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Program: Academic Transfer (English instructor, Milford Campus)
Education/Industry Certifications: Bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder; master's degree in TESOL from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff.
Has Taught at SCC Since: 2005
Years of Work Experience Outside SCC: 20
Describe your teaching philosophy. Students on the Milford Campus need to read analytically and write effectively. These are life skills. While I'm happy to demonstrate the importance of clear writing in their future jobs, I also work to show them how they must be able to understand and communicate clearly in many different situations. I am responsible for the level of enthusiasm in class. I am the one who loves to read and knows something about writing, and it's my job to communicate these every day. My goal is for every student to leave my class with a realistic awareness of his/her strengths and weaknesses as a writer and reader. That means frequent, concrete feedback that builds skills, not frustration.
Why did you decide to teach at a community college?A community college is the place where I get to interact with the widest possible range of students. I am so grateful to be able to interact with folks at every stage of life! I can't say that I actually planned it this way, but I am very pleased with how my career path worked out.
What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?Academic Transfer as a program is in the early stages on SCC's Milford Campus. I am hoping that Milford will be able to provide a wide range of classes that meet the educational objectives of students in the western part of SCC's service area. We will be providing transfer credit courses that apply toward SCC's health degrees, as well as courses that could build toward a wide range of other degrees. I'm especially excited about a 2 + 2 degree offered through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that prepares future "shop" teachers who will teach Milford's technical skills to younger students in the state.
What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?Before starting full-time with SCC, I was the home-schooling mom of five children living on an acreage east of Cortland. That was a tough job. It helped train me to view curiosity as the greatest motivator in education. In the classroom, my hope is to nurture curiosity, and I try to build student learning activities on that foundation.
What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in your program? Be curious and try to embrace change. My career has been heavily impacted by technological changes, and that will only continue. People who keep learning every day, whether in school or out of school, are the ones who make our world a better place.
What do you enjoy most about working with students?I enjoy the communication challenge that every student represents. After all, I'm trying to teach students to be effective communicators. They challenge me every day to be the most effective communicator I can possibly be. When we understand each other, or understand better something that wasn't clear a moment earlier, that will keep me smiling.
What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?I work with people who are all dedicated to helping students succeed.
What has been your proudest moment as an instructor?I had the honor of being involved in helping a young man on his educational path who had a number of hurdles to overcome. These challenges began with a stroke and ended with open-heart surgery. I was very proud to have been able to help him move forward on his journey, and SCC was only a stepping stone in his path.
What do you like to do when you're not teaching?I love to read and learn. I enjoy following people on Twitter who know lots more than I do about many different things: scientists, artists, writers, and teachers. If it's not too hot, I like to be out in the garden, and if it's cold outside, I'm probably baking in the kitchen.
What would students be surprised to know about you?My very first grandchild is going to grow up in Germany, so I'm studying German. SCC has a GREAT German teacher!