CCA Faculty Equity and Diversity Committee Awards Recipients

Ryan Sullivan – GBLT Award, in honor of David Sanchez

Regina Rhymes – Ethnic Minority Award, in honor of Mary Ann Pacheco

Linda Chan – The Part-time Faculty Award in honor of David Milroy

CCA Chapter Membership Awards

South Orange County CCD
Chapter with the Most Full- and Part-Time Faculty Non-Member Conversions to Member

South Orange County CCD

Chapter with the Most Part-Time Faculty Non-Member Conversions to Member

South Orange County CCD
Chapter with the Most Full-Time Faculty Non-Member Conversions to Member

United Faculty North Orange County CCD
Chapter with the Most Full-Time Faculty Non-Member Conversions to Member

Riverside CCD Faculty Association
Chapter with the Largest Increase in Part-Time Members

Faculty Association Rancho Santiago CCD
Chapter with the Largest Increase in Full-Time Members

Faculty Association Rancho Santiago CCD
Chapter with the Largest Percentage Increase of Full-Time Members

Faculty Association Rancho Santiago CCD
Chapter with the Largest Percentage Increase of Part-Time members

Faculty Association Rancho Santiago CCD
Chapter with the Largest Overall Percentage Increase of Members

Chapter & State WHO Awards Recipients
Chapter WHO Awards

Beatriz Avila 
Imperial Valley College

“Beatriz has been a full-time counselor at Imperial Valley College for over 20 years.  She held numerous union leadership roles throughout her tenure at IVC.  For the last 6 years, she was Faculty Representative for two years and negotiator for four years.  The last two years she has been lead negotiator.  The last contract negotiations were the worst ever at IVC.  The District tried to make over 500 changes to our CBA, attacking faculty rights across the contract.  Thanks to Beatriz’ willingness to put in literally hundreds of hours, her talent and expertise with research and attention to detail, and her true dedication to the principle of faculty rights, we successfully fought off this attack and reached a very good agreement. More importantly, I don’t think I could have survived through my fifth and sixth year of being chapter president without Beatriz’ support.  No president can do it all, and without Beatriz, I probably would have had a breakdown.  I can’t thank her enough and believe she is truly deserving of this award.”

Jesus Gutierrez
Citrus College

“Jesus has been involved in union activities at Citrus for the last 4 years. During that time, he has gone through the Building Stronger Locals Academy and the California Leadership Academy offered at the last several CCA conferences. He has served on our local Executive Board as an Area Representative for the last three years, has served as Co-Chair of our PAC Committee, has been instrumental in signature gathering for the Schools and Communities First Initiative, and has contributed significantly to revisions of our local Bylaws and Standing Rules. Jesus is truly a rising star. His attention to detail and level-headed thinking has been a tremendous asset to our local. Professor Gutierrez also served our country in the United States Marine Corp. His “gung ho” attitude has been an inspiration and we hope he continues to seek higher office in our local and the umbrella organizations.”

Jenny Langrell 
South Orange County CCD

“We honor Membership Officer and Negotiations Team member Jenny Langrell for stabilizing and even growing our membership not in spite of, but because of Janus: writing every single member and non-member, working with Rep Council Members and department chairs to contact non-members, and having face-to-face conversations in converting non-members into members. For her keen insights, wise counsel, and for always calling B.S. when our District’s Negotiations Team shovels it. For being a stalwart defender of our contract, and an empathetic champion of part-time faculty. For her dedication to both CCA and CTA: attending every CCA conference possible, serving dutifully as a delegate, generously bringing back ideas and resources to our local; and for leading our chapter’s efforts in promoting CTA’s “Schools and Communities First” Initiative by collecting the most signatures and by assisting CTA’s Robin Devitt in doing the same on our campus.”

Gary Enke
Mt. San Antonio College

“Gary is a force of nature.   He is a fighter for faculty and students.  If Gary sees injustice, he will be the first person there to fight.  Whenever I need someone to organize faculty to show support for the FA or to stand up for another faculty member, Gary is the first person I call.  It is with great sorrow that the FA accepted Gary’s resignation from the Executive Board but that has not stopped Gary from being the best advocate faculty could ask for.  Thank you Gary.  You are appreciated!”

Velvet Pearson
Long Beach City College

“It is a privilege to nominate Velvet Pearson, Long Beach City College’s Full-time Faculty Association’s Grievance Chair for a WHO award.  Velvet has functioned as our Grievance chair for five years.  While doing so Velvet has defined the words faculty advocate.

As a faculty member and past department chair, she understands the various roles and responsibilities of our constituent groups, thus she can better understand and delineate the roles and lines between faculty and administration.  As many chapters know, it’s the grievance chair that is the bread and butter of the union.

In the years that Velvet has been chair we have had some of the largest probationary cohort faculty groups hired.  We have had groups ranging from 7 – 42 hired in one year.  Presently, LBCC has 49% or 166 faculty members who have been hired within the past 6 (six) years.  What does that mean to the Grievance chair, WORK.  One of the responsibilities of our local grievance chair is to visit, what we call our College Culture Friday meetings.  This is a year-long orientation that all new first year full time faculty must attend.  Velvet visits this group at least three (3) times in their first year.  When there, she educates new faculty on their rights and responsibilities per the Master Agreement, explains the tenure review evaluation process as well as the grievance procedures.  Unfortunately, when you have large cohort groups of 28, 36 and 42 faculty; you will have some members that have difficulties with the tenure review process.  Unfortunately, during Velvet’s time as grievance chair we have had more than a few Board of Reviews; which means Velvet has had to support, encourage and assist probationary faculty through this dreadful process.

Yet, Velvet doesn’t spend all her time with the probationary faculty, but she works tirelessly with and for all faculty.  While her position is supposed to be a two-semester position, she often works through both winter and summer inter-sessions responding to questions or consulting with faculty.  Often the Board of Review preparations need to occur during these times.  Nonetheless, she always finds time to give an ear to any faculty who express a concern about a possible contract violation & helps them to navigate a solution.

Educating our faculty about the Contract is another role Velvet has taken seriously.  She has developed “Know your Contract” brown bag workshops reviewing and concentrating on a particular Article in the Master Agreement as well as she has spent a considerable amount of time developing clearer steps on what needs to be done, on the faculty side; when taking leaves, in particular maternity leave.

In closing, Velvet has been not only an asset to our chapter via her contract knowledge but because of her temperament has built a successful relationship with our Human Resources department; which means she has been able to liaison for faculty, intervening at times with the appropriate administrator thus preventing a longer formal grievance. “

Eileene Tejada
Napa Valley College

“The squeaky wheel. The fly in the ointment. The troublemaker. These are ways I’m sure some administrators have described Dr. Eileene Tejada.  However, if the wheel didn’t squeak, you wouldn’t know anything was wrong with it. If there was no fly, you might convince yourself the ointment was good enough already, and who ever made positive change without also making a little trouble? Eileene Tejada was NVCFA Secretary from 2017 to 2018. She was Vice-President and negotiator from 2018 to 2019, when she was called away from the union exec. by faculty and elected president of the Academic Senate. She brings the same fierce devotion to the Senate that she did – and still does – to the union. She is the conscience that whispers in your ear, encouraging you to always fight for faculty, refusing to compromise. Reminding you, we can do more. We can do better.”

State WHO Awards

Fola Odebunmi
Community College Association

“It is my pleasure to nominate Fola Odebunmi for the CCA State WHO award.  For over a decade, Fola has been a dedicated leader in her local, in CCA, in CTA State Council, and as a director and officer on the CCA Board of Directors. Throughout the shifts in state and national politics and court decisions, Fola has shown an unwavering devotion to the principles of equity and the values of CCA and CTA. She actively advocated for the rights of unions during the Friedricks’ case and the Janus case. She vocally supported her chapter and other CCA chapters as a member of CTA State Council. She traveled to Washington DC to represent CCA and public higher education at the Congressional Black Caucus. She has met with and lobbied members of Congress and members of the California State Legislature. She has also represented CCA at the National Education Association’s annual Representative Assembly. Her commitment to serving not just her colleagues in United Faculty North Orange Community College District but the whole faculty in the California Community College system has been steadfast and unwavering, something that every faculty member in CCA appreciates.

For the past six years, she has served with integrity and honesty in the role of CCA Treasurer. She has been a fierce fiduciary manager in overseeing CCA’s budget while continuing to champion diversity as a primary CCA priority. She has chaired the CCA Budget Committee and has led them in their role of setting budget priorities, holding the Association accountable for responsible spending, and advocated for sound fiscal principles to be memorialized in CCA governing documents. In her position as CTA’s Higher Education Minority At-Large Delegate, she has provided a strong, important voice in representing all minority groups and calling for substantive changes in CTA, NEA, and CCA.

Fola’s statewide involvement has been equally diverse. Her contributions to CCA include serving as a Director on the CCA Board, as Chair of the Faculty Equity and Diversity Committee (FEDC), and as both a member of and chair of the CCA Political Action Committee. At one time or another, she has simultaneously served as a member of CCA’s Budget Committee, Faculty Equity and Diversity Committee, Governance Committee, Membership Committee, and Political Action Committee. In addition to the formal positions she’s held, Fola has been a nurturing mentor to new faculty at her local, in CCA, and in CTA. She works hard to be a team player; she is a unionist to the core, and as she ends her service on the CCA Board of Directors, a valuable member of our CCA family who will be missed.

For all of these reasons, I whole-heartedly recommend Fola Odebunmi for the Community College Association’s State WHO Award.”