Two JJC Cisco Professors Earn Industry's Top Honor

Two  professors in Joliet Junior College’s Cisco program have received the Cisco Networking Academy’s Expert Level Instructor Excellence Award for their contributions to the field and in the classroom. With the award, instructors Joseph Sullivan and William Martin are now among the top 10 percent of all Cisco Networking Academy instructors worldwide. 

Joe Sullivan (Left) and William Martin (Right)

“Having received this award is a great achievement, especially on a global level, but we couldn't do it alone. We recognize that this is a team effort and, thanks to the support we receive from the JJC administration, we have the resources to provide our students with an immersive experience with both networking and security,” said Sullivan.

This is the ninth time that JJC instructors have earned this honor. Sullivan and Martin are also the only Illinois college professors to receive the award this year. 

“For any working professional to be recognized in the top 10 percent in your field is an honor. To have two professors achieve that recognition is a great coup for our academy,” said Martin.

“The Cisco certifications are recognized globally and it affords our students incredible opportunities,” added Sullivan. 

JJC’s Cisco program teaches students the technology from the ground-up, meaning no experience or prerequisites are required.

Students can earn an Associate in Applied Science as a Computer Networking Technologist or choose between two certificate options, Cisco Networking Security and Cisco Voice/Wireless/Security.

JJC’s program is backed by training resources from Cisco, the world’s largest cyber security and networking company. It allows students to develop their skills in the following areas: cloud, security, wireless, cyber operations, collaboration voice and video, routing and switching and advanced protocols. 

The program also offers simulations and hands-on experience using the latest industry equipment.

“The success of our networking academy is due to a lot of hard work from Mr. Sullivan and my predecessors who founded the academy at JJC. In order for the academy to be successful we must have three parts, a great curriculum, great instructors and great students,” said Martin.    

Sullivan noted they’ve seen an increasing number of women in IT which is very encouraging. For women considering this field, it is a very viable pathway and a gateway to the industry.

“The ultimate goal is student success. We are having a sustained run of success getting our students employed in highly technical, well-paying jobs. That is where the reward is for a professor. Being top 10% is an honor, but seeing our students succeed is a privilege,” said Martin. 

According to Cisco Networking Academy Midwest Manager Clydene Stangvik, more than 22,000 professors, teachers and counselors deliver Cisco curriculum to inspire and motivate students worldwide. 

“Expert Level instructors represent the best of the instructor community and are essential to our goal to make Networking Academy students the bridge to possible,” said Stangvik. “Congratulations Joe Sullivan and Bill Martin.”

Fall enrollment will begin this month. More information is available on the Cisco program page, or by contacting Professor Martin at or Professor Sullivan at   

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