Every profession requires a certain amount of continuing education or professional development to add new skills and maintain knowledge of current trends. The same is certainly true for faculty and others involved in teaching and learning. At Waubonsee Community College, our faculty are continually expanding their knowledge in unique and exciting ways.

This summer, Sowjanya Dharmasankar, assistant professor of economics, Kathy Westman, associate professor of sociology, and Dr. Timothy Draper. professor of history, traveled as part of the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Short-Term Seminar to the Philippines through the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University.

While there, the group was able to delve into that nation's cultures, geopolitics, and human rights issues, and I look forward to hearing more of their stories throughout the upcoming school year as they share their perspectives with the wider Waubonsee community.

As part of a University of Massachusetts-Boston graduate course called "Conflict Transformation across Borders," Ellen Lindeen, associate professor of English and peace studies, traveled to Quito, Ecuador, and subsequently published her perspectives in an op-ed article titled "An Obstacle to Peace: The Race Border."

Domestic travel factored into the plans of Andy MacDonald, assistant professor of auto body repair, as he accompanied two students to the National Leadership and Skills Conference/Contest in Louisville, Kentucky, at the end of June. Auto body students Daniel Dwyer and Jordan Herrera finished fourth in the nation in their respective categories.

Closer to home, Allison Beltramini, associate professor of communications, and biology instructor Justin Hoshaw shared their views on "Personal Touch in a High-Tech Learning Environment" at the Waubonsee Vision 2050 Futures Summit on June 23. Physics Instructor Dr. Pratima Jindal hosted a two-day workshop for area high school teachers, funded through a United States Compact Muon Solenoid (USCMS) Teacher Fellowship Grant.

Throughout the year, Waubonsee faculty also look to the campus community to expand their knowledge or engage in professional development activities. Waubonsee's Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology creates and curates professional development activities for faculty and staff. To ensure the best and most relevant offerings, the center works with a faculty liaison each year. Center staff also organize and support the Faculty Development Learning Excellence Team, along with the New Faculty Learning Academy.

Regardless of time of year or academic discipline, faculty at Waubonsee are continually pushing themselves and their profession forward. Because as the old Chinese proverb goes, "Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back."