The “Better Together” Award highlights specific stories of a collaboration within or between programs/areas that made a significant, positive impact for students, colleagues, and/or the campus community and that took place within the last year. Nominations submitted @ Staff Recognition Nomination Form
Awarded to: The Library Classified Staff
In appreciation of the collaborative dedication you showed in coming to campus throughout the pandemic to enable students to access the technological and information resources needed to continue their educational journeys.
The past 15 months have represented an extraordinary season full of constant challenges. From the first, Library classified staff members responded quickly and thoughtfully, regularly adapting to sudden shifts in work priorities and new assignments, and doing so in a manner that met students’ needs while keeping team members and patrons safe. After the transition to remote learning, Library staff worked with departments like ITS and individuals like Web Developer Albert Bretado to develop new processes for the provision of critical resources to students, including the cataloging and processing of hundreds of Chromebooks, mobile hotspots, graphing calculators, digital cameras, specialized equipment for CTE courses, book reserves, and textbooks and readers for special populations.
Most impressively, when the vast majority of other areas of the campus were closed, Library staff came to campus day after day to run the Library’s Circulation Desk, supporting the distribution of these resources to ensure as many students as possible had the means to continue their academic journeys, even in these extraordinary, and extraordinarily challenging times. Bravo and thank you!
Awarded to: The Custodial Team
In appreciation of your tremendous collaborative efforts to clean the campus and maintain it according to COVID-19 standards since Fall of 2020.
Today marked a year since I had last been physically working at Rio Hondo. I decided to stop by and pick up some items I could use at home. Upon arriving, I realized I had forgotten my keys, so I had to ask Security to assist me. It was so lovely seeing a familiar face from our Custodial staff greet me at the door. We chatted for about 20 minutes, and I learned about all the challenges that the custodians faced the previous year. Even though the main campus was closed to students, parts of the Automotive Department, Nursing, Police Academy, and the Library were still operating and required constant cleaning and disinfecting. They have been engaged in risky, non-stop work and it was no wonder this gentleman described their efforts with pride. He also shared his concerns about being ready for when the campus may officially re-open in the fall. There will be challenges such as how to coordinate the cleaning and disinfecting of bathrooms between classes while enforcing social distancing, to name just one. After exchanging goodbyes, I got ready to enter my office, untouched for the past year. When I opened the door, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It looked like every other morning when I would start the day. There was not a speck of dust. Some might say that our custodians simply did the work they were hired to do. But this incredible crew has gone above and beyond to ensure that the Rio Hondo campus is kept clean and safe, even during the most difficult of circumstances. Bravo and deep appreciation to this fantastic team!
Awarded to: Distance Education Office – Zulma Calderon, Grant Linsell, Gabriela Olmos, Jill Pfeiffer
In appreciation of your tremendous collaborative efforts to convert the campus to fully online instruction over a 3-day period in Spring of 2020.
When the pandemic first hit and RHC transitioned to fully remote learning, the Office of Distance Education worked long hours to get faculty trained and move all classes online. This was a truly Herculean effort. On March 14th, there were about 600 Canvas shells in existence. By March 21 there were more than 1,400. In other words, the Distance Education staff built over 800 Canvas shells in a mere 7 days, often working nights and on the weekend. The staff worked through spring break to ensure that all classes were ready to resume remotely. Since then, the Distance Education staff has routinely worked overtime hours in order to support Rio Hondo’s remote offerings.
In addition to hosting live webinars, the DE staff offered emergency Canvas trainings (some of which were scheduled on Saturdays) to acclimate faculty to the online learning environment. They also provided training to all Instructional Assistants, including covering basic features in Canvas and Zoom. All the while, they constantly updated the Faculty Resource Center in Canvas as a hub for collected resources during the transition to online instruction. The DE staff also made themselves available by Zoom conference and by phone. Gabriela Olmos, Zulma Calderon, Dr. Grant Linsell, and Distance Ed faculty coordinator Jill Pfeiffer worked almost around the clock to ensure there was no interruption in instruction. They made the transition as seamless and painless as possible.