Oakton’s Klein awarded Loyola President’s Medallion

(Dec. 12, 2016) Evanston resident Megan Klein, an assistant professor of anthropology and sociology at Oakton Community College, recently was awarded the President’s Medallion, one of Loyola University’s most prestigious student honors. The award is given to outstanding students for leadership, scholarship and service—intended for those who excel in the classroom and are dedicated to helping others.

A tireless advocate for social justice, Klein is working on her doctorate in sociology at Loyola. She is finishing her dissertation, “Interrogating Integration,” which is an historical exploration of the process of institutional integration in a diverse city. The research focuses on how historical context and experience shape residents’ views on integration and diversity.

Klein has followed a winding educational path as she now is in her 11th year teaching at Oakton.

After graduating from New Trier High School, she attended the University of Iowa where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and business. She returned to the Chicago area for her master’s degree in Spanish literature at Loyola University Chicago.  After teaching Spanish for several years at Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois she returned to U.I.C. to earn a second master’s degree in anthropology and then finally enrolled in Loyola’s Sociology doctoral program.

Klein says Oakton is her home away from home. “I can’t think of a single moment that I didn’t enjoy coming to work here. My colleagues are wonderful and the variety of experiences and diversity among the student body is enormous,” she said. “Oakton is a unique place for someone interested in the study of people because the student body brings such a rich diversity of experience to the classroom. Their families come from all over the world speaking more than 50 different languages at home.”

In addition to teaching five courses per semester, Klein plans on finishing her doctoral thesis at Loyola in 2017. She also is working on the manuscript of a (non-academic) book while raising three children—ages 11, 7, and 6—-with her husband, a history and social studies teacher at New Trier High School.