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 Campus Information >  Quick Facts > Faculty Members Success Stories

Faculty, Staff & the South Community

All of the people that work and surround the South community are truly amazing. South would like to invite you to share in our appreciation by reading some of their stories from our quarterly class schedules below.

Also see 2009 Graduation Photos | Student Success Stories | student statistics and Foundation Donors whose support helps our students succeed.

2012 Recipients of Lifelong Learning Award

Congratulations to Christa Colouzis, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, and Heidi Lyman, Mathematics Instructor, who have been honored with the Lifelong Learning Award by the Seattle Community Colleges Board of Trustees. The Trustees Lifelong Learning Award is made annually in recognition and support of the importance of continued intellectual and professional growth for employees of the Seattle Community Colleges. Award recipients are selected by the Board of Trustees.

Christa and Heidi will each receive a $1,500 award, intended to be used for costs associated with attendance at professional association meetings, conferences, professional development classes, college course work and similar activities which would enhance the recipient’s individual, intellectual, or professional development. They will be recognized by the trustees at District Convocation on Wednesday, September 19, at Central.

Christa Colouzis
Christa Colouzis

Heidi Lyman
Heidi Lyman

2011 Jobsite Shero Award

Christa Colouzis was awarded the 2011 Jobsite “Shero” Award by Washington Women in Trades. Christa is an Environmental, Health & Safety Specialist here at South. She and the other awardees were honored at the fifth annual Dream Big Dinner on November 5, 2011. Washington Women in Trades Association was founded in 1978 by and for women working in the trades to gather and share information. The goal is to educate, promote, and celebrate.

Christa Colouzis
Christa Colouzis

NISOD award winners 2008 - 2009

Congratulations to instructors Brian Hughes (Automotive Technology) and Holly Gilman (English) on their selection as South’s 2008-2009 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Award winners. Selection was based on their commitment to students, professional development, and the college, as well as their activities in support of the college mission and goals.

Brian Hughes
Brian Hughes

Holly Gilman
Holly Gilman

Helen Sutton was truly a lifelong supporter of education. She first got interested in education through her studies at Washington State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree. Helen then began teaching at Wapato Junior and Senior High School, where she met her husband Milton Sutton. Later Helen and Milton moved to the Seattle area where she taught at West Seattle High School.

Helen’s expertise and commitment to education earned her an invitation to serve the Citizen’s Advisory Council that eventually led to the establishment of South Seattle Community College. Her involvement with this effort resulted in decades of service and dedication to South Seattle Community College and the community......

Helen Sutton
Helen Sutton
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Volunteer, Donor and So Much More! A descendent of Seattle pioneers, Roberta Greer has dedicated her life to improving the community through her work and volunteer service. “I have always been inspired by organizations that promote change for the future,” Roberta says. “And there is no better way to do this than by providing education to students like South Seattle Community College does.

” After earning a degree in Finance and Administration, Roberta put her passion for community spirit to work as Vice President of the Seattle-King County Convention and Visitors Bureau. After spending seven years there, she joined Tillicum Village and Tours where she has served as the Senior Vice President / CAO for the past 17 years......

Roberta Greer Roberta Greer
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2007 Exemplary Staff Award Winner

Carolyn Dickson, Program Support Supervisor in Registration, has been honored by the Staff Training for Technical and Community College (STTACC) Board with its Exemplary Staff Award. STTACC was established in 1978 to aid in the professional development of community and technical college classified (union) staff. Its Exemplary Staff Award provides annual recognition of these staff, who play a critical role in the success of their institutions.......

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Carolyn Dickson
Carolyn Dickson

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Outstanding Faculty Honored Faculty members Howard Andersen, Automotive Technology Instructor, and Sara Baldwin, ESL Instructor, are South’s 2006-2007 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award winners. The two were selected for the quality of their teaching and for their commitment to students. They were honored in May at NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence. Since 1978, the organization has “been dedicated to the professional development of faculty, administrators, and staff; and to the continued improvement of teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of student success.

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Sara Boldwin
Sara Baldwin
Howard Andersen
Howard Andersen

Betsy McConnell-Gutierrez, Program Coordinator at the Duwamish Apprenticeship & Education Center, has been honored among her peers in the Seattle Community College District with the Trustees Lifelong Learning Award. She received $1,500 as a reward for excellence, based on leadership, professional achievement and cooperative spirit. The awards are meant to encourage recipients to pursue learning opportunities. Betsy plans on using the award to expand her capability to present educational opportunities to classified staff who she represents as their local vice president for the Washington Federation of State Employees........

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Betsy McConnell Betsy McConnell-Gutierrez
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Math and engineering instructor Heidi Lyman is exuberantly enthusiastic about numbers. An avid skier, the Spokane native admits to picturing sine waves as she slaloms down the course. “I do get carried away with numbers,” she says with a laugh, “but my students don’t mind.”

The daughter of a math and astronomy teacher, Lyman attended Spokane Falls Community College before earning a BS and MS in aerospace engineering at the University of Washington......

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Heidi Lyman
Heidi Lyman

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During his 36 years at South, Dr. Jihad Othman has taught political science and history to three generations of students and seen the college course offerings grow from one mimeographed page to the current 88 page schedule. He has also seen the student body become more diverse, noting that 12 different countries are represented in his International Relations class.

A Palestinian native who initially studied law at the University of Syria, Dr. Othman began his American higher education at Skagit Valley Community College.......

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Dr. Jihad Otman
Dr. Jihad Otman

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Bob Dela-Cruz is a romantic at heart. It’s no wonder, considering his parents’ love story, which defied the rigid Filipino class barriers of the 1950’s. He recounts that tale and the Dela-Cruz history as one of Seattle’s earliest influential Filipino families in the coffee table book Magnolia – Making More Memories, published by the Magnolia Historical Society.

A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Dela-Cruz earned a Master’s in Literature from the University of Pittsburgh and taught in a variety of settings, including West Point, Saint Mary College, and even the Federal Penitentiary at Leavenworth.......

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Bob Dela-Cruz
Bob Dela-Cruz

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Since joining South in 2001, Cessa Heard-Johnson has infused the campus with her passion for diversity and justice issues. As Dean of Diversity, Retention and Student Life, she has had a major impact on college efforts in these areas.

Seeing a need to address diversity issues in an academic setting, she created and still teaches American Ethnic Studies 201-Z – Diversity & Social Issues. Offered winter quarter, the timely and interactive class focuses on critically analyzing multiple forms of oppression in order to find solutions to dismantle them on an individual and institutional basis.......

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Cessa Heard-Johnson
Cessa Heard-Johnson

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When Carlos Amesquita sees stars, it’s not because he’s been bumped on the head by a falling engine part. An avid astronomy fan, the Automotive Technology instructor relaxes by observing the night sky through one of his several telescopes.

As a younger man, the Peruvian native eyed the vast Alaskan sky from the deck of a crab fishing boat on the treacherous Bering Sea. After six years of physically demanding and dangerous work, he decided to put his mechanical skills and teaching aptitude to better use. ......

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Carlos Amesquita
Carlos Amesquita

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Faculty Profile The Power of Language

They teach different languages, but instructors Asha Esterberg (Spanish) and Holly Gilman (English) share much in common, from a history of excelling in physically demanding activities like class sailboat racing and karate, to a love of travel.

They also share a passionate appreciation of the richness and power of language and a dedication to helping students harness that power to become effective communicators. “I want to show them their ability to wield that power, and how it works. It’s up to them if they want to embrace it,” says Gilman, who has taught developmental and college-level writing at South for thea past six years.

A former karate black belt holder, she equates the precision of karate movements to the precision of language and finds that understanding what each one accomplishes is an exciting challenge. Gilman is one of just four recipients of the 2008-2009 Trustees Lifelong Learning Award and was recently selected as one of South’s two National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Award winners.......

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Asha Esterberg
Asha Esterberg

Holly Gilman
Holly Gilman

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