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STCC Recognizes English Professor Daisy Flaim with Faculty of the Year Award

SPRINGFIELD — When Denise “Daisy” Flaim started as an adjunct professor at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) in 2004, she couldn’t wait for the day a full-time position would open at the college.

“I fell madly in love with the school,” Flaim said. “I wanted to teach full-time at STCC so badly.”

Her opportunity to teach full-time finally arrived in 2008. Hired as an English professor, Flaim focused on connecting with students to help transform their lives. She demonstrated a dedication and commitment to her craft that did not go unnoticed; earlier this month, STCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Geraldine de Berly announced Flaim was the recipient of the Faculty of the Year Award for 2019-20.

De Berly said the award recognizes Flaim’s teaching techniques to accommodate a variety of learning styles; her efforts to build an inclusive classroom; her work with students outside of the classroom; support letters from colleagues, students, and supervisors; as well as her service contributions to STCC.

“Congratulations to Daisy Flaim,” de Berly said. “Her dedication and commitment to supporting students demonstrate she is well-deserving of this award.”

Richard Greco, dean of Liberal and Professional Studies, described Flaim as an excellent teacher who has a unique way of inspiring students. He recalled observing Flaim leading a class in which she introduced a poem that describes the journey of refugees.

“Students felt comfortable and began sharing their experiences,” Greco said. “One particular student spoke of her journey, and I could not help but notice that over half of the class was tearing up, and everyone in the class was on the edge of their seats.”

Flaim has taught several writing and literature classes at STCC in addition to serving as chair of the Liberal Arts/General Studies Program for one year. She applies her past work experience, which included professional writing jobs.

Flaim has drawn inspiration from her students over the years. She recalls meeting a student who struggled when he started at STCC. But with hard work and persistence, he ended up receiving an A. She also makes a point to get to know her students outside the classroom.

“I offer all of my students a conference for every paper we do. I meet with them if they’re distressed,” she said. “I spend most of my work day meeting with them individually. That’s probably the core of what I believe in as an instructor. I learned when I was starting out that students who know a professor outside of the classroom do better not just in that professor’s classroom, but in all of their classes.

“I made a promise to myself,” she added, “that I would try to be that professor who knew people outside of the classroom.”

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