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Interview with Tammy Ray

Elgin Community College Archives
Polly Nash, Interviewer |
Elgin Community College Archives |

0:00 - Introduction of Interview with Tammy Ray

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Tammy Ray, …

Segment Synopsis: Polly Nash introduces the interview, states why Ray was selected to give her oral history, including the fact that she was both a student who subsequently became an employee by the college.

Keywords:

Subjects: Higher Education

0:45 - Tammy’s Early History

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Partial Transcript: Welcome, Tammy. We’re so glad that you have agreed to talk with us about your dual roles…

Segment Synopsis: Ray explains that both of her parents came from Michigan, moving to the area because her father took a position with the Elgin Watch Company. She tells about her family and the fact that her mother was a stay-at-home parent until her children were in school and then started a health club, which at that time was called a “figure salon.” Tammy remembers that various schools she attended in the area, as the family lived in District U-46. She reminisces about one particular elementary school teacher she had who she later babysat for. Describing herself as a studious high schooler – a “GPA junkie”—she also worked throughout her high school years in her mother’s health clubs.

Keywords: Elgin High School; Elgin Watch Company; Ellie MacKinney; Larsen Junior High School; Wayne Elementary School; Woodland Heights School

Subjects: Higher Education

5:04 - Her Travels After High School Graduation

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Partial Transcript: So, you graduated and then what did you do?

Segment Synopsis: Once she graduated from high school, Tammy recalls that she always wanted to see the country, so she went to California almost immediately, staying in the San Francisco area first and then traveling to Houston, Texas and then to New Orleans before she returned to this area.

Tammy recounts that she had always wanted to work for an airline; when she returned, she applied to work for several airlines.

Keywords: Houston, TX; New Orleans, LA; San Francisco, CA

Subjects: Higher Education

6:45 - Coming to ECC As A Student

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Partial Transcript: So, you came back home after your time away exploring the world…

Segment Synopsis: Ray talks about what courses she took when she first came to ECC as a student in 1976. When she was offered positions in more than one airline, she shares her decision to work for Delta Airlines. She reminisces about ECC’s campus when she was a student, depicting that smoking was allowed virtually everywhere on campus and that everything was paper-based rather than digitized; further, there was little, if any, technology. She also reveals that she was on the cover of the 1977 ECC Catalog and at least one community member’s reaction.

Keywords:

Subjects: Higher Education

10:31 - Influential Professor

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Partial Transcript: Do you recall any professors that were influential for you when you were here in the 70s?

Segment Synopsis: When asked about any professors who were particularly influential to her, she recalled the lasting effect of Gus Stuart who taught Anatomy and Physiology.

Keywords: Gus Stuart

Subjects: Higher Education

11:36 - Career and Family Life After She Left ECC In The 1970s

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Partial Transcript: So, you were here just a very short time then in the 70s.

Segment Synopsis: Ray portrays her career with Delta Airlines and her family life.

Keywords: Delta Airlines; New York City

Subjects: Higher Education

15:07 - Interest in Changing Careers and Obtaining New Skills

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Partial Transcript: There came a point in time when you looked at ECC again.

Segment Synopsis: Tammy recalls the time in her life that she felt she needed to change careers and believed that computers would be the key to unlocking the desired change. This was in 1998, approximately 20 years after she was a student the first time. She remembers the campus as much bigger than before; she also illustrates the degree to which she was a different student than before.

Keywords:

Subjects: Higher Education

17:51 - Critical Nature of Scholarship

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Partial Transcript: And, um, as a returning adult, as a single mom, sometimes there are financial issues…

Segment Synopsis: Ray tells about the critical nature of receiving a scholarship and the circumstances surrounding the serendipitous event regarding the scholarship that covered her tuition, books, fees, and mortgage.

Keywords: Kelli Sinclair; Tuition Plus Scholarship

Subjects: Higher Education

22:24 - Influential Professors and Other ECC Employees for Tammy as A Student

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Partial Transcript: So, can you talk about some of the professors who influenced you…

Segment Synopsis: Tammy enlightens about the professors that influenced her by not only teaching the skills but also encouraging the curiosity important in this field. She also talks about those individuals who helped her discover her interest in teaching.

Keywords: Brent Steel; Gary Christenson; Gene Taylor; Kim Anderson; Mark Pelczarski; Tim Kaar

Subjects: Higher Education

27:37 - Recalling Her Feelings About Being an Adult Returning Student

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Partial Transcript: What about those –as a student – the memories that you have – in or out of class …

Segment Synopsis: Ray recalls how she felt petrified to return to college as an adult student, particularly how the reality was so different than her fears. She shares the various degrees and certificates that she earned, including the Associate in Science, the Associate in Arts, as well as certifications in web design.

Keywords: Brent Steel

Subjects: Higher Education

32:52 - Her Work on The College’s Website in Its Early Years and First Teaching Position

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Partial Transcript: And, about that time, that next door was opening.

Segment Synopsis: Tammy recounts when she was recommended for a position in the IT department to work on the college’s website. She elaborates how she took it from a primarily text-based presence to one which incorporated graphic design and photographs. She also portrays starting to work with the Marketing Department for the college’s website.
Around that same time, she shares that Mark Pelczarski also recommended her for a teaching position in the Computer Information Science (CIS) department.
She also discusses her interest in furthering her education and how she completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees while still working at ECC. Further, she explains how she would study with her children and they would compete for scholarships.

Keywords: DePaul University; Gena Glickman; Mark Pelczarski; Tim Kaar; University of Illinois at Champaign

Subjects: Higher Education

37:33 - Distance Learning

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Partial Transcript: Tell me how your interest in distance learning, online education …

Segment Synopsis: Tammy traces her history with computers, beginning with the data communications and networking courses to her continued curiosity about how the power of the computer can be unleashed in education. She expounds about starting with face-to-face classes and then moving to taking courses online to completing a program at the University of Illinois at Springfield, through the Illinois Online Network. She relates this certification to her master’s degree and how she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees online. Finally, she depicts what both students and instructors new to online teaching and learning don’t understand about online courses: rather than less work, as is often the perception, online teaching and learning is actually more difficult.

Keywords: Master Online Teacher Certification

Subjects: Higher Education

43:14 - Evolution of Online Learning

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Partial Transcript: So, you’re talking about online learning as we know it now.

Segment Synopsis: Tammy talks about her work with faculty on how to set up an effective online course. She describes some of the challenges and opportunities as she works with ECC faculty who are creating online courses.

Keywords:

Subjects: Higher Education

48:48 - Extra-Departmental Involvement

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Partial Transcript: So, what about your responsibilities or some things you’re involved in outside of your department?

Segment Synopsis: Ray explains many of her other activities that are associated with the college but are outside of her primary responsibilities, including her role as a Senator to the ECCFA, webmaster for that organization, her work with the Foundation to serve on the Distinguished Alumni Committee which selects the annual recognition, and Project Backpack.

Keywords: Distinguished Alumni Committee; Elgin Community College Faculty Association; Project Backpack

Subjects: Higher Education

51:54 - Major Accomplishments

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Partial Transcript: As we wrap up this portion of your interview, can you talk about some of your major accomplishments?

Segment Synopsis: As cited earlier in the narration, Tammy portrays her initial work on the college’s website as one of her major accomplishments. Another is her work with the Nursing Department to create a platform and their own internet for the students that allow them to sign up for their nursing validations. With that as a start, they have added many other functions to their website which have made the learning experience so much better.
Finally, she describes the time she received the Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Award in 2012.

Keywords: ECC Nursing Department Website

Subjects: Higher Education

57:59 - Other Memorable Colleagues

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Partial Transcript: Are there other colleagues that you particularly remember and want to talk about?

Segment Synopsis: In addition to telling about a valued colleague in the Student Life program, Tammy describes the value of the team with which she currently works.

Keywords: Amybeth Maurer; Christian Zehelein; Terrance Stanton; Tim Moore

Subjects: Higher Education

60:18 - Ray’s Reflections on Her Times With ECC

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Partial Transcript: So, as we wrap up, um, you have been with us in three significant times…

Segment Synopsis: Tammy concludes by recounting the fact that there were opportunities at a number of times throughout her time associated with ECC, specifically the fact that there were scholarships for returning adults as well as the many professional development opportunities that are available to her as an employee.

Keywords:

Subjects: Higher Education

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