CAST Leadership Election This Week

Another week, another opportunity to voice your vote about an important leadership position at the college. This coming week (Monday to Wednesday, anyway) you’ll find another ballot in your mailbox, but this time for the election of a Chair for CAST (a.k.a., Center for the Art and Science of Teaching). HWFC’s Jess Bader (Art) asked me to post the following statements from the two worthy candidates, and so, with no further ado:

Megan Ritt


I am honored to be nominated to serve as CAST Coordinator for a second term, as CAST has always been near and dear to my heart. I’ve been an active member since I was hired full-time, and I have served as co-coordinator for 2014. In that role, I performed duties including planning and organizing meetings, coordinating with presenters, organizing the Make It Stick book club, maintaining the calendar for room 1046, and planning and organizing HW Faculty Development Week and TiE Day.


The best part of it all for me has been getting to know more of my colleagues in different departments while hearing about their own areas of expertise. I’ve also enjoyed the chance to introduce new programming ideas, like the bake-off and the many tours we were able to offer at FDW. Outside of CAST, I am a faculty member in the English Department, a member of the Developmental Education Committee and the Student Success Council, and co-chair of the Developmental English Committee. I also take part in mentoring new full-time faculty and reading student placement exams, and have participated in my department’s DEC and Rank & Promotion Committees.


If I am chosen to continue as co-coordinator in 2015, my goals for the committee are to increase the number of hands-on workshops offered and to offer more sessions that appeal to STEM faculty and adjunct faculty. Thank you for your consideration.




Kamran Swanson


I believe that the best way to facilitate professional development for faculty is to stimulate curiosity and the joy of learning by providing opportunities for stimulating and educational inter-disciplinary discussions on learning, teaching, and thinking. I plan to bring this to CAST by instituting a series of discussions, once every two weeks at a convenient time, centered on quality short essays in a seminar format, which discuss learning, teaching, and thinking in and from the humanities, sciences, math, and arts.  I am very much in support of Megan Ritt’s Spring 2015 Make it Stick book club, and I would like to see more of this in CAST’s future. My concern for a long time is that too much of our faculties’ non-teaching time is devoted to administrative-centered committees and task forces, and that there is insufficient support for bringing together faculty from across the disciplines to talk about the essence and highest goal of our occupation: education. I wish to place less focus on the various tools we use to accomplish that and more focus on the ideas and modes of thought themselves. There is great potential for us to learn about teaching from one another, and I do not think we have tapped it as substantially as we could. With this position and the dedicated release time, I would like to facilitate this. ​

Meet the Faculty Council Nominees

It’s Faculty Council election time! In order to help you make an informed decision, our three highly qualified nominees have provided short introductions.  Our nominees are Michal Eskayo – ELL/WL, Kamran Swanson – Humanities, and Paul Wandless – Art/Architecture.

Congratulations, nominees! Good luck!

Michal Eskayo

I have been teaching ESL for twenty-one years and proud to be at Harold Washington College for the last eight. In my tenure in this profession, I have had the opportunity to chair and co-chair two departments, the Languages and Literature Department at St. Augustine College and my department at HWC, English Language Learners/World Languages. In both positions, I devoted a lot of energy to creating departments that fostered collaboration among full and part-time faculty. During my time as chair, the ELL program implemented open class visitation weeks and organized many faculty development workshops. In addition to my department chair duties, I have chaired the Rank and Promotion Committee, and now I am one of the TAP (Tenure Assistance Program) leaders for our college. In addition to my service at the department and college level, I have collaborated on numerous presentations at the local and national TESOL conventions. I look forward to working with HWC Faculty Council and serving the college in a new capacity.

Kamran Swanson

I have been teaching philosophy and humanities in the Department of Humanities and Music since 2007, beginning as an adjunct instructor before being hired full time. I have been on a handful of committees, including on the curriculum committee, briefly as department chair, and was appointed to the faculty council this past September. I am committed to making faculties’ and students’ academic freedom my highest priority.

Paul Wandless

I’m happy to accept the nomination to be a candidate for Faculty Council.  I feel this is an opportunity to contribute my time and energy in support of my colleagues at Harold Washing College.  I’m currently serving a 1 semester appointment on Faculty Council as a sabbatical replacement and have found this short experience to be very rewarding.  There are many important issues and topics facing Faculty that require thoughtful and informed consideration for appropriate responses and in some cases action.  I really admire how Faculty Council initiates and facilitates addressing the needs of HWC Faculty and acts as a strong advocate as well.  I would like to be part of this committee that works so hard in pursuit of supporting Faculty.  I’m an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Architecture and was hired in 2009.  I’ve been a professor since 1999 at other 4-year Colleges and Universities and have a lot of experience on a wide variety of committees that serve me well in my current responsibilities at HWC.  My current committee work at HWC includes being Chair of the Department of Art and Architecture Strategic Planning Committee, I’m the 2D Area coordinator in my department, I’ve been a member of the Curriculum Committee since 2010 and I’m on the Assessment Committee as a Departmental Liaison to create assessments for courses within the Department of Art and Architecture.  Thanks for considering me as a candidate for Faculty Council and if elected, I will proudly and passionately contribute my time, energy and experience in service of my colleagues.

Election Day

I don’t know about you, but the part of voting that always gives me trouble is the part about the judges. Seems like the most important part to get right and it’s the part I’m often least prepared for.

Luckily, the Chicago Bar Association prints up a handy list of recommendations that you can bring into the booth with you.

And, just in case you want to know a little more, here is a Tribune article about a few of the judges that they’re saying should not be allowed to stay on the bench.


FC4 Elections

Just in case you missed it, the FC4 Election results came in on the Friday before break. From HWFC President Rosie Banks’ email:

Thank you for your participation in our election of HWC representatives to FC4!  With 62% of the Full-Time Faculty participating, the vote total is:

Tom Higgins – 50

Ellen Eason-Montgomery – 48

Kennette Crockett – 27

Congratulations to Tom and Ellen!  According to the FC4 Constitution, they will serve two year terms, alongside Theresa Carlton.   Their terms will begin in September, 2011.

And thanks to our outgoing FC4 Representative, Nicole Smith (Business) for her two years of service.

Meanwhile, at 30 East Lake Street…

UPDATE (2/28): As promised, I’ve restuck this to the top of the page through tomorrow (scroll down for the new posts). If anyone knows the meeting TIME, yet, please let me know or post it in the comments.

A Union election loomed…the following is an email I received this week with a request to post it for discussion:

In case you missed the announcement, we at HWC are electing new union leadership  March 7-9. Currently running for office, the slate headed by Maria (Jesu) Estrada. If you are interested in running for an office then the union meeting of March 1st is the time to be nominated and present your case. As I understand it, you don’t have to have a slate; you can run for a particular office. More information about this process has been given to you in your campus mailboxes.

I think March 1st may also be the time to share some of the membership wants and needs with our leadership. I’ve come up with a few items (some mentioned elsewhere on this site) and perhaps you have a wish list as well which you would like to share.

First, I would like there to be more communication between the union leadership and the union members. I have heard people say that they feel disenfranchised and frustrated by the union. I don’t feel this way, but I would hypothesize that more effective communication would help. At the very least this means updating our home email list and then sending us information about union issues.

Second, I would like the union leadership to reach out to the members and survey us about our needs for the next contract. The last contract was negotiated with little input from the membership. While I appreciate the raises, there is more to a contract than salaries. The union leadership would not want any specifics discussed in a public forum for fear of tipping our hands during negotiations. OK. But when do we actually get to discuss it?

There are many things going on at City Colleges that we have little control over as you know from other Harold Lounge posts. Our involvement in the union is one thing we have full control over. I hope you all show up for the March 1st meeting to share your interest, celebrate our solidarity and engage our leadership in how our union will deal with the challenges going forward.

Union Member

The meeting will take place in room 1115. I’m told the meeting will be at either 2pm OR 3:30pm. If anyone knows which, please post it in the comments, along with anything else you have to say to each other or the candidates regarding your expectations of them in the current climate.