Pence garners teaching award

Hannah Smith, IV Leader Staff Writer

Dr. Patricia Pence, 15-year nursing professor in the health professions division, was recently awarded the Stephen Charry Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence.

Pence was nominated for the award by the nursing Faculty at IVCC, who say she is a quiet leader, who mostly leads by example, not only talking of her ideas but also putting them into action.

“Pat projects a warm, dependable, caring and efficient faculty member,” the Nursing faculty said in their nomination papers.
Pence stayed humble when she explained her emotions about winning this award saying, “Oh wow, what a surprise! I am just so excited and so happy about it. I have been here 15 years and I never thought that would happen.”

The faculty who nominated her also noted that she helps her students become concerned citizens in the community by allowing them to explore and locate different community resource that could benefit patients.

“It was just so nice that my peers in the nursing department all felt that well of me to nominate me and I am glad that they see me as a leader,” Pence said about her nomination and award.

Pence received her Certificate in Nursing Assistant, Certificate in Practical Nursing, and her Associate Degree in Nursing from Illinois Valley Community College. From there she attended Bradley University achieving her Bachelors of Science in Nursing, Northern Illinois University achieving her Master of Science in Nursing, and University of Phoenix, for her Doctorate in Education: Educational Leadership. She continues doing research in her career at IVCC.

“If I see a problem, it’s like what can I do about it? So I will research it and get a study going. My doctorate really prepared me to problem solve and do my own research at IVCC, which makes teaching and learning better for students,” said Pence.
Pence currently teaches first-year nursing students.

She began her career at IVCC receiving her Master’s degree from NIU and has been teaching here for 15 years.

When asked what she most enjoyed about teaching, she said, “Helping students progress as they begin their first year in nursing, into a nursing student who learns how to think critically and reason.”
She teaches several classes at IVCC including NUR 1201, NUR 1202, NUR 1211.

Through her classroom activities, she promotes application and critical thinking. In her classes, Pence says she like to use the technology IVCC has to offer by posting audio recordings of lectures, PowerPoints, and other visual aids to her website.
“You have to find new ways to help students succeed on tests,” said Pence.
While at IVCC, she has been involved in many different committees and programs including the Research Committee, Nursing Student Remediation Committee, Student Nursing Advisors, Plagiarism/SOUP Committee, Assessment Committee, Faculty Development Committee, IVCC College Academic Blueprint Team, Nursing Advisory Committee, and the Nursing Faculty Appeals Committee.

Pence also takes part in some professional organizations including the Organization of Associate Degree Nursing, the National League for Nursing, and Sigma Theta Tau International, Inc. Professionally outside of IVCC, she has also reviewed manuscripts for the Teaching and Learning in Nursing Journal, and the Nurse Educator Journal.

The oldest child in a family of 12, Pence said that her parents always instilled in her and her siblings the value of hard work to gain an education.

She has two children of her own, including a daughter who also recently graduated from the IVCC nursing program. Her son is married with two children, making Pence not only a proud mother, but a proud grandmother as well.

“The one thing I do want to say is: being nominated with two other excellent candidates, I did not think at all that I was going to make it. Talking to my colleagues about it, I think we should have all shared the award,” said Pence.