Mesa Community College recognizes three 2023 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty

MESA, Ariz. – August 22, 2023 – Mesa Community College selects Pamela Lizardi, Minh Nghiem and Jorge Pierce as recipients of its 2023 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award.

“Meaningful instruction occurs best when students feel connected and included, whether in the classroom or on a virtual platform,” said MCC President Tammy Robinson, Ed.D. “These outstanding educators promote inclusion and diversity, use technology and available resources to enhance student learning and provide students, staff and their teaching peers encouragement, care and respect.”

An awards presentation was held April 14 on the MCC Southern and Dobson Campus and at Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) offices April 28. The honorees were nominated by their peers at the college.

Lizardi, an adjunct faculty member with MCC in Administration of Justice Studies for more than 20 years, teaches current issues in criminal justice, ethics and victimology and crisis management in public safety. A retired first sergeant having served more than 22 years in the United States Army as a military police officer, she became the training and staff development administrator for the trial courts of Maricopa County following military service . Lizardi has a doctorate in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University, a master’s in education from Ottawa University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. “I love helping students succeed in their continued education by showing them where to look for information and guide them in their growth of knowledge,” she said.

An MCC adjunct faculty member since 2019, Nghiem teaches upper division Applied Science courses including Statics, Strength of Material, Construction Material and Methods, among others. A first-generation immigrant from Vietnam, Nghiem overcame hardship in the pursuit of higher education in the U.S. Like many of the community college students he teaches, Nghiem first obtained his Associate degree from Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tenn. After earning a bachelor’s in civil engineering from Lipscomb University and a master's in construction management from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, he moved to Texas and then Arizona to pursue a career in general contracting and real estate development. Nghiem noted, “I strive to help students connect theoretical principles with practical and real world applications through a sensible teaching style and relevant contemporary construction practices.”

Pierce, a member of the Psychological Science Department at MCC since 2011, currently teaches Introduction to Psychology and Psychology and Culture and is a Dual-Enrollment instructor for the college. Since 1996, he has served as full-time instructor at Dobson High School where he teaches Introductory, Advanced and Advanced Placement (A.P.) Psychology. He is credited with establishing the A.P. Psychology program at Dobson in 2004 and wrote the curriculum for the sports psychology program for the Mesa School District in 2013. Pierce has an Education Specialist degree in educational leadership with an emphasis in technology from the University of Kentucky, as well as a master’s in education in human relations, and a bachelor’s in social studies education from Northern Arizona University. Pierce says, “I love teaching psychology and helping students realize how the concepts apply to their everyday lives.”

Adjunct faculty honorable mentions include: Jennifer Jordan and Seth Tyler, Administration of Justice Studies Department; Jaime Escobedo, Michael Johnson, Sr. and Jennifer Moyer, Applied Sciences and Technology Department; Natasha Murdock and Minou Faiz, English Department; Adriana Diaz, Communication, Theatre & Film Department; Jarod Bodine, Computer Information Systems Department; Fred King, Health Sciences Department; Charles Hammarstrom, Life Sciences Department; and John Holaday, Social Sciences Department.

“We are exceptionally proud of our honorees, honorable mentions and each of the 15 faculty members nominated by our college community,” Reyes added. “It is the willingness and dedication of our faculty in sharing their knowledge and professional wisdom that are major factors in our students’ success.”

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Click here to view a video of the MCCCD awards presentation.

Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, or 480-461-7892

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) --

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Monday, August 21, 2023