Monica Atwell took biology classes at North Lake College 29 years ago, applied for a job helping her professors run the biology lab, and has been here ever since. Now spring 2017 marks Atwell’s retirement from NLC, after her enthusiasm for teaching and passion for the environment made her a mainstay of the NLC Biology Lab
Before becoming a historian and professor, Malcolm Frierson was a comic himself, working the stand-up scene in Houston. He was inspired by “comedians who combined humor with awareness of current events and social justice,” citing Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock as examples. Frierson doesn’t do performances anymore, except, he says, every single day, when he takes the stage in front of his students.
His Army background manifests at NLC in his rigorous work ethic and leadership habits. “On the way to work,” Skip Ragler explains, “I think, what do I need to do? Can I do it better? On my drive home, I think, what have I done today, and did I do it well?”
When Jerry Mesquita started at NLC, the Cisco Academy had just four part-time instructors. Now there are twelve, teaching hundreds of students each semester. North Lake has been recognized by Cisco as one of the ten fastest-growing networking academies worldwide, in a job sector that itself is one of the fastest-growing industries in America.
Brett Dyer’s life wasn’t always artistic. He grew up in a family that didn’t care for art, and as a child he rarely encountered it. Now, though, he specializes in painting—and in teaching. As a professor, and as the 2015-16 NLC President’s Scholar, Dyer focuses his attention on students like his younger self, who are still discovering that they can express themselves through creativity.