Jeanne Isabel

Chair and associate professor, Health Studies

Jeanne Isabel

Where is your hometown? and where do you live now?
My hometown is Kewanee, Illinois. I now live in Sycamore, Illinois.

Where did you attend college and what degree(s) have you earned?
I attended NIU for my degrees. I have a B.S. in medical technology, an M.S.Ed. in adult and higher education and an Ed.D. in counseling, adult and higher education.

In which department(s) do you teach?
School of Health Studies

What do you like about working at NIU?
I like the opportunities for engagement, the collaboration with colleagues and the outstanding students. I am so grateful to my college and the Study Abroad Office to support challenging students to get out of their comfort zone and travel with me to Belize.

What advice would you give to students currently attending NIU?
Strive to gain all you can from faculty and your peers. NIU has so much to offer. Don't be afraid to engage in activities and events.

Tell us about a research or engaged learning project you have led.
Study abroad in Belize started out as an opportunity for students to observe how health care is delivered in another country. This evolved into a project for diabetes education for the population. Ultimately, I was able to start a research project collecting data and studying the incidence of prediabetes in Belize. Students from a variety of disciplines in the College of Health and Human Sciences have been able to assist with the measurements and data collection for this research project. 

What do you hope students take away from your class?
Over the years I have taught courses on hematology, hemostasis, urinalysis and body fluids. I will never forget the time a writer for the Northern Star came to my class on semen analysis. I am sure that person got more than was expected in a classroom lecture. All the medical laboratory science students learn how to apply background information to a real-life situation in order to solve problems and identify solutions. 

What is your favorite campus event?
I really like taking my adult son to the Huskie football games and especially love the band performances.

What is your favorite memory of NIU?
When I was student in the early 1970s, I got to see Gloria Steinem in the Duke Ellington Ballroom.

Who has influenced your professional path?
I had a biology teacher in high school who told me about medical technology, and I knew that was something I wanted to do. Once I was in my clinical practicum and experienced the interaction of practitioners and students, I decided that I would like to teach as well.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you currently doing it? If not, what changed your path?
I knew I wanted to work in health care. I never thought of myself as an adventurer until I joined the U.S. Peace Corps. From then on, I would get "itchy feet" to embark on a new travel adventure. My experiences and expertise led me to wonderful consulting opportunities all over the world. I have to say that adventures in Africa are my all-time favorite. I love teaching medical technology procedures to young people in other lands. 

Are you a member of or hold a position within a professional organization? If so, what organization? What is the purpose of that organization and how does being part of this organization benefit you in your role at NIU?
I am a member of the American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science and have held positions in the state society over the years. I am a member of the American Society for Clinical Pathology and serve on a certification exam committee as well as consult for special projects. I am a volunteer for the National Association for Clinical Laboratory Science and visit other MLS programs throughout the U.S. as a peer reviewer. The network of people I have met and collaborated with over the years has been invaluable to my role at NIU as a faculty member supporting and advocating for students.

What community organizations are you involved in?
I am a board member for Network of Nations and Opportunity House

What do you do to relax or recharge?
I love to watch movies that are not violent, read books, swim and do puzzles.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
I am never prouder than when I see a former student share their own success story about their career. This is what brings me happiness.

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