Three outstanding professors at Middlesex County College were recently honored: Alexandra Fields, Assistant Professor in the History and Social Sciences Department, was selected as the 2019 Faculty Scholar; Hope-Claire Holbeck, Assistant Professor of Dental Hygiene, received the Excellence in Teaching Award; and Erin Nemiroff of the English Department received the Excellence in Teaching Part Time Award.
Professor Fields has done voluminous research on service learning and how it benefits students.
“Her extensive research on service learning and how it can be integrated into college-level coursework has been implemented in her own classroom, and she has also inspired others at the College to engage in service learning,” said Susan Altman, Director of MCC’s Center for the Enrichment of Learning and Teaching (CELT), and the Chair of the selection committee. “Alexandra Fields believes that students must ‘experience the world’ before they can ‘understand the world,’ and students are benefiting from these practices. By leaving the classroom, they are learning to move past the traditional engagement with one-dimensional coursework and are experiencing a multidimensional learning environment that is both beneficial to them and the community they are serving. Alex has presented her research at numerous national and local conferences to discuss the power of service learning and how to implement it. More importantly, she has put her scholarship into practice. She has developed new coursework, materials, and teaching practices that many Middlesex faculty are using across numerous disciplines.”
Professor Holbeck, who is retiring at the end of this academic year, is an excellent teacher and mentor.
“She is truly a student-centered educator and an example of excellence in teaching,” Professor Altman said. “Professor Holbeck is a master educator who puts student learning at the forefront of her pedagogical decisions and practices. She effectively applies research from the field of cognitive science to help her students successfully engage in the type of risk-taking that results in learning. She uses a brilliant combination of building student-teacher relationships and putting into practice teaching strategies that help students to learn and be successful. Hope is well-respected by her peers and has enriched the Dental Hygiene Program not only through her expert teaching but also through developing coursework for the program.”
Professor Nemiroff, an Adjunct Professor in English, creates a student-centered classroom using a variety of active learning strategies.
“She understands the backgrounds of her students and ensures that all respect each other, providing opportunities for students to drive the discussion and to immerse themselves in the multitude of ways that material can be interpreted and evaluated. Erin is able to adapt to the various needs that each of these courses require and tailors her activities accordingly. Her approach allows her students, regardless of their academic level, to engage in the relevancy of the material and enjoy the learning process as well.”