Faculty Profile: Dale Sheptak
Dr. Dale Sheptak is the Dean of the School of Education and Professional Studies at Lake Erie College, as well as an Assistant Professor of Sport Management and Sport Sociology. Born on the US Navy base in Waukeegan, Illinois, Dr. Sheptak spent his formative years growing up in Edinburgh, Scotland and Leicester, England. Returning to the United States at age 16 years, he graduated for Troy Athens High School in Troy, Michigan. He pursued his undergraduate and graduate education at University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. The focus of his academic research falls in the areas of sport volunteerism, sport in education, youth sport, and coaching.
Attracted by the small family like environment, Dr. Sheptak joined the LEC community in 2002. Prior to joining Lake Erie College Dr Sheptak worked extensively in adult education and corporate training and development for companies such as JP Morgan Chase, MRI, and Things Remembered. He has also been involved with the start up of several sports ventures, and has been involved in coaching at the youth, amateur, and collegiate levels for over 20 years.
What do you believe makes LEC different?
The ability to impact students’ learning from day one is what differentiates an institution like LEC from other schools. We know our students and, as faculty, we make the educational journey with each and every one of them. This of course is a special journey, one which we hope will set the student up for life of curiosity, learning, and of course success.
Please give an example of a real-world application of the courses you teach.
Everything we do in the classroom has real-world application. The education process, becoming informed and learning to challenge norms and think critically and creatively, there is nothing more real-world than that. However, from a practical sense, I employ experiential learning techniques in my classes. Students are required to actively take part in numerous activities such as hosting events or working with outside organizations. They then reflect on what they learned or what the results are and seek identify solutions for the next time the are faced with similar problems. An example of this is the Lake Erie College Mini-Triathlon which has been designed and run by the Sport Facility and Events Management class for the past three years.
Why do you love your discipline?
Sport, when approached correctly, has the ability to transform lives. I encourage students to think critically and unfold the social significance of something that they generally take for granted or view through the lens of mass media.
What has been your proudest moment as a professor at Lake Erie College?
There have been many and I would hate to leave a particular story out. However, every time a student ‘makes the transition from a passive learner to an active learner and begins to think critically and look for alternative solutions to the problems that they are presented with gives cause to be proud. Without a doubt though, my favorite/proudest moment (every year) is graduation. Seeing students crossing the stage prepared to make a difference reinforces my commitment to what I do.
Tell us how you got involved with the Learning Communities, and what do you see as the biggest benefit of a LC membership to the students?
Participating in the learning communities give the students the opportunity to learn with a group of a group of students who share similar interests while enrolled in a common set of courses and participating in focused out of class experiences. This environment gives the students and instructor the opportunity engage in collaborative learning while exploring current social, political, and economic issues.
What was your favorite moment from the events your Learning Community was participated in last year?
This community is about service, policy, and law. Last year’s group loved to debate any topic that was put in front of them. This made for great class sessions.