48 SBVC Employees Nominated, 17 Win Awards at 24th Annual Campus Awards Celebration

On May 10, 2019 SBVC hosted the 24th Annual Spotlighting Our Success Awards, an awards ceremony that celebrates our hardworking and dedicated staff and faculty. 

The night began with the MC's Dr. Todd Heibel and Dr. Dirkson Lee acknowledging the Academic Rank Recognitions. Tammy Allen, Dr. Jessy Lemieux, Dr. Joel Murphy, Abena Wahab, Keenan Giles, Dr. Craig Luke, Debbie Orozco, Theresa Weaver, and Janice Wilkins advanced in academic rank to Assistant Professors. Virginia Evans-Perry, Kristin Hauge, Denise Knight, and Yolanda Simental advanced to Associate Professors, while Joseph Notarangelo and Patricia Wall advanced to Proessor. Dr. Marie Mestas advanced to the rank of Professor Emerita. 

The Achievement Awards followed, with nominees from various divisions on campus. 

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

Ron Hastings; Director, Library & Learning Support Services

 Ron Hastings has implemented significant improvements, beyond his daily duties, to the SBVC Library, which serves students, the division, faculty and staff. One way he has implemented improvements has been to actively pursue the filling of two classified positions that were vacant for approximately 10 years due to retirements. This was not an easy task, but he accomplished it! Since coming to the college in 2014, Ron could see the strain on the staff that using only a minimal amount of employees created, especially since the Library is open a significant amount of hours each week (63.5 hours) and during holidays, and spring and winter breaks. Additionally, Ron observed three more significant issues that needed to change. There was not enough study spaces for students, and furniture and carpet were completely worn out. The Library was the first new building completed in 2003, and all the furniture and carpets were from that time. As a hands-on person, I observed Ron measuring, counting ranges of bookstacks, counting books per shelf and devising a comprehensive how-to plan to request funding, how to arrange the collection into a more compact order, and how to physically rearrange the collection of books upstairs and in Reference (approximately 70,000) to create space for study areas. I applaud Ron’s positive attitude and “can-do” spirit.


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

Judy Rodriguez; Administrative Secretary, Administrative Services

Judy Rodriguez goes above and beyond in her position as Administrative Secretary and as Classified Senate President. Judy stepped up to the role as Classified Senate President and is working hard to provide more to the classified employees and to hear their voices. In the office, Judy assists in every way she can when scheduling facilities requests for employees. Judy is very knowledgeable about her job and provides great customer service to everyone.


The winner of the Arts & Humanities Achievement Award was:

Emily McNichols; Secretary II, Arts & Humanities

 Emily McNichols is an asset to the Art Department and the Humanities Division. She daily helps both faculty and students with procedures and answers to their questions, and in the case of the students who come into the Art Gallery, advice on many issues. Emily is always helpful, upbeat and positive. She is a pleasure to be around and as one student said, “Emily is loved by all.” She helps with all Art Gallery issues and shows, and her dedication to the arts makes her an ideal candidate for this award. Emily does a heroic job balancing her workload between the Art Department and the division office. Her efforts ensure the successful operations of the Art Gallery, department, and the division. In addition to these efforts, she manages hiring for the Student Instructor program, as well as providing excellent support to students, faculty and staff at both the department and division levels.


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

 Norma Alejandra Campos; Grant Clerical Assistant, Applied Technology, Transportation & Culinary Arts

Alejandra Campos consistently goes above and beyond to assist anyone in need of budget information, grant processing and tasks outside of her job title. She always has information ready at her fingertips when asked, and does a superb job training new employees. Alejandra’s attitude is consistently positive, helpful and encouraging.


The winner of the Couseling & Matriculation Achievement Award was:

Yancie Carter; Matriculation Coordinator, Counseling & Matriculation

 Yancie Carter serves as the Matriculation Coordinator and is an essential member of the Counseling and Matriculation Division. Mr. Carter illustrates strong leadership skills and excels in his coordinator responsibilities. He has successfully fulfilled his leadership role in the following areas: Starfish Early Alert System, Degree Planner, AB705, coordination of on-site high school student education plans, and as Co-Chair of the Student Success and Support Committee. Additionally he is a knowledgeable and excellent counselor. He is also actively involved in Student Services Council and in the Extended Opportunities Programs and Services Advisory Board. Mr. Carter has also established collaborative working partnerships with student services and instructional programs. Mr. Carter is personable and possesses strong communication skills. He exhibits a sense of self-motivation and is a committed and responsible professional. He is strategic, sets short and long term goals, and follows through in completion of his goals. Mr. Carter is resourceful and welcomes leadership opportunities. He is a valuable asset to the college and the community.


The winner of the Science Achievement Award was:

Patricia Jenkins; Lab Technician, Physics

When our Planetarium Specialist retired, Patricia helped with the Planetarium while we looked for someone. She did this in addition to her duties as the physics lab tech. She also advocated for a new updated system so the Planetarium could hopefully do more shows.



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

Romana Pires; Professor, Sociology
 Romana Pires is a conscientious individual dedicated to making a difference in everything she does. Once she decides to take on a task, you know that the end product will be exemplary. Whether it involves her work on Academic Senate or the selection of faculty she knows will have a profound impact on our institution, Romana is the gift that keeps on giving. When asked to look at OER many of us scoffed, yet Romana accepted the challenge and it is through her efforts that countless Valley College students have not had to experience the high cost of text books. She is a team player who not only listens, but effectively examines the policy implications as issues arise in our division. She asks probative questions and provides on the spot scrutiny. One of her greatest assets is her integrity. Her aim is simple: how can I bring out the best in my colleagues? Her willingness to bring out our best selves and her consistent commitment to excellence and unwavering determination to get it right the first time makes her an outstanding nominee for this award.


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

 Amanda Moody; Administrative Secretary, Student Equity and Success

Amanda Moody is a very hard worker who always displays a positive attitude and is always willing to help a fellow co-worker. She is very knowledgeable about her job duties and SBVC/District policies. When you see her, she always has a smile. She goes the extra mile to assist you. She truly deserves this award.


The winner of the Honored Retiree Award was:

Chris Clarke; Retired Planetarium Specialist, Science

 Chris Clarke continues to amaze us with his dedication to the campus’s Planetarium and Observatory, which he takes care of as meticulously and tenderly as if they are his own children. Chris continues to return to campus and volunteer his time extensively at the slightest request, demonstrating an exceptional love and commitment to SBVC that retirement has not been able to extinguish in his heart. In this, he serves as an example of selflessness in service to his local community. Thank you, Chris!


 The winner of the Innovator of the Year Award was:

Rania Hamdy; Coordinator, Professional & Organizational Development

Rania Hamdy’s willingness to bring new ideas to boost the campus morale and professional development is genuine and contagious. She is a visionary and a servant leader who encourages others to give their best.


The winner of the Manager of the Year Award was:

Robert Jenkins; Director, Facilities, Maintenance & Operations

 Bob Jenkins is one of the most patient people we have in our district. He is not only a manager, he is a leader to his departments and to our campus. No matter the chaos going on around him, he keeps his cool. He is always willing to help and fix issues as soon as he can. He is an inspiration to others because he doesn’t care who gets the credit, he cares that people are taken care of and things get done how they should. Robert Jenkins has been a positive asset to the SBVC campus since his first day of hire. We often take for granted the mundane, routine, behind-the-scenes work involving leaking bathrooms, messy cleanups, and fixing door locks. Robert Jenkins ensures all such problems are addressed in a timely manner. His communication style is comforting, and he truly has a genuine care for problems presented to him. Should one have any questions, he always answers in an easy to understand explanation of the problem, ensuring they are rectified in a timely manner. He has fine and true leadership skills that result in the respect he deserves.


The winner of the Excellence Award was:

Judy Rodriguez; Administrative Secretary, Administrative Services

 Judy Rodriguez is a leader on campus. She is hard-working, respectful, and a joy to work with. You can always count on Judy to not only get the job done accurately and on time, but to do so with a smile. She has taken on many responsibilities above and beyond her official job description and champions the classified employees’ efforts to better our working relationships with not only the faculty and managers here on campus, but also with our union and Crafton Hills counterparts.


The winner of the Outstanding Service Award was:

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

 Ernie Guillen goes above and beyond for the SBVC campus. Through the years, Ernie has stepped up in lead roles throughout the campus, assisting and leading on multiple committees and associations. Just to name a few, Ernie serves on Classified Senate, Latino Faculty, Staff and Administrators Association, CSEA, Black Faculty, the Arts, Lectures, & Diversity Committee, and many others. Ernie always gives a helping hand to anyone and everyone, even if his schedule is full, he always makes time to help. Ernie is known for making creative flyers to promote campus events and fundraisers. Ernie is a big support to the students and tries to assist them any way possible. Ernie is a team player on campus and has provided outstanding service throughout the years.


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

Heather Jedinak; Manager, Valley Hills Federal Credit Union

Heather Jedinak


I am extremely impressed with Heather's ability to be resourceful and innovative in any situation. Heather is an asset to our campus and continues to have a positive impact on all those she encounters. I give her the highest recommendation.




The winners of the Outstanding Professor Award were:

Dr. Amy Avelar; Faculty Chair, Chemistry

 For several years Dr. Amy Avelar has worked extremely hard as our CTA lead negotiator. She has put in countless hours, researching, writing and advocating for all faculty. She also serves on District Assembly, the Accreditation Committee, and Academic Senate, and is the Chemistry Department Chair. In all of the roles she takes on, Amy always goes above and beyond the required duties. She is a role model, and leads by example. She puts students first and asks the questions that need to be asked when it comes to doing what is best for our student population. Amy was also herself a student at SBVC, and now embraces the opportunity to empower current and future students.

 Joan Murillo; Faculty Chair, Biology

Professor Joan Murillo works tirelessly to keep students and faculty within her division informed of various opportunities and conferences, and keeps the division informed on what is new within her department. Professor Murillo has taken on the task of advertising to local high schools and ensuring the department can offer the certificates/programs at SBVC, such as Phlebotomy and Sterile Processing Technician training programs. She has helped recruit guest speakers for the MESA program, as well as helped advertise MESA events to biology students. This has already led to great student interest when the first career professional came to campus back in February of this year! She also does an excellent job helping to maintain department moral by celebrating life events of her colleagues by inviting them all to gatherings to celebrate the event, such as helping to arrange a baby show for a coworker. As a newer faculty member, I am grateful to have a colleague that is approachable, easy to get along with and willing to offer me her honest advice. The success of SBVC is very important to Joan and she works hard to create a friendly work/school environment for students, faculty & staff.


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

Bonnie Rodriguez-Cruz; Secretary II, CalWORKS & Workforce Development

 Bonnie Rodriguez-Cruz is on the Board of Directors for the SBVC Valley Hills Credit Union, where she also serves as secretary, striving to make our membership more beneficial. Bonnie also participates in association with Job Corps as part of student training, making sure they are qualified and properly oriented for successful placement and retention in new Job Corps worksites. As an employee of SBVC, specifically in the CalWORKs & Workforce Development Department, it is a pleasure to work with a most talented co-worker. She is a vital part of the CalWORKs office team, working hard to acknowledge, support and promote students to reach their educational and career goals. Her involvement with Workability Ill and CalWORKs Work-Study has helped to successfully place students into job positions on and off campus to benefit themselves and their families. When it comes to special events for the campus her decorating talents are especially admirable. Her attitude towards co-workers is positive and supportive, she is quick witted, kind, and a powerful brainstorming promoter as situations arise taking the lead to resolve or celebrate appropriately. As a co-worker, she is the part of a successful team who inspires students to go further, to dream higher and find inner strength to accomplish their goals. Students and coworkers alike are delighted to be associated with Bonnie; she is a positive attribute to the San Bernardino Valley College campus.

Phylicia Sanchez; Administrative Secretary, Development and Community Relations

 Phylicia Sanchez serves as the support staff for the SBVC Foundation. She was elected Treasurer of the Classified Senate and serves as a member of many committees, including Art, Lectures & Diversity, Scholarship Committee, and many planning committees for both the campus and the Latino Faculty, Staff and Administrators Association. She also single-handedly planned a successful turn-around trip for the LFSAA, which helped raise funding for that associations end of the year graduation, as well as helped triple the Classified Senate’s financial accounts with her innovative thinking and clever fundraising techniques/planning. She has done this all while balancing her commitment to providing excellent service to the Foundation and helped strengthen the relationship between the campus and the community it aims to serve. Phylicia has demonstrated a sincere effort to not only improve the experience for students here at SBVC, but also her fellow employees. She has consistently shown that she works well with others, as well as works well under strict and restrictive deadlines and has a history of forward thinking. Her commitment to bettering working environments and empowering her fellow employees through her work with the senate, union and various committees is admirable. She has also proven to be extremely dedicated to serving our student population, understands their various challenges and advocates on their behalf whenever the opportunity presents itself.