HCN News & Notes

STCC Names 2019 Deliso and Scibelli Endowed Chairs

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) named professors of Physics and Nursing as its 2019 endowed chair award recipients.

The college selected Barbara Washburn, department chair and professor of Physics, as the 2019 Anthony M. Scibelli Endowed Chair, and Deborah Jacques, professor of Nursing, as the 2019 Joseph J. Deliso Sr. Endowed Chair.

Each year, STCC faculty are nominated by their colleagues and then invited to apply. An award-selection committee, made up of faculty and staff, reviews applications, and the STCC Foundation executive committee selects winners.

STCC President John Cook announced this year’s recipients and congratulated Washburn and Jacques during a meeting with faculty and staff on April 18.

The pair received monetary awards — $3,000 each — and wooden chairs with plaques inscribed with their names. They can apply $1,500 to professional development and $1,500 to their academic department.

Lisa Fugiel, STCC’s Director of Nursing, cited Jacques’ commitment to student success. “Dr. Jacques is an exceptional educator whose willingness to engage every learner in a manner that empowers diverse learning styles has led to tremendous student pass rates in the nursing program. This speaks volumes to her commitment to students.”

Richard Greco, dean of the School of Liberal and Professional Studies, said Washburn is a popular instructor who has brought engaging initiatives into the classroom. For example, Washburn invited STCC students to work with high-school students on a renewable-energy project. The students built ‘solar suitcases’ that can be used by health workers and schools in developing nations to provide light and electricity. “She is a productive and imaginative colleague,” Greco said.

Jacques earned a doctor of nursing practice degree from UMass, and a master’s degree in nursing education and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Russell Sage College. She worked as a staff nurse at Baystate Medical Center before joining STCC as a professor in 2007.

“I love teaching at a community college because I am able to have a significant impact on students who may be the first one in the family to ever go to college,” she said. “I could not be prouder when that student walks across the stage and earns their nursing pin, and I know that this is a future colleague and peer.”

Washburn holds a master of education degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in electrical engineering, laser optic engineering, from Tufts University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Western New England University. She joined STCC as a professor in 1996.

“I left the engineering world to teach at the community-college level over 25 years ago, and I am blessed to have a job I am so passionate about,” Washburn said. “My passion is teaching. My passion is being an ambassador of knowledge for students. I lead the way for learners to learn. I never give up on the student. I give them different ways to regain their footing when they fail or make mistakes.”

Funded through the STCC Foundation, the awards are named for two of the college’s founders. The college established the Anthony M. Scibelli Endowed Chair in 1992 to recognize and foster faculty excellence. As a member of the state House of Representatives, Scibelli sponsored and pushed through legislation approving funding and authorizing the transfer of 35 acres of Springfield Armory to the state as a location for STCC.

In 1993, the Deliso family established the Joseph J. Deliso Sr. Endowed Chair at STCC in recognition of excellence in teaching. Appointed the first chairman of the STCC advisory board, Deliso, an industrialist, served from 1967 to 1981. He then became first chairman of the STCC board of trustees, serving through 1985.