ICCTA Outstanding Faculty Member Award
Dr. Erika Hartmann
South Suburban College
The chair of the English Department
at South Suburban College is Illinois' outstanding community college
educator for 2001.
"Great teaching comes from the heart, and Erika Hartmann embodies all the attributes
of a great teacher," said ICCTA executive director Dr. Gary Davis. "She has developed
an impeccable record of excellence spanning her 33 years of teaching."
SSC trustee Patricia J. Wojcikowski also praised
Dr. Hartmann, commenting that "Some teachers view teaching as a job. Erika views
teaching as the greatest learning experience of her life."
ICCTA past president Lin Warfel
(right) presents the 2001 Outstanding
Faculty Member Award to Dr. Erika
Hartmann of South Suburban College.
As chair of South Suburban's English Department, Hartmann has championed
the incorporation of computers and the Internet into the teaching-and-learning process.
"It is unusual when English faculty will lead the charge on computer integration in
curricular reform, but that is exactly what has transpired at SSC!" said Dr. Diane
Ostojic, dean of liberal arts and sciences. "Dr. Hartmann and the English faculty
have integrated computers so that every English 101 class is scheduled in a computer room."
Ostojic also noted that the SSC English Department was the first on campus to request
and design ‘smart classrooms,' using state of the art technology. "Dr. Hartmann's
enthusiasm for these projects has guided fellow faculty to make changes in their
own instructional strategies and incorporate technology so that our English department
is a leader in incorporating technology uniformly," she said.
In addition to computer integration, the English Department has implemented holistic
grading of student papers. Hartmann herself has trained full-time and part-time
faculty in holistic grading techniques, and she continues to lead her colleagues as
she uses portfolio assessments for her students -- a technique which soon may be more
widely conducted departmentally and institutionally.
"Dr. Hartmann is passionate about her subject matter and equally passionate about
student success," said Douglas Tweeten, SSC vice president of academic affairs.
"Students inured to failure learn a different path once they enter Dr. Hartmann's
class, and she continues to mentor her students after they leave her class."
Her commitment to student success can also be seen through her work with the college's
Academic Assistance Center. As the Center's founding director, Hartmann converted
a smoking lounge into a study center and hired a few student workers to offer tutoring
services. Today the Center serves over 3,000 students and employs 25 tutors.
In addition, Hartmann has attempted to address the changing demographics of
South Suburban College's student population by developing new multi-cultural courses,
such as "Introduction to Women's Literature" and "Ethnic, Minority and African-American
Literature." She has also conducted post-doctoral work at the University of Arizona
on leadership and change, women's literature, and multi-cultural literature.
"That is, after all, what is so exhilarating about teaching in a community college,"
said Dr. Hartmann. "We are immediately responsive to the needs of our students and our
"Hopefully I do not appear sentimental or maudlin when I tell you I would rather
teach at South Suburban College, where we have so many "broken wings." When I hear
from former students, I know I have impacted their lives and perhaps added to the
quality of their lives. For me, that is authentic teaching," she said.
Hartmann also plays a vital role in the shared governance model of South Suburban
College. She is a member of the Faculty Association Executive Board, the Curriculum
Committee, the Academic Standards Committee, the Outcomes Assessment Committee, and
other campus committees and task forces.
Despite her many college commitments, Dr. Hartmann continues her professional and
personal development through her involvement in the Illinois Community College
Faculty Association, the American Association of Community Colleges, the National
Council of Teachers of English, the National Council on Student Development, the
Council on College Composition and Communication, the National Association for
Developmental Education, the Midwest Modern Language Association, and the American
She has also been active in the American Association of Women in Community Colleges,
where she served as a first vice president for membership recruitment. In 1991 she
planned the first AAWCC state conference in Illinois and also presented a session on
"The Language of Cultural Diversity."
Hartmann has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to
research African-American dialects and from the Canadian Dialect Society to study
Canadian speech patterns. A participant in the Great Teachers Seminar (a national
workshop for college teachers), she is a 1989 graduate of the National Leadership
Institute Program for Women Community College Faculty/Administrators. Recently she
received an award from the American Association of Women in Community Colleges
for starting a chapter in Illinois.
In addition, she is well-known in her discipline for her scholarly articles on
linguistics and for her poetry. She received Honorable Mention for "Trilogy of Contempt"
from The Writer, and her work has appeared in such publications as the National
Anthology of Poetry.
Hartmann also encourages her students to use poetry as a medium of creative
expression, both inside and outside the classroom. Recently she assisted the college's
Director of Student Development in creating an annual event that gives students and
faculty the opportunity to perform creative original works of poetry, short essays,
For additional information on ICCTA's Outstanding
Faculty Member Award, please contact
Kim Villanueva at 217-528-2858, ext. 1.
Illinois Community College Trustees Association|
401 E. Capitol Ave., Suite 200
Springfield, IL 62701-1711
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