On May 11, 2018 SBVC hosted the 23rd Annual Spotlighting Our Success Awards, an awards ceremony that celebrates our hardworking and dedicated staff and faculty. 

The night, hosted by Lisa Hepburn-Stroud and Todd Heibel, Ph.D., began with the Academic Rank Recognitions. 

  • Davena Burns-Peters, Kim Dubois-Eastman, Daihim Fozuni, and Anna Tolstova were recognized for receiving tenure. 
  • Jeffery Demsky, Ph.D., Edward Jones, Susan Mattson, Joan M. Murillo, David B. Smith, and Tatiana Vasquez advanced in academic rank to Associate Professors.
  • Manadi Batalo, Ed.D. advanced to full-time Professor, while Diane Dusick, Ph.d. and Laura M. Gomez advanced to Professor Emeritus. 


Award Winners

The winner of the Academic Success and Learning Achievement Award was:

Ernest Guillen
Library Technical Assistant II, Library & Learning Support Services

Ernest Guillen is a wonderful co-worker who is always ready to extend a warm welcome to his fellow co-workers. He gives his undivided attention to assist you with any concern, which extends towards the students too. His commitment to the committees on campus has expanded, yet through his busy schedule he carries on with a great positive attitude.





The winner of the Arts & Humanities Achievement Award was:

Linda Fisher-Butterfield
Adjuct Instructor, Art


Linda Fisher-Butterfield is probably one of the most supportive, compassionate, and hard-working faculty members we have on this campus. She always finds time to attend meetings, such as adjunct orientations, department meetings, and department events like our Art receptions. She also assists with Art Club and Friends of the Gallery activities when she can, such as the annual museum bus trips where she helps to make sure things go smoothly. Linda generously assists anyone who may need it, whether it is for a student who is struggling with their course work, or if an extra hand is needed preparing for department events or receptions. She genuinely cares about her students and wants each and every one of them to succeed to the best of their ability, and she does everything she can to encourage student improvement in the class. Watching the excellent work that is produced in her class is what motivates her to continue teaching. She shows me all the wonderful art that is made by her students and her sense of pride for her students just glows. It is obvious she loves what she does. San Bernardino Valley College should be proud to have her as an instructor here.






The winner of the Applied Technology, Transportation & Culinary Arts Achievement Award was:

Albert Maniaol; Dean, Applied Technology, Transportation & Culinary Arts

Since Mr. Maniaol has been the Dean of Applied Technology, he has hit the ground running and has not stopped, taking the time to observe and understand the overall needs of all the division’s CTE programs. Mr. Maniaol embraces challenges and seeks opportunities by obtaining external funding and working with fellow colleagues and surrounding communities, making certain all programs are meeting the needs of the industries by acquiring state of the art equipment for our students. In addition to being an exceptional mentor, his biggest strength is that he continually promotes professional and personal growth within his faculty and staff, all the while providing an outstanding level of management, leading the division with the utmost professionalism, which makes it a pleasure to follow him! Mr. Maniaol’s ability in managing a healthy combination of wishing and doing made him a successful dean that is very well supported with his staff, program chairs, and faculties. He may be close to the origins of valuable human attributes such as unselfishness, compassion, sympathy, generosity, and empathy; for that he deserves to get this award.





The winner of the Couseling & Matriculation Achievment Award was:

Ailsa Aguilar-Kitibutr, Psy.D.
Professor, Couseling Center


Dr. Ailsa Aguilar-Kitibutr has been instrumental in supporting all Counseling and Matriculation services. She always conducts herself in a professional manner and strives to see that students are being served as she works with all students, faculty, and staff. She was one of first to be involved the Assessment Orientation Advisement (AOA) workshops with students as they began their matriculation process. She is supportive to all programs that integrate into Matriculation and Counseling with instruction. Dr. Aguilar-Kitibutr is a professional with integrity at the highest level and deserves recognition.






The winner of the Social Sciences, Human Development & Physical Education Achievement Award was:

Romana Pires
Professor, Sociology

Romana Pires

Romana Pires should be acknowledged for her tireless dedication to SBVC. As Faculty Chair of Sociology, her leadership and advocacy in developing critically engaged students is relentless. She champions the voices of faculty, staff, and those who aim to achieve equity and higher achievement. Her dedication is best exemplified in her efforts to institutionalize the adoption of Open Education Resources (OER). In responding to federal and state trends in textbook costs, Romana secures grants for our campus and stipends for faculty developing OER. She facilitates individual and group trainings, coordinates workshops with OER designers such as Intellus, builds databases for OER materials, and regularly disseminates OER news and information. This work, which far exceeds expectation and compensation, has given students immediate access to course materials, with data from our Office of Research supporting the positive impact OER has made on achievement goals. Her mentorship is invaluable as she prepares faculty to have an immediate impact in campus leadership. As her imprint on this campus reaches further than documented or credited, she is deserving of this honor.

Romana Pires





The winner of the Student Equity & Success Achievement Award was:

Maribel Cisneros
Counselor, EOPS/CARE


Maribel Cisneros has been with the San Bernardino Valley College EOPS/CARE program for approximately 4 years. She has been an amazing asset to the program. She is dedicated, motivated, and most of all she has heart in what she does for her students. She takes time to help everyone that comes into her office, and is a very genuine and personable individual. She participates diligently in committees in which she participates, such as the Scholastic Standards Committee, EOPS/CARE Advisory, and the hiring committees in which she has been selected to serve. Maribel comes to work every day ready to serve her students without reservation. She understands the importance of supporting her students, as she has completed over 100 scholarship recommendations and over 50 university recommendation letters. She goes “Over and Above in Addition to”, just like the EOPS/CARE motto. She would be an excellent recipient of the Student Equity and Success Achievement Award.






The winner of the Honored Retiree Award was:

Susan Bangasser, Ph.D.
Retired Dean, Science

Susan Bangasser

Dr. Susan Bangasser was recognized last year for her unmitigated work, contribution, and efforts relative to her deanship. However, this year she should be recognized for her continuation of support she provides the college. Dr. Bangasser is currently a volunteer and serves on various committees. She is an avid contributor to the MESA committee members, and she is a Board Member on the SBVC Foundation. She is every bit as passionate about her work as a retiree as she was as an employee, which I find to be nothing short of admirable. She is dedicated and very much invested in the success of our institution even though she is officially retired. Dr. Bangasser is a model to emulate and is well-deserving of any and all accolades relevant to her illustrious history of good work and continued pursuit of excellence on behalf of our institution. She is a firm believer in San Bernardino Valley College and continues to demonstrate the love, respect, and confidence she has in our college and community at large. Faculty members that plan on remaining at SBVC until retirement can only hope to one day demonstrate Dr. Bangasser’s ongoing enthusiasm, passion, generosity and investment as a retiree. I fervently nominate Dr. Susan Bangasser for the SBVC Honored Retiree Award.

Susan Bangasser





The winner of the Innovator of the Year Award was:

Albert Maniaol
Dean, Applied Technology, Transportation & Culinary Arts

When it comes to innovation, there’s only one man that can orchestrate all the latest technology applied to the real world. Imagining something may be the first step in making it happen, but it takes the real time and real efforts of a real person to learn things, make things, turn thoughts into deeds, or visions into inventions. San Bernardino Valley College is very lucky to have such a talented, humble and very helpful Dean of Applied Technology Division. We strongly nominate Albert Maniaol for this category criteria, as it simply suits him best.





The winner of the Manager of the Year Award was:

Rick Hrdlicka
Director, Campus Technology Services

Rick Hrdlicka has been an exemplary director for the Campus Technology department for San Bernardino Valley College. He gives staff the tools to succeed, establishes goals, and goes above and beyond to meet them.





The winner of the Excellence Award was:

Stacy Meyer
Lead Chef, Culinary Arts


I have been privileged to work with Chef Stacy Meyer on committees, Academic Senate, and most importantly via her stellar campus-wide culinary contributions. Akin to many others on campus, I have had the pleasure of dining in the Sunroom for many years and have always been genuinely impressed. Additionally, Chef Meyer trains her students to be the utmost hospitable professionals. Any event I have attended that was catered by Chef Meyer has been superb, and the students she has working for her are polished, well-versed, and discernibly talented. Students additionally always share with counselors that they enjoy their work with Chef Meyer. She is truly an asset to our outstanding culinary program. In all of the colleges at which I have worked, I am devoid of hesitation that our culinary program is by far the best, and I do believe its continued success is clearly delineated by Chef Meyer’s work.






The winner of the District Employee of the Year Award was:

Nancy Green
Payroll Accountant, Payroll


Nancy Green goes above and beyond to help staff and students. When called upon to help others with a difficult situation, she does so with patience, a great attitude, tactfully and without problems. I believe that these are the characteristics and qualities that represent all that is good for the students and employees. This is why she is deserving of the District Employee of the Year Award.






The winner of the Outstanding Service Award was:

Anita Moore
Administrative Secretary, Counseling & Matriculation


Anita Moore is an employee who goes above and beyond their usual scope of duties to provide better service to students and colleagues.






The winners of the Outstanding Professor Award were:

David Smith
Assistant Professor, Mathematics

David Smith

It is with great pleasure that I recommend my colleague, Mr. David Smith, to receive the Outstanding Professor Award for our college. Mr. Smith has been teaching mathematics at San Bernardino Valley College for the last nine years, and I have been very fortunate to have known and worked with him for all those nine years. In that time, I have collaborated with David on various projects, including vital trainings for our Supplemental Instruction program. During these training sessions, he has been instrumental in providing input to strengthen our goals and mission. Furthermore, Mr. Smith mentored John Tenorio, one of SBVC’s most highly ranked Supplemental Instructors. Mr. Smith has extraordinary connections with our faculty and students at San Bernardino Valley College. He is extremely talented and dedicated to the education of our students, which can be easily seen through his creative demeanor. He engages his students daily to find their unique passion for mathematics while in the classroom. David has excellent communication skills in the classroom as well as outside of the classroom with faculty. This is evident when observing his success in creating strong relationships on campus to better connect with students and staff. Among Mr. Smith’s finest achievements is his continued commitment to serve as our Academic Senate Secretary for four years (2012-2016). His duties as Senate Secretary include attending all meetings for the Executive Senate Committee, taking copious notes at each meeting to comply with the Brown Act, tallying votes in accordance with the Brown Act, and posting minutes as needed. He is also responsible for editing/reviewing discussions, presentations, and key motions to provide an efficient and accurate synopsis of all meetings. In addition, David has served as the Elections Chair for the Senate and the math department Senator for six years (2012– 2018). It is without saying that David has certainly gone beyond expectations when it comes to professional undertakings here at SBVC in effort to provide quality education and services to our students. He has contributed his time as a Program Review Member for eight years, in which he has assisted the consulting teams with Needs Assessment Evaluations, program efficacies, and drafting team reports. Please note that Program Review is one of our college’s most time intensive committee assignments, so we are very lucky to have a dedicated team member like David Smith aiding with these needs. In addition, Mr. Smith has been a part of the Advancement in Rank Committee (2 terms), Bookstore Evaluation Team ranking Barnes & Noble vs. Follett, hiring committee for new FT position in Accounting, volunteer scriptwriter for the Spring Award Outstanding Service banquet, and is scheduled to be a campus speaker for TED Talk, “All the Winning Numbers” on March 30, 2018. David’s involvement to build a stronger educational system goes beyond our department and even outside our campus. He also supports diverse programs and provides services in our immediate local community. He is a regular presenter at Professor Lemore’s Biannual Faculty Reading Events in the Library Viewing Room. David frequently attends extracurricular campus events to lend moral support, for example, musical events (e.g. Handel’s “Messiah”), sporting events (football, basketball playoffs and road game finals) and art/performance events (dance recitals, dramas). He participates in book discussions, such as readings from “Gone Girl” and “The Fault in Our Stars.” Moreover, Mr. Smith is the faculty signatory/advisor for Campus Crusade for Christ. He is an active member and frequent lecturer/musical contributor at Loma Linda University. He has even been a church guest presenter at Redlands Adventist Academy. Finally, he has devoted personal time to provide service and humanitarian aid during trips to Thailand to support underprivileged areas.

David Smith



Susan Mattson
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

Susan Mattson

We are united in nominating Assistant Professor Susan Mattson for this award and strongly desire that she be recognized for her outstanding contributions to the SBVC community. If this award is meant to recognize faculty who are deeply committed and joyful faculty exemplars, then Suzi Mattson is certainly deserving. Suzi is first and foremost a dedicated, inspirational, and caring teacher of Communication Studies. She does not allow students to succumb to their fears or perceived fears about public speaking. In or out of class, students use their training, their research, and their rehearsal to push themselves into voice and posture. This is the evidence of Suzi’s commitment to her students and gift in the craft of teaching. As an instructor, she is organized and students say that they greatly appreciate her clear grading expectations and assignment feedback. She not only teaches a variety of courses (including Honors) in multiple formats in the Communication Studies Department, but she also initiated and yearly organizes and runs the SBVC Debate Tournament, believing the experience is a necessary and positive one for students through which they become better able to participate in informed and logical dialogue about sensitive and controversial current issues in politics and media. She allows students to make the subject of Communication Studies courses relevant to understanding social and political forces in daily life. To bring to life to Communication Studies as part of a broader field of the Arts and Humanities, Suzi has participated in and helped in the planning of Humanities Days on campus. She has also volunteered to assist Honors students in preparing their presentations for the Honors Transfer Council of California Conference. This is all taken as evidence that Suzi is instrumental in building a “quality program” of Communication Studies at SBVC. To faculty, staff, and students, Suzi is recognized for her integrity and joy. She honors her word, models grit, and “keeps it real,” reminding people around her to be grateful, to laugh at themselves, and to recognize and cherish whatever it is that they can give to those around them. This is one of the reasons people love to be around her. She reminds her colleagues that working at SBVC is a “dream job” and instills a renewed sense of purpose in them. Through her work on the Professional Development Committee and as an advisor to the Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS) honor society, Suzi encourages, mentors, and pushes others toward achievement and success from an extremely humble position, and she displays a dedication to building up the local community on and off campus. Her work as an advisor, for over four years, has required she attend and guide students through weekly meetings; participate in volunteer activities including wreath-laying at Riverside National Cemetery, cleaning a portion of the Santa Ana River Trail, and working at Redlands Color Splash; attend state-wide advisors meetings; attend student conventions twice a year; assist in fundraising for scholarships; and coordinate and oversee student interactions with SBVC administration. Working as an advisor for this organization is completely unpaid and a fully volunteer position to which Suzi has tirelessly devoted herself. Student members say they love and respect Suzi’s guidance especially when it comes to improving efficiency and problem-solving. She has developed friendships with many AGS members and officers who stay in touch with her after they have graduated. Along with students in her classes, they say that Suzi treats them like adults, empathizes with their struggles, and offers excellent advice. Many students identify with her personal story and see Suzi as a role model. In 2017-18, Suzi was recognized as California State Alpha Gamma Sigma Advisor of the Year. Through her work as an AGS advisor and her selflessness and desire to lift others up, Suzi has built a close working relationship with SBVC Student Services staff and has been called a “dynamic” team player.

Susan Mattson





The winners of the Classified Employee of the Year Awards were:

Rosemary Chavez
Student Services Technician, EOPS/CARE

Rosemary Chavez has a caring heart for the students. She is always going above and beyond for the students. If a student is having personal trouble, she goes out of her way to find resources to help them. Rosemary has been an employee here at SBVC for over 20 years and works hard each day. In 2017, she received the Student Success Services award at the 22nd Annual Spotlighting Our Success. That same year, she was also acknowledged by the San Bernardino Community College District for her 20+ years of experience. She is there for fellow SBVC employees and students.



Ernest Guillen
Library Technical Assistant II, Library & Learning Support Services

Ernest Guillen serves on multiple committees and is always willing to be involved and help out whenever it is needed. He always has a positive and understanding attitude. He is polite and great to work with, and he is a great work who excels at multi-tasking.


Our 2018 retirees were also celebrated:

  • Steven Race from Campus Technology Services
  • Laura Gomez from Counseling & Matriculation
  • Diane Dusick from RTVF/ Media Academy
  • Bridget Candelaria from Office of Instruction
  • Lisa Archuleta from Child Development Center
  • Jeffery Klug from Police Academy
  • Gloriann Chavez from the Bookstore
  • Patricia Martinez from the Bookstore
  • Larry Laughlin from Maintenance and Operations
  • Gwen Blizard from Campus Business Office
  • Ann Klein from DSPS