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    One More Newbie!

    Say “Hello” to GCC’s own “Movie Man”

    David Joshua Gaestel will be the new Instructional Media Specialist in the Educational Technology Department. Mr. Gaestel, who goes by his middle name, Joshua, and whose preferred pronouns are masculine/neutral, offered a hint for us on how to pronounce his last name. If you’re not sure, just “Guess” and you have the pronunciation of the first half of his last name. To spell it out, it would look like “Guess-tell.”

    Joshua’s most recent employment was through Easthampton Media, a community access TV studio, part-time, and his personally owned film company Arborcast Films. Other related employment he’s had ranges from making independent documentary films for Digital Eyes Films out of Northampton, Connecticut Public TV where he both wrote curriculum and taught film and field and studio production to high school students and college-accredited students composed mostly of veterans or second-career-seeking adults. He began his film-making career in the chaotic field of live filming for local news at WGGB.

    Originally from Maryland, Joshua moved to this area about ten years ago. He was attracted to the Instructional Media Specialist position at GCC because he’s a strong believer in the community college mission of providing an excellent education for anyone who wants it at an affordable cost.

    When asked if there was anything he’d like to share with his new colleagues, Joshua said he was a “weekend warrior” low-/no-budget filmmaker who regularly entered his short films in local festivals and exhibitions.

    In alphabetical order, I present our three other new employees.

    Diana Abath (Abath is pronounced like Sabbath without the “S”), who prefers feminine pronouns, will be complementing Rosemarie Freeland’s work in the Women’s Resource Center as the Women’s Resource Advocate twenty-two and a half hours per week.

    Diana comes to us from Life Strategies, Ltd/Yorkville University in British Columbia where she has been working as a full-time employment and career development online instructor. Possessing a B.A. in Liberal Arts, an M.A. in Industrial Organizational Psychology, both degrees from Union Institute and University, an M.A.Ed. in Community Education from Goddard College, and an Ed.D. also from Union Institute and University, Diana brings a wealth of knowledge and eighteen years of experience in employment and career development.

    Diana is originally from Rochester, NY but came to the southern Vermont area to attend college eighteen years ago and decided to stay.

    When asked what attracted her to GCC, Diana started to giggle. Her story about what brought her to GCC turned into her response to what she’d like to share with her new colleagues about herself. In 2006, Diana took a stand-up comedy routine course here at GCC with community education instructor Jerry Caruso. Jerry has his own comedy company called Comics for a Cure, the profits from which go to the American Cancer Society. The final grade of their workshop was to do a routine at Jerry’s comedy company. Her performance at a real comedy club that paid the comics for their routines launched her into a whole new life adventure that culminated in her doing a comedy club routine at the Gotham Comedy Club in NYC in 2010.

    David (Dave) Charron, Jr. (Charron is pronounce like Sharon), is our new full-time Accounting Instructor. Dave, who self-identifies with male pronouns, was working most recently for an accounting firm, Downy, Sweeney, and Fitzgerald, CPAs. In addition to his full-time employment with Downy, Sweeney, and Fitzgerald, Dave taught as an accounting adjunct instructor as STCC.

    David held various accounting and/or finance positions throughout the years, including Financial Consultant, Financial Analyst, Controller, and Tax Accountant, but his adjunct teaching at local colleges remained a constant through the past nineteen years. Dave has taught as an accounting adjunct since 1999 at STCC, GCC, Westfield State University, and Baypath University.

    Originating in Amherst, David said that GCC’s full-time accounting faculty position appealed to him because he heard more people speak positively of GCC than of HCC or STCC.

    Something unique that Dave volunteered to share with his new colleagues is that he has both a six-year-old and a twenty-six-year-old so he’s at both extremes of the child-rearing spectrum. He also is the landlord of five properties located in Amherst and Northampton.

    Last, but certainly not least, please welcome our new full-time professor for the Associate Degree Nursing program, Patricia (Trish) McPeak-LaRocca. Trish, who uses feminine pronouns, comes to us from STCC where she was teaching as a full-time nursing faculty member.

    Trish understands the benefits of achieving an Associate’s degree R.N. since she did so herself from Mercer County Community College, Mercer County, NJ. She transferred to West Chester University in West Chester, PA, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication, which likely serves her well in her teaching career. She returned to the nursing field, midwifery in particular, and gained certification as a Nurse-Midwife with a concentration in Community Based Nurse-Midwifery Education. She finally earned an M.S. with a concentration in Nurse-Midwifery from Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, PA.

    In addition to teaching at STCC, Trish has taught at UMass Amherst and, before moving to the Pioneer Valley, worked as a Nurse/Midwife in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

    Trish moved to this area about ten years ago. She was drawn to apply for the GCC full-time nursing position because she was attracted to the smaller, more intimate community. She taught here as a nursing adjunct professor in the past and appreciated the campus and the college while working here.

    An unusual and fascinating aspect about Trish is that she once undertook a 5-month internship with Murray’s Cheeses in Greenwich Village learning the mysteries of cave-aging cheese. Her secret desire is to be an affineur, the job description of which is described here.

    Say “CHEESE!”

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