Name: Marcia E. Picallo
Academic Rank: Professor
Department: Languages and ESL
School: School of Liberal Arts
Office: EH 116
Education: Ph.D., MPH, City University of New York Graduate School
M.A., B.A., Rutgers University
Driven to succeed from childhood, only four years after arriving in the United States with no knowledge of the English language, I began working towards my first college degree, a B.A. with a double major in Spanish and Italian, from Rutgers University. After that, I spent the next several years as a graduate student gaining valuable insight and experience teaching as diverse a student population as any in the country, splitting my time as both a full-time and part-time instructor amongst many of the area’s top universities, including New York University, Rutgers University, William Paterson University and Lehman College – C.U.N.Y. Despite this heavy workload, I continued as a full-time student at Rutgers, earning an M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Literatures, before moving on to the City University of New York, Graduate Center, where I earned an M.Ph. in Spanish and Latin American Literatures, as well as a Ph.D. in Golden Age Peninsular Literature, graduating with a 3.95 GPA and a commendation for the results of my doctoral exams. In the process, I was also awarded the MAGNET Doctoral Fellowship, a Graduate Teaching Fellowship and moved on to my current position as an Associate Professor of Spanish at County College of Morris.
These experiences prepared me to understand my role as an educator. Today, I believe the first step for a professor teaching a foreign language is the recognition that language does not occur in a vacuum, thus, it has an intrinsic value that will vary with each individual and circumstance. Putting it simply, every person has a specific reason for learning a second language. My responsibility as a teacher is to identify that unique motivation in each student and, in turn, help him/her master the process of language acquisition so he/she can achieve his/her personal goals. I also believe that it is of the utmost importance to ground that preparation in an understanding of diversity and culture and the roles they play in our world.