Access Programs Director Paula Suorez retired in June after more than 18 years of service to Cerro Coso. She joined the Counseling Department in 1989 as an Adjunct Counselor and was hired as a full-time Faculty/Counselor in 1999 for Special Services/CalWorks Programs.
Paula has a big heart for students and her knowledge and skills have helped thousands of students prepare for college and careers. She has played a significant role in assisting students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged families, foster students, single parents, reentry and first generation students, and students with other barriers to educational achievement like limited English proficiency, by building support systems that successfully transition them into higher education and jobs.
In 2011 Paula served as the Interim Director of Student and Counseling Services and accepted the permanent position in 2012. She is a recipient of the 2015 John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award from the League of Innovations in the Community College for her work on increasing access to programs, student success, completion, and transition into the workforce through the C6 Grant that aligned curriculum in the disciplines of Allied Health, Welding, and Basic Skills. In 2015 Paula became the Director of ACCESS Programs.
Her heart is and always has been with the students and she has been instrumental in developing tools and resources for advocacy on campus, and learning and practice strategies to help students anticipate and address barriers to success. Paula’s commitment to teaching and working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and members of underrepresent groups is admirable.
Thank you Paula wishing you many new adventures in your retirement!