Parkland College Associate Professor Toni Burkhalter has been selected as winner of the school's 2016 Teaching Excellence Award.
Parkland's Professional Development Subcommittee for Faculty selects an annual winner for this prestigious recognition. Burkhalter, who teaches biology and kinesiology, is widely recognized on campus for her excellence and innovation in online education, having previously received the college's Online Teaching Excellence Award (2011) as well as the Outstanding Blended Course Award from the Instructional Technology Council (2006).
Since joining Parkland in 2004, Burkhalter has created course content that has benefited both Parkland students and the community, including "Fundamentals of Nutrition" (BIO 120). In addition to teaching courses in biology and kinesiology, she is a member of the Parkland College Speakers Bureau and presents in forums ranging from third-grade classrooms to elected officials in Springfield. She has been published in peer review journal articles and has received awards for curriculum design.
Her colleagues describe Burkhalter as an exceptional teacher, mentor, and faculty leader who not only embodies the spirit of the community college, but does so with tremendous energy and commitment to her students, according to Derrick Baker, director of Parkland's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. "Her colleagues not only speak highly of her dedication to her students but also of her commitment to serve by sharing her knowledge and speaking to a variety of community audiences," he said. "Colleagues also note her eagerness to continue her own path of lifelong learning."
Burkhalter has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Illinois. She was named one of Central Illinois Business Magazine’s "Forty Under 40" community leaders in 2014 and was named a Parkland Faculty Fellow in the University of Illinois Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership in 2007.