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2009 Staff & Faculty Appreciation Breakfast

2009 Staff & Faculty Appreciation Breakfast

The order of the day was to wear a Hawaiian shirt to the annual Staff & Faculty Appreciation Breakfast, held this past May 27th in the Student Center. The table center pieces had a Hawaiian theme and were constructed using bamboo, miniature pineapples and anthuriums, arranged by students in the Floral Design classes. President Wes Bryan welcomed the 170+ attendees and kicked off the program by honoring the 15 retiring colleagues who represented 425 years of service to GWC. Retiring faculty members included Brian Blackburn, John Grajeda, Cherie Kay, Suey Quan, Harvey Reynolds, Dave Walker and Bud Yeargain. Retiring classified employees included Elizabeth Bowers, Cathy Edmonson, Dolores Harper, Gladys Lavoie, Frank Maldonado, Pam Peconic, Michelle Schroeder and Scott Steidenger.

The college was pleased to have the Schools First Credit Union as a second year sponsor for this event.

CONGRATULATIONS AND BEST WISHES TO ALL THE HONOREES!

TEACHER OF THE YEAR

David Moore, Professor, History
Students appropriately have the honor of nominating faculty for this award. The Teacher of the Year Committee is a subcommittee of the Academic Senate, which ranks the student nominations and makes the final selection. David will be honored next fall with other secondary and post secondary faculty nominees for the Orange County Teacher of the Year Award in an impressive ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel.

EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR

Janet Houlihan presented the Employee of the Year award to IIdefonso, “Fonzy,” Flores

The outstanding group of Classified Employees of the month that were nominated included:
Anita Renninger, Academic Senate/ IPD & Staff Development
Fonzy, GroundsMichelle Schroeder, Student Health Center
Dale Slagle, College Support Services
Juli Van Dorn, New Media
Javier Alcala, International Students

CHARLIE SIANEZ EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE AWARD

Dr. Joyce Bishop, Professor, Psychology

This award honors a full or part time staffmember who has exhibited exceptional service to the college or the community for a particular activity, over time, or to colleagues.
Dr. Joyce Bishop – In addition to being a wonderful teacher and campus leader, Joyce is a founder and member of the board of directors of Pathways to Independence, a non-profit organization that serves young women in Long Beach and Orange County who are living below the poverty level, who come from an abusive background, and who have a serious desire to receive an education and become financially and socially self-sufficient. Since its inception in 1991, Pathways has served over 230 young women and roughly 80% of those entering the program succeed in graduating from college and becoming independent, contributing members of society.

Nominations were solicited campus wide and were rated by this year’s task force. This was not an easy decision—all the nominees were very deserving. Four finalists’ names were recommended. The three runners up were were Dr. Arnold Brender, a part-time Physician in the Student Health Center and provides pro bono services to the Athletic Teams; Noreen Yoshida-Peer, Staff Assistant Senior-Technical Support Services; Norma Pollaro, Administrative Assistant to Vice President of Instruction.

MANAGER OF THE YEAR

Ron Lowenberg
Lois Miller at a Coast Community College District Management Association picnic this past June introduced Ron Lowenberg as the Manager of the Year. Ron is entering his 6thyear as Dean and Director of the Golden West College Criminal Justice Training Center. Ron is a retired police chief with over 35 years of experience. GWC has been the recipient of the talent that allowed him to command one the most prestigious law enforcement agencies in California.

Let me tell you about some of the innovative programs that I mentioned earlier. There are many examples, but here are just a few that have been created recently through his personal contacts and influence in the private and government sectors to benefit GWC students, college staff, and the community we serve:

Ron was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger as one of 14 commissioners for the CA Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) - POST regulates all police training and hiring standards in California. Last year, Ron served as the chair of this committee.

Ron has worked the past three years to secure funding for a weapons simulator training facility to be constructed at GWC, through his contact and working relationship with House of Representatives in the U.S. Congress, and local police educators.
Ron has been instrumental in establishing the Returning Combat Veterans Scholarship Program - The scholarship program is dedicated to those who have served in all branches of the military. It is designed to financially assist these fine citizens as they return to their communities following military service. Through this program, qualified veterans can attend the GWC Police Academy with all expenses paid.

Yet another program Ron has established is the Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) Program - Dealing with the mentally ill is a challenging task for law enforcement personnel. GWC’s CIT program is funded through a state grant in cooperation with the Orange County Department of Mental Health and allows GWC to train 1,000 peace officers, within the next two years, in techniques in how to effectively deal with the mentally ill.

And, last but certainly not least, Ron was recently given a very special award by Pope Benedict XVI. It is called the Benemerenti Medal. Pope Gregory XVI (1832) instituted this medal which he called merit-medal to reward civil and military daring and courage.
We cannot think of a more qualified person to be the “Manger of the Year” than Ron Lowenberg. Ron epitomizes the definitions of dedication, loyalty, character, professionalism and modesty.