News from Oakton: August 21, 2012

Oakton Faculty and Staff Recognized for Excellence
Holly Graff, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, and Shelley Cohen, psychology instructor, are the recipients of the 2012 Ray Hartstein Awards for Outstanding Professional Excellence in Teaching at Oakton Community College. The honors were announced during the College’s annual breakfast on August 16.

Graff, a Chicago resident, joined Oakton full time in 1998. She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. Graff serves as the chair of Oakton’s Humanities and Philosophy Department.

A Northfield resident, Cohen joined Oakton’s part-time faculty in 1995. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Named for the founder of Oakton’s Board of Trustees, the Ray Hartstein Awards annually recognize one full-time and one part-time faculty member. Nominees must demonstrate excellence in teaching and respect for students and peers. Following a review by the Student Government Association, the Oakton Educational Foundation Grants Committee selects winners.

Also at the annual breakfast, Jessica Lee, information technology specialist, received the Classified Staff Excellence Award, which recognizes a staff member who goes “beyond actual job responsibilities,” and “uses creativity in fulfilling undertakings.”

A resident of Buffalo Grove, Lee came on board at Oakton in 1999. She earned a master’s degree from Knowledge Systems Institute in Skokie and a bachelor’s degree from National Chung Hsing University in Taichung, Taiwan.

Nominees are reviewed by a Staff Excellence Award Committee, which narrows the pool to three candidates. The Educational Foundation Grants Committee selects the winner from the finalists.


Bet on a Good Time at Arlington Fundraiser
And they’re off! Enjoy a day at the races when the Oakton Educational Foundation hosts its 22nd annual “Oakton at Arlington” fundraiser starting at noon on Saturday, August 25, at Arlington Park. Proceeds from this event support the Student Scholarship Fund.

Guests will enjoy a fabulous luncheon buffet and open bar. In addition, the silent auction features something for everyone. Sports fans will find Cubs and Bears tickets, as well as autographed photos of athletes. Travel aficionados can bid on trips to Las Vegas, London, New York, and Paris. Other items include an Xbox Kinect, jewelry, theater tickets, and restaurant gift certificates.

Arlington Park is at 2200 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights. Tickets for “Oakton at Arlington” are $85 (general seating) and $100 (window seating). Call the Educational Foundation at 847.635.1893 for more information.


Audition for Aristophanes’ Lysistrata
It’s your turn to light up the stage! Audition for the Performing Arts at Oakton’s production of Lysistrata on Monday, August 27, and Tuesday, August 28. No appointment is necessary.

Originally performed in Athens in 411 BCE, Lysistrata presents a comic account of one woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War. When Lysistrata persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual favors from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace, her strategy inflames the battle between the sexes.

The director seeks 17 actors – men and women of all ages who should prepare a comedic monologue (one to two minutes in length) or be ready to read from the script. Monologues need not be memorized.

Auditions are 6 – 9 p.m., at Oakton’s Studio One, 1600 East Golf Road, Des Plaines. Lysistrata will be staged October 11 – 14, and October 18 – 21, at Oakton’s Footlik Theater at the Des Plaines campus.

For more information about the auditions, call 847.635.1897.


Handicap This! Challenges Perceptions
Challenge your perception of what it means to live with a disability when the Performing Arts at Oakton presents Handicap This! on Friday, August 31, and Saturday, September 1.

Back for an encore performance after earning standing ovations around the country, this Oakton original will stir your senses and shake up your attitude. Handicap This! provides a provocative look at valuing friendship, breaking down barriers, living with disabilities, and – most of all – meeting one’s potential.

Mike Berkson and Tim Wambach light up the stage with humor, music, and their true story, encouraging everyone to achieve their goals and dreams. Re-envisioned for a world premiere with new material, this performance will be an experience you’ll long remember.

Handicap This! will be staged at 8 p.m. at Oakton’s Footlik Theater, 1600 East Golf Road, Des Plaines. General admission is $10 ($8 for students and seniors; $6 for groups of 15 or more). Call 847.635.1900 to purchase tickets.


Audition for The Amish Project
Launch your theater career and audition for the Performing Arts at Oakton’s staged reading of The Amish Project on Tuesday, September 4, and Wednesday, September 5. No appointment is necessary.

Inspired by the 2006 killing of five girls taken hostage at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, this remarkable work recounts the path of forgiveness and compassion forged in its wake. The Amish Project explores the shooting through the eyes of seven members of the community – some fictional, some drawn from life, but all touched by the events of the day and its aftermath.

The director seeks teenaged girls (including one Latina actress) as well as women and men ages 30 to 55. All should prepare a contemporary monologue (one to two minutes in length) or be prepared to read from the script. Monologues need not be memorized.

Auditions are 6 – 9 p.m., at Oakton’s Studio One, 1600 East Golf Road, Des Plaines. The Amish Project will be staged September 29 and 30, at Oakton’s Studio One in Des Plaines.

For more information about the auditions, call 847.635.1897.


Six Piano Ensemble Schedules Open Auditions
Be a part of Oakton’s renowned Six Piano Ensemble. This unique musical group is seeking new members.

Auditions are 7 – 9 p.m., Monday, September 10, and Wednesday, September 12, in Room 1360, at the Des Plaines campus, 1600 East Golf Road. Music is provided, and candidates also may play a prepared selection.

Founded by Glenna Sprague, professor and coordinator of music, the ensemble, which performs classical, ragtime, and popular music, has appeared at prestigious venues across the world, from Honolulu to Vienna, Austria. The group also will perform at the 2013 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago.

For more information contact Glenna Sprague at 847.635.1905 or


Oakton Hosts Health Career Information Sessions in September
Health career opportunities are expanding rapidly.  Learn more about your options throughout September during Oakton’s five free information sessions, including:

  • Nursing: Tuesday, September 11, at 6 p.m. (Room 1604)
  • Medical Laboratory Technology and Phlebotomy: Wednesday, September 12, at 2:30 p.m. (Room 1608)
  • Radiologic Technology: Wednesday, September 19, at 5 p.m. (Room 2153)
  • Physical Therapist Assistant: Wednesday, September 19, at 6:30 p.m. (Room 1604).
  • Health Information Technology: Wednesday, September 26, at 6 p.m. (Room 1610).

All information sessions will take place at Oakton’s Des Plaines campus, 1600 East Golf Road. Seminars showcase the College’s degree and certificate programs in these health career programs. Faculty will be on hand to discuss course requirements and industry trends.


Oakton’s Jewish Studies Concentration Presents Reason versus Revelation: A Jewish Alternative
Join Oakton for the first of three free fall events that explore varying aspects of Jewish history, culture, and thought. On Thursday, September 13, Ellen LeVee, Ph.D., Jewish studies, Spertus Institute, will speak on Reason versus Revelation: A Jewish Alternative.

Reason and revelation are often seen as conflicting methods for finding truth: knowledge obtained through science or philosophy versus knowledge revealed by God. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are often represented as relying more heavily on revelation. However, these religions all use reason. Learn more about the central role reason plays in the Jewish tradition and explore the ways in which reason and revelation may not be mutually exclusive.

Professor LeVee’s seminar will run from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Oakton’s Skokie campus, 7701 North Lincoln Avenue, in room P103.

And mark your calendar for these additional events – also at the Skokie campus:

  • Imagined and Guilty Identities: Remembering the Kindertransport
    Thursday, October 11, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Room A145-52
    Phyllis Lassner, Ph.D., professor, writing program, gender and Jewish studies, Northwestern University.
  • The Jewish Jesus
    Friday, November 16, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Room P103
    Zev Garber, Ph.D., professor emeritus and chair of Jewish studies at Los Angeles Valley College, and editor of Shofar.

For more information, visit or e-mail