Divisional Faculty Winners 2015-2016

Twenty faculty members and advisers have been recognized as the 2015-2016 Outstanding Divisional Faculty Members and Outstanding Advisers at College of DuPage.

The faculty and advisers were selected for their excellence in teaching, service to the College, scholarly activities, community service and advising skills. Each will receive a monetary award from the College of DuPage Foundation.

Outstanding Divisional Faculty

Pictured: (Front Row, from left), Sally N. Fairbank, Outstanding Adviser; Kathy Cabai, Outstanding Overall Full-Time Faculty; Erika Rakas, Outstanding Overall Part-Time Faculty; (Back Row, from left) Nancy Hemphill, Outstanding Adviser; Tom Robertson; Eva Maria Raepple; Debra Smith; April Zawlocki; Tim Caldwell; and Jason Snart.

Outstanding Divisional Full-time Faculty Members


Tim Caldwell (Downers Grove), Assistant Professor of Fire Science, Health and Sciences Division

Tim Caldwell updated and added to the Fire Science curriculum to help the program obtain the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education/National Fire Academy (FESHE/NFA) recognition. The program was the fourth in Illinois and 80th in the nation to receive this designation. Caldwell spent three years on this project as the only full-time Fire Science faculty member and provided support for adjunct faculty to ensure they were comfortable with the new curriculum and resources. 

Tom Carter (Geneva), Professor of Physics, Health and Sciences Division

Tom Carter improves his teaching by attending conferences and investigating novel ideas to better help students learn and understand the material. He collaborates with physics instructors from other colleges and universities to improve physics education and approaches toward working with struggling students. Carter also is instrumental in helping students find internships and research opportunities. Outside the College, he participates in STEM outreach events, conferences and lectures. 

Maureen McBeth (Wheaton), Professor of Accounting, Business and Applied Technology Division

Maureen McBeth has served on the Business and Applied Technology Division Curriculum Committee since 2009 and as chair since 2012. During this time, she has ensured that more than 250 courses, certificate and degree proposals have been ready for approval from the College-wide Curriculum Committee and the Illinois Community College Board. As the coordinator of the Accounting program, she led a launch of new technology in both the financial and managerial accounting courses. She also is expanding on the successful tax preparation course by collaborating with School District 89 to provide services using their facilities.  

Eva Maria Raepple (Woodridge), Professor of Philosophy, Liberal Arts Division

Eva Maria Raepple’s teaching often involves interdisciplinary approaches to learning. She has developed Learning Communities, linking courses such as “Philosophy of Art” and “Modern and Contemporary Art” with “Environmental Ethics” and “Environmental Biology.” Raepple has served as a member of the Honors Faculty Advisory Committee and as founder and facilitator of the Honors Student Advisory Committee, which provides a direct link between Honors students and faculty and administration. She is a member of several national and international professional organizations and regularly presents her research at conferences. 

Tom Robertson (Wheaton), Associate Professor of Automotive Technology, Business and Applied Technology Division

Tom Robertson works tirelessly on auto lab maintenance and improvements to enhance usability, such as championing the ongoing need for computer software updates. He has brought in advanced classes from manufacturers for continuing education and raised both the rigor and the respect for the program throughout the region. Robertson has worked with the College leadership team to develop and improve procedures related to support functions across campus. He has been active in building the Auto Service Technology faculty into a cohesive, student-centered unit.  

Debra Smith (Hanover Park), Reference Librarian, Learning Resources Division

Debra Smith serves as the library faculty liaison for all of the health science programs, counseling health science students and helping programs with accreditations. Her research guides, workshops and training materials are timely and easy to follow. She also works at the Library’s research desk, providing general reference in all areas. Smith is a consumer health advocate and teaches health and wellness classes in the Teaching and Learning Center. She was instrumental in reconvening the campus Caregivers Support Group, which serves as a much-needed program for the campus community. 

Jason Snart (Wheaton), Professor of English, Liberal Arts Division

Jason Snart is a leader in online and hybrid learning at the College. He has written or co-written articles and guidelines that enhance teaching and learning in these delivery formats, and a digital presence infuses all of his classes. He encourages global citizenship through class materials and challenges students to expand their worldview. Snart also engages students in mobile learning opportunities where they can complete assignments via their smartphones. He shares his expertise in instructional technology with the College community. 

April Zawlocki (Bolingbrook), Assistant Professor of Education, Health and Sciences Division

April Zawlocki implements new and innovative ideas at the College, such as Higher Ed Camp, the EduTech Fair and standards-based grading. She leads professional development opportunities for faculty members and volunteers her time to ensure the Teacher Preparation program is positioned for success. Zawlocki meets with K-12 schools to develop partnerships for her students’ field experience requirement. She has built relationships with four-year institutions, including Lewis University, Elmhurst College and North Central College, to ease the transition for students from COD to their transfer institutions. 

Outstanding Divisional Part-time Faculty Members


Charles Dakarian (Elgin), Anatomy and Physiology Instructor, Health and Sciences Division

Charles Dakarian holds a medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is board-certified in internal medicine but feels teaching is his real passion. His students typically give him excellent reviews about his dynamic and energetic class sessions. 

Aparna Dwivedi (Naperville), English Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

Aparna Dwivedi encourages and challenges students to expand their abilities to think critically and engage in complex topics. Dwivedi is committed to student success and consistently experiments with new teaching methods and materials. 

Chris Cannon (LaGrange Park), Graphic Design Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

Chris Cannon demonstrates the relevance of fine arts processes to the design fields and vice versa. Cannon, who served for two years as Lecturer in the Graphic Design program, is disciplined and passionate about bringing projects to completion. 

Jennifer Gimmell (Naperville), Physics Instructor, Health and Sciences Division

Jennifer Gimmell’s “flipped” classroom experiment has students spending more time preparing outside the classroom so that valuable class time focuses on productive guided practice. Her ability to demand more from her students allowed the method to be successful.  

Melissa Gomez (Wheaton), Speech Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

Melissa Gomez, a former COD student, uses a learner-centered approach to engage her classes. She supports diversity initiatives and is writing a Readers Theater piece with her students for a symposium in fall 2016. 

Melissa Heischberg (Roselle), Fashion Studies Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division

Melissa Heischberg, also a former student, worked with the TLC and IT to launch the online “History of Fashion” class. She directs the annual Fashion Show and successfully implemented software that allows students to use four or more paths to create garments and enhancements. 

Chris Lexow (Hammond, Ind.), HVACR Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division

Chris Lexow volunteered to help build a world-class hydronic balancing trainer to develop a strong lab component for the hydronic classes. He also volunteers to help students with special needs and recently used his industry relationships to acquire a substantial equipment donation. 

Carolyn Margrave (Naperville), Student Success Counselor, Student Affairs Division

Carolyn Margrave encourages student veterans to pursue their academic goals and assists them in developing educational plans. She has collaborated with colleagues to design professional development training that supports veterans on campus. 

Karen Miller (Carol Stream), Justice Studies Instructor, Health and Sciences Division

Karen Miller is a graduate of COD and the FBI National Police Academy. As the primary instructor for “Forensic Crime Scene Investigation” and “Police Organization and Administration,” she provides accurate scenarios that support textbook information. 

Kathleen Mullin (Elk Grove Village), History Instructor, Continuing Education Division

Kathleen Mullin has an extensive background in teaching, with more than 14 years of experience leading adult education courses. She has created a loyal student following by continuously developing new and engaging course topics and content.