Super Steam Saturday bios


Aisha Bowe

WCC alumna Aisha Bowe is a former NASA rocket scientist and the Founder and CEO of STEMBoard, an engineering solutions company that solves technology challenges for clients in the aerospace and defense industries. A self-described “unmotivated and unfocused” student in high school, Bowe found her passion and purpose while attending WCC from 2003 to 2006. She transferred to the University of Michigan, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and a master’s degree in Space Systems Engineering, and spent seven years at the NASA Ames Research Center before starting STEMBoard. Bowe has used her position to advocate for community colleges and to help close the opportunity gap in STEM fields among historically underrepresented youth. She has travelled the world to inspire students from disadvantaged communities – especially girls.


Claire Sparklin

A Communication faculty member, Claire Sparklin uses a blend of gamification, active learning and reflection to connect theory to experience while designing curriculum for on-campus, online and blended classes at WCC. She employs experiential learning for real-world Communication solutions in her classes to build her students' resumes and college transfer applications. Sparklin is committed to using Open Educational Resources (free textbooks!) in all her online and on-campus classes. A community college graduate herself (Kellogg Community College), Sparklin earned a bachelor’s degree in Arts and Management from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in Communication and Technology from Wayne State University.


David A. Wooten

David A. Wooten is a full-time faculty member in the Biology department at WCC, teaching General Zoology, Evolution and Ecology, Biological Field Study, and Human Anatomy & Physiology. Wooten has published studies on venomous snakes, turtles, reptilian ecology and animal behavior in books and scientific journals. He is a traveling lecturer on the history of Charles Darwin, utilizing a collection of rare, antique books. Wooten received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from Central Michigan University in Biology/Chemistry and attended the University of Florida for doctoral work in Zoology. During his doctoral work, Wooten found his niche in teaching and withdrew from the program to return to Michigan to start that career. His teaching philosophy incorporates the application of current research, evolution, ecological relationships and the conservation of biodiversity into a critical-thinking college classroom and field experience.


Eric Schwab, Ph.D.

A Chemistry faculty member at WCC since 2014, Eric Schwab, Ph.D., started his career in science at Wayne State University, where he received a B.A. in Chemistry and a B.S. in Biology before earning his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Akron. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Molecular Biology at the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2001, Schwab moved to industry, accepting a position at Cayman Chemical Company in Ann Arbor, where he worked for 10 years as the manager of the Drug Substance Quality Control Laboratory.


Ernesto Querijero

A member of the WCC English faculty since 2010, Ernesto Querijero teaches developmental English, Composition I and Composition II. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Querijero previously worked at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research as a computer trainer and consultant, taught English at Tecumseh High School, and mentored at-risk students at Columbia Central High School in Brooklyn, Michigan. He is a co-founder of Books for Kids, a grassroots book collection organization that aims to increase literacy for elementary and middle school students. Currently, Ernesto serves as a Board of Education Trustee in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.


Maryam Barrie

WCC English instructor Maryam Barrie was a student at the college in the early 1980s and was able to “apprentice” with full-time English instructors Hal Weidner, Lorene Erickson and Dan Minock. Barrie began working as a tutor in the WCC Writing Center in 1982. In 1985, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and began teaching part-time at WCC. In 2002, she became a full-time faculty member and continues to feel like working at WCC is the best of all possible worlds.


Megan Richendollar

Megan Richendollar is a WCC student in the Elementary Education program who plans to become an elementary school math and science teacher. Upon graduation from WCC, Richendollar plans to transfer to Eastern Michigan University to earn a bachelor’s degree in Education. In her spare time, she enjoys ice chai tea lattes, playing with her pet goats and camping whenever she can.


Michael Naylor, Ph.D.  

WCC Performing Arts instructor Michael Naylor, Ph.D., started his career as a studio and World Music performer with artists such as Frank Sinatra, Celia Cruz, Julio Iglesias, Dizzy Gillespie and Motown groups the Stylistics, the Manhattans and the Four Tops. After spending six years performing with diverse world music and jazz ensembles across Europe, Naylor returned to the U.S. and received a Master’s in Film & Studio Music Composition from the University of Miami, Fla. and a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Michigan. Today, Naylor focuses on cultural equity and exposing inequity, implicit biases and the evolution of assumptions of power and privilege that are the source of most racial or cultural conflicts globally. As a faculty member in Global Perspectives in the Community College and a lecturer in the Comprehensive Studies Program at U-M, he is committed to building curriculum emphasizing the role of the arts to challenges racial, gender and cultural inequity.


Nichole Klemmer

Nichole Klemmer has been a mathematics instructor at WCC for 10 years, teaching Math for Elementary Teachers I and II, Basic Statistics, and Everyday Math. Prior to WCC, Klemmer taught high school math at Washtenaw Technical Middle College, a high school chartered by and located on the campus of WCC. Klemmer has a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from Eastern Michigan University and a Master’s in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College.


Smita Malpani

WCC Environmental Science instructor Smita Malpani has a professional background in sustainable development, where she has 25 years’ experience designing, implementing and evaluating natural resource management, economic growth and infrastructure programs for donor agencies, including USAID, the World Bank, and NGOs. She worked in 15 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Her expertise spans local governance, community resource management, development processes, capacity building, social inclusion and participatory approaches. She started teaching part-time at WCC in 2015 and joined the faculty full-time in 2018. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Anthropology from Wellesley College and a Master of Science from the Yale School of the Environment, Wetlands and Watershed Management.


Susan Dentel

Susan Dentel is a long-time biology, anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology instructor at Washtenaw Community College. In 2019, she was one of 22 community college instructors nationwide to receive Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty designation from the American Association of Community Colleges. In addition to her teaching role, Dentel spearheads the WCC STEM Scholars Program, created to provide students with academic, financial and social support. It has been her passion to develop a program that truly helps students to be academically prepared and personally empowered for the rigors ahead. That leads to the successful completion of STEM-based associate and bachelor’s degrees, and ultimately to entering graduate schools and/or the professional workforce.


Tracy Jaffe

Tracy Jaffe is the founding faculty advisor of the Drama/Theatre area at WCC and served as department chair of the Performing Arts Department for 18 years. Shaping the inclusive and creative atmosphere of the college theatre space and the Drama/Theatre area of study, Jaffe has created and developed a wide variety of student-centered WCC courses and activities. She specializes in directing and teaching all levels of scripted Acting classes, Improvisational Acting and Theatre Appreciation.  Steeped in acting, voice, musical theatre and the adaptation of scripts for the stage, her professional background and training informs her teaching the adult learner. Jaffe is dedicated to creating a learning environment that places a strong emphasis on encouraging each student to find and honor their artistic voice and narrative.  


Tracy S. Schwab, Ph.D.

The Chemistry department chair and instructor in the Math, Science & Engineering Technology Department at WCC, Tracy S. Schwab, Ph.D., began her graduate research career at Akron University before moving to Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. After obtaining her Ph.D., she stayed at the University of Michigan as a postdoctoral fellow on the medical campus, working in both the oncology and neurology departments. Although she was promoted to research faculty, her true passion was teaching. She began at WCC in 2002 as a part-time chemistry instructor and was hired full-time in 2007. 


Tom Zimmerman

Tom Zimmerman has been teaching English at WCC since 1992, became a full-time faculty member in 2002 and has directed the college’s Writing Center  since 2013. A professional poet and editor who has been active in small press publishing since the late 1980s, Zimmerman also serves as the founding editor (2002) of the WCC literary magazine, The Huron River Review, and the Writing Center literary magazine, The Big Windows Review. He is also the faculty advisor of the WCC Poetry Club. Zimmerman earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Iowa.


Valerie Mann

Valerie Mann is a professional artist, part-time art instructor at WCC and co-owner of WSG Gallery in Ann Arbor. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Illinois and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Michigan State University. Much of her work explores the place where 2D and 3D meet, regardless the medium. Mann has numerous sculptures and paintings in public and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. Along with WCC, she teaches in programs throughout the county, including programs that work with at-risk and special needs teens, as well as classes for adults at Salt Valley Arts. See her work at