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Meet the Faculty

CCAC is a place where faculty, staff and administration support the idea of education for all. Our faculty members are some of the best in the region who believe in the potential of every single student they teach. We would like to introduce you to some of these wonderful professors and adjuncts. They may teach at different locations or be experts in different subjects but the one thing they share is a commitment to your success. Click on any name below to find a short bio about some of our favorite faculty members.

Mike Chirdon-Jones

Mike Chirdon-Jones

Name: Mike Chirdon-Jones

Title: Academic Advisor

Year joined CCAC: 2016

Courses currently teaching: I'm the full-time academic advisor at Boyce Campus. 

Most memorable CCAC experience: One day, I was meeting with a co-worker in my office, and I heard a student checking in at the front desk. She said she really needed to talk to me. The advising secretary said that I was busy, but that she could see another advisor right away. I could hear the student say that she was really hoping to see me, so I stepped out of my office to say that would be fine.  It turned out that all she wanted to do was tell me that she had graduated from her program, and she  wanted to thank me for helping her understand the application process and program requirements. We high-fived a promised to look for each other at the graduation ceremony.  If I ever feel stressed, these are the moments that keep me motivated.

Why I teach what I teach: I love advising for two reasons. First, I like getting to know students on an individual basis. I enjoy making connections with students by talking to them about their goals and interests, helping them make plans and solve problems, and hopefully, helping them find a sense of belonging and connection to the college. Second, I love that I'm constantly being challenged to learn new things. I never thought I would know as much about health care careers as I do, but I've had to learn quickly to be an effective advisor at the Boyce campus! I enjoy working in an environment where I have the chance to learn something new every day from students, my colleagues in the advising office, and the faculty, administrators, and staff from across the CCAC system.  

Something people might not know about me: Running has been a big part of my life. I met my wife through running cross country and track at Juniata College. Though I've slowed down considerably since my competitive racing days, I still run several times a week, and I've run marathons in Boston, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.   

Favorite quote:  "I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.' This is not just a grab-bag candy game.” ― Toni Morrison

Meet the Faculty

Meet the Faculty

Patsy Williamson

English Professor

Year joined CCAC:
1984 - adjunct; 1988 - full-time faculty

Courses currently caught:
English Composition I, Basic Principles of Composition, Honors Peer Study Leaders

Why I teach what I teach:
As a college freshman, I experienced a real "aha!" moment when I was finally able to write a good, analytical essay. I tell my students that from then on, courses I had deemed "boring" were much more accessible to me. My overall grades shot up and, more importantly, I loved learning for the first time since elementary school. Later, I discovered that research supported what I experienced: Learning to write solid essays helps students grow as readers, thinkers, and problem-solvers. I'm pleased to have some role in this process.

Something people might not know about me:
I'm a crazy cat lady.

Favorite Quote:
"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

Meet the Faculty

Meet the Faculty

Christian Farina

Physics Instructor

Year joined CCAC:
2014 as an adjunct and 2017 as full time

Courses currently caught:
PHYS141, PHYS142, PHYS222, PHYS223

Why I teach what I teach:
I find physics to be the most fascinating thing humans have created and I want to share it with students.

Something people might not know about me:
I dropped out of high school at 15 and went back for a GED at 26.

Favorite Quote:
"The secret to immortality is a life worth remembering." - Bruce Lee

 
Meet the Faculty

Meet the Faculty

Carla A. Young

Professor, Developmental Studies, Ethnic & Diversity Studies and Academic Advisor

Year joined CCAC:
In 1990 I was hired as a temporary full-time faculty member in the Developmental Studies Department. In 1991 I was hired full-time.

Courses currently caught:
DVS070 - College Reading 1, DVS101 - College Reading 2, DVS103 - Advanced College Reading & Study Skills, DVS060 - College Academic Strategies, and ETH113 - Introduction to Black Women & Leadership

Why I teach what I teach:
I continue to pursue what I am passionate about; assisting students in developing essential skills to be successful academically, personally and professionally.

Something people might not know about me:
I always wanted to be a teacher. Every mentor that inspired me was an educator. Initially I wanted to teach at the high school level. However, I developed an interest in higher education while serving in the capacity as Assistant Director of Admissions at Clarion University prior to arriving at CCAC.

Favorite Quote:
"Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence." Sheryl Sandberg

Meet the Faculty

Meet the Faculty

Patricia (Trish) Thompson

Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator, Mechatronics Technology

Year joined CCAC:
2014

Courses currently caught:
• MEC-100 Mechatronics Safety and Quality • MEC-102 Mechatronics Industrial Processes • MEC-106 Industrial Power Systems • MEC-108 Programmable Logic Controllers 1 • MEC-110 Digital Electronics • MEC-112 Introduction to Robotics • MEC-150 Fluid Power • MEC-221 Robotics and Controls

Why I teach what I teach:
After having worked as an engineer in a manufacturing facility, I witnessed the prevalence of jobs that provide family-sustaining incomes available to individuals with technical skills. These skills can be attained without burdening individuals with four years of schooling and large debt. I want to help individuals, regardless of gender identity, learn the necessary skills so that they can be successful and enjoy their lives.

Something people might not know about me:
I am an amateur genealogist, trying to prove my family legends of being royal. Nothing so far, though.

Favorite Quote:
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” —Michelle Obama

Meet the Faculty

Meet the Faculty

Wendi Slusser

Assistant Professor and Program Director for Anesthesia Technologist Program

Year joined CCAC:
2014

Courses currently caught:
ANE 110 ANE 111 ANE 113c ANE 114 ANE 116 ANE 213c ANE 214 ANE 220 ANE 221c ANE 222c

Why I teach what I teach:
Passion. Passion for the field. Passion for helping others. Passion for teaching. Passion for giving back. Passion for playing a role in having a positive impact on someone else's life.

Something people might not know about me:
I love FOOD!! Growing up in the Pittsburgh area, I have always had a love for food!! Pierogis, Kennywood Corndogs and French fries, pizza, you name it! I love it all!

Favorite Quote:
"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that." -Rocky Balboa

Meet the Faculty

Meet the Faculty

Art Inzinga CEC, CCE, AAC

Art Inzinga CEC, CCE, AAC

Year joined CCAC:
2016

Courses currently caught:
CLR 100 Introduction to Foodservice CLR 117 Fundamentals of Culinary Skills CLR 201 Baking CLR 202 Basic Garde Manger Techniques CLR 203 Advanced Garde Manger and Charcuterie Techniques CLR 228 International Cuisine

Why I teach what I teach:
I always consider myself very fortunate to have found a career that I was passionate about and successful in very early in life. I remember, when I was a young cook, how hungry I was for knowledge and experience. I can attribute my success to some very influential faculty here at CCAC, people like Dan Przybylek and L. Edwin Brown, and my chef instructor Gerry Lawrence along with my supervising chef Richard Bosnjak, all of whom were very generous sharing with me. When I graduated I was named the "Outstanding Apprentice" of my class. Since then, I have tried each and every day to live up to that honor and I try to give back to the industry that has been so good to me. While I was an industry chef one of the most rewarding aspects of the job was mentoring and training young cooks-now that I am fortunate enough to do it full time, life could not be better.

Something people might not know about me:
People might be surprised to know that my entire wardrobe does not consist of only chef's uniforms.

Favorite Quote:
My favorite is from Calvin Coolidge, "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."