Divisional Faculty Winners 2016-2017

College of DuPage Outstanding Faculty Members and Advisers for 2016-2017

Twenty-one faculty members and advisers have been recognized as the 2016-2017 Outstanding 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 Overall Full-time Faulty Member

Karan Oliver-Tucci (Bloomingdale), Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, Health and Sciences Division

Karan Oliver-Tucci has a passion for science and teaching, which is reflected in her work and dedication to her students’ success. She incorporates different learning styles into her lessons so that every student understands the material. One of the most innovative activities, noted by her students, uses Play-Doh to sculpt the muscles of the face. In addition to teaching, Oliver-Tucci was a member of the STEMCON 2016 inaugural team, held three Women in STEM workshops for local high school girls and is the advisor for the Anatomy and Physiology club.

Outstanding Divisional Full-time Faulty Member

Carolyn England (Winfield), Professor of Computer and Information Science, Business and Applied Technology Division

Carolyn England was the primary contributor to the development of the Linux curriculum. She also delivered the courses and tested the required hardware and software. England stays at the forefront of technology as the sole CIS faculty working with 3-D printing, creating prototypes and demonstrations used by faculty and students. She works to grow enrollments in STEM and Career and Technical Education courses, especially with female students, and she serves as one of the principle organizers of the annual STEMCON event.

Brad Killam (Fox Point, Wis.), Associate Professor of Art, Liberal Arts Division

Brad Killam assumed the responsibility of teaching, developing and leading the sculpture area in the Art program in addition to teaching classes in drawing, painting and design. He insisted on creating a Visiting Artist Program when the idea seemed impossible, and he develops quality student exhibits, such as the AFA Exhibition at the Wings Student Art Gallery. Killam also helps students focus and plan on taking the right courses in order to graduate with an Associate in Fine Arts degree, which concludes with a quality gallery exhibition.

Melina Martin (Wheaton), Assistant Professor of English, Liberal Arts Division

Melina Martin is devoted to making and achieving long-terms goals for her subdivision, division and the COD community. Not only does she chair the Composition Steering Committee, she also serves on several committees including Teaching with Technology. Martin embraced a leadership position early on and has conducted herself with professionalism and grace, listening to the needs and wishes of her committee members, organizing each meeting, taking meeting minutes and communicating effectively with colleagues. 

Joe Moran (South Elgin), Professor of Accounting, Business and Applied Technology Division

Joe Moran has contributed to the success of many students and faculty in his 20-plus years at COD, bringing industry experience into the classroom. He recently helped coach a team of students who tied their four-year counterparts for first prize in a public accounting firm-sponsored contest. Moran dedicates time and efforts to multiple faculty and college-wide committees and serves willingly as a mentor to new faculty, both full-time and adjunct. His community efforts include high school outreach and voluntary tax preparation.

John Paris (DeKalb), Associate Professor of History, Liberal Arts Division

John Paris has represented the Liberal Arts Division outside of his field, department and division, bringing quality educational opportunities to students from all walks of life and at all levels of experience and preparation. He has done this at College of DuPage as well as abroad and for international students for whom he often is one of the first contacts.

Gary Roby (Naperville), Associate Professor of Chemistry, Health and Sciences Division

Gary Roby’s major accomplishments include serving as the primary author of the department’s successful 2015 Center of Excellence application, current chair for the Chicago Chapter ACS Education Committee, and co-principal investigator on the National Science Foundation’s $650,000 STEM grant that was awarded to COD in 2016. He is a member of the Academic Calendar Committee, active with the Regional Science Olympiad and a member of the STEMCON planning committee. Roby is also an advisor for the Pre-Physician Assistant club. 

Dana Thompson (Lombard), Student Success Counselor, Student Affairs Division

Dana Thompson has been a long-standing contributor to the College’s mission of diversity and inclusiveness. She advises the Pride Alliance, which she has done for the past 13 years, and regularly offers programming on diversity. She is integral in leading the Counseling faculty’s education course offerings and started a Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership to learn how to further the College’s goals and empower students. Thompson also serves on the Learning Communities, New Student Planning Tool, Division Curriculum and Safe Zone committees.

Outstanding Overall Part-time Faculty Member

Peter Kanetis (Bloomingdale), Philosophy and Religious Studies Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

Since 2010, Peter has taught Philosophy and Religious Studies at COD and, for the past three years, has served as Lecturer for the program. He works hard to help his students develop their critical thinking skills to live better lives. Kanetis has helped organize four on-campus roundtable discussions focusing on philosophical and religious issues. In addition, he was part of the ReSET committee and continues to be a member of the American Philosophical Associate, the American Academy of Religion and the Evangelical Philosophical Society.

Outstanding Divisional Part-time Faculty Members

Naveeda Athar (Carol Stream), Human Services Instructor, Health and Sciences Division

Naveeda Athar, who has taught in the Human Services program since 2011, earned her Master of Science in Human Services and doctorate in Counseling, Adult and Higher Education from National Louis University. Her credentials include multiple clinical certificates and licenses such as becoming a Certified Domestic Violence professional. Athar is an active member of the Illinois Counseling Association and Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association as well as publishing on topics related to the human services field.

Donald Comstock (Glendale Heights), Suburban Law Enforcement Academy Instructor, Continuing Education

Donald Comstock is a DuPage County Sheriff’s Deputy and has served as faculty for SLEA since 2008, teaching forensic classes in both the basic academy and continuing education programs. For the past three years, he also has organized and facilitated the annual Forensic Training Conference held at SLEA. He is a certified Crime Scene Investigator and his expertise provides valuable information to academy recruits as well as seasoned officers who attend continuing education training.

Elizabeth Cooper (Glen Ellyn), Reference Librarian, Learning Resources Division

Elizabeth Cooper’s experience as the law librarian with the DuPage County Law Library has brought not only legal expertise but also more knowledge of county resources to College of DuPage and the Paralegal Studies program. She works with classes ranging from paralegal, speech and English to social sciences, health sciences and biology. She has been a guest speaker on legal resources for the Caregiver’s Support Group and serves on the Paralegal Advisory Council, providing input on curriculum and resources for the program.

Tricia Fiske (Wheaton), Physical Education Instructor, Health and Sciences Division

Tricia Fiske has been a member of the Physical Education Adjunct Faculty for 19 years and her primary area of expertise is yoga, which she has been practicing for more than 21 years. She was first a personal trainer, working one-on-one with private cardio clients, and taught step aerobics, spinning and Nia (which combines martial arts and dance set to music) before focusing completely on yoga. Fiske is a leader in the west suburban yoga community. 

Gloria Kas (Bloomingdale), Certified Nursing Assistant Instructor, Health and Sciences Division

Gloria Kas is an active member of the Certified Nurse Assistant Education Association as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health Nurse Aide Advisory Board. Her credentials include baccalaureate-prepared registered nurse, certified rehabilitation nurse and certified cardio-pulmonary resuscitation instructor from the American Heart Association. Kas creates innovative and interactive learning objects and collaborates with clinical instructors to provide a seamless transition from the lab to the clinical environment.

Mi Ran (Michelle) Lee (Elmwood Park), Korean Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

Michelle Lee motivates her students by creating a safe and friendly classroom culture, and she skillfully designs her instruction to challenge but not overwhelm students. She has been successful in growing the Korean program and serves as the co-advisor for the Seoul of Korea student club, which currently has more than 60 members. She invited students to a local high school fair to help represent COD’s Korean and Languages programs and is a tireless advocate for cross-cultural education and understanding.

Andreea Leonard (Chicago), Computer and Information Technology Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division

Andreea Leonard came to the CIT program with an impressive depth of teaching and technical experience. In a relatively short time, she has made an immediate impact as a supporting member of the CIT team, from her flexibility to teach all curriculum in two key areas, CompTIA A+ and Microsoft, to her positive impact on student learning.

Shelly Mocchi (Geneva), Interior Design Instructor, Business and Applied Technology Division

Shelly Mocchi has dedicated more than 10 years to the success of Interior Design students. She has a strong professional background and brings the full range of her talents to class, pulling the best out of each student. She helps students put together projects that become part of their portfolios, which they use during job searches. Last fall, Mocchi graciously took over a class mid-semester and led students to produce outstanding work.

Wes Solether (Lombard), English Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

In addition to teaching ALP (Accelerated Learning Program) English, Wes Solether has been a contributor and team member to the WOTE (Writing on the Edge) Conference team. The WOTE conference, the only event of its kind in the country, is produced and implemented by adjunct faculty for adjunct faculty who teach in the areas of English and ELS. Solether also is working with his peers to create an electronic journal for adjunct faculty to publish their works on a national stage. 

Ben Wahlund (Aurora), Music Instructor, Liberal Arts Division

Since 2014, Ben Wahlund has led the College’s Percussion Ensemble, which has grown tremendously since he became director. Wahlund is known to welcome students with varied musical skills and expertise, often engaging students in musical performance who might never have chosen to do this. He has a lighthearted teaching style and a great sense of humor about his calling.


Caption: (From left) Melina Martin, Dana Thompson, Carolyn England, Mia Poston, John Paris, Karan Oliver-Tucci, Kim Oakley, Brad Killam, Gary Roby, Joe Moran.