Ann Tippett, associate professor of English, requires her students to attend local literary functions and productions at GEVA Theatre, and encourages them to attend the annual Shakespeare Festival in Canada. Her innovative, interactive approach to teaching recently earned her the 2007 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
“I believe in experiential learning,” she says. “It’s a pretty eye-opening experience.”
Tippett also believes in collaborative teaching, designing an Introduction to Literature Online class and Women in Literature class with several colleagues. “We just bring different energies, different techniques, different knowledge bases,” she explains. “Academia can be very lonely, so what I love about MCC is how open the other professors are about sharing ideas, working together and trying new things. And students get two teachers for the price of one.”
Tippett’s assignments are widely used by other MCC professors, who praise her “creativity in the classroom” by connecting what she does there with community events. She works as a reading buddy with students at the Brighton and Damon City campuses during the annual “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book” series. She was instrumental in establishing a National Poetry Month celebration at MCC, which brings nationally recognized poets to campus.
Tippett recommends students for Peer Leader positions and writes numerous recommendation letters every semester. In addition to advising students, she creates and teaches Honor’s program courses.
In her spare time, Tippett reads, knits, travels and is pursuing a second master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Nazareth College. She lives in Rochester with her husband, MCC Adjunct Professor Mike Doolin, and has four stepdaughters
Bonnie Connell, recipient of the 2007 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, still displays the class photograph she received six years ago from a group of Differential Equations students on the last day of school.
“I really enjoy getting to know my students and getting to know them well,” says Connell, a mathematics professor known for mixing high expectations for attendance and participation with encouraging quips such as “Isn’t this magical?” and “Wait ‘til you see this!”
Twice a week, Connell can be found on campus for a 14-hour stretch, teaching lower- and upper-level courses by day and upper-level courses by night. As the mathematics department’s Lead Adjunct Coordinator, she hires, schedules, assists and supervises more than 60 adjunct faculty members teaching 250-plus sections of math classes per year. She also leads the group responsible for organizing twice-yearly orientation sessions for adjunct faculty – sessions she helped develop several years ago.
Connell’s colleagues describe her as “dynamic,” “a commanding presence” and a teacher whose “primary responsibility is to serve her students.” She attends national conferences to stay on top of the ways technology can be used in the classroom. She developed the college’s first MTH 211-Calculus II online course. She recently learned how a software package can help students with homework, and is now learning how to use the newest version of the TI-84 graphing calculator, to be displayed on the classroom’s computer view screen.
“I absolutely love teaching, and it just comes out in my manner,” she says. “My students always say to me, ‘We can really tell you love what you’re doing.’”
Connell, who is married with three grown children, lives in Greece and enjoys power-walking, reading, crocheting, and raising saltwater and tropical fish.
Susan Murphy wanted to be a teacher since she was a child, when she played the role while her two younger sisters sat at old-fashioned desks in their basement
“I grew up playing school,” says Murphy, an associate professor in business administration, and recipient of the 2007 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, “I didn’t know what I wanted to teach. I just knew I wanted to teach, so this has kind of been a lifelong goal.”
Murphy feels at home at MCC, where she has taught for 19 years. As an alumnae, she can relate in a special way to students, helping them through problems and demonstrating that the college is “a place to start for bigger and better things.”
Accounting can be a challenging subject to teach, so Murphy uses technology to simulate real-world experience and make homework easier. One Web site she uses lets students track their progress by providing assignments online and immediately delivering a grade. To ensure students get as much support as possible, Murphy makes sure the library has up-to-date information for all accounting courses. She checks that the Accounting Learning Center tutors have the proper materials.
Murphy authored two chapters and served as coordinator and primary editor of a workbook written by the MCC Accounting Discipline group. She updated and converted the department’s policy manual to a digital format, a project that took most of an academic year.
“Accounting is like encountering a new language,” she explains. “They’re seeing words and concepts they’ve never really thought about before, so I never try to say things one way.”
Every semester, Murphy organizes an ACC-101 final exam review session. An Accounting Adjunct Workshop she first organized in 2002 is held each January to help adjuncts interact with full-time faculty and feel more a part of the MCC community.
A resident of Penfield, Murphy is married and has a daughter. Her hobbies include camping and co-leading a Girl Scout troop
“I didn’t know what I wanted to teach. I just knew I wanted to teach, so this has kind of been a lifelong goal.”