RVCC’s 2024 Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Awards Announced


RVCC’s 2024 Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Awards Announced

Wednesday, July 10, 2024
gina taylor sitting on purple inflated tube

Adjunct faculty members Gina Taylor, Nicole Paiz, and Peter Barra are the 2024 recipients of the Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Award, it was announced recently by the RVCC Foundation.

The adjunct faculty were nominated for the annual award by RVCC students, alumni, faculty, and staff. The three recipients are each receiving $1,000, a gift made possible by a generous donation to the RVCC Foundation from Dr. Susan Primmer and Dr. Robert Harris.

The recipients were praised by their nominators, with one saying of Barra: “He wants his students—young and old—to see the value and the meaning in what they are doing so that it impacts their lives now and forever. He does not want learning to happen in isolation; rather, he wants learning to infuse every fiber of their being.”

Another person wrote about Paiz: “Nicole’s advocacy for further education at RVCC underscores her commitment to her students’ long-term success. Her unwavering support and guidance have undoubtedly inspired many to continue their studies and pursue rewarding careers in healthcare.”

And a nominator said of Taylor: “One of Gina’s most outstanding qualities is her commitment to fostering community partnerships that enrich the learning experiences of our students. Through tireless efforts, Gina has forged meaningful connections with local healthcare facilities, rehabilitation centers, and community organizations.”

Peter Barra (Science & Engineering) is a 33-year master teacher at Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School and an adjunct professor at RVCC. He has degrees in chemistry, biology, and teaching. Professor Barra has been teaching Introduction to Chemistry at RVCC for the last 18 years and recently completed two terms as the Adjunct Faculty Fellow at CTLS. He enjoys mentoring new teachers and delivering workshops on active learning. At 48 he began playing soccer, and he now runs a soccer club with 200 members. He also has studied and taught photography.

Nicole Paiz (Workforce Noncredit Allied Health Program) brings 17 years of medical experience and a passion for healthcare to RVCC, where she has taught for two years. Her vast expertise ranges from teaching classes in Phlebotomy and EKG, to instructing clinical programs through the American Heart Association. She also teaches local high school seniors who are interested in studying healthcare in college. All 11 of her current high school students are leaving Workforce Development with their ASPT certifications and moving directly into nursing or pre-med education.

Gina Taylor (Occupational Therapy Assistant Program) is an occupational therapist who specializes in nature-based practice, including animals and aquatics. She has taught at RVCC for the past six years. In the fall she can be found swinging around in the pediatric occupational therapy lab. In the spring she educated students on psychological practice through lectures and experiential mental health therapy groups. She enjoys working with the RVCC OTA students and seeing their progress toward clinical practice.

Ranked by WalletHub.com, Intelligent.com, and CollegeEvaluator.com as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to  a Planetarium, Science Education Institute, and 3M Observatory; a Theatre offering professional performances for all ages; and an Honors College for high achieving students.

The College offers approximately 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training and professional development courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.


July 10, 2024

Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383