By CCWeek Staff  /  
2017 May 26 - 03:31 pm

Faculty Lounge

A Summary Listing of Faculty Activities at Colleges Around the Nation

Lucy Hurston, department chair of sociology at Manchester Community College (N.H.) has been named the 2017- 2018 faculty fellow for community engagement. In this role, she succeeds Professor Megan Finley, who served with distinction as the faculty fellow from 2015 to 2017. The faculty fellow for community engagement works closely with the president and institutional advancement offices to support strategic goals regarding community engagement and to represent MCC’s academic interests in community outreach activities. Hurston will serve as a key driver for MCC’s Institute for Community Engagement and Outreach, which engages in partnerships with the 15 communities surrounding its campus and beyond. Sara Vincent, director of community outreach, said, “The Institute for Community Engagement consists of four centers to support our service district. They are the Public Policy and Service Center, Business and Economic Development Center, Community Partnerships Center, and Educational Partnership Center. These centers offer and respond to requests for education, career placement, service learning, training, programming, service projects and technical assistance designed to enrich the economic, civic and cultural lives of area residents and the prosperity of local and regional businesses.” MCC President Gena Glickman noted that the ICEO and the faculty fellow are an important part of the college’s mission. She is pleased to see Hurston pick up the torch. “Professor Hurston is an inspiring leader and MCC’s quintessential volunteer,” Glickman said. “She has, on several occasions, broadened student service-learning opportunities, for example leading MCC students to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to work with the New Orleans Chapter of Habitat for Humanity in the Lower Ninth Ward.”

Teaching community college math is “All in the Family” for three generations of a Texas Growing up as the children of two college professors, Randell, Patti and Johnnie Simpson rebelled at the idea of becoming teachers. Randell wanted to write books, Patti wanted to become an electrical engineer, and Johnnie wanted to go in to business. Nevertheless, all three have ended up in the classroom, teaching the same subject (math) at the same community college in Texas Temple College. “The minute we were put in the classroom, we realized teaching is what we were supposed to do,” says Patti. “Teaching is in our blood.” The inspiration for the three siblings came from their father, Pat, who taught biology at Temple College from 1969 to 2000, and their mother, Charlotte, who taught math at the college from 1986 until 2000. “Our dad always told us how gratifying teaching was,” Patti says. “I don’t know what other families talked about at dinner, but all we talked about was education in our house.” A fourth sibling, Luci, followed her father’s footsteps and became a biology teacher. The other three followed their mother’s footsteps and became math teachers. Randell was the first sibling to start teaching at Temple College. He became a full-time math professor in 1999, and now teaches math to high school students participating in the Texas Bioscience Institute’s Middle College program. “We grew up loving Temple College, but our reasons for striving to work here are much greater than simply following in the footsteps of our parents,” Randell says. “We all have seen firsthand the great good that the college does in the community.” Patti’s first taste of teaching came when she landed a job at a small day care center while in college. This experience led Patti to switch from engineering to education. After teaching for 17 years, Patti decided to go back to school to earn her master’s degree in math. She enjoyed it so much she encouraged her brothers to join her. Randell, who was already teaching at Temple College, and Johnnie, who was teaching high school math, did so, and the three siblings spent several years driving up to Fort Worth two nights a week to take classes at TCU. In 2010, they all walked across the stage together with graduate degrees in mathematics. By fall 2012, Patti and Johnnie had both started teaching math full time at Temple College. Patti’s first office was her mother’s old office in the college’s original building. The two now have offices right next to each other in a former residence hall that now houses the Math Department. “We bounce ideas off each other constantly,” Patti says. The three siblings have a Twitter account they use to answer questions from students and share tips with them. “Students love them (the Simpsons) because they are always available for them,” says Cynthia Martinez, the outgoing chair of the Temple College Math Department. In April this year, Patti and Johnnie were sitting side by side as the Temple College Board of Trustees voted to give them tenure effective this fall. Randell had previously received tenure in 2001. “Being a tenured instructor at Temple College was pretty much my career goal, and 16 years later, I love it still,” Randell says. Two of Randell’s children — Amanda and Randell Patterson Simpson — are now the third generation of the Simpson family to teach at Temple College. Amanda is an adjunct instructor in the Developmental Math Department and Randell Patterson works as a tutor in the Math Tutorial Lab. Amanda and Randell Patterson Simpson both earned associate degrees from Temple College through the Texas Bioscience Institute, Amanda in 2011 and Randell in 2015. Amanda earned her B.S. in math from Texas A&M University- Central Texas and is currently working on her master’s degree there. Randell Patterson plans to follow the same path. Amanda says she originally planned to apply her interest in math to the field of data mining, but working as a graduate teaching assistant changed her mind. After Charlotte Simpson died in 2016, friends of the family established an endowment at the Temple College Foundation called the Simpson Family Legacy Endowment. When fully funded, the endowment will generate money to support an annual scholarship called the Simpson Family Scholarship.

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