Education Awards: An In-depth Interview with One Outstanding Educator
If you think outstanding teachers deserve education awards, this story is for you. When Ben Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn,” he may well have been talking about Professor Dan Wilson, D.I.T., of Illinois State University. Dan is the Academic winner of the 2014 Education Awards of Excellence given to an individual who has pioneered a distinguished education service, program, project, or other accomplishment in graphic communications.
Nominated for this renowned award by peers as well as students, Dan has impacted many lives. His dedicated work, both in and out of the classroom, has no doubt contributed to more students getting involved in the industry.
We caught up with Dan to talk about his exciting career and how he’s paving the way for tomorrow’s graphic arts professionals.
- Why did you decide to become a graphic arts educator? I started out working in production running a lithographic press to help with college costs. Both of my parents were teachers, so when an opportunity came along to earn a graduate degree and teach a graphic arts class as a graduate assistantship, I jumped on it. Many people who have played a role in my development as an educator, but none more so than my early mentors, Dr. Ronald Glogovsky and Dr. Ervin A. Dennis. I worked for both of these gentleman as a graduate assistant, and they opened the door for me to move forward in my career as an educator.
- What has been the most fulfilling part of your job? A functioning graphic communications program is a complex thing and requires a dedicated, hard-working team. I am deeply appreciative for the many great educators that I’ve had the honor of teaming with over the years. My many current students and alumni of Illinois State University and the other colleges I have worked for—their development and successes in our great industry is what my career gratification is really all about.