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Merced College Announces New Faculty Hires

July 2, 2007

Ten new faculty members have been hired at Merced College just in time for the fall semester. In addition to the new instructors and counselors, the College has also hired two new deans of Instruction.

According to John Spevak, vice president for Instruction, “our new faculty members will add immeasurably to the wealth of experience and expertise that we enjoy in our teaching ranks. We pride ourselves on our outstanding instructional staff.”

The new faculty members include Lynette Borrelli, who replaces Fred Friedland as an instructor of theater arts. Borrelli earned her bachelor’s degree in acting from CSU San Francisco and her master’s degree in theater production from CSU Humboldt. She has taught classes at Modesto Junior College and at Humboldt State and was an instructor at “The Next Stage,” a Los Angeles-based improv troupe. Her acting experience includes key roles in Fool For Love, A Streetcar Named Desire, Twelfth Night, and Romeo and Juliet.

Paul Fregene will join the faculty as chemistry instructor. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, a master’s degree in analytical chemistry from the same university, and a doctorate in organic chemistry from the State University of New York at Binghamton. During the 06-07 school year, Fregene was a visiting assistant professor at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He served in the same capacity at Bucknell University and has taught chemistry in the Spanish language during a year he spent in Cali, Columbia.

Cristina Garcia has been hired as an academic counselor. She earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from CSU Stanislaus and an master’s degree in counseling education from CSU San Jose. She has experience as an outreach counselor at CSU Monterey Bay and has worked as an EOP&S/CalWORKs counselor at Gavilan College. Garcia was a Merced College adjunct EOP&S counselor during the spring 2007 semester.

Annette Haugen will join the faculty as a temporary full-time instructor of business management. After graduating from Merced College, Haugen earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from CSU San Jose and her master’s in business administration degree from CSU Stanislaus. She has taught office technology courses and units within the Merced College Customer Service Academy. Haugen is the coordinator of the Esprit section of the American Association of University Women.

Jill Henningsgaard has joined the counseling staff, replacing long-time counselor Dorothy Bushnell. A graduate of Merced College, she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from CSU Stanislaus and an master’s degree in counseling from CSU Fresno. She has taught and counseled on an adjunct basis at Merced College and also has counseled students at UC Merced. She has volunteer experience with the City of Atwater’s Recreation Department.

Ray Latham will join the Los Banos Campus faculty as an instructor of microbiology. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biological sciences at CSU Chico. Latham has worked as a teaching assistant at UC Merced and as a temporary full-time faculty member at Modesto Junior College. His adjunct teaching experience includes work at San Joaquin Delta College, Gavilan College, and Merced College. He also worked as a research technologist at SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse.

Edward Modafferi was selected as an instructor of microbiology. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from UC Santa Barbara and his doctorate in microbiology and molecular genetics from UCLA. He went on to a post-doctoral fellowship at UC Irvine where he was also involved in “Ask The Scientist,” a program providing outreach to area high school students. Modafferi’s teaching experience includes adjunct assignments at Sierra Community College, American River College, and Mission College.

Michelle Patton is a new instructor of English and developmental English at the Los Banos Campus. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in creative writing at CSU Fresno. Last year she was a temporary full-time instructor at Fresno City College and the year prior to that, she held a similar position at College of the Sequoias. At Fresno City College, Patton was a member of the Curriculum Committee and produced a handbook for faculty on development of student learning outcomes.

Angela Senigaglia will be teaching English and developmental English at the Los Banos Campus. She earned bachelor’s degrees in English and women’s studies from CSU San Diego and a master’s degree in English from Notre Dame de Namur University. Senigaglia has teaching experience at Gavilan College and Merced College. She also has a wealth of volunteer experiences, including organizing/fundraising and working with orphaned children in Tijuana and Ensenada, Mexico.

Rauno Tikkanen is joining the faculty for one year, replacing music instructor Mark Doiel, who is taking Tikkanen’s position in Finland as part of the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program. Tikkanen has a great deal of experience in performing, conducting and teaching. He has performed as a jazz musician and in symphony orchestras. Tillamem’s main instrument is the clarinet but he also plays soprano and tenor saxophone.

The fall 2007 semester at Merced College begins on August 13. For registration information, call (209) 384-6000.

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