Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2020: Herkimer – Cynthia Gabriel
Cynthia Gabriel lives in upstate New York, and has been teaching since 1989. She has experience in the junior and senior high schools, as well as the community college level. Cynthia attended Herkimer County Community College and received her A.A. degree in Humanities and then transferred to Oneonta State College, where she earned her B.S. in Secondary English Education and her M.A. in English. Over the years, she immersed herself in many more graduate classes to earn the rank of Professor at Herkimer County Community College.
In 1998, Cynthia accepted a position at Herkimer County Community College to teach English. Teaching has always been her passion, as well as the life-long learning and training that goes along with it. She is inspired and encouraged daily by her students, colleagues and administration. Assessing and reassessing her teaching methods has always been a priority on her journey as a teacher. She strives to be the best in her field and work with others who elevate and celebrate excellence in teaching. In 2009, Cynthia received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
I have been an online teacher for many years now. Online teaching is such a transformative mode of learning. A student logs into an online course from virtually anywhere around the world, has the flexibility of logging on at his/her convenience, receives class content, instructions, notes, and assignments, and then completes modules of work within a virtual classroom that caters to his/her educational needs. The access and opportunities that we offer are endless! Faculty serve as teachers, mentors, and catalysts for educational growth and change.
I have the privilege of building relationships with the minds of my students. Over the years, I have been honored to teach students from all around the world. Online learning is a safe haven for many who are unable to attend a traditional classroom. It provides equity and accessibility for all. Online learning is also the perfect way to begin or end your day! It does not interrupt your work or family priorities, as it provides the freedom to learn at your convenience and pace. It is within that quiet space of online learning that our mind’s eye opens up to endless possibilities.
Before online learning, all I ever knew was the traditional classroom or distance learning, where I was attached to a microphone and cables. Since I began teaching online, I now know thoughts, aspirations, success stories and struggles that are real to each and every one of us. The universal connection as a result of the online experience is priceless. I encourage everyone to explore the ever changing and endless sea of knowledge found in online learning!