September 11, 2013 — FM has added three new fulltime faculty members to their teaching roster this semester; Physics Instructor Gilbert Ayuk, English Instructor Tom Skowronek, and Accounting Instructor Mark Swain.
Gilbert Ayuk is teaching Physics I and Physics III at FM. His immediate goal is to share his passion for physics with FM students and the surrounding communities. “The hope is by taking FM’s physics to area high schools and the communities we serve, we will be transforming FM into a magnet center for high school graduates to begin their college education in the sciences and engineering,” says Ayuk.
While in high school, Ayuk did well in all of the science subjects but particularly enjoyed the ability of physics laws and theories to predict and describe natural phenomena. “I wanted to be that person who can explain every physical phenomenon around us,” he says. “I also realized that physics, more than other courses I took, emphasized the development of analytical ability, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.”
Ayuk earned both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from University of Buea, Cameroon and a second Master’s degree from Wayne State University, Detroit. Before joining FM’s faculty, he worked at the University of Dschang, Cameroon; South Louisiana Community College; and Minnesota West Community and Technical College.
The second child in a family of seven boys and three girls, Ayuk resides in Amsterdam, NY, with his wife Magdalene, who he met as an undergraduate junior visiting his former high school during Easter break. They have three children, Charles (13), Bessie (7), and Elise (7 months). Apart from a brother who is a graduate student in Sweden, his parents and siblings are based in Cameroon. He is both a fan and participant of soccer, ping pong, and tennis.
“I ‘m excited to join a striving college like FM with great traditions and an openness to innovative change; a place where everyone you meet – from the faculty, staff, and administrators – is willing to help make your work and life a little better,” says Ayuk.
Tom Skowronek has worked at FM for the last four years as both an adjunct instructor and a writing tutor for the TRiO program. Now a fulltime English instructor, Skowronek teaches Developmental Writing, Introduction to Composition and Introduction to Literature. “I was immediately attracted to the dedication, passion, and diversity of the community college campus,” he says.
A member of the Beat Studies Association, the Hemingway Society, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Poetry Society of America, Skowronek is an avid fan of film and sports, staying active as much as possible.
Skowronek, who was born and raised in Amsterdam, NY, earned his Bachelor’s degree from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY where he was a double major in both English and Philosophy. He continued his education there to earn a Master’s degree in English.
“Throughout my time working at FM as an adjunct and writing tutor, I have really enjoyed the process of working with student writers,” he states. “I look forward to continuing that work as a fulltime instructor, and I hope to continually share my passion for writing with my students.”
Prior to joining FM’s fulltime teaching faculty, Mark Swain worked in business for the first ten years of his career (after earning a bachelor’s degree), both in the U.K. and the U.S. After leaving the U.K. in 1995, he worked at General Electric as a corporate financial analyst for several years and moved on to become an Associate Director at MVP Healthcare, working in their model office. Swain began teaching in 2003 which included work at Schenectady County Community College as an adjunct professor and teaching business fulltime at Galway High School.
As an Accounting Instructor, Swain teaches Accounting, Managerial Accounting, and a new class created by Assistant Professor Laurence Zuckerman and Assistant Professor Charlene Dybas, Quantitative Business Analysis. He is working with Assistant Professor Alex Henderson to create an Entrepreneur class for spring 2014.
Swain earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Brunel University (England), a New York State Teaching Certificate from Siena College, and Master in Business Administration (MBA) from University at Albany.
A resident of Burnt Hills, NY, Swain has been married for 19 years. He and his wife have two children and a dog. His father and siblings live in England with their respective families.
During his free time, Swain enjoys playing volleyball. He has completed several triathlons and hopes to participate in one next season. He also is active with his children and their extracurricular activities.
Always having a passion for the business field, Swain wanted to share his passion for the subject with others; thus, becoming a teacher. “I have always wanted to work at a college and after visiting FM’s campus I can’t imagine working anywhere else,” he says. “FM reminds me of one of the first colleges I attended in England, so you could say FM already feels like my home away from home.”
“The College is pleased to have these individuals join our faculty. They bring a wealth of experience to FM which will surely benefit our students and our communities,” states FM President Dr. Dustin Swanger.