Kim Radek-Hall: A profile

Chase Ochsner, Staff Writer

Kim Radek, English and Film Professor at Illinois Valley Community College, has been inspiring college students since the 1990s. Radek wanted to “work with college students because I enjoyed college considerably…and realized I was in control of most things in my life.”

Radek decided to teach English after she received her master’s in it with a minor in Film. Radek teaches numerous english courses at IVCC and is in charge of the English Honor Society which is Sigma Kappa Delta. For film; however, it has “always been a passion” of hers. Furthermore, Radek stated that she really wanted students to know the meaning behind films because “film can be so manipulative and seductive that if you don’t know how it’s made you may not be able to see why it’s being made or how it influences you.” Radek teaches both film classes offered at IVCC: “The Art of the Film” and “Film, Art, and Literature”. 

Noah Currie, a former student of Radek’s “The Art of the Film” class said, “Radek was very informed, precise, and straight-to-the-point. The class was open to discussion and that was my favorite class.”

Since Radek has begun teaching, she has learned that each student is different and that every student learns differently. When asked about this she said that “over the years, I’ve learned that all students don’t learn the same ways or value the same things in their education, but that most of them really do want to learn–and that, to me, is a very hopeful realization. And I’ve learned to never give up; if you believe in what you are doing, eventually someone will be there to appreciate it.” Radek added onto that statement by stating, “the Buddhist adage is true; when the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

While Radek is known as a thoughtful and dedicated professor throughout the campus, she wasn’t always comfortable when she first began teaching. She said that her first day was “scary” because (in one class) half the class walked out due to it being reassigned to her without informing the prosperous students for that class. However, she did say that the smaller class size allowed her to bond with the students.

Besides teaching, Radek oversees the group called “Students Advocation Gender Equality” (SAGE). Also, Radek is on the Assessment Committee, which oversees the “collection, synthesis, and analysis of data related to the general education goals.”

Radek plans to continue to aspire IVCC students for years to come and will continue to be an “advocate for education.” Radek advised students going into teaching to “stay tough…and be patient.” Also, Radek stated how future teachers need to continuously fight for the right for education and to always be learning. She humbly said that “running a school…like a business or government misses the point of what and why those institutions are there.”

“Ultimately, I hope that in all the classes I teach my students learn more about how they can participate in the construction of their own realities and their own identities,” Radek said when speaking about her goals for teaching at IVCC.