Winner List 2016

Community College (Educator Recognition)

2016 Award Recipients

Educator Recognition

Paloma Arnold
Academic Counselor
Santa Barbara City College
Santa Barbara, CA

“Professor Davis has been the most influential professor I have ever had. From the day that I stepped into her office, she was willing to assist me not only on course work but also on my overall academic career. Inside of her classroom, she is passionate about history. She engages her students, encouraging them to think critically about history and how it has affected our lives. These are just a few reasons why I nominate Julie Davis as the community college educator who most positively influenced my academic development.” -Nominated by Tania Reyes

Dipen Bhattacharya
Physics
Moreno Valley
Moreno Valley, CA

“Dr. Bhattacharya has an engaging teaching style and always encouraged discussion and questions during his class. He set high expectations to motivate each of us to challenge ourselves. He created unique and dynamic Physics labs to augment the theoretical concepts and examples we covered in class. Dr. B has inspired me to pursue higher degrees in the field of math, and I want to thank him for his encouragement.” -Nominated by Nafisa Arain

Donald Buchanan
Geology
San Bernardino Valley College
San Bernardino, CA

Nominated by Heather Ashley Bilton

Matthew Carlson
Chemistry
Irvine Valley College
Irvine, CA

“Dr. Matthew Carlson inspires,  empowers, and  engages. He is one of the most amazingly warm, understanding, caring and humorous professors I have ever had the privilege of knowing. After taking his course, I have come to truly love learning chemistry. To me, his class was life-changing.” -Nominated by Cornelia Mintong Lin

Mariam Castroconde
Mathematics
Irvine Valley College
Irvine, CA

“Dr. Castroconde is an amazing professor who enabled me to develop a strong foundation to tackle the difficult coursework at UCI!” -Nominated by Heran Patel

Susanna Chan
Counselor
DeAnza College
Cupertino, CA

“Susan Chan is the best counselor I have ever met. She is responsible, kind, and patient. She tries to make sure all her students are on the right track, and she is willing to answer all the questions about academics and life that a student might have. I appreciate all the help she offered during my days back in De Anza College.” -Nominated by Jiahao Zhang

Jonathan Cole
Physics
MiraCosta College
Oceanside, CA

Nominated by Thomas Schmidt

Julie Davis
History
Cerritos College
Norwalk, CA

“Professor Davis has been the most influential professor I have ever had. From the day that I stepped into her office, she was willing to assist me not only on course work but also on my overall academic career. Inside of her classroom, she is passionate about history. She engages her students, encouraging them to think critically about history and how it has affected our lives.  These are just a few reasons why I nominate Julie Davis as the community college educator who most positively influenced my academic development.” -Nominated by Rodolfo Medina

Linda Diaz
Educational Advisor for the Honors Program
Mt. San Antonio College
Walnut, CA

“Linda Diaz is the reason why I am making my dreams come true at UCI today . She not only guided me through the process, but she was the first person ever  to  support me and she showed  me that I was not alone in my journey towards higher education.” -Nominated by Stephania Gonzalez 

Daphne Dionisio
Psychology
Glendale Community College
Glendale, CA

Nominated by Camila Zhao yingying

Gabriela Ernsberger
Computer Science
Orange Coast College
Costa Mesa, CA

“I learned so much from Professor Gabriela Ernsberger’s classes, and I had fun while learning. She created a fair and challenging learning environment. I can honestly say that Mrs. Ernsberger’s classes were some of the most useful and helpful classes for me to grow as a computer scientist. I am truly grateful for her patience and encouragement as my teacher.” -Nominated by Kristine Khanh-trang Tran

Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar
Political Science
Santa Barbara City College
Santa Barbara, CA

“Dr. Eskandari is one of the best instructors I have been fortunate enough to learn from. He inspired me to pursue making a difference in healthcare and public health through policy, guided me in extracurricular projects by offering knowledge and resources, and supported me with recommendations as I applied  for further education. I would not be where I am today without his support.” -Nominated by Saurav Gangopadhyay

Isabella Feldman
Counseling (TRiO)
Palomar College
San Marcos, CA

Nominated by Karina Rodriguez

Brandon Floerke
English Honors
Fullerton College
Fullerton, CA

“Professor Brandon Floerke motivated me to learn and also taught me HOW to learn. He conveyed his passion for teaching to everyone, especially his students. His unique style of teaching was witty, effective, innovative and engaging. I was one of the many fortunate students who had the pleasure to take his class. He is truly inspirational.” -Nominated by Jennifer Hernandez

Abra Flores
Theatre Arts
Ventura College
Ventura, CA

“Abra Flores is fantastic. She is so intelligent and talented, and you can tell it’s important to her that her students go on to work hard and be successful.” -Nominated by Macaria Guadalupe Chaparro Martinez

Greg Fry
Mathematics/Computer Science
El Camino College
Torrance, CA

“Professor Greg Fry has taught me a large chunk of my most important Computer Science courses, such as data structures. His encouraging teaching and testing style have more than prepared me for the academic challenges I have experienced thus far at UC Irvine. This is not to say that his classes were easy, though – I felt challenged to think in his courses, more so than in most other courses. I was tasked to begin projects from scratch, which required a full understanding of the subject on my part, as opposed to the rather confusing skeleton code and preliminary work provided in some of my other classes. It was a lot of work but all of it paid off and all of it mattered in the end. I hope to be like Professor Fry when I become a professor in the future.” -Nominated by Langston Richard Chandler

Donovan Gaytan
English
Orange Coast College
Costa Mesa, CA

“In my community college experience, Professor Gaytan was the instructor who was most available to his students. He made a three-hour night class captivating while also helping me gain confidence in my ability to read and write and my ability to succeed after transferring.” -Nominated by Jason David Moreno

Kirill Gliadkovsky
Applied Music
Saddleback College
Mission Viejo, CA

“Dr. Gliadkovsky was my piano instructor for one year in the Applied Music program at Saddleback.  I had a private lesson with him every week in order to prepare for my 3 piano performances in front of faculty and students each semester. I learned so much from him.” -Nominated by Carrie Marie Carbonneau

Jarren Gonzales
Psychology
Orange Coast College
Costa Mesa, CA

“Dr. Gonzales has been the most influential teacher I have ever had in my academic career. I took three classes with him. I also went to Cambridge, England with him through a study abroad program at OCC. Dr. Gonzales has served as mentor to me, and never in my life have I had a teacher who took the time to get to know me as well as he did. Dr. Gonzales truly has the best interests of his students at heart.” -Nominated by Summer Cheyenne Fox

Eugene Goss
Political Science
Long Beach City College
Long Beach, CA

“Professor Goss was so passionate and enthusiastic when he taught political science that I became more interested. He encouraged students to participate in class, a method that helped me to understand different perspectives and get more invested in the class. I value and appreciate his teachings, advice, and guidance. When I was in the process of choosing a university, I turned to him for advice, which is how I came to be a student at UCI. Professor Goss was a big part of my college career and has left some big shoes for other professors to fill.” -Nominated by Sarah Clarissa Bennett

Sanjai Gupta
Mathematics
Irvine Valley College
Irvine, CA

Nominated by Pasha Khosravi

Vera Holder
Communication Studies
Santa Ana College
Santa Ana, CA

“Professor Vera Holder has had a profound impact on my academic development. . She enthusiastically expressed her faith that I would do great things. She, by example, taught me how to be resilient under every circumstance. Her positivity still brings me joy even today. She is an amazing person who I think of as my second mother and friend.” -Nominated by David Salgado Gonzalez

Bonnie Hsia
English
San Jose City College
San Jose, CA

“Mrs. Hsia was the driving force behind my academic career at SJCC. There were times when I didn’t know if I was cut out for higher education, but she motivated me to excel and achieve my dreams, no matter what. Thank you, Bonnie.” -Nominated by Bahareh Mayel Afshar

John Ison
English Department
Fullerton College
Fullerton, CA

“Dr. Ison motivated me to be engaged in class and to reach my full potential. Through his class, I discovered my writing style and who I am as a writer. He is one of the most dedicated professors I have ever had.” -Nominated by Tina Nguyen

Chris Juzwiak
English Literature
Glendale Community College
Glendale, CA

“Professor Juzwiak was one of my favorite educators of all time. His class was challenging in the best way. His kindness and encouragement through the feedback he gave us on our essays made me confident that I could actually be a high school English teacher one day. He was a great professor that put in extra hours to help out his students and maintained a positive attitude that kept us moving forward as a class. He deserves to be rewarded because he is the best professor at Glendale Community College that I have ever had, and my hope is to take his teaching methods with me when I graduate.” -Nominated by Drizelle Anne Baluyot

Jeff Kaufmann
Biology
Irvine Valley College
Irvine, CA

“Dr Jeff Kaufmann is IVC’s finest instructor.” -Nominated by Nathan Jack Nellessen

Joshua Knapp
Psychology
Mt. San Antonio College
Walnut, CA

“Dr. Knapp inspired me to major in psychology and work towards becoming a clinical psychologist. Without him, I would never have come to UCI or achieved this my high academic success.” -Nominated by Rebecca Wu

Ann Krooth
English
Diablo Valley College
Pleasant Hill, CA

Nominated by Cindy Soputra

Kevin Mello
Accounting
DeAnza College
Cupertino, CA

Nominated by Sheila Stefani

Kevin Mello
Accounting
DeAnza College
Cupertino, CA

“Professor Kevin Mello is the best accounting professor in De Anza College. I took his accounting courses, and learned much more than that. He makes the subject practical and interesting. He encourages and inspires students to study, and also gives out advice about life.” -Nominated by Jiahao Zhang

Jennifer Merrill
Social Sciences (Psychology)/Creative Arts
Skyline College
San Bruno, CA

“Professor Jennifer  Merrill has a passion for teaching psychology, and made me really love the subject. Before attending Skyline College, I had never taken a psychology course or even known what the broad term “psychology” meant. After taking two courses with Professor Merrill, I am now majoring in Psychology and Social Behavior at UC Irvine.” -Nominated by Tomiko Angelina Cairo

Aaron Morris
Biology
Santa Ana College
Santa Ana, CA

“Dr. Aaron Morris is a very good teacher who makes science become simple and interesting. He always encourages students to love and protect the environment.” -Nominated by Trang T. Nguyen

Sharon Nussenbaum
Academic Counselor
Saddleback College
Mission Viejo, CA

“Sharon Nussenbaum has tackled a number of projects here at Saddleback, including coordinating the EOPS program. She particularly enjoys teaching Applied Psychology courses, career counseling, and being a member of the Crisis Intervention Team. I wouldn’t be here at UCI without Professor Nussenbaum’s help and her patience with all of my questions.” -Nominated by Elyssa Nicole Melmet

Jeffrey Pedroza
Psychology
Santa Ana College
Santa Ana, CA

“Professor “Spidey” Pedroza is one of the most enthusiastic and wise professors that I have met. He is always ready to help his students succeed, and his lectures are captivating and inspirational.” -Nominated by Mette Elvira Dempster

Steven Pfeffer
Political Science
Moorpark College
Moorpark, CA

Nominated by Adib Babaei

Lien Pham
Psychology
Orange Coast College
Costa Mesa, CA

“I took both Research Methods and Social Psychology with Dr. Lien Pham. She really helped lay a solid foundation for my ongoing studies at UCI.” -Nominated by Luke Allan Hamilton

Joseph Roberson
Counseling
Los Angeles Pierce College
Woodland Hills, CA

Nominated by Michael Alexander Bender

Anderson Sandiford
English
Riverside City College
Riverside, CA

“Dr. Anderson Sandiford has been my mentor, one of my biggest supporters, and by far the most positively influential college educator in my academic career. He has continued to support my academic endeavors even after my departure from community college, and for that I am forever grateful.” -Nominated by Tracy Denise Corley

Teresa Scarbrough
Honors Program Coordinator – Literature and Langua
Orange Coast College
Costa Mesa, CA

“Mrs. Teresa Scarborough provided me with outstanding support during my experience in Orange Coast College. She helped me to get ready for the Honors Conferences at UCI (HTCC) and Stanford, where I presented my research. She was an amazing inspiration and the person to go to for any academic endeavors that I wanted to implement. She took a special role in my life as well as the lives of many other talented young scholars at Orange Coast College.” -Nominated by Elizaveta Harvey

Benjamin Stefonik
Psychology
Foothill College
Los Altos Hills, CA

Nominated by Cindy Fransisca

Nathan Stuffel
Theatre
Long Beach City College
Long Beach, CA

“Nate Stuffel has been an inspiration since the very first time I met him. He was my scenic design teacher. He has encouraged me to keep up with my schoolwork and pursue higher education. He has acted as a counselor and mentor for me during my time at LBCC and to this day.” -Nominated by Marc Joseph Steele

Bennet Tchaikovsky
Accounting
Irvine Valley College
Irvine, CA

“Professor Tchaikovsky is a respected professor who includes real-world applications in his lectures. Not only have his courses guided my career path, but he continues to act as a mentor to me. I appreciate all the time and career advice he has provided to me.” -Nominated by Vanessa Gonzalez

Leah Walden-Hurtgen
Anthropology
Golden West College
Huntington Beach, CA

Nominated by Annie Chounramany

Doug Yegge
Mathematics
Chaffey College
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

“Professor Yegge is extremely passionate about math. He really believes anyone can become proficient and excel in math. He does not let his students walk away from his classes discouraged. Furthermore, he has the patience to explain until his students understand.  He inspires and instills the necessary skills, confidence, and aptitude for math that students need. In Professor Yegge’s math classes, math was fun again, and I was able to flourish.” -Nominated by Sarah Louise Mcmillan

Michael Young
Physics
Santa Barbara City College
Santa Barbara, CA

“Dr. Young is by far one of the best teachers I have ever had in my life. Not only does he have an infectious passion for physics and a knack for making difficult concepts easy and accessible, but he also has a genuine desire to help students. My critical thinking and problem solving abilities were vastly improved as a result of taking his classes, and he is one of the main reasons why I am currently on track to obtain a degree in electrical engineering. It was truly a privilege to be his student.” -Nominated by Ruthannah Hope Wang

Heydar Zahedani
Mathematics
MiraCosta College
Oceanside, CA

Nominated by Thomas Schmidt

Scott Ziegler
Alternate Media
Glendale Community College
Glendale, CA

“I am a student who is completely blind and receives accommodations from UCI’s Disability Services Center. Scott Ziegler formed part of the accessibility team back at my community college and has been one of the most important professional figures in my academic career for simply making my materials accessible to me. He went out of his way to make sure professors and I had good communication, and he would often lend an ear during tough times. Though he is not strictly a teacher/counselor, I feel he is more than deserving of this nomination for encouraging me the way he has.” -Nominated by Carlos Michael Martinez