News - 05/24/2013

MiraCosta College Students Honor Faculty and Staff at College Commencement

John Phillips 

MiraCosta College students have selected tenured political science instructor John Phillips as Faculty of the Year, associate counselor Jose Mota as Associate Faculty of the Year, and Honors Program secretary Joanne Gonzales as Classified Member of the Year. 

John Phillips was nominated by his students for his ability to make difficult material easy to understand. He creates a welcoming atmosphere and is an entertaining lecturer. He encourages debate and questions, makes himself accessible to students, and demonstrates genuine interest in his students.

“He sincerely cares about what schools we got accepted to, what aid packages we received and what we want to do with our lives,” said one student. “I’ve recommended Dr. Phillips to several students.”

“To encourage debate, Dr. Phillips often takes on different ideological roles. It’s very entertaining, and I walk away from each class with a better understanding of the values I hold and the values of people who disagree with me,” says another. 

“Getting positive feedback from your students is one of the joys of teaching, and it helps us refine our craft,” says Phillips. “I'm very grateful to the students who nominated me.”

Commencement 2013 

Associate counselor Jose Mota was chosen for his dedication to students, his knowledge, openness to questions, and his ability to inspire his students. He developed the First Year Experience (FYE) Program to help new students transition to college, and is the club adviser to the FYE student club. 

“As club adviser he is always taking the time to make sure things are getting done the correct way, answer questions, and has helped motivate me to have greater standards for myself,” said a student.

“Mr. Mota’s love for his career is very contagious,” said another student. “I see that he loves working with people and because of him I also want to help people in the same way.” 

“I was deeply touched to learn that several students nominated me to receive this award. My students know that everything that I do is for them and with them in mind” says Mota.

Commencement 2013 

Honors secretary Joanne Gonzales was noted for helping coordinate Honors activities and her willingness to work extra hours to make sure each event runs smoothly. She goes above and beyond to help students in any way she can. She is prompt in returning messages and always is friendly to those who enter the Honors lounge. 

“Joanne is extremely helpful, kind, friendly and knowledgeable about the Honors Scholar Program,” says an Honors student. “She is an amazing person, and helps everyone in the program. If it weren’t for her, HSP would be chaotic.” 

“I spend a lot of time with the honors students in the Honors Lounge so it is heartwarming to know that they appreciate the effort I put in to make their experience at MiraCosta meaningful, fun and worthwhile,” says Gonzales. 

Developed by the Associated Student Government, these student-initiated, student-administered awards were announced during MiraCosta College’s commencement ceremony on May 17. For additional information about the awards, contact Coordinator of Student Activities Jim Gonzales at 760.757.2121 x 6899.

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