ICCTA Outstanding Faculty Member Award

2005 Recipient


David C. Leake
Parkland College

David C. Leake's love and enthusiasm for science is reflected in every aspect of his career.

For the past 15 years, he has held a split assignment as a physics and astronomy instructor and as coordinator of Parkland College's state-of-the-art planetarium.

In addition to his classes at Parkland, Leake conducts night programs for the University of Illinois' introductory astronomy classes -- more than 700 students in all.

He also hosts planetarium visits from more than 20,000 area school children each year.

David C. Leake of Parkland College is
the 2005 recipient of ICCTA's Outstanding
Faculty Member Award.

And in the interest of demonstrating that science is "fun," he has coordinated showings of the University of Illinois' Fighting Illini basketball games inside the dome of the Staerkel Planetarium.

Leake has become a fixture on local TV as the host of Parkland's "Surrounded By Science" show. He is also a regular on the local CBS affiliate, where he is often asked to discuss current events in science.

His colleagues remark that "of all of Dave's remarkable attributes, the one that best epitomizes him professionally is his continual yet understated desire to make better the people and projects he is associated with."

Leake himself describes his philosophy of education in the following way: "We must understand that "science" is not a thing, but a process. It's a way of knowing the world, but not the only way. You don't memorize it, recite it, or crunch numbers endlessly to understand it. You have to work with it and see it in action!"

No wonder Parkland president Dr. Zelema Harris noted in her ICCTA nomination letter that Leake "is out of this world!"