Faculty and Staff News

Fall 2016

Michele Sedor Michele Sedor

Michele Sedor, director of HCC's System for Adult Basic Education Support and ABE Professional Development Center, has been appointed to the state's Adult Basic Education Advisory Council by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Office of Adult and Community Learning Services. The council advises the board and the commissioner on adult basic education programs and need, including assessing statewide trends and needs; seeking public and professional input; advising on regulations and program guidelines. "With your expertise and contribution, the council can make significant contributions to enhance the department's mission, goals and priorities," Mitchell Chester, commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, said in his appointment letter. Sedor, who lives in Shutesbury, works out of HCC's Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center on Maple Street in downtown Holyoke.  Her term on the advisory council runs from October 2016 through June 2019. 

Spring 2016

Ileana Vasu Ileana Vasu

Ileana Vasu, professor of mathematics and chair of HCC's engineering program, was the recipient of the 2016 Elaine Marieb Faculty Chair for Teaching Excellence. The award was established by HCC professor emeritus Elaine Marieb to recognize a member of the HCC faculty who exemplifies the characteristics associated with outstanding classroom teaching. Each spring, one member of the full-time faculty is named the Elaine Marieb Chair for Teaching Excellence and receives a modest stipend to support activities to enhance their professional skills. Vasu, who lives in Hatfield, has taught at HCC for 18 years. She earned her bachelor's degree at Stanford University and her master's degree at Yale University. 

Joan Giovannini and Aaron Levin

Professors Joan Giovannini and Aaron Levin accept their COD awards from Carlos Santiago, commissioner of the state Dept. of Higher Education.

Professors Joan Giovannini (education) and Aaron Levin (math) received Course of Distinction awards at the Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) eLearning Conference. Professor Levin's online course, MTH 142 Statistics, and professor Giovannini's blended course, EDU 268 Computer Technology in Education, were selected from more than 3,000 courses offered through MCO, a consortium of the 15 Massachusetts community colleges and seven members of the state university system, to receive the MCO Course of Distinction (COD) Award. The MCO Award Course of Distinction (COD) is named after the Bay State's unique association with the "Sacred Cod," and the contributions that the fishing industry made to Massachusetts' economy in the early years of its history. In addition to accepting a symbolic gurgling cod pitcher, professor Levin and professor Giovannini were invited to present and shared their courses as part of the conference. Photos above, Giovannini and Levin accept their COD awards from Carlos Santiago, commissioner of the state Dept. of Higher Education.

Pesha Black Pesha Black

Pesha Black, of Northampton, director of the HCC's Ludlow Area Adult Learning Center and Springfield Adult Learning Center ESOL program has been named a champion of literacy by Mass Literacy, a Boston-based not-for-profit educational organization. Winners of the group's annual Mass Literacy Champions awards each receive a $1,000 grant for program development, a professionally produced video to promote the work of their organization valued at $1,000, and serve as a Mass Literacy Adviser. Each will complete an innovative literacy project that will be shared with the statewide literacy community.

Raúl Gutierrez Raul Gutierrez

The work of assistant professor of Spanish Raúl Gutierrez, with support from past and present members of the HCC LISA Club, was recognized with an 2015 Innovation Award from the Massachusetts Head Start Association. In collaboration with Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start, and funded through a grant from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, Gutierrez developed a program called "Planting Literacy" that provides literacy courses for Spanish-speaking migrant workers who have children in Head Start. Every Tuesday and Thursday evening, Gutierrez teaches reading and writing, in Spanish, at the Head Start offices in Springfield to about 20 immigrant mothers whose children were born in the United States and attend public school.

Gutierrez talked about "Planting Literacy" as a co-presenter in Virginia Feb. 21 at the national conference of the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association. 

Congratulations to the following members of the HCC faculty on their promotions.

To Professor: Teresa Beaudry (nursing); Elizabeth Butin (forensic science); Laura Christoph (nutrition); Edward Clancy (English); Tricia Keifer (education); Audrey Kilcoyne (nursing); Holly Martin-Peele (radiologic technology); Vanessa Martinez (anthropology); Patricia Quinn (nursing); Tracey Ross (education); Alexandra Wagman (English).

To Associate Professor: Jane Burkhardt (English); April Graziano (education); Ellen Majka (business); Michelle Wiliams (psychology); Steven Winters (environmental science).

To Assistant Professor: Thomas Barrup (engineering); Raúl Gutierrez (Spanish); Elizabeth Hayward (Foundations of Health); Jessica Zepke (nursing).

Faculty receive upgrades in rank based on evidence of professional development; contributions to the college or community service; student evaluations; demonstrated effective performance.

Fall 2015

Vanessa Martinez Prof. Vanessa Martinez

Professor of Anthropology Vanessa Martinez has been selected as a 2015 Leadership Fellow by the American Anthropological Association and will be honored at an award ceremony during the association's annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, Nov. 19.

The AAA Leadership Fellows program offers an opportunity for anthropologists early in their careers to learn about AAA and leadership opportunities and to encourage future leadership in the association. Martinez is an associate professor of Anthropology at HCC as well as coordinator of the Sociology/Anthropology department and the HCC Honors Program. Originally from San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, she is a trained cultural and medical anthropologist whose research specializes in how social inequities impact access to medical care and educational opportunities. In 2014, she completed her Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Spring 2015

Patricia L. Mantia HCC professor Patricia Mantia

Chair of HCC's Health, Fitness and Nutrition program, Professor Mantia has been appointed to two boards of the American College of Sports Medicine, the national governing body for sports medicine and exercise science.  

Mantia, who lives in Sturbridge, is serving on the ACSM's board of personal trainers and its board of examiners, where she will work with other fitness and medical professionals to develop policies, practices, certification guidelines, standards and exams. Mantia holds a bachelor of science from Bridgewater State College and a master's degree and doctorate from Boston University, where she focused on teaching human movement and professional development of fitness leaders. She is in her 16th year at HCC, where she developed the Health, Fitness and Nutrition program.  


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