March 20, 2023
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A director of the pre-law program at East Los Angeles College, an ethnic studies professor at Folsom Lake College, a part-time English instructor at College of the Canyons and a part-time sociology instructor at Sierra College have earned the California Community Colleges’ Gerald C. Hayward Award for Excellence in Education.
This year’s recipients were honored at the March 20 Board of Governors meeting in Sacramento.
Established in 1989 and sponsored annually by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the Hayward Award honors full-time and part-time community college faculty who are selected by their peers for demonstrating the highest level of commitment to their students, college and profession. Award recipients, who are nominated by their college and selected by representatives of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, must have a record of outstanding performance of professional activities as well as a record of active participation on campus.
Here are the recipients chosen this year:
Kenneth Chaiprasert is a full-time political science professor and director of the pre-law program at East Los Angeles College who helps his students discover their strength from their diversity and who designs pedagogical strategies to help them harness the power of their unique backgrounds. “I tell my students that everything about them – whether they are undocumented, have a physical disability, or were formerly incarcerated – are the strengths that will help them become the awesome champions for immigrants, the disabled/differently-abled, and system-impacted communities,” he said.
Tamara Cheshire is a full-time ethnic studies faculty member at Folsom Lake College who empowers students to not only achieve their educational and career goals, but also encourages them to transform their communities. “My colleagues and I work to transform education systems by identifying barriers that prevent disproportionately impacted students from succeeding, and by establishing open and inclusive access,” she said. That means tackling issues such as food insecurity, lack of affordable housing and childcare, and limited access to physical and mental health resources.
Angeli Francois is a part-time English professor at College of the Canyons who has earned the respect of students and her peers. “Professor Francois has a natural ability to engage others and bring people into the conversation without presumption and judgment,” wrote one supporter. “She is an avid listener and often looks to see how we can improve processes, student support services, and instructional deliveries to our students. It is a pleasure to witness Angeli embrace her natural ability to lead others.”
Jane Le Skaife
Jane Le Skaife, described as “a tireless and relentless voice for equity and antiracism,” is a part-time sociology instructor at Sierra College who has more than her share of supporters. Professor Le Skaife “has been a strong advocate for historically marginalized students,” read one letter of support. “She is a true equity champion and has contributed significantly in advancing our equity work. Her work to integrate equity initiatives and voices has been critical to the overall climate and progress of the campus.”
“California community college faculty are key partners in ensuring our students are provided with equitable pathways to success and are positioned to become tomorrow’s leaders,” said Board of Governors President Amy M. Costa. “It is our honor to recognize these four outstanding academic professionals from different regions of our state for their work and dedication.”
“The work represented by the award recipients are indicative of the magnitude of innovation that faculty across our system are leading in the service of students,” said Interim Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, PhD. “We are grateful to all of the faculty who serve our students every day.”
“Our warmest congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Hayward Award for Excellence in Education! This award honors community college full-time and part-time faculty who demonstrate the highest level of commitment to their students, college, and profession,’’ said Ginni May, president of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.
The Hayward Awards are supported through a grant from the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Each recipient receives a $1,250 cash award and a commemorative plaque. The award is named in honor of Gerald C. Hayward, who served as chancellor of the California Community Colleges from 1980 to 1985.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 1.8 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; and degree and certificate pathways. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.