Staff Achievements 2012
Vernon O. Crawley Leadership Award
The Vernon O. Crawley Leadership Award was established to recognize a supervisory employee who exhibits strong leadership characteristics and personifies the president’s Eight Expectations, as well as the college’s core values of integrity, responsibility, respect, fairness, and diversity.
Sherita Tyler, director of Applications Development, has been an integral part of the Information Technology Department for 17 years. Over the past few years, she has been a key member of the team that oversees and maintains the Datatel Colleague system. Her nominators say they have worked with her on numerous Datatel projects and have been impressed by her leadership abilities.
Professor of the Year Award
The Professor of the Year Award recognizes excellence in teaching, contributions to the recipient’s department, and his or her positive impact on the college and community. This year’s winner is Keith Nabb, associate professor of mathematics.
Nominated by two of his colleagues, they noted he is an instructor who cares deeply about math and has inspired students to share his passion. Keith has been published in a number of journals, including “Mathematics Teacher,” “Research in Science Education,” and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s “Innovation Abstracts.” He also has been a presenter at various local and national conferences, and is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in mathematics.
Jenine Galka, Jason King, and Christopher Riola
Master Teachers of the Year Award
The Master Teacher Award is given to faculty members who have developed a unique program or teaching technique that benefits the Moraine Valley community. This year, we honor three faculty members as master teachers: Developmental Mathematics instructor Jenine Galka, Mathematics instructor Jason King, and assistant professor of Developmental Mathematics Christopher Riola.
Jason, Chris and Jenine are recognized for initiating an innovative approach to teaching math. They created the Mastery Learning Program, which allows students in select Developmental Math courses to successfully move through the sequence at their own speed. This program also allows motivated students to complete more than one course in a semester, helps them save time and money, and decreases the likelihood they will not successfully complete the course.
Adjunct Professor of the Year Award
The Adjunct Professor of the Year Award acknowledges the valuable contributions of our part-time instructors in our students’ education. This year, we honor Abbas Jaffary for exemplary teaching in our mathematics department, from General Education to Probability and Statistics. In addition to teaching at Moraine Valley, Abbas does private tutoring and runs an after-school math and science enrichment program for grade school and high school students.
The student who nominated Abbas says that, although he was always good at math, it wasn’t until he took Abbas’ calculus class that he developed a passion for it. He has since gone on to take more calculus courses even though he does not need them for his major. He just wants to continue because he was so inspired by Abbas.
Robert E. Turner Service Award
The Robert E. Turner Service Award, named in honor of Moraine Valley’s founding president, is given to a full-time support staff member who demonstrates excellent work habits, dedication to our mission, a service orientation to all members of the Moraine Valley community, and a positive outlook
This year’s recipient is Helen Limberopoulos, who has worked at the college for more than 20 years in numerous areas, including Registration and Records, the Athletics Department, and the former Workforce Development and Community Services Department. She has been in her current position as Secretary Two in Campus Operations since 2007. Her supervisor nominated her because he says she is “a dedicated, honest, hard worker, who has helped college staff and students in many different capacities.”
Nancy Blane Guerra Service Award
The Nancy Blane Guerra Service Award recognizes an Administrative and Professional staff member who demonstrates loyalty and dedication to the college’s mission and provides excellence in his or her work. We honor William Corrello, the college’s internal auditor, who is responsible for ensuring that college processes are streamlined and in compliance with all federal, state, and external agency regulations.
Bill’s nominator says that he “demonstrates all the qualities outlined in Dr. Crawley’s Eight Expectations. He continually goes above and beyond the call of duty to provide excellent service to students and staff.” He has been instrumental in assisting various offices, across all divisions, to streamline their processes in order to maximize service to students. He fosters collaboration between many areas on campus including Financial Aid, the Registration Office, and Accounting. He also works closely with grant managers.
Part-Time Employee Service Award
The Part-Time Employee Service Award recognizes the exemplary efforts of an employee who works in a part-time capacity but exhibits the same dedication to the college’s mission as our full-time staff. This year, the college honors Kathy O’Connor, departmental assistant in the Science, Business and Computer Technology Department.
Kathy works with students, faculty members and all who need assistance. Kathy’s supervisor says she has an innovative spirit, is creative, focused, and always willing to put in the time necessary to complete tasks. She is a team player who fills in whenever and wherever she is needed, and she looks for ways to improve office efficiency.
Student Employee of the Year
The Student Employee of the Year Award recognizes the contributions our student aides make to Moraine Valley. This year, we honor Shilpa Verma, a student employee in the Job Resource Center.
She helps with general office duties, teaches students how to search for jobs, inputs critical data into the College Central Network job posting system, and assists in any way she can. As an international student, Shilpa has an excellent rapport with international students and because of her peer-to-peer efforts, international hires increased by 43 percent during the time that she worked in the center. Shilpa also was recognized for her good work by the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators, who named her the Student Employee of the Year for the state of Illinois.
Sue Gray, Lou Balek, and John Wagrowski
The Teamwork Award was established to commend a group of at least three employees or committee members who work together for the enhancement of their work area and the college. This year it was presented to Information Technology staff members Sue Gray, director, Information Security, Network Operations and Central Computing Services; Lou Balek, information security specialist; and John Wagrowski, senior network engineer.
The Information Security department is involved in nearly every area of the college, but with this award the cross-departmental collaboration between select members of the department and the academic Information Technology Program was recognized. The faculty member who nominated these staff members says that they “exemplify what it means to truly serve our students” and that they “are a perfect example of showing that it takes all of us to help students achieve success.”
Arabic I Online Course
Innovation of the Year Award
The Innovation of the Year Award was created to recognize faculty members or administrators who successfully implement an innovative project or idea. This year’s Innovation of the Year Award goes to the Arabic I Online Course developed by Maha Sweis-Dababneh, assistant professor in the Communication, Literature, and Language department, who teaches Arabic language courses.
Arabic is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn, so when she decided to develop an online course, she faced additional difficulties such as the fact that Arabic is written from right to left; letters vary in shape depending on where they occur in a word; and Arabic sounds use a wider range of mouth and throat positions than English.
Maha created a series of video clips using a “smart pen,” which allowed her to record everything she said and wrote so students could follow her teaching and get hands-on practice. Thanks to her efforts, our online Arabic course is the only one of its kind in the Illinois community colleges system.
The college was selected a recipient of a 2011 Beautification Award from the City of Palos Hills.
Zooming down information highway
The college was recognized as one of the top 10 large community colleges using information technology to provide a high level of service to students, faculty and the community, according to the results of the annual Digital Community Colleges survey.
Green goes platinum
The Southwest Education Center has been given platinum status, the highest level by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). SWEC is the first LEED Platinum building in Tinley Park and the second one among Illinois community colleges.
And the winner is…
Marketing and Creative Services department staff won nine awards from the Educational Advertising Awards competition, two awards from the Videographer Award International competition, two awards from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) national competition; eight from the NCMPR district competition, an award of Excellence from the University of College Designers Association, and two awards in the University Photographers' Association of America monthly image competition.
Celebrating our students’ success
The college’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year and junior colleges, received Five-Star Status, which is the highest level that can be attained. The chapter also received two Illinois Regional Awards for Service Hallmark and College Project and nominated two students for the All-Illinois Academic Team for Community Colleges.
Speech Team brings home the gold and more
Our Forensics Team, participating in the Phi Rho Pi National Speech and Debate Tournament, took home the Bronze award, and individual team members received a gold, six silvers, and three bronze awards. Moraine Valley hosted the event, which attracted more than 600 student competitors from more than 60 community colleges and four-year institutions across the nation.
Athletic achievements on and off the field
The Cyclones qualified for berths in the national tournaments in men’s basketball, men’s cross country, men’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis. Nearly 60 student athletes received Skyway Conference and All Region awards. And, one student each from our men’s basketball and men’s golf teams were named NJCAA Athletic All-Americans.
The write stuff
The Glacier student newspaper won numerous awards at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Matters National College Newspaper Conference. The paper’s student staff also hosted the Illinois Community College Journalism Association’s sectionals competition.
Carol Antosz, Liberal Arts secretary, received her bachelor of arts degree with honors from Governors State University. Carol also was inducted into the Tau Sigma National Honor Society.
Christina Carney-Simon, transfer coordinator, has been elected to serve as the secretary of the Transfer Coordinators for Illinois Colleges and Universities, and appointed to serve as secretary on the Citizens Advisory Board for the city of Oak Forest.
Glenn Carpenter, college photographer, served as president of the University Photographers’ Association of America (UPAA), presented photography lectures at five libraries, conducted a workshop at a high school journalism and yearbook conference, and judged the 2012 Illinois High School Association feature photography competition.
Terry Chambers, director of TRiO Student Support Services, was elected president of the Illinois Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel, and is serving on the board of directors for the Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel.
Kyle Churney, adjunct instructor of Communications/Academic Outreach, had two poems, “Paradise” and “The Barracuda’s Demesne” published in the Summer 2012 issue of The Journal, the Ohio State University literary magazine.
Jessica Crotty, coordinator, College and Community Relations, earned a Master of Science degree in written communication from National Louis University. She also has authored four articles for the monthly Family Time Magazine.
Christine Danish, coordinator of Placement and Academic Testing, has been appointed to the ACT National COMPASS User Advisory Council, a group that participates in the development of a new web-based COMPASS test delivery system.
Leila Diab, adjunct faculty in College 101, exhibited her photo collection, “Faith, Hope and Dreams” at the Beverly Arts Center in Chicago.
James Durkin, adjunct Political Science instructor, was a resource for an article published in “West Suburban Living.” James is a trained storm chaser/spotter and, as such, was quoted throughout the article discussing the possibility of a major tornado hitting the western suburbs.
Patricia Gaines, Composition tutor, received her Master of Arts degree in communication studies from Governors State University.
Debbie Guerrero, Polysomnography coordinator, is serving as president of the Illinois Sleep Society, presented at the American Association of Sleep Technologists annual meeting’s postgraduate course developing education programs, and was a reviewer for the book, “Fundamentals of Sleep Technology II.”
Bill Helmold, director of Client Services, Information Technology, earned the Project Management Professional certificate from the Project Management Institute.
Tommy Hensel, managing director of the Fine and Performing Arts Center, was re-elected to serve a second term as affiliate liaison on the Board of Directors with the Chicago Chapter of the National Concierge Association.
Annette Herbert, coordinator of Learning for the Children’s Learning Center, served as treasurer of the South Suburban Association for the Education of Young Children, coordinated the collection of winter paraphernalia and toys for the Crisis Center for South Suburbia, received the South Suburban Association for the Education of Young Children’s 2012 Children’s Champion Award, and completed training at the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agents to be a program development advisor.
Dr. Sylvia Jenkins, college president, was a co-presenter with Dr. Normah Salleh-Barone, vice president of Student Development, at the Innovations Conference. The presentation was titled, “Academic Affairs and Student Development: A Holistic Approach to Student Success.” Dr. Jenkins also presented “Creating Successful Faculty Development Programs” for a University Business webinar.
Jennifer Jovanec, Developmental Education adjunct instructor, earned a master’s degree in library and information sciences from Dominican University, and is serving as the adult and teen programming librarian at the New Lenox Public Library.
Julianne Keaty, adjunct Information Management Systems instructor, earned a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Dominican University.
Samantha Kinser, student development specialist at the Southwest Education Center, earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Laura Kockler, Job Resource Center specialist, received the Dan Kriedler Newcomer Award from the Midwest Association for Student Employment Administrators.
Anita Kursell, adjunct Developmental Math instructor, achieved a Secondary Education Art Endorsement.
Dr. Margaret Lehner, vice president for Institutional Advancement and executive assistant to the President, serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Saint Augustine College.
Kathy Lelo, Financial Aid expeditor, received a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Western Governors University.
Donna McCauley, coordinator/professor of Recreation Therapy and Recreation Management, serves on the Board of Commissioners for the Oak Lawn Park District, is a Hearts of Hope board member for Hope Children’s Hospital, and serves on the Illinois Board of Higher Education Faculty Advisory Board.
Ed Messmer, adjunct faculty member in the Nondestructive Testing certification program, was presented an Award of Fellow by the American Society for Nondestructive Testing. The award, the highest given by the association, recognizes members who have demonstrated outstanding professional distinction and have made continued significant contributions to the advancement of nondestructive testing.
Elisha Miller, Financial Aid expeditor, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in management information systems from National Louis University.
Carey Millsap-Spears, assistant professor of Communications, earned a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to attend the NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture workshop on “Feminists, Utopians and Social Reform in the Age of Emerson and Thoreau.”
Dr. Susan Phelan, Health Sciences department chair, earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in community college leadership from Old Dominion University. She served as a member of the steering committee and presenter for the inaugural offering of the Allied Health Preceptor Academy in partnership with the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium, where she presented, “Why We Are Here—What is the Context for Clinical Instruction?” Susan also presented “Phlebotomy Study—Unexpected at Insight” at the Alverno Clinical Labs’ Phlebotomy Day. She presented twice at the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences Illinois State meeting: “Preceptor-Led Clinical Education and the American Health Care Workforce” and “Celebrating the Role of Clinical Preceptors in Preparing the American Health Care Workforce,” and made a presentation at a roundtable discussion at the Council for the Study of Community Colleges entitled, “Community College Student Learning in Preceptor-Led Clinical Internship.” Along with coworkers Dr. Margaret Machon, Career Programs dean, and Andrew Hufnagl, Emergency Medical Services Program coordinator, presented “Five Alarm Response! Community College Fire Science First Responder Training” at the National Association for Workforce Improvement.
Christopher Riola, Developmental Mathematics assistant professor, presented a session about the mastery-based learning format at the annual conference for the Illinois Mathematical Association of Community Colleges.
Jill Schwader-Lubas, user support specialist, Information Technology, received an Associate in Applied Science degree from Moraine Valley Community College.
Dedrick Shannon, men’s basketball head coach, was named Co-Coach of the Year in NJCAA Division II by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. Dedrick, who has been the head coach for the past eight seasons, also was named the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year.
Nickolas Shizas, assistant professor of Psychology, Ryen Nagle, dean of Science, Business and Computer Technology subdivision, and student Gina Leahy, presented “Attempting an Honors Trifecta: Service Learning and Undergraduate Research in an Interdisciplinary Learning Community” at the National Collegiate Honors Council annual conference. Nick also presented “The Psychology Club: What is It All About?” with Mitchell Baker, assistant professor of Psychology, at the Annual Midwest Institute for Students and Teachers of Psychology Conference.
Bonnie Straton, assistant professor and program coordinator of Massage Therapy, represented the American Massage Therapy Association-Illinois chapter at the national convention House of Delegates meeting. Bonnie also was the speaker for the ethics class, “Healthy Boundaries for a Healthy Practice,” at the state conference and annual meeting.
Joseph Sukta, Mathematics professor, presented “Real-Life Projects for Student Assessment in General Education Mathematics” at the International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics.
Dr. Troy Swanson, Library department chair, published two articles: A Critical Information Literacy Model: Library Leadership within the Curriculum, Community College Journal of Research and practice; and co-published Why We Are Not Google: Lessons from a Library Website Usability Study in the Journal of Academic Librarianship.
Dr. Amy Williamson, Behavioral Science department chair, presented, “Understanding Biracial Identity: What You Should Know” at the annual Diversity Conference held at Richland Community College in Decatur, Ill.