A passion for teaching, expertise in their subject matter and drive to help their students succeed are what made Chantay White-Williams and Belle Hamm the obvious choices for the Southwestern Illinois College full- and part-time Faculty Members of the Year Awards, respectively.
White-Williams is a full-time SWIC Associate Professor of English whose academic career has spanned more than 16 years. She embraces the culture of all students and uses creative and diverse material when teaching English and literature courses. White-Williams is a champion for underrepresented students. She developed and launched a course on African-American literature, has advocated to offer minority students more student-centered programming and also rallied to acquire special seating and software updates in computer classrooms for students needing accommodations.
She served as the English and Film Department Chair from 2012-2016;
served as the Two-Year College English Association 2016 Midwest Conference chairperson; helped establish the Committee on Race and Ethnicity; hosted and assisted in the planning of the English Department’s conference on their Accelerated Learning Program; previously worked as the Computer-Assisted Instruction Coordinator in charge of the computer labs in the Liberal Arts Building; and received the English and Film Department Wonder Women Award while serving as the department chair.
“SWIC has a great many faculty who serve our students and our larger community in an exemplary fashion; however, White-Williams does it in a way that is consistent, year after year, with a thoughtful approach,” said SWIC English and Film Department Chair Steve Moiles. “The college is fortunate to have her in our ranks.”
When she isn’t teaching, White-Williams enjoys reading, volunteering with the Madison County Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and spending time with her family. She also loves all things Star Trek.
She earned her Bachelor and Master of Arts from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and is a member of the National Association of Developmental Education, National Council of Teachers of English and International Literacy Association and the Alpha Kappa Sorority-Upsilon Phi Omega chapter.
White-Williams currently lives in St. Louis City and has three sons, Marquis, Jonathan, and Jalyn; and two grandchildren, Jonathan, Jr. and Brooklynn.
Hamm is a part-time Adult Education Instructor who has been with SWIC since 2014. She is always eager to help students realize their potential. Hamm makes it a priority to establish a safe, non-judgmental environment within the classroom which helps nurture learning and self-esteem. She also takes into consideration the mental health and special needs of her students.
Hamm goes above and beyond to help her students succeed. Her extra measures include: individualized instruction, special testing accommodations, finding third-party financial resources, scheduling advocates to assist students in their daily living and medical needs, plus being available outside of classroom hours to meet with learners
Hamm has served as a High School Equivalency instructor at the SWIC Red Bud Campus, has become a certified Standard Proficient instructor by the Illinois Community College Board, trained new instructional personnel, established quality services within the Randolph County area and has become well-known as a community leader and resource for her students and community. It is Hamm’s personal mission to serve others and has proven she truly is making a difference in her students’ lives.
“My teaching philosophy is to show students the potential I see in them, even if they don’t see it in themselves and to give them a reason to be proud of themselves,” said Hamm. “I always strive to look for a reason to tell a student I am proud of them because many of our students have never had someone to express pride in them. As a result, I have been able to establish a safe classroom environment and a good rapport with students because they know I truly care about what happens to them in and out of the classroom.”
In her free time, Hamm enjoys volunteering at nursing homes, crafting, crocheting and spending time with her two Yorkies, Ollie and Sophie.
She earned a Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is Middle School Certified in Language Arts K-9 and Mathematics K-9 and has her Standard Proficient Math Certification.
Hamm and her husband, Kelly, live in Sparta. They have two children, Grace and Luke.
White-Williams and Hamm were 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.
For more information about SWIC visit swic.edu.