Rock Valley College Announces 2022 Faculty Of The Year

Rock Valley College is proud to announce John Skupien, Automotive Associate Professor, as the 33rd recipient of the Rock Valley College Faculty of the Year Award.

“We have incredibly talented and experienced faculty in every area. To be selected as Faculty of the Year amongst them is an honor beyond words,” said Skupien. “Being awarded Faculty of the Year is frankly overwhelming. Many in the community are not aware that the Automotive Program has been at RVC since 1968. We have always been a community college serving both liberal arts and technical education students.”

“John Skupien knows how to be a teacher,” said one of his students. “He is always there, willing to lend a helping hand. He will stick his neck out for you. He’s an all-together amazing person and truly deserves an award for his time and heart.”

Another student described him as, “a professor that sets challenges for students to better themselves in their careers.” It’s apparent that John’s calling in life is teaching automotive students, but teaching was not his intended path.

“I was an academically uninterested kid in high school honors classes who just wanted to work on cars,” said Skupien. After graduating from Hononegah High School, John began working at a car dealership washing cars. He quickly realized that he needed to pursue training if he was going to succeed as a technician. That is when he enrolled in the automotive program that he would one day be the chair of. John graduated from RVC’s Automotive Service Technology Program in 1994 and earned his Associate of Applied Science degree from RVC in 1996.

After receiving his degree, John continued working in the automotive industry and took advantage of any training opportunity that could help make him a better technician. In 2008, one of John’s former RVC instructors, Dennis Palmer, reached out and asked him if he would be interested in teaching an evening automotive class at RVC.

“The shops I worked at always had a difficult time finding skilled techs,” said Skupien. “Teaching was the perfect opportunity for me to help remedy the situation and contribute to the solution in a small way.”

John Skupien went from being an adjunct professor to a full-time faculty member in 2011 and received tenure in the 2014 - 2015 academic year. John currently serves as the Academic Chair for Automotive Services Technology and is an RVC Automotive Advisory Committee member. His commitment to the automotive program and his students does not go unnoticed.

“John’s initiative, teamwork, and leadership strengthen our Career and Technical Education Team,” said Vicki Brust, RVC Dean of Career and Technical Education. “The current growth and advancement in the Automotive Program have seen John as an instrumental part of the process. It is an honor to celebrate and recognize him as 2022 Faculty of the Year.”

John’s proudest accomplishment at RVC is the feedback he gets from employers about his students.

“When I receive repeat calls from shops looking to hire our students that tells me we are doing our part. Seeing our graduates succeed in the workplace is immensely rewarding. It is an affirmation that I made the right call coming here.”

John has made and continues to make a great impact on RVC’s Automotive Service Technology Program. Congratulations to John for this well-earned honor.