Sandra Werner and Karin Evans
For their exceptional work with students, Sandra Werner and Karin Evans have been named College of DuPage's Outstanding Advisors for the 2010-2011 academic year.
As recipients of this honor, they will receive a monetary award along with a personal plaque of recognition. Their selection was based upon demonstrated leadership within their respective divisions, participation in professional development opportunities, and individual comments from students on their nomination forms.
Werner (Hampshire, Ill.) earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin and her master's from Northwestern University. She began working at College of DuPage in 1977 and currently is a professor and counselor in Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services.
"I use a student-centered, multifaceted, interactive and developmental approach to advising due to the diverse needs of our students and community members," she said. "By treating individuals with warmth, dignity and respect, I let them know that I believe in them even if at times they don't believe in themselves."
Werner employs a variety of strategies and activities to teach people how to assess their interests, needs, skills, abilities, personality styles, preferred lifestyles and passion. She identifies and addresses blocks to effective decision-making.
"I want to teach students more effective coping skills, how to be responsible and accountable for their actions and decisions, and how to enhance academic success and personal development. I love all aspects of being a professor, counselor and advisor at College of DuPage, but the facet that is especially rewarding is working with our diverse body of students."
Evans (Oak Park) earned her bachelor's degree from Oberlin College, her master's from North Carolina State University and her Ph.D. from Purdue University. She began teaching at College of DuPage in 2003 and is currently an associate professor of English.
"My approach is to help students understand how succeeding in English – especially in writing courses, since that's my focus – contributes to their success in other areas, not only college but also career and citizenship," she said. "I encourage students to get support when they are struggling, and I make a lot of referrals to our counselors."
Evans is concerned about how students can balance the conflicting demands in their lives, especially when they are feeling economic hardship. Many students are unrealistic about the demands of a college education, and they don't always accurately assess their own skills and abilities.
"What I enjoy most is seeing students succeed because they've worked hard and have overcome something in themselves that was holding them back," she said. "I do not take credit for their successes – what is clear to me is that students create their own successes. We coach them, but they put themselves in the game."