Spotlight on Honor Awards
Alexis Gosselin - Alexis currently serves as the AS Director of Publicity. In his role as the Director of Publicity, Alexis is responsible for creating content and disseminating information to students - something that has been increasingly difficult due to the pandemic. Alexis exemplifies the principles of honor, integrity, social responsibility, and respect and civility though the work he does. For example, during a particularly heated conversation at an AS Board meeting, Alexis took ownership of an oversight and misunderstanding to help resolve the issues.
Nic Grant - Social Responsibility. Nic is an outstanding and responsive student-leader. He has been instrumental in the equity work related to the forming Pride Center and is working to develop curriculum for faculty and staff education around LGBTQ+ experiences. Nic is also currently serving on the board of the Gender Sexuality Alliance student club. Nic recently joined the Academic Senate meetings to advocate for policy changes around the use of proctorio in on-line instruction. Nic is a thoughtful, active listener, who advocates for students; in particular LGBTQ+ identified students.
Karina Quevedo - Karina is the current president of Pre-Health Association at SMC. A fellow board member noted, “I’m constantly amazed at how kind and attentive she is to everyone. When a fellow board member has an idea for the club, Karina makes sure our ideas are heard and helps us execute them.” When a student attempted to cheat on their class exams with others in the Discord server, she was swift to ban them and adhere to the institution’s policy.
Nominees: Joshua Elizondo, Sara Holmes, Yin Tung Lam, Catherine Lee, Rafael Pacheco, Branden Padilla Faculty Awardees
Amina Khoja - Amina deserves to be honored and acknowledged for her honesty, integrity, social responsibilities, respect, and civility. She follows the school code and Board of Registered Nursing code with respect and honor. She has also been able to integrate her code of moral values in her years as a nurse as she teaches nursing theory and clinical practice. She has been an advocate behalf of her students with her student-centered approach to teaching. During the pandemic, Amina continued to pursue a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) while teaching online and supporting her family back home. During this time, she experienced the personal loss of family and was unable to visit them in her home country. Amina also conducted educational sessions for all frontline workers in the hospital last year during the acute pandemic to reduce fall rates.
Sehat Nauli - Sehat has led the Physical Sciences department through this tumultuous year with honesty, clarity and respect. He has communicated consistently in department meetings and individually in this remote environment; even when delivering bad news. He is open to hearing all issues that arise. Sehat established a bi-weekly meeting for faculty check-in/socializing. He has made himself available on weekends, evenings and all of last summer to answer questions and give advice. To address increased incidents of cheating in the remote learning environment, he invited representatives from the Office of Student Judicial Affairs to speak at our most recent department meeting.
Nominees – Andria Denmon, Timothy Dong, Sue Lee, Enrique Lopez, Peter Morse, Sehat Nauli, Diem Nguyen, Travis Pecorelli, Debbie Perret, Redelia Shaw, Sal Veas
Classified Staff Awardees
Sean Blocklin - Sean is a classified staff member who goes above and beyond to make the lives of students, co-workers and faculty easier. Sean always acts with the utmost of professionalism, honesty, integrity, and is a pleasure to work with. Sean's concern for students and his colleagues is apparent as he helps trouble-shoot equipment problems. When students need additional support, he always follows up by phone and or by email. This is especially important since our students are working entirely off-campus and may encounter complexities in working with lighting and camera equipment. Sean is a wealth of knowledge but continues to research and implement procedures that are helpful to those taking classes remotely. His role has been key to students’ success in the Photo Department.
Jocelyn Winn - Jocelyn is an amazing asset to the students in the Black Collegians Program. She is a true motivator; supportive and gives students the honest feedback they need to navigate life's challenges. In addition to her honesty, Jocelyn gives students the love and respect that they truly need in order to be successful. She is completely dedicated to our students and as a mentor believes passionately in helping students to recognize the amazing beings that they are. She gives students time to be able to process when they are having challenges in their classes and their personal lives. We are so fortunate to have her as a member of the Black Collegians Umoja Family and a member of the Santa Monica College community!
Nominees – Fariba Dinaali, Dagmar Gorman, Judith Mosher, Melissa Pardo, Maisha Reid, JR Stevenson,
Dione “Dee Dee” Carter – Dione received multiple nominations for this year’s Spotlight on Honor Award. Consistent themes expressed about Dee Dee were her ability to create genuine, caring relationships with employees and students and her communication style, which was described as respectful, authentic, honest, compassionate, and empathetic. Dee Dee is a leader who works tirelessly and leads by example. She was also described as someone who is authentic to herself and those around her. She guided people with trust and care, motivated and inspired others, and honored those around her. Dee Dee was acknowledged for her honesty and truthfulness in her communications with individuals, for creating safe, collaborative spaces where all opinions are heard and for being an extraordinarily supportive leader.
Hannah Lawler – Hannah exemplifies ALL of the principles of the Honor Council. As the Dean of Institutional Research, Hannah fearlessly (and tirelessly) advocates for student using an equity lens. She is in a unique situation where she can utilize data to justify and advocate for necessary policies and change for SMC students. Hannah was instrumental in developing Asian Pacific Island Desi American Alliance (APIDAA) group. She has helped move the group forward by ensuring that APIDA students, faculty, staff, and administrators feel supported at SMC. She was instrumental in helping plan out the Reflection and Healing Space that APIPDAA hosted in light of the racist attacks on the Asian Community. Hannah consistently embodies the principles of honesty, integrity, social responsibility, and respect and civility.
Nominees – Kiersten Elliott, Regina Ip, Lizzy Moore, Pressian Nicolov
This year, the SMC Honor Council introduced the inaugural Spotlight on Honor Awards. The awardees were selected from the twenty-two individuals and one group that were nominated. Awardees were honored via a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, May 19.
Kayla Eber is a student majoring in Business Administration Entrepreneurship and Art History. Kayla started a Meal Project two years ago as a means of combating food insecurity at SMC. By designing a system involving wrist bracelets, students needing a meal could approach a peer wearing a bracelet to have a meal purchased with no questions asked.
Safa Saleem is a student majoring in Political Science. In her role as Director of Student assistance, Safa has supported her fellow peers by elevating student basic needs and improving food security programs so that they would be recognized among our College’s top priorities. She was also a major player in creating a proposal for a Safe Parking Program here at SMC. Safa also attended the California Higher Education Basic Needs Alliance (CHEBNA) summit this year to collaborate with other California colleges and universities to support students in the area of basic needs and food insecurity.
Nominees - Tracy Hurtado, Ishmael Jasmin, Robert Laguna, Daria Volynska
Sherri Bradford is the faculty leader of the Black Collegians Program. Sherri is an asset to the students, staff, and entire SMC community. She has selflessly dedicated countless hours to running and enhancing the Black Collegians program which has yielded quantifiable success for student achievements in leadership and transfer. Sherri has also tirelessly dedicated herself to the cause of promoting an understanding of and tangible practices in equitizing the SMC community.
Tram Dang, Professor of Engineering and Physics, has gone above and beyond not only as an active faculty member, who has been an integral part of establishing the Engineering program/certificate/AA at SMC, but also as a collaborator with others to utilize the 3D printers from the STEM department to print critically needed face masks to donate to health care workers. Without any reservations, Prof. Dang goes above and beyond to support her students, other faculty, administrators, and the SMC community at large. She embodies social responsibility, integrity, and respect.
Nominees - Laurie Guglielmo, Debby Perret, Christine Schultz
Classified Staff Winners
Aaron De La Torre, Student Service Specialist in the EOPS department, is a great resource who really cares about our diverse student population. He offers help when a student needs additional support and he follows up with the student by phone in person and or by email. He provides a wealth of knowledge pertaining not only to our special programs but the college in general. He is student centered and has been since he has worked with this college.
Judith Mosher, Math Lab Coordinator, goes above and beyond to make the lives of students, tutors, instructional assistants, and professors who work with her flow as smoothly as possible. She started a food and clothes pantry in the Math Lab to help students in need get food, clothes, and other necessities. Judith always acts with honesty, integrity, and treats everyone like family. No one is more deserving of this award than her!
Nominees - Ana Jara, Mario Lopez, Amelia Trejo
Johnnie Adams is the Chief of the SMC Police Department. Chief Adams takes time out of his VERY busy schedule to meet with students in his office when they want to talk to him. He treats everyone the same regardless of race or socioeconomic background. He gives his personal cell phone number to students. He mentors students. When he makes tough decisions that may not be popular he ALWAYS gives the reason for his decision. He is very honest and is a constant example of what it means to have integrity. In addition to all of these things, Chief Adams has a great sense of humor and is extremely generous. There is so much that he does that goes overlooked. I hope he is recognized with this award.
Regina Ip is SMC’s Web Content and Social Media Manager. Since the beginning of the global crisis stemming from COVID-19, Regina has worked tirelessly (14-hour days, 10+ days without a day off) to build and streamline the "SMC Coronavirus" website. This page has been a crucial repository for information for students, faculty, and staff related to the virus and the actions being taken by the district to protect all members of the SMC family. Regina's endless concern for students and her colleagues drives her to seek out information from other institutions to learn that they are doing to deal with immediate and expected issues. For example, she has been tracking other community colleges across the country who have been converting their athletic facilities in preparation for the need for additional hospital bed space in order to be ready to work with the Emergency Operations Team towards similar efforts.
Nominees - Elease Juarez, Nicholas Mata, Stacy Neal, Isaac Rodriguez
The Honor Council also chose to recognize the Library Services staff (Ana Alvarez, Isaac Benavidez, Evelyn Chantani, Fariba Dinaali, Teresa Huber, Myron Kabwe and Joseph Metzger) for their team effort as essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.