Middlesex County College cites three professors for excellence

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Three outstanding professors have been named recipients of Middlesex County College’s annual Excellence Awards. A reception to recognize the winners will be held in the fall.

Natural Sciences Professor Claire Condie has been selected as the 2020 Faculty Scholar Award recipient. Richard Thompson, Visual, Performing and Media Arts Department, is the Excellence in Teaching Award recipient. Mathew Siegel, English Department, has been selected as the Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Award recipient.

Dr. Condie’s award recognizes her academic and scholarly contributions to the college and her discipline.

“The committee was greatly impressed with Claire’s diverse scholarship that includes scientific research that she presented at conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals,” college President Mark McCormick said in a prepared statement. “They were impressed by the commitment and passion for her field that she demonstrates in activities including serving as the keynote speaker for the Clean Communities Workshop, participating in a National Science Foundation workshop on bringing data from the Ocean Observing Initiative to undergraduate classrooms, and mentoring three student NASA fellows. It is clear that Claire is committed to expanding current research on environmental issues and sharing this research to enrich the educational experience of her students and the entire MCC community.”

Dr. Condie had received the Excellence in Teaching award from MCC in 2012.

Thompson’s citation recognizes his innovative teaching practices.

“The committee was greatly impressed with the ways Richard embodies the spirit of faculty excellence in teaching,” Linda Scherr, vice president for Academic Affairs, said in the statement. “They were impressed with the way his catalog of screen-captured demonstrations enhances his ability to focus on continuous improvement of student work in the classroom and creating a space where students can feel engaged with course material. He creates a learning environment where students aren’t worried about right or wrong answers, but instead are focused on finding the processes that help them to achieve their goals. He is committed to using technology in the classroom, including bringing in new programs and software, in a way that ensures each piece of technology truly serves a purpose in enriching his students’ education. Richard’s students engage in a learning environment that goes beyond the standard classroom experience and his connection to his students and commitment to their learning is evident in their feedback and their successes.”

Siegel’s award reflects his success in engaging students in the classroom.

“The committee was greatly impressed with Mathew’s dedication to connecting with a diverse pool of students and showing them the importance of their English courses, even when they are seemingly unrelated to their majors,” Scherr said in the statement. “His focus on ‘process over product’ allows his students to propose and respond to questions about the world and the texts around them. The committee was impressed by the wide variety of innovative educational pedagogies he uses to engage his students, help them connect with the material, and think more critically. Mathew’s commitment and respect for his students and their ideas is evident in his courses and helps his students become independent and confident learners in and outside of the classroom.”