Adjunct Professor of the Year recipient Melissa Csoke has her teaching style down to a fine art.

Csoke, Art Instructor, who started teaching art history and art appreciation at Moraine Valley in 2008, has left behind some of the traditional teaching methods in hopes of really getting through to her students.

“During undergrad, I struggled with art history because the traditional format of slide presentation with a monotone lecture accompaniment followed up with extensive memorization of facts was not conducive to my learning style. Plus, it was boring,” she said. “I do not want to subject my students to that, so I incorporate multiple modes of learning to accommodate different needs as well as add activities, videos and excitement to my classes.”

That appears to be working as her award nominator said her classes, “Are fun and very informative. Ms. Csoke’s love, knowledge and enthusiasm for art is contagious. She makes you want to learn more about art.”

Csoke’s caring demeanor is seen outside of the classroom, as well. She was a DREAM mentor for two years and was instrumental in helping one of her students obtain a generous scholarship. She noted that a student who took her class was planning to transfer to Western Illinois University’s Criminal Justice program after completing his general education courses at Moraine Valley. “He engaged in conversation with me a few times before and after class regarding his class performance, aspirations and with questions pertaining to higher education,” she said. “I was able to get to know him a bit better and quickly learned he was goal-oriented, dedicated to his studies and an excellent candidate to WIU’s program. I was confident he would become a respected officer who would be an asset to the community he served. I eagerly provided a letter of recommendation. He was not only accepted to the program but was awarded an awesome scholarship.”

She also was the advisor of a club for parents who are students, a club she hopes will become active again. “One of the best things I’ve been a part of at Moraine Valley is the Academically Motivated Parents Club,” Csoke said. “I earned two master’s degrees as a single mother, so I understand the challenges parents face when they pursue educational endeavors.” While the club doesn’t meet in person at this time, it still has an online presence.

“It is a humbling honor to be nominated,” she said. “I’ve gained inspiration and ideas from colleagues and former professors who I respect and consider mentors, so in a way, I would like to think this is a reflection of what I’ve learned and applied from them.”