MANCHESTER, Conn. (July 14, 2020) – Dr. Joanna White, assistant professor and program coordinator for social service and social work, therapeutic recreation, drug and alcohol recovery counselor (DARC) and early childhood education, is the recipient of Manchester Community College’s 2020 Educational Excellence and Distinguished Service Award
The award recognizes extraordinary professional service to the college and its students during the 2019-20 academic year.
White, a resident of Mansfield, was honored for her instrumental work to reinvigorate the success rates of programs, according to her nominator. For example, she improved fall to spring retention by double digits in therapeutic recreation, as well as seeing incremental improvement in other programs.
In addition. White played a major role in securing a renewed grant from the U.S. Department of Education-funded Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) to revitalize the college’s partnership with East Hartford schools. The $25 million federal grant to be dispersed across Connecticut over a seven-year period allocates $2 million to serve the seventh (now entering eighth) grade class at East Hartford Middle School and support them with academic advising, mentorship and special programs through their first year of college.
White’s passion for equity in education through such work as the national Achieving the Dream initiatives, case management advising, first year experience coursework and various pilot programs designed to address the needs of marginalized students was also cited.
The award includes grant funding for initiatives not ordinarily available to college faculty and staff through established professional development arrangements.
In her career at MCC, White has also served as director of GEAR UP. She holds a master’s degree in school counseling, an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction and a graduate certificate in change management.