Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Awards were given to the Outstanding Faculty of 2017

Perla Lara
From left to right Cosmetology Instructor Nina Motruk, Chair of Professional Relations Committee Joseph Van de Mortel, Acting Dean of Academic Affairs Gary Pritchard and Director of the Cerritos College Art Gallery James MacDevitt at the Outstanding Faculty Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 27 in the Student Center. MacDevitt won Most Outstanding Faculty of 2017, he received congratulations from colleges including Pritchard who stated, “James’ wonderful sense of humor and artistic talent is only surpassed by his love of teaching.” Photo credit: Perla Lara

James MacDevitt started off at Cerritos as an adjunct in 2002; later he joined as full-time faculty. The economy crashed in 2009 and the Fine Arts department had to “unfortunately get rid of” the gallery curator (as MacDevitt puts it) and the only way to keep the gallery open was for a “faculty member to jump on board” and serve as as the director of the gallery.

Because MacDevitt had had museum experience, the responsibility to keep the gallery open was given to him.

For his service at the Outstanding Faculty Awards on Thursday, April 27, MacDevitt was given the Most Outstanding Faculty award.

MacDevitt commented on his role as curator, saying: “I love it. It keeps me fresh. It keeps me connected to the outside art community; and the teaching allows me to influence my students and pass the experiences that I have (with the contemporary art museums in the LA art scene) onto them.”

The awards ceremony was put on by the Faculty Senate Subcommittee for Professional Relations, of which Michelle Lewellen is the president. She said that the ceremony went well because all of the recipients deserved their recognition, and the rest of the faculty and the people that were at the event recognized that.

Outstanding Faculty awards were also given to Counselor Sylvia Bello-Gardener, Philosophy Instructor Kim Berling, Chemistry Instructor Jeffery Bradbury, English Instructor Ja’net Danielo, Disabled Student Program and Services Counselor Dr. Steven La Vigne, Music Instructor Connie Mayfeild, Engineering Design Technology Instructor Miodrag Micic and Biological Sciences Instructor Chase Tydell.

According to the program of the event, Bello-Gardener has dedicated her career to furthering education for students, and started doing just that in the Cerritos College Counseling Department in 1987; and currently serve as a specialist in health occupation majors, having an M.S. in education psychology from California State University of Long Beach.

Dean of Counseling Services, Dr. Renee DeLong comments on Bello-Gardener’s dedication to the students of Cerritos College, saying: “She was instrumental in working on counseling courses including COUN 200, Success in College and Career. Sylvia helped design the Summer Connections program and educational planning workshops.”

DeLong adds that Bello-Gardener continuously looks for was to serve first generation students.

Adjunct faculty in the Philosophy department Kim Berling has taught world religions, feminism and critical thinking in her two years at Cerritos College– says the program.

She is also known for her “compassion-based Compasion-In-Action Club (CiA), which won an award in it’s first semester of existence for working on the issue of student hunger. Berling also runs a non-profit in Nepal. She has given a TEDx talk on campus about her “spirit of volunteerism and altruism.”

Connie Boardman, Instructional Dean of Science, Engineering and Mathematics calls Chemistry instructor Jeffery Bradbury a “wonderful mentor to… students and faculty” because he has been “instrumental” in providing oppurtunities for students to engage in chemistry research during the summer at the University of Southern California.

Bradbury, according to the program, earned his chemistry degree from Biola University. He struggled to earn his master’s degree from California Polytechnic State University of Pomona in the evenings and teaching chemistry during the day at Warren High School during the day.”

Ja’net Danielo, English instructor, accepted a full-time position in 2012– according to the program, she is currently working with colleagues to develop a creative writing program to foster a literary culture on campus by inviting writing a and promoting student and faculty readings.

Danielo is a member of the Safe Zone Committee and an adviser for the Creative Writer’s Club. David Fabish, Instructional Dean of Liberal Arts, expounded on the achievements of Danielo’s; saying, “(She is) an accomplished poet (whose) works have been widely published.”

Dean of Disabled Student Services Lucinda Aborn said, “From the beginning it was obvious, that Dr. La Vigne had a passion and sensitivity for students.”

Aborn explains that Dr. La Vigne is always very focused on his work with the students he serves and had secured grant funding in the past.

The program says that as the Active Minds Club advisor, he uses his leadership to bring awareness to the stigmas surrounding mental health. He also helped organize Send Silence Packing, an “emotionally powerful” exhibit that displays more than 1,000 backpacks representing the 1,100 suicides committed anally.

Academic affairs and Instructional Dean of Fine Arts and Mass Communication Gary Pritchard said, “Professor Connie Mayfeild served as the Dean of Fine Arts and Communications for seven years before returning to teaching. Her tenure as dean was marked with distinction and high praise from her fellow administrators, faculty and staff.”

The program states that in her music career, Connie Mayfeild has been an author and a performer. She holds PH. D in music theory from the University of Kansas.

It goes on to say that her textbook, Theory Essentials, originally published in 2002, is in its second edition; and is used be nearly 200 colleges and universities.

Miodrag Micic is department chair and an instructor of design technology. He was a vice president of research and development at MP Biomedicals LLC in Santa Ana, California; he is a published author of books and review articles, and is an inventor with issues U.S. patents.

Instructional Dean of the technology division Nick Real commented on Micic’s dedication to student success, saying, “He is an industry leader that works hard to help his students get certified in Solidworks, Inventor and composites,” adding that he has placed a number of students in the industry.

According to Instructional Dean of Science, Engineering and Math Connie Boardman, Dr. Chase Tydell (of the biology department) “does a great job relating real life and clinical issues to anatomy and physiology. She mentors […] pre-medical students and helps them develop the confidence to apply to shools they would not have otherwise considered.”

The program states that she identified a novel anti-bacterial protein; and for this discovery, Tydell was awarded a National Institute of Health grant for research she pursued at the California Institute of Technology.

The awards ceremony was put on by the Faculty Senate Subcommittee for Professional Relations, of which Michelle Lewellen is the president. She said that the ceremony went well because all of the recipients deserved their recognition, and the rest of the faculty and the people that were at the event recognized that.


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About the Contributors
Benjamin Garcia
Benjamin Garcia, Fall 2017 Online Editor
Perla Lara
Perla Lara, Managing Editor
I am a journalism student with a love of photography which makes me a photojournalist at heart. My objective is to write about people and the stories they create. I also believe that photography and journalism are great ways to document history and to connect with other people throughout space and time. My goal is to take photographs, and write stories that make an impact in peoples lives.
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Awards were given to the Outstanding Faculty of 2017