Metcalf at Home in the Classroom at CCC
It is easy to see that Department Chair of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Psychology Instructor, Michele Metcalf was selected by students and her peers as the full-time faculty of the Year for the third time (her first time was as associate faculty). When you meet Michele, her intensity and passion for her work is obvious. Michele came to Flagstaff in 1995 from Austin, Texas to work on her Master’s Degree at NAU. Michele said that she had looked at other schools, but NAU was the right fit. She had met a professor in the program that actually attended the same college in Texas where she had earned her undergraduate degree, and that coincidence was just the beginning of what turned out to be the perfect place for Michele to settle.
Upon earning her Master’s Degree and a short teaching stint at NAU, Michele applied for a full-time opening at CCC. Michele said, “I was excited about the position at CCC because I knew it was where I belonged. The smaller class sizes and individual attention I would be able to give my students was exactly what I wanted.”
When asked about what set her apart from other instructors, she had to think about it for a moment but replied that she really strives to make psychology relevant for every student, not just psychology majors. One student in particular came to mind, voicing her opinion about taking psychology and exactly why she thought it did not apply to her major. At the end of the class she thanked Michele for making the class relevant and said that it would be beneficial for her career.
Although she is popular with the students, Michele is not a pushover; by her own admonition, tough when it comes to deadlines and missed assignments. “I want the students to understand that behavior has consequences” she said. “I don’t particularly like that part of my job, but I feel that it is critical for the students to understand the importance of meeting deadlines because sooner or later they will be in a situation where their job may depend on their reliability.”
Another reason why Michele fits so well in Flagstaff and at CCC is her love for the outdoors and the smaller town life Flagstaff offers. She said that shopping is not a priority and that she had only been to Phoenix once in the last 6 years. But she does find the time to spend time with her 6 year-old daughter and the cross country ski trails whenever snow and time allows. Perhaps her greatest asset is teaching by example; leading a balanced life that includes work, family, friends and a little time alone in the woods on a pair of skis