Jim Allen and Jim Ryan
For their exceptional work with students, Jim Allen and Jim Ryan have been named College of DuPage's Outstanding Advisors for the 2011-2012 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.
Allen (Naperville) has been a professor of English at College of DuPage since 1992. From the classroom to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club and coordination of the annual CODCON conference, he bridges the gaps between subjects through the development of coursework taught in Learning Communities, which are unique, innovate learning experiences that typically involve students enrolling as a cohort in two or more courses connected by a common theme. He also has taken a leadership role in the emerging First Year Experience program at COD.
"I've always tried to be a mentor and an advocate for my students when advising them," he said. "My first goal is to help them learn tools and strategies so they can successfully self-advise. From there, I can work more closely with the student to develop goals, both for his or her time at COD and beyond."
Allen would like his students to gain insights into their own goals and strengths.
"Ultimately, I hope they've felt that I can be there for them as a friend, a guide, a critic, a sounding board or whatever else they might need to help them advance through their academic career at COD and wherever else they may attend," he said.
Ryan (St. Charles) specializes in advising students enrolling in COD's health science programs. He spent nearly 25 years in health care management and administration, serving as an executive vice president of a hospital health system and COO of a hospital.
In working with students, Ryan encourages self-examination and helps them learn more about their education and career options.
"Interest in and knowledge of health care careers and programs can vary greatly among students, as do the ways in which COD can help them reach their goals," he said. "Some students are simply trying to understand options in health care and what might 'fit.' Some are attempting to determine if a career change to health care is realistic. Others have specific ideas about programs and careers."
Ryan provides periodic follow-up with students to assess their progress, determine if adjustments or new plans are needed, and to provide them with necessary encouragement.
"Success at the end of any advising session means a student has obtained insight along with practical plans and next steps to evaluate or pursue a health career or program," he said.