ECC Instructor Participating in State Leadership Program
by Kyla McLeod
Rebecca Stamilio-Ehret, physics and industrial trades/technology instructor at Edgecombe Community College, is taking part in the North Carolina Community College Leadership Program.
The six-month program provides leadership training to community college faculty and staff and helps develop leadership skills. Stamilio-Ehret believes the program will help her strengthen her own leadership skills so she can guide others in the future.
Stamilio-Ehret, who also serves as the pre-engineering coordinator at ECC, developed a nationally acclaimed retention plan for female students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs in 2013. Her Women in STEM Retention Plan was aimed at reducing dropout rates for female students in STEM.
Her plan was named one of the top three training plans developed as part of the 2013 National Science Foundation-funded WomenTech Educators Training.
At ECC, Stamilio-Ehret strives to include and support all minorities in the classroom. She emphasizes the importance of different disciplines working in STEM and prioritizes inclusion and cooperation in her classroom.
When teaching STEM, she emphasizes concepts over equations and calculations. Focusing on the concepts ensures that students understand the material and can apply it correctly. She believes that every student learns differently.
“It’s important to make sure that everyone learns the material by including a mixture of different learning techniques, such as hands-on and group work, as well as individual and textbook work,” she explains.
Stamilio-Ehret comes from a small town and feels at home in Tarboro and at ECC. During the summers, she directs the college’s STEM camps for children and youth. She also is an advisor for ECC’s High Altitude Balloon Team, which competes in NC Space Grant and SkillsUSA competitions. The team has won first place at both state and national levels.
When asked about the key to success, she says, “Although it may sound cliché, teamwork is the most important aspect for attaining success. When different minds come together and aren’t afraid to communicate ideas to each other, brilliant ideas come to light.”
Stamilio-Ehret has been an instructor at ECC for 15 years. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Appalachian State University.