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What brought you or your family to Fullerton or Orange County?
I began my career as a cosmetologist in in La Habra and moved there in 1967.
Explain why you chose to study/work at Fullerton College.
While working as a cosmetologist, one of my clients who was an employee as Fullerton College, suggested that I study to be a cosmetology instructor at Fullerton. When my first child went off to college in 1988, so did I. I began the instructor trainee program and began work on my A.S. Degree. Shortly after earning my Cosmetology Instructor License and my A.S. Degree at Fullerton College in 1990, I was hired to replace an instructor in the Fullerton College Cosmetology Department. I continued to work in the salon and as an adjunct instructor while traveling back and forth to CSULB and earned by Bachelor's Degree with Honors in 1998. In Fall of 1998, I was privileged to be hired as a full time faculty member in the Fullerton College Cosmetology Department. While still working in the salon and teaching full time at Fullerton, I continued my education at CSULB and in 2002 I earned my Master's Degree with Highest Honors and my thesis won the best thesis award for my Division. I have continued to take classes at Fullerton College to enhance my skills as an instructor.
In what areas of college life were/are you engaged?
While a "mature" adult student with a family at home, working, and going to school I did not engage in extra curricular activates on the campus. Nor was I aware of the many student services available on campus. However, as an instructor I have been and continue to be active on campus committees.
Describe what the college was like and your principal interests during your year(s) at the college.
The college had more parking, had less buildings, had less administrators, and had great teachers. As a student my goal was to get all "As". My goal as a teacher was and continues to be to strive to be the best teacher that I can be and to inspire other students to enjoy being the best that they can be in one of the best careers in the world, cosmetology. I want for them to have the opportunity to make a great living on their own and not have to depend on any one else to provide for them. I want to help improve their self esteem and be proud of who they are and their accomplishments. Some of my students have an innate ability and I can see that they have the makings of a good teacher. I encourage all of my students, but especially those that seem gifted as possible teachers to continue their formal education. I also stress the importance of life long learning to continue to be current in all of the changes in our industry.
During your time at Fullerton College, who were people you had friendships with, were inspired by, or in some way made a difference in your time here, and why?
Lena Kane was my photography instructor. I had no natural skills, but she encouraged all of us to be the best that we could be. I aspired to one day be as fine a teacher as she was. She cared about each of us and our success. Lena maintained a warm and welcoming atmosphere (she learned each of our names on the first day of class) in the classroom and ensured that the curriculum was immensely interesting and stimulating. Our final project was awesome. Thank you for being such a wonderful role model Lena. I had many mentors as an instructor in cosmetology, but none so great as Elena Stock. She inspired all of us by her high standards and exemplary skills as an educator. Her passing was a great loss to all of us, but her example lives on in the instructors that she mentored.
What were some of the biggest changes or most significant events that took place during your time at the college?
Here at the college I have seen many changes, some great and a few unworthy of this institution. The most signicant change for me had been the remodeling of the 700 building. The cosmetology classrooms were old, outdated, and unclean. We very much look forward to teaching in our new classrooms. The most significant thing for me as a teacher has been seeing the personal and professional growth of my students. Many realized that they were not "dumb" once they began to study something that really interested them. To watch them build their self esteem was/is even more important to me than the students being successful in their skill set. Being active on campus, I finally became aware of the plethora of extra opportunities and special services available at Fullerton College for students. Students may utilize these services to enhance their academic and personal growth. This campus has so much student support that aid the students not only in their academics, but also to assist them with their personal, health, and financial problems/issues. I am proud to direct them to these services and to see the great achievements of these students because of the assistance available to them on this campus. My proudest moment was when I was selected as a finalist for Teacher of the Year.
Please tell us one story that gives us insight into your experiences at Fullerton College.
Several years ago I had twin sisters in my class. Both were good students and a pleasure to have in class. The young women's mother made an appointment to see me. She told of her daughter's experiences in school and that one of her daughters had been a good student and one had been a poor student. The mother wanted for me to know that the daughter that had been a poor student came to her to show the grades that she had been earning in cosmetology and told her mother that she realized that she was not dumb after all. She was equally matached with her twin both in her academics and her practical applications. This was a case where the student needed to be motivated and interested for learning to take place. The mom was crying tears of joy and was so proud. I appreciated that she wanted for me to know what was going on in their lives. Both young women went on to be very successful in the industry.
Any other comments, funny stories, and/or recollections of what was happening to you/on campus during major events?
A couple of years ago the power was out throughout the campus when I came to work at 6:30 am. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The end result was the closing of the campus for classes. That is the only time in my adult life that I have not had to stay up most of the night preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. Sometimes bad things turn out really good!
What advice do you have for our current students?
I would encourage all of the students to take advantage of the many services provided by this campus to ensure their success here at Fullerton College and in their personal lives. They should realize that the opportunities here are a privilege that not all college students are provided and they should always strive to be the best that they can be.
What impact did your experiences at Fullerton College have on the rest of your life/career and how?
The Fullerton College Cosmetology Department provided an excellent education and preparation for the State Instructor's exam. The fine educators at Fullerton welcomed me as an older student and most helped me to realize my potential as a student. Somehow I had fallen in to the mind set that I was just some dumb blonde working as a cosmetologist. I am happy to say that I proved myself wrong. Coming back to Fullerton College as an instructor of cosmetology I realized how intense the curriculum is and that anyone succeeding in the program and earning their license had much to be proud of. I wanted for my children to have a college degree regardless of the career that they aspired to. I wanted for them to be well rounded. Having gone back to college I realized my own self worth and had better self esteem. You become a more interested and interesting person as a result of furthering your education. Education is very powerful. I want this for all of my students as well. My students have chosen a career that is very rewarding on a personal and financial level, however furthering your education can also benefit their lives.