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Jeanne Isabel

Jeanne Isabel

Jeanne Isabel, program director and associate professor for Medical Laboratory Sciences, said it was an honor to receive NIU’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.

The fact that the award comes from her students makes it twice the honor.

“To have the recognition come from the students really means a lot,” Isabel said. “I was just thrilled because I have been doing this for quite a few years. It is very much an honor.”

Isabel earned her bachelor’s degree from NIU, and went on to earn her master’s degree and doctorate degree from NIU. She joined NIU as a faculty member in 1989.

She said her passion comes from the students, who are consistently enthusiastic and wanting to learn.

They are excited to be here to engage in topics about the human body,” Isabel said. “There is nothing more interesting than learning how to connect laboratory results to diseases.”

Isabel is lauded for getting to know her students on an individual basis and for challenging them to step out of their comfort zones.

“Dr. Isabel embodies all of the qualities of an exceptional professor and mentor,” said former student Michelle Campbell. “She is an expert in her field and uses this expertise to impart knowledge to her students in a relatable and understandable way.”

Isabel actively works with students and prepares them to be leaders in the field.

“Her door is always open,” said student Julia Bush. “You can tell she genuinely enjoys what she does and how important the success of her students is to her.”

Colleagues call her a “true team player” and a faculty member “who works to improve undergraduate education at NIU by putting students first.”

She takes advantage of faculty development workshops, attends the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences-Clinical Laboratory Educator’s Conference regularly and shepherds curricular changes to stay current in an ever-changing field.

In addition, Isabel pioneered an annual study abroad program in Belize that introduces students to the interdisciplinary approach to healthcare services while exploring the customs of the indigenous population.

“She is by far the best teacher I have ever had,” Bush said. “Her knowledge in the clinical lab science profession is exceptional, and she inspires the students in the program.”

Isabel was also recognized by the College of Health and Human Sciences with the Langford Award for Teaching.