Four new faculty members join LMC

Professors get acclimated as the new semester begins

Jaden Fortier, Staff Writer

Four full-time faculty members added to the LMC family are starting to get comfortable in their new roles at the college. Although not entirely new to working at LMC, these professors had an adjustment period from transitioning from their previous roles.

Dr. Boe Mendewala, a physics professor who taught full-time as adjunct professor at Mills College and did part-time at LMC before becoming full-time, said she had a good first few weeks with some slight hiccups.

“It was very busy and I’m getting used to many new things since this is my first time teaching at the Pittsburg campus in-person,” said Mendewala. “But, all of my students seem really great and everyone on campus and in my department has been incredibly welcoming and helpful.”

Mendewala has most enjoyed interacting with the students and other faculty in the short time that she has been full-time here.

The students, faculty and staff are amazing and I feel very supported whenever I need anything,” she said.

Mendewala is hopeful that she can spread her love for physics and leave an impact on the LMC community not just as a professor, but as a mentor, colleague and member of the community.

Jennifer Finnigan, who has been an adjunct professor teaching American Sign Language for 17 years and is deaf herself, is excited that there is finally a full-time deaf professor at LMC. 

“It is something I have been looking forward to for years to happen,” said Finnigan. “I am excited to keep teaching my students in ASL.”

As the first few weeks of instruction wrapped up, Finnigan’s favorite moment was coming back to teach in person, although she still enjoys teaching ASL on Zoom, Finnigan said.

“I actually love teaching students on Zoom as I can see them clearly on the screen and we all sign together,” she said.

In her full-time position, Finnigan is hopeful that she can add more basic survival sign language classes for people that work in the medical and police force, including parents who have deaf children.

“It is a big need for them to learn how to communicate with deaf people and children,” Finnigan said. 

John Schall, who had been a longstanding part-time member of the LMC community similar to Finnigan, said he is transitioning nicely into his new role as a graphic design assistant professor. 

Schall worked in LMC’s marketing department for the past 13 years and had been an adjunct graphics communication instructor in the art department the last seven years.

“I have a great relationship with the LMC art department, and they have been extremely welcoming and supportive as I come on board in my full-time role,” Schall said.

The course Schall is teaching this semester, Typography: Aesthetics, Application and History, is a synchronous online course that he is super excited about..

“The students in the class are super enthusiastic about design and learning typography, one of the crucial tools in graphic design, will make them highly successful designers,” he said. 

Outside of the two synchronous online courses he instructs, Schall also teaches a hybrid class after two years of not teaching within an actual classroom and it’s been great for him to see students face to face again.

Linda Riley, another former part time LMC faculty member, also transitioned to a full time position this fall. Riley now operates as a nursing assistant professor within the registered nursing program.

These four professors show LMC’s students will be in great hands for as long as they are full time here. Riley was unavailable for comment, but her transition and time in her new role does not go overlooked and is appreciated.