Faculty Bios

Faculty and Staff

Rachel Holmes / Residential Faculty and Teacher Ed. Program Director

Rachel Holmes currently serves as the Director of the Teacher Education Institute and Early Childhood programs at Estrella Mountain Community College and is a 6th year Residential Faculty member. Rachel was recently appointed as the EMCC Service Learning Faculty Coordinator and strives to lead the effort in integrating community service into the curriculum campus-wide to greatly enhance student learning and to positively impact the community as a whole. She holds a Master of Elementary Education degree from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Arizona State University West. In addition, she holds a Principal's Certificate and is certified in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education and Secondary English. Rachel has endorsements in both ESL and K-12 Reading. Her previous experience includes serving as Coordinator for iTeachAZ at Arizona State University. Rachel Holmes has taught both online and ground graduate-level Education and ESL courses at Grand Canyon University for over 10 years. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at Phoenix College and taught in the K-12 classroom for 10 years. Rachel is currently a Doctoral student pursuing her Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning with a specialization in Organizational Psychology degree through Aspen University.

Lisa Buccigrosse / Adjunct Faculty

Lisa Buccigrosse has been an Adjunct Faculty Member with Estrella Mountain Community College since 2005. She holds her BA from Rutger’s University in Spanish and her Master’s degree from Saint Joseph’s University in Elementary Education with a specialization in ESL and bilingual education. Her soon to be completed doctoral degree will be in Education Leadership with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction. She is a full-time Ottawa University Faculty Member in the School of Education at the Residential Campus in Surprise, Arizona. She has been an educator in a variety of capacities (teacher, professor, administrator, instructional coach, and mentor) since 2001 at both the elementary (K-8) and higher education levels. She has both online and face-to-face teaching experiences as well as course development and curriculum development for both modalities of instructing and learning. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Early and Middle Childhood with a specialization in English as a New Language. She is certified in the State of Arizona with Principal and Elementary Teaching Certificates and endorsements in Early Childhood, English as a Second Language, Bilingual Education (English/Spanish), and Gifted Education. Lisa also serves as a national presenter on different education topics with the National Education Association. For fun, Lisa enjoys traveling. She has traveled to over 27 foreign countries to expand her cultural awareness and understanding.  Additionally, she enjoys taking care of her adopted rescue animals.

Dr. Rachel Carignan / Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Carignan joined EMCC as an adjunct instructor in August 2012. She holds a BA in Elementary Education from ASU, a Maters in Early Childhood from NAU and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from NAU.  Dr. Carignan teaches courses in Early Childhood, Education and Reading. She has been in the field of education for over 15 years teaching kindergarten through fifth grade, providing Professional Development for teachers and coaching teachers. Her experience has provided her the understanding of what future teachers and professionals need to know to advance in their degree and career. She is passionate about teaching and believes that education is key for success.

Darren Causee / Adjunct Faculty

Darren Causee joined EMCC as an adjunct instructor during the spring of 2017. He has a BA in Secondary Education from Oklahoma State University and a Masters in Early Childhood from Northern Arizona University. Darren has been in the field of education since 2004. He began his teaching career in south Texas where he taught world history. In 2009, Darren had an opportunity to teach abroad in the United Arab Emirates where he taught first grade. He has taught kindergarten for 12 years and currently teaches in the Peoria Unified School District. Darren believes building relationships is the key to long-term success.

Genevieve Chairez / Adjunct Faculty 

Genevieve Chairez joined EMCC as an adjunct instructor during the fall semester of 2015. She holds a BA in Elementary Education with an emphasis on early childhood education from Arizona State University.  In addition, she received a master’s degree in Elementary Education with a reading endorsement from Northern Arizona University. Genevieve has been in the field of education for more than 15 years.  She began as an instructional assistant in the Washington Elementary School District (WESD) and is currently employed as a teacher at WESD.  She has been a primary teacher for 11 years.  Her experience in kindergarten and first grade has given her a vast knowledge in the field of early childhood education.  She also has seven years of experience teaching English language learners (ELL).  As an adjunct instructor at EMCC, she has had the opportunity to share and pass on her knowledge and experience to future educators.  She believes that anyone can learn given the right tools, attitude, and help!

Teresa Crosno / Adjunct Faculty

Teresa Crosno has been a passionate educator for more than 18 years. She is currently the adjunct professor for Child Development at Estrella Mountain Community College. She holds a Master's Degree in Secondary and Elementary Education and an Early Childhood Endorsement from the State of Arizona Department of Education. Teresa has a strong desire to help students connect their learning to real world situations. She is also currently employed as a teacher for 2nd grade in the public school system and has many first hand experiences from which to draw from. Her past education experiences range from birth to twelfth grade.

Amy Dorsett / Adjunct Faculty

Amy Dorsett joined EMCC as an adjunct professor during the spring 2020 semester. She has a BA in Early Childhood Education from ASU, and a MA in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Principalship. Additionally she has completed the Gifted Endorsement courses here at EMCC. Amy has been in the educational field since 2012 and has experience teaching kindergarten and third grade, as well as gifted cluster classes. At her school district she took on many leadership roles in the special education department including 504 Coordinator, and Gifted Task Force team member where she analyzed and re-wrote her district's gifted education curriculum. Additionally, Amy has many years of experience working with English Language Learners.

Dr. Felicia Durden

Dr. Felicia Durden is an accomplished Educator with over twenty years of experience in Education. She holds her Doctorate of Education degree in Educational
Leadership, Master's Degree in Curriculum & Instruction, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature. Dr. Durden has taught grades K-12, served as an Assistant Director of Reading and Writing, Principal, and currently serves as
Associate Superintendent of High Academic Standards for Students for the Arizona Department of Education. Dr. Durden has a passion for assisting student growth in reading and writing.

Jamie Theresa Lopez / Adjunct Faculty

Jamie Theresa Lopez, M.A.Ed., has over two decades of experience as an educator. She taught elementary school for ten years. During that time, she was successful in the classroom and as a leader in the school. Jamie has spent the last ten years as an adjunct instructor for Early Childhood Education and ESL at Estrella Mountain Community College and for New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development. She has presented at numerous conferences. She brings a passion for learning and great energy into all that she does. Jamie is currently a doctoral student in Family and Human Development at the T Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.