person students often meet in the department and the quality of their interactions with students and with faculty is like the social and emotional glue that holds everything together!
These people in this department have influenced my life and the lives of so many students. It’s impossible to measure, but if I try to understand how this has worked over the years I have to say that it has to do with all of those everyday interactions – the many small moments between people. Put together, this is what makes a life.
So, thank you Applied Science Department for enriching my life and for providing a trusting, welcoming space, which has allowed us to do our best for students.
In the end, that is what matters most.