Three Cañada College faculty members have received the prestigious John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award from the League for Innovation in the Community College. Professors Ronda Chaney, Sarah Harmon, and Doug Hirzel will be honored at the organization’s annual conference to be held March 2-5 in Anaheim.
President Dr. Larry Buckley said the school's faculty has a passion and dedication to teaching and learning. "Professors Hirzel, Chaney, and Harmon have brought innovations to their work this past year that have served our students and the college in ways in which the entire community has benefited."
In recognition of the long tradition of excellence in community college teaching and leadership, the League established the John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards in 2012. The awards celebrate outstanding contributions and leadership by community college faculty and staff.
Chaney has been a professor of Fashion at Cañada College for many years and has been the coordinator of the program since 1991. She teaches Clothing Construction classes, Tailoring, Beginning and Advanced Pattern Making, and Introduction to the Fashion Industry.
Her enthusiasm for fashion has inspired many students to uniquely express their own creativity. She is co-author of the book, Make It Your Own and has written for various other publications, including Sewing Update, Serger Update, Sew News, F.I.T. Review, and Singer Sewing Books. She has appeared on the nationally syndicated television program, America Sews. Chaney is known throughout the United States as an inspiring lecturer and has presented at many national conferences for professional organizations.
"I'm honored to be one of the John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award recipients," she said. "Teaching has been one of my greatest joys in life. It has been my pleasure to share my passion for fashion designing through my career and observe the success of many students."
Harmon teaches Spanish and Linguistics at the college, as well as other institutions around the Bay Area. She is an active member of the Modern Languages Association, being on the Committee for Community Colleges. She also is an active member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. She has published articles on historical romance linguistics and theories of language change.
Harmon is an organizing member of the Bay Honors Consortium, which organizes the annual Bay Honors Research Symposium for honors students in California community colleges, as well as an annual faculty round table. She is co-editor of Think You?!, the Proceedings of the Bay Honors Research Symposium.
Hirzel teaches human anatomy and physiology courses to pre-allied health professionals at Cañada and currently serves as the Academic Senate Governing Council President. In his classes he uses analogies, examples and storytelling to make complex body processes more easily understandable and memorable. "I enjoy showing students how well-designed the human body is," he said. "I encourage students to become advocates for health-related issues and to use what they have learned in class to explain medical information to friends, family, and patients." Hirzel served as co-chair of Cañada's Accreditation Committee in 2013 and served as Standard III Co-Chair during the 2007 accreditation of the college.
"I am honored to receive this award," he said. "I'm grateful for the opportunity I have had to be accreditation co-chair and now to serve as Cañada College Academic Senate President."
Cañada College Vice President of Instruction, Gregory Anderson, said Hirzel and Harmon provided the college essential leadership in writing the self-evaluation for accreditation and for encouraging broad and deep engagement from across the college. "For many months leading up to the visit and then during the visit itself, they continually demonstrated that the success of this college depends on committed and dedicated faculty leadership," Anderson said. "The visiting team figured out what we already knew - that this college is a special place, where folks stand up and shoulder responsibility."
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