On May 14, 2021 SBVC hosted the 25th Annual Spotlighting Our Success Awards, an awards ceremony that celebrates our hardworking and dedicated staff and faculty.

This year we celebrate an abundance of Academic Rank Recognitions between 2020 and 2021.

  • Daniel Algattas, Bryce Cacho, David Casillas, Laura Estrada, Robyn Seraj, Bethany Tasaka and Deborah Trusheim advanced in academic rank to Associate Professors.
  • Mary Copeland, Sheri Lillard, Nori Sogomonian, Yvonne Beebe, Victoria Anemelu and Elaine Akers advanced to Professors.
  • Sheela Free and Jeanne Marquis advanced to Professor Emeritus.


Award Winners

The winner of Manager of the Year and Student Equity and Success Achievement awards was:

Sharaf Williams
Director, First Year Experience

Sharaf Williams is an exceptional leader at SBVC, and an incredible and rare individual. Sharaf is a strong advocate for her students, staff, and faculty members at SBVC. She is passionate about her work and constantly has positive energy and attitude regardless of any situation. I am fortunate to be at SBVC and have her as a mentor and manager. The way she leads the team is incredible. She puts everyone at ease when things are rough and always has a smile on her face. She truly is a change agent in this institution who constantly works every day; literally day and night, and weekends to serve her students and team. She is always there for everyone who needs her at any time of the day. Not only does she support their careers, but their academic development and well-being.

She is an example of a transformational leader, and there are no other managers like her. She truly wants the very best for her team and will fight to provide all the resources for them. Her emotional intelligence allows her to understand her team members’ needs and she knows what actions are necessary to help them. She is an angel at SBVC who touches all the students’ lives and team members. She is a blessing to have at SBVC.

Sharaf displays what it means to be “here for the students”. She goes above and beyond to help students and staff. She is quick to volunteer her time to help whether for a staff association, student club, meetings, etc. Always has a positive and friendly attitude when you approach her.



The winner of Administrative Services, OP, VPI & VPSS and Outstanding Service awards was:

Phylicia Sanchez
Development Coordinator, Development and Community Relations

Phylicia has excelled in her duties as Developer Coordinator at the SBVC Foundation. In addition, to overseeing the student scholarship application and award process, Phylicia also provides administrative support for SBVC Foundation grant programs, Board meetings, and events. Her efforts have allowed the SBVC Foundation to successfully award more than $350,000 in SBVC student scholarships this semester, which represents a 50% increase from the prior year. With a staff of just two-full time positions, the Foundation relies heavily on the administrative support duties that Phylicia has provided this past year to manage donor contributions and grant programs.

Phylicia has worked many evenings and weekends over the past year to ensure that over 600 students were able to apply for available scholarships at the SBVC Foundation. The planning and implementation process for student scholarships took nearly six months of Phylicia’s time. The end result is that several hundred SBVC students will receive scholarships from June 2021, collectively exceeding $350,000. Working in a department that has only two full-time staff, Phylicia has had to juggle multiple administrative and program tasks at the same time, as she oversaw the student scholarship program: from application stage, to review stage, to the award stage. Her commitment to the students and programs at SBVC has ensured that hundreds of enrolled students at SBVC will receive a scholarship award.





The winner of the Applied Technology, Transportation & CA award was:

Glenn Smith
Instructor, Culinary Arts

Glenn Smith is a great asset to the culinary department. He has been extremely flexible as an adjunct employee and taught classes that are out of his comfort zone and has done a great job. Glenn has taken over the baking courses for the program. The students love what they are learning. Chef Smith adapted to the online learning very quickly and completed both DE training classes offered by our campus. He assists the department chair with whatever is asked of him. He is very deserving of an award.






The winner of the Arts & Humanities award was:

Mary Copeland
Associate Professor, English

It is common knowledge that the Arts and Humanities Division is the best division on campus. Behind every great division is a group of fantastic faculty and staff. Mary Copeland is one of the faculty that makes the division shine. Mary has been serving as the Curriculum Chair for several years now and does so with great integrity. She has also been active on Academic Senate as a member of the Executive Committee. Mary demonstrates integrity and is thoughtful in her work. She approaches her work with the goal of doing the best and right thing for our students. The load for a Curriculum Chair is always heavy but this year it has been an especially heavy lift given the need to lead the committee through hundreds of Distance Education Addendums with the move to teaching online. In the last couple of years, Mary led the Curriculum Committee through the work required of AB 705. The upcoming Ethnic Studies requirements by the CSU systems requires continued leadership for the campus to successfully meet this new requirement. Mary is a champion of faculty and students alike and is an example of great leadership. Mary is always deserving of the Achievement Award, but this year the added load to her duties and her exemplary performance in managing the extra load makes her a stand out candidate this year.





The winners of the Outstanding Professor awards were:

Janice Wilkins
Counselor, Associate Professor, General Counseling

I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Janice over the past several years, particularly in her capacity as Articulation Officer. Janice is the epitome of dedication, professionalism, and collegiality. As Curriculum Chair, I have worked closely with Janice in this area. First, Janice’s top concern is for students and their success. She diligently reviews all curriculum submitted to ensure that it meets the needs of our student population in several areas. As an example, Janice ensures that the curriculum we offer does not require students to take unnecessary units because this impacts their transfer and their financial aid. This can be a rather tedious process which requires reviewing the state transfer guidelines as well as the local 4-year institutions. Additionally, Janice ensures that the curriculum we offer meets our college mission and satisfies the requirements from the CSUs and the UCs. Doing this requires Janice to juggle many moving parts; it also requires quite a bit of diplomacy.

 Janice meets with faculty to help them create the curriculum, certificates, and degrees they want for their respective disciplines and programs. For example, Janice has been instrumental in seeing that SBVC is not only responsive to the new Ethnic Studies requirement from the CSUs, but she created an evaluation process that helps faculty navigate all the core competencies so that their course outlines reflect the CSUs guidelines. While there has been a lot of confusion about the Ethnic Studies requirement at the state level, Janice has made that process much easier for our faculty by providing the evaluation worksheet and  communicating with them about all the recent updates from the articulation perspective.

 Although Janice reviews and submits courses and degrees for articulation purposes, she also meets with faculty and assists them in all types of courses, including CTE. For example, Janice will often meet with faculty and provide them with information that other colleges are offering which can include course outlines, certificates, or degrees. Janice stays current on state and local guidelines for curriculum. She attends the yearly Curriculum Institute as well as numerous AO meetings and conferences to keep abreast of the ever-changing world of curriculum and articulation. Janice is always diplomatic and pleasant, even when handling difficult or stressful situations. At times, curriculum can be a complex puzzle of competing deadlines, requirements, and personalities, and in the hundreds of meetings I have shared with her, she is always gracious, putting the needs of students first, but also endeavoring to assist faculty in providing top quality curriculum to our students.

 Besides her articulation duties, Janice also teaches Student Development Courses. It is clear that Janice loves teaching. She is dedicated to helping her students achieve their goals and also strives to grow professionally. For instance, she recently attended the USC Equity Institute: Meaningfully Integrating Race Across the Curriculum in December. Also, Janice enjoys collaborating on teaching pedagogy. For instance, I recently shared with her some strategies I came away with from a conference I attended. She loved the ideas so much, she immediately implemented them in the classroom. One of these ideas was to use the term “Student Hours” instead of “Office Hours” on her syllabus. We talked the first week of school and she was excited because she had more students attending her office hours than in previous semesters. Janice’s knowledge and patience have made me a better Curriculum Chair and teacher. I have not only learned a lot with respect to articulation policies and procedures, but with respect to student success and leadership in general. Janice’s dedication to students, her collegial attitude toward colleagues, and her overall purposefulness in her position are just a few of the reasons why Janice deserves to be Outstanding Professor of the Year.


Rania Hamdy
Coordinator, Professional and Organizational Development

Rania Hamdy has been a part of the SBVC family, serving as Professional Development Coordinator, since 2013. Rania’s skill and dedication for her profession have been obvious from the moment she stepped on campus, but since the onset of the pandemic her talents have never been needed more. Rania controlled the chaos by organizing, centralizing, and promoting professional development opportunities throughout the college and the district. Rania coordinated and promoted webinars, open labs, and one-on-one virtual appointments for training on Adobe Creative Cloud, Canvas, Office 365, Zoom, and countless more! Rania rose to the challenge and created SBVC’s Fall 2020 Convocation Week in a fully online format. She also reimagined and continued vital campus events such as Opening Day, Adjunct Orientation, and Flex Day informing the campus community about important changes to campus services and highlighting important topics such as SBVC Accreditation Online Forum; Creating Global Studies Curriculum; Cultural Curriculum Audit with Long Beach City College; Ergonomics for Working at Home; Guided Pathways Reimagined Session; Library Highlights: New Databases and Film Streaming; Theory to Practice for Educators; Student Services Resource Tour. Rania found speakers to engage the campus on timely events including Spring 2021 Opening Day Speaker- Nzingha Dugas; and more!

 Rania sought out and promoted quality webinars, workshops, and programs from educators and change agents throughout the state, forever changing and improving, the scope of professional development on campus. Programs from A2MEND, Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, Brandman University, Breathe for Change, California Community Colleges, Cal State San Bernardino, Community College League for California, Institute for Evidence Based Change, The RP Group, and USC Equity Institute. She has provided much needed substance for pandemic education, social justice, and self-care all of which are vital in our current climate. Webinars and workshops included Black Student Success Week; Caring Campus: Professional Classified Staff Front and Center In Improving Student Success; Courageous Leadership Webinar Series; Cultural Change for Equitable Student Success; Don’t Be A Robot- Humanizing Online Teaching; Educator Wellness Workshop and Yoga; Latinx Student Success Virtual Town Hall; Nurturing an Anti-racist Campus Culture; Personalizing Asynchronous Instruction; Racial Battle Fatigue & Microaggressions; Supporting Equitable Learning Environments; Wayfinding Online: Navigating the Virtual Landscape Together; and Work-Life Balance.

 Over the years Rania has moved beyond her responsibilities and innovations as Professional Development Coordinator and has served on several important campus and district committees including Academic Senate, College Council, District Budget Committee, District Assembly, and District Institutional Effectiveness Committee, always advocating for faculty and for SBVC. Recently, Rania has taken the lead on the revision of the Educational Master Plan and review of the 2021 Environmental Scan in College Council. Rania’s dedication to providing quality, responsive professional development opportunities can be illustrated using Spring 21 In-Service. Three working days prior to In-Service Day the campus was notified that students would be returning to campus for face-to-face instruction. As I write this Rania has already completely restructured In-Service Day to meet the needs of faculty to prepare for this much awaited return. Rania Hamdy is a dedicated faculty member of San Bernardino Valley College and very deserving to be named Outstanding Professor.


Anthony Castro
Associate Professor, Mathematics

We are pleased to nominate our dedicated colleague, Professor Anthony Castro, for the honor of Professor of the Year. Anthony is a proven leader in our “new generation” of math educators, a whirlwind of ideas and passion for service. In just six school terms here at San Bernardino Valley College, he has established himself as a key player and a force for invigorated vision. First, his youthful energy and cachet are appealing to our student base, who eagerly sign up for his classes. Anthony’s presence here as a home-grown success story (alumni of both Valley College and our Middle College High School) has inspired so many students who see a role model who looks and thinks like they do. Anecdotally, his are the first statistics classes (Math 103) to fill up; indeed, his wait lists are typically overflowing! He successfully leads students through some of our most challenging courses, e.g. Calculus III (250) and Differential Equations (266), and earns rave reviews from students who thrive at this advanced level with his help.

Anthony is not only a member of Academic Senate, but agreed to serve as Chairperson of that body’s Financial Policy Committee, working closely with the District and Presi-dent Diana Rodriguez to help chart the college’s secure path through the difficulties of COVID-19. He also co-chairs the Campus Budget Committee and has been part of Valley’s Scholastic Standards Committee. On the academic side, Anthony is a fount of innovation, serving as co-leader of our newly formed Math 102 Community of Practice. In this demanding role, he leads bimonthly Zoom discussions where interested faculty members brainstorm improvements. In his own teaching, he has already redesigned the topic flow for College Algebra, now the school’s pivotal transfer-level class. He has also volunteered to spearhead our AB 705 Taskforce, which involves a Senate ad hoc group and hours of research into best practices at other colleges. Anthony thus serves us as a vital liaison between our department and the entire college in giving the AB 705 project its best chance to succeed. Regarding collegiality, Anthony is a sparkplug in meetings, exhorting his peers and cheering our society with wisecracks and moments of affirmation. Zoom chat boxes quickly fill up with his helpful comments. He has gone out of his way to research and then package media materials for his effective MESA forums on financial topics like “How to Buy a Car” and Money Management Principles.

His seminars are among our campus’s most highly attended MESA Zoom events, with students from all disciplines joining in and taking notes. For all the above reasons, and also because we have grown to appreciate and admire our unique colleague, we urge your consideration of this talented friend.





The winner of the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty was Crystal Sanchez!



The winners of the Classified Employees of the Year were:

Sandy Karge
Interim Director, Child Development Center

Ms. Sandy Karge, is an amazing leader and team player and has been an employee of SBCCD for the last 24 years. She has flawlessly help run our Child Development center and created a safe space for not only our participants and their families, but our Child development work family as well. Ms. Sandy started at Valley College as a Child Development Student and worked her way up from Laboratory Student and now Senior Teacher at our Center. She has her Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in environmental studies and her Masters degree in Child Development which she obtained at University of Redlands and the University of Laverne. Ms. Sandy has her site supervisor permit through the state of California through the board of education and is Senior teacher in the child development center. She accomplished all of this while working full-time and not limited to but also was a full-time mom and wife to her son whom we are all very proud currently serving in the United States air force (Paul Karge, Hooah!) Ms. Sandy does so much without a title. She has been responsible for making sure we are completely funded, guided and trained both teaching and office staff: in care, paperwork and enrolling procedures. She makes sure to get any job done. She is currently “maintaining” our child development center during a difficult season and making sure we are all fully enrolled (since July of last year and during THIS PANDEMIC) and supporting not only our college campus but, the community. Sandy has been employed at the Child Development Center for 26 years! She has worked in various capacities; student worker, teacher, senior teacher, and now interim director. She has a Master’s Degree. Ms. Sandy made sure that our center opened up last year in the middle of a pandemic that was sky rocketing. The center opened up and was able to service several families who are also students at the college; and make sure they had a safe environment in order for them to return to work and their studies safely. Ms. Sandy realized the importance of this reopening and that the staff (who are essential workers) were deeply concerned about our nation’s current state. Still with all of this Ms. Sandy has help maintain our contract, our sanity and our ongoing love for our center, our children and their families and our college students. Ms. Sandy has worked tirelessly with our Dean and Child Development Instructor’s on campus to modify and seamlessly produce learning outcomes with our college students on campus as well as the mentor teachers here at the center. Without Ms. Sandy our center would have truly fallen a part and this would have affected not only the thirty plus employees here but campus families who need childcare in order to succeed in life. Sandy has the BIGGEST heart. Always making thoughtful gifts. She puts the program first. She makes us feel heard and understood. She genuinely cares for the staff and goes above and beyond to ensure the children in our program have the best of everything. She steps up to challenge (succeeds) and always thinks beyond what is needed.


Jorge Vivar
Technician, Maintenance & Grounds

Jorge is very knowledgeable in his job along with other maintenance duties. Jorge goes above and beyond in his job as the campus plumber, and is always willing to give a helping hand. He is very patient with his job and helping others, and does the dirty work that some of us probably wouldn’t want to do such as fixing clogged toilets. Jorge has a lot of experience with his job. The majority of the time Jorge can walk in the room and right away determine what the issue is and gets right to work on fixing the problem. If Jorge isn’t sure about something, then he researches to determine why a problem is occurring and how to fix the issue.

Last year when there was a gas leak in the Campus Center, where multiple classified employees were suffering from headaches, right away Jorge was able to determine the issue and help get it fixed. Jorge also stepped up to assist in making keys for the campus while the position was vacant along with doing his regular job duties. Jorge has also stepped up to assist with the job duties of the HVAC position since it has been vacant for over the past two years. Jorge always participates in campus activities such as the Classified Softball Game and Classified Week. Jorge is known for doing an amazing job at singing at our talent show and during karaoke at our yearly Classified Celebration Luncheon. Jorge is very kind and respectful and always has a smile.







The winner of the Counseling & Matriculation Achievement award was:

Armando Garcia
Counselor, Assistant Professor, General Counseling

Armando is such an asset to the SBVC Counseling Dept. His willingness to go above and beyond for students and staff makes him deserving of this award. He has extensive knowledge and experience with Assist.org, the UC transfer process, Cal State Apply and transferring to private, outof-state and even overseas universities.

He is very sensitive to the needs of our population of students, e.g., Spanish speaking students, students needing basic skill development, adult learners, EOPS/CalWorks, CTE, athletes, first generation, international, low-income, homeless, veteran, nursing, honor, undocumented, re-entry and traditional and nontraditional students. He is a mentor for the Puente Project at SBVC and was Chairperson for the Puente Program at Cypress College for six years. Armando has found his path and purpose in life and that is Counseling. He is such a perfect fit at SBVC and for our students. Working with Armando is such a joy.





The winner of the Math, Business & Computer Technology Achievement award was:

Vicente Alvarez
Associate Professor, Mathematics

Vicente works hard for our department and our division. He supports and helps organize one of the largest departments on campus. There are several schedules and needs that he accommodates because of the quantity of people in our department. Additionally, because math is not every student’s favorite course, he also acts as an intermediary for students and faculty should the need arise. These are not small feats, especially with a large department.

Vicente professionally navigates all aspects of his role as department chair. Vicente has shown leadership through our transition online while navigating big undertakings such as AB 705. He’s been a consistent resource for both full-time and adjunct faculty. He created a Canvas shell with resources for faculty. He’s championed OER materials for our courses. Currently Vicente is leading a Community of Practice for Statistics faculty to discuss best practices for the classroom. This year-long community helped support faculty learning to teach online to ensure that students have the best experience possible. In this role, he gives other faculty the opportunity to ask questions, lead conversations, or share what they’re doing in their own classroom. Vicente also serves on the Academic Senate and the Curriculum Committee, both of which require a good amount of work outside of attending meetings. He’s a great colleague who goes above and beyond in the accomplishment of his daily duties. We immeasurably appreciate what he does.





The winner of the Science Achievement award was:

Michael Torres
Associate Professor, Chemistry

Michael is an instructor who takes his duty to his students very seriously. He regularly researches the latest information on learning theory. He adapts and adjusts his course to provide learning experiences that serve the needs of students while maintaining academic integrity. Many students come to hard sciences with a deficit of study skills and educational perspective. Michael tries to educate the student not only in the subject of the course, but in the skills needed to become a better student. He exhibits the characteristics of a life-long learner and this rubs off onto his students. Michael is worthy of recognition for his dedication to students and their educational needs as well as to his scientific discipline.






The winner of the Excellence award was:

Kay Dee Yarbrough
Administrative Curriculum Coordinator, Office of Instruction


Simply stated, Kay Dee is an amazing rock star! Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with Kay Dee knows the organization and attention to detail she brings to her work. She is quick to provide information, provide support for faculty needing assistance in curriculum related projects and lend a helping hand with projects. She is organized, allowing her the ability to complete her work with efficiency. When it comes to the curriculum committee, Kay Dee is a key part of the success. It is not uncommon to hear committee members give Kay Dee a shout out of thanks for all of her hard work and support. The Excellence Award is to honor those who improve campus life by demonstrating outstanding performance of their daily work on a consistent work. She works incredibly hard; she is reliable and efficient. Kay Dee is invaluable to groups like the Curriculum Committee. She helped coordinate the virtual accreditation visit, and it was a very smooth event. Kay Dee improves the quality of every project she’s involved in and she makes our campus a better place. She is the very definition of excellence.






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

Jason Brady
Web Developer, District Computing Services

Jason is one of the most helpful people at the district. He is quick to respond and he is very supportive. His directions are very clear and he explains processes in a way that empowers whomever he is helping. Jason is incredibly dependable and reliable. You know that any work he does will be done with quality and care.





The winner of the Innovator of the Year Award was:

Lucas Cuny
Assistant Professor, Film, Television & Media

Lucas has done so much for the Inland Empire. Most importantly, he has done so much for our campus and students. He has bridged together film/media and athletics, has interviewed our head football coach, Daniel Algattas, televised campus athletic games, created many independent films and is giving students a hands-on learning experience. He “thinks outside the box” and has found ways to continue student learning during a pandemic.





The winner of the Honored Retiree Award was:

Horace Alexander
Faculty Chair, English

Horace has been an outstanding Professor and contributes to the success of many students. He was also part of the Accreditation team, which put in long, long hours in helping our school finish in the top!






The winner of the President's Award was the Accreditation Committee.