By Eva Thach
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Elise Favilla, a Spanish professor at Camden County College, spends her time in the foreign language department dedicating herself to her students. She considered her proficiency in English at a young age as an accomplishment.
As an infant living in Spain, Spanish and French were spoken at home. Favilla moved to the United States at the age of 7, and English became a third language to her.Favilla teaches six classes: Elementary Spanish 101, 102, Intermediate Spanish 201, 202, Spanish Conversation, and Introduction to Hispanic Culture. She teaches on the Cherry Hill and Blackwood campuses of Camden County College. Favilla assists with the induction ceremonies of the National Foreign Language Honor Society, organizes Hispanic Heritage Month, organizes movie night in collaboration with student services, and is an observer for adjunct faculty. For the department, she creates and revises all final exams. Favilla serves on the Academic Policies Committee and as a marshal during commencement.
Because of her service as an adviser, she was able to help students succeed after peer tutoring as well as service learning to students. This gave students the opportunity to volunteer in the college community as well as their community.
At the age of 57, Favilla was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which affected energy. While working, she was very fatigued.
Favilla was nominated by other educators for a “Who’s Who in America” award. She was elected and served as president of the Mullica Township Board of Education from 1983 to 1985.
Kelsey Murray, 21, has taken Elementary Spanish 101 and now takes Elementary Spanish 102 with Favilla.
“I was not doing so well with my exams, but when Professor Favilla offered peer tutoring, I started doing better,” Murray said. “Favilla suggested tutoring with someone in the class that we knew and it made it more comfortable.”
In 1976, Favilla earned a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish and elementary school teacher certification at Rutgers University in Camden, N.J. In 1980, she completed 15 graduate credits in Spanish at Villanova University in Villanova, Pa. In 2005, Favilla earned a master’s degree in bilingual/bicultural studies (Spanish) at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Pa.
“Teaching is a passion and I am fortunate,” stated Favilla. “I started here as a student at Camden County College. I paid my own way to receive a college education at an affordable price.”
She said she believes her mission now is to pay back the college for what it did for her.