Over her 20-year career at ECC, Micaela Banks has made a real impact on the lives of her students. As the Director of Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (ACCE) prepares for retirement, Banks reflects on her ECC experience and her colleagues with a feeling of sincere gratitude.
Since 2007, Banks has served as the program director for the PTA program developing and assessing the accredited program to ensure graduates pass the licensure examination and meet the needs of the physical therapy community. As ACCE, she is responsible for acquisitions, maintenance and development of all clinical sites, contracts, and clinical instructors while maintaining compliance with all accreditation standards. She is also the instructor for all three of the clinical courses.
"Once the program opened, I began to volunteer and assist in the lab courses," said Banks. "I really enjoyed working with the students in the classroom and lab sessions." She began her work with ECC in 1998 when the PTA program was in an exploratory stage and became involved with the advisory committee.
Before she rides off into the sunset, we caught up with Banks to learn more about her life and her work at ECC. Here is what she had to say.
What would you do if you were ECC president for a day?
I would give everyone a rose, thank them for their service to the college, and let them know what a wonderful job they are doing.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e. hobbies/interests)?
Camping and traveling, boating, spending time with friends, reading, and spending time with my dog.
What would be your theme song?
Happy by Pharrell Williams—I love that song!
What was your first job out of school?
Physical Therapist at a large teaching hospital in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
What's one fact we should know about you?
I am very sentimental.
Where was the best place you’ve traveled to?
Hawaii - no mosquitoes! Or the Virgin Islands, again.
What quote best describes your philosophy?
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." – Maya Angelou.
As you prepare to leave ECC, is there anything else you’d like to say?
There are a few very special people I would like to acknowledge. Kim Tarver and I have called ourselves the "dynamic duo" since 2007. We complement each other, we have deep respect for each other, and I continue to learn from her and her wisdom daily. I am grateful that Betsy Holmer has been such an integral part of our program and is so dedicated to student success. I would love to give special thanks to my "hall-mates" Lurana Bain and Kim Plate, who continually remind me to get up and take a walk and to go home because the work will still be here tomorrow. Thank you to the many clinical instructors who have supported our program, for without them, there would be no clinical placements. I would like to thank Marilyn Westerhoff, who has been my dog sitter for many years as she allows me to stay late and work on weekends (and not feel guilty that the dog is home alone in a crate). Thank you to Heidi Eaton who mentored me in how to teach an online course. I would like to thank Valerie, Michelle and all the Health Professions program directors, who have offered me support and encouragement over the years along with Dr. Wendy Miller, our dean. I would like to thank all our wonderful graduates now working as PTAs. There are many more people here that have had such a positive impact on my life and I am so very grateful to know. I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.
One final thought:
I have always said I like to have a challenging job and to be challenged, and my position at ECC most certainly delivered—a little less challenging would have been okay though. In retrospect, I am so very grateful to have been part of this campus and to have had the opportunity to improve people’s lives through learning. Thank you!