Learn more about the Faculty of the Month program.

March 2019 Faculty of the Month

Please join the Faculty Senate in recognizing our Faculty of the Month for March: Katherine Michel

Katherine in Bogota, Columbia

Only in her second year at Ohlone, Katherine has become an influential force on campus, contributing in myriad ways to making Ohlone a better place for our students. Katherine grew up in Nicolaus, California as the child of community college professors. She attended UC Berkeley for her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science, ultimately earning a Ph.D with a focus on comparative politics.

Over the past year, Katherine has developed Ohlone’s political science program, including creating a new ADT in political science for our students. Katherine previously served on the GE Committee, and now she currently sits on Curriculum Committee, Guided Pathways, and one of the Accreditation workgroups. She is also a member of Ohlone’s new LGBTQ Equity and Inclusion Committee, and she is part of the team of faculty, staff, and administrators that became certified LGBTQ Safe Zone trainers this past fall.

While all of Katherine’s department and campus wide service helps to support our students and programs, she also directly engages with our students both inside and outside of the classroom. Katherine’s impactful approach to teaching and learning has made her courses popular among Ohlone students. Katherine is also an international student mentor (an experience she has found deeply rewarding). She helped to bring back Ohlone’s Civic Engagement Club and serves as the faculty advisor; this club hosted the Board of Trustees Candidate Forum last fall.

Katherine and her husband, Cody in Mexico City

You might best know Katherine for helping to create Ohlone’s fantastic new Social Science Speakers Series with her esteemed colleague, Adam Levy (Geography). The Speakers Series has brought important minds to campus to engage with our students on issues addressing the theme of people, place, and power. Katherine has also organized a panel on the female refugee experience for women’s history month with communications professor Shelly Spratt. Katherine’s deep involvement in Ohlone has certainly enriched our community and helped to support a wide array of students in and out of her classes.

Katherine in Athens, Greece with her parents, Helen Nickolson and Larry Michel

Outside of Ohlone, Katherine is a well-respected researcher who has maintained involvement in professional organizations in political science. This year, Katherine is helping to organize a mini-conference about teaching political science in community colleges for the Western Political Science Association. Katherine loves to travel with her husband, Cody. She has recently taken trips to Panama, France, and Greece and looks forward to future travels this summer. Katherine also loves to cook, garden, and exercise in her spare time. Congratulations to Katherine for this well-deserved honor!


February 2019 Faculty of the Month

Jennifer Jovel, Sociology ProfessorJennifer 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.

jovel-1
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.

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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.

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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.

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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!


View Faculty of the Month Archive.