‘I really enjoy our students, colleagues and staff’ award recipient says.
By Rogelio Escamilla
Psychology Professor Stanley McCloy and mathematics Professor Walker Hunt both received the first 50-year service award at a welcome back gathering hosted for faculty and staff Jan. 16.
Breakfast tacos and orange juice were served to the audience of more than 100 people in the Victory Center lobby.
President Robert Vela awarded 15, 25, 40 and 50-year service awards to 35 recipients. This was the first time a 50-year service award was considered at this college, according to college project facilitator Dinorah Gonzalez-Alcoser. Vela said one 50-year award is rare, but two at the same time is “unprecedented.”
Three 40-year service awards were also distributed to library assistant Amory Irby, Vernell Walker, dean of academic success; and Maria Linda Casas, physical education specialist.
Hunt said one of the biggest changes he has seen in his 52 years at this college was in the ages of students.
“Now students are a lot older,” he said. “Most students used to be fresh out of high school. Now a lot of them have families.”
Hunt then added a sentiment echoed by McCloy, Vela and several other service award recipients.
“I really enjoy our students, colleagues and staff,” he said. “I don’t know of any place where there is a better staff.”
McCloy reflected on the largest change he has seen in 50 years of service.
“We’ve had a major shift across the country,” he said in an interview. “Online classes are becoming more popular. There have been less face-to-face classes. I’ve already converted most of my classes to online.”
Casas described one of her favorite moments in her 40-year career.
“I have many,” she said. “I would have to say when I was hired in the kinesiology department. I worked most of my life in the library, but I would always spend more time in the gym.”
Walker said meeting her mentor, accounting Professor Nina Olsen, during her first day of class was the best thing that has happened to her.
“I waited outside of her classroom the first day,” Walker said. “I wanted to drop her class. I went up to her after class and told her that, and she looked me in the eyes and said ‘no.’”
After refusing to drop her, Olsen became Walker’s go-to professor. She recalled one of the lessons she learned from Olsen.
“Everyone can be successful,” Walker said. “It’s about having good support. Everybody needs that, a mentor is important.”
Vela announced Hunt and McCloy’s remarks upon receiving their rocking chair-shaped awards.
“I just want to let you know,” Vela said to the audience. “They told me that they’re not ready to sit in those chairs.”