Adjunct Awareness!! Who we are….

Meet the 76%!
We asked PCC job-insecure faculty to answer three questions for adjunct
awareness week.. Here are their answers.


Heather Mayer
What do love about teaching at PCC?

As someone who was born and raised in Portland, I know how important PCC is to our community. I love that we serve a diverse group of students. And I love working with my talented and dedicated colleagues.

What are some obstacles to your effectiveness as an instructor?

The uncertainty of my class schedule is an obstacle. I have to balance how much unpaid time I will spend prepping for a course that might be cancelled with my other work priorities.

How do you balance your PCC life with the rest of your life?

In addition to teaching, I also serve at the TLC Coordinator at the Rock Creek campus (a casual position). I supplement my income by teaching online at another institution. I recently completed my PhD in History at Simon Fraser University, and am looking forward to revising my dissertation into a book. My husband and I are expecting our first child in August, so I am very excited about entering that new stage of my life.

Cat Zimmerman
What do love about teaching at PCC?

The students! They are fully engaged, wonderful to know. In fact, I often tell them that I know the future of our state and the world will be better because of their dedication to learning and a sincere desire to change the world.

What are some obstacles to your effectiveness as an instructor?

Time to add current resources! Being a PT faculty member means I need other part-time work. In recent terms, with low enrollment, I struggle to make ends meet financially. This is far and away the work I love most.
For seven years, I’ve had the opportunity to teach online, first with Blackboard, and now via D2L. The course I teach is SOC 232, Death & Dying: Cultures and Issues. It is superbly suited for the online format, allowing students to have a little distance as they do their own work about taboo topic in American culture. No one can help another person deal with death, so they can help others. And they do it! Their Final Project is an essay about their personal experience with death. I am honored to read (and cry) through each one.

How do you balance your PCC life with the rest of your life?

Last year I worked for 15 months as an in-home caregiver for a remarkable and very interesting couple. The husband had worked for the railroad his entire career, and loved talking about railroad history. His wife worked her entire career, after moving from Minnesota for a job with the start of the Fred Meyer stores, ending her career as Mr. Fred Meyer’s personal secretary. I volunteer with Elders In Action, donate platelets regularly with the Red Cross, and I’m just about to become a tutor with Tutor Doctor, utilizing my linguistic skills and many years teaching phonics.

Lou Bruneau
What do you love about teaching at PCC?

I teach Business and Emergency Management, both important topics to me.

It took me a long time to get to the point that I thought I was doing a really good job of managing day-to-day operations and disasters and now I want to share what I have learned with others.

I love it when I get feedback from former students that are having success using something they learned from me.
What are some obstacles to your effectiveness as an instructor?
I teach the way I was taught which may not be as effective as modern pedagogical theory. I could probably do better with more training.
How do you balance your PCC life with the rest of your life?
It’s fairly easy given that I teach part time. I volunteer with the Oregon Disaster Medical Team. I
also do a little consulting work. For fun we have stepped up our
attendance at live jazz and blues performances.
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