New NCMC faculty land dream jobs
New NCMC faculty (September 25, 2013)
Parsons has always wanted to work in a community college.
“This is where I have always wanted to be,” Parsons said. “I needed to stay in Michigan, and I wanted to be some place beautiful and in a community college. This job fit that like a glove, so I’m really excited.”
Parsons earned an associate degree from North Shore Community College in Massachusetts and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. He earned his master’s in library and information science from Wayne State University in Detroit. His experience at North Shore was especially significant in his own personal development, so he is committed to the mission of community colleges.
“I was a troubled student and didn’t have much self-worth. It took me 14 years to get out of K-12, as I was held back in first and third grades. I had a learning disability, and they didn’t have the wherewithal to deal with that at that time, so I was grouped with kids with attitude problems. I didn’t think I could succeed academically,” Parsons said.
After working and traveling in his 20s, he hit a job road block and went back to community college.
“Everything about that experience instilled great value and self-worth. Their real mission was about teaching and learning. In small classes, the instructors gave me the tools and confidence that I could do this. They prepared me to do well at the University of Michigan,” he said.
Parsons comes to North Central from working in several different libraries with increasing responsibility at the University of Michigan, but he always wanted to work in a community college, because of his own community college experience as a student. He wants to show students that they can learn and succeed with hard work.
“I look at classrooms as the runways, but the library is the sky. In a classroom, students follow the professor’s agenda, but in the library students make learning their own. That’s what I want the library to be, a place where students follow their bliss and seek the knowledge they want to learn,” Parsons said.
Maginnis returns home to Petoskey and North Central where she earned her associate degree. Maginnis, a Petoskey High School graduate, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University in communication and a doctorate in computer-mediated communication from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She has been an instructor in public speaking and interpersonal communications at Delta College since 2011.
“This is my dream position,” Maginnis said. “I never thought it would be possible to work here, given there was only one full-time position in my field. It’s truly like I’ve won an Academy award.”
Maginnis has conducted communications-based for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, for Kolt Communications and for the University of Kentucky. She researched different types of media to determine which forms of communication were effective in communicating specific messages.
At North Central, she is an instructor of communications and new media. Her current assignment is teaching in the communication certificate program in the areas of interpersonal communications and public speaking. North Central Michigan College is also developing a new media program.
“It’s exciting, but different from what I expected. Every day I learn something new about my students and from my students,” Maginnis said.
Maginnis is the daughter of Mark and Shelley Maginnis and sister to Stephanie Kimball and Ashly Plichta, all of whom live locally.
Accounting Instructor Thomas Knott is a certified public accountant who earned both his bachelor’s degree in business accountancy and his master’s degree in education from Ferris State University. He has 10 years of experience as an accountant and a small business owner, and six years of teaching experience at Gaylord middle and high schools.
“I’ve always wanted to teach at the community college. I took my first accounting class 20 years ago, and I remember thinking that teaching at a community college was the best job in the world,” Knott said.
He said of his new position,“I absolutely love it. The students here are fantastic, and it’s a delight to be here helping and serving.”
Knott is currently teaching several levels of accounting, as well as business math.