News The Student Becomes The Teacher - Garrett College
Apply Now
Plan a Visit
Request Info
Make a Gift

Campus News

August 23rd, 2022

The student becomes the teacher

Tichinel, former dual enrollment student, joins GC biology department


Alyssa Tichinel

Alyssa Tichinel may be a new full-time faculty member, but she couldn't be any more familiar with Garrett College.

Tichinel is a former adjunct faculty member, science tutor, program specialist, and College & Me instructor for GC. She's also a former Garrett College student, having taken courses as a high school senior through the Dual Enrollment program.

She even lives near the College, just across Mosser Road from the main campus in a house Tichinel and her husband recently built.

“A decade ago, I entered a classroom at Garrett College as an ambitious, eager, albeit nervous student,” recalled Tichinel. “A few years later I entered that same classroom, but this time as an instructor.

“Something that was remarkable to me, both as a student and instructor, was the diversity in experiences and skills in the students at Garrett College,” she added. “When you look around a classroom at Garrett College you might see a student who recently graduated high school and is beginning their education with us before transferring onto a four-year institution, or another who has worked in a career for many years, but is seeking a change.

“This creates a classroom that is richer, as students with varying skills interact and connect their own experiences to our course content,” continued Tichinel, who will be an assistant professor of biology. “It's this type of classroom that made me fall in love with science as a student at Garrett College and then fall in love with teaching years later. “

Tichinel worked two years at West Virginia University as an imaging specialist/research assistant, and taught science in Mineral County Public Schools and Washington County Public Schools. Tichinel said she's eager to transition into a full-time faculty role at GC.

“One of the many benefits of teaching at a Garrett College is the low student-to-teacher ratio,” said Tichinel. “This small class size permits me to build relationships with my students. I'm able to provide students additional support and encouragement during times of struggle and cheer them on during times of achievement.

“I look forward to being a mentor to students pursuing careers in the science field,” she added.

Dr. Ryan Harrod, GC's dean of academic affairs and chief academic officer, said Tichinel's diverse science background will be of huge benefit to the College's students.

“Professor Tichinel has a background in both anatomy and physiology, along with microbiology,” he noted. “She's also taught at the high school and college level and has attended Garrett College as a student. Her experience will be invaluable to our future biology students.”

Tichinel said her experiences help illustrate the College's role in the community, particularly the “close relationship between Garrett College and Garrett County Public Schools.”

“I attended Garrett College as a high school student,” Tichinel noted. “Through this opportunity I was able to transfer into a bachelor's degree program with many credits already completed, and without student loans.

“I'm a huge supporter of the College continuing to foster and expand our relationship with our local high schools, providing students with access they might not otherwise have,” she added.

Tichinel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Frostburg State University. She obtained a Master of Science degree in microbiology and cell science from the University of Florida, where she is presently completing a graduate certificate in anatomy and physiology.