When it comes to identifying teachers who go that extra mile for their students, Melissa Copperwheat’s name is always in the mix at Mohawk Valley Community College. For her dedication to serving students, Copperwheat was given the Heart of the Hawk Award, honoring MVCC faculty achievement, during February’s College Senate meeting.
Prior to being an Assistant Professor of Nursing, Copperwheat worked in acute care at a local hospital where she demonstrated her commitment for optimal outcomes. Her drive directly impacted the quality of life for her patients.
She transferred her talents to MVCC in 2009 and since then has focused intensely on optimal student outcomes. Nationally certified in Oncology Nursing, Copperwheat brings to MVCC her experiential knowledge as an expert nurse clinician and is a consistent role model of professional behavior, holding students accountable for learning.
She values a variety of teaching pedagogies and brings to her classroom stimulating, creative, and interactive teaching methodologies. During her career at MVCC, she has worked to learn nontraditional methods of teaching to keep her students motivated and eager to succeed. Copperwheat’s dedication has been recognized as she was appointed as nursing coordinator in her second year at MVCC.
She rose to the challenge to assume responsibility for conducting the bi-annual Adjunct Boot Camp for nursing faculty, proven to be instrumental in maintaining uniformity and consistency throughout the nursing program. She has been proactive in increasing her visibility at MVCC as evidenced by her active membership on a number of college-wide committees.
Copperwheat is a lifelong learner as evidenced by her attendance MVCC’s New Faculty Institute (NFI) and scholarship through the Oncology Nurses Association. Her leadership skills, insight and determination for “what is right” is appreciated by her colleagues. For more on MVCC’s professional recognition programs, visit