Faculty Awards and Honors

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Faculty Excellence Awards 2011-2012

 Pam Guenther, Faculty Excellence Award Recipient, September 2011

Pam 09_2011 FEA

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

I "walked beans" and "detassled corn" growing up in Nebraska.  I then went on to be a waitress, a books-on-tape actress, a salesperson, an engraver, a tutor, and a relay call operator, before I finally became a teacher! I taught at Arizona State University and Mesa Community College before coming to SBCC.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

My most influential teacher was my eighth grade English teacher, Mrs. Thorell.  I had a pretty chaotic home life and often didn't feel like I fit in.  She was the one that kept telling me education was my ticket out and that I needed to focus on getting to college.  I also loved diagramming sentences! I try to remind my students that education is their ticket, too.

What is your favorite student line or excuse?

"Are we doing anything important today?"

What are you reading now?

I usually can't read much during the semester, but the last book I read was "Nutureshock.: It's about raising kids and what the research tells us about some of the parenting strategies we use these days.

What do you love about your job?
I love lots of things about my job.  I love that we get to meet new people (students) every semester.  Having taught at other schools were the math departments were a bit toxic, I love my department and colleagues.  I love that we have a campus culture focused on student success and innovation.  I could probably go on and on...

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?

My greatest challenge is trying to do this job the best that I can and also be a good mother to my two children.

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

I'm addicted to true crime novels and shows

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Cuddling with my kids on Saturday mornings in bed!

What is your favorite place in the world?

Though my kids think its Nebraska or Las Vegas, it's really just anywhere warm with no work to do!

What is your personal motto?


Blake Barron, Faculty Excellence Award Recipient, October 2011

Blake Barron 2011 FEA

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

Challenge and entertain your students at the same time.  Most students are eager to learn so set the bar for your students high and then give them specific support and learning techniques to help them build the rungs of their own ladder to greater understanding.  There is a difference between a teacher teaching and a student learning.  Just because you think you have taught a concept to a student does not mean they have actually learned it. Ask them.

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

I was a waiter and then a Teaching Assistant at UCSB that still waited tables.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

My parents who exposed me to as many wonders of the world as they could from an early age and helped me develop a sensible work ethic and the value of a hard day's work.

What is your favorite student line or excuse?

"My paper is done...really...I saved it on a flash drive, but my drunk roommate ate the drive."

What are you reading now?

Parasites - Tales of Humanities Most Unwelcome Guests by Rosemary Drisdelle and Stephen King's Under the Dome.

What do you love about your job?

I love to see the "light bulb effect", that satisfying alert expression of understanding and increased self-confidence on my student's faces.

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?

Trying to raise my young children to be happy decent citizens of this constantly changing world is both challenging and rewarding.

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

I have washed 800 pounds of clothes all at the same time.  I worked at an industrial laundromat to pay part of my tuition for one year at a private high school.  The washers and dryers came off of navy ships.  We mostly washed surgical linens and gowns from hospital and all the bodily fluids that came with them.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness is being in that moment that occurs when camping on a stream with my family with songbirds in the background, my laughing children playing in the water and my wife smiling in the sunshine.

What historical figure would you most want to meet?

Leonardo da Vinci - I like well rounded people.

What is your favorite place in the world?

Anywhere near a natural body of water larger than a bathtub.

What is your personal motto?

Be prepared...opportunities for personal and professional growth happen all the time.  I learned a lot as a boy scout.

 


 

Steve Conti, Faculty Excellent Award Recipient, November 2011

Steve Conti FEA 2011

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

When I'm having a rough day with students I try to remind myself that they are why I have a job.

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

I worked for the State assisting people with disabilities in obtaining employment.  I have worked in the food business.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

"Ace" Griffiths, taught the Counseling classes in grad school, who taught me that "attitude" really is everything.

What is your favorite student line or excuse?

"This will just take 2 minutes."

What are your reading now?

"The Summer Guest" by Justin Cronin.

What do you love about your job?

I love making a difference in people's lives.  Everybody gets a chance because of the Community College's open door policy.

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?

Raising my son.  The hardest/easiest and best thing I have ever done.

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

That I put myself through college by working with a traveling carnival, "Whitey Minetes' Traveling Carnival".

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being on a multi-day trip with good friends.

What historical figure would you most want to meet?

I would like to have dinner with Albert Camus.

What is your favorite place in the world?

There is a spot on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon that has a waterfall/pool surrounded by steep canyon walls and is filled with shade and lush vegetation.

What is your personal motto?

"It is what it is" (borrowed)

 



Cindy Bower, Faculty Excellence Award Recipient, February 2012

Cindy Bower

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

COLLABORATE with other faculty members.  We are blessed with numerous creative and talented instructors.

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

Of the variety I have had, these stand out as most enjoyable and influential; bank teller/new accounts officer, summer camp counselor and horseback riding instructor, executive assistant at a corporate agriculture firm, owned and operated a medical transcription business, medical surgical hospital nurse, and parent (the most difficult and rewarding of all)!

Who was your most influential teacher and why?
My husband.  He has taught me the joy of embracing all that life has to offer and graciousness.  I continue to learn...

What is your favorite student line or excuse?

It was due when??!!

What are your reading now?

The Future of Life by Edward O. Wilson and What Alice Forget by Liane Moriarty.

What do you love about your job?

I love working with students, future nurses, who are committed to the profession, and willing to work hard to accomplish their goals.  It's also incredibly rewarding to share deeply touching moments that occur during clinical rotations.

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?

Learning to be myself, relax, and have fun in front of a class full of students.

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

It was my own personal medial challenges that guided me into nursing as a career.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Inhaling a great big breath of the ocean, especially in the morning.  Savoring a cup of coffee and breakfast shared with girlfriends.

What historical figure would you most want to meet?

Paul Newman!

What is your favorite place in the world?

So many...waterfalls on Kauai and in the Sierras top the list.

What is your personal motto?

Remember the day's blessings; forget the day's troubles.

 


 

Dr. Paula Congleton, Faculty Excellence Award Recipient, March 2012

Paula Congleton 03_2012 FEA

 

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

When you commit yourself to something, you owe it to yourself and others to give your very best.  Define your personal standards so you can discover what turns your passion into action. 

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

Before moving to California, I was the Deputy Superintendent at the New Mexico Youth and Diagnostic Center.  It was very challenging and rewarding because it was a job that had never entered my thought process until I had an opportunity to work with a good friend of mine.

After that, my career has been in Kinesiology and Coaching Women’s Intercollegiate softball.  Prior to SBCC, in 1996 – 1997, I was an Assistant Professor at Cal State Eastbay University. 

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

Ms. Vidano, my High School Coach in Field Hockey, Basketball and Softball.  She was a mentor that provided guidance, support, and encouragement throughout my high school years. Coach Vidano’s experience and assurance helped me understand that my passion for sport and exercise could lead to a wonderful career. She also demonstrated daily what respect and standing for something meant. From that I learned never to be outworked, which motivated and inspired me to stay focused and determined. 

What is your favorite student line or excuse?

I know I didn’t turn in my homework, can you please give me extra credit! 

What are you reading now?

I just finished reading Queen of the Night by J.A. Jance.  A very dear friend went to a reading in Albuquerque, and J.A. Jance signed the book for her.  She gave it to me for my birthday. 

What do you love about your job?

I love the beginning of each semester because I meet so many students that are excited about their education.  I love that our school is constantly being recognized for its excellence.  I love that I get to live and teach in such a beautiful community.  I love that I get to share my passion for my career everyday through teaching and coaching.  I get to plant the seeds of greatness and I relish the opportunity to have an impact on student’s lives by creating an environment in which they can be successful.   Attitude is a choice, and I choose to be positive.  The choices I make with a positive and productive attitude prepare me to teach and coach with class.  A positive attitude is contagious and powerful!  

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?

I have been blessed with many great experiences in my life. The educational journey of pursuing and receiving my doctorate was a great personal accomplishment. I am also very proud of the acknowledgment I received for Faculty Excellence, and being named by four different organizations as the Coach of the Year in 2011.  As I delve into my early educational experiences, I would also included receiving a full-ride athletic scholarship to play softball at the University of New Mexico, playing in 3 College World Series, being named a 3 time Scholar All-American and graduating Magna Cum Lade and receiving a fellowship for my Master’s degree.  

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

That I was drafted in the first round of the Women’s Professional Baseball League in 1998 and La Vonne "Pepper" Paire, from “A League of their Own” Rockford Peaches and Phil Niekro of the Atlanta Braves were the General Managers of our team.  I would also guess that not many people know I ride Motorcycles and fly in Hot Air Balloons. 

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

My idea of happiness is contentment. Being happy with what I am today.  I think of happiness in terms of staying balanced and keeping things in perspective.  I believe that people act and feel like their environment. I like to put myself in environments that allow me to prosper.  A 10 day vacation in Maui isn’t half bad either! 

What historical figure would you most like to meet?

I would love to meet Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias.  She is recognized as one of the first and probably to this day one of the best female professional multisport athletes and a pioneer in women’s athletics.  She acquired her nickname because people thought she batted like Babe Ruth. She won two gold medals and one silver medal in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.  She won 82 professional golf tournaments and was invited to play in the Men’s 1945 Los Angeles Open.   She was named the Women Athlete of the Half Century in 1950. 

What is your favorite place in the world?

Since I still have a list of places I want to visit, this one is tough!  However, I will say Canmore, Alberta Canada.  The Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies are spectacular.  Canmore is nestled along the Bow River.  I fished, hiked, golfed, and canoed while enjoying the breath-taking views. 

What is your personal Motto?

PLC – Not only are these letters my initials they are my motto.  

Always be PREPARED by doing the little things right. 

LOVE what you do and it will show in your actions and attitude. 

Commit to the Dream, but know it takes work.


Dr. Dixie Budke, Faculty Excellent Award Recipient, April 2012

Dixie Budke 04 2012 FEA

 

 

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

Listen hard . . . pay attention to what students are saying to you, watch body language, understand that you are teaching new generation of students. . . they are not you. 

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

I have been in a work force for half a century! I have had the joy of working in all sectors from entry level to top management. I have been both a union member and a union negotiator. I advanced from selling hot dogs at Dodger Stadium to owning businesses with partners, being a business consultant (still active with that), working for Corporate America, was one of the first woman to cross blue collar ranks ( now that was fun!). Anyone remember “Comparable Worth Laws?” Was executive director of a non-profit organization, and became a teacher at SBCC. I believe my broad range of experiences, across work sectors and time, have given me a unique outlook on human and organizational culture. Patterns are predictable if you know what they are. 

Who was your most influential teacher and why? 

My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Latta because she said I could do anything and I believed her! 

What is your favorite student line or excuse?
"Yo. Dr. Budke …I know I haven’t done any of the class work, but can we make a deal here? I really gotta have an A in this class.” This email was sent me as I was submitting my grades. And my answer was…delete.
 

What are you reading now? 

I am a neuroscientist wanna-a-be. I am taking my first course in “Understanding the brain.” This is not a stretch from my interest in human development and behavior. 

What do you love about your job?

Being around learners. I understand the link between teachers as teachers and teachers as learners. I am always delighted with the insight my students give to me about their world. And it will be their world . . . with our guidance. 

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge? 

I have had many…of both… Count on them . . . that is life if you are pushing the edges. Watch for my book on that subject! 

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

That I earned a Doctorate degree. That was really the mind blower at my class reunion! Also that I was the head cheerleader and homecoming queen of my high school. 

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 

Living in an international community where a divergent population can come together in respectful discourse about important matters that improve the good of all. This is not a dream or a myth…it can exist if the community wills it. 

What historical figure would you most want to meet? 

Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She got it. 

What is your favorite place in the world? 

Lopez Island, Washington…or wherever my best friend/husband is. 

What is your personal motto? 

Dream big, follow your heart, persist, be kind, be honest. Period. As I have said many times. This is simple, but not easy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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