“These individuals complement the full-time faculty members on campus and add to the richness of the total experience,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “In this way, our students have the best of all worlds, with instruction in theory as well as its practical application.”
During spring semester 2014, there are 114 adjunct faculty members teaching classes on the Chillicothe Campus. The campus has approximately 30 full-time faculty members.
More than just practitioners in their own fields, the adjunct faculty members are skilled classroom teachers. Prior to each semester, the campus hosts an orientation session tailored toward the adjunct members to ensure they are aware of the resources available to them and to students, along with practical advice on topics such as constructing a syllabus and addressing students’ concerns. These sessions help to prepare the adjunct instructors for success and to integrate them as part of the campus’ learning community.
“Adjunct faculty members are critical to our success,” OU-C Associate Dean Brenda Phillips said. “Their practical experience along with their dedication to students is significant. They bring a clear and strong understanding of the uniqueness of our student body and are dedicated to helping them succeed. Our adjuncts also like to participate in campus events, and we are working to find additional ways to invite them to campus. We love having them with us.”
The adjunct faculty members take their roles seriously.
“I feel that adjunct faculty members are an asset to the university and our students’ preparation for ‘real life’ employment,” said Timothy Angel, Ph.D., who currently teaches courses in the Health Services Administration program. “Working professionals have the advantage of bringing real problems and situations into the classroom. The actual working environment does not always involve ‘textbook case’ problems, and adjunct faculty who can relate to those situations and convey them in a realistic fashion can have a dramatic impact on our students’ readiness for the workplace.”
Angel is health commissioner and chief executive officer with the Ross County Health District. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Charter Oak State College and his doctoral degree in biomedical sciences from Marshall University.
More than an instructor, Angel has served as a workplace mentor and supervisor to numerous OU-C students over the years. He has taken on several of the top students from his classes as interns, and four former Health Services Administration students who began as interns are currently full-time employees with the health district.
“The classes I teach serve as a foundation for recruiting possible interns,” Angel said. “I have high standards and they have to be high performers.”
As a practicing professional, Angel is able to prepare students for career success. “I have reviewed countless resumes, and I know what students need to set themselves apart from other applicants,” said Angel, who has been an adjunct faculty member on various campuses since 1983.
Pam Kraft has been teaching since 1998 and has been an OU-C adjunct faculty member in English since 2002. From that experience she understands the perspective and contributions of adjunct instructors.
“Most have had outside experience. For example, I started in the early childhood profession, working with preschool, elementary schools and Head Start,” she said. “From that background, I tend to have more empathy for students. Hopefully, we have more outside experience than full-time faculty members, and a focus on aspects other than writing and research.”
Kraft puts her perspective into practice in the classroom. “The way I teach a class, it is not just about English. Students need to be able to write, no matter what field they pursue, and I try to give them the skills they can use in their careers. More than just an understanding of the rules, I want them to be able to apply the theory.”
It is important to Kraft that her students bring their own unique background into the classroom. “I want our students to have well-rounded academic experiences. They have varied backgrounds, and I want them to share those experiences with their classmates.”
Kraft also served as a tutor in the writing center on the Athens campus of Ohio University for 15 years. In that role, she often worked with English as a Second Language (ESL) students, a pursuit she continues on the Chillicothe Campus. That experience continues to serve her well.
“Some of our students come from backgrounds where they do not hear English used correctly. I can use some of the same methods with our students that I use with the ESL students, and I have had several success stories.”
She earned her bachelor’s degree in specialized studies from Ohio University as an OU-C student and her master’s degree in English Language and Literature from the university. She notes that she was the first regional campus student accepted into that master’s degree program.
Ila Hennig brings a wealth of international travel and classroom experience to her role as an adjunct Spanish language instructor.
She has participated in study abroad trips to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Spain and France. Further, she has worked with Operation Smile in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, translating for surgeons as well as having spent a week at Prince of Peace Home for Girls in Guatemala City, Guatemala. This summer she will travel with doctors from Adena Health System to work with people on the Amazon River in Peru.
“It's a lot of work but we do it because we love what we teach and don't want to stop,” she said of her role as an adjunct faculty member. “I always share travel experiences with my students.”
Hennig was an international language teacher in area schools for more than 30 years, retiring in May 2013 after spending the last 23 years at Adena High School.
She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky and her master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Ashland University. Additionally, she has studied at Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores in Monterrey, Mexico and in Spain.