Adjuncts bring outside experience to AACC


Christian Richey

Adjunct business instructor Lou Carloni brings his consulting experience

Christian Richey, Editor-in-Chief

Jerry Ascione sat with his band in the White House, playing Tchaikovsky and native folk songs for an audience of Russian diplomats.

Afterward, the diplomats overflowed with compliments, and though they spoke no English and Ascione spoke no Russian, he said he felt their sentiments.

Ascione spent 30 years with the U.S. Navy Concert Band and as a solo pianist who regularly performed at the White House and the vice president’s quarters during official events for foreign diplomats and presidents, including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He retired before Barack Obama took office.

“They’re very nice people,” Ascione said.

Today, Ascione teaches piano part-time at AACC.

He’s among approximately 1,000 adjuncts who bring years of experience in their fields into AACC classrooms, according to Vice President for Learning Mike Gavin.

“An adjunct is somebody who teaches a course or multiple courses, but not at the full-time … load,” Gavin said, “ensuring that our students learn just as well no matter who’s teaching the course.”

Unlike full-time professors, many adjuncts hold non-academic jobs outside of the college, Gavin said.

Adjunct business instructor Lou Carloni works full-time as a business consultant, but said he has a passion for teaching. In addition to working at AACC, he is a Boy Scout and Girl Scout troop leader.

“I’ve spent the bulk of my life working with [high school and college students],” said Carloni, who has taught here since 1994. “I never wanted to give up having a real touch with the kids through college or high school.”

“He’s one of my favorite professors,” second-year business finance student April Walker, who took Carloni’s Business and Its Environment class last semester, said. “I’ve had other professors that are full-time. He puts in just the same amount of time. … He’s actually been better than most of my full-time professors.”

Gavin said adjuncts are hired through academic departments, while full-time faculty candidates go through interviews with other faculty, their dean, Gavin and the college’s president.

Alex Brady joined AACC full-time as an audio-visual specialist in 2005 before becoming an adjunct lecturer in 2011.

“I toyed around with the idea of maybe wanting to be a high school teacher, but I thought it would be interesting to try teaching college first,” said Brady, who teaches world architecture courses.

Second-year architecture student Tyler Murphy called Brady “one of the greatest professors. … He is just very passionate about it and it spreads to his students.”

Some adjunct faculty, like Margaret Rorison, teach at multiple institutions.
“As an adjunct, you need to do a lot of different jobs … to pay the bills,” she said.

Gavin said approximately 50% of full-time faculty members are former adjuncts. He said he would like for full-time professors to teach 60% of classes.