BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— For the second straight year, Illinois Wesleyan’s College Panhellenic
has awarded its annual Professor of the Year award to a nursing faculty member. This
year Assistant Professor of Nursing Wendy Kooken, Ph.D., is the recipient of the award.
The award, first presented in 2011, honors and celebrates the University’s talented
and inspirational faculty along with the impact they have on the lives of Panhellenic
women. Every year, each of the four sororities who are members of College Panhellenic
nominate three professors who have helped them achieve their full potential, and every
member is encouraged to provide testimonials and vote.
College Panhellenic leaders said Kooken received the award because of her involvement
with and compassion for her students. Students of Kooken said that she’s “an amazing
professor who goes above and beyond for her students.” One student wrote: “when I
thought I wanted to switch majors, she went above and beyond to find areas of nursing
that would interest me so I’d stick with it.”
Prior to joining the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan in 2012, Kooken taught at Bradley
University, Western Illinois University, Indiana University in Indianapolis, and for
Kansas University Medical Center. Her professional nursing positions have been diverse,
including post anesthesia care at Pekin Center, tissue services coordinator for American
Red Cross and American Tissue Services Foundation, and staff nurse at Crittenton Care
and Counseling in Peoria, Ill. Kooken is a member of the Midwest Nursing Research
Society, National League of Nursing, Oncology Nursing Society and Sigma Theta Tau
International Honor Society of Nursing. She has been awarded regional, state and
national funding including an Illinois Board of Higher Education Nurse Educator Fellowship
in 2007. She earned a B.S.N. and M.S.N. in Nursing Administration from Bradley University.
Her Ph.D. and a post-doctoral fellowship were completed at Indiana University.