Two Parkland College trustees, two faculty members, and an alumnus recently earned statewide honors for their involvement and service at the community college level.
Dr. Thomas Bennett and James L. Ayers of the Parkland College Board of Trustees; David Wilson, associate professor in the Department of Natural Sciences; June Schwartz, instructor for Dental Hygiene; and Parkland alum Brad Busboom were recognized during the Illinois Community College Trustees Association’s annual convention, held June 7-8 in Chicago.
Bennett received the Ray Hartstein Trustee Achievement Award, named for a former ICCTA president and founding Oakton Community College trustee from Skokie. The award is presented annually to a currently serving community college board member whose exemplary service and leadership set the standard for outstanding trusteeship in Illinois. Current Parkland trustees Linden Warfel (2006) and Ayers (2004) previously earned this state honor.
A former high school science teacher, Bennett was a board member for the Gibson City Melvin-Sibley school district before being appointed to Parkland’s trustee board in 1995. He is a past chair of the ICCTA and was the first trustee from Illinois to serve as chair of the national organization, the Association of Community College Trustees. Bennett holds a BS in Education from Eastern Illinois University; a BS in Computer Science from Illinois State University; an MBA from Illinois State University; and a DBA from Nova Southeastern University.
Ayers, a Parkland trustee from Monticello, received his sixth ICCTA Trustee Education Award. This award is given to those who complete 15 or more ICCTA-sponsored seminars during their tenure as community college trustees. A former chair of the Parkland trustee board, Ayers was also chair of the ICCTA’s East Central Region (1997-98), its Federal Relations Committee (1993-1995), and its Government Relations Committee (2001-2003). Nationally, he completed seven years on the board of the ACCT’s Central Region, served as its chair, and earned the ACCT’s M. Dale Ensign Trustee of the Year Award as the outstanding trustee nationwide.
Natural Sciences Associate Professor David Wilson earned the ICCTA’s 2013 Full-time Faculty Member Award. The biology and chemistry teacher served as an early leader of effective online course design and pedagogy at Parkland, creating learner-centered online courses that promote critical thinking and collaboration among students in a highly engaging environment. His efforts earned him Parkland’s Online Teaching Excellence Award in 2012. A former president and vice president of the Parkland College Association, Wilson is also highly engaged in such national organizations as the American Chemical Society, The International Center for First-Year Undergraduate Chemistry Education, and the International Conference on Chemical Education.
June Schwartz was selected as the 2013 ICCTA Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Member Award nominee for Parkland College. She has taught in Parkland’s Dental Hygiene program for 26 years, serving as an inspiration and mentor to many students and colleagues throughout that time. A member of the National American Dental Hygiene Association, she has been instrumental in creating a student clinical rotation through the Frances Nelson Dental Center, in collaboration with the dental not-for-profit organization SmileHealthy. She has also planned and participated in Dental Hygiene program’s annual service learning trips to Tennessee.
The ICCTA Outstanding Alumnus Award nomination for Parkland College went to Brad Busboom (’04). A Unity High School (Tolono, Illinois) graduate, Busboom took automotive courses as dual credit through Parkland’s Automotive Youth Education System before enrolling at Parkland in 2003 to study automotive technology. While at Parkland, he was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society; was named to the dean’s list both years; and was the only student selected to help staff the college’s AYES program booth at the Chicago Auto Show in 2004. Busboom went on to earn a BS in Automotive Technology from Southern Illinois University and is in his last year of the MBA program at the University of Michigan. He currently works as a program quality engineer at General Motors in Detroit.