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JALC Welcomes New Faculty Members

Published on October 7, 2021

As John A. Logan College students returned to classes this fall, they were met by familiar and new faces. Seven new faculty members are among the new faces on campus. Their varied talents and expertise have been a welcome addition as the College has transitioned to face-to-face instruction.

New Hires from left to right: Wade Dover, Hannah Henson, Torrey Holland, Patrick Idzik, Sumar Kane, Connie Robinson, and Kara Starkweather
New Hires from left to right: Wade Dover, Hannah Henson, Torrey Holland, Patrick Idzik, Sumar Kane, Connie Robinson, and Kara Starkweather

“Our new faculty bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the College,” said Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs Dr. Stephanie Hartford. “They are all student-centered and strive to help each other be successful.”

Wade Dover joined the Applied Technologies Department as a Construction Management Instructor. A 1999 graduate of SIU, he previously taught in Massac County. In addition to teaching, he has an extensive background as a private contractor.

“I am excited about this opportunity where I get to combine my two passions of construction and teaching in the Applied Technologies Department at JALC,” said Dover.

Dr. Hanna Henson grew up in Marion and has returned to the region after studying and working in Tennessee and  Kentucky. She has studied at Tennessee Health Science Center and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, focusing on Cancer and Developmental Biology. After graduate school, she worked in the Research Lab at the University of Kentucky. During that time, she was also an adjunct professor at a small college.

“The experience as an adjunct faculty member confirmed my desire to pursue a career in higher education,” said Henson. “I found just how much I enjoy helping students discover their gifts and talents.”

Prior to joining the faculty at JALC, Henson spent five years at her alma mater, Union University, where she taught biology.

“I am thoroughly enjoying my first semester at JALC. I am thankful to have a position that allows me to focus on teaching and interacting with students from the same region where I was born and raised.”

Torrey Holland joins Henson in the Life and Physical Science Department as an Instructor of Physics. Holland graduated from SIUE with a bachelor’s degree in Physics and two Master’s degrees in Physics and Teaching. He is currently completing additional graduate studies at SIUC, including research in applied spectroscopy.

“I like seeing the light go on when someone realizes something about the world around them for the first time,” said Holland. “I am enjoying getting to know the students and watching them as they discover new things about their environment.”

Kara Starkweather has also joined the Physical and Life Science Department. She previously taught Anatomy and Physiology at JALC as an adjunct instructor and Physiology and Cadaver Labs at SIUC. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Physiology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology from SIUC, she continued her graduate studies at SIUC with a Master’s degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Systemic Physiology with a Certificate in Anatomy.

According to Starkweather, JALC is the perfect place to both teach and learn.

“From the moment I walked on campus, I immediately felt welcome and at home. The faculty and staff were so welcoming, supportive, and open to new ideas,” said Starkweather. “The diversity of backgrounds of each student has challenged me as a teacher and has allowed me to learn and be creative in my teaching methods.”

While not a new face to JALC, Connie Robinson is now the Cosmetology Coordinator after ten years as an Adjunct Instructor and two years as a Full-Time Instructor in the Cosmetology program.

Robinson has loved teaching at JALC and is eager for the challenges of her new position.

“I love teaching at JALC, it can be challenging at times, but that makes me stronger and more eager to succeed,” said Robinson. “I also love working with all of our students from various backgrounds so that everyone who participates with us feels welcome, comfortable, and accepted.”

Nursing Instructor Sumar Kane completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology from SIUC, intending to pursue a career in Forensic Science. While completing her degree, she began to become more interested in medicine.  She decided to pursue a career in nursing and enrolled in the LPN program at JALC, graduating with her ADN in 2013.

After graduation, she worked at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale. During her time at the hospital, she discovered how much she enjoyed working as a preceptor with new nurses. She enjoyed training other nurses so much that she continued to work as a full-time RN while completing her BSN and MSN degrees with the goal of teaching.

“I knew early on in my career that I had a desire to teach,” said Kane. “I am thankful for the opportunity to join the outstanding Nursing faculty at JALC to help train the next generation of Nurses.”

Pat Idzik is a Chicago native that has been teaching communications since 2017.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Idzik hopes to bring energy and a penchant for some difficult conversations to the classroom. Idzik enjoys working on articles and research that focuses on fear appeal use in communication, gender roles, and the effects of the media.

“I have always been curious about things like groupthink, persuasion, deception, and other societal components that we enact as a culture but sometimes don’t reflect on,” said Idzik. “My experiences inspired these interests in grad school, and I hope that I can inspire others to reconsider societal norms, or at least have them ask more questions.” With the fall semester in full swing at John A. Logan College, registration for the second half block schedule classes begins on November 1. To find courses taught by these and other talented instructors at John A. Logan College, visit