Heidi Getchell-Bastien, J.D.
Department of Criminal Justice and Government
Professor Getchell-Bastien joined MassBay Community College in the Fall of 2018. She teaches criminal justice and government courses, advises the Civic Engagement and Student Advocacy Club, and serves as the campus Civic Engagement Coordinator. In January of 2022, she was awarded the MassBay Distinguished Faculty Scholarship Award.
Professor Getchell-Bastien is an enthusiastic proponent of community colleges. When she graduated from high school, she was uncertain if she had the academic or financial ability to attend a four-year college. She enrolled at Northern Essex Community College (NECC) in Haverhill, Massachusetts and found the opportunity to develop her confidence, improve her academic skills, and obtain resources to plan for her future. After two years at NECC, she transferred to Bradford College and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. Then, she continued her studies at Suffolk University Law School and earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1997. She passed the Massachusetts Bar Exam and received her license to practice law the same year.
After several years of litigating criminal cases in Massachusetts courtrooms, she started teaching night courses at NECC and discovered that her personal experience juggling community college courses, employment, internships, and commuting gave her a valuable insight into the challenges her students were facing. Professor Getchell-Bastien then spent many years teaching part-time and practicing law part-time. Eventually, she felt that she could make a greater contribution to her community as an educator than as a litigator, and she transitioned to teaching full-time.
Since 2008 Professor Getchell-Bastien has taught in a variety of environments, including an alternative high school for students with demonstrated academic and behavioral challenges, a vocational high school for youths interested in law enforcement, an honors program at an inner-city high school, a restorative justice program at a prison, and dual-enrollment programs at Merrimack College and Framingham State University. Professor Getchell-Bastien truly enjoys working at a community college and feels she has come full circle back to an environment she loves. In addition to teaching at MassBay, she currently serves as an advisor to the college’s Institute for Trauma, Adversity, and Resilience in Higher Education, participates in the Department of Higher Education’s Community College Civic Engagement Leaders Network, and serves on the advisory board to the Legal and Protective Services Program at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School.