Jacqueline Palmer, D.P.E., is a consummate athlete whether she’s on the field or in the classroom. As a professor, program director for sport management, and previous director of athletics, she is known around campus for enthusiastically educating future generations.

Inspiring to lead

Before arriving at Mount Ida in 1987, Palmer worked as a Corporate Fitness Specialist for Xerox Corporation. In addition, she worked in higher education at the University of Bridgeport, High Point University, and Albertus Magnus College. In her current position, Palmer has created a curriculum for wellness education and sports administration with our hands-on, interactive classes.

“I believe in the mind, body, and spirit synergy for personal wellness,” said Palmer. “I workout six days a week and have run the Boston and Chicago marathons, biked 1000 miles with my older brother in England, Germany, Denmark, Canada, Alaska, and Italy. The last several years, I have competed in the summer 1.5 mile open swim on Cape Cod Bay to aid those in need of financial support for health care.”

Boston sports

Palmer’s active involvement in the Boston community has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Teaching in our sports-crazy city, our students care about winning in the competitive industry by landing a job in sport management, fitness, or recreation. Some students even pursue graduate studies to complete their master’s degree.

“Upon arriving at Mount Ida, I found that the college could be the center stage for expanded athletics for women and men,” stated Palmer. “You see this today with our 15 varsity teams, which are part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III.”

As a Mount Ida student, Jeffrey Megna, M.Ed., respected his funeral service professors for their expertise in classroom labs and lectures. Now, as Department Chair, Funeral Service Programs, Megna feels like he has returned home again to give back to our college that trained and educated him for the funeral service industry.

Sharing practical experience

With over 30 years of practical experience, Megna has worked in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts as a licensed embalmer, funeral director, and certified funeral service practitioner. In addition, Megna taught high school biology and anatomy/physiology for many years before deciding to teach at the college level.

“I truly believe this profession, much like teaching, is an art,” stated Megna. “We honor the deceased and their family by the manner in which we serve them; with dignity and respect. Perhaps the most rewarding part is hearing the words ‘thank you’ from a family member and knowing that you truly made a difference in their life.”

Applying skills to career

As Department Chair, Megna is heavily involved with developing course curriculums, but his favorite class to teach has always been Anatomy and Physiology. Through learning about the human body’s complexity from cell, to tissue, to organ, to system, to organism, students understand how each body part works in conjunction with each other. In the classroom, Megna also stresses the importance of building interpersonal skills with qualities such as understanding, patience, concern, and dedication.

“Our profession is truly one of service; we see people at their most vulnerable time,” said Megna. “Families look to us for direction and guidance. We as funeral service professionals should feel honored and privileged when called upon to serve the needs of others.”

All of our interior design professors at Mount Ida College come from different backgrounds, but share a common goal. They aim to prepare students to make a lasting contribution to the design of the human environment. Professor Jennifer Sarabia, M. Arch., understands the importance of transforming spaces, and possesses unique qualifications from her professional endeavors in the industry.

Innovation Studio

Before Sarabia joined the interior design program in 2006, she participated in the internationally recognized Charlie Cannon and Michael Singer’s Innovation Studio at the Rhode Island School of Design. During her graduate studies, she explored complex problems, such as the design of landfill mining operations, eco-industrial parks, power plants and municipal waste systems through an interdisciplinary approach. In addition, through founding her own interior design firm Sarabia/To Design, Inc., Sarabia began specializing in site specific residential architecture and interior design.

From her education and experience, Sarabia brings applied skills into the classroom. She teaches students how to design for a broad range of environments, including residential, office, retail and hospitality. Her courses include: Introduction to Interior Design, Office Design, Commercial Design, Environmental Design, Professional Practice, Environmental Building Systems, Universal and Inclusive Design and Thesis Advising.

Design explorations

Professor Sarabia’s wide-range of experiences provides much value to our students. Specifically, her interest in combining fine art with architectural design has lead to rousing class discussions and new approaches to studio projects. With Sarabia’s knowledge of biomimicry, a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and imitates the design to solve human problems, students are presented with innovative design solutions, which they can implement in their own class projects.

“Beautiful architecture and interior spaces comprise many different contributing aspects,” said Sarabia. “These aspects are both physical and psychological, and shape how we live, how we work, how we experience and how we perceive space.”