Highland News Leader

SWIC professor from Highland earns Emerson award

Patrick Sly, executive vice president for Emerson, left, presents Howard Gunning with his Tiffany & Co. crystal apple.
Patrick Sly, executive vice president for Emerson, left, presents Howard Gunning with his Tiffany & Co. crystal apple. Courtesy photo

A Southwestern Illinois College faculty member from Highland continues to pile up accolades.

Howard Gunning, an associate professor in the Medical Assistant program, was recently awarded Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award on Nov. 22 at the Clayton Ritz-Carlton. This after being named SWIC’s Faculty Member of the Year for 2015.

Recipients of the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award were selected by their schools’ administration to celebrate their achievements and dedication to the teaching profession. The 26th annual ceremony/reception, where recipients received Tiffany & Co. crystal apples, were held at Clayton Ritz-Carlton.

Gunning teaches Medical Office Clinical Procedures, Health Care and Patient Communications, Automation, Pathology, Cardiopulmonary Procedures, Pharmacology and Administration Techniques plus Office Practicum.

Gunning has worked for SWIC since 1998, first as an intern instructor before gaining a part-time role, followed by a full-time position in 1999. He is also a military veteran; he served in the U.S. Air Force Medical Service for 21 years before he retired in 1997.

Gunning has an associate in applied science in allied health sciences from the Community College of the Air Force he earned in 1994, a Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University Carbondale earned in 1999, and a master of science in education in workforce education and development with an emphasis in health occupations instruction received from SIUC in 2003.

Additionally, he is involved in the American Association of Medical Assistants; served as the state chaplain (layman) for the Illinois Society of Medical Assistants and received their Member of the Year Award in 2014; and was the vice president of the Southern Illinois Regional Medical Assistants. He is also on the board of directors for WJLY radio in Ramsey.

He lives in Highland with his wife, Pat. He has two sons, David of Leavenworth, Kan., and Daniel of Highland.

Linda Bartlett, a fifth-grade teacher at Highland Elementary School, and Kristine Beer, a special education teacher at Triad Middle School, were also among the 102 educators from throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area honored by Emerson.

About the Award

The Excellence in Teaching Awards program began in 1989 and is sponsored annually by Emerson, a diversified global manufacturer and technology leader headquartered in St. Louis. Emerson and its Charitable Trust fund the Excellence in Teaching and Gold Star Grant programs. Under its Charitable Trust, the company gave $10.3 million to more than 640 educational organizations and institutions globally for the year ending September 2015.