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Maverick Magazine Fall 2021: The Lure of Coming Back Home - As Told by Alumni who now Teach at Mercy

Photo of alumni who are now faculty at Mercy College

Michelle Naylor ’93, M.S., MT (ASCP) Assistant Professor and Director, Clinical Laboratory Science Program, School of Health and Natural Sciences

Michelle Naylor ’93, M.S., MT (ASCP), a first-generation college student, followed her older sister to Mercy as “a shy international transfer student” with dreams of entering the field of laboratory science. Naylor recognized the value of a culturally balanced workplace. “The clinical laboratory is a diverse environment,” she said. “Mercy taught me how to work with others for the benefit of the whole team.”

Julia Zavala ’08, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Co-Activity Director, STEM Mentoring Program, Department of Psychology, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Julia Zavala ’08, Ph.D., heard about Mercy while attending a community college near her home in Southern California. As a first-generation college student, the notion of transferring to another college across the country was, in her words, “challenging to say the least.” But Zavala made the move and has never regretted it.

Teresa Quackenbush, M.S. ’06 Assistant Professor, Department of Early Childhood and Childhood Education, School of Education

Arriving at Mercy on a prestigious New York City Teaching Fellowship, Teresa Quackenbush, M.S. ’06 stayed on after earning her master’s degree in early childhood education, eventually joining the Early Childhood Education faculty. “I always felt very supported by Mercy,” she said. “My professors taught me that a leader is someone who tries to find their piece in the puzzle.”

David Wang, M.S. ’11, Ed.D. Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics & Computer Sciences, School of Liberal Arts

David Wang, M.S. ’11, Ed.D., is an early adopter. In 1998, when most computers ran DOS and the Internet was still in its infancy, Wang accepted an offer from Mercy College to join its emerging faculty in the Department of Mathematics & Computer Sciences in the School of Liberal Arts. In one fell swoop, Wang not only landed his first teaching job, but also found his niche.

Mark Chmiel, M.S. ’16 Instructor, Economics and Strategic Marketing, School of Business

Mark Chmiel, M.S. ’16, joined the School of Business faculty in 2014. With decades of high-level corporate experience under his belt, including 10-plus years in the C-suite, Chmiel had a lot to offer the next generation of business leaders. It wasn’t long before Chmiel, attracted by Mercy’s supportive stance toward the unconventional student, decided to go for his master’s degree in organizational leadership. Chmiel relished his time as a student, learning “to appreciate and celebrate the diversity of today’s youth and the difficulties they face.”

To read the more of this article in the fall 2021 issue of Maverick Magazine, please click here. 

To read the latest issue of Maverick Magazine, please click here.