Hancock Honors 20 Retiring Faculty and Staff

The retirees contributed a combined 450 years of service to the college

RetireesRecognitions19MAY 17, 2019--Allan Hancock College bid a fond farewell to 20 retiring faculty and staff, who contributed a combined 450 years of service, during a recognition ceremony on May 16.

This year’s honored retirees included faculty who spent decades educating Hancock students, as well as longtime staff and administration members who worked to support students in attaining their educational goals.

Dianne McMahon, who is retiring after 38 years at Hancock, began her career at the college as a dance instructor and retired as a professor and coordinator for Hancock’s dance program. McMahon said she was proud of the role she played in helping the hundreds of students who passed through her classes achieve their goals both in dance and elsewhere.

“I will miss my dance students,” said McMahon. “Their sense of energy, life and interest in the future has always given me the drive to keep coming to Hancock on a daily basis.”

Marla Allegre, a Hancock English professor who is retiring after 31 years, will also depart with fond memories of her students. She recalled an instance during the 2018 commencement when some of her students actually broke out of line to come and thank her.

“It’s moments like that that I’ll miss,” Allegre said. “I have seen students in my classes surmount obstacles, both personal and socioeconomic, and rise up to meet their educational goals. I’d like to think that somehow their experiences in my courses helped get them there.”

Like many of the honored retirees, Allegre went beyond the basic demands of her job and played an active role in making Hancock a vibrant, effective and supportive institution. She helped design the shared governance structure of the college, co-wrote and coordinated Hancock’s multi-million dollar Title V HSI grant, and served as president of the college’s Academic Senate.

“We are in a place now where people are willing to work together for the good of the institution, recognizing that we all want students to succeed,” said Allegre. “There’s a sense of shared purpose, and the knowledge that a group of people, whether it be a group of committed colleagues or students, can effect meaningful change that makes a difference in people’s lives.”

Hancock Dean of Student Services and Director of Financial Aid Robert Parisi, who is retiring after 29 years at the college, also praised the work of his staff and coworkers.

“It really is about the people here,” said Parisi. “When they do things for people, especially for the students, they do it out of the goodness of their hearts. This staff just has a lot of heart.”

As he plans out how to spend his retirement, Parisi said he wasn’t worried about missing out on Hancock’s future, as he is joining a close-knit community of current and former faculty and staff who still maintain a deep affection for the college.

“You come across so many staff and faculty and retirees out in the community,” said Parisi. “You may not be there physically, but there’s always that great connection.”

The full list of this year’s retirees includes: Teresa Duran, athletic equipment manager, 43 years; Toni McCracken, advancement officer, 42 years; Steven Lopez, maintenance specialist/electrician, 38 years; Dianne McMahon, dance professor, 38 years; Marla Allegre, English professor, 31 years; Margaret Shigenaka, counselor, 30 years; Tammy Brannon, biology professor, 29 years; Robert Parisi, dean of student services and director of financial aid, 29 years; Blake English, counselor, 24 years; David Brown, instructional technology coordinator, 22 years; Cynthia Wheeler, administrative assistant, 20 years; Holly Stromberg, nursing professor, 19 years; Deborah Strance, mathematics professor, 15 years; Cynthia Nunn, administrative assistant, 13 years; Ann Lucas, music professor, 12 years; Linda Shelby, purchasing supervisor, 11 years; Robert Mabry, machine technology associate professor, 10 years; Rex Van Den Berg, plant services director, 10 years; Patti Bonner, administrative assistant, eight years; Marna Lombardi, public information specialist, six years.

Hancock also honored additional faculty and staff. Alicia Fox, Andria Keiser, Robert Murtha, Saad Sadig, Ken George, Jose Millan and Antonio Ramirez were honored as newly tenured faculty at the college. Jake Zent, technical services supervisor, received the inaugural Supervisory-Confidential Achievement Award, while Hancock classified staff members Adelina Pozos, Kristine Brickey and Gina Herlihy were recognized with Classified Achievement awards. Five Hancock staff members were also recognized for their work to implement a three-day “All Hands On Deck” training program for the 2019 Project of the Year award.    

- AHC -

Caption: Allan Hancock 2019 retirees stand with Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D. From left: Deborah Strance; Linda Shelby; Marna Lombardi; Rex Van Den Berg; Cynthia Wheeler; Holly Stromberg; Dianne McMahon; Marla Allegre; Ann Lucas; Robert Mabry; Patti Bonner; Kevin G. Walthers.  

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Last Modified May 17, 2019