Former Student Turned SBVC Staff Member Continues His Campus Efforts for More than 20 Years

Ernest Guillen is a familiar face on the San Bernardino Valley College campus. 
 
Guillen, a library technical assistant, is active with several committees that make a difference in the lives of students and staff. He is chairperson for the Arts, Lectures & Diversity Committee; vice president of the Classified Senate; vice president of the Latino Faculty, Staff and Administrators Association; and communications officer for the Classified Union. He is also involved with the Professional Development Committee and Safe Spaces Advisory Committee, which aims to empower and improve the college experience for SBVC's LGBTQ students. 
 
"We as staff members are fortunate enough to work in an environment where our voices and opinions are being asked for," Guillen said. "It’s important for employees to exercise this allowance and participate in the shared governance process. This process ensures that decisions being made for the college, decisions that affect students as well as fellow employees, are made in an equitable way and that concerns stemming from all possible vantage points, whether that be the vantage point of a manager, faculty member, or classified employee, are taken into consideration." 
  
Guillen is from Colton, and first came to SBVC in the 1990s as a student, majoring in art. He has worked at the college for more than 20 years, starting as a student assistant with the Arts & Humanities office. 
 
"It’s interesting to have been around for so long and to have witnessed all the changes to the college, both physically and organizationally, that have taken place throughout the years," the Jurupa Valley resident said. "It’s gratifying to have been part of the changes this college has gone through and experienced them from both sides of the fence — as both a student and an employee. It better informs my interaction with our students having been one." 
 
Guillen's colleagues describe him as someone who is always willing to give a helping hand, whether it's making flyers to promote an event or just listening to students share their concerns. In the most recent Spotlighting Our Success Awards in spring 2019, SBVC honored him with the Outstanding Service Award, a celebration of his commitment to making the college a better place. 
 
"I truly did not expect to win," Guillen said. "The nominees were all dedicated, noteworthy, and hard-working SBVC employees. It was very humbling when they called my name."