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April 2016

This Month from Cliff

In Celebration of Scholarship

April 27, 2016

While I have always believed that community colleges are primarily teaching institutions and teaching is at the center of all we do, I also believe after almost fifty years in community college education that our best teachers are also actively involved in some kind of scholarship/professional activities.  This engagement can be traditional research, creativity in the visual, performing or textual arts or active involvement in social, community or business activities.  It is because of this belief that one of the first projects I initiated when I came to RCC was the establishment of The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL).  I will forever be grateful to the extraordinary Libby Bay, former English Professor and Humanities Division Chair, who chaired the committee that developed the guidelines for CETL.  The amazing work Professor Bay began continues today under the leadership of CETL Co-Directors, Professor Lynn Aaron and Dr. Elaine Padilla.  These committed faculty members provide a wide range of programs throughout the academic year in support of a variety of disciplines, programs and services.


On Thursday, April 7, 2016, I attended the CETL Researchers’ Tea.  Generally, I am most excited about student-centered activities, but on Thursday afternoon I was most impressed at this special CETL event.  CETL, our professional development center for faculty and staff, invited all faculty (full and adjunct) who have written journal articles over the last year, to present a synopsis of their research.  I was so impressed with both the range and level of scholarship and the presenters' expertise in some very specialized areas.  But what was even more impressive to me was the quality of "teaching" of these scholars.  I was interested and intrigued by each topic.  Who would think that I could be attentive to and interested in "Spatiotemporal phytoplankton patterns in the Upper Mississippi River in Response to Seasonal Variation in Discharge and Other Environmental Factors?"  Jillian Decker, who presented this topic, is clearly a gifted teacher of biology.  And it was clear that other presenters were gifted as well.


Please join me in congratulating the following on a job extremely well done:

Lynn AaronCatherine Roche

Lynn Aaron, Professor of Computer Studies and CETL Co-director

Catherine Roche, Division Chair of Business and Professional/Public Service

Publication: “Intellectual Property Rights of Faculty in the Digital Age – Evolution or Dissolution in 21st Century Academia?” published in the Journal of Educational Technology Systems, March 2015. Co-authors.


Kristopher Baker

Kristopher Baker, PhD, Division Chair of STEM & Health Professions

Publication: “Detection of Outer Membrane Vesicles in Synechocystis PCC 6803” published in FEMS Microbiology Letters, September 2016. Coauthor.


David Beisel

David Beisel, PhD, Professor of Social Science

Publication: “Psychohistory and the Historians, 1970-2015,” part of the Psychohistory at the Crossroads Symposium, published in Clio’s Psyche, June-September 2015.

Publication: “Comments on Crossroads and the IPA,” from The Symposium Authors Reply published in Clio’s Psyche, June-September 2015.


Jillian Decker

Jillian K. Decker, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology

Publication: “Spatiotemporal phytoplankton patterns in the Upper Mississippi River in response to seasonal variation in discharge and other environmental factors.” Published in the journal River Systems. Co-author.


Michael Francesco

Michael Francesco, Adjunct Faculty, Science

Publication: “Peruvians in Paterson: The Growth and Establishment of a Peruvian American Community within the Multiethnic Immigrant History of Paterson, New Jersey” published in The Journal of Urban History (May, 2014, Vol. 40.3).


Sarah LevyXi Shi

Sarah Levy, Professor, Access Services Librarian

Xi Shi, PhD, Professor of Library Services

Publication: “An Empirical Review of Library Discovery Tools” published in the November 2015 issue of Journal of Service Science and Management. Co-authors.


Eric Magaram

Eric Magaram, Assistant Professor of Mathmatics

Publication: “Using Think-Aloud Protocols to Uncover Misconceptions and Improve Developmental Math Instruction: An Exploratory Study” published in the journal Numeracy, January 2016.


Jeffrey McLean

Jeffrey McLean, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology

Publication: “Dengue-induced autophagy, virus replication and protection from cell death require ER stress (PERK) pathway activation” published in the journal Cell Death and Differentiation.


Diane Rosen

Diane Rosen, Adjunct Faculty, English

Publication: “Accessing Creativity: Jungian Night Sea Journeys, Wandering Minds and Chaos” published in Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life, January 2016, Volume 20, Number I.

Publication: “Invoking the Muse: Dada’s Chaos” published in Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences July, 2014, Volume 18, Number 3.


Christina Stern

Christina Stern, PhD, Assistant Professor, History

Publication: “Enlightenment Ideals in Our Present? In Our Future?” published in Clio’s Psyche: Understanding the “Why” of Culture, Current Events, History, and Society, December 2014.


Elaine Toia

Elaine M. Toia, PhD, Resident Professor of English

Publication: “Till this moment I never knew myself: Developing Consciousness and Character in Pride and Prejudice and The Portrait of a Lady.” Published in The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Vol. II, Issue 3 by Common Ground Publishing.


group photo

(L-R) Dr. Roger Davis, Dr. Elaine Padilla, Diane Rosen, Jillian K. Decker, Dr. Christina Stern, Dr. Elaine M. Toia, Colleen Scanlon, Catherine Roche, Lynn Aaron, Eric Magaram,  Michael Francesco, Sarah Levy, Dr. Xi Shi, and Dr. Cliff L. Wood.


Dr. Cliff L. Wood

Childcare Resources of Rockland

24th Annual Children's Champions Celebration

The Phyllis Helbraun Award


Childcare Resources of Rockland honored RCC President Cliff Wood with the Phyllis Helbraun Award.  Ms. Helbraun was the founder of Childcare Resources of Rockland and this award is given annually to an individual for a body of distinguished service over many years to early childhood or school age care community.  Dr. Wood was instrumental in the building of the Theresa Morahan Simmons Center for Children at RCC.  Dr. Wood is also a former board member and officer of the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs.

He is also the author or co-author of the following publications related to Teacher Education:

Wood, C.L. Creating an Inclusive Curriculum. Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 1995. Chapter, “Institutionalizing Curriculum Change.”

Wood, C.L. (2006) “Preparing Adults for Careers in Teaching” NACCTEP News, December 2006

Cornell, H. & Wood, C.L. (Nov. 2006) “Making the Case for Amending the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002”

Dr. Wood and children

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