For Lisette Prince, her retirement from the air traffic control field allowed her to pursue her other interests ― complementary and alternative medicine. After moving to the US in 2000, she spotted an ECC information session flier and decided to attend. The session inspired her to enroll in ECC’s massage therapy program.
“I was impressed by the quality of the program and the professionalism of the instructors,” said Prince. “As an adult student, ECC provided me with the support and help I needed to succeed.”
Now in her seventh year as an adjunct faculty member, Prince teaches part-time and continues to work as a massage therapist, which helps her keep her knowledge and skills up-to-date. She also helps with program improvement, using a mix of teaching methods to make classes motivating and interesting to both younger and adult students.
“My goal is always to increase student success rates,” said Prince. “I love teaching and am passionate about helping students be the best they can. What we teach and how we teach can have a lasting influence on how successful students will be in their future careers.”
Learn more about Prince and the surprising way she relaxes below.
What would you do if you were the college president for a day?
I would visit some of the career and technical programs offered at ECC. I would like to know more about programs I am not yet familiar with, like automotive, welding, HVAC, and emergency services.
What’s on your “bucket list?”
It is definitely more traveling. I want to explore the Galapagos Islands and view the diversity of plants and animals there. I am also intrigued by the Easter Islands and the people that lived there—why they chose to raise those big statues, and why they disappeared.
I am fascinated by ancient languages such as Linear A and B, Hebrew, Ancient Greek, Latin, and Hieroglyphic Egyptian. I would like to acquire a working knowledge of some of these languages.
I am also interested in living languages. I am fluent in French and English and have taken Spanish classes. I would love to learn a few more languages, which would allow for more direct communication with other cultural groups while traveling.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)?
I practice karate, though not as often as I would like. During the summer, I grow vegetables in my garden. When the cold comes, I enjoy staying home and reading. My favorite books are novels set in historical times. They give me an insight into the life and culture of the people.
Where was the best place you’ve traveled? Or where would you like to visit?
I enjoy traveling to mainland China. My first trip was during the summer of 1986 and was for discovery and to experience a new culture. For one month, we traveled along the Silk Road, which had just opened to foreigners.
My second trip to China was in 1994, when we traveled to the southeastern part of China to adopt our daughter. This was also a great experience.
What’s something about your job that others should know?
First, we are NOT masseuses but massage therapists, who are licensed by the state, the same as chiropractors, doctors, etc. All of our graduates received the training and the number of hours of practice required to apply for and obtain a massage therapy license.
While massage therapy is a very hands-on career, it also requires a large amount of studying and integrating scientific knowledge. Massage therapists must understand how massage affects the receiver at different levels and chose how best to achieve therapeutic changes. Students are often surprised at the amount of material they must learn.
What would be your “theme song?”
“Seasons in The Sun.” I believe that the time to live and do things is now. It is better to try and fail than to have regrets.
What was your favorite class in school (could be elementary, high school, or college)?
I always enjoyed mathematics. I particularly like calculus and statistics. I sometimes work on math problems just for the pleasure of finding the right solution. I find math puzzles to be very relaxing.
What was your first job out of school?
I became a licensed air traffic controller for the Canadian government. At the time, the profession was dominated by former military air traffic controllers who were mostly men. I was among the first 10 women to become licensed air traffic controllers. Today, about 40 percent of air traffic controllers are women.
What quote best describes your philosophy?
“Language is the key to the heart of people.” ― Ahmed Deedat
Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because…
…what I do is important. It helps students learn the skills they will need to be successful as massage therapists.”