Learn more about the Faculty of the Month program.

May 2020 Faculty of the Month

The Faculty Senate Awards Committee members are pleased to announce Jennifer Hurley as the Ohlone College Faculty of the Month for May! Jennifer joined the Ohlone College English Department in 2001, and she has been opening minds and hearts since then. Her colleagues note that Jennifer “stands out as such an exceptionally compassionate and invested teacher, someone who truly inspires her students and those of us who work with her.”

In 2018 Jennifer launched her One Book, Two Hearts Project, and it exemplifies the kind of educator (and human being) that she is. The mission of One Book, Two Hearts is to gift a book to each Ohlone English student at the end of the semester. She beautifully describes her motivation for the project on her blog: “A gift of a book from a teacher who knows you a little and cares about you a lot could be a beginning. It might be the one thing that keeps someone on the path of reading for life. Or maybe not. But either way, it’s a gift.” Her blog, in fact, is a trove of thoughtful, beautifully-written meditations on teaching. Jennifer’s most recent entry, Slow Teaching During the Coronavirus, is a dedicated classroom teacher’s lovely paean to the surprising merits of Zoom teaching.

Jeff Roberts

When Jennifer is not writing, collecting books for One Book, Two Hearts or teaching you can find her hiking with her husband and dogs, cooking or sewing her own clothes. She also enjoys gardening with California native plants, and recharging herself with hot yoga. Please join the Faculty Senate Awards Committee in congratulating Jennifer Hurley on an honor well earned. We hope her inspiration is infectious!

April 2020 Faculty of the Month

The Faculty Senate Awards Committee is pleased to announce Jeff Roberts as the Ohlone College Faculty of the Month for April. Jeff Roberts joined the Ohlone faculty in 2008. He serves as the Head Athletic Trainer and Associate Professor of Kinesiology. Jeff has been instrumental to the health and well-being of our student-athletes at Ohlone. He and his staff are readily available for our student-athletes, rain or shine, weekday or weekend. One of his colleagues notes that “what makes him such a great athletic trainer is that he connects with each athlete and cares about them as individuals, not just athletes who he is trying to get back competing.”

In addition to the incredible support Jeff provides to student athletes, Jeff is an active participant in developing curriculum in his department. Jeff also has a LONG history of service to the larger college wide community. He has served as Faculty Senate President, and participated on numerous task forces, hiring committees, and so much more. Next fall Jeff will take over as College Council Co-Chair. His career long commitment to serving the Ohlone community never ends!

Outside of Ohlone College Jeff is a VERY active member in the athletics training community. He previously served as the Region 2 Director for the California Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA), and currently serves as the treasurer. Jeff is also the Coast Representative for California Community College Athletic Trainer’s Association (CCCATA), and even serves as an ATC Spotter for the National Football League (NFL), which he has been doing since the inception of that position in 2012.

Jeff Roberts

When Jeff isn’t serving Ohlone, the athletic training community, or the NFL, he enjoys spending time with his two boys (photo above). Please join us in congratulating Jeff for being April’s Faculty of the Month! 

March 2020 Faculty of the Month

We are pleased to announce Dr. Sandra Chacko as the Ohlone Faculty of the Month for March! Sandra became part of the Ohlone family when she was hired in Fall 2015 as the sole full-time faculty member of the Anthropology Department. Her former dean Bob Bradshaw joked at her tenure ceremony last spring that she made his job incredibly easy because she managed the numerous bureaucratic responsibilities of her department so effectively. Sandra has worked hard to create engaging and accessible curriculum for Ohlone students. It’s no wonder that since she came to Ohlone, interest in anthropology has soared!

Dr. Sandra Chacko

Sandra is an expert on monkeys who has conducted field research in India and in Central America and shared her findings with the Ohlone community. Her adoring students learn from day one that Curious George is not a monkey, despite what they were all taught by PBS Kids. What is even more impressive is that Sandra has extensive training in all major fields of anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, where she completed her doctoral studies and earned her Ph.D. In her heart, Sandra is a scientist whose undergraduate studies led her to earn a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Sandra ChackoDr. Sandra Chacko

Her breadth of knowledge comes in handy as she advises the Ohlone Multicultural Anthropology Club (OMAC). Under her guidance, OMAC members have explored the cuisines of Burma and Vietnam, learned about the history of immigration by touring Angel Island, attended lectures at theCalifornia Academy of Science, and even created a sandbox archaeological site for Science Night where children could dig for “bones” and other treasures.

Recently, Sandra has delved into the world of Study Abroad. She joined Jeff Watanabe and his students in Costa Rica in January 2019, and she will be leading a trip to Peru this coming winter. There are still spaces available for interested students!

Sandra’s dedication to the Ohlone community extends far beyond her work as an anthropologist. This is especially evident in her equity-related efforts. Sandra is a trained Safe Zone workshop leader who co-led a session during our most recent Learning College Week. She has been an Umoja mentor and has preserved the sanity of our Umoja coordinator by helping to chaperone Umoja field trips to Sacramento and Davis. Sandra has been a member of the GE committee since she was hired and has been a part of several hiring committees, including the committee searching for our next President of Ohlone College. A great deal of Sandra’s service is “behind the scenes” work such as reading scholarship applications for the Ohlone Foundation each year, judging speeches in a forensics tournament, and contributing to the recent Faculty Senate Decision Making Task Force.

Before joining the Ohlone family, Sandra worked for years as an adjunct at Pima Community College in her home state of Arizona, where also she helped to raise her oldest nephew. His art graces her office walls. Her family is very important to her, and she visits whenever she can work it into her busy schedule. Currently, she lives in Fremont with her adorable shelter cat Eliza, who adds levity to committee meetings by joining via Zoom. After a long day of teaching, Sandra can often be found rock climbing (which she learned through a class at Ohlone), drawing and painting (also studied at Ohlone), or doing yoga to unwind.

February 2020 Faculty of the Month

The Faculty Senate Ohlone Awards Committee is thrilled to announce Dr. Adam Levy as the Ohlone Faculty of the Month for February! Since joining the faculty in Fall 2016, Adam has worked to revitalize the Department of Geography. As the only full-time faculty member in the department, Adam works diligently to attract and retain students, many of whom praise his extraordinary passion for the discipline (and his numerous geography jokes). Adam likes to point out, “geology rocks, but geography is where it’s at.”

Dr. Adam Levy

In his four years at Ohlone, Adam has contributed to service in multiple areas. Adam previously served on the Professional Development Committee and currently serves on Faculty Senate. During Learning College Week in Fall 2018, Adam participated in the two-day Safe Zone Train-the-Trainer workshop and serves on the Spectrum LGBTQ Equity and Inclusion Committee. Adam also consistently acts as an international student mentor each semester. As one of his colleagues noted in their nomination, “Adam is a tour-de-force intellectual who brings so much to our students, helping them to develop a love for geography and preparing them to excel when they transfer.”

Dr. Adam Levy

In addition to his committee work, Adam co-organizes People, Place, and Power: A Social Science Speaker Series with Dr. Katherine Michel (Political Science). Over the last two semesters, this speaker series brought 12 scholars to campus, covering topics as diverse as ethnonationalism in Italy to parades in Fremont to New Deal policies to weapons of mass destruction. And, for the Spring 2020 semester, the series will host an additional eight speakers on campus, providing our students, faculty, administration, and staff with access to experts working on big, important, timely ideas and issues.

Adam’s role in identifying exciting scholarship to bring to campus has enriched Ohlone, with one of his fellow social scientists noting that Adam’s work “has made Ohlone a richer place for intellectual inquiry for our students and colleagues alike, showing us what it means to be a true leader focused on student learning.” Adam’s colleagues know him as someone they can always rely on for feedback, support, and wit when facing challenges in or out of the classroom. His deep passion for scholarship helps to inspire us to bring the best to our students and to expect the most out of ourselves.

Finally, beyond his work on campus, Adam is currently part of the EPIC Community College Fellowship Program at Stanford. His project, “Variable Vulnerabilities: Mixed-Methods and Multi-Sensory Strategies for Teaching Global Studies,” develops non-visual cues to teach global studies. By mixing scents, sounds, and textures, he blends global studies topics with mapping-for-the-blind pedagogies and open-access museum designs.

When Adam is not sampling the fruits of East Bay life, he enjoys homesteading off-grid and getting back to the land by learning about California geography firsthand on the southern Mendocino coast. He also really likes family bike rides, eating spicy food, and drinking strong coffee.

Dr. Adam LevyDr. Adam Levy

Adam’s incredible service has made Ohlone a better place and truly a “world of cultures united in learning.” Please congratulate Adam on a well-deserved honor!

December 2019 Faculty of the Month

Please join the Faculty Senate in recognizing our Faculty of the Month for Decemeber: Dr. Margaret "Maggie" McKenzie

We are pleased and honored to announce Dr. Margaret “Maggie” McKenzie as the Ohlone Faculty of the Month for December! Maggie has been part of the Ohlone family since she was hired as a full-time member of the English Department in Fall 2015. Dr. MaggieDuring her five years here, Maggie has made numerous contributions to her department and the Ohlone community.

Maggie spends untold time and effort working behind the scenes to make Ohlone a more equitable and accessible place for students. Soon after she started at Ohlone, Maggie became the Co-Coordinator of the Umoja Scholars Program. This is a learning community dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American and other students. This program provides Afrocentric ideas, knowledge, and activities to help create a safe space for students to be recognized and thrive in. When the primary Umoja Coordinator, Debbie Trigg, left Ohlone to become the Dean of Counseling at Chabot College, Maggie stepped up to fill that role.
When Debbie left, Maggie told her that she was worried. Debbie recalled that “Maggie was very nervous about taking over, and told me TEARFULLY, ‘I’m terrified that I will mess it up!’  She wasn’t worried about the tremendous amount of work and time she would be expected to dedicate to the program. Rather she was worried that she wouldn’t be ‘good enough’ for the program. Since Maggie has taken over the program she has shown that she is much more than ‘’good enough”; Maggie’s advocacy and leadership has helped the program soar, with Debbie herself saying “the proof is in the pudding, she has done an incredible job, and has taken it further than it’s ever been!” Umoja counselor Dawn Harris lauded Maggie for being a “very supportive and responsive instructor and co-coordinator for our Umoja students,” noting that she “frequently goes out of her way to meet with students outside of her designated office hours and makes sure our Village space has what our students need to be successful.” In the past few years, Umoja has overcome incredible obstacles and grown to become of one the major touchstones of student life and academic excellence at Ohlone.
As well as coordinating the Umoja Program, Maggie also teaches Umoja-centered English classes and runs the Umoja Village, which provides a safe space for students to do homework, build community, have a snack, and get the support that they need. If you ever find yourself walking down Ohlone Way early in the morning, there’s a good chance you will find Maggie already opening up the village for eager students. Every week she runs Village meetings where students connect with each other and Umoja Elders. She takes students on field trips to visit colleges such as UC Davis and Cal State East Bay, as well as cultural sites like the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. Maggie helps put students in touch with resources to help them successfully finish their degrees at Ohlone and successfully transfer to four-year institutions.
When Maggie isn’t in the classroom or working directly with students, she spends her time dealing with the numerous administrative duties that come with being the coordinator of a thriving learning community. She writes grants, raises money, and spends hours in meetings with the coordinators of other local and regional Umoja programs. Maggie is a current member of the Ohlone Awards Committee and Student Equity and Achievement. She is also part of the team that is helping to design the new Multicultural Student Center. Maggie also recently served on a Faculty Senate task force to design a new, more transparent process of selecting members for Faculty Senate and College Council. This spring, Maggie will serve as one of the faculty representatives on the search committee tasked with finding Ohlone’s new president.
Given all of her service, it’s not surprising that Maggie is an active presence in the English Department, where she steps up to help organize and run meetings and mentor adjuncts in their quest to secure full-time positions. Maggie has also been involved in the planning that has taken place around the response to AB 705.  She has attended conferences related to acceleration and co-requisites, two primary ways that the English Department has responded to the law.  English department colleague Jeff Dean noted that “Maggie has stepped forward to be truly involved in the response to this tremendous change.”
Maggie’s students regularly sing her praises, with one calling her “the best part of her Ohlone experience” due to her kindness, care, and high standards. Maggie’s classroom is an inclusive, warm space where all students are encouraged to learn. She has begun learning ASL so she can communicate better with the Deaf community on campus.
Before she was hired at Ohlone, Maggie was a long-time adjunct professor in the English Department at Diablo Valley College. DVC was the place where she first got involved in the Umoja program as a faculty mentor. In addition, she was a student success mentor, volunteer English tutor, and was the Co-Advisor for the Pan African Union. Maggie is a proud long term Bay Area Resident and an alumna of UC Berkeley and the Catholic University of America, where she earned her Ph.D. in comparative literature. She and her husband Jim live in a house they recently purchased in Hayward, with their beloved pet turtle Pasternak.
Maggie works hard to ensure that this is a college that serves our students and prepares them for the challenges they will face as they move ahead in their lives and educational experiences.  She cares tremendously about her students, her profession, her colleagues and Ohlone.  We are lucky to have her as a member of the faculty. Please congratulate Maggie on a well-deserved honor!

The Faculty of the Month program seeks to honor faculty who have a history of making significant and continuing contributions to the College.

The selection is made by a subcommittee of the Faculty Senate. The award is given monthly (of course!) during the academic year.

November 2019 Faculty of the Month

Please join the Faculty Senate in recognizing our Faculty of the Month for November: Eli Barbosa


Eli Barbosa redefines Ohlone’s “Students First” motto; he engages daily in the kind of mentorship and direct support that best helps students attain success. Eli works directly with students as one of the faculty advisors for M.E.Ch.A. He facilitates efforts to bring speakers and films to campus, as well as host cultural events on campus like the Día de los Muertos celebration.

Eli also takes students off-campus to community cultural events and to visit college campuses. His one-on-one support helps many students not just realize their goals of completing AA degrees at Ohlone, but also their dreams to transfer and complete four-year degrees at universities. Eli assists with a series of workshops to help Latinx students apply for transfer, including spending countless hours working with students on their Personal Insight Questions for transfer to the University of California system.

Eli is a tremendous support and inspiration to his students. One student noted that Eli is "one of the best professors at Ohlone. He’s always there to help you no matter what!” Another student reflected on how Eli "positively impacted my life in so many ways” because he "pushed me to my full potential and has encouraged me to branch out and try new things.”

As the only full-time faculty member in Chicanx Studies, Eli also oversees the curriculum and program development and has greatly grown enrollment since joining Ohlone in 2017. He has also crafted a strong partnership with our Ohlone Chicanx Studies classes offered at Newark Memorial High School, even developing a pen-pal program between our Ohlone students and Newark Memorial students to demystify the college-going process.

Eli doesn’t limit his service to his department or students, he has also served as the Faculty Senate representative from the Social Sciences division. Eli currently serves on the Latinx Recruitment and Retention Committee (LRRC), and on Student Equity and Achievement (SEA), where he is helping design our soon-to-open Multicultural Center.

Before coming to Ohlone, Eli was a valued staff member and educator at UC Berkeley, serving mainly first-generation, low income, under-represented students, including teaching in Berkeley’s Summer Bridge Program. UC Berkeley’s Luisa Giulianetti from the Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence emphasized Eli’s role as "a tremendous resource and mentor” for Summer Bridge students, inspiring a whole generation of students and making Cal a welcoming place for a new generation of scholars.

On top of all of this, Eli is incredibly family and community oriented. He lives in Fremont with his sons, Mateo and Daniel, and his spouse, Gisela. The Barbosa family can often be found at the local concert series, water park, or bike-riding around town.

Congratulations, Eli, on an incredibly well-deserved honor!


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