A love of
teaching, expertise in their subject matter and attention to students’ needs
are what made Jean Deitz and Helen Thomas the obvious choices for the
Southwestern Illinois College full- and part-time faculty members of the year
Deitz, the Medical
Laboratory Technology program coordinator, began teaching Medical Assistant
courses in 1990, then expanded to teaching MLT courses in 1993. She has served
as MLT coordinator since 1998.
“Students come to class
knowing that I will treat them with respect, that I will help them equally,
whether they are my strongest or my weakest student,” Deitz said.
In addition to serving
as program coordinator, Deitz also teaches Introduction to the Clinical
Laboratory, Coagulation, Microbiology, Clinical Microscopy classes; and
oversees two MLT clinical courses and a Phlebotomy Certificate clinical course.
On her own time, she
picks up pathology specimens from local hospitals so her students have
real-life specimens to work with in the labs. Also, Deitz has developed
instructional videos in which she demonstrates procedures so students can watch
and learn before hands-on practice in the lab.
Graduate Leslie Miller
of Troy said: “I have been to three different colleges and no other teacher was
ever more caring about her students or more passionate about her program. I
wish I could have her for the rest of my education.”
Deitz earned Associate
in Arts and Science degrees from Belleville Area College, a Bachelor of Science
in Biology with Medical Technology and a Master of Science in Education, both
from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and a Master of Arts in Education
from Lindenwood University.
She and her husband,
Rob, live in Belleville. They have two children, Nicole and Daniel; three
grandsons; and one granddaughter on the way.
Thomas is known among
her students for making computer programming fun.
She began her career at
SWIC as a student worker in 1998 and worked at several different positions at
the college before landing her current role in 2006 as an adjunct faculty
member in the Business Division teaching Computer Information Systems courses.
“I try to
make learning fun by being enthusiastic and happy to be there!” Thomas said.
“Sometimes I will have students shout out ideas for a program and we as a class
choose one of the ideas and build a program around it. They really seem to
enjoy that activity.”
currently teaches Java Programming I, Web Site Development - PHP, Visual Basic Programming
II, Python and Introduction to Information Technology courses.
addition, she makes herself available to tutor students before and after class
and frequently attends faculty development workshops to stay up-to-date on
“Helen Thomas represents the finest traditions
of the community college education,” said Graphic Communications and Web
Coordinator Nikki Hensley. “She takes students as they are and helps them get
were they want to be.”
Thomas earned Associate in Arts and Science degrees from SWIC; a
Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems, a Master of Science in
Management Information Systems and a Master of Science in Business Administration,
all from SIUE.
She and her husband, Eddie, live in Granite City. They have two
daughters, Linda McMillan and Nicole Thomas-Hobbs, and five grandchildren.
Deitz and Thomas are also nominated by
the college for the Illinois Community College Trustee Association’s
Outstanding Full-time and Part-time Faculty Member of the Year honors. Winners
will be announced in June.
more information about the Medical Laboratory Technology and Computer
Information Systems programs, visit swic.edu.