Michigan Community College Association selects Dr. Patricia A. Wallace-Little to receive Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award
By David C. Butty
The Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) has selected Dr. Patricia A. Wallace-Little, a 1972 graduate and longtime psychology faculty member at the Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD), to receive this year’s Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award.
“As you can imagine, her nomination was evaluated against a number of other extremely qualified and exceptional candidates, so her selection is truly an honor not only for her but for the entire WCCCD system,” said MCCA President Mike Hansen.
“Her long list of accomplishments and the extremely interesting and important role she plays as a faculty member at (WCCCD) made her selection relatively easy.”
In making the award announcement, Hansen noted that the selection had been made by the MCCA Executive Committee composed of community college presidents and trustees.
Dr. Wallace-Little will receive her award in person during the MCCA Summer Conference in Traverse City this month. Dr. Wallace-Little was the valedictorian of the WCCCD’s first graduating class during the 1970-72 academic years.
Her long list of accomplishments and credentials include: Certified Forensic Consultant; Fellow, American College of Forensic Examiners International; Diplomat, American Board of Forensic Medicine; Licensed Psychologist, State of Michigan; and Charter Registrant Prescribing Psychologists’ Register, Clinical Psychopharmacology.
Dr. Wallace-Little graduated summa cum laude from WCCCD with her A.A. in 1972 and went on to earn her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D., all from Wayne State University.
During her time at WSU, she remained connected to WCCCD as a secretary at the Cathedral Center until June 1974, when she began teaching part time, and remained linked as an adjunct member of the faculty for 37 years until her retirement in 2011.
Dr. Wallace-Little is also the founder and CEO of Wallace and Associates, a multi-disciplinary psychological service agency incorporating provision of psychiatric, psychological social work and nursing assistance.
Citing her humanitarian achievement, the MCCA Executive Committee wrote, “Dr. Wallace-Little has worked to help countless thousands of students and community members understand their potential and aspire to educational goals many thought beyond their grasp. For more than 37 years as an educator and motivator, Dr. Wallace-Little has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring that the institution where she received her start continues to serve as a launching point where dreams can become a reality.”
Dr. Wallace-Little said it is with mixed emotions that she acknowledges the MCCA award, which she refers to as “laudable.”
“I am proud of the recognition of my 41 years of service to and the benefits received from this unique community college (WCCCD),” she said.
She said throughout her affiliation with WCCCD, she has met and worked with some of the most outstanding educators in this country. “This college (WCCCD) was born from the ashes of Detroit’s 1967 riot and the call was for educators who were willing to tackle the challenges of this unique, new and untested institution,” she said.
“And that call was answered many times over by faculty and staff. It was the conviction, mission and sincerity with which faculty and staff inspired, motivated and encouraged me and other 30-year-old students that we had something to share. That we need not be ashamed of a late start but rather take pride in our growth and achievement.
“I learned at the College through those ‘unsung’ heroes to never stop learning and always give back. There are many who came before me that are just as deserving of this recognition. I am only the carrier of the continuing message that WCCCD is an opportunity for renaissance.”
Dr. Curtis L. Ivery, chancellor for the five-campus, 72,000-student district, praised Dr. Wallace-Little as a committed and dedicated instructor and cited her professionalism and care for students.
“Dr. Wallace-Little is a testimony that our faculty cares and nourishes our students to reach their full potential,” he said. “Over the years, she shared her passion with our students, and as a district, we share in her achievement and her legacy.”
Dr. Wallace-Little’s legacy continues at WCCCD through her daughter, Denise, who is celebrating her 19th year in the district as an adjunct psychology professor.
“My mixed emotions are affably empowered with the assurance that my legacy of commitment to serving and sharing with my thousands of eager student-learners will not end with my leaving,” she said.
“Rather, the spirit of my dedication to teaching at WC3 preserved through my daughter, Denise. And so the strong and significant message of WCCCD’s opportunities for renaissance continues.”
David C. Butty is executive dean for International Programs/Media Specialist at Wayne County Community College District. His column appears in the Michigan Citizen monthly.