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Full-Time Faculty (2011-12)

Helen Buss Mitchell
Professor, Philosophy; Director of Women's Studies
Arts and Humanities Division

Dr. Helen Buss Mitchell has been recognized by her division as a faculty member who truly exemplifies HCC’s values of innovation, nurturing, sustainability, partnerships, integrity, respect, excellence, and service throughout her long career at Howard Community College. Dr. Mitchell is a Professor of Philosophy, Director of Women’s Studies, and Coordinator of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Starting her career at HCC in 1974, Dr. Mitchell’s outstanding accomplishments have been evidenced year after year in her service to her students, the college, and her community, both professionally and personally. As part of her role as a curriculum leader, Dr. Mitchell reviewed and updated all syllabi in the Philosophy and Religious Studies and Women’s Studies programs for Diversity and Globalization objectives. Dr. Mitchell previously created a teleweb course in philosophy, PHIL-101, and this past summer she migrated it to Canvas with lots of new materials. This year, she also created a new course in hybrid format, PHIL-203, Civility and the Virtue Tradition. For the Women’s Studies program, which she created, Dr. Mitchell has cultivated a community of supporters. Thanks to the generosity of Yolanda and Frank Bruno, this year we have scholarship funds for a Howard County woman who wishes to concentrate in women’s studies. Having converted the Phelps Endowment to a scholarship fund, Dr. Mitchell was able to use her contributions over more than 20 years to assist scholarship recipients in purchasing textbooks. Dr. Mitchell has continued to implement, update, and market our Philosophy and Religious Studies program. Over the years, Dr. Mitchell has continued to make a difference in the lives of students, both within and outside of the classroom. For the tenth consecutive year, she has coached the HCC Ethics Bowl Team for competition in the Baltimore Regional Ethics Bowl event, often bringing home the prize! And she also works with students in crafting and presenting papers at the Stevenson University Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy; HCC has been the only community college given the honor to participate!

Dr. Mitchell has continued to make her mark as an esteemed professional and a leader in the fields of Women’s Studies and Philosophy. Sought after as a scholar, an editor, and a speaker in both fields, she has been invited to join the editorial board of Proto, a new Undergraduate Journal, sponsored jointly by Loyola and Stevenson Universities. She has been asked to serve on the Program Advisory Board for the Prince George’s Community College Women’s Studies Program. Dr. Mitchell continues to develop and nurture contacts with philosophy and women’s studies colleagues around the state and the nation. She convened and hosted a very successful meeting of regional Directors of Women’s Studies in summer 2011. Dr. Mitchell has been invited to serve on the editorial board of Woman to Woman Howard, a quarterly magazine. She has also been invited to contribute a chapter on “The Women of Columbia” to a book in progress that takes a retrospective look at the planned city more than 40 years after its founding. Dr. Mitchell continues to nurture contacts with faculty, staff, and students from the Tai Sophia Institute for the Healing Arts. She has taken and taught courses at Tai Sophia that have enhanced her teaching skills in philosophy. At the request of Wadsworth/Cengage, Dr. Mitchell has begun working on a text revision for the 7th edition of Roots of Wisdom: A Tapestry of Philosophical Traditions in January 2012. At the request of McGraw-Hill, and working with Joe Mitchell, she will create a new edition of volume 2 [1500 to the Present] of their Taking Sides: World History series, in anticipation of a fall 2012 publication.

Serving both the college and the community at large, Dr. Mitchell has been an active contributor in numerous ways, including roles as committee member, moderator, organizer, and lecturer at a variety of important “happenings.” She serves on the Rouse Scholars, Honors, and Book Connection Committees and chairs the Library Committee and the Women’s Studies Advisory Group, as well as represents the Division on the Writing Across the Curriculum Team. In 1999, the Howard County Commission for Women inducted Dr. Mitchell into the Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame, celebrating the accomplishments of extraordinary women who have made substantial and tangible differences in our county, state, and nation. Dr. Mitchell moderated a panel of three women authors (Donna Hemans, Helen Elaine Lee, and Thrity Umrigar) for “A Literary Gathering of Women,” co-sponsored by HoCoPoLitSo and HCC. She will offer a lecture on Asian Philosophy at the Columbia Visual Arts Center in April, 2012, as part of their Salon Series. She is working with Jane Winer and Carol Galbraith putting together this year’s Annual Women’s Studies Distinguished Lecture Series event on March 16th which will feature Jean Moon lecturing on George Sand, and Anne Koscielny playing the music of Chopin. She has delivered the keynote address at the Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony, offered a pre-performance lecture before the matinee of Rep Stage's An Almost Holy Picture, and performed one of the Vagina Monologues at two performances of a production coponsored by HCC’s Arts Collective and Student Activities Office. This year Dr. Mitchell has been honored by being asked to be the first HCC faculty member to give the Keynote Address at HCC’s commencement ceremonies.

Anjula Batra
Associate Professor, Business; Coordinator, Portfolio Assessment
Business and Computer Systems Division

Anjula has done an incredible job deploying Canvas to faculty and working with them on various pedagogical methods that compliment this new LMS. In order to improve quality and consistency, she has designed an oversight site structure for faculty coordinators that will assist them in supporting their adjunct faculty in the delivery of instruction. This effort that she has championed has forced the division to rethink its teaching, its measurement, and its engagement of students. By far she has helped to create change in a positive direction in teaching our students. The backdrop is the Canvas and the teaching is the critical element. Anjula has worked with faculty of various divisions to walk through their teaching methodology as well as to partner together to share ideas for better instructional deployment. The focus has been completely on the student. In addition, Anjula has adjusted her classes which are modeling the divisional outcomes and full student engagement in learning. This model in CMSY-129 has proven to be successful and sustainable within the division. The elements of the new structure focus on critical thinking, augmenting student interest through the tools of technology, research, design, and accountability. Anjula has worked with many adjuncts to incorporate this new approach and it has been received extremely well by both faculty and students. Anjula has promoted cross-discipline connections for faculty as they discuss best practices in the Canvas format. Again she has helped to focus both students in the classroom and faculty teaching towards a fully engaged, sustainable, and creative structure for learning. Anjula also has spent countless hours working with faculty and Canvas technical staff to resolve issues that disrupt the teaching process. Her leadership and creativity in this area have moved instruction into a new forum. Anjula, with David Buck, has presented at a Canvas Convention on the best practices of teaching in this interface. She truly has helped to pioneer these efforts on campus from a teaching perspective. Of special note is the work she has done with areas of the Hospitality and Culinary Management programs to engage faculty in a learning methodology in the Canvas format. I mention this area in particular because of the lack of previous knowledge this audience had regarding technology deployment and how far they have come. Their LMS sites have truly created a strong forum for learning and teaching. Anjula’s IDEA surveys and student comments have been extremely high and positive. She has been a game changer in the instructional arena which has had an impact across our division and other divisions. I truly believe that her ability to problem-solve with the student in mind has resulted in a “significant” change in the way we teach, how enthused teachers are to embrace this new forum, and how students have responded to this change. She truly is an inspiring faculty member.

Margaret Garroway
Associate Professor, English
English and World Language Division

Margaret is a champion of student success on this campus and was recently one of nine recipients of Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate by the National resource Center on First Year Experience. She was recognized in The Chronicle of Higher Education and at the National FYE Conference in Texas in February. She is a dedicated teacher and a collaborative colleague. She approaches her students not just as a teacher but as a full-resource person for them. We believe Margaret embodies the idea of welcoming students in a holistic sense. Because of her experience in Student Services, she is able to work closely with colleagues in Student Services and connect students to the services available to them. We all know that change and improvement cannot happen just in individual classes, and we find that Margaret is involved in many student-related initiatives at HCC, including but not limited to the FYE Advisory Board and the Developmental Education Team. One might be thinking that these descriptions represent an administrator, but really all of the work that she does both in and out of the class are very much student-centered and directly impact students. As a wonderfully supportive coordinator of FYEX, she reaches not only her own students but also students taught by faculty who work with her. Margaret is a much beloved, respected educator who inspires students and her colleagues to be and do their best.

Donna Musselman
Professor, Nursing
Health Sciences Division

Donna is energetic, highly motivated, and always portrays a positive attitude. She is extremely organized, efficient, and always prepared for meetings, clinical, and theory. She has been the course leader for one of the final courses in the nursing program. As a course leader and as an educator, she strongly advocates for student success. Students consistently give her their highest rating. Comments like “I learned so much from this course. She puts a lot into her teaching and makes us want to learn. Her enthusiasm and energy is contagious. Her positive encouragement makes it look like things will be okay no matter what. They save the best instructor for last.”

Drawing from her vast experience as an educator, she serves as a role model and caring mentor to both adjunct and full-time faculty alike. She recognizes and seeks each individual’s contribution to student success. She is highly respected by her peers and students. She maintains an open communication with all course faculty. She is highly professional and personable in dealing with virtually everyone with whom she comes into contact at Howard Community College.

Donna’s outstanding leadership skills were evident when she led the faculty in preparation for the nursing program’s re-accreditation. Donna provided invaluable leadership and service to the Nurse Education program and nursing faculty in preparation of the self-study report for the NLNAC accreditation visit. As an experienced NLNAC visitor, Donna was (and still is) an excellent resource for the nursing faculty on the accreditation process. The completion on the self-study report was facilitated by her effective communication, outstanding organizational skills (binders, boxes, etc.), and guidance and encouragement during meetings.

Other examples of Donna's exemplary professionalism, commitment to teaching, and student success inclue:

  • Planning, coordination and implementation of NURS-240, the new 15-week medical surgical course
  • Professional role model for students in nursing leadership and conflict resolution
  • Clinical faculty for Home Care experience, coordination with multiple agencies to provide preceptors in the community, preparation of students for the experience, development of role-play scenarios, consistently positive student evaluations
  • Mentoring of new faculty

Through her expertise and positive attitude, Donna inspires faculty and motivates students and is an asset to HCC.

Caroline Torcaso
Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Mathematics Division

Dr. Torcaso is a wonderful teacher who is greatly appreciated by her students especially for the empathy that she shows for their life situations. In her role as coordinator for the computer-based MATH-067 sections she works closely with her adjunct faculty to help resolve student issues. She frequently has had to put together individualized schedules for special situations such as the students in the police academy that did not place into college-level mathematics and the students who attempted the express course and needed to drop into a full semester program. Carrie works extensively with the students in the Silas Craft program including assisting at the tutoring sessions on Monday afternoons. Carrie is leading the division in using a comprehensive approach to evaluating course success. For all of the sections of MATH-067, she has looked at patterns for when students disengage from the course by evaluating participation in electronic homework, quizzes, and unit exams for each unit. She has worked extensively with the publishing company to learn the intricacies of the Hawkes Learning program and its grade book and has advocated with the company for changes that will allow more flexibility in organizing students’ work. Each semester over the last few years she has piloted changes to course requirements such as numbers of retries on quizzes, varying deadlines, repeating failed units immediately, etc. to see what would have the best impact on student retention in this course. She has also experimented with different formats in both the student packet and the appearance of the grade book to increase students’ understanding of due dates and their current class standing. She has extensively advocated for revisions that would improve the flow from MATH-061 into MATH-067. Much of her vision for a blended learning course for all sections of MATH-067 will be implemented in Fall 2012.

David Rader
Associate Professor, Technology
Science, Engineering and Technology Division

Dave teaches computer repair, electronics, and physical science courses here and at the Laurel College Center. Dave has created and implemented a special, alternative lab program for physical science at the LCC, as the space there does support the program that we have at HCC. He devotes much of his time to assisting adjunct faculty, ensuring that there is a consistent and quality experience for all of the students in these courses. He revises lab manuals and implements new technology frequently to ensure that the curriculum includes the most up-to-date and relevant ideas and experiments. He meets regularly with faculty in the Rad Tech and CVT programs to ensure that our courses meet the needs of students who enter those programs. He has served for many years on the Sabbatical Leave Committee and he participates each year in New Student Orientation and in Freshman Focus.

Dave routinely assists the division when there are new challenges. He has developed and implemented creative strategies to obtain certification test scores from students, which we are required to report for Perkins funding. In order to provide an accelerated program of instruction for students in the Workforce Development program, Dave reorganized the CMSY-105 and CMSY-106 curriculum and assisted the chair in hiring new adjunct faculty. When no qualified adjunct faculty could be identified, Dave stepped forward and taught the additional sections himself.

Dave Rader is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic teacher of technology and physics, and a respected mentor who continually works towards what is good for the division and for the college. He cares deeply about the success of his students, and he meets with them regularly to give them assistance in overcoming challenges that they face in the classroom and in the workplace.

Laura Cripps
Assistant Professor, Anthropology/Geography
Social Sciences/Teacher Education Division

Dr. Cripps is the Anthropology and Geography Coordinator. Although she is still a probationary faculty member, she impressed her students and colleagues alike with her passion for teaching and the application of her subject matter. Laura has invigorated the Anthropology discipline with new and innovative courses such as her team-taught Forensic Anthropology course and her Global Anthropology class that focuses on field techniques and the modeling of classic dig sites. On campus, she is the faculty advisor for Phi Theta Kappa and is working on a Learning Outcomes Assessment project for three of her ANTH courses. In her role as a practicing archaeologist, Laura continues to be the Commissioner for Historic St. Mary’s City, a member of the ASM Board and an applicant for NSF and NEH Field Grants. Dr. Cripps continues to coordinate the American excavation site at Bibracte, France, has begun preliminary surveying of the Chapman State Park sites in Calvert County, and directs the archaeological activities in Howard County. Laura has also given a paper at the AFACCT Conference, was the keynote speaker at the Archaeological Society of Maryland meeting, and presented HCC’s summer excavation findings at the Annual Meeting of Research at the Center of European Archaeology. Laura is also working with Dr. Mark Tacyn’s classes on the Chapman State Park site (Mt. Aventine). The basis of her project with Tacyn was a ground sonar survey of the Mt. Aventine house sites. This summer Laura will open up new excavation sites in northern England. These accomplishments, together with her exceptional teaching evaluations, moved her colleagues to vote her as the Division’s most Inspiring Faculty member of the year. By the way, two years ago she received the same honor as an adjunct instructor.