PCCC English Professor Honored by International Service Organization
Professor Nina-Louise Alsbrook-Jackson (left) receives her award from Maretta Hodges-Brown. Photo by Kenya Smith / Universal Concepts Photography
Paterson NJ - Nina-Louise Alsbrook-Jackson, an English professor at Passaic County Community College has received the “Dedicated to Service, Committed to Progress” award by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (Iota Alpha Sigma Chapter), an international, non-profit, community service organization historically dedicated to African American achievement. Professor Alsbrook-Jackson is one of seven area women honored by the Chapter on March 20, at a Women’s Day Brunch ceremony in Haledon. This is the first time the Chapter is presenting the award which was established “to honor phenomenal women of the community,” according to spokeswoman Qulonda Stuckey.
“I’m overwhelmed and very honored,” said Alsbrook-Jackson, who is not a member of the organization. The 29-year-old educator was chosen for the award because of her work as an educator, poet, journalist, and guest speaker, and because “she has had the ability to turn her passion for writing into a pedagogical belief that refocuses education back to a student-centered profession and away from test scores and the business of academics,” said Ms. Stuckey.
Born and raised in Jersey City, where she still resides, Prof. Alsbrook-Jackson earned her BA and MA in English from St. John’s University. She became a staff reporter for the Staten Island Daily Advance, and later worked in production at the Jersey Journal, a daily newspaper in Jersey City, while teaching film and literature at St. Peter’s College as an adjunct instructor. “That experience changed my life,” Alsbrook-Jackson said. “I realized what a difference I could make as a teacher. I could help a whole new generation become addicted to learning, or at least survive the academic process.”
In 2003, at the age of 23, and only three months after receiving her MA, Alsbrook-Jackson was hired by PCCC and taught for a year in what was then called Minority Scholar program, now known as the Diversity Fellow Program. She became a full-time instructor the following year, and earned tenure in the fall of 2009, effective in September of 2010. Alsbrook-Jackson teaches courses in writing, and literature at PCCC, and film courses for Upward Bound/College Bound programs offered at the College. She is also a poet, working in the oral tradition.
“I feel a tremendous loyalty to PCCC,” the professor declared. “They took a chance on a 23-year-old who was determined to teach and gave me so many opportunities to grow in my chosen career. I am very grateful and humbled.”
Professor Alsbrook-Jackson grew up in The Montgomery Gardens Housing Complex in Jersey City before going on to become a college professor. Read more about her inspiring story.