I am excited to be part of such a wonderful organization as Westchester Community College. I started back to school in 1977, obtaining my GED at Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center. I migrated to Yonkers in 1992 and eventually wound up at Westchester EOC in Yonkers, taking classes in computer operating systems. I continued on to college and graduated with my masters in communications from The College of New Rochelle, and I am now part of the faculty at WCC and WEOC.
My experiences have been very rewarding since my hire at WCC in 2013. I have met and taught some wonderful students, some who have gone on to four-year colleges. There, of course, were many challenges, but that was and is to be expected of community college students, both new and returning adult learners.
I tell my student my story of how I sat in the same seats with the same fears and anxieties, doubts and feelings of inadequacy to let them know that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. One of my greatest achievements was having a student who was terrified of speaking in front of a crowd, as we all are at one time or another, email me after the semester was over to tell me that not only was she taking public speaking the following semester, but she was also considering eventually going to a four-year college and joining her local Toastmasters Group! This student shared with me that she was also asked to do a speech/toast at her aunt’s wedding in addition to several presentations on her new job.
One of the challenges that I continually face as an instructor is having a student disrupting the class with attention-seeking behavior. I’ve pulled students to the side, not to embarrass them and spoken to them about their behavior, which seemed to work in every case. I once had a student who I thought may have had a problem with me because he always seemed to be ignoring me and his classmates. Only later did I find out later that he suffered from seizures and his “zoning out” was the way he dealt with them.
I’ve been affectionately titled and known as “Professor Bow Tie” since I started at WCC, and one of my favorite midterm and final exam bonus questions is “What color bow tie did I wear on week number…?”