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MCC Names Sarah Sullivan Faculty Member of the Year

[Tuesday, May 9, 2017]


Sarah Sullivan

McHenry County College history instructor Sarah Sullivan strives to teach critical thinking, information literacy, verbal and communication skills and how to discern perspective through her history classes. She creates a classroom environment that encourages participation and enthusiasm.

Her commitment to her students and colleagues has earned her the distinction of being selected MCC’s nominee for the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) 2017 Outstanding Full-Time Faculty member award and MCC’s Full-Time Faculty of the Year for 2017.

She will be honored for her exceptional accomplishments, along with other instructors throughout the state, at the ICCTA annual awards banquet on June 2 in Normal, when a state winner will be named.

Sullivan has taught at MCC for 20 years, including 18 years as a business instructor and the last two years as a history instructor. Along with teaching and serving as department chair of History, Political Science and Economics, she is chair of MCC’s Faculty Council.

She developed innovative instructional strategies, including a series of activities that address historical topics, such as civil rights, impeachments and events of genocide. Students work through these materials in a lab environment and produce a paper that synthesizes a variety of sources to answer several open-ended question. She said these activities facilitate a deeper comprehension of course content.

She has initiated an innovative women’s history month presentation model that allows multiple students to work with her to research elements of a historical topic to women, then present their research at a women’s history month event on campus.

This past year, she has presented two community lectures on the life of Alexander

Hamilton and one titled Civics 101.

In addition to classroom teaching, she has developed several innovative programs at MCC, including the Construction Applications Program by working with a group of industry professionals to create courses addressing a variety of technical skills, coordinating with the International Code Council to become the first certification testing site in the Midwest.

“I love what I do, and truly enjoy being a part of the McHenry County College community,” Sullivan said. “It’s a tremendous challenge to make history exciting and relevant, and I have fun with this opportunity every day. I’m very grateful to my colleagues for choosing me for this honor.”

Outside of the classroom, Sullivan has given presentations at state and national conferences. She also participated on the Bellwether Finalist award and ICCB recognition award for quality and innovative education teams. She is a panelist for the MHC State’s Attorney’s office First Offender program and is a volunteer for Boy Scout Pack 347 and Crystal Lake school districts 47 and 155.

Sullivan earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Illinois University and her two Master of Arts degrees from Webster University and from the American Military University.

Sullivan lives in Crystal Lake with her husband and three children.

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