Friday Spotlight is a regular feature (based on the frequency of email replies) in which we highlight a member of our HWC faculty, staff, or admin through a Q&A session. After responding, our member then has to “tag” another member of our community in order to keep the spotlight feature active. Check your CCC mailbox. You may be next!
This week we are shining the bright light on Elisabeth Heard!
[Open dem champagne bottles, give ’em a shake, and point ’em in her direction!]
That’s right folks, you may have seen her name on The Lounge before on a post highlighting faculty members who had earned their tenure. Yep, when I saw PhiloDaave’s post I says to myself, self, you gots to grab her by the hand and bring her on this here stage.
So now, feelin’ like the weight of THREE tenure portfolios has been thrown into a blue waste basket, heeeere’s Elisabeth!
Q: How does it feel to be have the tenure process over and done with?
A: It feels fantastic! It’s a positive ending to a long journey.
Q: What did you do, or what will you do to celebrate this occasion?
A: I bought a fancy coffeemaker. Really. Sad, isn’t it? But a girl needs her caffeine. Besides, how do you think I got my tenure binder completed, anyway?
Q: Now that you’re done with the tenure process, what would you recommend in the way of changes OR what advice do you have for those who are going through the process?
A: I would encourage administration to keep the process as transparent as possible. I had great mentors over the past few years, particularly John Hader, and I really appreciated being told exactly what I needed to do in regards to my teaching, service, and tenure project. I would strongly encourage the higher-ups who are involved in walking the faculty through the tenure process to be clear on the expectations so that we can be successful and earn tenure.
Q: Why made you decide to be a college faculty member at HWC?
A: There are two paths that ultimately converged to bring me to HWC. The first is that I have kind of a unique backstory in that my mother was a faculty member at Olive-Harvey for 40 years, so I grew up roaming the halls of one of our sister colleges. As a result, the City Colleges have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. The second path is that after completing graduate school, I worked as an Assistant Professor at Saint Louis University (SLU). I was in a long-distance marriage (my husband lived here in Chicago), and after 5 1/2 years at SLU, I decided that I needed to make some changes. Since I was familiar with the City Colleges and knew what great work is done within the system, I went to the website, applied for an open position here at HWC, and got the job! These two paths ultimately collided at the end of 2007/beginning of 2008. My mother retired from OH in December, and I started at HWC in January.
Q: Regarding your new TENURE status, what has the response been from family and friends?
A: They are THRILLED! Both of my parents are professors (yeah, I know; there’s a joke in here somewhere), so they understand what the process is and how important it is to have achieved this milestone. My mother did a happy dance, and my father told everyone in his department. Twice.
May the celebrating continue until DEC review 🙂
Tanks a whole bunch Elisabeth!