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Janet Nagata Emoto, Professor, Fullerton College
1960-1999 Business and Computer Information Systems Division
Fullerton Union High School and Junior College District and
North Orange County Community College District
1999–present 2014 Professor Emerita, Volunteer, Fullerton College, Student Affairs
Fullerton College Centennial Report 1913-2014
In 1960 Mr. Walt Pray, Director of Personnel, Fullerton Union High School and Junior College District, hired me to teach at La Habra High School. Between 1962 and 1964, seven of us joined the staff at Fullerton Junior College—Jane Armstrong, Humanities Division; Dan Eidelson, Physical Sciences Division; Janet Emoto, Business Division; Doran Kough, Physical Education Division; Frank Palko, Humanities Division; Ernie Polte, Physical Education Division; and Connie Warch, Home Economics Division. Some years later, two of my former high school students—Carmen Burgess Gutierrez, Student Development/Services, and Raymond Munoz, Maintenance, were hired at Fullerton College, with Ray just recently retiring in 2013.
My tenure at Fullerton College has been with seven of the eight college presidents, ( Doctors William T. Boyce—1917-1950, H. Lynn Sheller—1950-1969, John W. Casey—1969-1977, Philip W. Borst, 1977-1994, Vera M. Martinez—1995-1998, Michael J. Viera—1999-2003, Kathleen Hodge—2004-2009, and Rajen Vurdien—2010-present), beginning with Dr. H. Lynn Sheller, as a full-time professor in the Business and Computer Information Systems Division and upon retirement as a volunteer staff member in Student Affairs with Darlene Jensen, Director of Student Activities. I have worked with Darlene for many years as a full-time faculty on Men and Women of Distinction, Teacher of the Year, and the Faculty Senate. One day she asked if I had students in any of my classes who would like to volunteer in Student Affairs, and when I had no takers, I told her I would when I retired. I have been volunteering since retirement until today with a total of 54 teaching and volunteering years in the District.
Over the following half a century, many changes have taken place. My memories are of the outstanding students I had the privilege of teaching in my advanced shorthand classes who stayed on to work for the College or school District and retired—Margaret Jones, Division Secretary, Social Sciences; and Executive Secretary III, Cypress College President; Donna Tillia, Division Office Manager, Fine Arts; Mary Lillie, Division Secretary, Library Services; Executive Secretary III, District Educational Services; and Executive Administrative Aide/Board Secretary, Chancellor’s Office; Marlys Hemsley, Senior Secretary, Admissions/Records; District Administrative Secretary, District Information Services; and District Administrative Secretary II, Chancellor’s Office; Huyen Tran, Secretary, Mathematics and Computer Science Division; Sandy March, began as an Instructional Aide in ISP (Individualized Self-Pacing) Lab, Business & Computer Information Systems Division and advanced to her position held for 35 years and just recently retired as Business Office Specialist to the Director of Budget and Finance; and Business Office Specialist to the Vice President of Administrative Services; Anita Ward, started as a part-time adult hourly, Mathematics and Engineering Division and to Mailroom Clerk 31 years ago; progressed to full-time Mailroom Specialist; Department Office Manager, Fine Arts Division/Music Department; and presently Administrative Assistant III, Physical Education Division.
Various District offices contacted me, asking for referrals of outstanding students to work part-time for them. As a result, several students have worked for Wally Naylor, Director of Purchasing—Finance and Facilities, and after graduation, they left for full-time work. Cyndi Grein, Manager, Campus Accounting, started working for Wally as an hourly employee in November 1985 and became permanent just thirteen months later as a Purchasing Clerk/Technician. Beginning in 1993, every opportunity for advancement has come for Cyndi when an employee has left on maternity leave. Cyndi first had the opportunity to be trained as an Accounting Clerk II. In February 1994, she was temporarily promoted to Accounting Technician/Specialist, then a few months later, the decision was made to create a new position in the Accounting Department, and she was successful in obtaining the permanent position of Accounting Technician/Specialist. She was hired by Linda Baldwin, Human Resources, now Jeff Horsley, Vice Chancellor/Human Resources. 1999 brought another maternity leave where Cyndi had the opportunity to work as the Interim District Manager of Instructional Resources; however, when the position became available, she was not interested. In 2005, Cyndi had the opportunity to come to Fullerton College as the Interim Manager of Campus Accounting. When Lexi Donovan decided not to return, Cyndi was successful in obtaining the permanent position. What great timing Cyndi has enjoyed with others’ maternity leaves.
Dorothy Whitehurst, District Director, Purchasing, and I have never met, but we have spoken to each other dozens of times over the years when she would call me requesting a student to work for her part-time. It was many years later when I learned that Rufus, Administrative Services, and Dorothy are mates. The same was true for Valarie McRoberts, Accounting Technician/Specialist, and Gary, Fine Arts Division. I selected outstanding students from my business communications, shorthand, and keyboarding classes, and everyone worked out satisfactorily. In the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, certain positions in the District and on campus required shorthand skills. Applicants were sent to me to be tested for qualifications. Jackie Boll, librarian, sent me students to be tested for the typing qualification for their A.A. degree in Library Technology.
The Fullerton College Foundation was founded in 1959 by Dr. Sheller, who was the first Executive Director until 1983 with Nancie Mitchell as his assistant. In 1983 Nancie became the Executive Director until 1994, followed by Thelma Sevilla, 1994-1996, and Margaux Jordan, 1996-2006, during which time I had the pleasure of working with them as chair of the Business & CIS Division scholarships. Chuck Allen became the Executive Director in 2008, is a Gold Donor and oversees the Sandra Baird Allen Journalism Scholarship since 1993. The Foundation has grown to $3.0 million in various funds and endowments and has awarded approximately $225,000 in scholarships annually to more than 300 students. Generous donors from the Business & CIS Division are as follows:
President’s Circle—Thomas Duff, Adjunct Accounting Faculty
Platinum Donor—Mary Chapman, Professor Emerita
Gold Donors—Margaret Ann Cooper, Adjunct Accounting Faculty; Chuck Shellenberger, Adjunct Accounting Faculty
Silver Donors—Janet Emoto, Professor Emerita; Joyce Morton, Professor Emerita; Ralph Smith, Professor Emeritus; Mr. & Mrs. Merle Zarrett, parents of Ronald Zarrett, Fullerton College student who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident while enrolled in LaDonna Rhodes’ accounting class
Benefactor Donors—Jack H. Denson, Professor Emeritus; Phi Beta Lambda, National Business Students Club; Richard Smead, Professor; Irma Laws Tapp, Professor Emerita; Jane Troop, Professor
Nancie Mitchell has donated the Dr. H. Lynn Sheller Scholarship Donor Recognition Wall, which is displayed in the library. It is a most impressive donation to the college, and if you have not visited the library, please enter via the main entrance, where it is located directly to the west wall. The Foundation hosts a beautiful Annual Scholarship Banquet in May to honor the recipients and donors. This year will see a special Centennial Celebration. Each February/March the Foundation also hosts a Retired Faculty Luncheon, which gives the faculty a great opportunity to meet and visit with other retirees.
When Dr. Sheller was College President, both he and Mrs. Mary Sheller had a way of treating all staff members as one happy family. On Halloween, Christmas, and Easter, with the help of the Faculty Wives Club, there was a gathering of our children in costumes at the Quad. Prizes were awarded to the best Halloween costume and at Easter the most creative Easter basket or hat. The children also enjoyed the Easter egg hunt, and at Christmas there was a festive gathering. All in all, these gatherings were perfect opportunities to meet other families and share a good time together.
For a number of years and until retirement, I was active with the Faculty Senate as a Division representative and have held offices and was an executive member in it. In 1991 when Bob Phelan, Humanities Division, was Senate president, he approached me to develop a Faculty Senate Handbook because materials for it were just left in the College President’s office. We worked on it and came up with the mission, purpose, and goals of the Senate and listed all the committees with the names of members and terms. I was responsible to procure all the committee members, submit them for election and approval, and include their names in the handbook. Our goal was to have it near complete at the beginning of the school year, but all the Senate committee vacancies were still not filled when school started in the fall. I worked on the handbook for several years alone after Bob’s presidency was over and came to realize that the handbook was not very useful even with upgrades being handed out periodically. The handbook hard copy was physically distributed to all Senate members, division deans, administration, A.S. office, and Classified Senate, as in the early 1990s, electronic distribution of documents was not yet the norm. I was also responsible for the Senate meetings refreshments, taking over the task after Margaret Van Diest, Technology & Engineering Division, retired. I fondly remember Marcus Wilson, Business & CIS Division, preferring Dr. Pepper soda and Lenny Vincent, Natural Sciences Division, searching for the veggie tray. We purchased the mini refrigerator to keep drinks cold for the meetings, saving us from the trek to the cafeteria for a bucket of ice. Over the years, I have enjoyed the minutes written by Jim Anderson, Phil Mayfield, Joe Carrithers, Jane Troop, and Josh Ashenmiller.
Also in 1991 Bob Jensen, Fine Arts Division, came to our senate meeting and presented his proposal to rename the studio theater after one of the department’s students who was killed in a traffic accident on her way to school. As a result, it was renamed the Bronwyn Dodson Theater, and a formal faculty naming policy was established for use by the College and the school District.
In 1992 Alice Arana, Humanities Division, approached me, as a Faculty Senate member, to look into the notice the Senate had received from the Orange County Superintendent of Schools that announced the James Hines Orange County Teachers of the Year Foundation Awards Program. This program bestows substantial monetary benefits upon outstanding county classroom teachers, up to $15,000 for each of the five finalists, with one being a community college teacher. I was appointed and approved by the Faculty Senate as the first and only Senate representative 20 years ago to help Darlene Jensen coordinate the selection process. Every year my request to serve is submitted and approved. Soon after spring semester begins, nomination forms for Teacher of the Year are distributed on campus. When nominations are returned, Darlene Jensen works with the student representatives from the A.S. Senate on Level I, and I work with Level II, which consists of half of Level I plus the Faculty Senate representatives. After tallying the process of Level I, top 10 candidates are sent to Level II, which selects the top five candidates. Before spring break, the names of the Teacher of the Year and runners-up are sent to the Faculty Senate President. As a surprise to the winning teacher, the honor is announced in one of his or her classes.
Dr. Fred Peters, Social Sciences Division, in 1995-96 was the first to have won the Outstanding County Classroom Teacher Award from Fullerton College. He was awarded a Disney statue with the engraving of Teacher of the Year, a certificate, and a check for $15,000. This award came about when young James Hines died from MS and had commented that his teachers were all very nice to him. The Hines family devised the award, and Disney matched it. Philip Mayfield, Humanities Division, in 1997-98 is the second thus far to have won the Outstanding County Classroom Teacher Award from Fullerton College, along with a check for $15,000 and a plaque. The presentation of the Teacher of the Year was announced at our Faculty Senate meeting, but when Dr. Kathleen Hodge became president in 2004, the process was changed for the College president to present the award in the winner’s classroom.
Effective 2012, the OC Department of Education has requested that only one faculty member per District be forwarded for consideration in the Orange County Teacher of the Year process for Community Colleges. NOCCCD has established a rotation plan, with Cypress College being the first to submit their Teacher of the Year in 2012, Fullerton College in 2013, and School of Continuing Education in 2014. The rotation will then repeat for the next three-year cycle, etc., until otherwise notified. All Fullerton College Teachers of the Year within the cycle will be considered for the NOCCCD Teacher of the Year during the year of Fullerton College’s rotation. The top ranked FC Teacher of the Year will go forward to the Department of Education. If a tie exists among those FC Teachers of the Year, the top raw score will determine the final FC Teacher of the Year for that cycle.
I could not help but reminiscence when I saw the flier about the upcoming KinderCaminata event. I remember in 1995 when Dean Jim Anderson and I, as one of his department coordinators, welcomed one of the first groups for this event to FC. Our division was assigned a group and Jim and I took the kindergarten students to see different divisions in session. When we came to our division, we had the students sit at the computer and learn to keyboard using the program we had set up on each computer. It was nice to see the expression of excitement on these inquisitive, eager-to-learn kindergartners as they used the computer for the first time and actually learned to type a little correctly. When we got to the cafeteria, Hazel Griffith, Manager, Food Services, had cookies and punch for the children. Gatha Tobler, Business and CIS Division Office Manager, and I purchased memorabilia from the bookstore for their goodie bags to remember their first visit to FC. When they met their mothers at the end of the tour, they were very excited to relate their computer experiences. What a contrast this experience is today, when even preschoolers are adept at using anything with a keypad.
It was Dr. Chris Lamm who organized FC’s KinderCaminata in June 1993. To honor her recent passing, this year’s event will highlight her personal motto “In Peace and Understanding.” Nineteen years later, the program has grown to 1,350 kindergarten students, 400 teachers and parents to visit 40+ different college career stations, and approximately 160 FC faculty, students, staff, and administrators will volunteer to make this important event a success. KinderCaminata is in honor of César Chávez, an important person in U.S. history who has made a positive difference in the lives of all children and families living in California. Through this experience, students and their parents learn that a college education is the path to a rich future where they can achieve their goals and career dreams can come true. On the day of the event, kindergartners are given visors with Chávez’s motto, ¡Sí, se puede! (Yes, you can!). Definition of KinderCaminata—Kinder (German) “children”; Caminata (Spanish) “promenade” or to “walk at an event.”
On September 26, 1977, a disgruntled college employee, who was dressed in army fatigues and carrying two rifles with ammunition, drove his vehicle up to the entrance of the ISP Lab soon after we opened in the morning. He entered Room 317 and began shooting at the students, who were working on assignments on their IBM Selectric typewriters. When his rifle jammed, he crossed the hall to Room 316 and continued shooting with his other rifle. We all ran to the back of the classroom, which took us to the Division office.
Terry Harris, our full-time teachers’ aide, was shot in her right hip, puncturing her colon in three places. The gunman, who was behind Terry, fatally shot himself. Fortunately no one else was injured. Policemen, ambulances, newscasters, television reporters, cameramen, and students soon surrounded the classrooms. The incident was immediately reported on radio stations and on the evening news on television. Terry’s stay in the hospital was a month, and after four months she was able to return to work. Upon her return, she continued her studies for her B.S. and M.B.A. degrees, while teaching as an adjunct faculty member for the Business & CIS Division. After graduation and until her retirement, she taught full-time at El Camino Real High School in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District. An excellent teacher, Terry continues to teach and substitute when called upon.
One of the nice features of ISP was that it was open enrollment/open exit, and the lab was open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. five days a week. Two FC maintenance workers took advantage of this availability and learned to keyboard, something they had always wanted to do. It was a pleasure to have had Joe Racaniello and Tom Graves, both electricians/maintenance, attend regularly at the end of their day’s work. Coach Hal Sherbeck came often to see that his football players were attending to complete their work, too.
Four other students whose friendship I cherish, since having them as students, are as follows: At La Habra High School—Sharon Ander Peters was a student of mine from 1960, as well as a member of a club that I sponsored, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America). She stood out as an outstanding, conscientious, reliable, and responsible young woman, and after more than fifty years, she is still the same outstanding person. She has remembered me on every birthday, faithfully sending me a card to wish me another happy year. Sharon attended Fullerton College, received the Bank of America Award, was a Woman of Distinction, and graduated in two years with her A.A. degree in secretarial science. She worked at Beckman Instruments as a department secretary and was promoted to an administrative secretary to a division manager. While working as a substitute school secretary for the La Habra Elementary School District, Sharon married and raised two daughters. Now she is enjoying three grandchildren. After Sharon’s husband, Richard, retired in 2003, they moved from California to Oregon. Even through all these exciting events, Sharon has managed to keep in touch via Christmas cards and picture newsletters.
At Fullerton College—Emy Thompson Conway was a student in the late 1960s, graduating with high honors and an A.A. degree and Certificate in Medical Science and Medical Assisting. She was one of my top students in medical shorthand, medical transcription, and shorthand classes. She was a pleasant, sweet young woman with a beautiful smile, who was very interested in her school work and always strived to do her best. Emy married Jack Conway, a mechanical engineer by trade, whom she met while he was in the U.S. Navy and stationed in California. My husband and I attended Emy and Jack’s wedding ceremony in November 1974 and are most pleased that they will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in 2014. They have lived in New Hampshire all these years, purchasing their first home in 1975, successfully raising two daughters, and also now enjoying four grandchildren. Her older daughter Jen is an architect, who is presently a stay-at-home mom with two young sons in Hollywood Hills, CA. Her younger daughter Jess is an executive television producer for a TV production company and she, too, is a mother of two young children and lives in Mar Vista, CA. Early in her career, Emy worked for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at hospitals, regional offices, and medical centers in California, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire for over ten years. She served as an administrative assistant to several Directors of Public Health and supervised the support staff of the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health. Emy also served as an administrative assistant in the Office of New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen. Prior to retiring in March 2010, she was a program specialist and worked on Homeland Security grant projects. She has been instrumental in the implementation of the Statewide First Responder Interoperability project, which facilitates the distribution and tracking of $26 million of radio equipment to fire, EMA, police, EMDs, and hospitals across the state. Emy and I have kept in touch for over 43 years.
At Fullerton College—Cynthia Hauser came from CSUF as a student teacher during Fall 1992, and was prepared and eager to teach. The students were very fond of her and connected well with her style of teaching. At the end of the semester, she was ready to go out and take on classes of her own. Soon after completing her student teaching, she accepted a full-time teaching position at Rogue River Community College in Oregon in January 1993. Cynthia and Colleen Riley, Girls’ Physical Education Professor, were twin sisters. Cynthia and her husband, Myron Hauser, are Silver donors for the Colleen Riley Women’s Basketball Scholarship through the FC Foundation. Another outstanding student teacher of mine was Rowena Johnson, who accepted a position at Cypress College, where she worked until her retirement and subsequent move to Washington State. We stayed in touch until her sad passing.
The BCIM (Beijing Concord Institute of Management) program, which brought a total of 41 students during three semesters in 1997-1998 to the Business & CIS Division, enriched the lives of not only these students but the Fullerton College community, as well. Peter Wan, Social Science Division Professor, had a friend who came to visit Fullerton College with the intent of working with an American college to arrange for the transfer of students interested in a program in business management. During meetings, Dr. Vera Martinez, college president, mentioned that one of her goals was to increase foreign student enrollment. She requested that James Anderson, Dean of the Business and CIS Division, head the proposed program. Students with an English TOEFL score of 500 or better qualified for admission to the program. On September 23, 1997, fourteen students from Beijing enrolled in the Business and CIS Division as business management majors—eight young males and six young females. Twenty more Chinese students arrived on Valentine’s Day, February 1998, and in the fall an additional six enrolled. Soon after, BCIM no longer existed in China.
One of two courses that the first group of fourteen students enrolled in during their first semester was my two-unit Personal Keyboarding class, scheduled in late afternoon. They were very enthusiastic eighteen- and nineteen-year olds, arriving to class early and leaving late. These young men and young women were Danny Xiaolong Feng, Bing Feng Li, Donald Dalong Li, Qiang Sun, Jeff Jialiang Teng, Daniel Lei Zeng, and Eric Qing Wei (who left before the end of the semester), as well as Michelle Xin Miao, Nancy Zhi Wang, Christine Xiaohui Xiong, Vanessa Dan Zhou, and Kelly Wenxun Ou (who went on to fashion school before the school year was over). Also included in the initial group of Chinese students were seven-year experience high school biology teacher Paul Jian Peng and Jasmine Honghong Xu, who had already taken some courses in art in China. Housing for the students was found at CSUF, and each student purchased or were given a bicycle from volunteers from the community to ride to and from Fullerton College. Although the students called me “Janey,” every now and then a student would refer to me as “mother,” which made us all laugh warmly in class.
During Thanksgiving, my husband and I invited the students to our home in Newport Beach. We picked them up at their apartments, and the students spent the weekend eating, swimming, and playing cards, tennis, soccer, and basketball in and near our home. We shared beds, except Paul had his own bedroom and bed. Sixteen years later, Jasmine fondly recalled sleeping in my bed. When Paul took an apartment with American students, he would prepare dinners and invite Henry and me. He has taken us for dinners at a true Chinese restaurant where only Chinese-speaking guests can read and understand the menu. He has also taught me origami, and I learned to make a frog, which is a good luck omen. We attended his wedding, and every time he visits us, he brings us a gift—liquor (two of which we are still treasuring unopened), many dinner dishes, and house gifts. Donald and Michelle’s parents have also brought us many gifts. We have received and displayed throughout our home many, many gifts from each of the students as well which they thoughtfully brought from China.
The second group of twenty was more outgoing, with a few taking apartments instead of CSUF housing, having American students as roommates to better their English, getting their driver’s licenses, and purchasing cars. These students were Gordon Qiang Gao, Micah Minghui Li, Tom Yannian Liang, Wayne Wei Wang, Jack Qi Zhang, David Jianhua Zhou, Richard Jingchao Li, Susan Xidan Sun, Charlene Xiaodong Huang, Shirley Xianli Wang, Maggie Pin Wu, Isabella Bo Yu, Carmen Changxiao Nie, Nancy Chun Chang, Nina Yan Jin, Barbara Rong Cheng, and Zhidan Zheng. (Sadly, we have lost contact with three additional students.) For special occasions and parties, these students offered to bring their favorite dishes or cook them at our home. Micah even prepared platters of sushi. We had delicious potluck dinners, and the students sang and played cards, the piano, and the guitar. We spent many memorable times together. When our young grandchildren visited from Maryland, the students played soccer and basketball with them and even carried our exhausted youngsters home from the park piggyback-style.
After receiving their A.A. degree from Fullerton College, the Chinese students transferred to CSUF. Between 2001 and 2004, the students graduated with their B.A. degree in Business Management/Administration, most with an emphasis in accounting. Jeff continued on at CSUF for his M.S. degree in computer science, and in Shanghai he and a couple of his friends are working in LED lighting; David received his M.B.A. from CSUDH in international business, returned to his hometown, owns a small foreign trade company, and has a six-year-old daughter; Carmen graduated in 2002 with an accounting major and her visa allowed her to stay in the U.S. and work a year for practical training. She returned to Shen Zhen and helped in her uncle’s business. The following year her uncle helped her move to Macau and she worked in an accounting department in a big company as an assistant supervisor. In 2010 she became a bilingual property management agent where she has the opportunity to use her English and work with many foreign clients. Vanessa became certified as a C.P.A and works for one of the largest accounting companies in the world as a tax accountant. Michelle is also certified as a C.P.A. and is an accounting supervisor. Just a short update of other students—Donald, film writer/director; Susan, import company accounting manager with two boys; Christine, international sauce and condiment company marketing manager with one boy; Jasmine, artist with two girls; Shirley, stay-at-home mom with boys ages eleven, eight, and six and expecting a baby girl, married to a member of a famous musician family of eleven brothers and sisters—all violinists, husband is a violin maker; Tom, accountant with three boys; Wayne, IT consultant, no children; Paul, accountant/sales married a beautiful woman in 2008 and a baby girl came on 2-14-2014; Micah, sushi chef instructor with a newborn baby boy; Maggie, with one girl, one -boy and expecting a baby girl; Charlene, stay-at-home mom with two girls and one boy; Sun with one boy; Daniel with one boy; Nancy W. with one boy and one girl; Nina with one boy. Five young men returned home to China and one to Korea, two stayed in Southern California, one returned to China then moved to Canada, and one settled in North Carolina. One young woman moved to China and will be returning to the U.S. in June, and the other is in Macau; seven stayed in Southern California, one moved to Northern California, and one relocated in Arizona. Seventeen of the women and men are married and raising children, while holding good positions and using their business and English skills.
My husband and I, our daughter Sherrie, four grandchildren, and colleague Ted Stumpf, Business & CIS Division, visited China in 2008. Donald met us at the airport in Beijing and took us to his parents’ apartment of retired professional opera performers. There I saw Donald’s bedroom, which he wrote about in one of his English classes at Fullerton College—four furniture pieces consisting of a bed, desk, chair, and piano. Donald, his dad, and his uncle treated us to an elaborate, delicious Chinese dinner. Donald’s mother was ill at home with a caregiver; classmate Daniel was invited to dine with us, and Sun was out of town on a business trip. Wayne remembers in 2010 when he, Donald, and a friend drove us to Tianjin, where we almost missed our cruise because of the relocation of the pier to new, larger location. Several of the students’ parents have traveled to the United States to visit. When Donald Li’s parents, who were professional opera performers, visited Fullerton College, Larry Lowder, music Professor, Fine Arts Division, asked them to perform for the College Hour on campus. Donald enriched the performance by playing the piano so well without any sheet music. Michelle’s parents travel to and from China spending equal time in China and the U.S.
The community and church groups were very receptive to the Chinese students. Counselor Gerald Baden organized a bus of volunteers to meet the students upon their arrival from China. Mrs. Gloria Baker remembers asking Donald what his Chinese name is, and upon hearing Dalong, she named him Donald. They invited the students and faculty to various activities, including performances at the Crystal Cathedral in Orange during the holidays and to their Friday night Bible study and dinners. The Badens invited Michele to live with them and treated her like a daughter, driving her to school and coming for her even late at night. Gerald and Wanda Baden were already retired and lived in Brea at the time. Also, Mr. Herb and Mrs. Gloria Baker enabled Christine to become a faithful Christian, for which she is indebted to them. Jim Fuller and Messers. Baden and Baker taught Carmen how to drive. Others who have been very nice and helpful to the students are Carol and Jerry Holte, who have helped students from all over the world. They have kept in touch with Carmen for over fifteen years, even having visited her in China; most recently, Carmen came to visit the U.S. and stayed at Carol’s and Carol was so nice, driving Carmen everywhere. Carol has since lost her husband, and the Badens are sadly gone, too. During Carmen’s recent visit, Michelle and Susan planned on a party at Susan’s, but Vanessa, Paul, and I were unable to attend. A few days later, Carmen arranged a dim sum luncheon with Vanessa, Carol, herself, and me, and Vanessa kindly treated us. Later in the week, I hosted a dinner at our place and had Paul and his family, Carol, and the Bakers over. Michelle and Vanessa were not able to join us because of a project at work that was due the following day. They worked until late at night to complete their work.
While at Fullerton College, Michelle, Donald, and Paul were recipients of the Business and CIS Division E. Alva Straw Scholarships in 1998 and were also named Man and Woman of Distinction in 1999 and Paul in 2000. In May 2014 there will be a Centennial Men and Women of Distinction Ceremony, and all former winners are invited to the reunion. Michelle and Paul are planning on attending. Donald from China sends his regrets. Paul was a recipient of several other awards and scholarships and he was happy and proud to show me the following which were awarded to him by the Business and CIS Division, signed by Deans James Anderson and Marcus Wilson and me, scholarship chair, and those awarded by the Fullerton College Foundation, Inc., signed by Margaux Jordan, Executive Director: May 1998—Chinese Student Association, International Student Fellowship; Alpha Gamma Sigma, National Honor Society; May 1999—Ronald Zarrett Memorial Accounting Scholarship, $450; Waltmar Foundation Scholarship, $500; Mabel & Florence Myers Memorial Scholarship, $100; May 2000—Lena & Fay Reynolds Memorial Scholarship, $350; Kiwanis Club of Fullerton, $400; Mu Omicron Delta Award; President’s Honor Roll; May 2001—Lena & Fay Reynolds Memorial Scholarship, $600. At CSUF 2001—Accounting Society; 2002—Beta Gamma Sigma, National Honor Society. Paul writes “all these awards and letters make me recall good memories when I was at Fullerton College like your helping me select classes on your phone in your office late in the afternoon, 5 to 6 p.m. You are always very nice to the BCIM students. Thank you for inviting us so many times to your house. I believe all the get-togethers in your house will become good memories in our lives.” Also Paul stated that all FC professors are nice and friendly and like the elegant and classic architecture of our buildings.
In spring 2012, writer/director Donald was awarded the best international film for his first feature film, Close Encounter of Mahjong, at the Indie Spirit Film Festival in Colorado Springs, CO. In April 2014 at the Beijing Film Festival, Donald won awards for two of his scripts/feature film projects. One science fiction script entitled “Momery Machine” just won three awards in the pitching program. Also, another family sport film script called “Summer Camp in Brazil” was selected by the U.S. Film Association pitching program. Donald feels that many industry people and movie makers are acquainted with his work, and hopefully he can complete another film this year. Donald graduated in 2004 from CSUF with a major in computer science and a minor in television/film. Upon graduation Donald returned to China, and since then he has returned to the U.S. five or more times for film festivals. We have had Donald as a houseguest on some of his visits and held a get-together at our place with many of the former BCIM students who live and work in Southern California. Donald commented, on reading a draft copy of this centennial report, “Everything is so vivid. I cannot believe that it all happened almost seventeen years ago—it seems like only yesterday.”
Over the years, Fullerton College has gone through many changes. For example, Building 200, which houses the Student Center, Food Services, Student Affairs, A.S., Cadena Cultural/Transfer Center, Office of Special Programs, International Students, and Meeting/Event Rooms, opened in Fall of 2007; in August 2008, the new 1400 Classroom Office Building was ready for Social Sciences and the Reading Lab; and by the end of Fall 2008, the Olympic-sized swimming pool was opened.
Spring 2009 was a memorable semester when I substituted for Denise Cork at A.S., while she was on medical leave. The student body officers were President Rajan Vaidya, Vice-President Robin Kim, Recorder Neil Patel, Treasurer Christine An, I.C.C. President Adrian Boluarte Chong, who was replaced by Lorena Cadena, I.C.C. Secretary Wajeeha Shakeel, and Student Trustee Ethan Morse. All day long, the students came in and out of the office between classes to study or just to take a break. It was like a second home for the A.S. Senate and others involved with the A.S. Like the BCIM Chinese students, I saw the students take the time and effort to build connections with each other, realizing that so many came from different walks of life and backgrounds. It was the spring when Susan Boyle popularized the song “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent with Simon Cowell. The song played softly all day in the office, which enriched the atmosphere and showed that Fullerton College is more than an educational experience. This was truly a wonderful semester that I will never forget, and it makes me wish that more students could be encouraged to participate in student government and become involved in their school. I hope they realize that they are not alone and will make life-long friends at Fullerton College. Denise Cork was loved by all the students during her eleven-and-a-half years at Fullerton, and by the end of the semester, I too, felt the warmth from the many students. It was a semester well spent with the student leaders of our campus.
Memorable A.S. members of 2008-09, many of whom I am honored to still be connected with, are as follows: Syed Ahmed, Carlos Alé, Timothy Baten, Natalie Baek, Adrian Boluarte Chong, Anne Thu Bui, Lorena Cadena, James Castañeda, Connie Doan, Chris F., Jessie Garcia, Richard Gotauco, Shajin Hashemi, Josue Jaimez, Eric Kim, Ran Kim, Robin Kim, Luis Liang, Claire Lim, Maria Mohammed, Ethan Morse, Shefalee Nandwana, Jacqueline Napalan, Chung Lee, Stephanie Narrow, Sofia Nava, Rachel Nishimura, Roy Nguyen, John Park, Neil Patel, Leo Postovoit, Kiersten Price, Maryloie Rivera, Amanda Roberts, Patricia Rodriguez, Jesse Saunders, Wajeeha Shakeel, Garry Suharli, Michael Tran, and Rajan Vaidya. At the end of the school year, Robin helped organize a farewell get-together at my home to congratulate the graduates and offer them best wishes as they transfer to UCLA, UC Berkeley, UCSD, UCI, UCSC, USC, CSUF, CSULB, CSUN, CSUSF and CSUSJ. Rajan came early and helped prepare the food. He made the best deviled eggs; others helped BBQ, and some swam or played tennis or basketball. Special guests at the party were Adrian Boluarte Chong’s mother from Lima, Peru, and Michael and Denise Cork. (Denise was back from a successful surgery.) Student Affairs staff members Darlene Jensen, Les Sié Crockrom, and Nitzya Hamblet were unable to attend.
Most all students have now graduated with their bachelor’s degree after transferring from Fullerton College, and some are planning or currently involved in graduate work. Maria Mohammed has completed her M.S. also in 2013. Others are already enjoying their professions. Many of the A.S. students have commented how indebted they are for their experiences they had at Fullerton College. Following are the universities that the students attended or graduated from:
UC Berkeley—Shajin Hashemi, Luis Alejandro Liang, Garry Suharli.
Shajin Hashemi graduated in 2011 with a major in economics. He works in the accounting department at the Bank of Whittier and is pursuing a master’s degree in statistics at CSUF. Shajin wrote that he is looking forward to reading the Centennial Report and is excited to look back at his time at Fullerton College. He stated, “It’s an invaluable institution, and that made all the difference in my life. Thank you, Janet, and thanks to everybody else who makes FC possible!” Luis Alejandro Liang graduated from the Haas School of Business in 2012. He currently works for an accounting company and also offers business development consulting services. Luis is involved in organizations that support the Latino community in business and media, such as the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, the Chicano Latino Alumni Association, and LAM (a media company that supports Latino professionals). Garry Suharli is also a 2012 graduate with a major in Southeast Asian countries. He is a U.S. Air Force Lieutenant, Financial Manager.
UC Irvine—Anne Thu Bui, Josue Jaimez.
Anne Thu Bui graduated in 2012 with majors in biological sciences and psychological social behavior and is presently working toward an optometrist degree at Southern California College of Optometry, Marshall B. Ketchum University in Fullerton. Josue Jaimez graduated in 2012 with a major in microbiology and is employed as a microbiologist.
UC Los Angeles— Natalie Baek, Timothy Baten, Chris F., Shefalee Nandwana, Stephanie Narrow, John Park, Patricia Rodriguez.
Natalie Baek graduated in 2012 with a psychology degree and currently is a lab technician for Amgen Biotech Experience. She is hoping to enter an optometry school. Timothy Baten transferred to UCLA in 2009, majoring in political science. He took time off from school and in Fall 2013 transferred to CSUF with criminal justice as his major. Currently he is at the American Tire Company as an assistant manager. He is pursing a career as a law enforcement officer either with the Orange County Sheriff Department or Culver City Police Department in the near future. Tim wrote, “I really, really appreciate what you have done for us.” Chris F. graduated in 2012 as a mathematics/economics major and is presently employed as an accountant. He plans to attend law school in the fall. Shefalee Nandwana graduated in 2012 with a sociology major and has been working in Cerritos at Amphenol EC Systems for over a year now. Shefalee wrote that she is very thankful for the wonderful experiences she was able to share with the rest of the A.S. Senate during her time at Fullerton College. She shared, “My time there helped steer me in a positive direction, and if it wasn’t for the guidance and support from my fellow members, I don’t think I could have managed to end up where I am today—in a state of happiness and excitement for the future. I hope all is well and would love to have a reunion with everyone again. Maybe we can get something going?” Stephanie Narrow graduated in 2011 as a history major. She is completing an internship at Autry National Center History Museum, Curatorial Department and plans to attend graduate school in 2015 at UCLA. John Park graduated in 2013 with a major in design/media arts. He is now working at The ID Agency, a Los Angeles advertising agency. Patricia Rodriguez graduated in 2012 with a major in chemistry. After graduation, she entered the Philippine USA Beauty Pageant held in Los Angeles, where she participated in LA runway shows, press conferences with Apl.de.Ap, and meet-and-greets at the Mending Kids Foundation (an organization that provides surgical treatments for young kids). She won Best in Talent for Piano and since then has been invited to perform for benefit concerts to raise funds for typhoon rebuilding efforts in the Philippines. Soon after, Patricia got hired to be a Teacher’s Assistant for a Neurolab Residency Program, assisting in graduate level research for accelerated high school students. This organization also paid her to scuba dive in the Northern Channel Islands to observe and study the marine organisms in association with the human central nervous system. It was one of the best experiences she has ever had. Patricia is now working alongside Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) scientists for a start-up company called Verrix, LLC as the Assistant Microbiologist and PR Director. Their Cal Tech research has led them to invent an automated sterilization device that is being marketed in the healthcare industry. Thanks to her mentors, she continues to gain incredible exposure in the world of business, marketing, healthcare, and academics. Patricia just returned from visiting her 94-year-old grandma and scuba diving in a WWII Japanese Shipwreck in the Philippines. She is ecstatic about the opportunities ahead while aiming for medical school. Patricia wrote, “I will always remember you and the A.S. staff who made Fullerton College my home. Life has been full of adventures since I have graduated. I can’t be more grateful to have started at Fullerton College and to have met some amazing people. I miss you lots and hopefully we can keep in touch some more!!! I hope all is well!!”
UC San Diego—Adriana Cordova, Robin Kim, Neil Patel, Rajan Vaidya.
Adriana Cordova graduated in 2013 and transferred to USC for her master’s degree. Robin Kim is also a 2013 Honors Distinction graduate in economics and has a minor in accounting and mathematics. He lived at the Village at Torrey Pines, dedicated to transfer students. In November 2009 he went to the UC Regents meeting to protest the 32% tuition increase; and on March 2010 he traveled to Sacramento with the UC Student Lobby to meet with state legislators’ staffs regarding the importance of funding public education. During his senior year, he worked as a resident advisor; he was selected as a college ambassador and worked as a teaching assistant for two quarters for lower and upper division economics courses. During spring break, he was fortunate enough to travel to Argentina with UCSD students to teach the local school children advanced agricultural methods and renovated some of the school’s facilities to better fit students’ educational needs. During Robin’s fifth year, a super senior, he focused on getting the most out of the experience as a resident advisor and taking the last few mathematics and accounting classes. He earned the stockbroker and insurance licenses to become a financial advisor but decided after a few months that the work wasn’t a good fit for him. Since then, Robin has been volunteering as a UCSD tour guide on Sundays with the UCSD Visitors Program. Currently Robin is working at a part-time job and looking for a career that uses his degree a bit more. Robin wrote, “I’m sorry I wrote so much, but I have missed seeing you around the Fullerton College Student Affairs offices and wanted to try to update you on what I have been doing. Please do write back and let me know how you’re doing, as well.” Neil Patel graduated in 2011 with an economics major and accounting minor; he works as an accountant in Los Angeles. Rajan Vaidya graduated in 2013 with a major in chemistry and has applied to graduate programs in pharmacy. Rajan was resident advisor and college ambassador for incoming students.
UC Santa Cruz—Jessie Garcia graduated as a member of the class of 2012 with a B.A. in politics. During his last year, he studied abroad at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa. He volunteered through the Ubuntu program offered on campus and became a mentor/speech and debate tutor for young students in a nearby township. Shortly after graduation, he accepted a job through EPIK (English Program in Korea) to teach English at a public school in Incheon, South Korea. Currently in his second year contract with Dongyang Middle School, he teaches all levels of English. Jessie really loves his job because of the wonderful people he gets to work with, the students that keep him feeling like he’s making a positive impact, and the opportunity to travel, which is something he has always had a passion for. Since graduating from Fullerton College, he has had the pleasure of being able to travel to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. This winter he returned to his parents’ home in Fontana, California for a vacation. When he returns to Korea in February, he plans on finishing his second year-contract and beginning applications to law schools.
CSU Cal Poly Pomona—Carlos Alé, Lorena Cadena.
Carlos Alé, June 2014 graduate with an economics major, is pursuing a CFA. In 2013 Carlos has presented work at the World University Forum in Vancouver, Canada and at the National Undergraduate Research Conference in Wisconsin. Carlos thanked me and commented, “I always have fond memories of all the work and care you provided for us, and I hope everything is well!” Lorena Cadena transferred from FC to Cal Poly Pomona in fall 2013 and is working to gain her degree in the Ethnic and Women’s Studies Program with an emphasis in Chicano Studies.
CSU Fullerton—Syed Awais Ahmed, Jesse Saunders.
Syed Awais Ahmed is a 2013 graduate with a major in health sciences. He is currently working full-time at City of Hope Cancer Research Hospital and planning to apply to medical schools in the future. At FC he started the Hiking and Adventure Club, and he furthered his passion for the outdoors at CSUF, as well. There he started the CSUF Adventure Club, which has more than 1,000 members on Facebook now. It organizes healthy outdoor activities for the student members and helps them explore the beautiful nature in California. One can learn more about Adventure Club at http://csufadventureclub.blogspot.com/p/mission.html. Syed wrote that he wants to thank the Associated Student body at Fullerton College for providing him with the leadership opportunities as a student senator and club president which enabled him to continue establishing and running a successful “one of its kind” school organization. He is certain that he will apply the leadership skills he acquired at Fullerton College in his future endeavors. He continued and commented, “I also wanted to say thanks to all the lovely ladies of A.S.—Darlene, Denise, Les-Sié, Nitzya, and of course you, who worked very patiently with me during my time at FC. Thank you so much again.” Jesse Saunders is a 2012 graduate with a major in business administration and marketing and works for Robert Half Technology in Irvine. He has traveled to China, the Philippines, Germany, Spain, England, and the Netherlands.He is player/coach/captain for a soccer team in the CSL major league. Jesse stated that life is going great, and sometimes as he looks back, he realizes that his days at FJC are some of the best of his life.
CSU Long Beach—Jacqueline Napalan, Roy Nguyen.
Jacqueline Napalan is a recent 2013 graduate with a major in international business and finance. She has accepted full-time work for Bloomberg in New York and will be working as a University Sales Representative in their educational division. Jacqueline will work closely with the university administrators to bring Bloomberg’s educational services to campuses, while managing student campus ambassadors for Bloomberg internationally. Roy Nguyen attended Long Beach with a business management major. He is in Vietnam operating his own business as managing director of IStart Academy and has become CEO and Founder of a financial company, Finsom.com.
CSU Northridge—Adrian Boluarte Chong, a 2012 graduate with a B.S. in music, is working in the music industry as a composer/musician on his guitar.
CSU San Jose—Leo Postovoit, Maryloie Rivera.
Leo Postovoit graduated in 2013 with a double major in journalism and anthropology and is now working as a freelance journalist and sign language interpreter. Leo stated, “My time at FC was amazing; I had fantastic professors and made many great friends. I look back with great appreciation for the invaluable experiences I had, both as a student and staff member with the community college. I hope you are well; thanks for reaching out!” Maryloie Rivera received her bachelor’s in music education in May 2013. Currently she is in the Credential Program at the university and at the same time is teaching four choir classes of beginning, intermediate, and advanced women and advanced men everyday for about an hour. In November 2013, she began working as a choir teacher at Hoover Middle School in San Jose. Maryloie wrote, “I haven’t visited Fullerton College in a long time; I love and miss all of you. The years at Fullerton College were some of the greatest times of my life. I hope all is well with you, Janet.”
CSU San Francisco—Kiersten Price is a 2012 nursing graduate. Currently she is an oncology nurse at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
USC— James Castañeda, Maria Mohammed, Sofia Nava, Wajeeha Shakeel.
James Castañeda received his B.S. in music industry and works at Excision and JCast Touring. Maria Mohammed received her B.S. in 2012 and M.S. in 2013 in structural engineering. She is employed at Structural Focus in Gardena, CA, as a structural designer. Sofia Nava graduated in 2012 with a double B.A. in American Studies & Ethnicity with an emphasis in Chicano/Latino Studies and Spanish. She continued on to graduate school at the USC School of Social Work and will be graduating May 2014 with a degree in M.S.W. Currently, Sofia works with Veterans in a substance abuse program at the Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Downtown Los Angeles. Wajeeha Shakeel graduated in 2011 with business finance as her major. She is employed by the Bank of Whittier as a credit analyst. Shajin Hashemi also works at the same branch office.
New York U—Andrea Chung Lee is a 2012 graduate with a B.S. in media culture and communication. Presently she is Photo Studio Manager at The Sak Brand Group. She is applying to other jobs and wants to be an anchor or reporter at a news broadcasting station.
Fullerton College recognizes annually top scholars of the college, as well as students who have distinguished themselves in diverse fields such as the fine arts, athletics, student government, and service to the college and community. The fifteen Men and fifteen Women of Distinction are truly outstanding in their achievements.
Out of these 30 students honored, one is chosen as Man of the Year and one as Woman of the Year. Following are the recipients from the A.S. class of 2008-09 and 2009-10:
2009—Adrian Boluarte Chong, Shajin Hashemi, Robin Kim, Luis Liang, Ethan Morse, Roy Nguyen, Neil Patel, Christine An, Anne Thu Bui, Lorena Cadena, Lan Thanh Huynh, Ran Kim, Maria Mohammed, Stephanie Narrow, Sofia Nava, Rachel Nishimura, Maryloie Rivera, Amanda Roberts, and Wajeeha Shakeel.
2009 Man of the Year—Ethan Morse; 2009 Woman of the Year—Maria Mohammed.
2010—Syed Ahmed, Jessie Garcia, Eric Kim, Leonard Postovoit, Garry Suharli, Rajan Vaidya, Andrea Chong Lee, Claire Soo Ji Lim, and Shefalee Nandwana.
Special Recognition to Araz Pourmorad, AS President 2004-05 and winner of 2005 Man of the Year Award; USC 2007 graduate, political science major. Araz works in Washington, DC, and every trip home to visit his parents, he makes it a point to stop and visit us in A.S. It is always nice when he visits, and we can never forget one of our outstanding students/leaders. After graduating from USC, Araz worked on then Senator Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign as a youth organizer in Columbia, MO. He then worked for the White House as Deputy Director of Operations and Continuity. In June 2013, he went to the State Department as a Protocol Officer, whose duties are to arrange and execute detailed programs for visiting Chiefs of State and Heads of Government. This office’s mission is to advance foreign policy goals of the U.S. by creating an environment for successful diplomacy. Araz travels in advance of the President and Government leaders on foreign trips to help with the execution of the visit. Araz wrote, “Thank you for always giving back to the community. You are and always will be one of my favorite educators.” Fullerton College “Smoke-Free Campus Concept” was a student-driven project originated through the A.S. as of November 2004 and headed by Araz Pourmorad, A.S. President 2004-05. The students were heard and seen on radio and television stations. Ongoing research and efforts were carried forward for the following two years by Alejandra Goodrich, A.S. President 2005-06, Julie Law, A.S. Vice-President 2005-06, Julie Law, I.C.C. President 2006-07. Through the collaborative efforts of students, faculty, classified staff and managers involved, FC became a “Smoke-Free Campus” for students and guests, effective July 1, 2007, one of the first California Community Colleges to achieve this status. FC is still awaiting the negotiations of faculty and classified unions to review and adopt this “Smoke-Free Campus” concept. Education and enforcement needs have continued since 2007, with a PAC sub-committee in place from 2008-09 and 2009-10, led by Rajan Vaidya, A.S. President 2008-09 and Student Trustee 2009-10.
These and other A.S. students made a lasting impression on many of us. Together we all made a great team. Following are staff recollections of some of these amazing students:
Darlene Jensen, Director, Student Activities: “As I think back to 1985 when I began the second phase of my career at Fullerton College (FC), I recall what a sincere honor and privilege it has been to serve Fullerton College and its students. Whether serving as the Coordinator of Student Activities, Supervisor of Student Activities, Director of Student Activities, and Interim Dean of Admissions and Records, I have always had the distinct privilege of advising the A.S., I.C.C., and those serving in the FC Club/Organization Program. Although we may have encountered challenges along the way, the leadership, hearts and passions involved have achieved memorable and successful student outcomes for FC.
“Throughout the past 29 years, I have advised, supervised, and observed thousands of student leaders from A.S., I.C.C. and those involved in the Club Program, all of whom, in my opinion, desired to serve the students of FC, the college and community to the best of their abilities. Their dedicated involvement and service included, but was not limited to, representing the ever-changing interests of students, continuing FC’s rich tradition through programs and events, developing new ideas, networking with others for the good of students, lobbying the campus and district for support on student issues & needs, and frequently implementing the many desires of their election platforms and A.S. and I.C.C. Goals/Objectives. A few of these accomplishments have included the implementation of the following:
“FC has recognized the valuable contributions of student leaders and those involved in the Club Program... and that has been evident through the nominations and annual selection of 25-30 Men and Women of Distinction Finalists having involvement in A.S., I.C.C., Club Program and Service Components. The successes of these student leaders have not stopped at Fullerton College. Countless student leaders still stay in touch, and have continued their education in a wide variety of fields, earning M.A./M.S Degrees, Ph.D/Ed.D and Juris Doctorates. Some have been employed and/or interned for the President in Washington, DC, or for other Public Administrative Offices, many have completed degrees to assist and support those who are less fortunate, others have pursued professions in education, teaching & administration (some returning to FC, but now as an employee), a lot have sought opportunities in the medical field, others have moved up the corporate ladder of success... and I believe that all have become outstanding members of our community, state, nation and world.
“Regardless of the successful outcomes achieved, I believe it is important to know that all of FC’s student leaders... past, present, and future.... have truly made a difference at Fullerton College through their dedication and unselfish efforts, and for that alone, we are truly grateful!
“It is also important to thank those from Student Affairs, A.S. Office, FC Administration, Faculty and Staff, Volunteers, NOCCCD, the Board of Trustees, and the FC Foundation who have assisted these student leaders over the past 100 years!!!!! Student Leaders, FC and NOCCCD, thank you for making a difference for FC students, FC, our community, state, nation, and world for the past 100 years and for setting the firm foundation for the next 100 years! We will never forget you! Always remember...once a Hornet, always a Hornet!”
Les Sié Crockrom, Administrative Assistant II, Office of Student Affairs: “Over the past fifteen years, I have enjoyed working with the students involved in A.S. in student government. I have been able to build lasting relationships with many of the students. Often the students would come over to ask about club information, posting publicity for their events, volunteering for club credits, ideas for their open house décor, asking for help with their fundraising forms, marketing strategies for promoting their clubs, information on how to get involved with student government, and mostly life experiences after leaving college. Often they ask which direction they should take once they leave Fullerton College. One of my favorite students is now working at the White House with President Obama. I’m often pleased to receive his call so we can catch up with current events. Other students I have worked with have gone on and graduated with their bachelor’s and master’s degrees and now are working in the field they studied for. A couple came by and said they were lawyers now and just got married. One of the past A.S. Presidents came back to share the wonderful news he got married and is now working at Wall Street. Another student I wake up to every day to listen to the news and traffic he prepares through the week at KTLA television. Others I’ve run into working for catering companies prepping themselves for ownership of their own restaurant. These are just some of the experiences I have enjoyed over the years working with the A.S.”
Nitzya Hamblet, Administrative Assistant I, Office of Student Affairs: “I have now had the pleasure of working at Fullerton College for seven years. I also graduated from here back in 2001, so the college is very near and dear to my heart. One of my main responsibilities is working with all the student clubs. So I am able to meet a lot of students this way and help them navigate their way through the process of starting a new club, getting it re-activated, any paperwork for their activities, meetings, etc. The Men and Women of Distinction program is also a wonderful event that is awe inspiring to see and read about many of our students’ challenges, triumphs and home life. It is always so nice to be able to get to know the students better as this program draws near. I also work closely with all the student leaders involved in the A.S., with the activities, election process, student services, and developing friendships, which has been a very rewarding experience.Getting to know them and seeing their accomplishments, not only at Fullerton College but beyond, is absolutely wonderful! It truly is a pleasure to be a part of Fullerton College and all the students who make my life here that much better!”
Denise Cork, Administrative Assistant I, Office of A.S.: “After moving to California in July of 2001, I began to look for employment. A Fullerton College professor at my church told me I should apply for a job at FC. And what a privilege it was for me to work in the Office of the A.S. for eleven and a half years! Working with diverse groups of student leaders each year was a joy, and yes, even challenging at times, but WOW....what an incredible journey! It was more than I ever could have imagined. During that time, I was able to meet and work with some of the finest young people I've ever met. I was also privileged to work with the staff from the Student Affairs Office—Darlene Jensen, who was a wonderful, supportive supervisor, Les-Sié Crockrom, Dina Aguirre, Nitzya Hamblet, and volunteers Janet Emoto and Christine Ritner. We were great friends and a great team! During the summer of 2013, my husband, Michael, accepted a new position in Kansas. It was hard leaving my son and daughter-in-law, California, Fullerton College, and the A.S., but I was fortunate enough to move to the same area as my daughter, my son-in-law, and my two grandchildren, Ada and Jaxton. What a wonderful treat for me! I have decided not to pursue full-time employment at this time but am working temporarily for a publishing company and being with my grandchildren as often as I can.”
Janet Emoto, Professor Emerita; Volunteer, Office of Student Affairs and A.S.: Since starting in the District in 1960, I have been a professor then a volunteer thus far for fourteen years in the Office of Student Affairs and A.S. and have enjoyed helping Darlene, Les Sié, Nitzya, and Denise with some of the major tasks assigned me: once/twice a month A.S./I.C.C. Club and College Days—contact person to serve/sell lunch, prepare and clean-up for activity; Teacher of the Year—conduct Level II, help prepare packets, tally results with Darlene, attend surprise announcement in classroom and quad celebration; Men and Women of Distinction—help prepare packets, input data, assist for ceremony check-in of guests, present boutonnières and wrist corsages, function as timekeeper for Men and Women of Distinction presenters, help clean-up after ceremonies; and graduation—two-day distribution of caps/gowns and honor chords to graduating students, reporting count throughout the day of the number of caps/gowns sold to Darlene, after closing getting total count of caps/gowns distributed to agree with receipts and check-off list, making a report to Darlene and compare with five-year count. Our graduation target each year is to do better than the year before, and we have met that goal each year. This year we are reaching for a 500+ distribution of caps and gowns to graduating students. Many thanks and my appreciation to Darlene for having me volunteer under her supervision and to be able to work with Les Sié, Nitzya, and Denise for many years and also Dina Aguirre, who transferred to the Social Sciences Division, and Dean Bob Miranda, who offered me his support. It is a nice office and team to work for and there is not a time when Les Sié, Nitzya, and Darlene do not thank me for coming to help.
Several of us have been honored with awards two or more times. The following are repeat recipients of staff awards: Mr. Francis Mummery, Economics/Social Sciences Division (Teacher of the Year Award 2003, 2006, 2008); Dr. Calvin Young, Biology/Natural Science Division (Teacher of the Year Award 2000, 2002); and Dr. Janet Emoto, Business Management, Office Technology/ Business and CIS Division (Staff of Distinction President’s Award 1991, 1999).
The Business & CIS Division in particular has been a close-knit family, holding parties for various occasions. Our Christmas parties have been held at our Division Chairperson’s/deans’ homes—Ray Polentz, Jim Anderson, and Dr. Marcus Wilson, at whose home we get to watch the annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, for which 2013 was the105th year of this tradition of competition. The retired faculty—Hal Beddows, Dr. Bob Bowers, Dr. Tony Briggs, Dr. Mel Collings, Ray Polentz, Ted Stumpf, Dr. Jack Sweeney, and I, along with our mates, still continue to keep in touch by meeting on the second Friday of each month for lunch. Dr. LaDonna Rhodes began this enjoyable tradition, and after her move to Arkansas, Ted Stumpf provides us with the reminder call early in the appropriate week every month. We keep in touch via email with those who are unable to join us for lunch, Dean Jim Anderson, Ken Sanguinetti, and Eleanor Uyeda.
Sincere appreciation to an outstanding piano professor, performer, composer, author, adjudicator and church choir conductor, Dr. Monica Lee, Fine Arts Division, for helping me love the piano again after my 50-year neglect of the keyboard. She has not only guided me in how to play but also taught me discipline and the importance of practice, practice the correct way.
My heartfelt gratitude to Bob Jensen, Co-Chair, FC Centennial Celebration and Fine Arts Division Dean, for his kindness and thoughtfulness and for considerately recognizing, complimenting, and congratulating others. Bob’s untiring patience, hours of hard work, and excellence in the task of making our once-in-a-lifetime Fullerton College Centennial Celebration a huge success with many pleasant memories is greatly appreciated.
Our daughter Sherrie is a Fullerton College graduate with a mathematics major, who graduated with high honors, 4.00 GPA. She was 1976 Woman of Distinction for Outstanding Achievement in Foreign Language and the recipient of the Humanities Division Foreign Language Book Award for Outstanding Achievement in the field of French, presented at their awards ceremony. In 1977 she was again recognized as Woman of Distinction for Outstanding Achievement in Mathematics and Engineering, Overall Scholarship, and Woman of the Year Finalist. The Mathematics and Engineering Faculty also presented her with the Wilber and Ellen Selfridge Mathematics Scholarship.
Before matriculating to FC, Sherrie graduated as valedictorian from Sonora High School, received the D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) Award, and served as Associated Student Body Vice President. She had skipped the sixth grade and was a year younger than her classmates. Sherrie transferred to Fullerton Junior College against the opposition of teachers and counselors and never regretted her decision to complete her two-year study with the best teachers in her major fields: mathematics, Bob Moon; Spanish, Bea Malkson; German, Dr. John Walker; and French, Dr. Ira Dudley. When she completed her education, she had studied six languages.
Upon graduating from FC, Sherrie was accepted to UC Irvine as a mathematics major. When Jaisohn Chunn, Mathematics and Engineering Division Chairperson, learned that Sherrie had not applied to CSUF and was planning to attend UCI, he called CSUF Dean Michael Clapp, along with Professor Jim Friel, to make an exception and accept her with only weeks before fall semester was to begin. She graduated summa cum laude from CSUF and went on to Stanford for her Ph.D. in statistics, specializing in biostatistics. In the graduate program with eleven first-year students from national and international universities, she was the only female and the first to be accepted from a California State University. She taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with an assignment of 50% in the statistics department and 50% in the medical school, teaching statistics to medical students and serving as a consultant for the medical school. She and her future husband looked for jobs together and chose to live in the Washington, DC area. She went to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, as a mathematician in the institute that specializes in neurology. Her husband, Peter Matthews, is also a Stanford graduate and taught mathematics at Purdue University and the University of Maryland; now he works as a statistician for the Department of Defense.
Sherrie was so touched to receive the Wilber and Ellen Selfridge Mathematics Scholarship, upon Helen Clucas’ recommendation, that she pledged that someday she would bestow a similar honor to other deserving students. At the FC Foundation as a Silver Donor, she set up a Dr. Sherrie Emoto Mathematics Scholarship to be awarded to an outstanding full-time math major with an overall G.P.A. of at least 3.55 out of 4 and 3.75 in math coursework. The additional criteria are that the student must be graduating and transferring to a four-year institution after no more than five semesters at FC as a full-time student and planning on a career as a college mathematics professor.
At FC she was a member of Alpha Gamma Sigma, a California statewide community college Honor Society created by Dr. William Boyce in 1925, who worked to enrich and encourage scholarly high-achieving students in the community college system. At CSUF she was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, a national honor society at four-year universities. One day when Bob Simpson was an FC mathematics professor, he asked if Sherrie was my daughter and told me that she was a guest speaker at one of the seminars he attended, while a student at CSUF. Since 2012 Dr. Bob Simpson has been Cypress College’s 11th President.
Sherrie is active in her children’s school with many volunteer hours each year. She has been a board member for the Montgomery Blair High School Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science Magnet Program Foundation for the last five years and writes press releases for this nonprofit organization. She also assists in raising funds for scholarships for the magnet students.
Retirement has been enjoyable for my husband Henry and me. Henry is a retired aerospace engineer from McDonnell Douglas/Boeing with 35 years in the company. He is a native Californian, who was interned at the Poston, AZ, relocation camp during World War II. Henry is a Korean War veteran who served as a 1st Lt. in the U.S. Army. We get together with our only daughter Sherrie and their four children from Maryland, who are now ages Toby 23, Lani 20, Jamie 17, and Jesse 14.
Toby is a University of Maryland, College Park, 2012 summa cum laude graduate with separate B.S. degrees in biology and mathematics/statistics, along with a minor in computer science. Jamie will be graduating from high school in June, and her declared major at the University of Maryland is biology like Toby. Lani is a biochemistry major with a minor in mathematics/statistics, also at the University of Maryland. Both Toby and Jamie were also accepted at UC Berkeley and UCLA; Lani was accepted at Cornell and Johns Hopkins. Jesse is a freshman in the Montgomery Blair High School Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science Magnet Program, his three siblings’ alma mater.
We have regularly taken our grandchildren on a one-week cruise during spring break and a two-week cruise or land/cruise trip during the summer. Now that the older two grandchildren are at university, for the last three years we have had trips during the winter break for them because their spring breaks do not coincide with those of the younger two, who are in middle and high school. The last two years we have traveled to Hawai‘i during the college spring break to visit Toby, who is attending graduate school. In addition, we fly to Maryland to see the family a couple times a year for indoor/outdoor soccer games, award assemblies, school talent shows, taekwondo exhibitions and ceremonies, all graduations, seeing the fall leaves and spring cherry blossoms, and visiting the zoo, aquarium, museums, and the grandchildren’s friends and their families. Sherrie and her family fly to come visit us once a year, and we spend time at our timeshares in Las Vegas and Escondido. We have visited all the continents except Antarctica, and we should probably wait until our youngest grandchild is in college to visit that continent so that we can all travel during the winter break when it is summer there. We have many favorite trips, but unanimously the grandchildren chose our recent African safari as the best and most memorable one because together we were able to witness the Great Migration and saw so many animals with their young at very close range. We also visited a Maasai school, took supplies for the students, and made a contribution for their betterment. We are all grateful for these wonderful times exploring the world together.
Coincidentally, my alma mater, Maui High School in Hamakuapoko, Maui, Hawai‘i, also celebrated its centennial in September, 2013 with over a thousand alumni in attendance for the luau. I feel honored to have taught there before my tenure at Fullerton College.
All in all, Fullerton College has been my life, the place where I have had the honor of meeting many life-long friends and colleagues, touching students’ lives, and having mine enriched in return. In my mind, it is the next best place outside of my home state of Hawai‘i.
Always a Hornet,
Janet Nagata Emoto