Friday, July 10, 2015

MCCD’s Outstanding Adjunct Faculty for Rio Salado

Janice “Cat” McDonald, adjunct faculty in the Incarcerated Reentry and Psychology departments was selected as the Maricopa Community College District's Outstanding Adjunct Faculty for 2015.

The Adjunct Faculty Association (AFA) is a nonprofit professional organization that serves as a framework for MCCCD adjunct faculty to better serve and support students.

McDonald was nominated by two faculty department chairs, Dr. Melanie Abts and Dr. Wanda Tucker, for her exceptional teaching practices and commitment to students.

Dr. Wanda Tucker cited McDonald's tireless efforts to connect with her students by phone, email, and through U.S. mail to ensure her students receive support to compensate for the lack of face-to-face capabilities between students and faculty.

"McDonald is a leader in incarcerated education and goes over and beyond for her students to empower them. We would like to congratulate her for receiving this well-deserved recognition," said Abts.

Dr. Tucker highlights McDonald's dedication by acknowledging her commute from California to Arizona to attend the colleges’ all-faculty meetings and trainings as a demonstration of her commitment to students.

McDonald teaches Workforce Reentry (WFR) courses in a print-based format for Rio Salado’s incarcerated students, as well as PSY 101. 

The WFR curriculum is a valuable resource for students as it provides the necessary skills to effectively transition from an incarcerated environment into the community. WFR courses are available nationwide and focus on job readiness, job preparation, and job retention skills, as well as family reunification, personal growth, and social skills development.

McDonald's overall accessibility, responsiveness, and feedback are among the many positive comments students cite throughout her evaluations.

More importantly, McDonald's WFR students reveal that their increased confidence in themselves, their skills, and ability to acquire employment after incarceration are the most priceless tools they develop as a result of her courses.

News courtesy of Rio Salado Counseling Faculty Chair and PTK Advisor Dr. Melanie Abts on behalf of Rio Salado's Counseling Services.

Pictured above: President of the Adjunct Faculty Association (AFA) Leo Valverde, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost for MCCCD Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, Adjunct Faculty of Incarcerated Reentry Janice McDonald and Chancellor of MCCCD Dr. Rufus Glapser.