CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Prairie State College recently announced that five faculty members met the college's expectations for tenure, including commitment to student success, collaboration with their peers, and dedication to the college's mission and core values. The announcement was made at the February board of trustees meeting. The tenure is effective in August.
Awarded tenure were Cynthia Cornejo, assistant professor of psychology; Christina Galassi, assistant professor of nursing; Erica Lannan, assistant professor of biology; Medhat Shaibat, assistant professor of chemistry; and Justin Vidovic, assistant professor of English.
Marie Hansel, vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty, who recommended the five for tenure, says each one was selected from a highly qualified pool of candidates during the hiring process, and was mentored by the tenure process. Elements of the PSC tenure process include review by a peer committee of tenured faculty, student evaluations, deans' reviews, and classroom visits. Prior to being awarded tenure, the faculty candidates also prepare an extensive teaching portfolio.
Cornejo joined the PSC faculty, teaching psychology, in July 2011. At PSC, she is responsible for starting a new chapter of Psi Beta, the honors organization for high achieving psychology students.
Before coming to PSC, Cornejo was a part-time faculty member in the Department of Psychology in the College of Health Sciences at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. She also has served on the adjunct faculty and as a teaching assistant with the Illinois School of Professional Psychology/Argosy University – Schaumburg Campus. In addition to her teaching experience, Cornejo also served as a mental health counselor with Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital in Hoffman Estates, a psychotherapist with the Hoffman Estates Department of Health and Human Services, an applied behavioral analysis therapist in Bartlett, coordinator of the Child/Adolescent Partial & Intensive Outpatient Hospital Programs with Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, maintained a private psychotherapy/consultant practice in Schaumburg, and worked with anti-violence/socio-emotional programming for inner city youth at Nash Elementary School in Chicago.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and a master’s degree and PsyD degree from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology/Argosy University Rolling Meadows Campus.
Galassi joined the PSC faculty in June 2011, teaching nursing. Since coming to PSC, she assisted the nursing department with preparing for and successfully completing the NLNAC re-accreditation process in 2013. She also has taken on responsibility for the Nursing Club as its freshman-level faculty liaison, and has served on the pinning ceremony committee.
Before coming to PSC, Galassi was a staff nurse and then instructor in nursing education at Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights. She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing, the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses, and the Illinois Nurses Association.
She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing from Lewis University in Romeoville.
Lannan came to PSC in August 2011, teaching biology. She is instrumental in initiating undergraduate research opportunities for her students, and one of them won first place at the STEM Skyway competition in 2013. She also is project director of the PBI-Bioscience Grant awarded by the Department of Education.
Before coming to PSC, Lannan was a guest lecturer for graduate genetics at North Carolina Central University. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she taught a bacteriology lab course for microbiology majors, was a teaching assistant for pathogenic microbiology, and was a volunteer mentor for Ways of Knowing Biology, a freshman honors biology course.
She has a bachelor’s degree in genetics from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Shaibat joined the PSC faculty in May 2009, teaching chemistry. He is the mentor for the Peer-Led Team Learning leaders through the PBI- Systemic Change Grant. From his first semester, he has conducted undergraduate research with some of his chemistry students. He also was the initiator of the Student Showcase held at the end of each semester as a way for students to share their findings with the PSC community.
Before coming to PSC, Shaibat taught general chemistry and principles of chemistry and science foundation at Aurora University, and was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
He has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Al-Quds University in Abu-Dies, West Bank, a master’s degree in chemistry from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Vidovic joined the PSC faculty in July 2011, teaching English. In 2013, he started a new Writing Center for students, and was appointed as director.
Before coming to PSC, Vidovic was an adjunct instructor in the English departments at Truman College and Wright College. At Wayne State University, he also held positions as Writing Center tutor, assistant to the Writing Center director, English proficiency exam adviser, computers and writing graduate teaching assistant, and English instructor. He was an instructional assistant at Oakland Community College, and an instructor at both the Reader’s Theater at the Hannan House Senior Center and the After School Literacy Program at Pelahm Middle School in Detroit, Mich. He also has served as a mentor to students working on research grants.
He has bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and urban studies from Wayne State University in Detroit. He also received a master’s degree in English and a Ph.D. in English from Wayne State University.
"PSC only tenures outstanding and exceptional faculty members because of our tenure process," Hansel said. "The tenure committee praised each of these faculty members’ organization skills, ability to encourage students to participate in a way that fosters mutual respect, commitment to education, and contributions to the college," she added.