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Adjunct Faculty (2012-13)

Joan Nicholas-Walker
Adjunct Instructor
Arts and Humanities Division

Joan has been an adjunct at HCC for the past three years, and in that time she has taken on increasingly more teaching, creative and administrative responsibilities. In addition to teaching both dance technique and theory courses, Joan runs our outreach program. The outreach program sends our students and faculty into the public schools and community centers for workshops and performances. Current programs have been with Glenelg High School, Oakland Mills High School, Hammond High School, the Cradlerock School and the Laurel Senior Center. As part of the outreach initiative, Joan creates the Dance Department newsletter two times per semester and has developed a target mailing list outside of campus to both educate students about and recruit students to our program. Joan also serves as Assistant Artistic Director and Rehearsal Director to the Arts Collective Dance Company, where she provides a tremendous amount of guidance and support to the students, choreographers and artistic staff. This year she is also creating choreography for the company. Additionally, Joan has been instrumental in advising, writing, and implementing current Dance Curriculum revisions, an on-going project that was identified and undertaken as a result of the Dance Learning Outcome Assessment process. Joan is a positive and energizing instructor as well as an engaged and passionate colleague. We are indeed lucky to have her here at HCC!

Helen Dignan
Adjunct Instructor
Business and Computer Systems Division

Helen Dignan has been an adjunct faculty member in the Office Technology program for nearly 20 years. She is the lead instructor for the following computer courses:

  • CMSY-132 Introduction to Windows
  • CMSY-134 Introduction to Operating Systems
  • CMSY-142 Operating System Fundamentals I
  • CMSY-143 Operating System Fundamentals II

Helen is very knowledgeable in her field. For each of her courses, she continually updates syllabi and other course materials to reflect the most current and relevant information to help her students become more successful in their course of study. For example, she provides an extensive amount of supplemental material and practice exercises in her syllabi for the CMSY-134, CMSY-142, and CMSY-143 courses to help students achieve a greater understanding of the content material as well as prepare them for the A+ Certification exam. She creates project assignments that challenge and require her students to reinforce what they have learned. She also collaborates with another faculty member in the Science, Engineering, and Technology division to ascertain that her students will learn the latest content material necessary in their field of study.

Helen has an excellent rapport with the students. Her patience and calm demeanor create a comfortable and positive atmosphere conducive to learning. She explains course content in a manner that students can relate to and understand. She uses Canvas effectively to communicate with her students, providing appropriate feedback and encouraging student engagement. Helen is also knowledgeable in many of the other courses offered in the Office Technology classroom. She has earned Microsoft Office Specialist certifications in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Cathy Dixon-Kheir
Adjunct Instructor
Continuing Education and Workforce Development Division

Cathy Dixon-Kheir, President of Dixon Learning Designs, a Baltimore based management consulting group, has been teaching for the Business Training Center since the Fall of 2008. Along with her subject matter expertise, she has provided many hours of collaborative consulting to design customized training for clients and has designed,

  • Challenges of a Changing Organization
  • Communication Across Cultures
  • Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • Delegation Skills
  • Using the FAIR Approach

She has over 20 years of experience as a trainer, consultant, and educator in the areas of diversity management, multicultural leadership development, and organizational and work culture change and has had a rewarding career in a variety of management and executive roles. She has been a workshop presenter at the Society of Human Resource Management’s national conference on the topic of retention of young talent. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English, Theatre, and Cultural Anthropology from Regis College and a Master’s in Applied Behavioral Science from Johns Hopkins University.

In August 2012, Cathy traveled to England to train U.S. government personnel in “Challenges of a Changing Organization” and “Decision Making and Problem Solving.” She received outstanding evaluations for this training. Since Cathy always applies the principles of adult learning for every course she facilitates, she incorporates hands-on activities, case studies, and scenarios that provide learning opportunities that are customized and directly applicable to the participants’ jobs.

Cathy consistently receives excellent evaluations. She receives comments such as: “Ms. Dixon-Kheir was very knowledgeable and involved the group”; “I like how the instructor made this course personal to the needs of our organization”; “Cathy was very helpful!”; and “She is excellent in maintaining my attention and interest.”

Yulan Liu
Master Adjunct Instructor
English and World Languages Division

Yulan Liu began teaching at Howard Community College with the summer STARTALK program in 2009 and since that time has been the lead instructor for the STARTALK Chinese team and has taught Chinese during the major semesters, helping develop a standards-based curricula for Chinese 101 and Chinese 102. In addition, she has created a textbook for STARTALK high school students that supports an active, student-centered approach to language learning. Yulan earns outstanding classroom observation reports and student evaluations, with high levels of student engagement in a consistently dynamic classroom environment. Students who begin with Yulan in a 101 level tend to be retained, with many completing the beginning and intermediate sequences. She has presented nationally at conferences on the integration of culture and its importance to the language classroom. This past year Yulan led the Chinese/Hindi instructional team, enthusiastically participated in International Education Week events, and agreed to be the academic advisor for the new HCC Chinese Club. Yulan has agreed to help develop a Chinese area of study and has been involved with the development of Asian Studies.

Jana McAtee
Adjunct Instructor
Health Sciences Division

Jana is a loyal employee who has served the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program for several years in an ever-increasing capacity. She started with HCC as a student and after graduation came back to HCC because she supported the mission. She was older than many of the students in her cohort, but possesses the ability to relate to the younger students. She has worked as a tutor for both the EMTs and paramedics, and her individual attention has resulted in many students attaining their dreams who might otherwise have failed to complete the program. She can observe a student and identify the root of their struggles very quickly and accurately. She then communicates to them in a non-threatening, no-nonsense manner what they need to do to succeed and then patiently works with them until they get it. In addition to tutoring she provides primary instruction in skills development, some lecturing, and works as a team member during psychomotor skills evaluations.

Jana is a leader of her peers during classroom lab sessions and often assists in the orientation and development of new faculty who come to the EMS program. She can be trusted to lead the class when full-time faculty and staff are not present, and always keeps communication open. She takes on tasks within the program such as organizing the storeroom and cleaning and maintaining our equipment and supplies, conducting inventory, and assisting with ordering equipment and supplies for the Mt. Airy project. She loves to keep busy and is pleasant to work with. She has made herself an indispensible part of the program by being a servant-leader. She is gracious and humble, but strong and determined. The students and faculty alike admire, respect, and listen to her. The Health Sciences division is proud to have her as an adjunct faculty.

Christina Packard
Senior Adjunct Instructor
Mathematics Division

Chris is a senior adjunct faculty member who began with us in fall 2006 and has taught a variety of courses including Beginning Algebra, Pre-Calculus, and College Algebra. She has both a master’s in business administration and a BS in mechanical engineering from UMCP. Before joining us as an adjunct faculty member she was a senior engineer at BGE. She worked with us and the Learning Outcomes Assessment office to develop procedures for giving the college-wide assessment exams. Most recently she worked on developing sample exams for College Algebra. She most frequently came to our division meetings to present the information to us. Academically, her classes fill up quickly and she has a high retention and pass rate. She can frequently be seen in both the walk-in lab and the Hickory Ridge study areas working with her students.

Erik Hobbs
Adjunct Instructor
Science, Engineering, and Technology Division

Erik has taught in both physics and chemistry labs at HCC. He is always willing to teach at times that are not typically popular, such as Friday afternoons. He has, on many occasions, assisted the division by agreeing to teach classes that became unstaffed at the last minute, or by providing coverage as a substitute. He teaches while working full-time and also attending graduate school. The course materials he develops for his courses are excellent and are appreciated by his students. He is always willing to lend his materials to his colleagues; many colleagues have remarked on the quality of his course materials. He is always pleasant in his interactions with his colleagues and conscientious in his responsibilities as a teacher.

Mari Wepprecht
Adjunct Instructor
Social Sciences and Teacher Education Division

Mari has been teaching in the Sociology department for the past five or six years, and we have been fortunate to find such a talented and dedicated instructor. Mari is a sparkplug in the classroom, famously engaging the interest of even the least engaged students with a combination of enthusiasm and theatrics that brings sociology to life for our students. She often dresses in a way that is thematically connected to the content for the day, helping the students to experience what they are learning, and she creates an open and energetic discussion environment that allows the students to express themselves as they grapple with the concepts and controversies that are often central to an Introduction to Sociology experience. Beyond her excellent classroom instruction, Mari is a valued colleague who has stepped up to take on new challenges, such as teaching online, when asked to do so, all while continuing to pursue her dissertation in Sociology.