By Mayra Castro and Ramon Lontok
LBCC teachers were honored at the LAC on Wednesday, May 15, at the teacher appreciation lunch, an event as part of the “know your college, know your colleague” series aimed to inform and connect teachers and their colleagues.
During the opening presentation, Mary Marki, who is the chair of the Academic Senate committee in charge of the event, said, “The LBCC faculty are truly the strength of this institution. They deserve respect and acknowledgment and that’s what we’re doing here today.”
Each student who nominated a teacher gave a short presentation informing the audience the impact their teacher has had on them. After each presentation concluded, nominated teachers were invited to stand in front of the audience where they were each handed a certificate.
Xiomara Melendez, 19, a sociology major, nominated sociology professor Karyn Daniels for the event. “Her class was really tough but her lectures were very interesting, and I thought that made the class fun,” Melendez said in regards to Daniels. “I had one bad sociology professor in high school and it made me hate the subject but (Daniels) rekindled my love for it and reminded me why I want to major in sociology.”
Ephraim Ballesteros, 24, a history major who nominated part-time history teacher Michelle Ferry, said, “Ferry’s class inspired me to rebuild my academic life. I like to think of it as atoning for the past.”
Aside from Daniels and Ferry, other teachers honored were Fred Beebe, Scott Brueckner, Stacey Clark-Smith, Cathy Crane, Marshall Fulbright, Eugene Goss, Linda Huy, Greg Joseph, Maureen Mason, Patrick McKean, Lynne Misajon, Adrian Novotny, Lisa Orr, Velvet Pearson, Mary Perrot and Laura Wheeler.
Marki, who teaches history and political science, was also honored at the event.
Lauren Christine Ho, 25, an administration of justice major who honored Joseph, said, “I nominated Dr. Joseph because he teaches a subject that is considered boring, but found a way to make it interesting. He has an open-door policy and always encourages us students to talk to him.”
The teacher appreciation lunch acknowledged the winners of the faculty innovation grant as well, which selected project proposals from different faculty members who will be awarded up to $2,500 in grant money to carry out innovative projects.
The winners of the grant were Julian De Gaudio and Janet Hund for their project “Understanding ‘Coming Out’ in Long Beach,” Joan Zuckerman and the life science teachers for “Learning 3D Human Musculature by Building Clay Models,” and Ray Sumner and John Menary for “Field Experiences in Geography.”
After the event, philosophy professor Debbie Whittaker, who is also a member of the Academic Senate committee, said, “It’s so inspiring and uplifting to see the students honor their instructors and it’s nice to be in a positive environment.”