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Written comments - Graphic Communication, WIU


Dean Tom Erekson

"Summary student evaluation scores were excellent, ranging from 4.1 to 4.9 on a 5 point scale, and comments provided by students were very positive. Her department chair has assessed her teaching as 'highly effective' and I concur." (In support of retention, upon review of annual retention portfolio; Mar. 2012)

Chairperson C. Ray Diez

"She demonstrates the ability to design challenging course work with laboratory activities and projects that augment her lectures. Course evaluations ... indicate that Ms. Drinka is an above-average associate faculty member in the Department. Students shared supporting comments such as: real-world assignments, very well versed in the material, assignments are realistically based, no weaknesses, a great instructor in this course, clearly explains projects in great detail, has a passion for teaching, etc." (Evaluation of teaching performance, upon review of annual retention portfolio; Feb. 2012)

Chairperson C. Ray Diez

"The opportunity to observe your teaching firsthand is one I enjoy. I was very impressed with the preparation you put into your [introductory web design] class. It was a pleasure to observe that college-level terminology was used throughout the class presentation and activities. Your command of language was professional and very impressive. It was apparent from observing the class that your students were engaged learners." (Written evaluation of required classroom visit; Jan. 2011)

Interim Chairperson Rafael Obregon

"From my observations, and our interactions, you are not just always energetic and enthusiastic, you are also always well prepared, made course changes as needed, and you have always provided extra hours to help students complete assigned work. Your student evaluations have clearly indicated that students do recognize your outstanding work as a teacher. Your work is appreciated and recognized as being at the highest level. The department would not be as productive and its quality would suffer if it were not for you." (Evaluation of teaching performance, upon review of annual retention portfolio; Feb. 2009)

Chairperson Tom Bridge

"Your work as a teacher for the department ... was at the superior level. You are a highly effective teacher. Students consistently indicated through their written comments and rankings that you are a superior teacher. Your student evaluations ranked among the highest in the department. I commend you for your strong teaching skills and dedication to your students." (Evaluation of teaching performance, upon review of annual retention portfolio; Feb. 2007)


  • "I’ve had Drinka for years and she’s really an amazing teacher. I can safely say I’ve learned the most from her throughout my whole life of learning." (Intro web design, 2013)
  • "Best professor in the GCom department! Four years ago I came in as a freshman and Drinka has been very helpful since the first day I met her." (Advanced graphic illustration, 2013)
  • "If there is a campus-wide or college-wide award for best instructor, she should be nominated." (Intro web design, 2013)
  • "She's attentive, explains clearly, knows about the subject from personal experience, and teaches to all learning levels." (Advanced page layout, 2013)
  • "She is always very happy and open to new projects. I love taking her classes!" (Advanced page layout, 2013)
  • "She is enthusiastic and helpful and an amazing teacher. She's business-like so that it's closer to real-world experience." (Advanced photo manipulation, 2012)
  • "By far one of the best and most memorable teachers I have had at Western. I will miss her when I leave." (Advanced photo manipulation, 2012)
  • "I was uncomfortable working with Photoshop before and hated it, but now I love it and understand it easily." (Advanced photo manipulation, 2012)
  • "Teacher gives you projects that are related to real-world experience and treats class like a job, giving the student a feel of a professional setting." (Advanced photo manipulation, 2012)
  • "Do you think your teacher is awesome? Umm ... yes! :) " (Intro web design, 2011)
  • "The most beneficial aspects are she is very business-like; she expects us to be as well. Deadlines are deadlines." (Intro web design, 2011)
  • "Good at explaining, letting students find their way without leaving them behind." (Intro web design, 2011)
  • "She is always there to answer your question, but won't let you get away with not trying to help yourself first." (Advanced photo manipulation, 2011)
  • "Catherine has the best classes in the department. Her projects actually turn out awesome and provide excellent portfolio pieces." (Advanced page layout, 2011)
  • "I was self-taught before this course and I learned more efficient / creative ways to do techniques. Treated like I was working for a client!" (Advanced photo manipulation, 2011)
  • "You can tell she is very experienced and prepared. She actually cares about her students and is easy to talk to." (Advanced page layout, 2011)
  • "She grades things quickly and effectively while giving constructive criticism." (Advanced photo manipulation, 2010)
  • "The best teacher that I've had at Western, she taught me the most." (Advanced photo manipulation, 2010)
  • "Drinka is by far the best professor I have had at this University. She challenges me to become a better designer and I have learned soooo much! Thank you!" (Advanced photo manipulation, 2010)
    "I love your classes and your strong ability to easily teach what could, potentially, be difficult for many." (Intro web design, 2010)
  • "She challenged me to do the best work and think like a designer. She helped me create strong portfolio pieces." (Intro photo manipulation, 2010)
  • "Strengths: enthusiasm, knowledge of subject, putting together fun yet challenging, specific yet open-ended assignments." (Advanced page layout, 2010)
  • "She is great, very very helpful all the time and very enthusiastic. She makes me happy, her attitude is contagious." (Advanced photo manipulation, 2009)
  • "Catherine treats you like an adult, not like a college student." (Advanced page layout, 2009)
  • "I always learn the most and get my best portfolio work from Catherine's classes. Great teacher!" (Advanced page layout, 2009)
  • "Any and all questions were answered before the class was over. I was, therefore, able to approach each assignment with confidence." (Advanced page layout, 2009)
  • "Keep up the high expectations of your students. No other teacher has challenged me in the way you did over the semester. Thanks." (Intro graphic illustration, 2008)
  • "We were taught so much, so clearly. This course has really made a difference in my understanding of graphic communication." (Intro graphic illustration, 2008)
  • "Catherine is the best graphics teacher here as far as conveying her vast knowledge to the class in a way that is fun and easy to understand!" (Advanced photo manipulation, 2008)
  • "Great class, learned A LOT about Photoshop. Drinka ROCKS!" (Intro photo manipulation, 2007)
  • "She is a very creative, influential, awesome professor." (Intro graphic illustration, 2007)
  • "Catherine gives every opportunity for students to be successful without sacrificing the integrity of the course or losing difficulty. She is fair and consistent." (Advanced page layout, 2007)
  • "Love that the teacher is observant and knows the students." (Intro page layout, 2007)
  • "Very in depth, the feedback she includes is the most constructive I've ever had from a teacher." (Intro page layout, 2007)
  • "I heart Ms. Drinka!" (Intro page layout, 2007)
  • "She is very dependable. She is always there and willing to help. She helps me a lot by making me figure it out on my own." (Intro photo manipulation, 2007)
  • "Catherine isn't among the best teachers, she IS the best teacher I have had at WIU." (Intro photo manipulation, 2007)
  • "I believe that this course has taught me about trying new things and being creative in my own way but in a professional manner." (Intro page layout, 2006)
  • "Strengths: kind and caring to each student, friendly, and really knows what she is talking about!" (Intro graphic illustration, 2005)
  • "The instructor was very patient and took time to explain what I didn't know. She was excellent at making me feel I could do the work." (Intro photo manipulation, 2004)

Complete official copies are available upon request.

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