Jane Vatchev Named College of DuPage Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member

News Direct

May 27, 2022

–News Direct–

College of DuPage Physical Education Assistant Professor Jane Vatchev is the College-Wide Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Representing the Physical Education, Social/Behavioral Sciences and the Library Division, Vatchev will receive a $1,000 award from the College of DuPage Office of the Provost, which annually recognizes outstanding teaching achievement.

Vatchev said she is honored to receive the recognition at an organization filled with talented educators.

“The past recipients of this honor have been excellent teachers so to be considered amongst that group is overwhelming and humbling,” she said. “This recognition truly reflects my entire department’s hard work and dedication. I feel blessed that I get to do what I’m passionate about every day with colleagues and students who inspire me.”

Sports has always been a part of Vatchev’s life.

“I grew up in an athletic family with three competitive brothers and a dad who was an amazing basketball player and golfer,” she said. “I also knew from about the age of 5 that I wanted to be a teacher. Combining those two passions was an obvious choice.”

Her 37-year physical education teaching career started at John Deere Middle School in Moline, then as a graduate assistant at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she earned her master’s degree. Moving back to the Chicago area, Vatchev was an adjunct faculty member at Lewis University, where she coached full time; taught at Walther Lutheran High School in Melrose Park; and became a full-time faculty member at College of DuPage, where she has been for 22 years.

Vatchev’s focal point of teaching is centered in the word “passion.”

“I love the connection with students—the instilling of knowledge about themselves, the subject and how it connects to their future,” she said. “There is such great satisfaction when you know that students have learned and grown through the process of your time together. My goal is to light a fire in each of my students and help them find what they love.”

Vatchev connects to students in the classroom by sharing stories that bring the subject matter to life. She creates real life projects and assignments, hoping to spark in them the passion of their future career.

COD President Dr. Brian Caputo enthusiastically endorsed Professor Vatchev’s selection for the honor.

“Jane is one of the most talented and effective faculty members on a campus that is replete with exceptionally skilled professors,” he said. “Unquestionably, she is a fantastic choice for this year’s award.”

In addition to teaching, Vatchev was the head COD men’s and women’s track and field coach for 13 years, and her teams won eight National Junior College Athletic Association National Championships (four men and four women), while 118 athletes were individual NJCAA National Champions and 220 athletes became NJCAA All-Americans.

In 2017, Vatchev developed the COD Athletic Hall of Fame to honor student athletes, coaches, and support staff whose actions and achievement in their sport brought distinction to the College.

“We’ve had so many talented past athletes and coaches at COD, and I wanted to honor that,” she said. “It has been a joy to see that come to fruition.”

As an educator, Vatchev said she is always learning and growing.

“I’m constantly asking for feedback in everything I do because I want to be the best educator I can be,” she said. “One of the things I’m reminded, especially during COVID, is that my students have so much more going on than what’s in the classroom. Maybe they are struggling with illness or family issues, and we need to show compassion and understanding.”

Looking forward, Vatchev is energized about the future of COD’s Physical Education, Fitness and Sports Studies program, including developing more articulation agreements for students.

“We are really excited about our PE articulation agreements, like our new 2+2 in Athletic Training with Aurora University,” she said. “We now have other schools seeking us out for partnership. At the end of the day, I will continue to inspire students to take their education as far as they can.”


Contact Details

Jennifer Duda

+1 773-490-4077

dudajen@cod.edu

View source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/jane-vatchev-named-college-of-dupage-outstanding-full-time-faculty-member-377486958

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