Ivy Tech Community College-Wabash Valley recently named Cathy Cole, assistant professor of education and program chair, as its President's Award winner for Excellence in Instruction for the Wabash Valley Region.
She will be recognized along with 13 other regional winners for 2010-2011 at a ceremony in Indianapolis at a later date. This honor places her in contention for the Glenn W. Sample Award for Excellence in Instruction, Ivy Tech's highest honor for a faculty member.
"I truly appreciate this recognition. I am honored because I know that there were other outstanding candidates nominated for this prestigious award," Cole said.
Cole joined the Ivy Tech faculty in 2006, starting as an instructor and advancing to program chair and assistant professor. Her first challenge at Ivy Tech was to create a new program in Elementary Education.
Cole accomplished this goal and along the way has grown course offerings from four to 12 and has seen tremendous growth in the program.
A native of Ohio, Cole taught the first, third and eighth grades in her 14-year teaching career in her home state prior to coming to Ivy Tech. She holds an associate degree from Muskingum Area Technical College in Ohio and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Muskingum College. Cole also has a Master of Arts in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College in Michigan.
At Ivy Tech, Cole started the Student Education Association three years ago and is in her third year as a member of Faculty Senate. She has served on various local and statewide committees as program chair and has helped write articulation agreements for education programs between Ivy Tech and Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College and Indiana State University.
In the community, Cole is a member of the Wabash Valley Literacy Coalition. Its purpose is to improve literacy in the Wabash Valley so that people can lead healthier, more financially secure and independent lives.
A testament to Cole's influence is the success of the Ivy Tech students who have been members of the Student Education Association that she founded. One is currently president of the Indiana Student Education Association and travels extensively for the statewide organization. Another is the former recipient of the C. Houston Isaacs Award and is currently completing her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Saint Mary-of-the Woods College. Last year, this individual also won the statewide award for excellence in the postsecondary student category from the Indiana Association for Career and Technical Education. Both former students are in leadership roles and both speak highly of Cole as a mentor and friend.
Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.