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Trustees Update: September 2019

Submitted by on October 1, 2019 – 2:44 pm

Reports on Recent Sabbaticals

Professors Deirdre Budzyna and Clare Thompson shared results of their recent sabbaticals with trustees at the September meeting.   Both professors explored initiatives that would help enhance the learning experience for community college students.

Professor Deirdre Budzyna: Recognizing There are Multiple Kinds of Intelligence

Budzyna, who has taught in the Early Childhood Education Program for 19 years, researched multiple intelligence theories, which look at the different ways individuals learn.

She created two projects: the first a two-hour workshop for community college professors that gives hands-on strategies for providing differentiated instruction and the second a book on multiple intelligence that she is co-writing with Doris Buckley, director of early childhood education pathways at NECC.

Budzyna based much of her research on the findings of Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. Gardner’s theory suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults. These intelligences are:

Linguistic intelligence (“word smart”): Logical-mathematical intelligence (“number/reasoning smart”)
Spatial intelligence (“picture smart”)
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence (“body smart”)
Musical intelligence (“music smart”)
Interpersonal intelligence (“people smart”)
Intrapersonal intelligence (“self smart”)
Naturalist intelligence (“nature smart”)
“If you teach to a student’s intelligences, they are more likely to be successful,” Budzyna told the trustees.

Professor Clare Thompson: There’s a Better Way to Learn Grammar

Clare Thompson, professor, Department of Academic Preparation, told trustees that when she teaches grammar, “I feel like my students are lining up to get vaccinations.”  The goal of her sabbatical research was to explore how to get students to understand and enjoy grammar.

Over the years, she had tried a number of different approaches, including games, but she found “it just wasn’t translating into their essays.”

On her sabbatical, she created “”, a website featuring grammar lessons and editing strategies that uses a new approach, called decision-based editing.   Rather than focusing on fixing mistakes and finding errors, the lessons encourage students to make one small change to their sentence.

“The hope is that one small decision will more likely cause you to make other editing decision in your writing.”

New Hires

Trustees voted unanimously to approve the following state appropriated positions:   Jennifer Mezquita, assistant vice president of student affairs; Despina Lambropoulos, financial aid manager; Larande Fore, career placement counselor, MassHire; Adam Cutler, director of education, Corrections Center for Adult Education; Audrey Ellis, assistant director, student success management systems, Academic and Student Affairs; Denis Boucher, program manager, Culinary Arts, Business and Professional Studies; Cindy Parra, career placement counselor, MassHire; Davann Chhem, assistant professor, Health Services; Michael Rideout, transfer counselor, Academic Advising Center; Maria Mendina, academic counselor, Academic Advising Center; David Weber, program coordinator/paramedic technology, Division of Health Professions; Gabriel Garcia, special programs coordinator, Student Life; Elsie Jean Michel, instructor, Health Professions; Cristina Nuncio, academic counselor, Academic Advising; Melanie Batista-Ortiz, academic counselor, Academic Advising; Joanna Infante, administrative assistant II, Liberal Arts; Shannon Pettis, accountant III, Accounting and Finance;

The follow individuals were approved from part-time to full-time hours: Shandra Gaouette, clerk II, Lyn Blythe, program coordinator/Sleep Technology; and Noreen Fantasia, staff assistant,