As the Los Medanos College student population continues to grow with an influx of students every fall, the faculty is no different. The continual growth of the student body brings the need for more professors, so starting this fall semester, nine previously adjunct faculty members have been hired full-time on campus.
The Nursing department saw the most growth, with three Nursing Assistant Professors joining full-time. All three bring experience working in medical centers to campus, such as Joyce O’Rourke, who worked as a staff nurse at Sequoia Hospital and Mission Oaks Hospital, and as a registered nurse at Kaiser Permanente. She has previously taught nursing at LMC and at Carrington College.
Following her is Patrice Moore, who has taught several years at LMC as an adjunct instructor before being hired, and spent a good deal of her time at John Muir Medical Center in Concord. In all her time spent on campus, she expected to be back at some point.
“I was greatly impacted by my LMC nursing professors. Even as a student, I knew I wanted to some day return to teach,” Moore said. “Everyone has a different learning style. I relish the challenge of finding a way to help each student experience those ‘light bulb’ moments.”
The last of the group is Julie O’Brien, who shares a similar path to LMC as Moore. She has also served as an adjunct instructor at LMC and a registered nurse at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. The bond between the nursing students and faculty is one she places great value on.
“The partnership that we create with our students and faculty is unlike any other school. We have a revolving door of graduates that come back with their license to mentor and tutor the next generation,” O’Brien said.
The next department to have multiple full-time, additions is Biology.
Dr. Jill Bouchard will serve as a Biology Assistant Professor, with experience also as an adjunct instructor
at LMC and at the University of San Francisco. Dr. Kyle Hanks will do the same as Bouchard, serving as a Biology Assistant Professor — bringing over ten years of experience at LMC with him.
Trinidad Zavala is transitioning from her role as an adjunct General and English as a Second Language counselor at LMC, yet her experience stretches farther. Zavala has ga
ined counseling experience as a Marriage and Family Therapist at Family Works Community Counseling and with Catholic Charities.
Camille Santana, now a Career & Technical Education counselor, has made her way to campus after serving as an adjunct counselor at Diablo Valley College.
Santana’s experience includes several roles at San Francisco State University: Academic Counselor, adjunct counseling faculty, Metro Advising Coordinator, and Student Success Specialist. She also worked as Interim MESA Coordinator and adjunct counselor at the College of Alameda.
“I am interested in positive and powerful personal, collective, and intergenerational change. Education is self-empowerment,” Santana said in reference to choosing to be a counselor.
One of the last two new faculty members is Ryan Hiscocks, a Political Science Assistant Professor, making his way from Southern California having taught at Cerritos College, Santiago Canyon College, and Long Beach City College.
Rounding out all the new members is April Nogarr, now an English Assistant Professor, having previously taught at Freedom High School since 2001 and as an adjunct at LMC. She prides herself in helping out her local community.
“As a longtime educator in the community, I am thrilled to continue my service in the local area. Also as a former community college student, I hope to use my experiences to help students explore the many pathways that Los Medanos has to offer,” Nogarr said. “The warm welcome of the Los Medanos community has been my favorite part of transitioning to the campus full time.”
Los Medanos looks to continue its educational success with the new hires, thriving on its faculty that help shape not only the students, but the community as a whole.