2017-2018 Faculty of the Month

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Learn more about the Faculty of the Month program.

October 2017 Faculty of the Month

Jim standing in front of the stonehead. Jim Baxter
Professor of Biology and Biotechnology

Jim started teaching at Ohlone as an adjunct in 1996 and was hired full-time in 1999. At Ohlone, Jim is considered one of the founders of the Biotechnology program. He designed and taught the first Biotechnology lab course ever offered at Ohlone and was much involved in developing the curriculum for several of the new courses in the Biotech program. He also was a co-principal investigator on a National Science Foundation grant application that was awarded to Ohlone.

Jim and a female student doing experiment in the bio laboratory.Jim was one of the first faculty to put a program, which included several Biotech certificates, through the Curriculum Committee using CurricUNET. He helped develop the first discipline-specific Associates Degree in Biology at Ohlone, where beforehand Ohlone offered only a broad degree in Natural Science. He has also led many Northern California Bay Area Biotechnology Center workshops that Biotech instructors and industry workers frequently attend.

Jim's insect collections.Jim's favorite class to teach is the Biology for Majors course—this is the two-semester course of Principles of Biology. In this class, he has students put together “an insect collection following professional criteria for catching, preserving, and displaying” the insects. He says, “Initially, some students are reluctant—even afraid—to work with insects, but by the end of the semester, many have overcome their squeamishness and turn in spectacularly well-done collections.”

Jim holding his dog Sashka.Outside of Ohlone, Jim is an avid hiker. He, his wife, and their dog Sashka spend most weekends going on five-to-twelve mile hikes. He especially loves the hiking vacations he takes to Colorado and Washington during the summer months. Outside of hiking, Jim enjoys reading science journals and books as well as anything related to history, especially Native American history. He likes to challenge himself by reading texts in German and Russian. He says that even though he is not particularly fast in reading these foreign-language texts, he loves to learn new languages.

Congradulations, Jim! You are a bright example of one of Ohlone's best faculty members!

September 2017 Faculty of the Month

Robin holding the water bottle.Robin Kurotori
PE Faculty
The chair of the Curriculum Committee

Robin joined the Ohlone family in 1981 as an adjunct PE instructor who taught a variety of PE activity classes at a time when community members could take classes for free over and over again. She says this was the best kept secret until Sacramento caught on to it!

She was hired full-time in 2007 to help coordinate the Newark Center Total Health and Wellness Center and the Health and Wellness Program. Robin says she is honored to teach with “an amazing cadre of talented and passionate faculty who support one another and continue to strive for excellence.”

Robin is currently the chair of the Curriculum Committee and says she has experienced first-hand “the truly stellar, hardworking, professional, visionary, and student-focused Ohlone faculty who put their visions into CurricUNET to make Ohlone shine.”

In her free time, Robin loves to swim, hike, and ride her road bike along with spending time with her husband and two dogs.

Ohlone is truly lucky to have such a gifted and talented instructor and leader as Robin!