Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College
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Stephens welcomes new professors

September 19, 2013

She’s been a fashion reporter and editor, as well as travel and society editor, at the Chicago Sun-Times; has served as an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago, where she helped develop the fashion journalism curricula; and has recently completed a Master of Science in International Public Service from DePaul University, where she graduated “With Distinction."

In short, Lisa Lenoir will be a perfect fit on the Stephens School of Fashion and Design faculty, said Dean Monica McMurry.

“We are very pleased to have Lisa join the fashion program as she brings with her both talents as a fashion journalist and reporter and strong skills with writing and the English language,” McMurry said. “Additionally, she has a engaging personality that will immerse students in new conversations about fashion, the world and how to bring that to the public. Plus, they are just going to want to be around her!"

Lenoir and Dr. Carrie Whittle joined the Stephens faculty last month as tenure-track professors. Whittle is teaching College Algebra, Calculus I and a physical science course this semester.

Lenoir is assistant fashion communication professor, bringing with her not only extensive experience but also familiarity with the program. Lenoir served on an advisory committee to help Stephens develop its fashion communication program, and has served on the Jury of Selection, helping judge student designs.

“Monica called me one day and told me about Jury and said they were looking for some different voices,” Lenoir said. “I came down and just really loved it. It was such a different environment.”

So when McMurry called her earlier this year asking whether she knew anyone who might be interested in the vacant faculty position, Lenoir decided to apply. After meeting Stephens’ administrative team, Lenoir said she felt a connection.

Lenoir has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with a minor in graphic design from Indiana University. She spent seven years as a reporter before becoming fashion editor and reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, a position she held for seven years before becoming travel editor at the paper.

At Stephens, Lenoir wants to empower students to be “super smart about what they write,” she said. “Social media provides different ways for students to get their voices heard, but they also need to be responsible. I’ll be teaching journalistic standards from a traditional journalism background.”

Whittle recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas, where she taught College Algebra as a graduate assistant. She has a master’s degree from Missouri State University and a bachelor’s from Truman State University.

Stephens is a good fit, Whittle said, because the focus is on teaching. “During my phone interview, I really liked what I heard,” she said. “Then I had an in-person interview and when I got here and met the students, faculty and administrators, I was blown away. I thought, ‘This is fantastic.’ The emphasis is on helping students learn.”

Whittle also likes the small classes, allowing her to give students individualized attention. She describes her teaching style as interactive, making sure students learn through discovery.

“It’s important for them to figure things out for themselves,” she said. “When they discover the underlying concepts themselves, it’s going to stick with them much longer than if I just stood up and tried to explain it.”

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