61 Sever Street
Worcester, MA 01609
Dr. Michael Durant, Jr. is the Assistant Dean of Student Academic Services at Becker College in Worcester, MA. In his role as Assistant Dean, Michael has total oversight of all student support services units at the college, including the Collaborative Learning Center, the Office of Disability Services, the Office of First Year Experience, the Office of Sophomore Year Experience, Supplemental Instruction and Learning Communities Activities, and the Academic Advising Center.
Dr. Durant is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has dedicated his life to the betterment of the post –secondary experience of first generation and minority college students. Michael has extensive experience within the field of Higher Education, including his experience prior to coming to Becker College; he worked in the Division of Academic Affairs at Coppin State University. While at Coppin, Michael’s responsibilities were in Academic Resources, Advising and all retention efforts for incoming first year students by planning and coordinating programming, departmental collaborations, leadership development and supervision of professional staff, and student tutors. At Coppin, he earned the “2010” Advisor of the Year Award for his work as an advocate for student achievement and for the various programs he coordinated. Prior to his employment at Coppin, Michael worked in Higher Education at St. Mary’s College of Maryland; Middle Tennessee State University; and University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Dr. Durant received his Doctorate Degree in the School of Education at the Northeastern University, studying Higher Education Administration with a cognate in Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Policy Administration. While at Northeastern his research focused on the Resiliency of First Generation Minority College Students. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) in English Literature, graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University Honors Program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a Master of Education Degree (M.Ed.) in Higher Education Administration from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Specialist in Education Degree (Ed.S.) in Curriculum and Instruction from Middle Tennessee State University.
His affiliations include Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society; Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society; Alpha Delta Pi Education Honors Society; Golden Key Honors Society; National Academic Advising Association (NACADA); National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA); National Association of Minority Educators; American College Personnel Association (ACPA); and National Association of Multicultural Education.
Joan Shea joined Becker College in 2009 as an adjunct professor teaching Technology and Society, and Substance Abuse Group Work. In late 2011, with the implementation of a Title III grant, Joan was hired part-time as coordinator of Academic Advising. In late 2013, the position became full-time with the addition of Master Track Advising. Joan continues to teach First Year Experience and advise first year students. She is a member of NACADA (The global community for academic advising).
Joan holds a bachelor’s degree in art/psychology with a concentration in art therapy, from Albertus Magnus College and a master’s degree in psychology from Fairfield University. Joan’s path to academia has been a rather curved adventure. Reinventing herself over multiple careers shows her strong belief in lifelong learning and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
She has significant experience providing individual, couple, family, and group therapy for clients with mental health and substance abuse challenges. While in this field she presented, “So you Want Recovery… Don’t Hold your Breath,” at the New England School for Addiction Studies over four summers and was certified in the Substance Abuse Subtle Screen Inventory (SASSI).
In 1997 Joan transitioned into the IT department at the mental health agency where she worked, to assist in creating a digital medical record. It was there that she developed a fondness for MS Access databases and designed several mission-critical databases for the agency, including the note and prescription printing M.D. Note system. She eventually attained a system administrator position.
In 2009 Joan decided to follow a dream to create her own business: Byte and Stitch Designs, a combination of computer repair/consultation and machine-generated embroidery. She began adjunct teaching at Becker to support her business and thus discovered a passion for working with students in higher education.
“Life is about challenges and following your passion,” says Joan. “In our fast-paced world, roads change, detours occur, and we need to assist our students to know it is okay to try new things; it is okay to have multiple passions and to change courses. Stay true to yourself, and believe that every path has significance. With this, our students will ‘Be the change.’”
Becker College Sophomore Year Experience (SYE) and Study Abroad Coordinator. Dan received his B.S. in Cultural Anthropology (97’), and M.S. in College Student Development and Counseling (01’), both from Northeastern University, Boston, MA. He is an adjunct faculty member teaching Freshman Year Experience (FYE). Dan is also a First Year advisor, academic coach, and member of the Student Support Team.
He helps advise the Alpha Lambda Delta First Year Honor Society and is the advisor for the Becker Music Club. Past committee work has included Be Well at Becker , Globalization I-Ops team, and the Presidential Speaker Series. Dan is also a volunteer coach for Becker Men’s Lacrosse. Before Becker, Dan worked in undergraduate advising and academic programming at MIT, experiential learning at Berklee College of Music, and undergraduate admissions at Northeastern University.
Micky has a strong background in the Special Education/Mental Health field which she worked in for 20 years before she became an employee of Becker College. She started in July, 2011 as a Humanities Specialist and worked with students who had specific learning disabilities. Micky then became the Disability Specialist in October of 2013, and has also assumed the role of the Assistant Director of the Collaborative Learning Center.
Brenda has been with the Collaborative Learning Center at Becker College since 2008. She began as an Academic Specialist with a focus on the Humanities. In the fall of 2011, Brenda became the Supplemental Instruction Coordinator for the Leicester campus. As of spring 2013, she began to serve as the Program Coordinator for the Leicester campus, and has assumed the responsibility of an Academic Success Coach which will begin this fall.
Kyle first came to Becker College through the Leicester CLC in early 2011, where he covered the CLC’s evening hours. Fall of 2011, he started full-time as an Academic Specialist in the CLC and Supplemental Instruction Coordinator for the Worcester campus. In spring 2013, Kyle added Retention Software Coordinator to his responsibilities. He is in charge of managing the Starfish retention tool, as well as TutorTrac in the CLC.
Michelle started at Becker College in 1999, working as a faculty Secretary. Over the next 9 years, Michelle worked with the Education department and worked directly with Dean Fuller. In 2008, Michelle transitioned to an Administrative Assistant position in the CLC and continues to serve the CLC in multiple capacities today. She oversees scheduling for peer tutors, facilitates student testing and proctoring of exams and ensures the CLC runs smoothly.