Published on June 9, 2022
Associate Professor of Mathematics Joseph Dethrow has been selected as the 2022 Outstanding Faculty member, and Gretchen Cudworth, a Humanities Instructor, has been named the 2022 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member.
Joe Dethrow has been a full-time faculty member at John A. Logan College since 2005. He has an Associate in Science and an Associate in Arts from Southwestern Illinois College, a Bachelor of Science with a major in Mathematics Education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and a Master of Science in Mathematics from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He is active in the Illinois Mathematics Association of Community Colleges (IMACC) and was recently elected to serve on the organization’s board of directors. He also participates in the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).
Gretchen Cudworth has a Bachelor of Arts in Art from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and a Master of Arts in Art History from The University of Alabama. She has been an adjunct faculty member at John A. Logan College since August 2009. In addition to teaching art classes, she has served as the Dual Credit Liaison for the past four years. In 2021, she taught art as part of a collaborative STEAM camp for 10–12-year-olds. In 2019, she organized a renovation of the art facilities at JALC and hosted an unveiling for local high school students in 2020. She is also currently serving as the new faculty mentor in the art department.
According to Provost Dr. Melanie Pecord, both instructors have similar classroom philosophies despite the content differences.
“Joe’s classroom is an environment open to questions and exploration,” said Pecord. “He has created guided notebooks for his classes, embedding links to videos and other external resources so his students can focus on the class discussion, discovering the concepts, practicing the skills, and applying the theory.”
“Grethen continually seeks resources to keep her course content relevant and engaging,” added Pecord. “She has accomplished this through constant research and keeping an open communication line with colleagues and students.”
For Cudworth, teaching is about continually learning.
“The thing I love about teaching is that I get to keep learning and that I get to see how my students view art, either their art or studying someone else’s art. They (her students) make me see the world in a new way.“
Dethrow loves seeing students who don’t think they like math begin to like math, and students that are good at math will be challenged and rise to the occasion.
“I have had the opportunity to work with so many students that have thought that they were done with math and then discover that they have opportunities and that math can help open those doors,” said Dethrow. “That is what I love about a community college because they have the opportunity to explore their options and experiment with classes and majors. Helping students navigate those options is probably one of the best things of my career.” Both instructors were recently honored at commencement and will receive their awards at the ICCTA Awards Banquet in Chicago on June 10.