2015: Nancy Hill
Nancy has been working with the assessment of student learning at DePaul University for over 15 years. Nancy was a founder and the first director for the Center for Teaching and Learning (previously the Office for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment) at DePaul. Nancy’s assessment leadership and mentoring have been critical in establishing and promoting a culture of assessment at DePaul. Faculty submitting Nancy’s nomination materials noted her ability to develop sustainable paths for assessment. Faculty also noted that her work and interpersonal interactions around assessment help all the faculty she encounters not only engage in the assessment process, but see the value in doing so.
2016: Ellen Meents-DeCaigny, Robert O'Keefe, Gretchen Wilbur
Over the past 12 years, Ellen Meents DeCaigny has worked to develop a strong culture of assessment in the division of Student Affairs, across DePaul University, regionally, and nationally. At DePaul, Ellen developed the student affairs assessment program from ground up. Ellen created the Student Affairs’ Annual Assessment Symposium and is a member of the institutional Assessment Advisory Board. At the regional level, Ellen is a cofounder of the Assessment Certificate Program and teaches graduate level courses on assessment at DePaul, Loyola, and Northwestern universities. Nationally, Ellen is a recognized leader in Student Affairs assessment. Ellen helped to develop and eventually co-chaired the Assessment Knowledge Community for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and serves as a Student Affairs assessment consultant for other universities. Ellen has also published many peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on the topic of higher education assessment
Robert O’Keefe has devoted much of his academic career to assessment as a thoughtful, devoted, and enthusiastic champion of the assessment of student learning. His pioneering work put work put DePaul’s College of Business at the forefront of Colleges of Business’ assessment efforts. Robert has also served as an unofficial mentor for other business faculty in assessment and encouraged excitement about and involvement in assessment among business faculty. He has published extensively about assessment in books and national, peer-reviewed journals, as well as presenting on assessment at several conferences. Robert has also been an invited speaker at several other universities to talk to business faculty about assessment.
During her time at School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) , formerly the School of New Learning, Gretchen has advanced the school’s assessment processes by creating effective partnerships with faculty, championing the increasing importance of assessment nationally, and furthering a research-based approach to assessment both within SCPS and across DePaul as a whole. Gretchen is director of the SCPS Assessment Center and a member of DePaul’s Assessment Advisory Board. Gretchen also serves as mentor for SCPS faculty in assessment, championing assessment as a way of “understanding more fully” in order to “engage more effectively.” Gretchen works hard to make assessment efforts positive, productive experiences and is a nationally recognized leader in Previous Learning Assessments.
2017: Pablo Gomez
Pablo Gomez is the Psychological Science Program Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology. He has been a member of the psychology department’s assessment committee for almost 10 years and has chaired for 5 years. Dr. Gomez has helped develop meaningful and transformative assessments for his department’s various concentrations and levels from bachelors to PhD. He couples his creativity as a scientist with his expertise at methodology to develop innovative ways to assess learning at a deeper level. Dr. Gomez continues to challenge the department to use assessment as an opportunity to understand deeper learning and critical skills. For him, assessment is not a yearly requirement we have to fulfill, but an opportunity to improve the quality of education we offer our students.
2018: Scott Tharp
Since joining DePaul in 2009, Scott has made a significant positive impact on the culture of assessment at our University. In his role as Student Affairs Assessment Coordinator, Scott was responsible for chairing the divisional Assessment Committee and supporting 13 departments in their assessment efforts. Scott also was chair of DePaul’s Co‐Curricular Learning Assessment Committee, which was created to serve as a resource and support mechanism for campus units charged with implementing co‐curricular student learning experiences across campus. Scott has played an active role in coordinating Student Affair’s Annual Assessment Symposium, which is designed to share and celebrate assessment results with DePaul staff, faculty, and students, as well as colleagues from the Chicago region. Beyond his work here at DePaul, Scott has presented at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) on assessment topics including “Writing and Assessing Student Learning Outcomes for Social Justice Education”. Scott has also presented on co-curricular learning assessment at the Chicago Area Assessment Group (CAAG) and the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE).
2019: Jennifer Schwartz
Jen Schwartz is a Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian for our University Library and while assessment is not inherently required for her position, Jen has always been the first to volunteer for library assessment projects. Over the years, she has developed creative new methods for assessing her department’s online and face-to-face instruction, as well as their print and digital teaching materials. One of her many assessment projects includes one where Jen led her library team on assessing the effectiveness of teaching materials used in Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (WRD) library instruction sessions to develop strategic thinking skills used in the early stages of research. It was this project that won Jen and her University Library team the university’s Assessment Award in 2017. Recently, Jen has co-authored a paper and presentation for the Library Assessment Conference in Houston on engaging library staff in the writing and implementation of library-wide learning outcomes.