Elgin Community College Digital Technologies Professor Heidi Eaton recently returned from the 55th annual Illinois Business Education Association conference where she was honored with the prestigious IBEA Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year Award, and was elected to serve as member at large. Previously, Eaton was IBEA president and chair of both conference and registration committees.
Over 100 business education professionals from high schools, community colleges, and universities across the state also attended the event at the Wyndham Springfield City Centre in Springfield from Nov. 8 to 10.
While at the conference, Eaton earned the Internet and Computing Core (IC3) Digital Literacy Certification, which required her to demonstrate basic computer skills and understanding of the internet. In addition, she earned a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification in Excel and Word (2016).
Eaton has served in numerous capacities at her institutions, in the community, and at the state level. She has worked at ECC since 2003, where she teaches both office administration technology and computer science classes within the Digital Technologies Department. In addition to being the instructional coordinator for the department for many years, she serves on faculty development, distance learning, and tenure committees, and created an orientation training program for adjunct faculty. Eaton is the past president of the college's American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC) chapter. She is currently one of the faculty advisors for SkillsUSA, a national organization serving teachers and students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations.
Prior to working at ECC, Eaton worked as a legal secretary at a top ten Chicago law firm, a computer trainer for Waubonsee Community College, a technical writer for Lucent Technologies, and an investment representative for Edward Jones.
Eaton assists the Hampshire community by developing the fire department's website and volunteer coaching at the park district. She is currently the assistant coach for the freshmen girls' basketball team at Larkin High School in Elgin. These and other deeds earned her an ECC Outstanding Service to the Community award.
Eaton was previously recognized at an International Conference on Teaching & Leadership Excellence where she was given a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence in Teaching award. Everyone who has worked with her recognizes Eaton's compassion and dedication to her students and business education. Students find her to be “a fantastic teacher who exhibits dedication by her passion”. David Sam, JD, PhD, LLM, president of Elgin Community College said, adding that “going the extra mile with great enthusiasm is Professor Eaton's trademark.”
The IBEA is a professional organization whose members represent educational institutions throughout Illinois. Since its formation in the mid-1930s, IBEA (originally known as Illinois Commercial Education Association) has promoted the study, development, and teaching of business and vocational education in all educational and business settings. Members meet at annual conferences to share information, to support research efforts, and to promote the practice and teaching of all areas of business, computers, and vocational education. The cooperative and engaging atmosphere also provides opportunities to share applied, theoretical, and strategic ideas. For further information about the IBEA, visit www.ibea.org.