Sustainability professor earns faculty honor

May 17, 2012

Kate Maiolatesi and President William MessnerKate Maiolatesi

Kate Maiolatesi, HCC Professor of Sustainability Studies, was honored this week with the 2012 Elaine Marieb Faculty Chair for Teaching Excellence. 

The award recognizes a full-time faculty member with five or more years of service who exemplifies outstanding classroom teaching. It is named for Elaine Marieb, a former HCC professor of anatomy and physiology, and recognizes the professional development, skills, and dedication to student learning that HCC faculty bring to the classroom.

Maiolatesi has been teaching at HCC for 29 years. As the Marieb chair recipient, she will serve as grand marshal during Commencement exercises May 26th.

President William Messner recognized Maiolatesi in front of all her faculty and staff colleagues after a video presentation in her honor Wednesday, May 16th.

Also recognized was HCC librarian Eileen Dwyer, with the 2012 outstanding classified staff award, and Irma Medina, senior coordinator for the Pathways Program, who received the outstanding professional staff award.

Maiolatesi was honored, in part, for her outstanding work building the Sustainability Studies program at HCC.

"I do this because I really like it," she said. "None of us can do it alone."

She is listed in the faculty directory as a professor of veterinary and animal science. For many years, she was, and even though she still teaches courses in that department, her focus for the past seven years has been sustainability studies.

She started teaching the first sustainability classes at HCC about 12 years ago as part of a Learning Community. In 2005, she took a sabbatical to teach sustainable architecture and sustainable agriculture at Evergreen State College in Washington State. She returned to help launch the Sustainability Studies program at HCC.

She is now the principal coordinator for HCC's Sustainability Studies program. She still teaches introduction to sustainability as a Learning Community and has added sustainable agriculture, introduction to sustainable energy and the politics of food to her courseload. This spring will see graduates earning the first degrees from HCC in Sustainability Studies. The 2012-2013 catalog will add a sustainable agriculture option as well. Students can also earn certificates in solar energy and wind energy, programs largely supported by federal grants Maiolatesi helped write. One of those grants, from the U.S. Dept. of Labor, is enabling HCC to build and equip a state-of-the-art clean energy laboratory. 

She is also the academic advisor to the Sustainability Club and the force behind the campus sustainability garden, now in its third season.

Photos:(Left) President William Messner recognized Kate Maiolatesi as the 2012 recipient of the Elaine Marieb Faculty Chair for Teaching Excellence. (Right) Kate Maiolatesi in the HCC sustainability garden.


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