Rock Valley College

RVC’s McCombs Receives Teaching Excellence Award

Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019

Media Contact: David Costello, 815-921-4516

Rock Valley College Professor of Mathematics Dr. Paul McCombs was honored today with a National Teaching Excellence Award at the annual AMATYC (American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges) Conference in Milwaukee.

The award is given in odd-numbered years to AMATYC members who are outstanding two-year college mathematics instructors. Teaching Excellence is the primary focus of the award, but additional criteria include Professional Involvement/Development, Interaction with Colleagues, and Service to Departments/Division/College.

Since 2001, Dr. McCombs has taught all levels of mathematics, from developmental to the highest level math courses offered at RVC. He has also served on numerous College committees and on the boards of many community, state, and national organizations, including former President of the Illinois Mathematics Association of Community Colleges (IMACC), and former President of the Northern Illinois Association of Teachers of Mathematics (NIATM).

His community involvement includes serving as an educator for the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) where his focus is on aerospace education. For the last two years, he has served as Deputy Commander of the Rockford Composite Squadron. He has further served as Deputy Commandant of Cadets at the ILWG Spring Encampment which serves youth from several states. As the Rockford Composite Squadron AEO he has presented many hands-on Aerospace activities to local 4H groups as well as state conferences for the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois. In 2018, Dr. McCombs received the ILWG’s Frank G. Brewer, Sr. Civil Air Patrol Memorial Aerospace Award for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of youth in aerospace activities.

In 2014, Dr. McCombs was the recipient of the RVC Faculty of the Year Award. Other notable honors he has received over the years include the IMACC Teaching Excellence Award in 2017 and the Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics Award from the Illinois Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) in 2014.

Dr. McCombs is originally from Cherryville, North Carolina. He served in the U.S. Air Force and received his associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from the Community College of the USAF before going on to earn his bachelor’s degree in General Mathematics from Appalachian State University, and later his master’s degree in Pure Mathematics from Kansas State University. He earned his doctorate in Mathematics Education at Northern Illinois University.

Professor McCombs joins his RVC colleague, Professor Diane Koenig, as an AMATYC Teaching Excellence Award recipient. Professor Koenig received the honor in 2015.