Faculty Spotlight: Carol Mueller

Carol Mueller is a geologist who teaches math. Odd? Not at all. Her passion for teaching—and learning—crosses academic disciplines, professional organizations, and even continents.

Whether participating in faculty abroad programs to facilitate interdisciplinary curriculum practices, spearheading partnerships between the College and schools in Kenya, or serving as president of the Developmental Education Association of Maryland (DEAM) as well as president of the Harford County Branch and vice president of the Maryland State Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Carol’s focus is unwavering: students first.

As someone who self-admittedly “sucked at high school, did two years at community college and ran out of money,” Carol believes students deserve second chances. “If [a student] didn’t do well in high school, there could have been all kinds of reasons . . . That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a chance now. I want to be there to help. I want to be the person to tell them they can do this—it’s their time to shine.”

This direct and determined attitude provides the basis from which Carol continues her own pursuit of developmental education. Recently Carol earned a Post-Master’s Certificate in Leadership for Higher Education and was awarded a grant from DEAM to attend the Kellogg Institute at Appalachian State University. For three weeks in July, she participated in both the Kellogg Institute for Adult and Developmental Educators and Learning Skills Specialists and the Advanced Kellogg Institute, where she earned a Developmental Education Specialist Certificate. At the same time, Carol was preparing to launch two new adaptive learning and software technologies at HCC.

“I can’t imagine ever stopping my learning. I reentered college in my 30s and earned a Ph.D. at 44. Simultaneously being a student and a teacher creates a shared experience with my students. It allows me to use the same technology, feel the same struggles, and celebrate the same successes that they do.”

“If learning to be a better teacher helps students get over whatever is blocking them from being all they can be, then great. If working on professional development programs at the College helps faculty members to be inspired, great! That’s why I do what I do. I want to unlock that potential and give people the opportunity to succeed.”

Thank you, Carol, for your incredible dedication to students, campus, and community.