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Office of the Vice President and Provost Office - Germantown Campus - V2

Office of the Vice President & Provost

Collegewide STEM Unit and Germantown Campus

Germantown Employee Spotlight


Photo of Oluwaseun Falola


Oluwaseun Falola, Instructional Associate, Science Learning Center

Where did you grow up (country, state, town)?  What was your neighborhood like?
I was born and raised in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria in West Africa

Do you have any special sayings or expressions?
“It is well”

Did you go to college or university?  How did you decide what to study?
I had a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Oyo State, Nigeria. I worked for a while in the industry and then I decided to pursue my doctoral degree in chemistry at Howard University after being inspired by one of my college professors.

What was your first job?  What did you like or not like about it?
I am currently an Instructional Associate at the Science Learning Center – Germantown Campus where facilitate student learning majorly in chemistry and physical sciences. This is my first job after graduate school and what I find interesting about the job is that it gives me an opportunity to help someone or a group of people achieve their dreams and thus make a difference in their lives.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests?
Writing Songs, Singing, Graphic Design


Photo of Wall Mary

Mary Wall, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Where did you grow up (country, state, town)? What was your neighborhood like?
I grew up in Washington DC. 

Describe one of your most cherished family memories or traditions (holidays, vacations,etc.).
Growing up I always had a passion for music, and played the flute for many years with the DC youth orchestra and in my high school band.

Describe a person or situation that had a profound effect on the way you look at life.
I was very inspired by my instructors and their interest in my education.  I was continuously encouraged to pursue Mathematics for which I am very grateful.  Experiencing successes in the classroom shaped the way I approach life and gave me a positive vision for my future.

Do you have any special sayings or expressions?
The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
As a small child I wanted to be a hairdresser!

How did you decide what to study?
Like many students, I was not sure exactly what I wanted to study after high school.  I was fascinated with the physical concepts of the beginning and end of the universe and was considering a focus in Cosmology.  After taking many classes, I realized that I enjoyed the challenge of Mathematics more than anything.  I liked the feeling of building skills to tackle new and challenging problems.

What was your first job?  What did you like or not like about it?
My first job was as a cashier at a small neighborhood grocery store.  I enjoyed handling the money and using the register.

Describe the work journey that brought you to Montgomery College.  
Upon graduation, I worked at several area colleges including George Mason, Trinity Washington University and Northern Virginia Community College teaching a variety of Mathematics courses. 

What job do you currently hold?
I am currently Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the Germantown campus of Montgomery College.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests?
I enjoy spending time with my family, helping my students achieve their dreams, and working on interesting Math problems.


Photo of Yvonne Parsons

Yvonne Parsons, Instructional Associate, MAPEL Center

Where did you grow up (country, state, town)? What was your neighborhood like?
I grew up in the DC Metro area in a pretty typical suburban neighborhood. The sort of place where you need a car to get to the store and it's a maze to get to the main road.

Describe one of your most cherished family memories or traditions (holidays, vacations,etc.).
I have a lot of family in New Mexico, so while I was growing up we would usually spend a couple weeks there during the summer. Initially in Clovis – next to the Texas border – and later in Santa Fe. It's a bit of a magical place to me because it's so different to anywhere else I've been. It's very dry, with a strong sun – mountains and scrubland and roads which go on forever. So New Mexico feels like a second home, although I've only ever been a visitor there.

Did you go to college or university?  How did you decide what to study?
I graduated from the University of Maryland, with degrees in Physics and Computer Science. I was fortunate to have some very good teachers in the subjects, and I took their enthusiasm for my own.

Describe the work journey that brought you to Montgomery College.  What job do you currently hold?
I'm currently an Instructional Associate (make that a tutor in layman's terms) at the Germantown MAPEL Center, where I've been for two years now. In case you don't know, we're a walk-in tutoring service for students in math, accounting, physics, and engineering.

I have a tendency to rely quite heavily on logic rather than memorization, which lends itself well towards explaining math to other people. Teaching is something that's quite important to me – learning is genuinely one of the hardest things to do, and it's our job to help the students where we can. It's my philosophy that math is a language – it has vocabulary, structure, and logic. So I'm always trying to teach the why, not just the what.

Doyou have any hobbies or special interests?
I'm very much the sort of person who adores spaceships and aliens and dragons and magic. I love a good story, and a not-insignificant amount of my free time is spent discussing my favorite shows, video games, and books. I grew up on things like Animorphs, Tamora Pierce, Star Wars, Harry Potter, among many others. As an adult, I'm still playing catch-up. There are a lot of games I need to get to, and a lot of books. Doctor Who, for instance, is a television show that's become very dear to me, which is sure to come up if you hang around me long enough.


Photo of Norma Winffel

Norma Winffel, Recruiter and College Access Coordinator

Where did you grow up (country, state, town)? What was your neighborhood like?
I grew up in Chicago, Illinois.  When I was a teenager my parents moved to Puerto Rico where I lived until I graduated from college and moved to Maryland. I grew up in a predominantly Italian and Polish neighborhood; we were the only Hispanics living in the area at the time.

Describe one of your most cherished family memories or traditions (holidays, vacations,etc.). 
Favorite tradition: Puerto Rican Parrandas (Christmas door to door serenades).

Favorite family memory:  This past summer all of my siblings flew in from Chicago, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Florida to attend my Master’s Degree graduation at UMD (first time we’ve all gotten together in 17 years).  As a gift, my parents flew us all back to Chicago to visit our old stomping grounds.  As it happens with most family reunions, late one evening we got into an argument; my mother who was already in bed, got up and said, “I don’t care how old you are, if you don’t knock it off this minute, none of you are going on the boat ride tomorrow!” (My youngest brother is 42 but that wouldn’t stop her from grounding us).

Describe a person or situation that had a profound effect on the way you look at life.
My parents, although both were educated, they both struggled to do so.  From the age of 12 and being the eldest son, my father helped raise and put 10 sisters and one brother through college after the sudden death of his mother.  My mother was the youngest of 10 adopted girls being raised by a single woman. Through it all, my parents learned the value of family and education and because of it today, education and family (biological or not) are of extreme importance to all their children and grandchildren.

Do you have any special sayings or expressions?
“Venga el chorro”  Let it pour.  An expression I use when it seems like everything and anything that can go wrong will and does.  In other words, if it’s going to rain anyway, let it pour; I can handle it.  

What did you want to be when you grew up? 
I wanted to be a flight attendant because I liked the uniforms.  You would think that someone who went to Catholic School and wore uniforms from K-12 would be tired of it, but I wasn’t.

Did you go to college or university? 
I went to the University of Puerto Rico and obtained a bachelor’s degree in business with a minor in Information Systems. Later on I obtained a Six Sigma Systems Analyst Degree from GE, and most recently I graduated from University of Maryland College Park with a Master’s in Education, Human Development and Quantitative Methodology.

How did you decide what to study?
My father pretty much decided for us all.  Having raised 11 siblings, some of whom he was still paying tuition for, and at the time with 5 kids preparing for college, decided we would be moving to Puerto Rico because he read about a University that was providing scholarships to students who were fluent in English and interested in Science, Business, Engineering and Math (the equivalent of STEM today).   Every single one of us graduated in fields of Science, Business, Engineering and/or Math.

What was your first job? What did you like or not like about it? 
My first job (17 years old) was as a property tour guide at “Palmas del Mar”, an American Riviera Resort in Puerto Rico. I loved that my job consisted of driving a golf cart and touring prospective buyers along the golf courses and villas of this beach resort.  What I didn’t like was that, depending on the humidity, I’d return to class with Shirley Temple curls or an afro.

Describe the work journey that brought you to Montgomery College
I was the owner of a Title Company with 3 branches in MD, one in Montgomery County.  At a Hispanic Chambers meeting I was approached by Liliana Arango about becoming an instructor for WDCE teaching Real Estate classes (Law of Agency, Lending & Finance).  Shortly thereafter, I sold my business and came to work part-time in admissions and Institutional advancement.  A year later, I became a Recruiter.

What job do you currently hold?
I am a Recruitment and College Access Coordinator

Do you have any hobbies or special interests?
I love hiking and biking but my absolute favorite thing to do is Kayaking.  I am also a farmer at heart, or as my husband likes to say, “Norma loves her heals as much as she loves her tractor”.

Anything else you want to tell us about yourself?
I’ve said enough…


Photo of Angie LawverAngie Lawver, Assistant Professor of Reading

Where did you grow up (country, state, town)? What was your neighborhood like?
I was born in New Haven, Connecticut, but grew up in Sunbury, PA. My neighborhood was filled with kids my age and we made mud pies, played whiffle ball, and rode our bikes everywhere.

Describe one of your most cherished family memories.
To this day, my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Growing up, we used to all go to my Aunt Rose’s house and after we ate a delicious dinner, we would write down on paper feathers what we were thankful for. We would write down serious things (friends and family), as well as silly things (toilet paper and fleece socks).

Describe a person or situation that had a profound effect on the way you look at life?
My dad has always been a very influential person in my life. Even to this day, when I have good news or have achieved something great, he is one of the first people I tell. He has taught me how to be smart with my money, how to be non-judgmental, and how to put a positive spin on almost everything life throws at you.

Do you have any special sayings or expressions?
My grandmother, whom we called Gaugee, had created her own “language” that we called the first initial texting. She would create acronyms that only we would understand. For example, “GT” means “Good Time,” and “FL” means “Fake Laugh.” To this day, we still use all of those acronyms in our daily life.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. There was a short period of time when I wanted to be a meteorologist…even though I’m terrified of thunderstorms. I can remember playing teacher with my best friend growing up and I was ALWAYS the teacher and the one in charge.

Did you go to college or university?  How did you decide what to study?
I attended Susquehanna University and earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish. I then earned my Master’s Degree from Hood College in Reading Specialization. Like I previously stated, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher.

What was your first job? 
My first job was a waitress at a small restaurant called The Crafty Lady. While I wasn’t very good at the job (I didn’t really get much training), I loved the hustle and bustle of the food industry, the interaction with the customers, and the immediate tip money that filled my pockets every day after work.

Describe the work journey that brought you to Montgomery College.  What job do you currently hold?
I began my professional career as a Pre-K teacher and then taught Kindergarten in Montgomery County for three years. Once I gave birth to my identical twin girls, I was a stay-at-home mom until I became an adjunct professor at Frederick Community College teaching study skills and developmental English classes.  As my girls were approaching the first day of Kindergarten, I began looking for a full-time job. That’s where Montgomery College comes in. I was hired in 2013 and have been teaching developmental reading ever since. I am currently an Assistant Professor of Reading, the Germantown campus Reading Coordinator, an ELITE Faculty Associate, and the President-Elect of the Developmental Education Association of Maryland (DEAM).

Do you have any hobbies or special interests?
My hobbies include running half-marathons, reading, playing strategic board games with my family, and playing basketball.

Anything else you want to tell us about yourself?
I have been married for 10 years to a guy (Craig) I told my college roommate I would marry after only knowing him for two weeks. We have identical twin girls who will turn 8 on October 20.


Jacqueline Scott, Child Care Manager, Early Learning Center

Where did you grow up (country,state, town)?  What was your neighborhood like?
I grew up in Gaithersburg Maryland.   My neighborhood was a traditional neighborhood with a lot of kids exploring creeks, riding bikes making forts and family block parties.

Describe one of your most cherished family memories or traditions (holidays, vacations, etc.).
My most cherished family memories are summers in Maine with my family.

Describe a person or situation that had a profound effect on the way you look at life.
My wonderful friend Lynn died from breast cancer.  Her positivity, love of life and “daredevil” approach reminds me that chances are worth taking.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A teacher

Did you go to college or university?  How did you decide what to study?  
BS in Education from Towson University

What was your first job?   What did you like or not like about it?  
Child Care assistant.  I loved everything about it!

Describe the work journey that brought you to Montgomery College.
I have worked in the childcare field for 30 years including my years at Montgomery College.   I currently manage and teach at the Montgomery College Early Learning Center on the Germantown campus.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? 
Painting, photography, watching my high school daughter’s basketball games (GO BEARS!)

Anything else you want to tell us about yourself?
Love spending time with my husband, daughters and my crazy black lab Oliver!


Photo of Brandon WallaceBrandon Wallace, part-time faculty member in English

Where did you grow up (country, state, town)?  What was your neighborhood like?
I grew up in New Haven, Connecticut (USA). My neighborhood was tough. I grew up in public housing projects with my six other brothers and sisters. We moved around a lot, but my mother always ensured that we were bused to schools, typically outside of our neighborhood, to receive a better education than what would have been afforded to us in the public housing community, especially in our part of town.

Describe one of your most cherished family memories or traditions (holidays, vacations, etc.).
One of my most cherished family memories and traditions was attending church. Having very little money in our family, one of the ways we escaped from the pervasive constructs of poverty was attending church services. Escapism took on new meaning to my young mind by retreating to an edifice, albeit modest and probably as big a neighborhood 7-11 Store, where there was a strong sense of community, hope, fun, and love.

Describe a person or situation that had a profound effect on the way you look at life.
All of my teachers, good, bad, or ugly, had profound effects on the way I look at life today.  Many of my teachers were conduits of exposure for me—in academics and life. The teachers who took an added, vested interest in me made me want to grow and give. The teachers who were despondent and dismissive made me want to improve my personal character, so I would not have to be like them when I eventually grew up.

Do you have any special sayings or expressions?
Yes, I have a special saying. Mine is: trust your seasons. In life, we go through so many seasons (or stages), e.g., health, sickness, wealth, poverty, hurt, happiness, etc. All those seasons are supposed to offer a life-lesson. Even though you may not like the growing pains of spring, the hot, hard, sticky times in the summer, the often melancholy fall, or the oldness or coldness of winter—trust it enough to know that it is building something inside of you—something that will prove to be a major help for you or someone else.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was young, I wanted to be a game show host. I’m serious. I loved to watch the glossy suits that Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek wore. I wanted to dress like them. Also, it always seemed like they were so nice, you know? They were always giving strangers, seemingly every single day, money, cars, various prizes. I loved to watch the expression on the faces of the winners—the elation of them all—jumping hither and thither with glee. I thought that was the best job in the world.

Did you go to college or university?  How did you decide what to study?
I went to university. I graduated magna cum laude from Bowie State University with a degree in English. Then, I received my master’s degree from the School of Education at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. I started working on my doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; however, funding was a major issue for me. I think that’s why I am always so sensitive and cognizant of students and the cost of funding for degrees. I try to go out of my way to supplement as much as I can for my students, so they don’t have to spend any additional funds on materials that I can simply send them electronically or share with them during class. No one should have to be thrown into the despair of insurmountable debt just to be a teacher one day, or a nurse one day—it just doesn’t make any sense to me.

What was your first job?  What did you like or not like about it?
My first real job (because I’m not going to count babysitting my siblings and cousins and that one time I helped sell Christmas trees on the side of the road) was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. I worked at the front desk of the Allergy and Immunology Department. I was promoted (around my junior year of college) and became the program administrator for the Allergy-Immunology Training Program. I loved that job. I was fortunate enough to have some extremely thoughtful physicians, nurses, and military personnel mentor me.  That time growing up, professionally, was so invaluable. Moreover, I worked there during the 9/11 tragedy, and I saw, first hand, what people, specifically enlisted soldiers, do for this country every day. Because of that account, I have a deep appreciation for all the women and men in the military.

Describe the work journey that brought you to Montgomery College.  What job do you currently hold?
My first teaching assignment was for the Baltimore City Public School System as a middle school English/ language arts teacher. I was promoted, and I became the English Department Chairperson at the National Academy Foundation in Baltimore City. I wrote curricula, held professional development, taught a full class schedule, and performed many other tasks for my school, the district, and the state of Maryland. After having left North Carolina, I didn’t know what I was going to do, so I decided to come back home and apply to teach in Montgomery County at Wheaton High School and teach at Montgomery College in Germantown. During the application and interview process, I, also, decided to begin my own educational consultancy. Long story short, I got both teaching positions and started my educational consultancy.

Since the convergence of those three opportunities, I discontinued my consultancy in order to work as the instructional Response to Intervention Specialist at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in Washington, DC—the state education agency for the District of Columbia.  I still teach at Montgomery College, and, over these past two years, I have been doing a lot of traveling, speaking publicly, working on national assessments, presenting, writing, and all the other things that keep me busy, but grateful.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests?
I like reading. I like eating. I like traveling. Earlier this year, I was able to take a trip to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and I was able to put all three of those aforementioned hobbies to good use. (smile)

Anything else you want to tell us about yourself?
I am a teacher. Always will be. Always ever wanted to be. I am a teacher.


Mary E. Crowley-Farrell, Adjunct Professor in English

CrowleyWhere did you grow up (country, state, town)?  What was your neighborhood like?
I grew up in a part of New Jersey that would now be called entirely suburban, but when my family moved there from inside the New York City metropolitan area, it was positively rural: Whitehouse (sometimes listed on maps as “White House,” which makes more sense since it was named after the white-washed tavern built before the Revolutionary War that stood at the center of town.) A ramshackle cow barn and dilapidated pig pens littered the nine-acre parcel on which my father built his castle, largely by hand. Horses roamed the fenced meadow behind us. We were urban settlers; although my father continued to commute to a job in the city, my mother was trying to raise sheep we were supposed to eat, but managed instead to turn into pets; trying to name a horse whose favorite trick was to shimmy under the fence and race off; rounding up ducks that insisted on moving downstream; and cultivating rabbits that did, well, way too much of what rabbits do.

Describe one of your most cherished family memories.
Yes, it was great. And because there was lots of land between each house back in those days, there was lots to occupy my imagination. My fondest memories are seemingly random flashes of everyday shenanigans, like the day Blue Jays pecked holes in my older brother’s crewcut scalp because he was climbing their tree; or the day that same brother pretended to be drowning in our flooding creek, terrorizing an elderly neighbor; or the time that brother ran up his version of a flag on our new flagpole in the front yard, much to this 12-year-old’s consternation. There were five of us, one of whom clearly was a clown!

My younger brother was less than two years behind me, but my sisters were way outside my sphere at six and seven years older. Theirs were the clothes I wore until I grew taller than both of them. Theirs was the bicycle I rode to sell my Girl Scout cookies. Theirs were the ice skates I lost when my beloved VW Bug was stolen. For the longest time, all I knew about my oldest sister was that she was magical behind a sewing machine and that her idea of a cure for my hiccups was to blindfold me, then have me stick my hand into a jar containing spiders. She was the svelte, dark-haired beauty who eased in and out of the house like a shadow while my middle sister threw teenaged temper tantrums in between twirling a baton in the high school marching band. It wasn’t until well after I had teenagers of my own that I started getting to know these women for the treasures they are. My buddy was my little brother, my partner in crime inside and outside of the sandbox where he was endlessly building cities.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had one goal in my life, perhaps as my mother would say shaking her head, because I was nosey: to be a reporter. I always wanted to be the first to know something and tell others, which inevitably meant none of my siblings told me any secrets. But my dreams were confirmed by my eighth grade teacher, who flatly espoused the thinking of the day—great writers are born from reporters. (Tell that to Milton, Shakespeare, Kafka, Wolfe, Bronte…). So, that I firmly told myself would be what I did. I started working as a “stringer” for the local twice-monthly newspaper at age 13. I still have a framed copy of my first published story about a house fire down our dirt road. Twenty-five cents a word – a fortune for a story back then. I worked part-time nights while in high school, with my parents and an occasional sibling shuttling me to school board meetings and other local government events.

Did you go to college or university?  How did you decide what to study?
By the time I was ready to graduate high school, I was stringing for the big local weekly, which would later help me pay my way through college and skirt the only future that my parents said they could afford – community college so I could become a Spanish teacher, a subject in which everyone thought I excelled (until I took my first college class and understood not a word that was said). I used my summers to move up the reporting food chain until I was working at the local Gannett daily in the area by my senior year.

I am first-generation, my father having immigrated to this country from Ireland as a child. In order to afford my education – and, I am still proud to say, become the first child of my generation to graduate college -- I stayed in state and close to home, so that I could commute. Whitehouse is in Hunterdon County, close enough to New Brunswick in Middlesex County for me to make the twice-daily, 45-minute drive to classes at what was then Rutgers University’s historic all-women Douglass College. But there was no journalism degree at any of the Rutgers campuses, just a jumble of “human communications” classes. And so it was that I doubled-majored in human communications and political science, a decision that would prove genius eventually for it helped pave my way into the Washington press corps and later, into teaching.

Do you have any special sayings or expressions?
Students today can’t fathom the cost of an education in the 1970s-early 1980s, but here you have it: I paid about $1,800 a semester in tuition and lived at home. At first, much of my tuition was covered by earnings from writing contests. And the car I had to buy and keep gassed came out of my part-time reporting job. I saw the job as the journalism degree I couldn’t get on campus. If I have any sayings, they come from my father during this time in my life: Crowleys never give up. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And, when one door closes, another surely is opening. His was a voice I admired and respected. Who wouldn’t? He arrived on these shores on the very day the Great Depression began. I made the most of college, finishing in three years, including time spent interning as a junior correspondent in Washington, D.C., covering Congress at the ripe old age of 19.

What was your first job?
I was offered my first paying job as a Washington correspondent before I even had graduated, but within nine months, sanity prevailed and I went back to finish my final semester. My next full-time job lasted a day. I was hired by a small New Jersey newspaper to be its business writer. My parents by then had moved to Connecticut, so I had to commute across that state, New York City, and the width of New Jersey for my first day of work. The call from my old boss in Washington came at mid-morning, and I was out of there by deadline.

I never got paid, but I’m fairly sure the stories I wrote that day were published!

I paused the job a second time when I got offered a two-year fellowship to the Annenberg School of Communications at Penn, and I paused it yet again when I won a Rotary fellowship for post-graduate studies at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. I always landed back in Washington, so I’ve followed a most untraditional career path, having never spent time writing obits or wedding announcements or county fair stories or crime reports.

Describe the work journey that brought you to Montgomery College.
But I was a child of the Watergate age, a ferocious defender of Truth, and a crusader for women’s rights in the newsroom. It’s been a journey that took me to the top of the daily and specialty press covering Congress and the White House. The years were a whirlwind of excitement. Teaching was never in my plans. But these also were the years of the “learning newsroom” movement. Eventually, I would be asked to establish such a program in first one, then another newsroom where young reporters could be taught how to “write to get read” as we called it. By the time I was running the newsroom, I had also risen to dean of my employer’s in-house university. Who knew I would grow to love it so much that teaching has eclipsed even my work as a publications management consultant? Least of all, me!

What job do you currently hold? Do you have any hobbies or special interests?
Today, I am an adjunct at several institutions, including for Montgomery College’s English department in Germantown, and a member of the collegiate faculty at the University of Maryland University College. Until recently, I served on the college-wide Faculty Council, too. In my spare time, I like to travel, play my recorders, swim, and  work with my hands – gardening and refinishing furniture. I’m pretty handy with a tool. My retirement lies somewhere in the swirls and turns of old furniture wood and, I hope, the open road in a VW van with my husband.


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