Fullerton College Centennial


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1. What brought you or your family to Fullerton or Orange County?

Fullerton: live near work; O.C.: work, better air than in Claremont

2. Explain why you chose to study/work at Fullerton College


Liked Department, campus, students, location, had friends in area

3. In what areas of college life were/are you engaged?

English Department composition and literature instructor (sabbatical; Study Abroad), Academic Support (Director for 6 years)

4. Describe what the college was like and your principal interests during your year(s) at the college. 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?

Friends: Shawn Quirk; Jim Armstrong; Herb Guthmann; Larry O’Hanlon Inspired by: Bruce Hanson (gave teaching his all because didn’t want to waste the best years of his life); Janet Portolan (made things happen; gave me opportunities to develop and grow; straight shooter); Lois Powers (involved in many important English initiatives and issues beyond the college); Herb Guthmann (got me involved in working for the educational Testing Service, expecially scoring Advanced Placement and CBEST essays)

5. What were some of the biggest changes or most significant events that took place during your time at the college?

a) The rise in tuition costs for students

b) more diverse student population

c) building construction projects

d) budget constraints

e) decline in Intro. to Literature courses/rise in critical thinking courses

f) establishment of English Department composition sequence, class size maximums, and 4-hour-per-week classes

6. What advice do you have for our current students?

Be confident in your potential; use that confidence to realize your potential; make your life happen

7. What impact did your experiences at Fullerton College have on the rest of your life/career and how?

For 12 years I was a high school teacher and found it challenging and rewarding work, but when I came to work full-time at FC, I felt I had traded a “job” for a “career.”

8. Feel free to include any other comments about your FC Experience…

A couple of stories,

One of the early years I taught at FC, I had an Intro. to Literature class at night. Theater Department member Bob Jensen, who I'd come to know and like, said he was missing poetry in his teaching life, and asked if he might be a guest teacher in my 102 class. I agreed; he came and did a great job. Good for you, Bob!! My first year in Administration, as Director of Academic Support, Adam O'Connor arranged a morale-building volleyball tournament. The day before the tournament, I injured myself jogging and was in severe pain in my left calf. Did I not play? No. This was the "corporate retreat test of loyalty and commitment," I felt, so I played in pain, even though I couldn't jump an inch. Right next to me, a big, aggressive colleague, kept knocking into me as she kept going for the ball. Sacrifices.

Also in administration, one day when the Dean's Council was discussing designs for the big new library, someone from the library wanted to eliminate the big, curved, glass second storey reading area. Worried about noise and trash, I believe. "But that's the best part of the building!" I exclaimed, getting a nod afterwards from President Viera. The design wasn't changed, so now we have an inviting, comfortable reading spot that overlooks the campus, and a quad which looks up to the library, seeing students reading there.

At the start of each semester, instructors are to review with students the safety rules of the rooms they teach in. I always call the class's attention to "the safety features of the classroom," pointing out that in the event of an earthquake, they could hide under their desks, but, as the desks are so small, each student would have to decide which part of his/her body to protect. Passes for humor.

Also when I directed the ASC, the Faculty Senate was pushing for a make-up testing service during finals. When I appeared before the Senate and said the service could be provided, at the end of the current semester, and at no additional cost, I was "hero for a day" the Senate. I asked them to please remember that day in the future when I was pretty sure they would be UNhappy about something else that happened. Insurance.

One recent year, the English Department had a table on the quad during one of the Associated Students activities. It happened to be on Shakespeare's Birthday, so fellow English Prof. Christy Flores and I organized a table in honor of Shakespeare to promote English Department literature classes. Gave out free cupcakes and Shakespeare bookmarks, and had a contest for students with books as prizes, conducted by Department members Jeanne Costello and (dressed as Shakespeare) Miguel Powers. The table was a big hit and was named "table of the day," winning a $50 prize. Yay, English Department. Never mind that it cost about $200 to put the table on. Now you know.

One evening English 103 class (critical thinking), I had students do presentations on logical fallacies. The last one of the night was on "the red herring," a logical fallacy that diverts the audience's attention from the real issue to some side issue. The student presenting this told the class he was a cook at a local restaurant that by chance had an item on the menu that featured an actual red herring fish in the recipe. He had made some of the dish and was having it delivered to class as part of his presentation, so everyone could have a taste. We waited five minutes. "It'll be here soon," he said. Ten minutes. "I don't know what's keeping them," he said. Finally, just when class time ran out, a couple of guys enter class with a hot fish dish and everyone had a taste. Good flavor. And good night. Everyone left the classroom. Thinking it over a bit later, I had to laugh. We had never heard just what a red herring fallacy was. BUT, we had all seen a perfect example of it. Instead of telling the class what the fallacy meant, the student had distracted us all with the fish dish, and then stretched out the time so that there was no chance of having to explain. I gave him an A.

Year of Birth:


Department of Specialty:

English Department

Dates/Years at Fullerton College:

Full-time: 1985-2010

Part-time: 2011-present


English Dept. Coordinator

Administrator of Proficiency Exam Program

Director of Academic Support Programs/Services

numerous conference presentations