Colleen Teague named the Wayne College Campus 2021 Distinguished Alum

05/25/2021

The University of Akron (UA) Wayne College Campus Alumni Association is proud to announce Colleen Teague as its 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. The award recognizes graduates who have shown leadership in the workplace and community and will be formally presented when events safely return to campus.

Teague, associate professor emerita of business and office technology and business management, was offered a full-time teaching position at the Wayne College Campus in 1994 and taught there until her retirement in 2020. During her time at the Wayne College Campus, Teague co-chaired the college’s reaccreditation, became a certified leadership trainer, developed a degree in health care office management and served as interim associate dean for five years.

In addition to her roles at the Wayne College Campus, Teague also served on numerous boards including Viola Startzman Clinic, Central America Medical Outreach, Northeast Ohio Medical Group Management Association and the United Way Citizens Review committee. She is currently a member of the Silver Trowel Garden Club and Fireside Readers Book Club.  

Teague encourages everyone pursuing a college education to start their educational journey at a smaller regional campus. “It’s a much more personal experience,” said Teague. “It’s a great place to test the waters and develop confidence.”

Teague didn’t decide to attend college until her senior year of high school. Up to that point, she had very little information about college and careers and certainly didn’t know how she would fund her education. After high school graduation, she accepted a full-time position in the Orrville City School’s superintendent’s office and began taking evening classes at Wayne College, first in office administration, then changing to business management.  

Moving to Columbus one year later, she finished her degree at Columbus State College, while working full-time for the Ohio Board of Regents. Her business degree continued to serve her well, as she worked for a few companies in Virginia and North Carolina, before returning to Ohio in 1982.

Once back in Ohio, Teague decided to make a career change and become a teacher. Returning to UA for an additional degree in business education, Teague found herself taking classes at the Wayne College Campus. “The class times were convenient, tuition was affordable, and the instructors were inspiring and caring,” stated Teague.

Teague’s favorite memories of her time on the Wayne College Campus are those with faculty members who helped shape her life. Mary Tohill, senior lecturer of English, pushed Teague to be a better writer. Historian, Sue Politella opened her eyes to a world of ideology, culture, art, systems, movements and technology. This gave Teague a better understanding of our world and its people. And finally, Kay Stephan, professor emerita of business and office technology, coordinator of office administration technology, who provided practical business skills training and was an excellent model for effective and caring instruction. Stephan would later offer Teague her first part-time teaching job.

“I really enjoyed taking classes as an adult learner,” stated Teague. “I approached learning in a very different way. I wanted to get as much as possible out of every class, even with my general education classes.”

Understanding the value of education and the many opportunities it presents in career options, Teague went on to complete two master’s degrees, technical education and an MBA, resulting in three out of her four degrees being completed at UA.

In her retirement, Teague is enjoying more time with family and travel, and spends some time working with a new investment company.

A resident of Orrville, Teague and her husband, Allen, have three adult sons, Brent (Eva), Chad (Mandi) and Drew (Karrie), along with six grandchildren.