Two Imperial Valley College faculty members have been singled out by their peers for excellence in teaching.
Cerise Myers, an assistant professor of art, and Stella Orfanos-Woo, a counselor, are recipients of the 2021 Rafael Santos Award.
The award is presented at the close of each academic year by the Academic Senate to honor faculty members for distinguished contributions to students, with the primary criterion being the recognition of teaching excellence.
Myers is an art historian specializing in contemporary art. She earned her master's degree from Bowling Green State University and her doctorate from the University of Minnesota.
Orfanos-Woo holds a bachelor's degree from Point Loma Nazarene College and her master's degree from the University of California, Riverside. Academic Senate President Ric Epps praised both faculty members for their support of IVC's faculty and students.
"Cerise Myers is one of the most dedicated and caring colleagues I have ever had the pleasure of working with," Epps said. "She is 'all in' on supporting faculty and students. We are so fortunate to have such an amazing person at IVC."
Epps called Stella Orfanos-Woo, who is retiring this year, a "giver."
"She gives herself tirelessly to all that she endeavors to do. Those who know her well say that she is always there for those in need, students and colleagues alike. She is a true student advocate and friend to all," Epps said.
The Santos award was created by the Academic Senate in 2000 in honor of Rafael Santos Jr., a 25-year IVC professor of business who was killed in traffic accident in 1999. Santos taught business law, marketing, and business administration. He also was a consultant for businesses in Imperial Valley and San Diego as well as numerous international firms.
During Santos' tenure at IVC, he served as division chair and represented the faculty as a senator.
He taught courses in the areas of management and marketing and developed a very successful contract education program for businesses in the community.
Imperial Valley College recognizes and advocates for the support and awareness of mental health awareness and services. This May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, the college celebrated by encouraging the wearing of green each month. It continued to hold student support groups and faculty and staff wellness hours, thanks to the Student Health Center.