I am Tauya Forst, an attorney by trade, but a Criminal Justice educator by choice!
They are why we rise 1-3 hours early to complete work at home prior to coming to the college and why we stay up late doing the same. Students are why we are connected to our email and Blackboard while preparing dinner, enjoying cultural events and spending time with our loved ones.
COD faculty have students’ dreams, thoughts, struggles, victories, arrests, and comprehensions ever before us.
Being a professor is not a job… It is a calling which requires complete dedication that supersedes any position I previously held, and I worked on a death penalty case. It challenges me in ways that I could have only dreamed of, but it continues to provide growth in areas which may have been blind to me.
Achieving the COD mission of excellence in teaching and learning requires a collaborative respectful COD team (Board of Trustees, Administrators, Faculty, Staff, and Community Stakeholders). I enumerate each group to remind us not of our differences, but that we are all educators modeling behavior for and with our students. They look to us for guidance and emulate our methods. If COD stakeholders refuse to value its faculty, what behavior are they modeling for our STUDENTS?
How have I seen the college’s excellence in teaching and learning exhibited?
In the Addison model where faculty Bob Clark, Ken Gray and I created success curriculum for the Project Hire-Ed Orientation.
In Elmhurst Citizens Police Academy where (as requested by a student) my husband Richard and I presented legal and emotional aspects of Intimate Partner Violence.
In the classroom, watching students dissect, define, and challenge the Constitution.
Finally, in Barrington where our students were US Supreme Court Justices O’Connor, Ginsberg (the Notorious RBG), Sotomayor and Kagan – seriously…our students, Irene, Aneekha, and Maria literally became these justices as they put on their black robes and told the stories of four remarkable women. After witnessing these students, I am encouraged to keep loving and doing what I have been blessed to do – teach and learn! Because after all putting students first means that all COD stakeholders must highly respect and value faculty.
Therefore, STUDENTS Matter so FACULTY should matter.