Hudson County Community College Professor Clive Li Wins AACC’s 2024 Faculty Member of the Year Award  

AACC’s Faculty Member of the Year Award acknowledges an individual who continuously seeks to integrate evidence-based strategies into the classroom and is highly engaged in college committees and organizations dedicated to student success. The Faculty Member of the Year has stellar student evaluations for his or her courses and participates in external student and community activities.

From developing timely real-world solutions with students like Dr. Li’s antimicrobial door openers, automatic face mask distributors, and thermochromic face masks, to installing a hydroponic mushroom farm for the College’s award-winning culinary program, Dr. Li embodies the spirit of this award and goes above and beyond to make science fun, engaging, and accessible to HCCC students. This is just scratching the surface when it comes to the novel and inventive projects that Dr. Li undertakes with HCCC STEM students. Other recent highlights enjoyed by students include model rockets, biodegradable golf tees made from pistachio nuts, and more. 

Beyond the fun, Dr. Li supports students and gives them the boost they need to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. His mentees include a 2021 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholar currently attending Princeton University, and two National Science Foundation program participants.

As a member of the College’s President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (PACDEI), and as an advisory board member of a partnership of five Hispanic-Serving Institutions committed to helping 900+ students from traditionally underrepresented groups transfer to baccalaureate STEM programs, Dr. Li is committed to expanding access to STEM education to all. Dr. Li co-wrote a grant for female students to conduct research at the College and participates in technology symposia for high school girls interested in pursuing STEM education.

Before joining HCCC, Dr. Li worked as a research scientist at Amco Polymers. His current research is on biodegradable polymer composites and antimicrobial polymer composites. His recent scientific research and publications examine whether the argon plasma “Grafting-From” approach can be used for the modification of nanoparticle systems. 

Dr. Li earned a B.S. in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stony Brook University and holds multiple patents. 

“Faculty Member of the Year” is one of seven award categories in which HCCC faculty and staff members were nominated for an AACC Award of Excellence, the most of any college in the United States. In addition to Dr. Li’s awards, HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber was named CEO of the Year, while HCCC also won the institution-wide award for Student Success. In addition, HCCC was a finalist for the institution-wide Equity and Inclusion Award; while Matt LaBrake, Executive Director of the Center for Online Learning, was a finalist for the Rising Star Manager Award; Professor of Fine Arts Jeremiah Teipen was a finalist for the Faculty Innovation Award; and Board of Trustees Chair William J. Netchert was a finalist for the Trustee of the Year Award. The 2024 AACC National Awards of Excellence were held April 5-9 in Louisville, Kentucky.

HCCC President Chris Reber stated, “We are enormously proud that Dr. Li has been chosen as the winner of this well-deserved national award. Not only is Dr. Li an accomplished and well-respected professional in his field, but, equally important, he is passionate about making science accessible and approachable, and he cares deeply about putting his students on pathways to succeed in STEM fields.”  

Dr. Li remarked, “It is truly an honor to win the Faculty Member of the Year Award from AACC. I’d like to thank Dr. Burl Yearwood, Dean of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); President Reber; and the entire HCCC family. This is an immense honor, but the best part of this job is helping dedicated community college students get their start in the scientific field and watching them go on to succeed academically and in their careers.”

Caption: HCCC’s Dr. Clive Li winning the Faculty Member of the Year Award at the AACC National Convention, accompanied by HCCC’s Dr. Burl Yearwood, Dean of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); and Dr. Darryl Jones, Vice President for Academic Affairs.     

About Hudson County Community College

Hudson County Community College serves more than 20,000 credit and non-credit students annually. The College offers more than 90 degree and certificate programs, including award-winning English as a Second Language; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management; Nursing and Health Professions; and Humanities and Social Sciences. The HCCC Culinary/Hospitality Management program was ranked number six in the U.S. by Best Choice Schools. The College’s School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development offers cutting-edge, industry-recognized, stackable credentials in alignment with high-priority workforce needs.

HCCC has partnerships with major four-year colleges and universities in the greater New Jersey-New York area and beyond, accommodating seamless transfer of credits for further undergraduate and graduate education.

The College’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been recognized with the 2021 Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Northeast Region Equity Award; the “INSIGHT Into Diversity” 2021, 2022 and 2023 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, this year honoring HCCC as one of six community colleges nationally to be named “Top Colleges for Diversity;” the “INSIGHT Into Diversity” 2022 and 2023 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award, and 2024 Inspiring Programs in Business Award. The College received the 2023 Outstanding Member Institution Award from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). HCCC was a finalist in seven categories of this year’s American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) national “Awards of Excellence” and earned CEO of the Year, Faculty of the Year, and Student Success Awards.  

For the third consecutive year, HCCC was selected as one of 18 community colleges in the United States to be named among the “2024 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges” by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) in collaboration with “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.” The College was one of 22 community colleges in the nation, and the only college in New Jersey, to be recognized by ModernThink LLC and the “Chronicle of Higher Education” as a 2022 and 2023 “Great College to Work For®.” HCCC is one of two colleges in the United States to be named a Top Ten Finalist in all three program categories for the nationally recognized 2023 Bellwether Awards, and received the 2023 Bellwether Award for the College’s cutting-edge “Hudson Scholars” program, which also won the 2024 Bellwether Legacy Award.

The College’s exemplary work in advancing student success has been recognized with 2023 “Leader College of Distinction” designation by Achieving the Dream, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing community colleges as catalysts for equity and mobility in their communities. HCCC was also presented the Campus Prevention Network Seal of Prevention in 2023 and 2024 for demonstrating leadership in digital prevention programming focused on student safety, well-being, and inclusion.