View the current Faculty of the Month.

Learn more about the Faculty of the Month program.

May 2015 Faculty of the Month

Jeff Watanabe with students in desert, and with a pair of big horns.Jeff Watanabe
Environmental Studies and Biology

Dr. Watanabe has been a teacher at Ohlone since 2004. He teaches in both the Environmental Studies and Biology Departments. His professional background is in marine ecology and he has done undersea research work in Florida, the Bahamas and Hawaii. His love of the outdoors and the environment has piqued his academic interest in environmental studies and his quest to discover sustainable solutions to mankind¹s energy and environmental problems. He chairs the Sustainability Committee that organized Ohlone's Earth Week events.

Recently he returned from Ohlone's first ever study abroad trip to Baja California where he took a dozen students down the peninsula to study whales, marine and desert ecosystems, and learn about the people, environment, and economy of rural Baja California. Next year he plans to spend his sabbatical helping his sister start an organic farm in Hawaii.

Please join me in congratulating an outstanding member of the Ohlone family!

Jeff Watanabe diving with seals.

April 2015 Faculty of the Month

Sandra Lee "Bunny" Klopping
American Sign Language
Deaf Studies

Please wish Sandra Lee "Bunny" Klopping a happy birthday and congratulate her as our April Faculty of the Month. Bunny has been a member of the Ohlone family for 35 years. Initially she taught English to Deaf students as an adjunct before becoming a FT faculty member in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies. When peers talk of Bunny, they routinely mention her kind heart and her love of the Ohlone community.

Basically, Bunny is everywhere! She routinely acts as the face of the Deaf Studies Division to college functions and she serves as an Ohlone College ambassador to the larger community. She's often first to volunteer to serve on committees. She is on College Council. She has served as faculty advisor to ASL club for many years (but recently lost five points for refusing to trek up the Mission Peak with ASL club members).

Bunny regularly hosts fundraisers at her home in support of good causes for the Deaf community. She attend practically almost all Deaf community events such as Deaf Hope's Glimmer of Hope, California School for the Deaf's annual gala, Clerc Basketball Classic, Hoy Baseball Classic, and more. When a Deaf mother was looking for an interpreter to help out with Fremont Youth Baseball League, Bunny volunteered to make the meeting accessible to her. A big heart befitting a kind woman deserves a special parking space although she does not need it as she always arrivesearly enough to enjoy the parking space right next to the faculty of the month spot.

March 2015 Faculty of the Month

Jo Rodgers

Dr. Rodgers was very gracious and excited when I notified her that she had been selected as our March Faculty Person of the Month. She wrote up a short description of her relationship with the Ohlone community…and it is perfect. Congratulations Jo, we are lucky to have you as a peer educator.

I began teaching anthropology at Ohlone College in 1984. As a physical anthropologist working for a Cultural Resource Management firm, I was able to share a lot of real world experience with students. And, I soon discovered that I really liked teaching.

I was also pursuing an MBA in international business while I was working full time and teaching anthropology at night. After completing my business degree, I taught both anthropology and business (Introduction to Business and Marketing) for several years. And, with help from Ohlone College, I also earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership at Alliant International University and taught a couple of courses for Alliant in their Masters of Education program. By this time, I had quit my day job and was completely focused on becoming a good educator.

I am very lucky to work with, and learn from, an outstanding group of anthropology instructors. I have also been given great opportunities to meet and work with faculty from other departments. I was a member of the Ohlone Pioneers, a group of early online instructors. I have been a member of the Distance Education Committee since its inception. I served two years on the Faculty Senate and I am in my third year on the Curriculum Committee.

I have also served as a faculty advisor for several clubs. I am currently the OMAC (anthropology club) faculty advisor. This club is very active and a lot of fun! I really enjoy working with our students, both inside and outside of a classroom.

I also like spending time with friends and colleagues from other colleges and organizations. I am a fellow in the American Anthropological Association, the Society for Applied Anthropology and the Leakey Foundation. I am a regional Vice President (Northern California and Nevada) for the Society for Anthropology in Community College, and I am also active in the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and the Society for American Archaeology. Perhaps my favorite organization is our California Community College Anthropology teacher's group that meets each January. I have had the honor of serving as Program Chair and conference organizer on several occasions.

When I am not on campus teaching, I like to travel with my husband George. He and I have also spent many years taking Ohlone students on educational trips around the world. Travel provides me with new, interesting places to walk, talk and snorkel!

February 2015 Faculty of the Month

Jesse and young boy at a ball game.Jesse MacEwan

Please join me in congratulating Jesse MacEwan, Ohlone's February Faculty Person of the Month. Jesse has been serving Ohlone's students as a Counselor/Instructor since 2007 and his empathetic yet realistic counseling methodology has earned him the admiration of his students and peers. Instead of just picking out classes for students, Jesse challenges his students to think strategically, planning for 5 and 10 years in the future, before selecting classes for the current term. He warns his students that if they don't know where they are going, he can't pick out a route to get them to the finish line.

Since he grew up in Berkeley, one might anticipate a Bohemian. However, Jesse transcends categorization. He is a married father of three who terrorizes anyone who dares challenge him in a game of pickup basketball or on the golf links, especially when money is on the line. He has a calm demeanor, but he is a passionate advocate who is a champion for social justice. He is a member of the Ohlone family and we are all fortunate he decided to leave the corporate world to build a career in higher education.

December 2014/January 2015 Faculty of the Month

Please join me in congratulating our December 2014/January 2015 Faculty of the Month:

Terry Taskey
DSPS Counselor
Disabled Students Programs and Services

Please join me in congratulating Terry Taskey, our December 2014-January 2015 Faculty Person of the Month! Terry is a dedicated counselor in DSPS (Disabled Students Programs and Services), where many faculty have gotten to know her through her advocacy for students with disabilities who are attending their classes. She has also served as an Adjunct Instructor at Ohlone in the English and Counseling Departments and was hired full-time in January 2006.

Terry's photo above reveals one of her favorite hobbies - cross-country skiing with her fiancé, Herb! Her other hobbies include, but are not limited to, movies, books, theatre, and beautiful walks in the Bay area. She is often making recommendations to other faculty about great books to read and plays to attend - and is one of the most ardent supporters of Ohlone's Theatre productions!

Terry was born and raised in New York State, so it only seemed natural for her to go to a school somewhere where it was cold. She picked St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, which qualified as one of the coldest places in NY! It also ranks as "one of the top 100 liberal arts universities in the US" per Forbes magazine. At St. Lawrence University, Terry completed her undergraduate degree, majoring in English.

Soon after, she set out to the West to seek her fortune - living in a variety of states (list available upon request!) - earning credentials here and there while teaching school. Eventually she settled down in sunny California in San Luis Obispo, where she attended Cal Poly and earned her Master's degree in Counseling & Guidance. (Coincidentally, Cal Poly's colors are the same as Ohlone's, which she has found quite handy for Ohlone's game days and graduations!)

Terry has enjoyed working in a variety of settings as a counselor over the years, working with individualsfrom middle-school age to adults. Her most enjoyable have been the 14 years when she has worked as a college counselor. Prior to Ohlone, she also worked at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill.

While counseling students in DSPS has been Terry's primary focus at Ohlone, she has also taught Basic Skills classes in reading and writing, plus Personal Development classes that haveassisted first-time students with study skills, student educational planning, etc. Students have noted her quiet, gentle, patient manner in building their confidence and competence, always encouraging them to go the next step forward. Many DSPS students have said she is the one who made a difference and led them to success.

Believe it or not, Terry is one of those individuals who actually enjoys committees!! She has been an active participant, member, and/or officer in quite a few during her tenure at Ohlone. These have included: Basic Skills, Disability Awareness Month, Accreditation Standard IIB, Faculty Senate, SLOAC (StudentLearning Outcomes Assessment), Annual Student Awards Ceremonies, and Technology. She has also led professional development workshops for faculty on such topics as dyslexia; plus workshops for students on time managements and organizational skills. One of Terry's highlights at Ohlone has been launching DSPS' Counseling website, while also providing strong and supportive leadership for her DSPS dept. and colleagues.

Many faculty and students have come to know and treasure Terry through her dedication and commitment in all shedoes on campus. It is through faculty like Terry that Ohlone has been ranked one of the top five community colleges in the state! Thank you, Terry, and congratulations on being one of the best!!

November 2014 Faculty of the Month

Please join me in congratulating our November 2014 Faculty of the Month:

Jeff O'Connell wearing a kilt.Yes, I own a kilt, doesn't everyone?

Jeff O'Connell
Math Professor

Jeff is well known around the Ohlone community as a rigorous yet empathetic teacher who vigorously advocates for our students. At the end of his online bio, check out his short video on an effective way to deal with extra credit requests.

From Jeff's online bio:

I am a very proud community college graduate!

I graduated (barely) from high school and started attending the local community college because I could not think of anything else to do. Since I was not a good student in high school, I had a lot of catching up to do. I did not take a math class my first semester and was placed in Algebra I, which I took my second semester. It took 2 years to catch up to where I could have been when I graduated from high school and 2 more years to finish my lower division coursework. I graduated from Diablo Valley College (Go Vikings!) in 1990 with an A.A. degree. I transferred to U.C. Davis (Go Aggies!) and graduated with a degree in Applied Mathematics in 1992. In 1995, I graduated from San Jose State (Go Spartans!) with a Masters Degree in Mathematics.

Before coming to Ohlone, I taught at San Jose State, San Jose City College, and Diablo Valley College. I started at Ohlone as a part time instructor in Fall 1995 and was hired as a full time instructor in Fall 1996. I have never had the slightest desire to work anywhere else since! Go Renegades!

In my time here, I have taught all of the classes offered by the math department. I mostly teach Statistics, Calculus, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra. Don't ask me which one is my favorite because my answer will be all of them!

I think I have the best job ever and plan to be at Ohlone College until I retire.

October 2014 Faculty of the Month

Please join me in congratulating our October 2014 Faculty of the Month:

Janet Holmes
Adjunct Faculty

Janet a lyric soprano, is an adjunct professor in voice and piano who cares deeply for her students. Her colleague James McManus described her as "an easy colleague to work with, and an excellent and affable communicator."

Ms. Holmes has a B.A. from USC, and an M.M. from Mills College. Ms. Holmes has sung throughout the area in recitals and as soprano soloist with several regional orchestras. She has participated in the Oregon Bach Festival with Helmut Rilling where she was one of two American soloists to work with Frederica von Stade. She has recorded with Hal Leonard Music Publishers, the Australian Broadcasting Company and KUSC in Los Angeles. A member of the Berkeley Piano Club, she has also served as program chair for SFBAC NATS (San Francisco Bay Area of the National Association of the Teachers of Singing). In addition, Ms. Holmes serves as an adjudicator for regional vocal competitions.

Ms. Holmes maintains her own vocal studio in San Ramon and is the organist for First Presbyterian Church in Livermore. She has participated as the Assistant Director of the SummerSong Vocal Arts for several seasons. She has served as accompanist for several of Ohlone's Summerfest productions, as well as Vocal Director for Summer 2009's production. Previous shows include "Chorus Line," "Into the Woods," "The Music Man," "Miss Saigon," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" and "Sweet Charity."

September 2014 Faculty of the Month

Our September Faculty Person of the Month has lived in Bay Area most of her life and began working in the healthcare industry and probation department for several years before pursuing a career in education. She has worked as a librarian and computer applications instructor at Ohlone for the past 6 years providing instruction, reference and technology services to students, staff, and faculty for the Department of Learning Resources and Academic Technology. She has an M.L.I.S. from San Jose State University, and a B.A. in Mass Communication from California State University Hayward, and earned her Online Teaching Certification (OTC) from @ONE in 2011.

She is passionate about improving the information literacy and computer literacy of her students. Her compassion and empathy as an instructor help her students overcome challenges and be the best student they can be!

She started working at the Newark Ohlone College campus in 2007 as an adjunct librarian and has since become embedded in both campuses. When she started working at the Newark LRC during her first summer, she took initiative to assist in setting up operations, including creating a statistical information protocol, creating procedures, and helping in the eCampus, as well as creating a Virtual Instant Messaging service for students taking distance education courses.

She immediately became interested in the technology aspect of adult learning and became a member of the Distance Education Committee and an advocate for supporting the eCampus. Some of her favorite projects include assisting faculty with building their courses in Blackboard and creating an active learning environment. She also serves on the Computer Applications and Occupational Technology Advisory Committee, and the BSM Supervisory Committee.

When it came time to make plans for the new library and swing spaces, she was involved in focus groups for the learning commons. She always agrees to present and facilitate on a range of teaching and learning topics to staff, faculty, and administrators during Learning College Week, New Faculty Orientations, and other peer workshops.

In 2011 she took on the opportunity to teach Ohlone's facilities staff computer applications, using charm and baking goodies to boost employee morale.

In the Summer of 2009 she developed a Reading Course to teach Ohlone College for Kids.

Currently she is teaching Computer Applications and working on a project that supports the Basic Skills Goal of Ohlone College to embed a Library Literacy component using ebooks databases and reading labs from the Alameda public library into ESL181RW.

And yes… she always signs her emails:
: ) Christine

Please join me in congratulating our September 2014 Faculty of the Month:

Christine Sibley
Instructor, Computer Applications and Occupational Technology