ahc facultyAllan Hancock College recently added nearly two dozen new full-time faculty in a rare hiring boom that increased Hancock’s full-time faculty size by almost 20 percent.

“Full-time faculty are a key component to the quality of our college and our future plans,” said Kevin Walthers, Ph.D., superintendent/president of Allan Hancock College. “Our investment in new faculty is designed to expand our enrollment base and help the college grow and improve.”

The hiring was an effort by the college to accommodate high-demand classes, help meet student access needs and eliminate bottlenecks in core classes.

“The Board of Trustees recognized there was a need to provide increased access to classes for our students,” said George Railey, Jr. Ed.D., associate superintendent/vice president, academic affairs. “Special focus was placed in disciplines where student demand was reflected in course wait lists.”

Funding for the new positions came mainly from additional state dollars provided to the 113 schools in California’s community college system, but also from retirement replacements and additional institutional allotments.

“We are very fortunate that our board has authorized the use of one-time funds as a way to restore enrollments, particularly in areas where we struggle to find consistent part-time faculty,” said Walthers.

With the substantial increase in new faculty, Hancock has gone to great lengths to help integrate the new associate professors with the college. The new hires took part in a new faculty orientation that included enhanced focus on Hancock’s mission and values. The new faculty will also take part in an ongoing year-long new faculty training program with instruction taking place twice per month.

“I’ve already been able to coordinate and work with the faculty in my department and that has made me even more excited to be a part of the college,” said Denae Madrid, who was hired as a chemistry professor in the physical sciences department.

Madrid’s brother Seth Damron was also hired as assistant professor of kinesiology and assistant football coach/offensive coordinator. Both of them learned of the job opportunities through the California Community College Chancellor’s Office website.

“It was a coincidence that we were both hired at Hancock,” Madrid said. “But we both love to teach and I’m happy that it worked out this way. My brother and I haven’t lived in the same town for a very long time!”

“The position itself is what drew me to Hancock,” said Damron, “It’s an amazing opportunity. I’ve always wanted to work in California’s community college system and have always had the desire to be an offensive coach. The fact that both my sister and I were hired at Hancock makes it even better. ”

Although many faculty hires like Madrid and Damron came from outside the college, several hires had already been part-time faculty for many years including Saad Sadig, who had been an adjunct professor and coordinator of the architecture program at Hancock since 2005. Sadig has also been an adjunct professor at Cal Poly and Cuesta College.

“I’ve spent over 11 years hoping for a full-time position at Hancock, but I was more focused on building the architecture program, which has become a real success.” said Sadig. “I’m attached to the school and to the program on a very personal level so I wasn’t about to give up hope!”

Hiring committees in nearly every academic department screened more than 1,000 applicants in an effort to hire the right people to help accomplish the college’s mission and goals. Hancock’s human resources department worked longer hours and were open on Saturdays and evenings to allow faculty to screen the applications.

“It takes teamwork from everyone – I can’t stress that enough,” said Lizbeth Philips, recruitment coordinator at Hancock. “With the assistance of all the HR staff and faculty we did a lot of prior planning months in advance to make sure that the process was streamlined and exceptionally organized.”

“Hiring this many quality faculty members was no small feat,” said Walthers. “We are fortunate to have an HR team that was up to the task!”

The following is a list of new full-time faculty hires at Allan Hancock College:

  • Jeffrey Appel – assistant professor, mathematics – mathematical sciences
  • Maria Arvizu-Rodriguez – transfer counselor – university transfer center
  • Jaime Astacio – assistant professor, mathematics – mathematical sciences
  • Christine Bisson – assistant professor – applied behavioral science
  • Benjamin Britten – early alert counselor – counseling and 3SP
  • Seth Damron – assistant professor, kinesiology assistant football coach/offense coordinator – kinesiology, recreation and athletics department
  • Brent Darwin – assistant professor, accounting – business education
  • Janae Dimick – assistant professor, English – English
  • Linda Kelly – counselor – learning assistant program
  • Danae Madrid – assistant professor, chemistry – life and physical sciences
  • Lisa Marsalek – assistant professor, learning disabilities specialist, learning assistance program
  • Ricardo Navarette – counselor, counseling and student success & support program
  • Trevor Passage – assistant professor, librarian – learning resources
  • Carissa Perales – counselor (Lompoc Valley Center), counseling and student success & support program
  • Saad Sadig – assistant professor, architecture – industrial technology
  • Jennifer Schroeder- assistant professor, speech – languages and communications
  • Michael Serpa – assistant professor, mathematics- mathematical sciences
  • Christopher Straub – assistant professor, geography – social and behavioral sciences
  • Patrick Trimbath – assistant professor, art – fine arts
  • Kiri Villa – counselor, Cooperative Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support Programs (CAFYES)
  • Dayana Zepeda– noncredit counselor – noncredit education