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  • Michelle Hawco

Michelle Hawco

  • Program: Human Services

    Education/Industry Certifications: Bachelor’s degree in Human Services, College of St. Mary (after transferring credits from SCC); master’s degree in Counseling, Doane University.

    Has Taught at SCC Since: January 2016 (full-time), 2011 (adjunct). Became program chair in January 2018.

    Years of Work Experience Outside SCC: 25 years. Was hired at our local community action agency while I was interning there as a student. Worked there for 11 years in the Head Start and Early Head Start programs as a direct service staff and a manager, developing the Early Head Start program. I then worked for 10 years at a drug and alcohol treatment center for women, working in and managing the community support program and facilitating psycho-educational groups. Interned as a mental health therapist with the homeless population and in two other treatment centers. Worked for a year as a juvenile treatment probation officer before being offered the full-time faculty position.

    Describe your teaching philosophy.

    I attempt to create a connection with each student, to not only educate them, but to inspire them. I want to ignite their curiosity in the classroom, in practicum experiences as well as their personal lives. I believe it is important to foster open-minded discussion and activities in the classroom and to respect and honor diverse ways of seeing and approaching the world we share.

    Why did you decide to teach at a community college?

    I attended SCC’s Human Services program as a young adult. The knowledge and development I gained in this program served me well and enabled me to be successful in my career and in my other educational pursuits. I knew it was a quality program that I could be proud to work for. This work would allow me to continue to make a positive impact in the Lincoln community by training the next generation of helping professionals. I knew I would continue to make a positive impact in a field I care deeply about.

    What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?

    Students can expect to be greeted by faculty who are encouraging, supportive, experienced, and knowledgeable. Students can expect to receive a quality education that will prepare them to excel in the helping professions. Students in our program learn not only about the field of Human Services, but they also will learn much about themselves and how they relate to the world.

    What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?

    I bring 25 years of working in the field of Human Services, as well as an optimistic and upbeat attitude to my work with students.

    What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in your program?

    Don’t rush it. Enjoy the process and be present to the moment. Also, aim higher than where you think you will go with your career.

    What do you enjoy most about working with students?

    I enjoy seeing how students develop their self-confidence as they progress through the program. I enjoy their light bulb or “aha” moments.

    What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?

    There are many things that are great about being a member of the SCC faculty. I enjoy being in the classroom with students, but I also enjoy the faculty and staff of the College as a whole. I especially enjoy the energy that is created by all the positive changes that are taking place at the College.

    What has been your proudest moment as an instructor?

    My proudest moments are participating in the graduation ceremonies. Seeing the students celebrate their hard work and acknowledging how much they have grown is quite touching.

    What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?

    I like to spend my time in playful ways. I love being outdoors, hiking, kayaking, practicing yoga, and gardening. I like to listen to live music and doing all kinds of arts/crafts, and of course, spending time with friends and family.

    What would students be surprised to know about you?

    I like Reggae music.

    Is there anything you’d like to add?

    When I was a young student attending this program, it never occurred to me that I would one day be a member of the faculty.