North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central faculty and staff honored for outstanding service

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Contact: Nancy Dunker, Associate Director of Public Relations, 630-637-5306

June 8, 2010--Five North Central College faculty and administrative staff members are being honored for outstanding teaching, scholarship and service.

The College presents endowed awards established in memory of two North Central College alumni--Clarence F. Dissinger, Class of 1921, and his sister, Ruth C. Dissinger Althaus, Class of 1922--to recognize teaching, leadership and administrative service "above and beyond the call of duty." With the exception of the scholarship prize, awards are based on student, faculty and staff nominations.

The staff award recipients are:

• Peter Barger, a resident of Aurora, received the $2,500 Ruth C. Dissinger Memorial Award for Outstanding Administrative Manager. He was coordinator of North Central's 2010 Institutional Self-Study and led the effort to gain reaccreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. In addition, he is director of institutional assessment and accreditation, dean of graduate and continuing education and professor of economics and finance. He has served North Central since 1989 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

• Cheryl Horton, a Naperville resident, received the $2,500 Ruth C. Dissinger Memorial Award for Outstanding Administrative Support Staff. She has served as an academic affairs secretary since 2006 and received her B.A. in marketing from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. One nominator said, "She is very much the ‘face' of North Central College to prospective faculty."

The faculty award recipients are:

• Heather Coon, a Naperville resident and tenured associate professor of psychology, received the $2,500 Clarence F. Dissinger Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching by Senior Faculty. A faculty member since 2000, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. A nominator said, she is "one of the most involved professors that I have ever seen on campus with students ... one of the most influential people in my life."

• William Muck, a resident of Naperville and assistant professor of political science, received the $2,500 Clarence F. Dissinger Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching by Junior Faculty. A faculty member since 2008, he holds a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. A nominator said, his "enthusiasm is highly unparalleled, always energetic and engaging ... genuinely interested and excited about the topics he teaches."

• Paloma Martinez-Cruz, a Chicago resident and assistant professor of Spanish, was awarded the $1,000 Clarence F. Dissinger Award for Faculty Scholarship. The award recognizes Martinez-Cruz for her manuscript, "From East L.A. to Anahuac: Women and Knowledge in Mesoamerica," which has received glowing reviews and is due in October. She holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York City.

Founded in 1861, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in Naperville, Ill., North Central is recognized as one of "America's Best Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report, which cites it as one of the top six schools in the Midwest for "Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching"; as "a college for high-achieving students" by Peterson's Competitive Colleges; and as one of "America's Best Colleges" by Forbes.

06-07-2010