On April 22, 2016, the Regina Stanback Stroud Diversity Award was given to Jennifer Dorian of Fresno City College by the Academic Senate of the California Community Colleges. This award seeks to honor the cadre of committed faculty who consistently rise to meet the multiple challenges students face. Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, President of Skyline College was present in Sacramento to honor Jennifer Dorian, the recipient of the diversity award. She offered the audience of Senate Presidents and representatives from across the state of California words of wisdom to continue to fight to improve and increase diversity in our colleges at all levels.
The award attempts to address the numerous issues that our students face as Dr. Stanback Stroud writes in her piece, “When Colleges Get It Right, Students Succeed,” “…it is not simple work to reconceptualize traditional student services, redefine the mission, and change the culture of an institution. It means disrupting the status quo. It simultaneously takes courage and humility. College leaders are in positions of influence and consequence” (227-232). It was clear in her emotional acceptance speech that Jennifer Dorian met the criteria of the award and continues to fight for students.
Jennifer Dorian is the coordinator of the college’s Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS). PASS is designed to help student success and retention through supplemental instruction practices in English, EMLS, linguistics and literature. She has worked tirelessly to increase student success. Dorian received a $5,000 cash prize. Her first response was that she would use the money to help students at her institution.
According to the Academic Senate, the Stanback Stroud Diversity Award acknowledges that California is serving the most diverse student population of any higher education system in the country and the California Community College System is largely comprised of demographic groups that have traditionally faced barriers to education and are often under-prepared when they reach the classroom. It is the challenge and responsibility of California community college faculty to demonstrate the sustained attention and support necessary to fully engage and excite these students. We say thank you to Jennifer Dorian for her hard work.
The Fresno City College student editor, Cresencio Rodriguez writes, “This is truly a win for Fresno City College and particularly the PASS team,” Dorian said. “They helped my vision come to fruition.”
Article and photo by Dr. Tammy Robinson