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Faculty Appreciation Event 2015

The Office of Student Disability Services recognizes the important role that faculty members play in a student’s academic career. Every year, students registered with the Office of Student Disability Services are given the opportunity to identify one instructor who has made a positive impact in their academic experience at Eastern Illinois University. These faculty members are then invited to attend the annual Faculty Appreciation Event to allow these students to show their appreciation. While at the event, faculty and students enjoy time together, listen to speakers, and enjoy a few treats. The event ends with each student reading a statement that they wrote specifically about their faculty member.

Here is what our students said about the recognized faculty 2014-2015:

Leigh Ann Bryan- She did everything possible to make sure that I understood the course material and the assignments. I would not have gotten the grade that I did if she had not provided this assistance.

Jeff Oetting-I had the privilege to take his entrepreneurship class. He taught me so much about business, leadership, and the right tactics to become successful.

John Morris- He is always willing to help any student and provides extra office hours whenever needed. He is a very caring professor who takes the time to get to know his students. He truly cares a lot about his students. When I was struggling, he was more than willing to sit down with me to give me the extra help and support that I needed. I really enjoyed working with this professor and hope I can work with him again in my future at EIU.

Mark McGuire- He was very good about making sure I was accommodated properly according to my needs. He also was very good about helping me understand the material when I was confused.

Michael Shirley- He went above and beyond for me in my undergraduate experience and continues to be a fantastic professor now that I am in my graduate program. He did not just help me navigate my undergraduate experience because he was my advisor, nor did he just do it because of my hectic schedule, documented disabilities, or any other reason. He helped me because he is a compassionate faculty member that wants his students to succeed and shine.

Anne Walk- She has been very helpful. She made sure I got everything that I needed in class. She also ensures there was communication between us to ensure that I was receiving the accommodations I needed.

Wm. Reed Benedict- He has made me feel comfortable to come to him when I need help whenever I needed it. He seems to care what happens with his students. He does whatever he can to ensure that his students do the best they can.

William Addison- He always made sure that I have a safe and workable space to take my quizzes and tests. He never passed judgment on me and understood that even if it was open note, I needed my open space. He wanted to make sure I was able to reach out to him with questions during my exams. He always helped me in strategizing ways of how to take my exams better, what else I could do, and what else he could do as a professor. He never made me feel different from the rest of the class and he always believed in me and kept encouraging me to get the grade I wanted.

Daniele Nardi-is my most recent professor whom I have had this semester in Research Methods. This class requires a lot of computer work, which made my testing accommodations a little harder to work with. He never made me feel like a burden, he consistently checks in with me to make sure I am comfortable with my setting. He is even letting me use his own personal laptop so I can take my exams on the computer separate, but still able to use the proper software. He respects my privacy and makes sure we talk about my accommodations somewhere that is private. It means a lot to me that he talks to me like I am human. I do not feel broken or ashamed when I talk to him about the things I need.

Colleen Kattenbraker-She has been extremely helpful and proactive in making sure I receive my accommodations. She was absolutely the best teacher I have ever had when it comes to sending me notes and communicating with the test center on time. I never had to nag her or remind her that I needed notes and she made it much easier for me in that way.

Christopher Wixson-He is very helpful. He is aware of my condition and has helped me so much this semester. He not only accommodates me for class, but also has gone above and beyond to make sure that I receive equal treatment in other classes. I would like to thank him for being so understanding and cooperative.

Rebecca Cook- has been so helpful with being my advisor and very uplifting when I am freaking out about assignments or exams. She always has a smile on her face and is so positive about everything!

Brian Mann -was an outstanding teacher because of his understanding and willingness to work with me with my accommodations. When I was absent he would take the time to give me the things I needed to get caught back up. What makes him an outstanding teacher was that he gave me the feeling like he really understood and cared about me and did not think of me just as another student. I really could tell that he cared about my accommodations and that was the reason why I enjoyed going to his class. He helped me see that not all professors are horrible and uncaring. I am happy that I am given the chance to be able to thank him for the help and inspiration he has given me.

Diana Ingram -was very understanding and willing to work with everybody even when it means taking time out of her personal live to help with anything that is needed.

Anna Percival -really went out of her way to make sure I was able to understand everything in class. She asked if I needed any other accommodations. She really helped me tremendously with class.

Rebecca Tadlock-Marlo-always encouraged me as a student and as an individual to have faith in what I am capable of. She adjusted the way she gives feedback, doing it digitally so that I can read it with less difficulty. She has taken an interest in the work I do, allowing me the opportunities to present what I have done. I have become a better student because of her.

Heidi Larson -is my internship supervisor and professor. Dr. Larson has given me an opportunity to intern under her in a program she implemented at Mattoon High School. Despite my visual impairment, she never tried to minimize my efforts and provided encouragement when I needed it. My final year at EIU would have been very different had she not chose me for the opportunities I have been so lucky to have.

Jonathan Coit-was very understanding when I came to him about grades and advice about academic warning. He seemed to pay more attention to helping me become more successful than other instructors. I have never had an instructor understand me so well.

Christina Yousaf-has always been very helpful no matter what the class was that I had with her, which I have taken several. She is a very kind lady. She is always there to talk to you when you have a question or need help.

Nichole Hugo -knew that I was stressed about my internship. When it was time for an interview, she met with me during her office hours to hold a mock interview. She told me what to expect and answered all of my questions. She is willing to take time out of her day to help me succeed and genuinely cares about the success of her students.

Margaret Waver -has been very helpful with my disability. What stands out is that she knew that I struggle with math and let me take tests in a different room and was very accommodating. She is always there to answer any questions and help me with homework. She would always be there to help and has even taken time out of her lunch break to help me understand my homework and study.

Stephanie Woodley-is a kind and compassionate teacher. She understands my concerns and if I ever needed any help, she is always available through e-mail and in person. She is very perceptive of my needs and always asks me questions as to if I’m doing well and if there is anything she can do to make it better for me. I appreciate this very much. I’ve had her for two semesters now and cannot imagine not having her again anymore after this semester. I will always remember her as a teacher that made an impression on me, as well as facilitated and tended to my accommodations in a great way, and always checking in with me to make sure I am doing alright.

William Robinson -helped me figure out how to stay organized and encouraged me to do better in my studies. He really does care.

Marjorie Hanft-accommodates students without being asked with a print out of each day’s notes, so that it is easier to follow along and pay attention in class without having to write down everything she says. She is always very understanding when a class is missed due to my disability and then provides notes for the missed class.

Mary Sanders -was one of my most respected professors I have had. She was more understanding with my accommodations and made me feel like just another student in the classroom, which is something I appreciated very much. She was also more than helpful. She always asked me if I had any questions and genuinely tried to help me understand material. She really could not have done a better job as far as making me feel comfortable about all of my accommodations and I cannot appreciate it enough.

Anabela Maia- is always there for her students when we need help. She is very understanding when it comes to complicated topics. I have her for Anatomy & Physiology II and it is not a subject that comes easy to people. She will work with you as much as she can as long as you are putting in the effort. There are not a lot of professors that will do that! She is very knowledgeable when it comes to this subject. She is a kind person with a good sense of humor. Even though it is a daily struggle waking up at 8am for her class, it is totally worth it. We learn new information every day about the human body. She is definitely a teacher I will remember after I graduate!

John McInerney-is one of my favorite teachers in the Kinesiology department. He is knowledgeable, funny, and kind. He cares about his students and he wants to make sure we are successful in the real world. I hope that I can take more classes with him because he makes class interesting and fun. Even though his classes are enjoyable, he is very serious when it comes to school and class work. He is amazing and definitely going to be a teacher that I will remember.

Wm. Reed Benedict -was very accommodating for me. He said that I could come in any day during his office hours to go over lecture notes from class. He also was very helpful with explaining ideas in class in multiple ways, which is not just for me, but for the entire class.

Christina Yousaf- Whether it is the patience she displays when I speak in class or the times she volunteers to make sure all students get their issues addressed in an appropriate manner, she deserves to be nominated. She has continued to support me through more than one semester.

A.J. Walsh -is always going above and beyond when it comes to helping. She cares about her students as individuals and she never wants us to stop trying. Even if I fail at something, she makes us better the more we try.

Eden Effert-Fanta-was always more than helpful with my disability. She provided me the best accommodations for this class. She also was very considerate with my grades.

Michael Gillespie- I have taken a few classes with him throughout my time at Eastern and have never done well mainly because of my anxiety not allowing me to attend class. Last semester, when I finally informed him of my problem, he was so understanding. Not only did he understand, but he was so caring and checked in with me often to make sure everything was going well. He made sure that if I felt anxious about something I did not understand about in class, he would talk me through it and make sure I felt better. Prof. G went above and beyond what would even be expected of a teacher working with a student that has my issues!

Gene Deerman- has not only been my teacher multiple times but she is also my advisor. I’m almost positive that if you told her she was nominated she would be in shock...this is because she is so helpful without even realizing it! Whenever I have panicked about graduation or taking certain classes she always talked me through the steps on what to do leaving me calm and relaxed. Anytime I had to leave class due to anxiety she had no problem filling me in on what I missed, but she also would encourage me to try to stay longer in the next class. She is amazing!

Donna Binns- She was very helpful and understanding. She would check in on me to make sure my accommodations were being met or if I needed anything else in the class to help me succeed. She made sure I was understood everything. She was also available 24/7 by email and was also willing to meet in person to discuss class work. She also emailed me power points well in advance.

Melinda Mueller- She was always available my email to help with any concerns. She would remind me to make appointments at the testing center to take my tests. She also would email me if there were any changes in power points she sent me. Most teachers don't follow through will all the accommodations.

Cathy Schoonover- I have had her as a professor since my freshman year. She is always so kind and if I ever have any questions, I never hesitated to ask. She always accommodates my needs. She is an amazing professor and I am grateful I was able to have her for four classes.

Kelly Barista- I would like to recognize my BGS 3001 instructor, Kelly Barista. She has given me so much hope in my struggle with my learning disabilities. She encourages me. She wants me to be the best person I can be. She believes in me. In all of the things I have gone through, there haven’t been many that have encouraged me the way she does. I am incredibly thankful for that.

Stephen Lucas­- I appreciate Dr. Lucas for his honesty this semester. He told me right away that he had never had a student who was visually impaired so he wasn't sure what steps to take for practicum. He gained my respect by telling me this. Also, he has been enthusiastic to learn how he can help me in class and at practicum by brainstorming ideas. He has helped put my mind at ease about going into a classroom because of his support. His enthusiasm, support, and trustworthiness is what makes him a great teacher for all students.