By Jade Francis
Professors have a significant opportunity to impact student’s lives. At Cape Cod Community College (4Cs), there is a profound presence full of inspiration and empathy among the professors and faculty. Through the emergence in adulthood, one is able to secure the stable procurement of their passion with the members of the 4Cs community. Lisa O’Halloran, a mirthful member who is a dedicated professor, possesses a story that is different than most.
O’Halloran, an academic coordinator and adjunct professor, facilitates much of the student body’s traction. She oversees the array of learning centers at 4Cs: the Tutoring Center, the Reading and Writing Resource Center, the Math Learning Center, and the science laboratory. Along with that, she recruits and supervises tutors, executes every outreach to different departments, which informs all of the idle and instrumental tutoring services that are waiting to fulfill the requests of students. In tandem with those centers, she also watches and subsequently scribes the utilization of many resources, Brainfuse, and more.
Growing up in Winchester, O’Halloran always knew that she wanted to teach. “My family said, ‘don’t do it, you won’t make any money,’ and so, I listened, and I graduated with a BA in sociology with a minor in special education.” After graduating from Boston College, she landed herself at a job as a personnel coordinator for a woman on maternity leave. Her position included the ability to hire and fire temporary health care workers. O’Halloran did not feel that the job placement suited her. “I was 22 and firing people that could have been my parents age or older than that, it was tough,” said O’Halloran. When the company offered her to stay beyond the maternity leave time frame, she politely declined.
When O’Halloran had been shopping in a local CVS Pharmacy in her hometown when she ran into a former math teacher, whose authority extends to the label of department chair. Little did she know that this encounter would change the current course of her life. “He asked me what I was doing, and I told him. Then he asked me if I would like to come be the department instructional aid,” said O’Halloran. The woman who previously held the position had to resign to tend to the repercussions of her husband’s stroke. O’Halloran took the offer, becoming the math department’s instructional aide at Winchester High. After that, she realized that teaching was her passion. Given this, she had decided to return to Boston College to ultimately obtain her master’s in education. She had to stay at Winchester High until the community’s reduction in force led to her release, which was the commencement of her unemployment.
O’Halloran had visited Cape Cod many summers throughout her childhood, and her family owned a house here. After Winchester High, she had chosen to remain at her family’s home to expand her area to look for job opportunities. Her first job on Cape Cod was in 1992 as an eighth-grade math teacher at Wixon Middle School. After the school year had met its end, she had decided that middle school was not suitable for her. Following that revelation, she had encountered advertisements in the newspaper for a vacant position at 4Cs. After the submission of her application, she got the job and started out as a professional tutor for the Math Learning Center, soon becoming an adjunct professor. She has held the academic coordinator position since 2016.
Richard Norwood, a learning specialist for the Reading and Writing Center and an adjunct professor, has worked alongside O’Halloran for eleven years. He describes her as pleasant, friendly, and steady. If one needs 4C’s resourceful, academic appendage, then one should begin with O’Halloran.
“Whatever work she’s doing she takes it very seriously and to heart, and she has the student’s best interest at heart all the time.” Norwood said. “I know for a fact that she really cares about students and bends over backwards to take care of them.”
O’Halloran has been working at the college since all the way back to 1993. Although she always thought she would stick with teaching high school math, she loves her job here at the college.