Our Faculty and You
Faculty members at Community College of Philadelphia are dedicated to giving you real-world experience, knowledge and skills with which to obtain better employment and a better quality of life. Uniquely among other colleges and universities, their main focus is you, their student. Below, meet a tiny sample of our approximately 1,100 full- and part-time faculty whose achievements will inspire you.
Foreign Languages, Associate Professor
Christopher DiCapua, associate professor of Spanish and the International Studies program supervisor at the College, was given the prestigious Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award for 2013. As part of the honor, DiCapua gave a lecture to the College family titled, “From Vulnerability to Connection: A Personal Greek Odyssey,” where he recounted his personal journey that took him to a village in Southern Greece. While there, he immersed himself in the culture and met family that he hadn’t previously known about. Taking himself out of his comfort zone allowed him to achieve a greater connection with his students, encouraging them to face the fears and vulnerability that can accompany the learning of a foreign language.
Culinary Arts, Instructor
Andres Marin, a 1996 graduate of the College’s Culinary Arts program, was named the region’s Chef Educator of the Year at the March 10 Annual President’s Ball of the Philadelphia Delaware Valley Chefs, which is the regional chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Marin earned the honor for his personal and instructional achievements as a leader to students seeking culinary careers.
English, Assistant Professor
Tara Timberman is the founder and coordinator of the Reentry Support Project. In league with the Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society at the College, the Reentry Support Project’s mission is twofold: to empower the College’s students with criminal records to reach their academic goals, and to help those students increase public safety and reduce recidivism in the city of Philadelphia. The program also partners with diverse service providers at the local, state and federal levels to give adults with criminal records access to higher education, and to promote public awareness of local and national reentry challenges.
English, Assistant Professor
Assistant professor of English Craig Strimel joined the College in 2008 and serves as assistant chair of the English department and curriculum coordinator for the Communication Studies and Mass Media programs. He teaches Public Speaking, and Group and Team Communication, among other courses. “In teaching these classes I have to mentor students, encouraging them to keep developing their communication competence, and always reminding them it is a lifelong process,” Strimel said. For one course, Strimel requires original research from students, and the results surprise him each time. “I end up learning things from them that I never read or heard before. Our students are brilliant. They just don’t always know it yet.”
Dr. Ralph Faris
Sometimes, students don’t know how much they can achieve until someone demands more from them. For nearly 40 years, Dr. Ralph Faris has been that someone. An award-winning Sociology professor, Dr. Faris loves honing the intellectual prowess of those students in the College’s Liberal Arts Honors program. In addition to teaching, he has served as the program’s curriculum coordinator for 23 years. “I am part of a small group of other Honors faculty who have created a learning community that challenges students to significantly improve their reading, writing and verbal communications in anticipation of their transfer to four-year colleges and universities,” he says.