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Connections faculty and staff newsletter
 May 2014

Employee focus

Employee focus Stacey Bybee, senior course review specialist

Stacey Bybee is a senior course review specialist and adjunct English instructor for the Online Campus. She was recommended to be featured in Connections by Jonathan Eastman, course review specialist for the Online Campus. Here’s what Eastman had to say:

“Stacey Bybee is a person I would deem a prime candidate for featuring in Connections. Since the day I began working for the Online Campus as a course review specialist, I have been continually amazed at her wonderful ability to encourage hard, creative work from her crew. Her always energetic, enthusiastic (sometimes zany) style of leadership has made working a daily pleasure in our shop. Stacey steps up when all others hesitate to organize things that keep the work cycle of our responsibilities from falling behind, getting stale or feeling humdrum.

She also pushes to keep building a cutting-edge online academic program when it comes to instructor training and teaching and learning innovations. Stacey demonstrated such skill in working with student and instructor issues that she was promoted into the position of dealing solely with these issues. Stacey is also a dynamic English teacher and developer of the online basic composition course. Her creativity manifests itself in whatever she takes on — last year she encouraged a group of us to enter short pieces of fiction to the DBRL writing contest, which several of us did, and Stacey ended up winning the contest. I think you’d make a good feature if you focused on Stacey.”

When did you start working for Columbia College?
I began working in the Seabrook Writing Center part-time in the spring semester of 2009 and began full-time with the Online Campus in December 2009.

What excites you most about working here?
My current work is cool because I get to work with a variety of people every day, such as advisors, directors, instructors and students. I get to work with both teachers and students in a problem-solving, negotiating capacity that keeps me thinking, learning and reflecting all the time.

What were you doing previously?
Before working for Columbia College, I taught high school, earned my master’s degree from Marquette University, worked as an adjunct English instructor for Carroll College and later Central Methodist University, waitressed a lot and even sold plasma from time to time. In my spare time I … wait, spare time???

Where are you from originally?
I lived in six different states by the time I graduated high school, and I loved them all! Mostly, I guess I feel like “home” is Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana and little bit of Colorado. I also spent some young years in Kansas and Alaska.

Who or what influenced you professionally?
My parents are my greatest professional influences. My dad was the men’s basketball coach and athletic director of the college I attended, and from him I learned a lot of lessons about leadership with students, with professional peers and in situations with a lot of conflict. My mom was in education, too, first as a high school English teacher, then a college English teacher and finally as an academic advisor (my academic advisor, no less). I learned from watching her go back to school as an adult mom to earn a higher degree, and I learned a lot about sacrifice in both professional and private situations. She was the academic advisor who first counseled me to go into English, and then later to also study education.

Tell us about your family.
I am married to Stephen Bybee, who works full-time and is also involved in photography. We have two creative and very loud children, Etta (8) and Fox (3). Since Etta was only a couple of years old, my grandmother has told me, “She’s going to be smarter than you!” Grandma is right. Etta likes to read Harry Potter in a British accent, do gymnastics and create histrionic moments about little molehill things. Fox just turned 3, and he is looking for a kind volunteer to help potty train him. Any takers?

What are some of your hobbies and interests?
We spend a lot of time outside around our house. All of us like to dig around in the garden, and we also like to just hang out on the patio and read, or go for walks to the nearby creek. Things I love to say I love to do (but rarely get around to actually doing) include camping, hiking and travel.

Favorite book and/or author?
These questions are getting harder. Can I have a top five? Steinbeck for sure (Tortilla Flat if I have to choose only one). I like a lot of Barbara Kingsolver. This can be a telling question, and I might not be cool if I don’t answer the right way. Nonetheless, I have to admit that I really like The Count of Monte Cristo and Les Miserables. I taught high school for a while and I love those old canon books — Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Of Mice and Men. Old friends there. Wow — and I really love Moby Dick — no really, I do!

Favorite food?
Ever been to Abigail’s in Rocheport? Everything on that little, ever-changing, delicious menu. When you go, don’t skip the ooey gooey butter cake; I think it might be the best in the world. Wine. Can wine be my favorite food?

Favorite type of music?
Probably classic rock.

Favorite sports team?
Any suggestions? I’m afraid I don’t follow sports very well.

Tell us something about yourself not many people know.
I just began learning to crochet a couple of weeks ago; I’m terrible at it.