Meet Our Team

My college success network

Jennie Towner, Associate Vice President for Student Development

  • Hometown: Plainsboro, New Jersey
  • Education: Goucher College
    Bachelor of Arts – Chemistry
    Master of Education
  • Interest: Helping students to realize their full potential and to accomplish the goals they set for themselves.
  • Hobbies: I’ve been riding horses since a young age and the years I’ve spent with horses has shaped my outlook on life. My favorite saying is, “You have to get right back on the horse that threw you” because in riding and in life, we encounter obstacles and challenges. When we persist despite our struggles, we become stronger and more confident in our capabilities.
  • How did I get here synopsis: I’ve been at Harford Community College for over ten years! After college I became a Maryland resident and worked at Mount Royal Elementary/Middle School as a mathematics teacher. When I moved to Harford County I applied to HCC and have enjoyed working in positions that promote student success. I feel lucky to work alongside the wonderful students, faculty, staff, and administrators at Harford Community College.


 

Janice B. Avery, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

  • Hometown: Montgomery, AL
  • Education: Tuskegee (Institute) University: B.S. - Mathematics Education/University of Georgia: M.A. - Mathematics
  • Interest: I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy working with students and facilitating their math progress.
  • Hobbies: I enjoy singing and listening to music.
  • How did I get here synopsis: As a military spouse, I taught at secondary schools, community colleges, and universities in different states and overseas. After our move to Maryland, I started at HCC as a Transitional Studies adjunct teaching math classes. Now, I’m teaching math classes full-time as a part of the STEM division.


Ruby Burchett

Ruby Burchett, Director of Enrollment and Manager for the Test Center

  • Hometown: Currently residing in Aberdeen and from the Philippines
  • Education: M.A. Strategic Communications from Liberty University and B.A. in Speech and Drama from University of the Philippines
  • Interest: I love spending time with my daughter Rinnah and best friend/husband Ron. I enjoy reading books on service culture, management & leadership. I love to travel, meet people and try new food. I love sailing.
  • Hobbies: I love spending time at fitness studio and doing yard work.
  • How did I get here synopsis: I came in the US from the Philippines in 200 and was able to acquire my US citizenship in 20. My mother has instilled in me the value of education. She taught me and my sister that if we wanted a better life, and conquer poverty, we should finish our degree. My career path has always been in educational institutions. I worked as a college instructor when I was in the Philippines. I started working at Harford Community College as testing assistant and was given opportunity to manage the Test Center. I am passionate in helping students achieve success. I believe in the power of positivity, perseverance and dedication.


Nena Sechler Craven

Nena Sechler Craven, Sociology Faculty

  • Hometown: Dover, DE
  • Education: Drew University, B.A. in Sociology & French. University of Delaware, M.A. in Sociology.
  • Interest: Equity, justice, fostering strong personal connections with students. Also cheese.
  • Hobbies: Reading, knitting and other crafts, miscellaneous nerdity.
  • How did I get here synopsis: My parents are both teachers, and I swore I'd break away from the family and do anything else. So of course I became a teacher. Before coming to HCC I spent five years teaching sociology and advising sociology majors at Delaware State University. Working at an HBCU and connecting with students from diverse backgrounds was an amazing experience. At HCC I am using that experience to inform my teaching, my committee work, and my professional development to be sure I serve all students with respect and compassion. In other words, if you're a student and you're struggling but you don't think anyone will understand or believe you, come see me. Sit in my office, have some snacks, tell me what's up, and if I can't help you I'll figure out who can.


Susan Muaddi Darraj

Susan Muaddi Darraj, Associate Professor of English

  • Hometown: Philadelphia PA
  • Education: BA, MA in English Literature, Rutgers University-Camden
  • Interest: Helping students develop writing skills for professional and creative goals
  • Hobbies: I love to read, and I have written several books. I am also a big baseball fan (I cheer for the Phillies and the Orioles).
  • How did I get here synopsis: I am a first-generation college student, and I worked several part-time jobs throughout my years as an undergraduate and a graduate student. I was hired at HCC in 2004, and I have enjoyed every year since, working with my colleagues to improve academic and professional opportunities for our students.


Dr. Ben Fissler

Ben Fisler, Associate Professor of Theatre and Arts Coordinator

  • Hometown: Allentown, PA
  • Education: Ph.D. University of Maryland, M.A. University of Texas, B.A. DeSales University
  • Interest: The arts
  • Hobbies: Karaoke, all forms of knowledge, stage combat
  • How did I get here synopsis: I decided a long time ago to work in Higher Education, where I could engage in creative projects and help young artists and professionals of all types achieve their goals. HCC’s strong arts programs and proximity to major cities, while situated in a suburban/rural environment, seemed the perfect place for all that. After fourteen years, all of that is still true, and reminds me that the future is in every one of our hands.


Sonia Galvan

Sonia Galvan, MS, RN, CNE, Associate Professor of Nursing, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

  • Hometown: Vallejo, CA Education: BSN & MS from Towson University, MD in nursing and nursing education respectively
  • Interest: I'm very interested in how all types of education (the medical sciences, history, art, music, literature, etc.) impact our students as whole people to better their lives.
  • Hobbies: Reading, violin & piano, sewing, knitting, & other crafting. I keep very busy!
  • How did I get here synopsis: As the first and only college student in my family and a home-schooled high schooler, I relied on good advising to guide me through the world of higher education. It's so important to me that I provide the same needed hand to other first-generation students, especially those who also have additional challenges that I didn't face, such as equity and difficulty with access. Not all students have the same educational goals, and I think it's crucial to recognize and respect that as they make their way through their educational career, helping them make the choices that are best for them.


Courtney Gurrera

Courtney Gurrera, Student Success Specialist

  • Hometown: Neptune, NJ
  • Education: Bethany College - Bachelor of Arts - English, Bachelor of Arts - Spanish University of Pennsylvania -Master’s of Science in Education with TESOL specialization
  • Interest: Art, travel, animals & nature, helping others
  • Hobbies: I love painting with watercolor and spending time with loved ones, pets included!
  • How did I get here synopsis: My first job after graduate school was working for a non-profit ABE/GED organization in the Kensington neighborhood of north Philadelphia. When I moved to Maryland in 2001, I worked as a TESOL teacher in Baltimore City at both Maree G. Farring Elementary School and West Baltimore Middle School. Then I became a mother, staying home to raise my two sons for almost ten years. My oldest son was diagnosed with autism at age nine, which, combined with my earlier career experiences, has molded me into becoming an empathetic, supportive, active advocate for equity and inclusion, especially for members of special needs populations. I attempt daily to apply that same passion and energy in my current role as Student Success Specialist, working alongside fellow staff and students to assist them in achieving their academic and personal goals during their time here at HCC.


Kelvin Harrison

Kelvin V. Harrison, Advising, Career and Transfer Services

  • Name: Kelvin V. Harrison
  • Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas “The sparkling city by the sea.”
  • Education: BA, Psychology MEd, Educational Psychology University of Texas at Austin “hook em horns”
  • Interest: Travel, Music, People
  • Hobbies: Small concert venues, Jazz Fests, Nature
  • How did I get here synopsis: I’m originally from Texas, moved up to Central PA back in the late 90’s and spent 15 years at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC). After reaching the apex of my career, as a campus director of counseling and advising, I sought to return to my first passion of advising students. In the summer of 2015, I left HACC and was introduced to Maryland by way of Frederick Community College (FCC) in Frederick, Md. One weekend, on a spontaneous road trip, I stumbled into the Seafood Fest at Havre de Grace. Researching the area, I discovered Harford Community College. I was impressed with the mission and efforts toward closing the achievement gaps for students of color. I applied to the college and accepted the position of program advisor for the My College Success Network. I’m thrilled with the work of advising and advocating for students at Harford Community College. You can get there from here, I’m living proof.


My college success network

Jenny Jakulin, Academic Success Coach

  • Hometown: Cleveland, OH
  • Education: Cleveland State University
    Bachelor of Arts- Communication and Psychology
    Master of Applied Communication Theory and Methodology & Master of Education
  • Interest: Passionate about education, empowering students and providing significant guidance and support.
  • Hobbies: Reading, Hiking in Nature, Research, Exploring
  • How did I get here synopsis: I grew up in Cleveland OH as a first generation college student.  I was lucky enough to get scholarships and grants to fund my college education. I saw firsthand the amazing power of education as my life path was transformed by the education I attained. I worked as an adjunct lecturer, researcher and then in various student success positions. My new path has lead me to HCC! I am excited to work in such a collaborative atmosphere and it is a joy to work with our students! My professional goal is aligned with the college goal of eradicating the achievement gap. I am excited to be in an environment that promotes the critical importance of programs like My College Success Network. It is an honor and privilege to be here.


Jaclyn Madden

Jaclyn A. Madden, M.S., Assistant Professor of Biology & Biotechnology

  • Hometown: Hollidaysburg, PA
  • Education: B.S. in Biology at Saint Vincent College, M.S. in Biotechnology at Johns Hopkins University
  • Interest: Science fascinates me, especially biology! I want to help everyone find something about science that interests them and to develop scientific literacy skills so that they can understand the world around them, become advocates for themselves and loved ones in matters of health and disease, and become informed citizens when they make decisions about scientific topics. I also want to help students grow as learners and reach their academic goals!
  • Hobbies: I love to sing and to listen to music. I'm a bit of a science geek, so I like learning about new scientific discoveries too. Most importantly, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and dog Cleo!
  • How did I get here synopsis: I am the daughter of a middle school science teacher... I was NEVER going to be a teacher myself! In my past careers, I was a counselor for children and adolescents with mental health diagnoses, I worked in a hospital immunology lab, and I worked with international laboratories conducting HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention clinical trials. I decided to teach at HCC part-time to "earn some money" after my son was born. That part-time job became my passion, and I am proud to help HCC students "feel sciencey" everyday!


Beth Mosser

Elizabeth A. Mosser, Associate Dean for Academic Operations and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Assistant Women’s Tennis Coach

  • Hometown: I was born in Leesburg, Virginia – but I really grew up in a suburb outside of Philadelphia.
  • Education: My BA in psychology is from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and MA in educational psychology is from The Ohio State University. Go Buckeyes! I am currently working on my PhD at Notre Dame University of Maryland in Higher Education Leadership for Changing Populations. I feel honored to be an educator and contribute to the academic journeys of my students.
  • Interest: I am dedicated to women’s health issues and relationship safety, which makes it no surprise that I am a certified self- defense instructor. And, my family is of the utmost importance to me, so I work closely with organizations that create opportunities for families within my community. I am on the Board of Directors for Harford Family House, which provides emergency and transitional housing for families with children experiencing homelessness. I am also on the family selection committee for Habitat for Humanity and enjoy the time I can spend helping to build homes in Harford County! My personal mission statement is related to the idea of approaching every day with the mindset that I will earn all of the wonderful things in my life.
  • Hobbies: Spending time with my husband and two red-headed kiddos – Emily and Christian. We like to go hiking and camping and spend as much time at the beach as possible! We grow a vegetable garden every year and run (I might walk...) as many 5K races as we can. I have played competitive tennis for as long as I can remember and am a violinist as well.
  • How did I get here synopsis: I believe strongly in the mission of community colleges and have been at HCC since 2011 when I joined the faculty as an adjunct. I became full-time faculty soon thereafter and am proud to now be the Associate Dean for Academic Operations. I believe in creating inclusive/universally-designed, flexible, interactive, technology-enhanced, and student-centered learning environments. I love the Mya Angelou quote I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. While I do not get to be in the classroom as much anymore, I still hope that my students feel accepted, challenged, and inspired.

My college success network

Jennifer L. MyersSmith, Academic Success Coach

  • Hometown: Lincoln University, Pennsylvania
  • Education: Lincoln University-Bachelors of Arts-Psychology
    Drexel University-Master of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Interest: Empowering others, Human Sexuality, Family Life Cycle
  • Hobbies: I love spending time with family and friends. I have enjoyed doing crafts since I was a child. I love reading and researching my genealogy.
  • How did I get here synopsis: I am the great, great granddaughter of a runaway slave from Cecil County Maryland. He risked his life to give future generations a chance to experience freedom. In honor of him, I use my gifts to support and encourage others to pursue their dreams despite the challenges and obstacles of life. I started out as a family therapist working with families in Chester County Pennsylvania. I wanted to use my skills in the area of Education and was hired as a Counseling Coordinator at Lincoln University. Working with students helped me define my purpose in life. That purpose is to listen to someone’s story and help them start the next chapter. It is such an honor to be a part of each student’s journey to success.


Pamela Runge

Pamela Runge, Manager for Learning Center

  • Hometown: Rosedale, Baltimore County, MD
  • Education: University of Phoenix, Master of Adult Education and Training
  • Interest: Emotional Intelligence, Growth Mindset, Instilling Confidence
  • Hobbies: Spending time with family, Researching essential oils for natural approach to health, Supporting Addiction Recovery
  • How did I get here synopsis: I’ve been at Harford Community College for fourteen years in both part-time and full-time roles. I started teaching Adult Basic Education and GED courses through HCC’s Adult Literacy programs and moved on to adjunct instructor for Transitional English courses. My passion for helping students succeed continued to deepen in my part-time instructor roles, and I joined the Learning Center full-time in 2012 with a zest for serving students and promoting student success. Currently as Manager for the Learning Center, I am dedicated to providing an encouraging space where students can find support and become confident learners.


Sharoll Williams-Love, Student Diversity Specialist

  • Hometown: Boston, MA
  • Education: BA in Political Science from Emmanuel College, Boston MA; MA in Museum Studies from Morgan State University Baltimore MD.
  • Interests: African American History and Culture
  • Hobbies: Travel to historic sites, antiquing.
  • How did I get here synopsis: I came to Harford Community College in November 1999 through a partially federal funded program titled Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP). The work that I do now in service to students is in part a continuation of that program in that I coordinate and offer educational and cultural events.


Nicole Hoke Wilson

Nicole Hoke Wilson, Director Disability and Student Intervention Services Deputy Title IX Coordinator

  • Hometown: Havre de Grace, MD
  • Education: Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Towson University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Delaware
  • Interest: Wellness from many perspectives.
  • Hobbies: I enjoy exercising, reading, bowling, shopping and quality time with family and friends.
  • How did I get here synopsis: My work through the years has always kept me connected to the area of education. After graduating from the University of Delaware, I began pursuing my master’s degree while working for Head Start. At Head Start I was the Family Services Worker for Harford County and later was promoted to the newly formed position of Coordinator for Home Based Services. I had the opportunity to visit our Head Start classrooms and assist with mental health curriculum development. Upon earning my master’s degree, I began working as a child and adolescent therapist in an outpatient facility in Baltimore. In this role, I did individual therapy and also ran an afterschool group therapy program. As a therapist, I had the chance to observe classrooms and participate in IEP meetings. I was a therapist for four years and then transitioned into higher education. My first position within higher education was as a Diagnostician, I completed testing on community college students to determine if they had a learning disability. After several years as a diagnostician, I was promoted to the position of Coordinator for Disability Support Services Center. I then became the Director for Disability and Student Intervention Services at Harford Community College.


My College Success Network team member Karla Wynn.

Karla M. Wynn, MA, GCDF, CPRW, CCSP Student Development Specialist

  • Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
  • Education: BA in Political Science, Hampton University, Hampton, VA
    MS in Spiritual & Pastoral Care, Loyola University, Maryland
  • Interests: Passionate about how history and culture, health and well-being impact students’ education, career, and economic development.
  • Hobbies: Visual and Performing Arts (especially African Dance & Drum, and Performance); Reading; Travel
  • How did I get here synopsis: One of my first jobs after finishing college was working with the City of Baltimore to help high school students and graduates gain access to jobs with local and regional employers. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia, Southern Africa, I helped youth and young adults create behavioral health and cultural projects, and develop small businesses. Having 25+ years’ experience in career and workforce development gave me the tools to help individuals with varied backgrounds make career-based decisions. Recently teaching business and career development courses as adjunct faculty with another community college helped me link the positive impact of education with employment and small business development. My goal is to combine workforce skills and education in ways that benefit students as they enter the labor force. I am excited to be in a professional environment that supports these efforts and am honored to work as a Student Development Specialist with all of Harford Community College’s students and serve as a Career Development partner with My College Success Network.

Other team members with bios coming soon:

  • Lois Enter
  • Suzanne Gallihue
  • Sharoll Love
  • Vicki Soto
  • Bonnie Sulzbach
  • Lisa Virden
  • Jan Brewer
  • Maurice Brown
  • Madrice Guy
  • Derrick Jones
  • Colleen Webster
  • Thomas Guinivan
  • Dr. Lisa Tittle

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