Faculty Awards and Honors

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Faculty Excellence Awards 2009-2010

2009/2010 Faculty Excellence Award recipients:

Tom GareyOscar ZavalaBronwen Moore Sally Saenger - Rob DependahlNick Arnold Gail Reynolds

 

Tom Garey (Theater Arts)-Faculty Excellence Award Recipient, September 2009   

Tom, who is professor, director, and chair of the SBCC Theater Design and Technology Department, has worked at SBCC for 34 years.

Tom Garey

 

What teaching tip or counseling advice do you have for other faculty?

Listen to your students.  Discover what interests then, and find a way to connect what you are teaching to it so it becomes a discovery.

Students think they know everything.  When they discover something new, and it connects to what they care about, they get energized.

What "Words of Wisdom" do you have for other faculty?

Keep your own learning curve going.  Try to take one new thing that you have learned into the classroom every day.

What careers or jobs did you have before working at SBCC?

Specification detailer - Telephone Central Office Systems (Western Electric),

Engineering Associate - Nuclear Reactor Instrumentation Systems (Westinghouse Defense and Space Center, Stagehand,

Freelance Scenic and Lighting Designer, Theatre Technical Director.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

  • My father - an "old world" engineer who taught me to be meticulous and to care about everything I do.
  • Gordon Caudill (University of Maryland) - He taught me how to put my "angry young man" behind me.
  • Leland Strasburg (UCSB) - He taught me how to look at the world so I could put it on stage.
  • My students - because I learn from them every day.

What is your favorite student line or excuse?

"Shakespeare wrote plays written by somebody else."

What do you love about your job?

Living in paradise, teaching and creating at a college that supports the arts, doing plays that are worth doing and having the freedom to explore their

potential, working with and for colleagues for whom I have profound respect, and in all of this, being able to touch people's lives.

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?

Getting the Drama/Music project done (in progress).

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

In an earlier life, I was seriously planning to be an engineer.  In fact, I started college as an engineering major.

 

 

Oscar Zavala (Counseling)-Faculty Excellence Award Recipient, October 2009

Oscar, who is an associate professor and counselor, has been at SBCC for 20 years. 

He received his B.A. in Sociology from UCSB and his M.A. in Education with an option in Educational Psychology,

Counseling and Guidance from California State University Northridge.  

 Oscar Zavala

 What teaching tip or counseling advice do you have for other faculty?

Document your work.

What "Words of Wisdom" do you have for other faculty?

Professional development is a wonderful opportunity to sharpen your skills and learn what best practices are being offered at other colleges.

What careers or jobs did you have before working at SBCC?

I was a counselor in a juvenile hall for a few years.  I then worked as a Probation Office aide for a few more years.

My best job other than my current one, was working as the UCSB representative through the office of Relations with Schools and Admissions.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

My wife for teaching me to be a good parent and Dr. John Sonquist, Sociology Professor, who sparked my interest in the field of sociology.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Surfing, travel, reading, and yoga.

What do you love about your job?

I have absolutely loved working with students and guiding them through the decision-making process.

I also feel so blessed to work with a great group of counselors in my department.  They make coming to work easy.

I love the overall friendly environment we all work in and you can't beat the view!

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?

Earning my master's degree.  This ultimately led to being able to work at SBCC as a counselor!

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

When I earned my master's degree, there were less than two percent Hispanics with master's degrees in the U.S.

What is your personal motto?

It makes a difference to this one.  This is based on the tale of thousands of starfish washed up on the shore and a boy tossing them back in.

A man stops him and asks, what difference does it make, you can't possibly save them all!

And the boy replies looking at the starfish in his hand, it makes a difference to this one.

 

Bronwen Moore (Math)-Faculty Excellence Award Recipient, November 2009

Associate Professor of Mathematics, Bronwen Moore has worked at SBCC for eight years.  She received her B.A. degree from UC Santa Cruz and her M.A. from Stanford University.

 Bronwen FEA

 What teaching tip do you have for other faculty?

Experience does not always equal wisdom.  The more experience I gain, the more I have to fight to keep an open mind regarding my students.

They are always more than they appear to be, and the more aware I am of this fact, the more enjoyable my job becomes .

What "Words of Wisdom" do you have for other faculty?

Collaboration improves everyone.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

Chuc Kemesu, he taught mathematics to inner city ninth graders in Oakland.  By the time I met him he was a veteran teacher, and he continued to be relentless in his efforts to reach the kids he loved.  His standards stayed high, and for this his students returned his love.  In my first year of teaching he drove across town to mentor me, not for me but for my students.  He taught me everything I know about group work, and in a sea of apathy and in an environment where the feeling of being overwhelmed on a daily basis was completely understandable and acceptable, he remained a shining example of effectiveness fueled by intense caring.

What is your favorite student line or excuse?

Once an amazed algebra student exclaimed "Oh my gosh! This information is totally connected to what you were teaching us in the last class!"

He was sincerely amazed, and this experience of connectivity in a math class was totally new to him.

What do you love about your job?

I love the support I get from my colleagues and dean.  I love the positive feedback I get from my students.  I love the challenge of making things new each year.

I love the new and always interesting interactions I have with my students.  Most of all, I love guiding students through material that had one scared and/or defeated them, witnessing their success and joy in gaining understanding.

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?

I have two extremely happy, healthy teenage children.  They know so much more about who they are then I did when I was their age.  Of course, they are ultimately responsible for this major accomplishment, but I am very proud to be their mother.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

I have a vision disorder that is rather severe.  For this reason, I am a member of the Braille Institute, an organization to which I am very grateful.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A loving family, a great and rewarding job, a wonderful environment in which to live and work, and some sense of security.

What is your personal motto?

Things don't matter, people (and dogs!) do.

 

 

Sally Saenger (Continuing Education)-Faculty Excellent Award Recipient, December/January 2010

An instructor in Physical Education and Fitness, Sally has worked at SBCC for 27 years.  She received her B.S. degree in recreation from the University of Hawaii and her M.Ed. with an emphasis on physical education from Azusa Pacific University.

 Sally FEA

What "Words of Wisdom" do you have for other faculty?

Be contagious! Stay current and enthusiastic about your subject and your passion will transfer to others.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

My parents have always been the most influential teachers in my life, setting high standards and being excellent role models.

What is your favorite student line or excuse?

In my Swimming for Conditioning class; "Can I get extra credit for surfing? I have to swim a lot when I lose my board."

What are your hobbies/interests?

Surfing, traveling, good TV or film, reading, hiking with my husband.

What are you reading now?

My last notable book was The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson.

What do you love about your job?

Too many things to list here! I especially love how I can positively affect someone's quality of life.  It's the best feeling to be a catalyst for affirmative change.

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?

Being able to live in Santa Barbara and not go broke is a feat in itself.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

The right balance of challenge and serenity.

What is your favorite place in the world?

A warm, tropical place where there are perfect waves, friendly people, interesting culture, great food and my husband by my side.

What is your personal motto?

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." (Churchill)

 

 

Robert Dependahl (Computer Science)-Faculty Excellent Award Recipient, February 2010

Professor of Computer Science Rob Dependahl has worked at SBCC for 30 years.  he received his B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Oregon and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

 Rob FEA

 What teaching tip or counseling advice do you have for other faculty?

Engage your students personally to participate actively in their SBCC experience.  Education is not a bystander sport.  Students do not learn much simply sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing pre-packaged assignments, and reciting answers.  Effective learning requires that they think about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences and apply it to their daily lives, making what they learn part of themselves.  Encouraging these traits can enhance student learning as well as your own teaching experience.

What "Words of Wisdom" do you have for other faculty?

A passionate love of your discipline and profession is a must, as is a sincere desire that each student be bettered, daily.  Applying your own passion for your chosen discipline in the classroom dramatically enhances the learning experience, enabling students to excel far beyond what they might otherwise expect.

What careers or jobs did you have before working at SBCC?

Out of college, I worked at the Holiday Inn, in Goleta, making $2 an hour, looking, waiting, and hoping for that first opportunity in computer science.  It came six months later when I was hired by Burroughs Corporation to design and implement an Operation System for their B-1700 computer product line.  Several years later, I accepted a new job working as Systems and Programming Manager for the Santa Barbara School District.  At this time, I also began teaching evening classes at SBCC. I soon became Director of Data Processing.  My final and best job decision was to come and teach full-time at SBCC.  Soon after employment, I became Department Chair of Computer Science, and was chair until Fall 2007.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

My most influential teacher was Dr. Richard Koch, a mathematics professor at the University of Oregon.  He'd come into the classroom every morning with the most unbelievable enthusiasm.  Sometimes he'd even hop up on the classroom front table.  Waving his arms, he'd point at the chalkboard to make a point.  Even thought I did not always understand his point, the fact that he was so enthused rubbed off on me.  I figured there must have been something in it for me! My teaching takes on many of the characteristics that he offered all those years ago.

What is your favorite student line or excuse?

After missing a class..."Hi Coach, I missed your last class...did I miss anything?"

What do you love about your job?

I surely love my chosen discipline.  I likewise love helping others.  And, you can't beat Santa Barbara! So, what could be better than teaching Computer Science, in Santa Barbara, at the best community college in the country?  I'm energized when students get 'turned on' to the ideas I share, when they choose to apply those ideas on their own in interesting ways, when their lives are changed for better, forever.  There is no finer discipline than teaching.  The personal rewards simply cannot be surpassed by any other life endeavor.

What is your favorite place in the world?

The classroom at Santa Barbara City College.  Outside Santa Barbara, it's a toss-up between Amsterdam (the best people-watching city in the world) and Paris (with its ambience and culture). But then again, its' hard to beat the surreal sense of God's creation when viewing the Milky Way on a clear summer night, in Bear Vally (High Sierra Nevada), California.

What is your personal motto?

"Enjoy this moment, for it will never come again."

 

Nick Arnold (Engineering)-Faculty Excellence Award Recipient, March 2010

Dr. Nick Arnold, Professor of Physics and Engineering, has worked in education for 13 years, the last seven at SBCC.  He received his A.S. in engineering from Sierra College, his B.A. in physics and applied math from UC San Diego, and both his M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UCSB.

 Nick FEA

 What teaching tip or counseling advice do you have for other faculty?

Use "Active Learning" techniques to include more students, which involve not lecturing for more than 15-minute intervals with student activities in between.

What "Words of Wisdom" do you have for other faculty?

If you want to implement something new, don't put it off- you will be just as busy next year.

What careers or jobs did you have before working at SBCC?
Worked as an electrical engineer for five years.  Taught engineering at Allan Hancock College for six years.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

Glen Wade, my Ph.D. advisor at UCSB, for many reasons.  One reason is that he encouraged us to write our own proposals for research funding which was very helpful in industry and academics.

What are your hobbies/interests?

Cycling, swimming, walks on the beach.

What do you love about your job?

Almost everything.  I enjoy working with people.

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?

Getting my Ph.D.

What is your favorite place in the world?

Santa Barbara

 

Gail Reynolds (English as a Second Language)-Faculty Excellent Award Recipient, April 2010

Assistant Professor of English/English as a Second Language, Gail Reynolds has worked in education for the past 30 years, the last 18 at SBCC.  She received her B.A. in Theatre Arts from UCLA and her M.A.T (TESOL) from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT.

 Gail FEA

What teaching tip or counseling advice do you have for other faculty?

Learn who your students are and what their interests.  Be available to them.

What "Words of Wisdom" do you have for other faculty?

Try to maintain a balanced life.

What careers or jobs did you have before working at SBCC?

Prior to coming to SBCC in 1991, I was a high school teacher in inner city L.A., for six years, including one year as a Fulbright Exchange teacher in Senegal, Wes Africa.  I also taught at L.A> Southwest College several nights a week.  I was a teacher training coordinator for Peach Corps in Poland the summer prior to beginning my teaching at SBCC.

I was a teacher trainer and program supervisor in refugee camps in Indonesia and Thailand for three years working with Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, and Laotian Hilltribe peoples including Hmong, Mien and Lahu.  This was through the U.S. government and Save the Children.  I taught in intensive English programs from my alma mater, SIT, at three campuses in Brattleboro, VTl, San Rafael, Calif., and Jacksonville, Fla.  I was a Peach Corps Volunteer (TEFL) in Togo, West Africa.

I was a substitute teacher on the Hualapai Indian reservation for one year after graduating from UCLA, prior to Peach Corps.  My only non-teaching job was a two year position working on a Women's Lung Cancer research project at USC Medical School when I returned from Southeast Asia.  I thought I might go get an MPH degree, but this job drove me back into teaching!

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

Mrs. Julie Barrie, my drama/speech teacher when I was in high school and at community college, was my most influential teacher.  She believed that I had acting talent and pushed me to pursue a career in theatre.  She was a warm-hearted, supportive and terrific teacher who made learning fun.

What is your favorite student line or excuse?

"I didn't see the homework assignment."

What are your hobbies/interest?

I love to travel.  I love the great outdoors and sports.  I'm a tennis player, swimmer, and hiker.  I love books and films about Africa.

What do you love about your job?

I love teaching motivated students who come from all over the world and who are from every walk of life.  TESOL is a wonderful field!  It's been my passport to learning about our world.

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?

I think that being able to adapt to living and working in different cultures under some difficult hardship conditions has been an accomplishment for me. The most amazing year of my life was spent on an island with few comforts and lots of humanity - Galang Refugee Camp in the South China Sea.  I learned to appreciate and value the simplest of things.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

I am a member of the SBCC Chapter of the Stuart Whitman Fan Club.

What is your favorite place in the world?

Tavenui Island in Fiji.

What is your personal motto?

Expect the Unexpected.

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