Last week I received an email from one of our graduates, Dan Rodawold.
Before I read his email, I would like to share Dan’s story to illustrate the many ways COD faculty contribute to student success. Dan came to the college as a Presidential Scholar who was attracted to us for financial reasons. Beyond being a good student, Dan took advantage of the many opportunities COD faculty have created for our students. We provided him experiences that exceeded those he would have had in the first two years at most 4 year universities.
These opportunities were available to Dan because faculty worked to make them available.
Because we work with local high schools, Dan came to COD having already received dual credit for his High School CAD drafting class.
Because our faculty wrote a grant proposal and secured funding to create a summer design-build studio, Dan was able to participate in this opportunity. In this class, Dan and his peers worked with clients, the village of Glen Ellyn, and college officials to design and construct a pavilion for the Fuel Garden. You can see it on the south side of the Health Sciences Building.
Our architecture faculty are involved on the national level with the Coalition of Community College Architecture Programs. One of our faculty members is a founding member of the coalition and is currently serving as vice president of the organization. Another member of our faculty received the coalition’s outstanding faculty award in 2018. Because of this work by our faculty, Dan had the opportunity to submit a design for the CCCAP 2019 Student Design Competition in which he received an honorable mention. It was the third time our students have participated in this national competition and Dan was the third student to receive an award.
Our faculty create transfer opportunities for our students. Dan first came to COD intending to transfer to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a school we have a strong transfer relationship with. Dan was able to visit the campus with one of our faculty members who is routinely invited to be a guest studio juror. Next, Dan though he wanted to transfer to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, another school we have developed a transfer agreement with. Finally, after attending a college event in Chicago with over 60 University Architecture programs in attendance, Dan decided to transfer to Ball State University. Our faculty have been members of the organizing committee for this event for over 15 years, and it is because of the work of our faculty that Dan had many options to consider for transfer.
Dan had opportunities to succeed here because of the work we do. Our faculty secured funding for the design-build project. We participate in national organizations. We are advisors for clubs. We develop relationships with universities and high schools. We organize advising and outreach. And we create innovate curriculum. We do these things because we are highly qualified education professionals. We do these things because it is the right thing to do for our students, not because it’s on a list of duties written by an administrator at a school in Ohio.
Dan’s email reads:
Hi Mark and Jane,
I am sitting in studio right now working on our first project and figured I’d email you guys and let you know how Ball State has been so far! The transition has been extremely easy, and I don’t feel the least bit behind any of my peers here. Actually most of them are very impressed with the work in my portfolio and are often asking me for help with things.
On that note, the preparation and knowledge we received at COD regarding anything from design to programs have been amazing tools that not everyone here knows super well, I’m actually teaching a large majority of the studio how to use Revit when I can.
My studio is currently working on a mixed-use building in Brooklyn that should address social and economic issues such as gentrification and community within the neighborhood. Hopefully when I come home for fall break I’ll be able to stop by the studios.
Dan’s story is not unique. The faculty members in this room could likely share thousands of stories just like Dan’s. There are countless examples of COD students being well served because of the opportunities faculty create for our students.
Our work is student success! And we deserve a fair contract because our students matter, and because teaching matters.