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Judi Cameron Named 2020 McHenry County College Full-Time Faculty of the Year

[Tuesday, June 30, 2020]

Anthropology instructor Judi Cameron was recently recognized as McHenry County College’s Full-Time Faculty Member of the Year for 2020. She was also selected as the College’s nominee for the Illinois Community College Trustees Association’s (ICCTA) 2020 Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member award. The award recipients, selected by peers, are chosen based on their commitment to teaching, contribution to the college community, and professional development. 

Cameron, who has been an instructor at MCC since 2000, currently teaches Introduction to Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, and Physical Anthropology and also serves as the College’s liaison for the Archaeology Field School run by Midwest Archaeological Services of Crystal Lake. 

“My goal is to make my students better citizens of the global community,” Cameron said. “Educating them about the cultural diversity that exists in the world helps them understand and appreciate that diversity—not judge it.” 

After earning her Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 1995, Cameron spent the first 10 years of her career working as a laboratory analyst for archaeological businesses while maintaining a part-time position as an instructor for a number of schools, including community colleges, in the Chicagoland area. While she very much enjoyed the research aspect of the field, as she reflected on her own experience as a first-generation, non-traditional student at a community college, she felt called to pursue teaching full-time. 

Throughout her career at MCC, Cameron has prioritized the ability to evolve her teaching strategies and incorporate a variety of hands-on exercises in her classes to engage students. For example, in Physical Anthropology, students conduct a forensic anthropology simulation where they are given a box of plastic casts that mimic human remains and asked to use those to identify basic features such as age, sex, stature, and ancestry. Students in other courses are invited to examine stone tools and fragments of pottery and asked to determine artifact types. 

“I have had the honor of witnessing many students overcome obstacles, successfully graduate and move on to the next stage of their life,” said Cameron of her time at the College. “I’ve watched single parents, student veterans who were dealing with service-related issues, first generation students, students who juggled full-time jobs and their education, and many others, complete their education here at MCC. I am so proud of them all.”

In addition to her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Arizona State, Cameron received her Associate in Arts from North Iowa Area Community College; a B.A. in Anthropology and Ancient Civilizations from the University of Iowa; and M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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