INSTRUCTOR SPOTLIGHT: MAY 2022

INSTRUCTOR SPOTLIGHT: FEBRUARY 2022

MAY 2022 Instructor Excellence Award:
Penny Morgan

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Penny Morgan
Technical Instructor
Levi, Ray & Shoup (LRS)

Penny Morgan is a Technical Instructor with 28 years of experience and currently supports the training schedule at Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc. (LRS) Education Services. Penny began her career shortly after graduating from Eastern Illinois University and has been teaching ever since. After beginning her career, as an applications instructor, Penny found herself moving more into the world of advanced technology education. For the past 21 years, she’s been a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), focusing primarily on Microsoft Server and Azure courses, while holding 28 licenses and certifications.  

During college, Penny knew she wanted to do something within the realm of teaching, even though she didn’t pursue a degree in Education. Instead, Penny was pulled in the direction of getting a business degree. During her senior year, a student who had graduated the year before Penny came back to give a presentation on her new career as a software instructor. The student explained how she was teaching software applications to adults in the corporate world, and it struck a major chord with her. In that moment, Penny knew that’s something she wanted to do. 

Penny teaches primarily Microsoft 365, Azure courses, Microsoft Office application courses, as well as several CompTIA certification courses (A+, Network+, and Project+). “I have always preferred and enjoyed the variety of courses I am able to teach, as I get to train everyone from the basic end user to the more advanced system administrator across a wide variety of systems and applications.” One of Penny’s favorite things about her job? In the 28 years she has been teaching, she has learned something new every single day. For Penny, that keeps things exciting and challenging in the best way. “Each course brings with it a very different mindset and method of teaching, but it’s that change of pace and challenge that I’ve always enjoyed.”  

Penny loves seeing the excitement on someone’s face, or their reaction when they’ve learned something new and can see the potential of using it in their own day-to-day tasks. Whether it’s an end user who’s seeing or learning something for the very first time, or an experienced administrator who may think they’ve seen and or done it all, for Penny it’s rewarding to know that she’s helped them in some way. “It just feels great to know I can share my knowledge and experience with someone and provide them with information and skills that just might make their life just a little bit easier.”  

Throughout her career, Penny has learned and taught such a wide variety of different subjects and has earned several certifications along the way. “It takes a lot of time and effort to earn those credentials initially, but also to maintain them over the years. It’s a very good feeling of accomplishment to look over that list and know I did it. For me, all I can hope for the future is to continue doing what I’ve been extremely fortunate to do for the last 28 years. I do believe that the best instructors have to have a passion for teaching and without a doubt, I do. I’ve seen so many changes in the world of technology and the way we teach it over the years and can’t wait to see where it takes us in the future!” 

MAY 2022 Instructor Excellence Award:
Kelly Fitzpatrick

Kelly Fitzpatrick is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and has taught at the County College of Morris (CCM) since 2010.  In addition to her work in the Mathematics Department, Kelly also teaches in the Workforce Development Program. Kelly is the principal investigator for NSF ATE grant # 2000887, Expanding Pathways to a Data Science Career by Developing a Certification in Data Science and Analytics, where her project was recognized by the National Science Foundation bringing key opportunities to faculty and students. Kelly also serves as the Chair of the ASA/AMATYC Joint Committee focused on improving the quality of statistic education in 2-year colleges. 

Prior to joining CCM, Kelly worked in hedge fund management where she developed quantitative strategies for various financial firms. A graduate from Columbia University, M.A. and B.A. in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Geneseo, her work in the financial services industry helped hone her skills and application of data science principles in practical application.  

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Kelly Fitzpatrick
Associate Professor of Mathematics
County College of Morris (CCM)

Kelly enjoys teaching her students by bringing real-world situations and scenarios into the fold. “By incorporating this into my lectures, students are able to learn technology that is relevant in the workforce. That way, my students have an idea of what they might face in the future, and they will always be prepared because of what I have taught them.” Kelly gives her students guidance on topics that are difficult to understand or even intimidating at first, including emerging technologies, because these are very important skills needed in the industry right now. “I think it is important to teach students skills that are relevant for the workforce. In a recent ‘The State of the State of Innovation in New Jersey’ report, it was outlined that there is a large skills gap in New Jersey for applicants to roles that require data science, AI and machine learning knowledge. The most effective training provides knowledge of digital technologies including Big Data, AI and Machine Learning. These skills are the highest in demand and most relevant for our industries.” 

For Kelly, the most rewarding part of her job is what she brings to her students. In her eyes, she gives them the knowledge and skills they need to flourish in whatever comes next for them. If Kelly can make a student more knowledgeable and help them even in the smallest way and have them leave her classes knowing just a little bit more than they did before they came in, then she believes that she has done her job. Expressing just how proud Kelly is of her students, she shared a little bit about what they have accomplished. “Several of my students have passed the Tableau Desktop Specialist exam after completing the Data Visualization Certificate that is offered at CCM. This program prepares students for the exam, and the Logical Operations material is an excellent resource for our students. Recently, five CCM students won two of three awards in a national DataFest competition earning Best in Show and Best Use of Statistical Analysis. The American Statistical Association (ASA) DataFest is a celebration of data in which teams of undergraduates work around the clock to find and share meaning in a large, rich, and complex data set.” 

As for the future, Kelly does not plan to slow down anytime soon and will continue to focus on teaching in-demand skills in the industry and will continue to do her part in preparing her students for their future in the workforce. “As new technologies emerge, it will be paramount to offer courses and programs that align with those needs,” said Kelly.