Cerro Coso Community College

CC Coyotes logo header

2022 Spring Awards: Student Awards

Welcome to the Annual Spring Awards Ceremony

May 13, 2022

The Annual Spring Awards provide a time and place for our collective recognition of group and individual achievements of all of those who make Cerro Coso a special place. In this time of social distancing, we have come together from our homes to honor some of the exceptional individuals at Cerro Coso and recognize the tremendous efforts that many have made over the past year.

Student Awards

President's Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

The President's Outstanding Academic Achievement Award is awarded to students who have maintained a cumulative 4.0 grade point average with an acquired minimum of 40 quality points for both the Spring and Fall semesters of 2021.

MA

Miranda Anderson

Coral Ashlock

Coral Ashlock

Athena Baca

Athena Baca

NB

Nicholas Baca

Susannah Balcer

Susannah Balcer

CB

Carah Bernal

>Jocelyn Blanton

Jocelyn Blanton

KB

Kenneth Bourque

LB

Lauren Brown

CB

Conner Burrows

HC

Helen Chen

Jessica Cliff

Jessica Cliff

Carson Dorough

Carson Dorough

Michael Easterby

Michael Easterby

Ida Feldman

Ida Feldman

MF

Miguel Frasco

Melannie German

Melannie German

Madison Grandas

Madison Grandas

Gyana Gutierrez

Gyana Gutierrez

Jeanine Halbrook

Jeanine Halbrook

NH

Nichole Hamblin

Alexander Harmon

Alexander Harmon

Emily Haugen

Emily Haugen

Cali Hugelen

Cali Hugelen

Satori Kalie

Satori Kalie

SL

Steven Labelle

AL

Alyssa Larson

Elajae Lee

Elajae Lee

Jeremiah Lillion

Jeremiah Lillion

Noa Lish

Noa Lish

RLB

Raul Lopez Bautista

Shea Macintire

Shea Macintire

Sienna Manning

Sienna Manning

Rachel Mcchesney

Rachel Mcchesney

IM

Ignacio Munoz

CM

Charles Myers

Sara Orlando

Sara Orlando

MP

Mitchell Parsons

Amelia Plumhoff

Amelia Plumhoff

Monica Sarpong

Monica Sarpong

Butterfly Sawyer

Butterfly Sawyer

MS

Misty Siebert

Rebecca Torr

Rebecca Torr

ST

Shane Troxell

Geraldine Valles

Geraldine Valles

AW

Abigail Wright

DY

David Young

Lauren Zissos

Lauren Zissos

Outstanding Student of the Year in a Subject Area

Recipients of the Outstanding Student of the Year in a Subject Area Award represent the pinnacle of student achievement within a subject area. Students are nominated by their instructors, their attributes and achievements are debated, and the selection for top student is made by vote.

Dezerea Edulag

Intissar Awad

Dezerea Edulag is a very self-directed student. She consistently goes beyond expectations in every aspect of the nursing program. She strives to learn and improve skills and practices. In clinical Dezerea has demonstrated leadership and clear communication with her peers. She was very helpful to everyone in the rotation at Bella Sera where she works as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Dezerea’s written work contains excellent content, APA citations and is well formatted. She is punctual and assignments are submitted on time. She welcomes constructive criticism and works on improvement. Although Dezerea is quiet, she communicates well with her patients, staff and instructors. She asks questions when appropriated and adds to class discussions.

– Lisa Balk | Professor, Nursing

Marjaana Lisma-Celestine

Marjaana Lisma-Celestine

Vonetta Mixson | Professor, Business

Christine Cruse

Christine Cruse

Christine Cruse is a very respectful student who shows a great understanding on how children develop. Christine understands her role as an educator, and is always looking to advance her knowledge and practical skills in the field. It is always a pleasure and a breath of fresh air reading Christine's work. Christine displays advanced knowledge on given topics, and she puts in the time to better understand topics that are new to her. When responding to her peers, Christine offers her insight while being very diplomatic when presenting her thoughts and ideas. Christine has great communication skills. She' reaches out on occasions where life gets in the way of her completing her work to her best ability. If I were to describe Christine in one word, it would be ethical. Christine's approach to learning, plus her morals, and values are great assets to the field. I am pleased to announce Christine Cruse as this year’s Child Development student of the year. Congratulations on all your success thus far, and I am confident that you will accomplish much more on your journey.

– Tyrone Ledford | Professor, Child Development

Lauren Zissos

Kyrie Ogloza

I’ve had Lauren in English 101, 102, and now 221. She’s about as hard-working and insightful as any student I’ve had in the past ten years. Her work is absolutely extraordinary, and she’s a very elegant writer.

– Clifford Davis | Professor, English

I have Lauren in English 241, and she's an excellent student. In fact, if I didn't use contract grading, her percentage right now would be 101.4%.

– Debilyn Kinzler | Professor, English

Lauren took my Spanish C101 online class last semester, and she stood out immediately after the class started. I vividly recall having her join me via Zoom in the weekly meetings, always full of curiosity, and hungry to learn beyond the grammar constructions being covered.

– Lucila Gonzalez-Cirre | Professor, Spanish

Lauren took my Speech 101 class, and her work ethic stood out immediately. Her speeches were always thorough and engaging. She is well-deserving of this recognition.

– Melanie Jeffrey | Professor, English

Diana Palacios

Diana Palacios

The Industrial Arts department could not be happier to announce Diana Palacios as our student of the year. Diana is one of the most hard working students we have had in the last several years. She is always on time and ready to complete the days task. Diana is also a recent graduate of the Honors Program. In fact, Diana is the first and only CTE major student to have ever graduated the program. We know you are going to do great things in life and can not be more happy to have you represent our department.

– David Villicana | Professor, Industrial Arts

Dorothy Lindula

Dorothy Lindula

Dorothy Lindula is this year’s mathematics student of the year. She began her math studies at Cerro Coso in fall 2019 with College Algebra. Since then, she has taken Trigonometry, Calculus I, II, and III, Linear Algebra and Differential Equations. She received A grades in the first six classes, and this semester is on the verge of earning an A in Differential Equations. Of the seven classes listed above, six of them were online.

By its nature, the online classroom environment creates a wide gulf between the instructor and his students. Dorothy’s frequent, coherent, and well-written email messages bridge this gulf and convince me that she is a concerned and hard-working student. She never fails to thank me for answering her questions, and this simple act of gratitude impresses me that she is kind, decent, and respectful as well.

Dorothy hopes to transfer to a university in the fall 2022 semester to pursue a Mechanical Engineering degree. Her hobbies include 3D printing models, specifically anything mechanical such as jet engines, and playing the piano.

– Dean Bernsten | Professor, Mathematics

Elajae Lee

Elajae Lee

Having the opportunity to work with Elajae in the garden club has been a real pleasure. Elajae works hard and has fun. It is a pleasure to work with such a curious, intelligent, and interested person. Elajae easily interacts with those around her no matter what their age. She has expressed an interest in becoming a clinical laboratory scientist. Knowing Elajae, it comforts me to know a person with her compassion, intelligence and skill could be diagnosing and guiding the doctors of tomorrow.

– Claudia Sellers | Professor, Biology

Elajae Lee possesses the combined ability to excel in situations that require amiable social interactions and in situations that require quiet independent thought. Excelling in both environments requires both external and internal self-confidence, respectively. Students like Elajae make teaching more enjoyable for the instructor and learning more enjoyable for their fellow students.

– Scott Cameron | Professor, Physical Science

Alan Esparza

Alan Esparza

Having had the pleasure of working with Alan in Psychology C101, I can attest to his academic excellence and achievement. Alan produces quality written assignments that include analysis of topics such as mental health diagnosis and treatment within correctional facilities. He is a classroom leader who offers assistance and mentorship to his fellow students. We wish Alan the best of luck as he starts a career in the United States military.

– Melissa Bowen | Professor, Psychology and Human Services

Site Student of the Year Awards

Each year, each Cerro Coso Community College site selects one student who represents success at their respective location.

Kent Schornick

Kent Schornick

Irvin Gonzalez

Irvin Gonzalez

Betsy Truax | Executive Director, Mammoth Lakes Foundation

As Irvin described in his final speech of the semester, this year was “interesting” to say the least. While his classmates and instructors all seemed to struggle with the return to in person learning and this post-lockdown world, Irvin seemed to handle every stressor, change, pivot, and challenge with grace and aptitude, and a strong dose of humor. This is why I am both thrilled and honored to recognize Irvin Gonzalez as our ESCC site Student of the Year. Irvin is one of those students who brightens your day, and he is certainly one of the ones who made coming to work every day worthwhile for me. He is not only an exceptionally bright and motivated student, but he is a kind, considerate, and caring human being. He regularly helped out his fellow classmates, saving them from more than one pickle or grade disaster, I am sure. He was supportive and understanding of those around him. He thanked me every single day that he left class and would often wait for me with the classroom door held open if he saw me coming down the hallway, even if that meant he was awkwardly standing there for more than what might be comfortable. Irvin is well deserving of this honor, and I have no doubt that he will build a wonderful future for himself and brighten many people’s lives along the way. Thank you, Irvin, for your hard work and great attitude this year!

– Yvonne Mills | Professor, English; Academic Senate President

I'd also like to nominate Irvin Gonzalez for ESCC site student of the year. I've just gotten to know Irvin this semester, but it's clear that he's not only exceptional academically, but he's also a great leader and example to his peers.

– Preston Few | Faculty, Biology

It's been such a joy being a part of Irvin's first-year at Cerro Coso. Irvin has gone above and beyond whenever presented with an opportunity to grow his knowledge in the Information Technology field of study. His positive attitude and dedication to his educational goals inspires both the students and staff around him. We are so excited to see where Irvin's passions take him in the future! A well-deserved honor for an incredible student!

– Elizabeth Root | Scholarship Coordinator at Mammoth Lakes Foundation

Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Award

Each year the Cerro Coso Community College Foundation presents an award to the student athlete who has the highest G.P.A. and who acheives excellent physical accomplishments along with scholastic honors.

Geraldine Valles

Geraldine Valles

It is my privilege to celebrate exemplary academic achievement by one of Cerro Coso’s student-athletes.  All the way from Laredo, Texas, Cerro Coso transfer student Geraldine Valles has played on the Women’s Volleyball Team for past two years.  She will graduate this week with a transfer degree in Liberal Arts Math and Science.  Her goal is to transfer to the University of Texas at Austin next fall and major in exercise science and psychology.  Ultimately she would like to become a sport psychologist to help athletes reach their full potential not only in their sport but also mentally.  As a sophomore, Geraldine, has demonstrated dedication and commitment both on the field and in the classroom, that has gained her the distinction of being  Cerro Coso’s graduating athlete with the highest GPA.  It is my pleasure to present the 2022 Cerro Coso Community College Foundation Athletic Academic Achievement Award to Geraldine Valles.

– Derrick Hu | President, Cerro Coso Community College Foundation

In the fall of 2020, Geraldine Valles came to Cerro Coso Community College by way of Laredo, TX and was recruited to play volleyball for the Coyotes. From the moment Geraldine walked onto campus, she embodied the spirit of the Coyote Athletic tagline to “Make Your Mark”. On the court, Geraldine is a coach’s dream, always engaged and ever determined to be a quality teammate. In the classroom, Geraldine embraced the challenge of a rigorous academic path, compiling a 3.84 cumulative GPA over two years. And in the community, Geraldine was anxious to step up and support Cerro Coso in the Ambassador program, always present at Hunger Free events, community outreach, and the numerous activities hosted on the Cerro Coso campus. Geraldine was recognized this past volleyball season with a First Team, Inland Empire Athletic All-Conference selection for her position of setter and will be completing her time at Cerro Coso with a Psychology AA-T, as well as degrees in Liberal Arts: Math & Science, and Social Behavior Science…Geraldine, you have Made Your Mark.

– John McHenry | Athletic Director

Tutor of the Year

The Learning Assistance Center's team of tutors is made up of faculty-selected students. From their classes, faculty identify students they believe would have an impact on future students taking their course. The tutor of the year is strong student who exhibits compassion and commitment to others.

Kate Brown

Awards for Teaching Excellence

The following award recipients have been selected by students for excellence in the classroom.

Lucila Gonzalez-Cirre

Lucila Gonzalez-Cirre

I was so nervous and anxious to begin my journey of learning Spanish. It is common to hear that learning a new language is one of the hardest skills to grasp. However tough, Profesora Lucila has made it an incredible, rewarding, and enjoyable experience. From the very first day of class, she showed joy, enthusiasm, and commitment toward not only teaching Spanish but engaging her estudiantes, myself included. When I attend her class, I feel immersed in Spanish culture. My confidence has grown exponentially, thanks to Profesora Lucila. I am so happy and grateful that I was fortunate to learn from her. She ensures that difficult concepts are simplified and easy to understand, answers any question we have, and takes time to reach out if any of us are struggling. Thank you, Profesora Lucila, and congratulations! You deserve it./p>

– Madison Granda

Thank you for all your help. You have been an inspiration to me.

– William Covington

Profesora Lucila is very deserving of this award, not only is she a great educator, but she goes above and beyond for her students, she is present in every way, she is always there to help us in any way she can.

– Gisele Fernandez

Professor Lucila Gonzalez-Cirre has been a great support for me as a Spanish student. Her classes are tough, but she is always there to answer questions and guide us. Anyone who takes her courses and puts in effort will come away with significantly more knowledge and understanding of the material.

– Ralph LaPaglia

Hello, this is Gary Enns, Chair of English and Foreign Languages. The department is so happy that Lucila Gonzalez-Cirre is being awarded Faculty of the Year. She is one of the most conscientious and caring professors that I know, and her course preparation and design, and every decision she makes, are always student centered. The department and the college are lucky to have her on board. Congratulations, Lucila, and thank you for all you do.

Brian Shuldt

Brian Shuldt

I'd like to add my voice to those of the students who nominated Brian Schuldt for the adjunct faculty of the year award. Brian personifies all that is good in an educator -- a phenomenal degree of expertise in his field, a dedication to providing his students with the best possible learning experience, and the ability to convey and promote a love of learning in general, and engagement in music, specifically.

Brian, from all of us in the Visual and Performing Arts Department, thank you, and congratulations on this award — it's well deserved.

– Lisa Darty | Professor, Art; Department Chair, Visual and Performing Arts

I'm not one to record myself or make a presentation but I will give you this, I took Brian's class because he was always nice to me in the past. I noticed right away that he is very passionate about what he does and how he handles himself and the class. I like how he will help you get to the right answer and he never says "that is wrong" but instead he will help you get to the correct answer. You can see his passion in his body language and I can see it in his eyes that he wants to teach us all and that he truly cares. I took music classes throughout middle school and the "flame" kind of died out but with Brian, I look forward to each class period and my interest in music overall has come back. I am not the greatest writer but I hope that through reading this you can see him as I see him through my eyes.

– Stephen Frazer

Over the years, Brian Schuldt has successfully challenged us to individual and ensemble (‘team building’) improvement in a fun/ positive manner. His meshing of music theory in its historical context has been enlightening to me and others. He unites a wide age range of musicians, bringing out the best in all. This results in a gift of music to our Eastern Sierra communities. Hooray Brian!

– Gayle Rosander

Brian Schuldt is an outstanding musician and professor. He shares his knowledge of music and coaches the orchestra in an enjoyable but productive manner. He often improves our playing with a few pieces of advice. He delivers the advice in a way such that we understand what we need to do. He does so with a minimum of embarrassment on our part. He displays impressive patience. The orchestra is a huge benefit to the Eastern Sierra and for me, personally, playing in the orchestra under the direction of Brian Schuldt, a joy.

– Collette Gaal

Academic Senate Classified Staff Award

The Academic Senate Staff of the Year Award recipient is selected by faculty. Staff members are nominated, discussed, and then voted on.

Lacey Navarro

Lacey Navarro

Lacey Navarro took on a lot of additional work this year in Jen's absence. She tackled everything that was thrown at her with grace and aplomb, demonstrating not only extreme competency and skill with her job, but an ability to maintain her kindness and consideration for others even under pressure. I truly appreciate her willingness to help and track down answers to questions and enjoyed the time we got to work together this year. She is well deserving of this recognition!

– Yvonne Mills | Professor, English; Academic Senate President

Lacey is always delightfully cheerful and will go out of her way to follow up on seemingly minor things. She is an amazing employee and we are lucky to be able to work with her.

– Alex Gilewski | Professor, Chemistry

We are all indebted to Lacey's attention to detail and professionalism!

– Julie Cornett | Professor, Information Competency; Librarian

Lacey is such a terrific person to work with. She is ultra-competent, always willing to help, and does so with an attitude that just makes one feel better about the day. She definitely deserves this award!

– Lisa Darty | Professor, Art; Department Chair, Visual and Performing Arts

Lacey, it is a pleasure working with you! You are consistently helpful and you make things run so smoothly. I appreciate you!

– Missy Gross | Professor, Counseling

ALL of my interactions with Lacey Navarro have been superb and extremely pleasant! It's always a pleasure to interact with Lacey.  She is always willing to help and is exceptionally helpful. She is welcoming, responsive, reliable, and overall amazing. She truly is an asset to the Office of Instruction and the College as a whole! Thank you for being you and for all you do! Congratulations on the Classified Employee of the Year award.

– René Mora

Classified Senate Staff Award

The Classified Senate Staff of the Year Award recipient is selected by classified staff. Staff members are nominated, discussed, and then voted on.

Kristie Nichols, Yvonne Flores, and Kimberly Carrasco

Kristie Nichols

Kristie Nichols
East Kern

Yvonne Flores

Yvonne Flores
ESCC

Kimberly Carrasco

Kimberly Carrasco
Ridgecrest/IWV

Congratulations Kristie! Thank you for all the hard work you do for our students, as well as the numerous committees you sit on! 😊

– Kelly Potten | Tutoring Services Team Lead

Yvonne Flores is an invaluable asset to our ESCC group and Counseling team. I can always count on her to assist during outreach and busy registration times. Her sense of humor and laughter brighten my Mammoth Campus days.

– Kim Blackwell | Educational Advisor

Kim is a very pleasant person to work with. She always works hard and does a fantastic job helping students and other staff members even in the most difficult of situations. Kim is one of my favorite people to work alongside here at Cerro Coso!

– Adeline Windsor | Admissions and Records Technician I

Congratulations Yvonne! Thanks for all you do for our ESCC students. 😊

Congratulations Kim! 😊

– Kelly Potten

Kimberly Carrasco is incredibly helpful and always nice. I am happy to have her on the team and feel she deserves this award! Thank you for all the help you provide me and our students. I look forward to the years to come with you here. Let's make this year great.

– Sarah Land | Department Assistant II

Kimberly Carrasco is incredibly helpful and always nice. I am happy to have her on the team and feel she deserves this award! Thank you for all the help you provide me and our students. I look forward to the years to come with you here. Let's make this year great.

– Deborah Gregory | Graphic Designer, Print Shop