Faculty Awards & Advancements
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Melbourne Mathematics Instructor Earns Doctorate
June 2017: Jeremy Mandelkern, PhD, a Mathematics Instructor on the Melbourne Campus, has earned a Doctorate degree in Mathematics from Florida Institute of Technology, with a primary area of focus in Ordinary Differential Equations. Mandelkern also earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Applied Mathematics from FIT in 2003 and 2004, and has been teaching at Eastern Florida since 2006. His doctoral dissertation explored "Sturm-Liouville Equations with Singular Endpoints of Poincaré Rank Zero and One." "Along this journey, I've been privileged to be able to share with my EFSC students my experiences, and I hope that as a result my students are better informed as to whether pursuing a PhD is something they may be interested in themselves," said Mandelkern. "Never stop pushing yourself to learn and achieve. This is the surest path to a fulfilling life."
Dental Assisting Instructor Earns Masters in Higher Education
May 2017: Jessica Milford, M.S., Dental Assisting Instructor on the Cocoa Campus, has earned a Master of Science in Higher Education degree from Capella University. Milford Joined Eastern Florida as an adjunct in 2006 and became full time in 2010. The focus of her new degree is Community College Leadership, which she now applies to her role as program manager, enhancing her knowledge of college operations and her qualifications to possibly hold a future administrative position. “This degree gave me more insight into the issues and trends facing higher education and how to respond to ensure the students’ continued success,” said Milford. “I enjoy teaching the students and seeing them learn, grow, and apply their critical thinking skills when treating patients. I try to share real-world or life experiences to help them understand concepts and how they apply to everyday life.”
EFSC Instructor Earns Mathematics Doctorate
April 2017: Holly Wendel, PhD, a Mathematics Instructor on the Melbourne Campus and online with eLearning, has earned a Doctorate degree in Mathematics Education from Florida Institute of Technology. Wendel is in her fourth year of teaching at EFSC and serves as the Program Coordinator for Developmental Mathematics on the Melbourne campus. In addition to a broad range of Math classes, from Developmental I to Essentials of Calculus, she also teaches Math for Liberal Arts. Her dissertation focused on the “Effects of Intelligent Computer-Generated Interactive Mathematics Programs on Students’ Achievement and Affective Domain.” "While working on my doctorate, I have enjoyed speaking with my students about the process and how they too can achieve anything they put their mind to,” said Wendel.
Palm Bay Mathematics Instructor Receives Doctorate in Operations Research
March 2017: Kenneth Iwezulu, PhD, Mathematics Instructor on the Palm Bay Campus, has earned a Doctorate degree from Florida Tech in Operations Research, with a specialization in Stochastic Games (a Stochastic game is a dynamic game with probabilistic transitions). Iwezulu earned his Bachelor and Master of Science in Mathematics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He joined EFSC in 2012 as an adjunct instructor on the Melbourne Campus and became full-time on the Palm Bay Campus in 2013. “We all engage in some kind of operations research, which could be seen as a quest for the best possible way of doing things,” he said. “For me, I believe mathematics is life, and operations research completes the life in mathematics. Quite a number of people do not like mathematics, but the truth is: The only way to learn mathematics is to practice and do mathematics. I had quite a challenge in mathematics during high school, but determined to excel in it, like my friend who encouraged me.”
Melbourne Nursing Instructor Earns Doctorate
February 2017: Patricia Hurley, RN, MSN, DNP, Nursing instructor on the Melbourne Campus, has earned a Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama. She joined the EFSC Nursing faculty in 2010 on the Cocoa Campus and moved to the Melbourne Campus in January 2017. Hurley holds a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus on Administration; a B.S. in Nursing and a Bachelor of Theology degree. Her doctoral area of focus was the care of the elderly post hospitalization by working through faith-based communities. “I started a program at a large congregation in Titusville focusing on visiting those discharged from the hospital every week for four weeks to review discharge instructions and offer spiritual support in an effort to prevent re-admissions to the hospital within 30 days,” said Hurley. “This program is supporting primarily elderly in our community of Titusville. The project is also a collaboration between the faith-based community and the local hospital. So far only one we have visited has been readmitted. The project also included education and training of volunteers,” she said. “I love nursing and really enjoy the students. My role is to teach, guide and help them develop into nurses who maintain the standards of the profession and to provide excellent care for the sick and those in need of health care.”
EMS Instructor Earns B.S. in Industry Training and Technical Education
November 2016: Jeff Touro, Instructor of Emergency Medical Services on the Melbourne Campus, has earned a Bachelor of Science in Industry Training and Technical Education from the University of Central Florida. He also holds an Associate in Arts degree and an Associate in Science degree in Emergency Medical Services. He has been a full-time faculty member at EFSC since 2012, teaching Emergency Medical Services within the Public Safety Institute on the Melbourne Campus. “My degree in education has provided me with necessary tools to better reach my students,” said Touro. “It is incredibly rewarding to be able to apply classroom lessons learned at UCF to my own classrooms here at EFSC and see immediate improvement in student success.”
Titusville Patient Care Instructor Earns Doctorate
September 2016: Susan Campbell, EdD, Patient Care instructor on the Titusville Campus, has earned a Doctorate of Education with a Specialization in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University. She has been teaching full time at EFSC since 1998 and is an RN/paramedic with flight certification. She holds an A.S. in Emergency Medical Services, a B.S. in Healthcare Administration and an M.S. in Healthcare Administration with a focus in Education. Her dissertation research focused on the integration of critical thinking skills across curriculum. “I love teaching entry-level students in the healthcare field,” she said. “These students are the future caregivers and need a solid foundation for lifelong learning. In today’s world, problem solving and critical thinking are necessary skills in all areas of life. As educators, we need to help our students develop these skills throughout their educational experience.”
Palm Bay Mathematics Chair Earns Doctorate
June 2016: Dustin Files, PhD, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Department Chair on the Palm Bay Campus, has earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Mathematics Education from the Florida Institute of Technology. He joined EFSC in 2007 with a Master of Science Degree in Applied Mathematics from the FIT. His dissertation, “Instructional Approach and Mathematics Achievement: An Investigation of Traditional, Online, and Flipped Classrooms in College Algebra” focused on constructivism and mathematics self-efficacy. “I found that students have higher achievement when they are given the opportunity to be guided by more hands-on practice with the concepts,” said Files. He plans to incorporate more activities along with his lectures. “I'm going to take a more blended approach, sort of a mix of the traditional and flipped classroom.”
Participants Selected for 2016-2017 Administrative Leadership Internship Program
May 2016: Ten faculty and staff members have been selected for the Administrative Leadership Internship Program (ALIP). This intensive, year-long program empowers participants to develop the skills necessary to achieve their goals in higher education. Interns will work side-by-side with top-level administrators, faculty and staff to improve leadership strategies and enhance operational knowledge of the College. The 2016-2017 participants are: Wayne Brown, Sharon Cronk-Raby, Dr. Ramona Smith, Dr. Cathy Cady, Jacinta Dawson, Stephanie Goins, Dayla Nolis, Marian Shelpman, Dr. Laura Sidoran and Milli Torres. Learn more about ALIP and what’s in store for this year’s participants.
Nursing Instructor Earns Master's Degree
May 2016: Karen Spurlock, Instructor of Nursing on the Titusville Campus, has earned a Master’s degree in Nursing, MSN, with a specialty in Education from Capella University. She has been employed with EFSC full time for five years and works in the Associate Degree Nursing, ADN, program. Formerly, she worked as an RN in patient care and management and spent much time volunteering in her community for various churches, health events, the NAACP and Red Cross. While teaching a nursing assistant class for the Red Cross, she discovered her passion for teaching and joined EFSC where she has instructed PCA, LPN and now RN students. “Each student that I can connect with and inspire will then connect with their patients in a compassionate, competent way without judgment, ridicule, or prejudice,” said Spurlock. “Many may feel that it is their job to simply provide the information and the job of the recipient is to learn. My belief is that you must strive to connect to your students and inspire them to want to learn. We are teaching to help them grow. There is no greater honor.”
Faculty Members Honored with Academic Discipline Peer Awards
April 2016: Almost three-dozen full time faculty members have been selected as winners of the 2016 Academic Discipline Peer Awards. These outstanding educators were chosen based on their contributions to students, EFSC and the greater community. Winners represent the following disciplines: Science and Engineering, Music/Fine Arts, English, Speech/Foreign Language, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Mathematics, Health Sciences, Humanities, Computer Applications/Science, Education, and Career and Technical Programs. View the complete list of honorees. Congratulations to the recipients and thank you to their colleagues who recognized their achievements.
Clinical Instructor Earns MBA in Healthcare Management
April 2016: Daniel Clancy, MBA, RDMS, Clinical Coordinator/Instructor for the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program on the Cocoa Campus, has earned a Master of Business Administration, majoring in Healthcare Management, from Western Governors University. He joined EFSC in August 2015 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Healthcare Management from Indian River State College. Clancy is registered in OB/GYN and Abdominal Ultrasound and is a member of the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. He pursued an MBA to help provide his students with the information they will need to be successful in the Healthcare industry. “The bridge between clinical and administrative responsibilities is very different but each side needs to know what the other is doing and why,” said Clancy. “I love teaching Sonography, and I feel extremely lucky to be teaching at EFSC.”
Accounting Instructor Earns Second Master's Degree
March 2016: Patricia S. Harmon, Instructor of Accounting on the Cocoa Campus, has earned her second Master’s degree - a Master of Accounting degree from the American Public University System. She previously earned a Master of Science in Business Education from Southern New Hampshire University. She has been a full time EFSC instructor since 2014, following her work as an adjunct on the Cocoa and Melbourne campuses. Before joining EFSC, she was employed with the New Hampshire public school system, the private sector within the legal community, the Brevard County Court system and as a free-lance writer. She also serves as a Notary Public at large for the community. “My goal has always been to bring real-world experiences into the classroom and to encourage students to seek their true potential,” said Harmon. “Thankfully, I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve in such a position at Eastern Florida State College.”
EMS Instructor Earns BAS in Healthcare Management
February 2016: Nikolas Koukos, RN, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) instructor on the Melbourne Campus, has earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Management from EFSC. He also holds Associate in Science degrees in EMS and Nursing as well as current Florida paramedic and RN certifications. Koukos is the Lead EMS instructor and EMS Department Chair in the EFSC Public Safety Institute. He began his career with the College in 2006 and pursued a management degree to broaden his perspective of the healthcare field. “I have been in healthcare for 17 years, but always at the patient’s side,” said Koukos. “I thought it would be beneficial to see how the administrative side functioned." With several family members in the field, Koukos has been passionate about EMS since high school. “I loved showing up at a person’s most vulnerable time and being able to help them, either physically or emotionally. I take great pride, now, in training others to be a ‘hero’ when one is needed most."
World Religions Instructor Awarded Doctorate Degree
October 2015: Alicia Spring, Ph.D., World Religions instructor on the Melbourne Campus, has earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis. Dr. Spring is also an ordained clergy in the United Church of Christ. An EFSC faculty member since 2010, Dr. Spring teaches World Religions on campus and online and also teaches Community Involvement. Her dissertation focused on using contemplative pedagogy in the college classroom to help students integrate academic study with personal meaning. “Service learning here at EFSC is a good example of a contemplative pedagogy,” said Dr. Spring. “Other activities I’ve used in the classroom are meditation, designing a personal mandala and practicing a day of Sabbath (24 hours without electronics and technology). Contemplative practices are believed to build student attention and comprehension, making the class material more relevant and practical to real life experience. Completing my dissertation was as difficult as I anticipated, but I learned so much in the process.”
Nursing Instructor Earns Doctorate
September 2015: Annmarie Waite, PhD, ARNP, Instructor of Nursing on the Palm Bay Campus, has earned a Doctorate of Nursing degree from Barry University. Her dissertation focused on the independent practice of nurse practitioners. Waite joined EFSC in 2014, following a career as a registered nurse in Pediatrics and as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner. She has worked in several areas of nursing, in both the private and public sector, and pursued a doctorate to expand her knowledge of education, research and women’s health. With her new education, Waite plans to help her students use critical thinking skills in support of quality healthcare practices. “I hope to provide an interactive environment that encourages the future leaders of our profession to think of innovative solutions to solving some of our country's most complex health care issues,” said Waite.
Dental Hygiene Program Manager Earns M.A. Degree
June 2015: Jeanie Dent, CRDH, Program Manager and faculty member of the Dental Hygiene Program on the Cocoa Campus, has earned a Master of Arts in Education degree from the University of Central Florida. Her degree work emphasized leadership, administration and education skills with a minor in career and technical education. Dent joined then-BCC in 1999 as an adjunct clinical instructor. She was promoted to full-time faculty and co-program manager of the dental hygiene program in 2006. In the last nine years she has been a major part of two successful accreditations of the dental programs and an integral part of curriculum changes, technology advancements and revisions within the dental hygiene program. Dent takes great pride in hearing from private-practice dentists that EFSC dental hygiene graduates are the best to hire. “I really love seeing new students come into our program with no prior dental experience and exit as some of the smartest, well trained and skilled clinicians within our area.”
Education Instructor Awarded Doctorate Degree
June 2015: Holly McKnight, Ph.D., Education Instructor on the Palm Bay Campus, has earned a Doctorate of Science Education in the area of Biology from Florida Institute of Technology. Her dissertation focused on the Effects of Peer Instruction on State College Student Achievement in an Introductory Biology Unit in Genetics. Dr. McKnight joined EFSC in 2001 as an adjunct instructor and became full time in 2010. In the 2015 fall term, she becomes the new Department Chair of Computer Technology, Business, Education and Engineering Technology on the Palm Bay campus. Although she teaches full-time in the Education Department, she is also credentialed to teach both Biology and Success Strategies courses and enjoys the variety because it “keeps life interesting,” she said. Dr. McKnight hopes to use her expanded knowledge to help the Palm Bay Campus offer secondary education programs to EFSC students. “Creating a way for secondary education students to stay in Brevard is an ambition I've had for many years.”
Computer Science Professor Earns Doctorate
February 2015: Steve Johnson, PhD, Professor of Computer Science on the Palm Bay Campus and Department Chair of Computer Technology, Business, Education, & Engineering Technology, has earned a Doctorate of Computer Science from the Florida Institute of Technology. His research area was bioinformatics, which refers to the application of computer algorithms to solve complex biological problems. He expects his gained knowledge in this field will benefit the college’s new Bachelor of Applied Science program in Computer Information Systems Technology. Dr. Johnson teaches Computer Applications, Computer Programming and also Database Administration. He began his career at the College in 1994, as an adjunct instructor, hired to teach Pascal Programming to a group of Harris engineers. Dr. Johnson said his current interests include “publishing in research journals and possibly infusing computer security technologies in the health field, specifically with patient information security.”
Spanish Instructor Awarded Most Valuable Teacher of the Year
January 2015: Concepcion Cranston, Spanish instructor on the Titusville Campus, received the Florida Foreign Language Association’s (FFLA) 2014 Most Valuable Teacher of the Year Award, during the FFLA’s 45th annual conference, held in Miami, Oct. 14-16. The FFLA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study and teaching of languages and cultures. A native of Spain, Cranston attends the conference every year for professional development. This is the first year she attended as a presenter, and was not expecting to receive an award. “I was absolutely surprised and honored,” said Cranston, who began her career with EFSC in 2007. Titusville Department Chair of Liberal Arts/Communications Robin Campbell believes this honor is well justified. “I cannot think of a more deserving recipient than Professor Cranston. She teaches Spanish with exceptional knowledge and passion and consistently dedicates herself to academic excellence. Her willingness to keep expanding her knowledge of the study of Spanish via professional development is just one of the many avenues she pursues which enhances her professionalism and makes her such a fine academician.”
Aerospace Technology Professor Earns M.S. Degree
William Fletcher, Associate Professor of Aerospace Technology on the Cocoa Campus, earned a Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Professional Studies in Education, from Capella University, Minneapolis, MN. Fletcher began his career with EFSC in 2004, following a 35-year career with NASA’s Launch Site Program. At the end of his career as Associate Program Manager for the NASA Services Program, he was involved with purchasing commercial expendable launch vehicles for unmanned satellite projects, such as weather satellites and missions to Mars. “My work at NASA frequently involved developing ways to perform certain tasks and then teaching others,” said Fletcher. “Thus, I have been in the education field my whole career. As with NASA, there is a certain language to learn in the academic world, and techniques and theories to be employed. Helping my students understand what they need to know to be successful is my current career goal and purpose.”
Psychology Instructor Awarded EdD
October 2014: Melissa Patton, Instructor of General Psychology and Developmental Psychology on the Cocoa Campus, has earned a Doctorate in Higher Education and Organizational Change. Dr. Patton has been teaching for 8 years, the last three of which have been at EFSC. Her employment history includes Administration, Enrollment Management, Academic Advising, Judicial Consulting and Interim Associate Provost. She pursued a doctorate degree to gain a deeper understanding of the collegiate system, particularly the administrative departments, in order to more comprehensively help her students. Dr. Patton plans to integrate her role as teacher with her ability to lead and develop programs within the EFSC system. “I would also like to develop a deeper presence within EFSC as it pertains to students, faculty and administrators,” said Patton.
Nursing Professor Earns Doctorate
September 2014: Elinda Steury, PhD, RN, Associate Professor of Nursing on the Palm Bay Campus and online Professor in the Allied Health Bachelor’s Program, has earned a Doctor of Nursing degree. Her dissertation focused on “Using mobile phone technology to improve pharmacoadherence in Zambia,” from where she is currently teaching online classes. “I believe that the technology currently available in developing nations, specifically Zambia, has the potential to positively impact the health of the individual, contributing to improving the health of the nation,” said Steury. “I love being a part of EFSC and look forward to broadening students’ perspectives on global healthcare through study abroad opportunities in the near future.”
Interior Design Faculty Member Earns M.S. in Architecture
September 2014: Lesa Lorusso, Program Manager for the Interior Design Technology program on the Melbourne Campus, has earned a Master of Science degree in Architecture with an Interior Design Specialization from the University of Nebraska. Using her new knowledge, she led students in the Commercial Interior Design 2 class to renovate the Rockledge branch of Bridges, a non-profit day facility supporting children and adults with disabilities. “I love working with design students to inspire their creativity and passion for interior design and architecture,” said Lorusso. Now in her seventh year teaching at EFSC, Lorusso is pursuing her Doctorate within the University of Florida’s College of Design Construction and Planning. “My goal for my doctoral studies is to foster advancement and growth of the Interior Design program at Eastern Florida State College.”
2014 Peer Awards Announced
Congratulations to the 2014 Academic Discipline Peer Award (ADPA) winners for 2014. View the complete list of honorees chosen by their peers. Your dedication, patience, enthusiasm, and concern for the students, college and the community is very much appreciated.
Phlebotomy Program Manager Earns New Degree
Kristie Rose has been awarded a Master's Degree in General Psychology from American Public University. Rose is the instructor and program manager for EFSC's phlebotomy program. "In a broad sense, psychology is related to everything we do since we do not exist in a vacuum," says Rose. "I am able to use my understanding of psychology to help the students understand physiologically and psychologically what is happening in the lab, both for them and for the patient. I can use that understanding to help the student learn methods they can use to make them a better phlebotomist and to help them help their patients have a more positive experience." Rose goes on to say, "I am a mother to one beautiful and intelligent son, four neurotic cats, three mischievous ferrets and two nutty dogs." She married her husband on the Big Island of Hawaii in October 2013. Reading is her favorite hobby, with horseback riding a close second. "I am a lifelong learner and plan to continue my education indefinitely and absolutely love teaching. I have the greatest job and the best students."
Patient Care Instructor Awarded Degree
Karen Spurlock, a full-time Patient Care Technician Instructor in the Institute of Nursing on the Titusville Campus, was awarded her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Kaplan University on November 16, 2013. The program features a strong focus on professional leadership with courses in management, informatics, research, emerging trends in health care therapies, health assessment and community nursing.
EFSC Adjunct Earns Degree
Dr. Janet M. Sikora Amendola, a Chiropractic Physician and adjunct faculty member who teaches Anatomy & Physiology on the Melbourne campus, has earned her Masters of Science in Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction (MSHAPI) from New York Chiropractic Colleges' post graduate department. She graduated Dec. 20, 2013, with honors. MSHAPI is a multidisciplinary science/pedagogy program that fuses anatomy and physiology content expertise with graduate pedagogy training to develop a highly effective educator focused on undergraduate A&P instruction.
Nursing Faculty Member Receives Doctorate
Paulette Howell, an Associate Professor and Level Coordinator of Nursing on the Palm Bay Campus, has earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership/Educational Technology from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Howell received her BSN from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York and after working in various areas of the healthcare field she returned to school for a Masters of Science in Nursing. Howell says, " I love teaching and being a role model for future healthcare professionals."
English Professor Earns Doctorate
Warren Jones, an English professor on the Titusville Campus, earned his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) on December 13, 2013 from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Jones' doctoral studies focused on texts and technology through UCF's English department. In addition to teaching Communications courses at EFSC, Jones is a popular humanities instructor, including special topics that have ranged from the cultural impact of the zombie craze to the impact of changing technology. Dr. Jones' website is http://inverseintuition.org/
Radiography Instructor Receives Advanced Degree
Sandi Lanza, an assistant professor who teaches radiography courses in the Health Sciences Institute, has received a Master of Educational Technology degree from Webster University. The degree allows graduates to develop multiple literacies and to foster creative thinking using technology and multimedia.
EFSC Professor Earns Leadership Award
Eastern Florida State College professor Dr. Carol Bourke received the 2013 Outstanding Leadership Award by the Southern Business Education Association (SBEA). The honor is bestowed annually on an SBEA member engaged in business education as a classroom teacher, administrator and/or supervisor at the secondary, postsecondary (two-year), collegiate (senior college or university) or administration/supervision level. READ MORE
eLearning's Dr. Cobb Receives Excellence in Education Award
Dr. Kathy Cobb, the eLearning Provost at Eastern Florida State College, has received the Thomas E. Gamble Excellence in Education for Economic Development Award for her work in the rapidly growing field of online studies. The award is presented by the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast to honor educators for their dedication and innovation in serving students and promoting economic growth. READ MORE
Cardinale Receives Doctorate Degree
Nelly Cardinale, an Associate Professor of Computer Science on the Melbourne campus, received her Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in International Higher Education from Northeastern University on Sept 21, 2013. Dr. Cardinale's dissertation was titled, "Examining the transition to a four-day school week and investigating post-change faculty/staff work-life balance: A community college case study."