MCC Announces 2019 Excellence in Service and Teaching Awards

Manchester, Conn. (Feb. 21, 2019) – Manchester Community College announced the recipients of its 2019 Excellence in Service Awards and Excellence in Teaching Awards.

These MCC awards annually honor employees who demonstrate excellence as judged by their peers. All employees of the college are eligible.

This year four Excellence in Service Awards were presented:

Administrative Assistant Jessie Bradley ’96, of Pawcatuck, was cited by her nominators for providing 20 years of helpful service to the college’s Continuing Education division. Bradley started her career at the college as a student worker. Her alumna status gives her first-hand knowledge that enhances her ability to make a positive impact on students working to transform their lives.

Coordinator of Disability Services Joe Navarra, of Vernon, was credited for always being available for anyone in the campus community who needed him, even with a busy schedule. His support and encouragement of all students — with particular attention to students with disabilities — is an inspiration, his nominators said. He is known for giving students positive college experiences that they may have not otherwise had.

Academic Associate Lolita Wynter, of Hartford, was recognized for her “immense knowledge of school programs procedures,” according to her nominators, as well as her willingness to always help fellow staff, faculty, and students. Nominators noted that she has a positive reputation for getting things done in a valuable and resourceful way.

A special award was presented to VISTA grant-funded Gordon Plouffe ’16, of Manchester, who coordinates the on-campus food pantry. He was honored for helping to create a safe space at MCC for students who need food to eat – or just someone trusted to talk to. A mentor to his peers since his days as a student, he was cited for being selfless and offering judgement-free help to anyone in need.

Three Excellence in Teaching Awards were presented:

Associate Professor of English Lois Coleman, of Willimantic, was recognized by her nominator for her ability to understand students’ real-life struggles – for example, a student sidelined and discouraged by a car accident received encouragement and extra support to get back on the track to educational success thanks to her.

Associate Professor Mary Holland, of West Hartford, who serves as the paralegal program coordinator, was lauded for her approach to encouraging non-traditional students to believe in themselves and follow their dreams, however far away they may seem. Her nominator credits her for encouraging him to follow his dream of attending law school at age 46.

Instructor Barbara Solomon, of West Hartford, was recognized for her 39 years of service to the school not only teaching in the Visual Fine Arts program but also creating a hands-on and hardworking environment where students feel both challenged and respected.