Opening Day: Award Recipients

Faculty and staff recognized for their service to Clark

Clark College employees gathered on September 18 to kick off the 2023-24 academic year during Opening Day festivities at O’Connell Sports Center. During the event, the following staff members were recognized for their service to the college.

Years of Service Awards

Brad Avakian, vice president of human resources, presented the years of service awards to employees with 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of service by reading their names. Employees with service more than 25 years were invited to come to the front to receive certificates. All years of service awards also come with monetary compensation based on the number of years served.

Vice President of Human Resources Brad Avakian presented years of service awards.

5 years:

Foundation: Dan Palow

Human Resources: Carrie Ann Gallagher

Information Technology Services: Yaremy Clara

Instruction: Kyle Anderson, Michiko Anderson, Bryan Blehm, Gabriele Canazzi, Jennifer Capell, Virginia Davidson, James Demartini, Charlotte Derkacht, Jason Eversman, Tyler Frank, Monte Gantka, Dr. Douglas Harris, Shawn Henderson, Christina Howard, Nami Inoue, Rachel Irvin, Ryan Jeannet, Dr. Soohyon Ji, Dr. Alan Koenig, Sarah Kuzera, Martha Lewis, Robert Long, Lucas Martin, Petra Redinger, Samuel Robinson, Christina Smith, Brogan Sullivan, Heidi Summers, Elizabeth Van Buecken, Katarina Wallis, Dr. Michelle Walty, Patricia Witherspoon

NWACC: Alexandra Young

Operations: Zhong Chai, Cody Claassen, Kevin Damore, Bradley Hansen, Bellamy Holt, Jeffrey Kaliner, Daniel Lane, Christopher Layfield, Lindsey Mckim, Julia Perdue, Seumas Ross, Katlyn Simpson, William Thompson

Student Affairs: Jorge Argueta, Yuliya Demyanyuk, Kimberly Forbes, Tisha Pasquinelli, Torin Tashima, Carley Willis

10 years:

Instruction: Dr. Roberto Anitori, David Benedicktus, Sascha Blocker, Bruce Elgort, Melanie Hendry, Grant Hottle, Garrett Hoyt, Deborah Jack, Chad Laughlin, Kenneth Luchini, Michael Ludwig, Sarah Luther, Dr. Nick Macias, Dr. Mika Maruyama, Natalie Miles, Deane Morrison, Kelly Pfeifer, Kristin Sherwood, Dawn Steele, Janice Taylor, Adriana Thomas, Caleb White, Beth Wulf

ODEI: Degundrea Harris

Operations: Eben Ayers, Julie Donovan, Tanya Kerr, Johann Langley, Everett Yu

Student Affairs: Kimberly Blahnik, Jessica Hash, Kevin Thomas

15 years:

Instruction: Robert Abrahamson, Sheldon Atwell, Scott Bailey, Angie Bailey, Marci Bohac, Rebecca Boyer, Tammy Boyer, Tony Chennault, Cheryl Davenport, Michael England, Jason Herz, Dr. Philip Jones, Timothy Kent, Dr. Shon Kraley, Michelle Mallory, Kaye Manchester, Ruby Moore, Erika Nava, Ying Nollette, Michiyo Okuhara, Archer Parr, Joshua Patrick, George Salos, Nicoleta Sharp, Suzanne Southerland, Jennifer Ward, Kristin Woitte

Operations: Vickie Malcolm, Richard Nevis, Jennifer Shadley

Student Affairs: Marla Derrick, Dr. Sabine Falkenberg, Michelle Mussen

20 years:

Information Technology Services: Alan Logsdon

Operations: Brandi Roberts

Instruction: Aaron Campbell, Lisa Conway, Jill Darley-Vanis, Deena Godwin, Karina Gress, Dwight Hughes, Lynne Nolan, Sherry Smith, Samuel Triebs, Wayne Utehs

25 years:

Instruction: Grace Anukam, Dr. Marylynne Diggs, Mary Evens, Christine Krug, Kathleen Mitchell, Douglas Smith, Mitchell Sott, Jeanette Steinmueller

35 years:

Instruction: Dr. Kelly Fielding

Operations: Jonni Hattershide

Exceptional Faculty Awards

The award honorees were announced at Commencement in June and were honored at Opening Day.

Dan Alberghetti, Network Technology: A student wrote: “I was struggling to find a ‘place’ in the field. I often felt discouraged because some material wouldn’t click. But Dan encouraged participation, and stopped to give well-thought-out answers that helped us grasp the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how.’ The more I learned, the more excited I became about what I was learning. And I finally felt like I had a place and that I belonged.”

Exceptional Faculty Award recipient Dr. Jacob Funk with Dr. Wilkins-Luton and Dr. Edwards.

Dr. Jacob Funk, Music: A student wrote: “Dr. Funk creates an open learning environment to instill the joy of music in his students. He is fun to work with and a joy to sing with. His enthusiasm to help each student achieve their best voice is evident not only in class but also during concerts.

Exceptional Faculty Award recipient Chef Earl Frederick serves up BBQ during Juneteenth 2023.

Chef Earl Frederick, Cuisine: A student wrote: “Chef Earl’s lectures include the history and exploration of different cultures through food. He is very attentive and conversational about how different people may have different dietary needs based on medical, cultural or religious protocols. My time with Chef Earl Fredrick has been very expansive, both in technical skill and professional development.”

Exceptional Faculty Award recipient Becky Herman with Dr. Wilkins-Luton and Dr. Edwards.

Becky Herman, Dental Hygiene: A student wrote: “Becky goes above and beyond for us in the classroom. She provides us with many different ways to learn and encourages us to reach out should we need it. Her door is always open, and she is always willing to help those who need a little extra.”

Exceptional Faculty Award recipient  Dr. Julian Nelson with Dr. Wilkins-Luton and Dr. Edwards.

Dr. Julian Nelson, English department: A student wrote: “As an adult learner from Ukraine, I really appreciated his flexibility and willingness to adapt to changing circumstances, always with care for individual student needs and my academic success. His supportive feedback and messages made me feel that he wasn’t some robot behind a screen, but a genuine human who cared for my wellbeing. This kind of human interaction motivated me in times when I felt depleted, confused or had anxiety.”

Exceptional Faculty Award recipient Michiyo Okuhara with Dr. Wilkins-Luton and Dr. Edwards.

Michiyo Okuhara, Japanese language: A student wrote: “500 characters is not enough to describe Okuhara sensei and the impact she has on each of her students’ lives. I am extremely lucky to have her as a teacher and so many students feel the exact same way. Personally, I was taking an oral assessment when I messed up the sentence. She took the moment to teach me correctly, allowed me to study and retake my assessment. She uses constructive moments to build her students up instead of giving them a poor grade and moving on. We are lucky to have her.”

Exceptional Classified Staff Award

Exceptional Classified Staff Award recipient Cheryl Davenport with Dr. Edwards.

Cheryl Davenport, Library & Archives Para 4, Libraries: Cheryl realized that outdated, biased vocabulary in the online catalog’s subject headings, such as the biased subject headings describing the LGBTQIA+ community, does not reflect the college’s inclusive views. Thanks to her efforts, Clark Library now uses Homosaurus, an international linked vocabulary of LGBTQIA+ terms in our online catalog. This helps ensure the bibliographic records use subject headings representing the inclusive terminology used by the LGBTQIA+ community to describe themselves.

Exceptional Classified Staff Award recipient Jennifer Lea with Dr. Edwards.

Jennifer Lea, Program Specialist 2, Business Division: During the pandemic lockdown, Jennifer took the lead in shaping our BASAM (Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management) program so it would meet requirements to move fully online. When that adversely affected our veteran students, she helped restructure the modality, so it met VA requirements and allowed our veteran students to receive their full funding.

Exceptional Administrative Exempt Award

A portait image of Vanessa Watkins.

Vanessa Watkins, Director of Entry Services: Vanessa was recognized for fostering a positive, collaborative, and supportive environment for her Entry Services team. She works behind the scenes to support and uplift her employees, which ensures they have a welcoming, supportive demeanor as they assist students and prospective students.

Lora Whitfield Social Equity Award

Lora Whitfield Social Equity Award recipient Ezekiel Wells with Dr. Edwards.

Ezekial Wells, Program Specialist 3, Workforce Education Services: Ezekial was recognized for his work making positive impacts for students by creating a welcoming environment, a safe, inclusive space and removing barriers for students so they can receive college and community support and move forward on their educational pathway.

After Dr. Edwards handed Ezekial his award, shook his hand, and led the staff in clapping, she said, “I am thankful to each of you. I am pleased to see our colleagues recognized for their tremendous work. Congratulations to all our award winners and our employees who have demonstrated their dedication to Clark College over the years.”