East Brunswick professor receives excellence award

EAST BRUNSWICK – A professor at Middlesex County College (MCC) has received the school’s 2017 Faculty Scholar Award.

Shirley Wachtel, a 30-year resident of East Brunswick, is a professor of English. Her pedagogical research on reading and basic skills resulted in the 2012 publication of “Spotlight on Reading.” She has also published extensively for adults and children, including works of fiction and poetry. Her poem, “A Summer’s Evening,” won second prize in the Dream Quest 2015 Contest, according to information provided by the school.

“Dr. Wachtel approaches her scholarship in two major directions: her longtime research in survival and Holocaust studies and her work on reading pedagogy,” Professor Susan Altman, chair of the selection committee, said in the statement. “Her writing about survival and the Holocaust has recently been presented at the Middlesex County Chapter of Brandeis Woman and at the Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, North Carolina, where she did a reading of her book “My Mother’s Shoes” to over 500 students who had been assigned the book as part of their course work. This scholarship has been shared with her MCC students and used to advance writing in her courses at the college.”

Temple B’nai Shalom in East Brunswick and The Daniel Pearl Education Center invited Wachtel for a discussion at the temple on April 25 related to “My Mother’s Shoes,” Wachtel’s memoir of her mother, a Holocaust survivor.

Wachtel is also the author of the novel “The Music Makers” and her next book, “Three for a Dollar,” a compilation of original short stories, will be published in June.

“Her commitment to ongoing research in these important disciplines emphasizes Shirley’s unwavering commitment to lifelong learning and scholarship,” Altman said.


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