Michelle Moore, professor of English at College of DuPage, has been named the Overall Outstanding Faculty Member for 2010-2011.
Representing the Liberal Arts Division, Moore will receive a $1,000 award from the College of DuPage Foundation, which annual recognizes outstanding teaching achievement at the College.
The Chicago resident joined the College of DuPage faculty in 2002. She earned her bachelor's degree in English at Dickinson College and both her master's and doctorate degrees in English at SUNY Binghamton. Her specialty is American modernism and transatlantic modernism, and she has published articles in top-tier peer reviewed journals, such as Cather Studies, The Faulkner Journal, and Academic Exchange Quarterly; published chapters in a variety of books; and presented papers at well-regarded national organizations, including The American Literature Association.
Moore knew at an early age that English was right for her, and pursuing an education was never a doubt.
"I always liked to read, but it wasn't just about liking books and talking about them with other people. I loved how and why narratives were put together," she said. "When I was in graduate school, I was interested in why we even produce writing.
"One of my grandfathers emigrated from Bulgaria when he was young. He always believed in education and the power of education. I know that's one of the reasons why I have a Ph.D., because I knew I would become as educated as I could. Both of my parents were also well-educated – my mom in nursing and social work and my father in business."
As for teaching, Moore had another family influence – her grandmother.
"She was in the first graduating class of women from the SUNY Teachers College in the 1920s," Moore said. "She taught elementary school and lived right outside New York City. When she married, she moved back to her small town in upstate New York, yet she always remained a teacher in some form, such as teaching piano lessons."
Moore began teaching at SUNY Binghamton while finishing her degree and at Broome Community College before coming to COD. She enjoys bringing life to the subject for students.
In her classrooms, Moore employs a variety of methods to approach the material. In literature classes, for example, she takes students to museums, archives and galleries to provide the appropriate contexts for what is being studied.
"Students will thrive if you approach education differently," she said. "In my classes, I concentrate on the meaning rather than the comma placement. When students learn to think well and analyze well, then the commas fall into place."