Debbie Burch to receive IVCC 2024 Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award

Burch has worked at IVCC since 1981

Illinois Valley Community College Counselor Debbie Burch is this year’s winner of the Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award. Staff, faculty and retirees will be honored April 4 during the annual recognition dinner.

Counselor Debbie Burch of Peru recently was selected by colleagues as the winner of Illinois Valley Community College’s 2024 Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award.

Burch has been employed at IVCC since 1981, starting as a counselor for BEST/Job Training Partnership program and most recently as counselor in the Counseling Center. She was nominated by student and Counseling Center Administrative Assistant Lynn Keyt and by fellow counselor Valery Calvetti.

“Debbie shows great expertise when guiding her students through the difficult beginnings of the college journey and along their journey ... and encourages them as they go off on their next adventure,” Keyt wrote in her nomination.

“Debbie encourages experiential learning by providing a listening and safe environment – offering her input while inviting them to explore,” Calvetti wrote. “When a student is seated in front of Debbie, they feel listened to, supported and, most importantly, respected.”

Burch has been an enthusiastic supporter of student activities on campus, and her network of community-active former students and acquaintances keeps growing.

“She fosters a sense of community at IVCC and has cultivated relationships that have been transformational,” Calvetti wrote.

Burch recalls receiving a sticker with a slogan she cherishes to this day because it sums up her philosophy.

“Advising is teaching,” it reads.

“These simple words ring true to what I aspire to do with students,” Burch said. “They enter my office with very different levels of knowledge toward their college careers. My responsibility is to help them learn wherever they are in the advising process.

“I provide information. I help the student apply it. I show each one how they can find information when they leave my office. They can then take ownership of their college career.

“With this method, I advise and teach. The student learns.”

Burch, a graduate of IVCC, was instrumental in initiating orientation for incoming high school students, organizing a counselor/staff speakers bureau to present on- and off-campus, and planning other campus events.

Burch and many of her colleagues will be honored Thursday, April 4, at IVCC’s employee recognition reception at Senica’s Oak Ridge Golf Club in La Salle.