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2017 April 15 - 04:34 pm

Faculty Lounge

A Summary Listing of Faculty Activities at Colleges Around the Nation

Chabot College in Hayward, California, announced that one of its professors, Rachel LePell, has been recognized by the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and Association of Theater in Higher Education for innovation in teaching theater. The prize is given to one college faculty member in each of eight regions throughout the United States. Chabot College also received an award for its commitment to new theater works through its Emerging Works program. The American College Theater Festival, held in Washington, D.C. earlier this year, was the venue for the awards ceremony, which draws from a very competitive field of colleges and universities across the nation for this honor. “We are extremely proud of Rachel LePell, who has taught at Chabot College for more than 25 years, and the 31 drama students whose work was acknowledged through the award given to the college,” said Chabot College President Susan Sperling. “They competed against graduates from some of the most competitive and prestigious MFA programs in the nation.” Emerging Works is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Theater Arts Department at Chabot College. It highlights the efforts of new original plays that are written by students in a playwriting class. The Emerging Works program has been underway for more than two decades at Chabot College under the direction of LePell, and features a week of performances staged by student actors, directors, and designers.


Jen Cline, assistant sociology professor at Lewis and Clark Community College (Ill.), has a passion for teaching and helping students achieve their educational and life goals. Cline was a firstgeneration college student and remembers the impact her teachers and advisors had on her when she started college. “I never considered myself an academic, and I didn’t like school,” Cline said. “Thankfully, while I was working on my associate degree, my advisor saw something in me and put me in the college’s honors program. It was the best thing for me. I did a complete turnaround, fell in love with learning and eventually teaching.” Cline is now paying it forward. She is helping to launch and will coordinate the new Lewis and Clark Community College Honors College this fall. L&C Honors College is a selective admissions program designed to give students an enhanced college experience and prepare them for transferring to a fouryear university. “Jen has been the chief architect of the Lewis and Clark’s Honors College,” said Jill Lane, L&C dean of transfer programs. “Her research and her own positive experiences as an honors student have influenced the design of the new program. The Honors College will offer students who have outstanding potential an opportunity to enhance their two-year college experience.” The L&C Honors College, affiliated with the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities (MJCH), will include honors courses, service/social opportunities and will culminate with a MJCH undergrad research project and symposium. Cline said it was her community college English teacher who sparked her desire to teach. “Professor Pedro San Antonio loved teaching, and I fell in love with learning,” Cline said. “He made learning something far more meaningful than memorization. We learned to understand power dynamics in society, democracy, globalization, war and peace. He made me realize how much teaching can be a form of activism. I chose to teach because of Professor San Antonio.” Cline credits many women with helping her get to where she is today, but at the top of the list is her mom. After earning her associate of arts in liberal arts from Henry Ford College, Cline worked as a teaching assistant while earning a bachelor of arts in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Cornell College and her master of science in Sociology from the Universiteit van Amsterdam. Cline has been teaching at Lewis and Clark for five years. Her courses include Introduction to Sociology, Racial and Ethnic Relations, Social Problems and Marriage and the Family. She said her philosophy on teaching can best be summed up as author Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”


Claudio Leyssens, Emergency Medical Services instructor and clinical coordinator at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, was named the 2017 EMS instructor of the year by Northwest Georgia Region 1 EMS. The Mike Miller EMS Educator of the Year award was presented to Leyssens during the annual Northwest Georgia Region 1 EMS Council Awards Banquet that is held each year to honor Emergency Medical Service providers and stakeholders. The banquet recognizes EMS professionals from Bartow, Catoosa, Chattanooga, Cherokee, Dade, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. “It was an amazing honor when they announced that I was the winner,” said Leyssens. “There was some very fierce competition this year and it’s definitely a big deal.” The award is named in honor of Mike Miller who was a paramedic for Floyd Medical Center EMS and Polk County EMS. Miller was the first paramedic instructor at Coosa Valley Technical College before it became GNTC. He served in the Region 1 Office of EMS and Trauma as a regional training coordinator and addressed the problem of low pass rates for EMT courses in the region. Leyssens is the lead instructor for the Advanced EMT program on the Floyd and Catoosa County Campuses of GNTC and is the clinical coordinator for all five EMS programs. He is a level 3 instructor and also teaches CPR courses at his church, volunteers for the Red Cross, and has served as a volunteer for the Boy Scouts by providing first aid.

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