The Center for Teaching Excellence recognizes and celebrates Triton College’s Faculty Achievements, including their creative works, scholarly publications and professional awards, both at this web site and its newsletter.
Full-time and part-time faculty who have presented at a conference or seminar, produced a creative work in any media, published an article, book or web site, or are award recipients are encouraged to share their achievements at email@example.com.
Heather E. Ash
Heather E. Ash worked as a staff writer for the television shows Stargate SG-1 and Glory Days. Her one-hour original script Square One was chosen by Written By magazine (the trade publication for the Writers Guild of America) as one of its top five unproduced drama pilots and earned sixth place in the film/television script category of the 2013 Writer's Digest Annual Competition. A graduate of Northwestern University, she’s taught screenwriting courses in the school’s Creative Writing for the Media Program, and she currently teaches Math in the College Readiness department here at Triton College (as Heather Cianciolo).
Ash is a member of the Writers Guild of America, Mystery Writers Association (Midwest Chapter Secretary beginning January, 2014), and Sisters in Crime. Her first short story, Method will be published in the anthology Hell Comes to Hollywood II, due for release in Spring 2014. She is also a regular contributor to pop culture blog TheLearnedFangirl.com and is working on both a horror feature film and a crime novel. Ash lives in the Chicago suburbs with her family.
Arnie Bernstein, English Department adjunct faculty member, is an award-winning author who has been honored for his work by the State Library of Michigan, the Illinois State Library, The Puffin Foundation and Warner Brothers Studios. He has presented at the Chicago History Museum, the Illinois State Library, the Gene Siskel Film Center and on C-SPAN's BookTV, and he has been interviewed by journalists for Chicago Tonight, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune, National Public Radio and BBC Radio, among others. He holds an MA from Columbia College’s Integrated Writing Program.
Bernstein's most recent book, Swastika Nation: The Rise and Fall of the German American Bund (St. Martin's Press), is due for release in Fall 2013. It details a pro-Nazi movement that swept the United States in the 1930s. His Bath Massacre: America's First School Bombing (University of Michigan Press, 2009), winner of the 2010 Michigan Notable Books award, brings to light the forgotten story of a madman who detonated a rural Michigan school building on May 18, 1927. Bernstein also authored three books on Chicago history, which earned praise from the late United States Senator Paul Simon (D-Illinois) and Roger Ebert: The Hoofs and Guns of the Storm: Chicago's Civil War Connections (Lake Claremont Press, 2003); The Movies Are: Carl Sandburg's Film Reviews and Essays, 1920-1928 (Lake Claremont Press, 2000); and Hollywood on Lake Michigan: 100 Years of Chicago & the Movies (Lake Claremont Press, 2nd ed., 2013). To learn more about Bernstein, visit http://www.arniebernstein.com.
Christina S. Brophy
Christina S. Brophy, Ph.D., is a History and Humanities faculty member who offers courses in World, European and United States History, Gender Studies, and Great Books in the Social Science department.
Brophy’s first book is an interdisciplinary volume she co-edited and contributed to that focuses on women, class, and gender in post-Famine Ireland. Women, Reform, and Resistance in Ireland, 1850-1950 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) documents the challenges faced by Irish women and their complex reactions. Ten authors illuminate previously obscured experiences of Irish women by investigating philanthropies, prisons, hospitals and inebriate reformatories; interrogating court records, begging letters, and memoirs; and exploring the “imaginative resistance” of folk narratives and formulaic cursing. Several contributors explore the ways in which middle-class and elite women, through philanthropy and reform, found their voices by attempting to regulate the lives of the poor. Rather than passively accepting their lot, these women were often insubordinate, opportunistic in their use of charity and defiant toward the ideologies of dominating-elites. For more info: CLICK HERE.
A native of East Rogers Park, Brophy traveled widely before returning to the area to teach. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary, a Master of Arts from Claremont Graduate University, and a doctorate in history from Boston College. A year-long Fulbright Fellowship to Ireland facilitated the research of her dissertation, as well as her present work. Brophy is currently writing a monograph about the history and legacy of mná caointe, Irish keening women.
Dave Coulter, Horticulture adjunct faculty, has been a horticulturist for thirty years working in the Chicago area and beyond. He is currently one of the bloggers for the Oak Park Wednesday Journal web site, and he has contributed to the web sites Gapers Block, McSweeney’s, and A Prairie Journal. His writing has appeared in the journal Ecological Restoration and he was also a contributor to The Field Guide to Surreal Botany. His most recent work is the guest post Hiking the NeoCarboniferous at The EarthLines Review (March 2013), and more of his writing can be found at www.osagegroup.blogspot.com.
Joe Dusek, of the Mathematics Department, received his MS in Public Service Management from DePaul University and has over 15 years of experience in the construction management field, where he has worked as a project manager, estimator, and superintendent. His CD-ROM, Construction Print Reading In the 21st Century (Cengage Learning, 2006), marks a radical departure from traditional teaching tools by allowing users to customize their learning to meet their specific needs. With a never-before-used category system, Construction Print Reading for the 21st Century provides the ability to “toggle” between construction print categories, such as architectural, structural, civil, electrical, etc., and the associated print types, including plan views, details, elevations, sections, etc. Users can then concentrate on discipline-specific information. Practical and easy-to-follow, this innovative tool presents an entirely new approach to construction print reading.
Adrian Ayres Fisher
Adrian Ayres Fisher, formerly an adjunct English instructor, now serves as the college’s Sustainability Coordinator. She has spent more than 20 years advocating for sustainable practices, including as a co-founder of Triton’s Greening the Campus Committee, and has hosted multiple workshops and community events highlighting green-related issues at the college.
Fisher has volunteered with Cook County Forest Preserves for fifteen years; in the past she has served as a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener and was the native plant buyer for an independent nursery center. She is active in local organizations such as West Cook Wild Ones and Green Community Connections.
Fisher frequently writes and gives talks about sustainability, regenerative gardening and reconciliation ecology. She is a featured author at Resilience.org, which calls itself "both an information clearinghouse and a network of action-oriented groups [whose] focus is on building community resilience in a world of multiple emerging challenges," including climate change and its related social and economic issues. She also contributes to the Center for Humans & Nature's City Creatures Blog; you can read her own blog at http://www.ecologicalgardening.net/.
Eckhard Gerdes, English Department adjunct faculty member, earned his MFA in creative writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He writes about literature for The Review of Contemporary Fiction, American Book Review and Electronic Book Review and occasionally publishes The Journal of Experimental Fiction.
His most recent book is The Sylvia Plath Cookbook: A Satire (lulu.com, 2012), which is the clever story of a writer toying with the idea of putting together a piece on the tragic poet. As his obsession seems on the verge of permanently distracting him, it is Sylvia herself who emerges from her doom to set him free. His other works include The Unwelcome Guest plus Nin and Nan (Enigmatic Ink, 2010), My Landlady the Lobotomist (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2008), The Million-Year Centipede (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2007) and Przewalski’s Horse (Red Hen Press, 2007). For more information about Gerdes and his works, visit http://www.eckhardgerdes.com.
Michael M. Kazanjian
Michael M. Kazanjian, 2013 Adjunct Faculty of the Year, teaches Philosophy, Ethics, and World Religion for in the Social Sciences Department, some of which courses have been part of Learning Communities. His publications and research include two books, Phenomenology and Education (Rodopi, 1998) and Learning Values Lifelong: From Inert Ideas to Wholes (Rodopi, 2002). He is also the author of articles in Infantry Magazine, the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Library Philosophy and Practice e-journal. His scholarship also includes presentations at the American Sociological Association and Midwest Political Science Association conferences, where he also accepted invitations to be Chair and Discussant.
Michael recently wrote his third book Unified Philosophy: Interdisciplinary Metaphysics, Cyberethics, and Liberal Arts. On April 5, 2019, he spoke at the Midwest Political Science Association on Rawls and Nozick being different sides of the same coin and his piece on Philosophy on Foot appeared on the blog of the American Philosophical Association on April 10, 2019.
Andres Montoya Poetry Prize winner and English Department faculty Paul Martinez-Pompa teaches Introduction to Poetry and composition courses. His most recent collection of poems, My Kill Adore Him (University of Notre Dame Press, 2009), is a homophonic translation of the Spanish word maquiladora, which translates into English as “factory” or “sweatshop.” He is also the editor of The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (University of Arizona Press, 2007), wherein he gathers works by 25 emerging Latino and Latina poets in the 21st century. His poetry also has appeared in After Hours: A Journal of Chicago Writing and Art, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and Rhino. For more information about Martinez-Pompa and his poems, visit http://paulmartinezpompa.com.
Award-winning director and producer and Mass Communications faculty Seth McClellan's works have been shown at film festivals, in schools, and on public television. He has an MFA in independent film and digital imaging from Governors State University. His documentary King in Chicago (2009) has been screened at 14 festivals and aired on PBS in Chicago and on the Education Channel. This film emphasizes King's understanding of the link between the goals of the Civil Rights Movement and the social injustice of poverty.
He also co-produced The Last Soul on a Summer Night (2010), which is an adaptation of Sherwood Anderson's 1919 short-story collage Winesburg, Ohio, reset in a Chicago Heights boarding house and environs, where layfolk and churchfolk alike struggle with their demons. Roger Ebert called the film “brilliant” and listed it as one of the top-ten “Best Art Films of 2010”.
Victor McCullum teaches Introduction to Sociology and other courses in Triton College’s Behavioral Science Department. He recently released his new crime novel, 30 DAYS, under the nom de plume G. R. Case. 30 Days details the consequences of vigilante justice.
30 Days has received a five-star Readers’ Favorite review since its May 2014 release, and Ray Paul of the Chicago Writers Association says, “Without question, 30 DAYS is one of the most compelling novels I have read in recent years . . . I recommend it to any strong-stomached readers of suspense novels. I also believe the story would make an excellent movie.”
An ArtistFirst Radio Network interview with G. R. Case can be heard at www.artistfirst2.com/Authors-First_2014-06-10_GR_Case.mp3. Case attended and signed copies of his novel at Chicago’s Printer’s Row Lit Fest, he has an upcoming interview on Sunday, August 17, 2014 with Omnimystery.com, and he will also be mentioned in the October 2014 issue of DePaul Magazine.
McCullum holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Masters of Arts in Sociology. He resides just outside of the Chicago area with his family. In addition to storytelling, he enjoys following his favorite Chicago sports teams.
Bill Nedrow has always had trouble writing about himself in the third person. He grew up in Oswego, IL, a place where action figures were not just a way of life but a necessity. He spent his childhood immersed in the worlds of Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, Transformers and comic books.
He went to Northern Illinois University to study English Literature, where he not only earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, but also met his future wife. He is married to the woman of his dreams and has four wonderful children. He currently teaches Rhetoric and Literature as an English Department faculty member.
Nedrow’s book is The Joy of Joe: Memories of America's Movable Fighting Man from Today's Grown-Up Kids and is available on Amazon. Give his book a like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BillNedrowsGIJoeNovel.
Robert S. Tapia
Robert S. Tapia, PhD, is an adjunct instructor of Philosophy in the Behavioral Science Department. He was born in Mexico City and immigrated to the United States in 1960. He joined the United States Marine Corps and served in Vietnam. After his military service, he continued with his education and obtained a doctorate in Philosophy. Tapia and his wife, Laura, have two daughters, and they live in Chicago.
Tapia’s novel, Rodrigo (iUniverse 2015), is a story about relationships that captures the essence of a teenage immigrant growing up in 1960s Chicago. Tapia masterfully engages readers into Rodrigo’s mind as he deals with the many challenges in his new life in America. Rodrigo is uprooted from his native Mexico at the age of thirteen by his family who moves to Chicago to be reunited with his father who has been living there for five years. His father, anxious to see his son Americanized, becomes frustrated with Rodrigo because of his inability to quickly adapt to American culture. Rodrigo refuses to assimilate to the new way of life after a series of adverse and difficult encounters with mainstream America. As he turns eighteen years old, Rodrigo registers for the draft and gets ready to serve in the U.S. military. After heated and intense arguments between his parents about Rodrigo’s military duty, his parents send him back alone to Mexico City just as the Vietnam conflict starts.
Each year, the Professional Development Committee (PDC) calls for full- and part-time faculty of the year nominations. Nominees are invited to submit packets that conform to the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) Outstanding Faculty Member Award guidelines. PDC sub-committees then evaluate those packets and forward the winning names to the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. The sub-committees also forward the names of one full- and one part-time faculty to the ICCTA as nominees for their Outstanding Faculty Member Award. All honorees are recognized both by the Board of Trustees and at the Faculty Recognition Open House, which is typically held in April.
Faculty Lifetime Achievement Honoree
2017 Full-Time Faculty of the Year Honoree
2017 Adjunct Faculty of the Year Honoree
Emergency Medical Technology
2017 Adjunct Faculty of the Year Honoree