News Release Archive
News Releases Index
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2008
College Recognizes Outstanding Employees
Employees at College of the Canyons were recognized for their contributions to the college at an awards luncheon held today, Wednesday, May 8, 2008. The luncheon was held with the “twist” that board members, administrators and managers served college “classified” employees a catered meal with an Academy Awards theme.
Classified employees hold support positions at the college. They are most often the behind-the-scenes people who are responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the college.
This is the twelfth year that awards were presented to individuals in several categories. Six awards were presented.
The Employee of the Year award recognizes an individual who has made contributions to the college through service to the campus. The College of the Canyons Employee of the Year was awarded to Mike Burke who is the maintenance coordinator on the Valencia campus. In Burke’s case, he was recognized for his cooperative attitude and professional demeanor throughout the campus during an intense year of construction, office moves and equipping new buildings. He was cited for his great sense of humor and a tremendous work ethic – at one time, doing three jobs: electrician, maintenance coordinator and assuming duties of Director of Facilities. The award consists of a decorative plaque and $300 cash.
The Humanitarian Award went to Christopher Neal. This award acknowledges an indispensable contribution to the college and cites community involvement and dedication. Neal is a member of the college’s computer support team. He was recognized for his volunteer work on the L.A. County Sheriff’s search and rescue team, assisting in door-to-door evacuations during the wildfires of last year as well as participating in searches for skiers lost in an avalanche and a missing hiker. The award consists of a decorative plaque and a $100 cash award.
The New Visions Award recognizes an employee who brings new insight to the job, which improves the college. A positive attitude and providing an inspiration to other employees are key elements in selecting the award winner. The 2008 New Visions Award winner is Amy Foote. She works in the college’s biology department. Foote was cited for her great sense of humor and her hard work in all things environmental. She is a strong and active supporter of Earth Day events and has participated in many on- and off-campus environmental groups. She is a key member of the college’s Sustainability Committee and was cited for raising nearly $4000 for student scholarships at the college. Her award consists of a plaque and a $100 cash award.
A decorative plaque and a $100 cash award also went to Beny Babasi, this year’s winner of the Professional Achievement Award. Babasi works in the college’s student business office. The award recognizes outstanding performance through educational achievement and a record of excellent job performance. Babasi came to the United States from Iran, learned English, graduated from COC with a degree in accounting and just graduated from CSUN with a bachelor’s degree. All this in just 12 years!
The Gloria Jackson Service Award was named after a beloved member of the College of the Canyons communication’s department staff who died in November of 2006. Jackson had worked for 25 years at the college’s switchboard and mailroom and was noted for her depth and breadth of information, her encyclopedic memory for numbers and her endearing laugh. The award consists of a decorative plaque and a $100 cash award. This year’s winner of the Gloria Jackson Service Award is Cara Odell, senior human resources technician at the college. Odell was cited for treating each and every person with impeccable care. She is described as an excellent listener who “leaves each person feeling better because of her interaction with them.”
Each year the California School Employee Association (CSEA) presents its Member of the Year Award at this luncheon. This year’s winner was Mary Brunty who works with students in the college’s tutorial center. She received a plaque and a $100 cash award.
The awards were presented by members of the college district’s executive administration and members of the college’s Board of Trustees.