SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) named Myrta Colon Groeneveld of Longmeadow, a professor of Mathematics at Manchester Community College in Connecticut, as Distinguished Alumna 2018. She will be honored at STCC’s 51st commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the MassMutual Center.
“Myrta offers a wonderful story of persistence for community-college students everywhere,” said STCC President John Cook. “In turn, with Professor Groeneveld now offering her talents as a community-college educator, STCC could not be more proud to recognize her as our Distinguished Alumna for 2018.”
Groeneveld praised the faculty and staff at STCC for helping her pursue her dreams, noting that “STCC gave me a way to succeed here. It was not the courses or the language instructions, it was the supportive faculty and staff.”
Groeneveld first came to STCC after she moved from Puerto Rico to Springfield. She wanted to get medical care for her son, who has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a condition causing severe seizures. To better communicate with doctors, she began taking ESL courses at the college. She continued and earned an associate degree in early childhood education in 1999. She began working as an advocate for families of children with disabilities and began her service on the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services citizen advisory board.
After working as a lead teacher for Head Start, she returned to school and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Westfield State University. She went on to the University of Connecticut to complete a master’s degree in mathematics. While at Uconn, she began teaching math classes at Westfield State, Manchester Community College (MCC), and STCC. She taught developmental courses at STCC and MCC in Spanish.
Groeneveld began working full-time at MCC in fall 2008. She redesigned the developmental math program at MCC and helped obtain a grant to rewrite the developmental math curriculum and construct and implement a dedicated computer lab for instruction and testing.
Because of improvement in student success, Groeneveld was chosen to be a National Academic Transformation Scholar to mentor and train college and university faculty across the country. She developed the curriculum and continues to train instructors for programs such as Summer Training and Retention Services, Reaching Education Achievement for College Transition (now called Smart Start), and the ALEKS self-study program for underprepared students.
She was named coordinator of Developmental Math at MCC, a position she still holds, and also served as Math Department chairman. She quickly attained full professorship and was awarded the MCC College Employee Leadership Award in 2014 and 2016 for her dedication to students. On April 5, MCC awarded Groeneveld the Jonathan M. Daube Award for her commitment to providing access to students with disabilities.