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College Honors Three Outstanding Faculty Members

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From left: College President Joann La Perla-Morales, who presented the scholar award to Iris Ramer; Mark McCormick, vice president for academic and student affairs, who presented the teaching award to Melissa Luis; and Linda Scherr, dean of arts and sciences, who presented the part-time teaching award to Laura De Cillis.

Three outstanding professors at Middlesex County College were recently honored: Iris Ramer, professor of English as a Second Language, was selected as the 2018 Faculty Scholar; Melissa Luis, of the History and Social Sciences Department, received the Excellence in Teaching Award; and Laura De Cillis, of the History and Social Sciences Department, received the Excellence in Teaching Part Time Award.

Dr. Ramer has been both an excellent teacher and distinguished scholar at MCC for over 30 years.

“We were impressed with her ongoing research related to the teaching of English as a Second Language and its impact on her students,” said Susan Altman, executive board member of MCC’s Center for the Enrichment of Learning and Teaching (CELT) and chair of the selection committee. “There is a direct connection from her scholarship to her teaching: providing students with the resources to transition to college-level work, and instilling in them a love of poetry and literature.”

Dr. Ramer has written two ESL textbooks and her new work, “Manny’s Journey,” is scheduled for publication next year. This book follows the journey of an ESL student as he faces the challenges of learning English and adapting to life in the Unites States. In addition to writing, Dr. Ramer has presented her research on teaching ESL with an integrated curriculum approach at numerous international conferences.

“Dr. Ramer’s scholarship connects the classroom and her own writing,” Professor Altman said. “Her students benefit from her ongoing research in her discipline.”

Dr. Luis, who teaches education courses, excels in the classroom.

“She is an example of a master teacher, working with her students to promote an understanding of course content in order to facilitate their ability to apply, evaluate and create knowledge,” Professor Altman said. “Her teaching pedagogy is applicable and accessible to all of the students in her classes – those in her discipline of education, as well as the many other students who take her classes.”

Dr. Luis is the advisor to Kappa Delta Pi, the education honor society.

“The committee was impressed with the many different teaching techniques used in her classes and her noteworthy research-based teaching philosophy,” Professor Altman said. “Using innovative Power Points, group activities, active assessment, and engaging class activities, Dr. Luis helps students build understanding as they learn.”

Professor De Cillis works to engage her students with meaningful course content. Her classroom is multi-experiential, using a wide variety of pedagogical techniques to engage students with course material and maintain their interest.

“Professor De Cillis is committed to teaching excellence and the success of her students,” Professor Altman said. “Her specific traits and professional skills make her extremely effective in her teachings and relationships. Her classes are a mix of pedagogical approaches: lecture, group work, films, assessment and other interactive activities to help students understand and analyze course content. All of these strategies benefit her students and create a learning-centered and dynamic interactive classroom.”