Edith Marjorie Harrod Award

Edith served as President of the Illinois Speech Association in 1966, and was a member of the Illinois Board of Education for five years. She taught Drama and English at Eureka High School from 1943 to 1951. She taught Drama at Pekin Community High School from 1951 to 1971. She was an Associate Professor of Creative Arts at Illinois Central College where she taught Speech and Drama until her death in 1976. At Illinois Central College she created an interdisciplinary course in the humanities including art, drama, music and philosophy. She received her B.A. degree from Eureka College in 1943, and her M.A. degree from the University of Iowa in 1949. She completed additional graduate study at Northwestern University in Evanston and the University of Minnesota. In 1961, she was awarded the John Hay Fellowship in Humanities. She attended symposia on theater at Stratford, Ontario, Canada, in 1965, 1966 and 1968, studying with Tyrone Guthrie, who helped establish the Shakespeare Festival there, and who founded the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. She was director of Broadway Theater League and Cornstock Theater. She directed plays for Cornstock Theater and at Illinois Central College directed Readers' Theater and Plays for Living. The Harrod award is in recognition of distinguished service to the Association and outstanding achievement in the profession.

2023 Edith Marjorie Harrod Award Winner

Sunny Serres, Harold Washington Community College

After graduating from Bradley University in 1999, Sunny Serres attended graduate school at Northern Illinois University in 2007. She is an example of how anyone can change the course of their life with one decision. And that decision led her to a tenure-track position at Harold Washington College in 2011. If it weren’t for Judy Santacaterina saying, “Yes, I want Sunny to be a graduate assistant for the speech team at NIU” her trajectory may have been different. 

Mentored by the late Kathryn Nash, Sunny started a speech team at Harold Washington, but it was short-lived. Given her passion for forensics, when Vance Pierce was tasked with leading the speech team at University of Illinois at Chicago, she immediately volunteered to assist. To say she learned a lot from Kathy and Vance while working with them would be an understatement. With their guidance, she was able to grow as a coach and professor. However, even before her time at Harold Washington, many in the speech community complimented her on her ballot and her focus on the student experience, no matter what team they competed for.  

Sunny is a newly minted chair of the English, Speech, Theater, and Journalism department. Before taking on the role as chair, she was speech coordinator from 2017-2020. She is incredibly proud of the adjunct faculty she has hired and how dedicated they are to our students. As coordinator, she also ran the Sydney R. Daniels Oratorical Festival for Black History Month. 

As a member of ICTA, she was brought on the board by Lauren Morgan as the Higher Education Chair. She hopes to continue to positively contribute to ICTA in meaningful ways, and especially during Convention 2024! Sunny would like to thank her family for their support when she made this life-changing decision. She would also like to thank all of her colleagues who have given her a piece of advice, lent a helping hand, or shared ideas.  

Watch Sunny's acceptance speech here: https://youtu.be/Fj_hB1hkpbA

Past Edith Marjorie Harrod Award Winners

1978 Philip Decker, Richard Hunsaker, William E. Sanders

1979 Mina Halliday

1980 No award given

1981 Maxine Joyce

1982 L.E. Norton

1983 Earl Davis

1984 Marvin Kleinau

1985 John Duffin

1986 Jerry Mathis

1987 Philip Gray

1988 Barry Kautz

1989 E. Neal Claussen

1990 Paul Haywood

1991 John Davis

1992 Marjorie Risser

1993 James Jewell

1994 Connie Link, Heyworth High School

1995 Joseph Rust

1996 Thomas B. McClain

1997 Morris Snively, Belleville East High School

1998 Robert Neuleib, University High School

1999 Marion Kleinau, Southern Illinois University

2000 Kenneth Anderson

2001 Tom Sweeney, Homewood-Flossmoor High School

2002 Tom Pace & Douglas R. Springer

2003 Timothy Sweeney, Thornridge High School

2004 Jim Seamon

2005 Keith Sanders &Elighie Wilson

2006 Tina Winings, Charleston High School

2007 William R. Kirksey, Thornridge High School

2008 Jan Heiteen, Downers Grove South High School

2009 Eric Ewan, Pekin High School

2010 Lauren Morgan, College of DuPage

2011 Jeff Przybylo, Harper Community College

2012 Reddy Royce Wilson

2013 Pam Kimball, Benton High School

2014 Ed Jodlowski, Olympia High School

2015 Doug Jennings, Illinois State University

2016 Ellie Marvin, Normal Community West High School

2017 Adam Jenkins, Belleville West High School

2018 No Award Given

2019 Anna Wright, Illinois State University

2020 No award given

2021 Julie Weishar, Parkland College

2022 Heather Danek, Minooka Community High School, and Anthony Zoubek, Bartlett High School

2023 Sunny Serres, Harold Washington College

Illinois Communication and Theatre Association

C/O Edward Schwarz

Prairie State College

202 S. Halsted St.

Chicago Heights, IL 60411


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