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2016 Teaching Excellence and NISOD Award Winners

It is my pleasure to introduce to you, the recipients of this year's awards in Teaching Excellence and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Awards. Members of the College Community gathered on Friday, April 22 to honor the work these teachers perform. They strive to do their best to educate our students here at the Community College of Rhode Island. Please join myself and the other members of the office of Academic Affairs in recognizing their skills and talent.

Rosemary A. Costigan, PhD, RN
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Mary CostaAssistant Professor Mary Costa, MSN, RN - Nursing Department
Recipient of the 2016 CCRI Teaching Excellence Award

Mary Costa joined the Nursing Department at CCRI in 2013. As a junior faculty member, Mary took on a leadership role as co-chair of the Nursing Curriculum Committee, charged with responsibility of monitoring all aspects of the Nursing Curriculum. Over the past two years, the Nursing Department has been in the process of a major curriculum revision to a modified concept-based format. This daunting task included writing a new mission and philosophy, developing core organizing concepts, and restructuring the program to include twelve new, 1-6 credits courses from four, 10-11credit courses.

While a curriculum consultant facilitated this process, Professor Costa immediately emerged as a leader. She guided the nursing department by organizing meetings, creating timelines, and mapping courses for the first semester of the new curriculum. Additionally, she updated Blackboard with the latest curriculum revisions to keep communication lines open, conducted textbook reviews to determine resources best suited for the new curriculum, as well as developed a lesson plan template.

Mary was not part of the Nursing Department for very long before it was realized what an incredible asset she is to the program. Any member of the Nursing Department will say she is highly respected by all who know her. Mary's greatest fans, however, are her students as revealed by consistent, superior student ratings of instruction (SRIs).

In addition to exemplary teaching and her significant contribution to the development of our concept­-based curriculum, Mary Costa is enrolled at URI, working toward her Ph.D. in Nursing. Mary Costa is a tremendous asset to the profession of nursing and to the nursing program at the Community College of Rhode Island.

Charles McGrathAdjunct Faculty Member, Charles McGrath - Learning Resources
Recipient of the 2016 CCRI Teaching Excellence Award

Charles McGrath teaches the College Success course (LRCT 1020) and receives consistently positive Student Ratings of Instruction for his teaching style and commitment to the students.

Originally from New York City and graduated from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. After Teaching and Coaching Basketball on the secondary school level in New York City moved to Rhode Island after being named Assistant Basketball Coach at the University of Rhode Island. He worked part-time in Advising/Counseling at CCRI and has been working as an Adjunct Instructor since 2004 teaching College Success.

Given that success courses seek to connect students to the college, instructors, and to each other as a way to promote overall persistence, Professor McGrath’s efforts are especially important and pertinent.

Leigh MartinAssociate Professor, Leigh Martin - English
Recipient of the NISOD Award

Associate Professor of English Leigh Martin serves her students and the College in numerous ways. Whether drawing on her vast collection of literature and ephemera for her Children’s Literature students or teaching writing in the department’s Accelerated Learning Program, Leigh enthusiastically engages her students. In addition to her outstanding teaching, Leigh directs The Charles Sullivan Fund for the Humanities, which each year brings visiting artists, authors, playwrights, and performers to campus, free of charge to students and the community. Professor Martin also represents the English Department on the Academic Advisory Committee, Faculty Evaluation Committee, and the 5K Committee.





Raymond AnkromTechnical Professor I, Raymond Ankrom - Engineering & Technology
Recipient of the NISOD Award

Professor Raymond Ankrom graduated from Rhode Island Junior College in 1979 with honors also being named to “Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges”. After earning his Bachelor of Science from Rhode Island College, Raymond began teaching as adjunct faculty in the Engineering and Technology department. His love for teaching adults grew as he taught students how to use the tools and technologies in his trade of precision machining that he held for a career of 40 years.

Today, Raymond is a full time professor teaching all these machining skills in a 21st century, state of the art, computer controlled workshop. Students learn skills to be competitive in a growing Advanced Manufacturing industry in Rhode Island.

Raymond spends his spare time with his wife of 45 years and 6 grandchildren. He also enjoys playing tuba in a brass band performing 19th century Civil War era music.

Melissa SullivanProfessor Melissa Sullivan - Dental Health & Hygiene
Recipient of the NISOD Award

Professor Melissa Sullivan has been a faculty member in the Dental Health Program since 1989. She created courses in Radiography and Periodontics and is the current senior clinic coordinator. Passionate about continuing education, she has presented workshops in Boston and Denver.

Melissa is a test writer for the American Dental Association, National Board for Dental Hygiene. She was recipient of the Phi Theta Kappa Teaching Excellence Award in 1990.

Currently, she serves on the Academic Advisory Committee.

Her leisure pursuits are sailboat racing, travel and hiking. One particular point of pride is completing the north/ south trail, traversing the length of Rhode Island.

Martha VigneaultProfessor Martha Vigneault, PT, DPT, MS, CEEAA - Rehab Health
Recipient of the NISOD Award

Martha Vigneault is a professor in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at the Community College of Rhode Island. Her areas of expertise include Geriatrics, Pediatrics and Administration. She is certified as an Exercise Expert for the Aging Adult. Martha has served as an item writer for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, writing exam questions for the PTA licensing exam. She has had multiple positions within the RI chapter of the America Physical Therapy Association, including Public Relations Committee Chairperson, Vice President, Delegate and Secretary. Martha earned her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University, her master’s degree in Health Care Administration from Texas Woman’s University and her doctorate in Physical Therapy from Simmons College. She is also an active member of the RI Beekeepers Association and the RI Master Gardeners Program.


Regina CobbAssociate Professor, Regina Cobb - Massage Therapy
Recipient of the AMTA’s Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year Award

The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) awarded Regina Cobb of the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) this year’s recipient of AMTA’s Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year Award. Each year, AMTA presents this award to an instructor in an AMTA member school who demonstrates exceptional teaching abilities and a commitment to high standards of education in massage therapy. “Regina is clearly dedicated to giving massage students at CCRI the highest level of initial massage therapy education,” says AMTA President Nathan Nordstrom.

This award honors the memory of Jerome Perlinski, an extraordinary educator and much loved leader.

Since 2001 Regina Cobb has been the director of the massage therapy program at CCRI. She received a master’s degree in clinical social work from Simmons College and her Bachelor of Arts in both psychology and criminal justice from C.W. Post University.

While much of her time at CCRI is focused on the administrative management of the program, she demonstrates a strong commitment to the students. Regina teaches the physiological and emotional benefits of therapeutic massage in courses such as pathophysiology, medical terminology, deep tissue massage and hospital based oncology massage. She also teaches an introductory class on therapeutic massage and classes on the fundamentals of scar tissue and pregnancy massage.

Joanne OraboneAssociate Professor, Joanne Orabone - Business
Recipient of the 2016 ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award

Joanne Orabone, Associate Professor, at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) was recently named a regional recipient of the 2016 ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award. This award recognizes individuals each year who exemplify teaching excellence in the classroom.

“Joanne has been a leader in the Department in the use of active learning techniques and technology to improve and enhance her teaching skills,” said John Ribezzo, Chairman, CCRI School Department of Business Administration. “Her role as a Collegiate DECA advisor has resulted in many of her students going on and successfully completing their studies at the four-year college level” he said.

Joanne is passionate about both accounting and leadership. She is the current President of the RI Association of Accounting Professors (RIAAP). In this capacity she plans semi-annual conferences that showcase current accounting practices, activities and strategies for teaching.

As the Collegiate DECA advisor on the Liston campus, she helps her DECA students learn and develop the skills and tools they need to succeed in business and in life. The Liston DECA Chapter has received national recognition at both the chapter and individual levels, achieving rigorous goals in four areas: Competence, Innovation, Integrity and Teamwork. The Liston Chapter is the only chapter in the country to receive the Presidential Passport award every year since its inception (10 years).

This page developed and maintained by Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Send comments and suggestions to pbardsley@ccri.edu .

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Last Updated: 7/17/17