Profile: Michael Penta
Community college changed Michael Penta’s life. Now, as a community college
professor, he hopes to change his students’ lives.
Before community college, Penta, a self-described “geeky” educator,
cycled through a half dozen unskilled jobs before he enrolled in a basic
computer class and learned he was programmed to program.
Penta earned associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees and now
harnesses his energy and enthusiasm for the front of the classroom.
He encourages students to take risks because this is how they will best
Name: Michael Penta
Profession: Assistant professor, computer & information sciences
Hobbies: I like to make things, explore new technologies, listen to
podcasts, learn about the labor movement in the United States, and
Last book read: Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919,
by Stephen Puleo
Latest accomplishment: Last year I was awarded tenure. I was also
nominated for the Haverhill YMCA Educator of the Year Award.
Quote: “You can’t think about thinking without thinking about thinking
about something,” Seymour Papert
Profile: I am a dedicated educator and lifelong learner. I have a passion
for teaching, computer science, mathematics, and design. Before NECC,
I was a program developer and associate director of a center focused on
hands-on, design-based learning. That informed my teaching style and laid
the groundwork for my graduate studies in computer science education – my
thesis focused on the role of video game programming in math education.
Why I do what I do: That early computer science course began a
journey to the joy and beauty of computer science and mathematics.
While pursuing my own education, I found a new passion in teaching.
Community college laid my foundation, so joining the faculty at NECC
seemed like a natural fit.