19 Apr

An Interview with Pam Pirog

Professor of Entrepreneurship and Accounting

To say that Professor Pam Pirog is an active member of the HCC community is an understatement. In addition to teaching entrepreneurship and accounting courses, she serves as the coordinator of entrepreneurial education, partnering with local colleges and organizations. She is the coordinator of HCC’s VentureLab and SCORE office, is co-coordinator of the HCC Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Center and has held the position of the Business Department’s Department Chair.

Pam also represents HCC in a variety of groups and community advisory boards. She participates in the Connecticut Consortium of Entrepreneurship Educators, and collaborates with faculty across the nation in the LUMENary program. She participates in the UB Innovation Center Advisory Board, CT Higher Education Group, as well as the CT Higher ED Economic Recovery and Workforce Development Working Group to aid the Bridgeport community. Pam also was a longtime member of the BRBC Women’s leadership Council.

Pam sees each initiative as an opportunity.

“In my career at Housatonic, I let every opportunity lead me to the next opportunity. I never say no to anything. If you seek opportunities, they come to you, and they keep stacking up. It’s exciting and fun and all in the name of helping students,” she said.

Pam’s latest initiative, one that she is particularly excited about, was bringing Open Educational Resources (OER) to high school students taking HCC courses.

“There was a hole in student success when it came to the high schools. They were using outdated textbooks and not using a learning management platform. I had reviewed Lumen textbooks for HCC and was able to get the high schools to use the Lumen OER textbook – an OER resource - and it solved this huge problem,” she said.

Pam’s driving motivation is to impact student success.

“All of these programs and initiatives I’m a part of are focused on having an impact and changing student’s lives, both on an individual level and on a macro level. To me, change is important, and being part of an innovative environment is exciting,” she said.

Pam knows a thing about making change. As a first-generation student herself, she can identify with Housatonic students that are trying to change their environment.

“I applaud that. I know how difficult that is to get out. Being first-generation educated you have to navigate yourself. I do this for the passion and excitement of the students that I’m educating, for them to see that they can get out. It’s worth every bit of energy I have,” she said.

When asked for a memorable moment across her more than 20 years at HCC, Pam recounted her time serving as the HCC China Project Coordinator and the trips to China and Costa Rica with students, but her favorite moments are when students shine at elevator pitch and business plan competitions.

“Seeing students pitch their elevator pitches and seeing them win - I’m on the edge of my seat. Watching the students at elevator pitch competitions and business plan competitions and being a part of that excitement is memorable. Seeing their knowledge grow and the professionalism as they step up to the plate to present, they shine. You see the light of the student at that moment,” she said.

Pam holds a Master of Business Administration from Anna Maria College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Spanish from Worcester State University. She currently lives in Monroe, CT with her husband and has recently taken up the ukulele to maintain her passion for music and continue to stretch herself