Area A: Angela Curiale of Sacramento City College has been a professor of psychology since 1977. Dedicating her professional life to the social betterment of her community, Curiale comprehends the gift and responsibility that is education and strives to bequeath its benefits to diverse populations. She shows unwavering compassion for social and cultural differences and the obstacles that may accompany them, while maintaining high expectations for all. During her two terms as local senate president, she spearheaded a senate constitutional revision to protect the participation rights of part-time faculty and was instrumental in creating a modern student learning center, one of her college's treasured assets. Her irrepressible social activism has also spurred her to aid and support such diverse groups as teenage mothers, rape victims, mentally-disturbed offenders, and corrections officers. Her championing of these groups--and individuals--has garnered widespread honors for Curiale from the community and academic sectors, including Sacramento City College's Award of Excellence and the YWCA's Woman of the Year Award for Activism.
Area B: Cynthia McGrath, journalism professor at Los Medanos College, demonstrates intense concern for her students as individuals, contributing to their success in all aspects of their lives. McGrath takes a holistic approach to teaching, feed[ing] the body and psyche, as well as the intellect of her students, both literally and figuratively. Identifying the talents and difficulties of each student, she responds to ensure their growth, often working with faculty outside her discipline to promote students' overall academic success, and even taking on the role of confidante and benefactor. For McGrath, teaching and learning are reciprocal experiences; thus, she empowers her pupils by having them teach one another, a method shown to improve retention significantly. McGrath has been an active member of a variety of campus committees, has served as statewide president of the community college journalism association, and remains active in the community providing outreach to local middle and high schools to serve as a mentor and resource to their journalism programs.
Area C: Peter O. Haslund of Santa Barbara City College has been a professor of political science for the past 35 years, with especial emphasis on international relations. It is his belief that, beyond relating the facts of a discipline, it is more important that teachers share our own enthusiasm about learning and thinking critically. As a Holocaust survivor, an immigrant, and a Vietnam War veteran, he is particularly passionate about increasing global awareness among his students and throughout the community at large. He has gone to extraordinary lengths as a educational proponent of that cause as seen in his creation of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary major at his college, known as Global and International Studies, which he directs. As a staunch advocate of active engagement as a tool to stimulate students' critical thinking and motivation, he also employs it in the classroom; his United Nations course and model UN simulation directly involves the students as diplomats representing varying cultures and interests.
Area D: Zoe Close of Grossmont College has been an instructor of philosophy, humanities, and religious studies since 1985. Her core belief as an educator is that students are precious gifts in human form which must be accepted with gratitude and given the greatest care. She too employs a holistic approach to benefit students' overall development as human beings. Good teaching, she believes, lays the groundwork for further intellectual development in a field and demonstrates how subject content applies practically in everyday life. Believing ethics and morality to be paramount virtues, Close also strives to instill in her pupils the drive to contribute to humanity's progress, and she accepts it as her duty as a role model to demonstrate flexibility in her approaches, humility in her knowledge, and optimism in her ambitions. She further encourages students' newly developed decision-making skills by fostering their participation in clubs and in the governing processes at the campus and district levels.