Each year the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, in partnership with the Board of Governors, honors outstanding classified employees. Three classified professionals from Moreno Valley College, Norco College and Riverside City College were moved forward to the Riverside Community College District (RCCD) Cabinet for consideration.
The RCCD Cabinet submitted the nominations to the RCCD Board of Trustees. The trustees reviewed the nominations and endorsed Patricia Gill, STEM services developer at Norco College, to represent Riverside Community College District for the 2021 Classified Employee of the Year award.
Gill is a first-generation college student and the first in her family to earn a college degree. She knows from personal experience the challenges students face while trying to pursue their educational journey. She has spent 36 years of her career dedicated to working with educational programs that assist first-generation college students to succeed and achieve a higher education.
Gill is beloved in the college community and often referred to as STEM mom. She is a fierce and dedicated advocate for student success and a firm believer in educational equity. In 2007, Gill left her post at the University of California, Riverside to work for Norco College in the TRiO and STEM programs. Gill is instrumental in helping students execute their educational plans, achieving their associate's degree, and advocating that Norco College graduates transfer to a four-year university and earn their bachelor's degrees.
Below is an example of the many notes that Gill frequently receives from her students.
"Thank you Ms. Patricia for encouraging me to apply myself and pursue my dream of electrical engineering. I just got accepted to Cal State LA and CSU Long Beach! I couldn't have done it without your support ... so it's just as much your victory as it is mine!" shared Abraham Hermosillo, STEM student.
Not only does Gill wholeheartedly dedicate time to her students, but she is also involved in various committees at Norco College and volunteers her time to multiple service organizations.
View Patricia Gill's full nomination.
Theo Mabon from Moreno Valley College and Cassandra Greene from Riverside City College were the other two classified professionals considered for their outstanding contributions to their colleges and the district.
Theo Mabon has been with Moreno Valley College for over seven years, beginning his career as a substitute employee in the custodial and grounds departments. After earning a full-time position, Mabon was promoted to the official College sprinkler repair technician. As part of his duties, he handles set ups for student activities, accounting for over 150 set ups and tear downs yearly.
“Theo is an asset to our students here at Moreno Valley College," Frankie Moore, coordinator of Student Activities, said. “He is a responsible, passionate, committed employee and well deserving of MVC's Classified Employee of the Year. His goals and objectives are in line with the mission statement to provide a clean, well maintained and attractive environment for students that is conductive to learning." Read more.
Cassandra Greene, instructional programs support coordinator at Riverside City College, has helped develop a workflow between curriculum and financial aid to ensure that program information is aligned between federal agreements, state curriculum inventory, college catalogs, and system information. The new process she implemented has decreased the time for required approvals and has helped keep RCC in compliance with Title IV regulations.
Greene's nominators write that she is kind, collaborative, creative, approachable and always willing to go above and beyond for those she supports. Read more.
Ultimately, Patricia Gill was nominated by her colleagues and endorsed by the local Board of Trustees. State award winners are selected by representatives from the Board of Governors, Consultation Council and the Chancellor's Office. Up to six recipients will be announced and honored at the May 2021 Board of Governors meeting, where they will receive a $750 cash award and plaque.