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Dr. Theresa Capra and Erin Cahill-Wetzel Are Mercer's AAWCC Award Recipients

6/9/14


West Windsor, N.J. – In a tribute to women who are going above and beyond to make a difference at community colleges, the Mercer Chapter of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges hosted its fourth annual “Celebrating Women Leaders in Community Colleges” breakfast at the MCCC Conference Center on May 9.

Guests included faculty and staff from community colleges around New Jersey. The guest speaker was Patricia Claghorn, Dean of Business Studies at Gloucester County College, President of Gloucester’s chapter of AAWCC, and one of the first recipients of the Patricia C. Donohue Leadership Award. (The award is named in tribute to MCCC’s president for her service to the national organization.) Winners are selected based on their service to women in the community, their mentoring of other women and their leadership activities.

MCCC's 2014 recipients of the Patricia C. Donohue Leadership Award are Theresa Capra, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, and Erin Cahill-Wetzel, Administrative Specialist in the Athletics Department and Head Coach for Women's Cross Country.

Pictured with MCCC's AAWCC chapter president Lucia Brown-Joseph, far left, are award winners, second from left to right, Lori Moog of Raritan Valley CC; Dr. S. Aisha Steplight Johnson of Essex CC; Dr. Theresa Capra of MCCC; Danielle Morganti of Gloucester CC; Dr. Maris Lown of Union CC; a representative from the New Jersey Council of County Colleges; Erin Cahill-Wetzel of MCCC ; Dr. Rashida Hasan, Esq., of Essex CC; and Evelyn Rosa of Middlesex CC.

According to MCCC's Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Donald Generals, Dr. Capra is an exemplary leader for women in the college and the community. "Through her example, she is an inspiration for students and colleagues alike.  As a professor of education, she prepares students to understand the roles they will play in shaping the minds of youth in their communities,” he said. Dr. Capra was especially praised for her support of women balancing family, school and careers.

Dr. Capra serves as Chair of Mercer’s Instruction and Professional Improvement Committee and has significantly enhanced the college’s efforts at faculty development.  Her research on the effectiveness of online instruction is widely used and cited. 

Erin Cahill-Wetzel, a member of the administrative staff in the Athletics Department, earned an Honorable Mention.  According to Athletics Director John Simone, she is a key figure in the day-to-day operations of the department, including academic advisement and eligibility, scheduling and team logistics, finance and sports information. A lifelong resident of Mercer County, Cahill-Wetzel is a graduate of The College of New Jersey, where she also earned her master's degree in Athletic Administration. She teaches Health and Fitness classes as an MCCC adjunct professor.

Cahill-Wetzel established Mercer's Women’s Cross Country program in 2010 as the college's ninth intercollegiate sport. Since then, participation on the team has grown from three runners to 12 in the Fall 2013 season; this past season, for the first time, the college sent a full team to participate in the national meet.

Cahill-Wetzel volunteers extensively at the college, including fundraising events for the Breast Cancer Resource Center of the YWCA Princeton and the Boston Strong Fund, and community service following Hurricane Sandy.

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