Three outstanding professors at Middlesex County College were recently honored for their efforts.
Iris Ramer of Princeton, professor of English as a Second Language (ESL), was selected as the 2018 Faculty Scholar.
Melissa Luis of the Colonia section of Woodbridge, who is associated in the History and Social Sciences Department, received the Excellence in Teaching Award.
Laura De Cillis of Old Bridge, who is associated in the History and Social Sciences Department, received the Excellence in Teaching Part Time Award.
Ramer has been both a teacher and distinguished scholar at MCC for more than 30 years.
“We were impressed with her ongoing research related to the teaching of ESL and its impact on her students,” Susan Altman, executive board member of MCC’s Center for the Enrichment of Learning and Teaching (CELT) and chair of the selection committee, said in a statement provided by MCC. “There is a direct connection from her scholarship to her teaching: providing students with the resources to transition to college-level work, and instilling in them a love of poetry and literature.”
Ramer has written two ESL textbooks and her new work, “Manny’s Journey,” is scheduled for publication next year. This book follows the journey of an ESL student as he faces the challenges of learning English and adapting to life in the Unites States. In addition to writing, Ramer has presented her research on teaching ESL with an integrated curriculum approach at numerous international conferences.
“Dr. Ramer’s scholarship connects the classroom and her own writing,” Altman said. “Her students benefit from her ongoing research in her discipline.”
Luis, who teaches education courses, excels in the classroom.
“She is an example of a master teacher, working with her students to promote an understanding of course content in order to facilitate their ability to apply, evaluate and create knowledge,” Altman said. “Her teaching pedagogy is applicable and accessible to all of the students in her classes – those in her discipline of education, as well as the many other students who take her classes.”
Luis is the advisor to Kappa Delta Pi, the education honor society.
“The committee was impressed with the many different teaching techniques used in her classes and her noteworthy research-based teaching philosophy,” Altman said. “Using innovative PowerPoints, group activities, active assessment, and engaging class activities, Dr. Luis helps students build understanding as they learn.”
De Cillis works to engage her students with meaningful course content. Her classroom is multi-experiential, using a wide variety of pedagogical techniques to engage students with course material and maintain their interest.
“Professor De Cillis is committed to teaching excellence and the success of her students,” Altman said. “Her specific traits and professional skills make her extremely effective in her teachings and relationships. Her classes are a mix of pedagogical approaches: lecture, group work, films, assessment and other interactive activities to help students understand and analyze course content. All of these strategies benefit her students and create a learning-centered and dynamic interactive classroom.”