Congratulations are in order for several National Louis University faculty and staff members who received annual awards at Fall Connection, a two-day back-to-school kickoff event featuring conferences, meetings and a festive awards ceremony.
During the Sept. 6-7 event, faculty and staff heard addresses by Provost Alison Hilsabeck, Ph.D., Board Chairman Scott Smith and President Nivine Megahed, Ph.D. They also attended Impact sessions on topics such as community engagement and philanthropy. They had plenty of time to discuss ideas about NLU’s goals and how to best serve students.
The Excellence in Service and Engagement Award went to Catherine Honig, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Professional Studies and Advancement’s School of Business and Management. Honig led a team which created a Quality Matters-based college-level online course template and served as co-chair on a large project which surveyed faculty and students to provide invaluable insights on their perceptions of online learning. She also led the MBA Online Redesign Project, which realized her vision of a high-touch, state-of-the-art online MBA program featuring Quality Matters certification. Finally, Honig serves as an Editor for Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching, (MERLOT).
The Excellence in Teaching Award went to Janet Lorch, C.A.S., assistant professor in the National College of Education. She holds three leadership roles as Elementary Education Program Chair, National College of Education edTPA Coordinator and Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) Program Coordinator. She has developed and taught numerous courses in the Elementary Education program, including developing a closely aligned partner program with AUSL and writing a full curriculum redesign for the Residency program to create a Grades 1-8 Residency Program that will include more practice-based cycles of teaching.
The Adjunct Faculty Award went to Michael Hulbert, M.A., Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology/Applied Behavioral Sciences in NLU’s College of Professional Studies and Advancement. He has created and redesigned course material and taught numerous courses. One student noted that he has “added to my life in such a way that changed it forever.” Before entering his class she noted “life and time had drained me dry of self-confidence, ambition, positivity, and a sense of self-worth.” Hulbert “not only saw the best in me, but he brought out the best in me, when I no longer saw it.” Because of his encouragement, this student is now determined to make a difference in the lives of others and is currently working on her Ph.D.
The Excellence in Research Scholarship Award went to Antonina Lukenchuk, Ph.D., Ed.D., full time faculty since 2004. Her books “Paradigms of Research for the 21st Century: Perspectives and Examples from Practice” (2013) and “Outliving Your Dissertation: A Guide for Students and Faculty” (2017) have resulted from years of Dr. Lukenchuk’s teaching doctoral research courses and supervising doctoral dissertations. Twenty- plus students have successfully defended dissertations under her supervision.
Dr. Lukenchuk has also written articles and book chapters related to service-learning resulting from years of teaching educational foundations and research courses. Over time she continued developing conference proposals and manuscripts for publication.
Finally, Dr. Lukenchuk’s most recent scholarly interest is in online and blended education in higher education. She has conducted a few pilot studies with online and blended master’s and doctoral students and presented the results at professional conferences. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal ensued.
The Staff Recognition Award went to Pauline DeGrazia, Director of Undergraduate Programming. She has helped lead the launch of the Pathways program at the Wheeling campus and developed strong partnerships in the Northwest suburban community, such as the partnership with Community High School District 214. She handles duties as varied as overseeing parent nights for prospective students to supervising student workers, organizing a van courier service to pick up students from Waukegan to attend classes in Wheeling, and working with the local Panera to secure weekly food donations.
The Randy Brittman Service Award went to Dean Nakanishi, web developer. He has earned a reputation for quick and helpful responses to myriad questions from faculty and staff. He works long hours to ensure the website is up-to-date and running smoothly, and on one occasion when a staff member alerted him to a problem, he built a database by the next working day. Faculty and staff with lesser computer expertise rely on Dean for patient, thorough explanations to technical questions.
Congratulations to all!