Leadership award for outstanding adjunct faculty

The Parkland College Leadership Award for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty is presented each year to a part-time faculty member who has taught at the college for a minimum of four semesters and has created a successful learning environment for their students, participated in the college community, helped to innovate their program, and demonstrated a commitment to professional development.

2023 Leadership Award for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty

Virginia Lehmann, Chemistry Instructor in the Natural Sciences department, is the recipient of the 2023 Parkland College Leadership Award for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty.

Virginia has been a part-time instructor teaching several different chemistry courses since 2006. Virginia sees herself as a catalyst for student learning and works to create an environment where students can learn. She believes in the importance of getting to know her students so that she can discover what they already know to fill in gaps and provide a safe environment in which they can learn. Virginia also strives to make learning chemistry meaningful to them by showing them its relevance in their daily lives. She has adopted mastery learning in her classes to improve student learning and to diminish students’ fear of failure. 

Virginia has also been involved in improving chemistry courses by creating new instruction materials that have been adopted by other instructors. She is also working with Christina Beatty to implement a form of mastery learning called “specification grading.” Virginia also helped with lab revisions in several courses and led a review of the chemicals used in organic chemistry labs. This allowed for the removal of hazardous chemicals and their replacement with safer alternatives, creating a safer environment for students and faculty.

During her time at Parkland, Virginia has been an active participant in the Natural Sciences Department and the Chemistry Area. She has also participated in CETL workshops and EDU classes. Virginia recently completed a certificate program for online teaching. She has made many meaningful contributions to Parkland College and its students.

Past Winners

2022 Winner: Michelle Dallmier

Michelle Dallmier


Michelle has been a part-time instructor in various biology courses in Parkland’s Natural Sciences department, including BIO 104: Environmental Science and Sustainability and BIO 100: Introduction to Biology, since 2019. As a relatively new instructor, she invested time and energy in creating video content and finding relevant supporting resources online when instruction moved to fully remote at the start of the pandemic.

Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and a master’s degree in Toxicology and Fisheries Biology from Iowa State University.

Michelle worked as an assistant in the Instructional Materials Center for the Natural Sciences and Health Professions departments for six and a half years. In that capacity, she prepared lab materials and created lab kits for online lab class. She has also participated in Sustainability Club activities and completed Parkland’s Ally Training program.

2021 Winner: Nancy Roth

Nancy Roth


Nancy began teaching at Parkland in 2013 and has been recognized as a member of Parkland’s Faculty Academy, submitting records for the required hours of professional development, and she has completed coursework to earn campus certification in online teaching.

Nancy has a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Master’s degree in education from Concordia University -Portland.

Among her accomplishments, Nancy is an active member of the CNA Educators Association of Illinois and has completed the training to become certified in Mental Health First Aid through the National Council on Behavioral Health.She has completed the requirements for certification through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. She is certified as a Basic Life Support instructor through the American Heart Association. She has completed Parkland College’s LGBTQ ally training and serves as an ally on campus. She serves as a volunteer parish nurse at her church and has certified several of the staff in American Heart Association Heartsaver CPR.

2020: Dr. Franklin Gallo

Dr. Franklin Gallo


Dr. Franklin Gallo serves as a Music Instructor and Choral Director at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois, the Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Patrick Church in Urbana, Illinois, and an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Master of Music in Music Education – Kodály Emphasis degree program at Holy Family College in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Dr. Gallo has held faculty positions at DePaul University (IL), The Hartt School, University of Hartford (CT), and at Shepherd University (WV), teaching courses in musicianship, choral conducting, choral literature, and choral pedagogy and has served as conductor of various choral ensembles. Gallo has also served as a conducting and musicianship instructor in numerous Kodály music certification programs.

Dr. Gallo holds a B.S., from Duquesne University, a Performance Certificate from the Ezio Pinza Council of American Singers of Opera (Italy), a M.M. from Shenandoah University, a Diploma in Choral Conducting from the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music (Hungary), studying with Péter Erdei and Éva Vendrei, and a D.M.A. from The Hartt School - University of Hartford under the guidance of Edward Bolkovac.

Dr. Gallo is in demand as a national and regional guest conductor, clinician, conference presenter, and composer. Gallo was awarded the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) Ruth Boshkoff Composition Prize. Dr. Gallo's compositions are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Colla Voce Music, and Hal Leonard and are featured in BH Contemporary and Secular Choral Series, Doreen Rao's Choral Music Experience, Henry Leck's Creating Artistry Choral Series, and the Ruth Dwyer Choral Series.

Past Winners (2010 – 2019)

2019 – Laura O’Connell

2018 – Tracy Dotson

2017 – Michael Retzer

2016 – Elizabeth C. Jinks

2015 – Crain McMonigal

2014 – Kristina Engberg

2013 – June K. Schwartz

2012 – Joyce Baldwin

2011 – Sheri Langendorf

2010 – Charles Mueller