ICCTA Outstanding Full-Time

Faculty Member Award
2012 Recipient


Sally N. Fairbank
College of DuPage

Sally Fairbank is a practicing attorney with experience in the corporate sector and as an assistant public defender in DuPage County.

In 2006 she was hired to create COD's paralegal studies program and to obtain American Bar Association approval. The program was granted ABA approval in 2010, the shortest time possible for the process to take place.

During the past six years, Fairbank has developed 21 classes, including four online courses. Student enrollment has grown 1,400 percent since the start of the program.

She also personally recruits and monitors the 95 law offices where her students complete their mandatory internships of 120 hours per semester.

As a "student-centered" instructor, Fairbank expects nothing but the best from her students. She celebrates all those who enter her classroom, whether they are returning adults or first-generation learners.

"Each student has his or her own strengths and challenges; success cannot be measured by just one yardstick," she says. "I focus on each learner's abilities and strengths. I make a point to reward all students with positive reinforcement, especially those who struggle over the material. This way, students are motivated to try their hardest to achieve their best....If students can develop a passion for any subject, and an eagerness to explore it further, then I have done my primary job as a teacher – to ignite the spark of curiosity, which will lead to the pursuit of knowledge, insight and wisdom."