A Summary Listing of Faculty Activities at Colleges Around the Nation
Seminole State College (Florida) now has two General Motors world class technicians as part of its faculty. Automotive professors Jim Cokos and Carlos Vasquez recently achieved this elite status, joining the ranks of only 1,256 other technicians in the nation and only 27 technicians in Florida. To achieve GM World Class status, a technician must be Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Master certified and GM Master certified in eight technician areas. At a GM regional training center, each technician is required to perform a hands-on assessment in each of the eight areas. Each assessment takes one full day with a multitude of stations. In each area being assessed, the technician is given problematic vehicles, systems, sub-systems and components that they must diagnose or perform specific tasks on, in a timed environment. This accomplishment shows the industry expertise that Seminole State faculty, including Cokos and Vasquez, contribute to their respective programs at the College. “The automotive industry is in dire need of highly trained technicians,” says Cokos. “The technology is cutting edge and moving ahead quickly. To provide the best training possible, we, as instructors, must constantly train to keep up.” Vasquez agrees, saying: “We must confront the rapidly developing technologies not only on vehicles, but also in the diagnostic equipment and training necessary to meet the growing demand in this profession. Today’s successful automotive technicians’ challenge is to stay ahead of the power curve in their respective manufacturers’ training path.” Seminole State College's Automotive Program offers training in automotive repair, alternative fuels, automotive management and more. The program, which includes degree and certificate options, is accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and meets the requirements for Master Accreditation, the highest level of achievement recognized by NATEF.
Karan Oliver-Tucci, assistant professor of biology at College of DuPage, has been named the Overall Outstanding Faculty Member for 2016-17. Representing the Health and Sciences Division, Oliver-Tucci will receive a $1,000 award from the College of DuPage Foundation, which annually recognizes outstanding teaching achievement. Her original goal was to become a zoologist or veterinarian. However, after working in a veterinary clinic and holding a seasonal zookeeper job while in college, she realized it wasn’t the perfect fit. “I even participated in an Earthwatch research expedition to study black howlers in Argentina just to make sure I wasn’t missing out on a research career,” she said. “I still love animals but instead found my calling in the classroom.” Oliver-Tucci taught high school biology for several years and was then asked to teach an honors-level Anatomy and Physiology course. Although she loved teaching the course, she didn’t feel adequately prepared. So she returned to school and earned a graduate degree in Human Anatomical Sciences. It was during graduate school when Oliver- Tucci discovered just how much she enjoyed working with college students. “I feel very comfortable and happy in the classroom. I love the classroom dynamic, interacting with students, getting to know them and helping them reach their goals,” she said. “Plus it helps that I am fascinated by all the intricacies of the human body so the subject matter stays exciting. Anatomy and Physiology is a discipline that constantly keeps me on my toes in order to stay current with new procedures, drugs and technological advancements. Even after almost 11 years here at COD, Anatomy and Physiology courses are still my favorite to teach.”