Faculty Award Recipients 2017
Dr. Shirley Wachtel is a Professor in the English Department, teaching for over 25 years. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Brooklyn College, a Master of Arts Degree from Long Island University, and a Doctor of Letters Degree from Drew University. Her dissertation consists of a formal study about children of Holocaust survivors, Second Generation in Middle Age, and a creative memoir, My Mother’s Shoes. The memoir which spawned a novel has been the subject of numerous presentations. Dr. Wachtel has conducted readings and discussions of her novel for over 500 students at the Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, North Carolina; members of the United States State Department and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC; the Middlesex County Chapter of Brandeis Women; and at other venues. Her sabbatical project was devoted to research into expanding the College’s Holocaust and Human Rights Center, where she continues to be an advocate and active member. She shares her scholarship with MCC students to advance writing in her “writing about survival” classes.
Dr. Wachtel has done extensive research in reading and basic skills, resulting in the 2012 publication of a series, Spotlight on Reading, which is being used successfully in the classroom. She has also presented readings of her novel, The Music Makers, which has received excellent reviews, and a book of poems, In The Mellow Light. Her poem, “A Summer’s Evening,” earned second prize in the Dream Quest 2015 Contest. She continues to publish extensively for adults and children, and her work has been featured in several literary journals. Dr. Wachtel shares her love for literature and writing, as well as advancing the cause for human rights, each day in the classroom.
Dr. Kathleen Shay is a Professor of Mathematics and a founding member and current director of MCC’s Center for the Enrichment of Learning and Teaching (CELT). She’s earned four degrees from Rutgers University: a Bachelor’s degree from Douglass College, a Master of Education degree from the Graduate School of Education, and Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from The Graduate School.
“A lifelong learner, Kathy brings innovation and new technologies to the classroom, continually working with students to instill a love of learning in addition to teaching them how to learn,” said Professor Susan Altman, chair of the selection committee. Vice President Mark McCormick noted that “Kathy is always at the forefront in testing new teaching strategies and in piloting the use of new technology in the classroom.”
Dr. Shay’s core principles have guided her ever-evolving teaching practice throughout her 36-year career at MCC. These principles include providing a warm and welcoming learning environment, building relationships with students that support and encourage them in the classroom and beyond, and maintaining high standards for her students and herself. Kathy continually seeks to upgrade her pedagogy using evidence-based teaching and learning practices. She says, “Until all of my earnest students are able to succeed in my courses, improvements will be sought.”
“Through CELT, Kathy shares her love of teaching and learning with the wider MCC faculty community,” Professor Altman said. “She challenges us to think about how we approach pedagogy in the classroom and raises up all of our teaching.”
Sara Blomquist earned her BA in English from Rutgers University (Douglass College) and her MFA in Creative Writing: Fiction from Temple University. While at Temple, in the Fall of 2010, she joined their First Year Writing Program, completing their semester-long teaching practicum, and has been teaching First Year Writing since.
She has taught at several different types of institutions, from community colleges, such as MCC, to smaller universities, such as Philadelphia University, to large universities, such as Rutgers. She has also taught different levels of First Year Writing, from developmental to research methods, giving her a wide range of skills and experience.
Professor Blomquist came to MCC in the Spring of 2012, starting at the New Brunswick Center. She moved to the Edison Campus a year later, and has been a valuable member of MCC’s adjunct teaching community ever since. She uses best practices and a hands-on approach to teaching that promotes student success through universal design, instructor accessibility in and out of class, frequent low stakes student assessments with detailed feedback, and individualized instruction. All of which helps foster a life-long love of learning.
When Sara first began teaching, she learned that first year writing professors are often the first college faculty students ever speak to. The professors students meet first are the ones who will influence the rest of these students’ college careers, not only though the skills taught, but through their experience in the classroom. This is why she runs her classroom the way she does: the reason why she makes herself accessible, her classroom welcoming, and her assignments with realistic yet challenging goals.
Previous Award Recipients:
- Faculty Award Recipients 2017
- Faculty Award Recipients 2016
- Faculty Award Recipients 2015
- MCC Faculty Excellence in Teaching 2014- Donna Marie Gardner
- MCC Faculty Scholar 2014- Mathew Spano
- MCC Faculty Excellence in Teaching 2012- Claire Condie
- MCC Faculty Scholar 2012- Maya Aloni