On May 5th, 2023, SBVC hosted the 28th Annual Spotlighting Our Success Awards, an awards ceremony that celebrates our hardworking and dedicated staff and faculty.

Award Winners

The winner of the Excellence Award was:

Veada Benjamin-Hill
Administrative Coordinator, Admissions and Records

Veada is a remarkable asset to the entire SBVC campus. Her positive energy and enthusiasm for improving programs and services for our students are truly inspiring. Her instrumental work with the student equity team has resulted in more inclusive programs and practices for our African American students. She approaches everything she does with sincerity and authenticity, and her dedication to creating a better environment for our students is unparalleled. Without a doubt, Veada deserves this great honor, and we are grateful for all she does for our campus community.





The winner of the Innovator of the Year Award was:

Maria Notarangelo
Librarian, Library

We want to nominate Maria Notarangelo for the Innovator of the Year Award. Her ideas and actions benefit the college, students, and the community! Maria advocates accessibility for all students to library materials. She has collaborated in the successful District move to Single Student Sign-On (SSO) for the college’s online electronic resources available through the library. The result of SSO is that the library no longer imposes cumbersome and confusing unique passwords for individual databases. Students use their District login. Additionally, Maria has developed a OneSearch box on the library homepage for patrons searching the online Library Catalog. These two significant changes reflect the online CSU library experience and better prepare students for transfer. Maria is also an advocate for raising the awareness of students and the college community about the resources the library offers. One way she does this is by attending campus events often held outside her scheduled work hours. Maria successfully promotes Library resources and is a point of contact when collaborating with faculty at SBVC and CHC, staff, and administrators. Maria keeps up with the ever-changing technology in our profession and matches it innovatively to our existing resources, ing to “outside the box” thinking when presenting new ideas to the Director, Librarians, and staff.





The winner of the Outstanding Service Award was:

Kay Dee Yarbrough
Curriculum Coordinator, Office of Instruction

I am writing to nominate Kay Dee Yarbrough for the Outstanding Service Award at San Bernardino Valley College. As a dedicated and committed staff member at the college, Kay Dee has consistently demonstrated a strong work ethic, exceptional professionalism, and unwavering support for the campus community. Kay Dee's tireless efforts to positively impact the lives of faculty and staff make her an ideal candidate for this prestigious award. As a dedicated and passionate member Committee at our institution, Kay Dee has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the development and improvement of the curriculum, consistently going above and beyond to ensure the highest standards of educational quality for our students. Kay Dee has contributed valuable insights, innovative ideas, and an understanding of the evolving needs of our student body. Her expertise in various academic disciplines, coupled with her unwavering commitment, has allowed her to make informed and impactful decisions regarding the development and enhancement of our curriculum. Kay Dee's dedication extends beyond her role. She has also been responsible for mentoring new members, guiding them through the complexities of curriculum development, and providing support and encouragement as they acclimate to their new roles. This selfless act exemplifies her commitment to the success of the committee but also her genuine desire to make a lasting, positive impact on the educational experiences of our students and faculties.






The winner of the Manager of the Year Award was:

Maria Del Carmen Rodriguez
Dean, Student Equity and Success

Carmen Rodriguez is a dedicated and exceptional leader who promotes equity and student success as the Dean of Student Equity & Success. She actively engages with multiple committees, parents, and the community to drive progress, and her patience in teaching self-sufficiency has resulted in recent promotions among team members. Despite adversity, Carmen remains focused on providing students with a clear vision for their future. She advocates for our students, and her leadership has helped create a more inclusive and equitable campus. Her support of the associations is unparalleled, and her efforts have significantly impacted our student body. Carmen's compassion for students is remarkable, and she consistently goes above and beyond to ensure they feel cared for and supported. She attends almost every campus meeting, personally contacting students to provide support. She works tirelessly to promote equity and inclusion, significantly impacting our student body. Her office provides financial support for events on campus and associations, leading by example and inspiring others to be better leaders and advocates for our students. Carmen's willingness to lead by example sets her apart as a manager; she is always willing to roll up her sleeves and get involved in the work. Her commitment to our students is evident in everything she does. Her contributions are invaluable and deserving of recognition.





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

Brooke Quinones
Executive Assistant, Chief Human Resources Officer

Brooke Quinones's unwavering commitment to helping others is evident in her approachable demeanor and willingness to go above and beyond to find answers and provide guidance. Brooke never judges or belittles others for mistakes and instead offers support and encouragement to help them be their best selves. Her genuine care for people is apparent in how she takes time to listen and provide assistance without rushing off. Brooke Quinones' dedication to serving others is genuinely appreciated, even in busy times.





The winner of the Honored Retiree Award was:

Jay Danley
Adjunct Faculty-Communication Studies, Communication Studies Department

Professor Jay Danley recently retired from the Communication Studies Department but quickly returned to teaching when the opportunity presented, highlighting his passion for the profession. Even in retirement, he continues supporting the Communication Studies Department and volunteers as a judge at the annual speech and debate tournaments at Valley College. Professor Danley has worked closely with student graduation speakers for many years and will return to continue this work. His unwavering commitment to our students and institution is highly valued and appreciated.






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

Veada Benjamin
Admissions and Records Coordinator, Admissions and Records

Veada is an outstanding individual who is deeply committed to helping students succeed. She consistently displays a positive attitude and is always willing to lend a helping hand whenever needed. Whether through her work as an active BFSA member or her participation in SBVC events like "Week of Welcome" and "Senior Day," Veada always goes above and beyond to support the campus community. Her dedication to the success of our students is truly inspiring, and she is a shining example of what it means to be a supportive and caring member of the SBVC team. Without a doubt, Veada deserves to be recognized and celebrated for her hard work and contributions.



Ana Bojorquez
Assistive Technology Specialist, Student Accessibility Services

A photo of Ana Bojorquez

Ana embodies hard work, professionalism, and care. She is a prime source of support for all students and has fostered an environment at the High Tech Center that is both welcoming and inclusive, where everyone feels safe. These qualities have earned her the trust and admiration of many of our students. Her guidance has helped numerous students achieve their ultimate goals of obtaining a degree or landing their dream careers. Ana is undoubtedly one of the hardest-working professionals on this campus, and this recognition is well-deserved.

A photo of Ana Bojorquez





The winner of the Arts & Humanities Achievement Award was:

Emily McNichols
Admin Assistant III, Arts and Humanities

Emily Mcnichols

Emily's outstanding work ethic and commitment to the English department are exemplary. Her ability to balance numerous projects and provide excellent support to the faculty is remarkable. Emily has been an invaluable asset as a liaison between the district and the English Community of Practice. She quickly responds to questions, resolves issues, and communicates promptly. Emily's exceptional dedication to her role has earned her the trust and admiration of all who have worked with her. The department is incredibly fortunate to have her on the team, and we express our sincere appreciation for her remarkable work.

Emily Mcnichols





The winners of the Counseling & Matriculation Achievement Award were:

Keynasia Buffong
Counselor, Transfer and Career Services

Keynasia Buffong

Keynasia Buffong, what doesn’t she do? Her role at SBVC is a full-time tenured counselor for the Transfer and Career Services department developing and implementing a variety of strategies to increase the number of SBVC students prepared to transfer to a baccalaureate level institution, the University of California (UC), California State University (CSU) and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) statewide. She is also the co-coordinator and counselor for the Umoja-Tumaini Program, where she deliberately engages students as full participants in the construction of knowledge and critical thought. I recently learned that she founded National Black Grads (NBG), a non-profit organization committed to strengthening communities by providing academic support services and financial resources to African American High School graduates. I highly recommend her for Counseling & Matriculation Achievement Award, as she advocates for our students, faculty, and staff and strives for the best in our students and our college.

Keynasia Buffong



Maribel Cisneros

Maribel has demonstrated exceptional guidance skills, assisting countless students in achieving their academic and career goals. She consistently goes above and beyond in providing personalized support and assistance to students with their educational or personal needs. Maribel is actively involved in the CARE program, where she conducts workshops at their campus mini-conferences to empower and support students. Her dedication and commitment to her students are evident through the number of students who return to update her on their accomplishments after graduating from SBVC. Maribel is a true advocate for student success, and her efforts have significantly impacted the lives of many at SBVC. Her compassion and professionalism make her an outstanding counselor and a valuable asset to the college community.






The winner of the Science Achievement Award was:

Anita Arnold
Assistant Professor, Health and Life Science-Nursing

I strongly recommend Anita Arnold for the 2023 Science Achievement Award. Anita has gone above and beyond her daily duties as an assistant professor. Anita is patient, caring, encouraging, reliable, and creative and celebrates her students' successes. She displays a high quality of teaching with excellent verbal and written communication skills while keeping students and fellow faculty informed with ample notice and organization. Anita exhibits a positive attitude and patience that every student should have the opportunity to learn from. Anita utilizes all these qualities (and many more) to educate future registered nurses in lectures, labs, and clinicals. Anita is also a faculty champion in the STEM/MESA center. Anita's STEM/MESA center leadership and advocacy includes (but is not limited to) extensive interdisciplinary communication, workshops, and field trips—connecting each student with faculty, staff, tutors, and other students with similar goals, creating student support and increasing student engagement and longevity. Anita's positive impact does not only affect her direct students but their families, future patients, and future patients' families!





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

Nicole Gutierrez
Secretary, Applied Tech

Nicole's commitment to supporting both faculty and students is unwavering. As a dedicated team player, she has played a crucial role in our department's significant progress. Her willingness to help and collaborate is recognized, and her contributions have been instrumental in creating a positive and productive work environment.





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

Raquel Villa
A&R Technician , Admissions & Records

A photo of Raquel Villa

Raquel Villa is an exceptional colleague whose dedication, hard work, and innovation have inspired me during the 20 years we have worked together. She completes a high volume of work while consistently maintaining high standards for quality and accuracy. Raquel possesses a “can-do” attitude and approaches all tasks with positive energy and a smile. Her compassion and kindness make her a valuable asset to our team, and she never misses an opportunity to help others. Raquel is the go-to person in stressful situations and always maintains a positive attitude. She voluntarily works on weekends and helps with phone banks, encouraging former students to come back to school. Although you may not see Raquel and the A&R team volunteering at campus events, they work diligently behind the scenes, helping students with applications, registration, and transcripts and addressing all of their needs. I wholeheartedly nominate Raquel Villa for the Student Equity & Success Achievement Award.

A photo of Raquel Villa





The winner of the Administrative Services, Office of the President, VPI & VPSS Achievement Award was:

Tenille Norris
Interim VP of Admin Services, Administrative Services

A photo of Tenille Noris

Tenille Norris is an outstanding leader and encourages us to be our best day in and day out. Tenille radiates positivity and makes our workspace a great, safe workplace. Tenille came to Valley to take on the Vice President of Admin Services position. She is doing a great job making it her number one priority to continue with campus-wide safety measures to keep all San Bernardino Valley staff and students safe and aware of updated safety measures. Tenille is a focused individual who genuinely respects her peers; this is one of the finest attributes anyone can have. She is an outstanding leader who brings a positive attitude to the office, motivating the office to excel. She works diligently to ensure San Bernardino Valley College is receiving her all. She truly exemplifies a Vice President who takes pride in her work, and her dedication shows her desire to make the district the best it can be. Tenille has excellent leadership and decision-making skills. She has experience in analyzing financial reports. She maintained a positive working relationship between members, officers, and administration.

A photo of Tenille Noris