February 2019 Faculty of the Month

Jennifer Jovel!

Jennifer Jovel, Sociology Professor
Jennifer Jovel, Sociology Professor

On campus Jennifer was instrumental in revitalizing the Latinx Recruitment and Retention Committee, which she is the chair. Serving as a central figure in the Latinx community, she organizes the annual Latinx Student Welcome event that brings together students, faculty, and staff to highlight supportive resources. She also coordinates a local high school outreach effort (alongside the MEChA club) to recruit diverse and low-income students to Ohlone.

2019 High School Outreach with M.E.Ch.A. Students
2019 High School Outreach with M.E.Ch.A. Students

Jennifer doesn’t just recruit students to Ohlone, she continues to support them once they arrive. She is a part of the Student Success Committee and she spearheaded faculty testing of Starfish. Jennifer also serves as one of the faculty advisors for MEChA. Working with students, staff, and other incredible faculty, Jennifer helps to bring speakers, films, and host wonderful events on campus like the Dia de Los Muertos Celebration. She also takes students to visit colleges and to other cultural events in the community. Jennifer facilitates the kind of high touch engagement that best helps with student success.

2019 High School Outreach with M.E.Ch.A. Students

And to her students, Jennifer is an inspiration. She is an Ohlone alumna, a former EOPS scholar, and former MEChA (student) member. Many students have expressed that they look up to her as someone who maintains close ties to her community.

1997 Ohlone Graduation: Jennifer with Melissa Cervantes (now Dean of Equity at Foothill College)

Jennifer lives in the same Fremont neighborhood she grew up in, and is married to Rafael Padron, who teaches 8thgrade science and AVID for Fremont Unified. They share the same passion for working with underserved students and spend countless hours supporting each other in teaching and mentoring students. They have two children, Diego (9 years old) and Santiago (7 years old). Together, they have the unique experience of mentoring Fremont students through junior high and high school, Ohlone College, and beyond. They run into students everywhere they go and consider that to be the best thing about working in their community.

2018 Tenure Ceremony: Jennifer with husband and kids

Outside of Ohlone, Jennifer spends her time volunteering at Fremont Unified schools and also out on the soccer fields in Newark for her children’s soccer games. She does a lot of local hiking, loves to travel, and is always looking for new spots to explore in the Bay Area.

Jennifer also provides amazing curricular and program support at the college. In addition to serving on the GE Committee, she maintains the Social Science and Sociology ADT degrees. Jennifer also led the charge and performed the brunt of the work to realize a Social Justice ADT. In years past she worked tirelessly to bring about our Ethnic Studies hire.

2018 Ohlone Graduation: M.E.Ch.A Crew

Jennifer maintains a very positive attitude in the face of challenging situations and works well across different groups on campus. She even manages to find time to mentor new faculty in addition to students!

Please thank Jennifer for her service and congratulate her for being the February Faculty of the Month!

November 2018 Faculty of the Month

November’s faculty of the month is the Department of History’s very own Kyle Livie. He is involved in so many ways on campus and off campus.

Just to list a few of his on-campus activities, KylePicture of Kyle

  • brought the Safe Zone training to Ohlone College;
  • is the faculty advisor for the GSA student club;
  • serves on both the Tech Committee and the DE Committee;
  • has written 3 new amazing courses for the history program, greatly expanding our non-western offerings and helping to make a social just ADT possible by writing the LGBTQ course;
  • is working with other faculty to create a ADT in Social Justice;
  • complete the OEI Design Academy and his History 117A course is ready to be put into the OEI course exchange;
  • and he built a module for the Global Literacy Certificate.

Outside of Ohlone College Kyle is also an engaged citizen and active community member. Kyle

  • serves on the board of the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment;
  • is an advisor for University of California Berkeley's Office of Resources for International and Area Studies;
  • has an active research agenda and is working on a book manuscript about rural migrant communities in the United States;
  • and gave a talk at the Los Altos History Museum about Spanish fantasy past as part of their special exhibition about Juana Briones.

The lists for both his on and off campus activities goes on and on, but I don't want to make anyone feel inadequate so I am stopping here.

And yes Kyle still manages to find time for fun. He and his partner David Irving enjoy cooking, traveling, and knocking on doors for the midterm elections.

Picture of Kyle with another person   Picture of Kyle with another person

October 2018 Faculty of the Month

Brenda AhntholzPicture of Brenda

For over 20 years Brenda Ahntholz has served Ohlone students, the wider campus, and her fellow faculty & colleagues as a leader and mentor. She has served on GE committees, Curriculum committee, a variety of hiring committees, and multiple task forces. Most recently she served as Faculty Senate President from Fall 2016 until Spring 2018. Under her leadership, the Faculty Senate was very active in supporting Faculty 10+1 issues, such as task forces exploring academic dishonesty, Guided Pathways & the master syllabus; the Faculty Senate also passed a No Hate Resolution and the Gender Equity Resolution. Brenda’s tenure as Faculty Senate president will be remembered as highly collaborative where dynamic discussions amongst faculty, about issues such as committee service and civil discourse, was encouraged.

Picture of Brenda

Aside from her committee service, Brenda has invested deeply in the development of her department, Communication Studies. The Communication Lab was her brain child and under her constant attention and hard work, developed and flourished to be the bustling, student focused, educational meeting space it is today. The Communication Colloquium series and the Gender Sex fair were both ideas Brenda made a reality. These events have not only provided students more opportunity to creatively apply and explore course concepts through practice, but has also positively impacted the campus culture.

Picture of Brenda

Brenda service to Ohlone extends from her departmental and committee involvement into her relationships with her colleagues. Brenda enjoys working with and alongside colleagues. She values and appreciates the diversity of perspectives and personalities and loves to see what colleagues who collaborate can create together. She enjoys meeting and investing in new faculty, encouraging and mentoring them to be leaders and be involved in the campus culture. Thank you Brenda for being such a good example and for serving Ohlone so well!

Picture of Brenda

Brenda Ahntholz is a Professor of Communication and Gender and Women’s Studies at Ohlone College in Fremont, CA. Prior to academia, she worked in marketing and market research as a qualitative research analyst and focus group moderator. Her bachelor’s degree is in Journal: Public Relations from the University of Nebraska and her master’s degree is in Communication Studies with a focus on gender & women’s studies, LGBTQ studies, and communication education from the University of Northern Iowa. She also pursued her doctorate in Leadership and Multicultural Education at Alliant International University in San Francisco.

September 2018 Faculty of the Month

Wayne Takakuwa
Counseling Faculty
Picture of Wayne
Wayne’s counseling experience and leadership skills serve the Counseling Department extremely well on the day to day workings, which include meeting with the students, implementing polices, coordinating student services resources, and training new adjunct counselors.
Wayne is an impassioned advocate for the Counseling Department. Wayne has risen to many occasions for the Counseling Department throughout his service at Ohlone College. He has been astute with managing our budget when held the interim dean position. He stepped up as the Department coordinator and assisted our new Counseling Deans in the day to day operations of the Department.

Wayne problem solves effectively and eagerly takes up causes to help students and his colleagues alike. During times of student crisis, Wayne is readily available to collaborate and consult with those of us directly involved, and effectively coordinates crisis intervention strategies. Wayne is quietly and steadily by our side helping to make difficult decisions on student’s behalf, appearing just at the right moment to lend a hand and while quickly determining how to best proceed during a student mental health crisis. In addition, he makes himself available on weekends should consultation require such.
Wayne serves as a role model for Counseling Faculty; he is highly respected in the Counseling Department, Student Services Division, and the campus community. After 28 years of outstanding services, Wayne has announced his retirement in September. We would like to honor him as the Faculty of the Month for September 2018. Thank you Wayne!

January 2018 Faculty of the Month

Kerrie-Kawasaki-Hull hugging her dog with one hand.Kerrie-Kawasaki-Hull
Chair of the Faculty Professional Development Committee

Here are a few things you might not know about Kerrie:

  • She graduated from a community college before getting degrees from UC Davis, UCLA, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
  • She taught English and ESL for a high school on the Monterey Peninsula.
  • She started teaching full-time at Ohlone in 1992.
  • She has taught all of the composition and reading classes at Ohlone but has mainly focused on teaching Basic Skills composition and reading courses.
  • She co-facilitated Instructional Skills Workshops where she had the opportunity to exchange teaching ideas with many Ohlone faculty.
  • She has been a member of many different committees and hiring committees and currently she is serving on the Basic Skills Committee and is Chair of the Faculty Professional Development Committee. 
  • Her students and her colleagues are what she enjoys most about Ohlone.  She says that her students constantly challenge her to be a better instructor, and she learns from them every class session.  And she's inspired by her colleagues in their dedication to and enthusiasm for the profession and for their students and in their creativity in the classroom.
  • Outside of Ohlone, she enjoy spending time with my family (even her teenagers), hiking in the Santa Cruz Mountains where she lives, taking long walks with her dog, and reading a good book.  She's also a huge San Jose Sharks fan.

Her good friend and colleague Vicki Curtis said this about her:

Kerrie is a great choice for this award because when I walk around campus with her, we never make it more than a few feet before a student stops us because they are thrilled to see Kerrie. I have overheard comments such as-“I miss you so much!”, “You were the best teacher I ever had.”, “I am transferring next semester mostly because you believed in me.” and on and on. These are sometimes recent or current students, but often they are students from several years ago. These type of positive comments are not just limited to students. I hear similar things from faculty and staff members. Kerrie not only teaches her subject matter using her extensive knowledge of English and pedagogy, but she also teaches from her heart. Ohlone is fortunate to have such a dedicated and exceedingly competent faculty member!

Congratulations and it has been a pleasure working with you Kerrie!

November & December 2017 Faculty of the Month

Sobia Saleem
A full-time member of the English Department

Sobia has been a part of Ohlone since 2013 as an adjunct, and more recently in the last year-and-a-half, as a full-time member of the English Department. During her time at Ohlone, she says she has had the honor and pleasure to serve on several committees and teams of stellar and passionate people, but the ones dearest to her heart are the Faculty Senate, the International Education Committee, and the Umoja Learning Community.

Some of the members of the Umoja learning community at Umoja XIII.
Some of the members of the Umoja learning community at Umoja XIII.

Sobia says that the moment she was interviewed for an adjunct position at Ohlone, she knew this was where she wanted to work because no other campus she’d worked at had the same feeling of warmth and care for all its family members: students, faculty, staff, and administration. She says she has tried to embody and carry this spirit on by becoming a student club advisor for the Pakistani Student Association, participating in the Faculty Exchange program to learn more about different andragogical styles, serving as an Umoja instructor and mentor, advocating for international students by serving as a faculty mentor, supporting Ohlone students by working with local adult schools, and joining several other programs created with the goal of helping the students succeed. 

Some of Sobia’s international student mentees hiking in Hayward.
Some of Sobia’s international student mentees hiking in Hayward.

In working with various teams on campus, Sobia has had the pleasure of meeting some of the best and most dedicated people she knows. She has witnessed faculty discuss and debate major issues in the Faculty Senate while having the utmost respect for one another because it’s understood that everyone at the table cares about student success. Also, she has been humbled to work with the students, faculty, and staff who are a part of the Umoja community—“Together We Rise!”—which aims to foster and enhance the educational experiences and success of African-American students and all students, even if that means sending group messages (very) late at night on GroupMe. She has seen wonderful projects come out of the International Education Committee, such as the faculty professional development Global Literacy Certificate, on which at least ten faculty members from various disciplines collaborated to create modules with the goal of internationalizing the curriculum and promoting multiculturalism and inclusivity on campus. Sobia has found professional peers, activists, and friends in each of these groups on campus, which are each just microcosms of the kind of culture Ohlone fosters.

Some of the creators of the Global Literacy Certificate working hard!
Some of the creators of the Global Literacy Certificate working hard!

When she is not teaching or working with various groups at Ohlone, Sobia splits her time between volunteering, working out, and spending time with family and friends. For about five years, she has worked with the Lupus Foundation of Northern California, which aims to help patients and their families deal with the debilitating autoimmune disorder lupus through social and education programs. In addition to volunteering, she loves working out and studying krav maga, a self-defense and fighting system that she says pushes her to her limits. The rest of her time is spent with her husband of almost ten years and her three beautiful black cats: Scooby, Sammy, and Billi.

Scooby, Sammy, and Billi being their usual selves.
Scooby, Sammy, and Billi being their usual selves.

Congratulations, Sobia—you are a welcome and wonderful addition to the Ohlone faculty!

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!