By Andrew Henry
Reading Professor Dianne Shames is a teacher at heart. She used to teach children around the neighborhood for an hour a day before she was an official educator. She charged the same rate that she would to babysit.
Shames has been a member of the DCCC community for nearly 35 years. Deciding to retire after 44 years of teaching was a difficult decision for her, she wrote in a recent letter to faculty. During her tenure at DCCC, Shames received the 2003 Christian Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching, helped to create the textbook fund, started several scholarships, was a graduation commencement speaker on two occasions, coordinated the Reading Department for many years, and helped to create the Developmental Learning Summit with Professor Dotty Russo, now retired.
“Dianne has been such an inspiration to her students as well as faculty and staff at the College,” said Dr. Grant Snyder, vice provost for Student and Instructional Support Services.
“She has touched the lives of so many individuals. I also remember fondly her efforts, particularly in the early years, with Achieving the Dream initiative.”
Shames also served on the first committees for Student Mentoring and Black Student Retention.
“Dianne was instrumental in helping me to become involved at DCCC,” said Dr. Lisa Barnes, Professor of Reading. “Sharing an office with her in my first years of working at the College helped me to observe how dedicated she has been to her students, her colleagues, and the institution.”
Barnes also recalled when Shames offered a student who was hitchhiking in terrible weather a ride home. “This demonstrated the generosity that she routinely offers to others,” Barnes added.
Over the years, Shames hosted faculty in-service workshops at her own home, coordinated the Reading and Writing Department for 12 years, taught in the ACT 101 summer program, volunteered for Senior Week, lectured about DCCC to organizations, such as The Optimist Club, and served as Graduation Marshall.
“DCCC has been my home since 1984, and I leave with only the best regard for the institution,” faculty, staff and students,” Shames wrote. “I know that my story is not over yet, but I want to say thank you for being a part of my ‘first half.’ I will miss my colleagues, who are also, my friends.”