David O. England Named Outstanding Faculty Member

The winner of this year’s “Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Member” award for 2013 is a previous winner, David England, Associate Professor of Finance.

A Marion native (MHS Class of 1976) who now resides in Carterville, England has been employed at the college for 24 years. He began his service time teaching marketing and management, but for the last 11 years, has worked almost exclusively as a finance instructor.

david_standing“I had to fight hard to get some of the classes on the books, but it eventually worked out and is now well accepted,” England said. “This past semester, for example, I taught five sections of two different finance classes.

“In addition, I have taught hundreds of non-traditional students through our Continuing Education program at one-day seminars. Those seminars are probably the best recruiting tool I could have had for the work that I do and for the college, along with the media exposure that has come with it.”

England said his aim is to help his students become financially independent.

“Our goal is financial empowerment,” he said. “We’re teaching students to be better stewards of their money. And I’m proud to say that we’ve been very successful all the way around over the years.”

Nominees for the faculty award include the following criteria:

  • In what ways has this educator demonstrated excellence in teaching?
  • What has this educator initiated or helped to develop in the area of innovative programs used in two-year post secondary institutions?
  • How has this educator served on technical or special committees serving two-year post secondary education, and how did this effort affect the college program in the community, state or nation?
  • How has this educator provided leadership in helping to solve challenges to two-year post secondary institutions?
  • How has this educator been active in developing, organizing, or supporting state and/or national two-year post secondary education associations?
  • What awards or honors has this educator received in recognition of leadership in the college or community?
  • How does this educator keep pace with current theories and practices in the nominee’s discipline?

JALC President, Dr. Mike Dreith, said England met the criteria and then some. He said England, a JALC graduate himself, who later earned his bachelor’s degree from SIUC, has developed state-of-the-art financial stock market classes, which repeatedly receive excellent evaluations from both students and supervisors. He has also developed eight on-day financial seminars, Dreith said, which have been tremendously successful.

“David started and built the JALC Investment Club to almost 200 members,” Dreith said. “Under his direction, the club has hosted two stock summits on campus, bringing in nationally-known media experts and best-selling authors to share their expertise. He has also brought an immeasurable amount of positive media exposure to the college through his work with local television, radio and publications.”

Dreith said England has worked tirelessly to build associations with corporations in the world of finance and the media.

“As a result, he obtained a $500,000 donation from a futures software company, CGQ of Denver, which allows our students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn this very expensive and in-depth futures training software. We, at John A. Logan College, are very proud of the unique educational opportunities David has brought to our students and the Southern Illinois community.”

“David England’s tenure at John A. Logan College is marked by innovation and productivity,” said Dr. Deborah Payne, vice president for instruction at Logan. “His dedication to teaching fundamentals of finance and the market-driven economy have enriched the lives of his students. We congratulate David on his award as Faculty of the Year and wish him the very best as he continues to educate and inform the public on financial proficiency.”

“I was extremely excited and honored to learn I was receiving the award,” England said. “It’s one of those things that make you want to hold your head high when you drive to work in the morning. To know that this award was voted on by my peers and that it’s the second time I have won it (2006 being the other occasion)…is quite humbling since I know what an excellent group of instructors we have here at John A. Logan College.”

England said his “recipe for success” first requires a de-programming of his students’ perception of the stock market.

“After we do that, we can help students work the market rather than having the market work them. It’s challenging work, though, and some students choose to let their brokers continue to work on their behalf. Either way, we educate them so that they can have a better view of what’s going on in the world of finance.”

England said those older students, who have already built a stock portfolio, take his classes in an attempt to prevent financial beat downs as happened in 2000, 2007 and 2008.

“The idea is not to let your 401Ks turn into 201Ks,” he said. “So the better you understand the market, the better steward you will be with your money.”

England has also brought in a variety of nationally renowned guest speakers in recent years to speak at his seminars, courtesy of Trade Monster and Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

“I have always felt it was a good idea for my students to look at perspectives other than what I provide and to use what works best for them,” he said.

Looking ahead to the future, England said he plans to initiate a training academy this summer at the Carbondale Civic Center for residents interesting in learning more about the stock market. He will also, for the first time, dabble in online class instruction.

“I’ve never taught an online class before, but there seems to be great demand for me to do so,” he said. “I also have hopes of being involved in a nationally syndicated radio show and newspaper column.”

England is only retiring from classroom instruction in the traditional sense.

“I may be retiring from the classroom at Logan, but not from anything else. It’s just not part of my game plan. I’ve always believed that when one door shuts, another opens. I think there are still a lot of exciting things for me to do, beginning with this training academy.”

England has also overcome myriad physical maladies – from short-term paralysis as a youth, to strokes and kidney cancer, which is now in remission.

“I believe that you learn from the challenges placed before you,” he said. “In my case, I had to grow up quick. I thank the Lord that I was eventually able to walk and then run again. But I was in a walking cast and even had to wear a halo for a while, after I had been in a wheelchair. When things like paralysis, strokes and cancer strike you, it’s up to you to fight back. Either you work the problem, or it works you.”

An avid outdoors man, who thoroughly enjoys fly fishing, England and his wife of 20 years, Patti, have two sons, Andrew and Aaron.

BY JOHN D. HOMAN, Logan Media Services