Staff and Faculty Success

Examples

Mission’s biggest investment — and most important asset — is our talented faculty, staff and administrators. With a commitment to supporting the success of our students, responding to community needs, and addressing the challenges of a changing world, we share our personal stories to inspire and uplift our community. 

Read Their Stories

Testimonials

President Seher Awan
President Seher Awan

"I’m a California girl born and raised. I grew up in Los Angeles and am first-gen. Like most children of immigrants, I struggled growing up trying to reconcile my home culture with American culture. Growing up in a strict Muslim household clashed with my Sagittarius free spirit, and I rebelled in middle and high school."

Read Her Story

Ann Cowels, RN and Nursing Instructor
Ann Cowels, Retired Nursing Instructor

"Courage is not ignoring your fears but recognizing it and facing the fear head on. I encouraged each student to pursue their goals in overcoming obstacles that come with living - to become courageous in the face of fear and challenges that come with being a nurse."

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Steve Duong and Donnelle McGee drape their arms around each other's shoulders at an event.
Steve Duong, Program Specialist (Adult Ed)

"Strive to reach your full potential...My journey at Mission came with struggle, but with support, I overcame. I went on to earn my BA in Sociology at San Jose...I have spent the last decade doing my best to help people reach their full potential by working in mental health, probation, and education."

Read His Story

Diego Espinoza speaks to students at a podium.
Diego Espinoza, EOPS/CARE & CalWORKs

"There is nothing that can stop you from accomplishing your dreams. When no one else believes in you, believe in yourself, and use other’s doubts as the catalyst for your success. Be kind to yourself and to everyone you come across..you can have on someone's day or life by acknowledging them."

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Edward Fedalizo and fellow faculty/staff at an event designed to recognize them.
Edward Fedalizo, Instructional Technology Analyst

"I am forever grateful to our community colleges for the opportunity it provides and the access it affords everyone who has a dream or goal in higher learning. I am an Ilokano-descended Filipino American. The youngest of seven children, I am a first-generation college student."

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Veronica Hand with her partner.
Veronica Hand, Puente Counselor

"Ask for help. It can feel intimidating to ask but had I not been brave enough to ask, I would not be where I am today. I love my career as a counselor and instructor, and I am more financially stable than I was before I went to college. Now I get to thank my parents and pay them back for their sacrifice."

Read Her Story

Bob Miller, Counseling Faculty
Bob Miller, Counseling Faculty

"Don't let any disabilities deter you from getting an education and pursuing your dreams. Also, don't assume that when you graduate, you will immediately get a job you love in the field you went to school for. Be ready for anything. Your education will give you critical thinking skills which you can use in many jobs."

Read His Story

Dr. Danny Nguyen, a man in a long-sleeved checked button down shirt, gestures toward a marker board with writing on it. He is of Vietnamese decent, slight, and has sharp attractive features and short black hair.
Dr. Danny Nguyen, Vice President, Administrative Services

"My journey included the many typical paths: that of the immigrant student fighting to assimilate, the disgruntled student rebelling against cultural pressures, the driven student pursuing education as a means to a better life, and the lifelong student seeking growth."

Read His Story

Bianca Pimental, Student Success Coach
Bianca Pimental, Student Success Coach

"It is crucial to have a support system while in college and to take advantage of the experiences/resources they have to offer. I am grateful for my EOPS counselor and the opportunities I had, including attending a college campus road trip and winning a scholarship."

Read Her Story

Vianey Topete, TRIO SSS/TRIO STEM Program Specialist
Vianey Topete, TRIO SSS/TRIO STEM Program Specialist

"Learning to honor my intersectional experiences, continuously engaging in critical self-reflection, and operating from my core values...By investing in myself, I am simultaneously investing in my community, and them in me."

Read Her Story

Theresa Tran at the podium of an EOPS celebration.
Theresa Tran, EOPS Counseling Faculty

"It doesn’t matter if one is low-income, is learning English as a second or third language, or hasn’t previously done well in school; get in the habit of reading! It’s a solid investment, and the more you do it, the richer your pay-off will be."

Read Her Story

Julie Vu poses with an award with a group of colleagues in front of the California Community College seal in a formal meeting room.
Julie Vu, Program Specialist (Welcome Center)

"Mission College is an inclusive place that provides wonderful resources and a variety of programs to students, including academic resources and counselors that were not available to me in my home country. We should maximize these resources."

Read Her Story

Roshawn Walter, a youngish man of African-American descent wears a fitted blue suit and holds an award. He has a full beard.
Roshawn Walter, Counseling Faculty (Umoja)

"As an African American, first-gen alum of community college from an underserved background, I recognize the benefits of community college...I was inspired to pursue a M.Ed. in Educational Counseling...I did this to help minimize the achievement gap of underrepresented students."

Read His Story

Alejandro Zavalo with a male student. They each hold part of a certificate against a backdrop that reads "EOPS/CARE".
Alejandro Zavalo, Counseling Faculty (EOPS)

"Even though the journey gets hard, remember what you’re doing it for. You’re doing it for yourself. You’re doing it for those that paved the way for you. When you attain your goal, it’s going to be so fulfilling because of the sacrifice you made. Keep going, the sacrifice is worth it."

Read His Story