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

April 12, 2024

Dr. Li’s work to make science fun and accessible for HCCC students resulted in this national Award of Excellence from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

April 12, 2024, Jersey City, NJ – Thousands of community colleges across the United States are members of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and each has many talented and dedicated faculty members who make a transformational difference in the lives of their students. Each year, one of these faculty members is awarded the national association’s prestigious “Faculty Member of the Year” Award. This year, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) engineering science professor, Dr. Clive Li, took home this phenomenal honor.  

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.


Dr. Clive Li receiving the AACC award.

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.

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.”