May 03, 2011

Koch named associate dean in education college

by Christi Mathis

Darwin Shane Koch is passionate about Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s students, substance addiction research, and making a difference.

Koch, associate professor in the Rehabilitation Institute, became associate dean for academic and student affairs in the College of Education and Human Services this semester following an internal search.

“My main goal is to support the dean in creating a college community that prepares our students for excellent careers. We want to recruit quality students who stay here and graduate. We want to create a supportive environment for our students,” Koch said.

Koch said meeting with students is one of the favorite aspects of his work. He feels a definite empathy for the students and their struggles because he too struggled as an undergraduate before a meeting with an administrator set him on the right track.

“I want to emulate that example, to be available to students and help them succeed. Dean Teitelbaum and our faculty and staff have created an academic environment where people can flourish and I want to help build on that. Strategically, we want to nurture students and create the best environment we can to help students reach their maximum potential,” Koch said.

Koch, one of the country’s leading researchers in the area of alcohol and drug addiction, is the recipient of several awards and honors recognizing his research and other efforts. The most recent is an SIUC “Excellence Through Commitment” award as one of the 2011 outstanding scholars. The International Association of Addiction and Offender Counselors chose Koch as their Counselor Educator of the Year in 2004, too.

“Shane has been a very accomplished faculty member in our college, not only as a scholar, journal editor and securer of grants, but also as a committee member and outstanding teacher and mentor for our students. It was clear to me, as it was to the search committee, that he has the insights about college life, organization skills and counseling experiences, as well as the passion for service, that will greatly contribute to the work of the Dean’s Office,” said Kenneth Teitelbaum, dean and professor of the College of Education and Human Services.

Koch succeeded John McIntyre, curriculum and instruction professor, who served as interim associate dean following the departure of the previous associate dean, Brad Colwell, for a position elsewhere in 2010. Teitelbaum said Koch’s contributions supporting the work of faculty, staff and students, especially relative to academic programming and student life, are readily apparent and are continuing.

An SIUC alumnus, Koch returned to SIUC in 2005 after working several years in rehabilitation, addictions and social work at the University of North Texas. He was also previously a teaching assistant, clinical supervisor and research assistant between 1994 and 1997 at the University. He also spent time working for Southern Illinois Regional Social Services.

During his time at SIUC, Koch has served as director of the Addiction Studies Program from May 2006 until January and as coordinator of Rehabilitation Counseling and Administration from January 2010 until earlier this year. A certified rehabilitation counselor since 1997, Koch previously served in a number of instructional and administrative positions at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, and in programs in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Koch earned his doctorate in rehabilitation at SIUC in 1999. He also holds a master’s in rehabilitation studies (1994) and a bachelor’s in history (1993), both from Clarion University in Pennsylvania. Koch’s addictions counseling research work and publications are extensive and he’s written numerous successful grant applications leading to more than $2 million in research and training funding.

Koch is the founding co-editor of “Rehabilitation Counselors’ and Educators’ Journal” and serves on the board of the International Coalition of Addiction Science Educators. He is active in a number of professional organizations and involved in community service.

In addition to Koch’s promotion, other administrative changes are apparent at COEHS as well. Jan Waggoner’s title changed this semester from director of teacher education to associate dean for teacher education. And, Joyce Fetro, chair of the Department of Health Education and Recreation, has been serving as interim chair of the kinesiology department during the spring semester with plans for a new permanent chair to take office this summer.