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Communications Instructor Cornelius Fair Named JALC Adjunct Faculty of the Year

Published on May 15, 2024

Cornelius Fair

John A. Logan College proudly announces the College’s 2024 ICCTA Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member Award recipient. Cornelius Fair, an esteemed educator and dedicated member of the John A. Logan College community, has been recognized for his exceptional contributions to the institution’s academic excellence and commitment to student success.

Mr. Fair’s passion for teaching and mentorship has been demonstrated through his outstanding leadership and innovation as an adjunct faculty member at John A. Logan College. His tireless dedication to fostering a dynamic learning environment, coupled with his ability to engage and inspire students, has significantly impacted the educational experience at the College.

“We are thrilled to honor Cornelius Fair with the Adjunct Faculty Member Award,” said Dr. Kirk Overstreet, President of John A. Logan College. “His unwavering commitment to our students and his innovative approach to teaching exemplify our mission of enriching lives through learning and community engagement. Cornelius’s contributions have enriched the academic community and positively influenced the lives of his students.”

Overstreet added that Fair’s dedication and commitment to his students makes him stand out.

“Throughout his tenure at John A. Logan College, he has consistently demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. His passion for his subject matter and his dedication to student success have earned him the admiration and respect of his colleagues and students alike.”

Cornelius Fair, a native of Mississippi, is a proud alumnus of Jackson State University. He holds a master’s degree from Western Michigan University. Currently, he is pursuing his doctoral studies at Southern Illinois University.

Despite calling southern Illinois home for nearly two decades, it was his time as a youth in Mississippi that he witnessed firsthand the transformative power of education.

“For me, education emerged as the beacon of hope, countering the shadows cast by Mississippi’s complex past,” said Fair. Surrounded by educated Black role models, I witnessed firsthand the tangible manifestations of success.”

It is those experiences that have influenced his teaching philosophy.

“At the core of my teaching philosophy lies a commitment to empowering students to interrogate their beliefs, challenge assumptions, and embrace diverse perspectives. I urge them to transcend the confines of conventional wisdom, embarking on a journey of self-discovery where the diversity of truths coexists.”

In addition to teaching, he serves on the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and Shared Governance Council. He has assisted with the college’s newly formed speech and debate team and regularly attends JALC athletic events. He has helped organize successful events on campus, including the 2023 Juneteenth commemoration and other student life events, where he has served as emcee.

He attends professional development opportunities hosted at the college and, this past year, along with other JALC Faculty, presented at the Illinois Communication and Theater Association annual conference and the Central States Communication Association conference last month.

The Illinois Community College Trustees Association sponsors the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member Award. It recognizes outstanding adjunct faculty members who have made significant contributions to the academic community at Illinois Community Colleges. Cornelious Fair’s exceptional achievements and dedication to excellence embody the spirit of this award, and he serves as a role model for faculty members across the institution and state.

Cornelius Fair considers teaching at John A. Logan College a privilege, a privilege that his students have benefited from.

“I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Fair. “Teaching at John A. Logan College has been a privilege, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such talented and motivated students. I am committed to inspiring and empowering the next generation of leaders.”

He will be recognized at the College’s graduation ceremonies on Friday, May 17, and at the ICCTA Annual Meeting in June, where the statewide winner will be announced.

Cornelius Fair standing next to brick wall