Associate professor of English, Christine Brandel, wins campus instructional award

BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus has named Christine Brandel, associate professor of English, the 2018 recipient of Ivy Tech’s President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction. She was selected among 46 other full-time faculty nominees.

Brandel’s student nominations highlighted her commitment to student learning and community involvement.

In her English composition courses, Brandel’s teaching focus is critical thinking. “This skill will be important in their college classes as well as in their daily lives,” she said of her students. “I encourage them to question and analyze what they read, so they can build well-supported, logical arguments. We usually have a theme of higher education and my hope is that it encourages students to become more invested in their own educational experiences.”

Brandel also serves community. She was awarded Ivy Tech’s 2018 O’Bannon Institute for Community Service Excellence in Volunteerism award for her work with IU Health Bloomington Hospice as a patient and bereavement support volunteer.

In addition to her classroom duties and community service, Brandel is a second-year adviser of Root and Branch campus literary magazine, in which two of her students were recently nationally-recognized for their contributions to the publication. She also serves on the campus diversity committee, the English department affective unit committee, and as chair of English adjunct faculty support. She is also adviser to the student Campus Pride group.

Brandel is the author of “A Wife is a Hope Chest,” published by Brain Mill Press in Oct. 2017. The title poem from that collection was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize. She has participated in community writing events and was recently featured on “The Poets Weave” on WFIU local public radio.

“In all of my classes, it’s important for me to treat students as individuals,” said Brandel. “My students come into class with different motivations, skills, and levels of confidence, and I do my best to inspire and challenge all of them to become stronger writers.”

Some of Brandel’s English students have gone on to universities to work on their bachelor’s degrees and then continued on to graduate studies.

The President’s Award is given annually to one full-time faculty member from each Ivy Tech campus statewide. As recipient of this award, Brandel is also the nominee for the statewide Ivy Tech Founder’s Award for Excellence in Instruction, to be presented by the College in June. The Founder’s Award is presented to one full-time faculty member statewide who best typifies the teaching and learning mission of the College.