Saturday, May 31, 2008

BOOST Community Ambassador, MCCC Professor Awarded Distinguished Teaching Honors

MCCC Professor Alvyn Haywood, center, accepts the Distinguished Teaching Award from Interim Vice President Judith Redwine and Board Chair Anthony Cimino.

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- On May 22 Mercer County Community College celebrated the graduation of 935 students in outdoor ceremonies. Speaking on behalf of the student population was Television major Jennifer Leigh, a 2004 graduate of Nottingham High School. Leigh produced and directed many live and taped television productions and won several awards for her work. "When I came here, I was looking for a gold coin and found the whole treasure chest," she said. Leigh plans to continue her education in television production.

Addressing the 2008 graduates was Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, who began by saying she was proud that her son, Jared, was among the graduates. She said to the green-robed grads, "Your professors have given you a toolbox. It's up to you to decide what to do with those tools. Don't ever stop learning; don't ever stop challenging yourself and asking why." As the Majority Leader of the Democratic New Jersey General Assembly, Coleman is the highest ranking woman in the state legislature.

Following a longstanding college awards tradition, Professor of Communication Alvyn Haywood was presented with this year's Distinguished Teaching Award, having been selected by his colleagues. In addition to chairing the college's governing body, the College Forum, Haywood is a popular voice on campus and also serves as the voice of Passage Theater on WIMG AM radio. He recently completed the second year as host and originator of the cable television variety program "What Might Happen," which airs on Mercer's cable channel 26.

In addition to holding many positions at MCCC for the past 15 years, and teaching at both campuses, Haywood also teaches Human Communication for Project Inside at the Garden State Correctional Facility. He has served as a member of the Juvenile Intensive Supervisor Program for the Juvenile Justice Commission. He holds a Masters of Divinity Degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Theater Arts from St. Andrews Presbyterian College.

Also on May 22 the college hosted its Honors Convocation, presenting 120 awards and scholarships to graduating students, including monetary awards endowed by generous donors. In congratulating the awardees MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue said "you have proven the value and worth of our community college mission."

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