The Parkland College Leadership Award for Outstanding Full-Time Faculty is presented each year to a faculty member who has been with the college for a minimum of five years and has demonstrated excellence in teaching, drove innovation in their program, served on committees, and provided leadership.
2023 Leadership Award for Outstanding Full-Time Faculty
Julie Weishar, Professor of Communication in the department of Arts, Media, and Social Sciences,
is the recipient of the 2023 Parkland College Leadership Award for Outstanding Full-Time Faculty.
Julie’s career includes many years of dedicated service and leadership to Parkland College as well as contributions in professional organizations at the state and national levels. Julie has been a panel member and co-chair of the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) and a part of the IAI Theatre Majors panel. While serving on the IAI General Education Communication panel she helped draft the policy that provided guidelines for offering online oral communication courses. She has also served on the executive board of the Illinois Communication and Theatre Association in various roles. Julie has presented at conferences and participated on conference panels and round table discussions.
The list of leadership roles she has embraced at Parkland College is long and includes becoming the coordinator for the Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee to help Parkland prepare for and attain re-accreditation this past fall. Julie has been the program director for Communication since 2008, the program director for Theatre Arts since 2017, and served as the department chair for Fine and Applied Arts from 2015-2022, advocating for the arts in each of these positions. She has been the chair of several college committees at different points in her teaching career, including Sabbatical Leave Committee, Curriculum Committee, and Academic Assessment Committee.
Julie has been a member of Parkland faculty since 1994, becoming full-time faculty in 2001. During that time, Julie has displayed a commitment to supporting student success, a desire to grow as an educator, and a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances. Julie’s teaching philosophy includes four goals for students. She has always worked to help students build competence and confidence in communication. After seeing the isolation and uncertainty that students experienced during the pandemic, she added goals to help students build community and make connections. She gives her students opportunities to get to know each other and her in and out of the classroom as well as to make connections with the course material. She states, “I believe that confidence and competence flourish in a supportive community where students feel connected.” Julie has also helped to develop innovative programs at Parkland and in the state to better support student learning. She led efforts to obtain two Parkland IDEAS grants that support an annual High School Choir Festival and the Actor’s Studio productions. In 2008, Julie was the co-developer of the Speech Lab (now called the Presentation Center and located in the Learning Commons).
Julie’s service and leadership have had a profound impact on Parkland College and the lives of many students.