ARC faculty honored at celebration of excellence


American River College professor Kathleen O’Brien speaks during an awards ceremony College Hour on Jan 25 at ARC. O’Brien recieved the International Teachers Assistance Program award. (Photo by Mack Ervin III)

Tracy Holmes

On Jan. 25, Christina Wagner, an assistant at the Center for Teaching and Learning Center, hosted a Celebration of Excellence Awards Ceremony to honor four American River College faculty members in the CTL conference room.

While accepting the ARC Diversity & Equity Award, Rod Agbunag, who is from the Counseling & Universal Engaging Inclusive Transformation Education department spoke about his commitment to the students he is serving.

“I truly feel that this is my passion to serve our students and to serve this community, and to be a platform for our students to come to us and share their stories,” Agbunag said. “[It’s] a way for them to deal with some of the social issues and social justice things happening to them and in the community.”

Agbunag added that he felt a sense of pride for what he is able to do for students on campus.

“I feel definitely honored to be in line with previous award winners,” Agbunag said.

Jan DeLapp, Dean of Health and Education, introduced Cheryl Watt, the winner of the Ken Deibert Adjunct Faculty Award.

Left to right: Rod Agbunagl, Kathleen O’Brien, and Trent Deacon hold celebratory plants during an employee awards ceremony at American River College on Jan 25. (Photo by Mack Ervin III)

Watt is the administrative assistant to the Health and Education department.

“When students come in and they are distraught about ‘oh my gosh what do I do about this nursing application’ or ‘where is this class,’ Cheryl is so calm and supports them and she really reaches out and does such a wonderful job,” DeLapp said.

English professor Kathleen O’Brien received the International Teachers Assistance Program award this year. Kathleen Cronin, the Disabled Students Program and Services  coordinator, introduced her and explained how the ITAP award is given.

“Every spring we give a deserving faculty member this award, it’s student generated, so the students actually vote,” Cronin said. “I tally-up the votes and then we decide who has the most.”

Trenton Deacon was awarded the ARC Classified Senate Employee of the Year. Deacon is an instructional assistant at the Math Multimedia Learning Center in Natomas.

“It’s very satisfying to see this all come together,” Wagner said.