NOCE’s Opening Day is the annual back-to-school event for all faculty and staff. This is an event where colleagues gather to learn about institutional updates, celebrate employee recognition, and reconnect before the start of the new academic year.
2022 NOCE Opening Day
Friday, August 12, 2022
This year’s event is where the NOCE initiative leaders joined President Valentina Purtell in sharing exciting updates in the “State of NOCE” address. This also included: the introduction of new employees, employee service awards, the announcement of the 2021/22 NOCE Colleagues of the Year, photos ops, and promo items.
Missed Opening Day?
If you weren’t able to attend – or want to revisit the event – check out the Zoom recording
2023 NOCE Teacher of the Year
Congratulations Caroline Kim!
Caroline Kim, Adjunct Instructor for the English as a Second Language (ESL) and Citizenship Program, was selected as NOCE’s nominee for the 2023 Orange County Teacher of the Year.
Caroline started at NOCE in January of 2020. She has taught Beginning High, ESL Learning Center, and Citizenship Preparation regularly over the past two years, was also part of the faculty team that updated Citizenship Preparation to focus on Beginning or Intermediate/Advanced learners. Through her mentorship, more than a dozen instructors developed the technology skills and confidence needed to convert their class material to remote instruction. She also serves as an adjunct faculty representative on the NOCE Academic Senate. Caroline had the most nominations for OC Teacher of the Year, which were submitted by students, alumni, and colleagues. The words passionate, patient, kind, smart, and encouraging were used over and over to describe her.
One student summed up perfectly Caroline’s dedication as a teacher: “During my [time] studying at NOCE, I have had several teachers. All of them are amazing, but Caroline Kim is just [a] unique teacher and personality…she knows the subject just excellent; she is so enthusiastic and optimistic, she can inspire students and make them more confident. And of course, she is always smiling and always in a good mood.” Along with other nominees from community colleges and K-12 districts, Caroline will be honored at the annual Teacher of the Year celebration in November.
2021/22 NOCE Outstanding Colleague of the Year
Congratulations Colleague of the Year Winners!
Dr. Karen Bautista, Vice President of Instruction
Dr. Karen Bautista has demonstrated outstanding leadership and foresight, especially through the pandemic shutdown and the move to launch online instruction. Dr. Bautista is responsive and puts the needs of students first. She offers kind words and affirmations, is available for mentoring, encourages staff, and empowers faculty. Dr. Bautista fearlessly led the charge into distance learning at NOCE. She is passionate about innovating and improving NOCE processes to serve students better. She participates in numerous training opportunities to better understand the benefits and challenges for both students and faculty to make more informed decisions. She is proactive and seeks to challenge the status quo with innovative solutions. Dr. Bautista is exceptionally knowledgeable and embodies lifelong learning, as demonstrated by her commitment to continually seeking out the latest research, new technology, and instructional best practices. She is often seen with a smile on her face and has a welcoming spirit, ready to support faculty and staff in cultivating their own passions to grow as educators. Congratulations to the 2021/22 NOCE Outstanding Colleague of the Year, Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Karen Bautista.
Jennie Belknap, Adjunct Faculty Member in the Emeritus Program
Jeannie Belknap loves and respects her students immensely. Her remarkable technology skills and effervescent personality takes her classes to the next level. Jeannie brings comfort, joy, love, curiosity, and interest to all her classes that she teaches in the Emeritus Program. Oftentimes in one class, Jeannie teaches students who are at a variety of ability levels. However, she can reach, teach, and relate to every single student. Her inclusivity makes her students feel seen and heard. She has always possessed the ability to incorporate technology in her lessons and sharing new technology with older adults is one of the many ways she continues to bring curiosity into her classrooms. She’s also happy to lend support to her fellow colleagues, sharing ideas on how they too can incorporate technology into lesson plans. Jeannie goes out of her way to bring her positive attitude to the various places she teaches in the community. She makes friends not only with her students but also with the workers at the Emeritus Program facilities. Congratulations to the 2021/22 NOCE Outstanding Colleague of the Year, Faculty Member in the Emeritus Program, Jeannie Belknap.
Khanh Ninh, Counselor in the Counseling and Student Services Department
Khanh Ninh is a phenomenal team player. When students need help, Khanh is thorough and detailed in explaining programs, resources, and next steps to students. She knows the ins and outs of program requirements and is responsive and timely in her communication. Khanh has provided stellar support throughout the pandemic and took additional, optional courses to increase her knowledge to serve students better in a remote setting. Her background in mental health and social services is always incredibly helpful when brainstorming ways to better support NOCE students. Khanh is eager to volunteer at events and on committees while also serving as the long-time Secretary for the NOCE Academic Senate. She is detail oriented, finding ways to organize information for the Academic Senate executive team and created presentations and informational sheets for her own department as they began to widen their scope of remote counseling services. Her level of empathy and compassion is stellar. She strives to be professional, prompt, helpful, and kind with students and colleagues. Her strong work ethic and dedication to her job stem from an innate desire to help students succeed. Congratulations to the 2021/22 NOCE Outstanding Colleague of the Year, Counselor in the Counseling and Student Services Department, Khanh Ninh.
Katherine Pham-Le, Administrative Assistant III for the Office of Vice President of Student Services
Katherine Pham-Le has developed a wide breadth of expertise supporting many departments to provide excellence in campus operations and delivery of services to students. She jumps in to assist wherever needed to ensure students are served first, including adjusting her schedule to cover check-in, following up with students to make sure they received the support needed, and facilitating communication across multiple departments. Katherine is active on NOCE and District committees and provides support to departments that do not have an administrative assistant. She uses her proficiency with technology to improve processes and procedures. Katherine is always willing to share her knowledge, collaborate, and train others on various software or organizational processes. As the resident expert in EMS, Katherine is instrumental with the new electronic parking permit and access card applications as well as the laptop loan program and RQ submissions. Last year, Katherine took on a larger leadership role in the Commencement and Student Success Event and many details related to the COVID-19 mandate. She is appreciated for her time and talents. Congratulations to the 2021/22 NOCE Outstanding Colleague of the Year, Administrative Assistant III for the Office of Vice President of Student Services, Katherine Pham-Le.
Jessica Wong, Administrative Assistant for the Disability Support Services Program
According to her boss, Jessica Wong is great at everything! She has amazing customer service skills and makes sure that students are connected quickly with needed services and supports. Jessica anticipates the needs of others and proactively problem solves, she has tremendous technology skills, and has implemented functionality changes that better serves students, program staff, and faculty across all NOCE programs. Her technology skills are sought after and, although time-consuming, help to increase communication and save time for others. She is a visionary related to the program’s database that enables counselors and staff to serve students and track data better. Jessica volunteers for everything and is happy to participate in all NOCE activities. Jessica’s role is to support the office, however she works with students every day. She reaches out to students who may be struggling and helps to guide them toward the resources needed to resolve their issues or simply listen and talk with them in her calm, friendly, and reassuring manner. Congratulations to the 2021/22 NOCE Outstanding Colleague of the Year, Administrative Assistant for the Disability Support Services Program, Jessica Wong.
2021/22 NOCE Tenured Faculty
Professor, Disability Support Services Program
Megan Reeves started with North Orange Continuing Education (NOCE) as an instructor for the Kids’ College & Teen Program in 2008 before becoming an hourly in the Disability Support Services (DSS) Program Office. Reeves held various staff positions in the NOCE DSS Program before being hired in September of 2018 as a full-time faculty member for the Disability Support Services Program. She currently serves as a professor teaching in the program’s Work Independence Self-Advocacy Education (WISE) classes at NOCE’s Wilshire Center in Fullerton.
“I wanted to work at NOCE because it offered a program for students with disabilities to give them a chance to participate in a postsecondary education and assist them in increasing their independence,” says Reeves. Before discovering NOCE, Reeves did not know that a program like NOCE’s DSS Program existed. However, once she learned about it, she knew that this was where she wanted to work.
“Through navigating my education, it became clear that teaching was where I was meant to be,” says Reeves. “As I reflected on my prior life experiences, I realized that I enjoyed tutoring, volunteering in classrooms, and leading groups/classes for community organizations. I knew that teaching would allow me to help others realize their potential while gaining the skills and confidence needed to pursue their goals and dreams.”
Once Reeves decided she wanted to become a teacher, she was determined to work with students with disabilities. Reeves had grown up alongside and supporting individuals with disabilities and had the privilege of working in special education classrooms in junior high and high schools as an elective.
Reeves earned her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, Fullerton, and a master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University.
Reeves has had the pleasure of having a front-row seat to numerous student success stories. Many of her students believed they could not succeed at taking inclusive classes – a class that serves both neurotypical students and students with disabilities at the same time. However, with Reeves’ guidance and the students’ dedication, success is achieved nearly every day! “Students surprise themselves by succeeding in their inclusive classes on the first attempt! Moreover, several students work in competitive employment or volunteer in the community,” says Reeves proudly.
Reeves has had many proud moments working with students at NOCE. “I think one of my proudest moments has been watching my students adapt and grow through the pandemic,” says Reeves. During the pandemic, she was worried about how her students would handle the transition to online and remote instruction. “My students and their families impressed me with their dedication to learning the skills needed to participate in online instruction,” says Reeves. “I was so happy to see all my students transition online, participate daily in their lessons and activities, and achieve their learning goals for the semester.”
One of Reeves’ main goals at NOCE is to continue growing to meet the changing needs of our students and our community. “At NOCE, we are in the position to assist students in gaining the skills, knowledge, and confidence that they need to achieve success and help them set new goals once they reach their initial aspirations,” says Reeves. “We, too, must also continue learning to be equipped to support our students to the best of our abilities in order to help our students achieve their dreams.”
Download a PDF version of the Tenured Faculty Brochure.
2021/22 NOCE New and Promoted Employees
First Name Last Name Title Department/Division Jocelyn Aponte Administrative Assistant II Career Technical Education, Anaheim Campus Yanett Camarillo Clerical Assistant I English as a Second Language program, Anaheim Campus – PM Sandra Chavez Administrative Assistant II English as a Second Language Program, Anaheim Campus Antionese “Annie” Cotton Student Services Coordinator Career Technical Education, Anaheim Campus Juliana Farina Administrative Assistant I Basic Skills, High School Diploma, and GED/HiSET Prep Program, Cypress Center Curtis Galvez IT Project Leader Instructional Technology Services, Anaheim Campus Corneshia “Neshia” Jenkins Special Projects Coordinator COVID Task Force, President’s Office, Anaheim Campus Lizbeth Juarez Clerical Assistant I English as a Second Language Program, Anaheim Campus – AM Caroline Kim Special Projects Manager – ESL Community Engagement English as a Second Language, Anaheim Campus Nubia Ku Chi Instructional Assistant English as a Second Language Program, Wilshire Center Erica Lowe Instructional Assistant Basic Skills, High School Diploma, and GED/HiSET Prep Program, Anaheim Campus Denise Mora Career Center Coordinator II Career Technical Education, Anaheim Campus Roland Pascua Special Projects Coordinator – Student Laptop Loan Program Instructional Technology Services Yolanda Ponce Instructional Assistant English as a Second Language Program, Anaheim Campus Sylvia Somiari Instructional Assistant English as a Second Language, Anaheim Campus Courtnie Voet Student Services Specialist Disability Support Services Program, Anaheim Campus
2022 NOCE Employee Service Award Recognition
First Name Last Name Title Department/Division Years of Service Roxanne Abutin Student Services Technician Counseling and Student Services 15 Dr. Karen Bautista Vice President, Instruction Vice President, Instruction Office 5 Sammie Brito Security Officer Campus Safety 15 Jennifer Carey Instructor, Basic Skills Basic Skills Program 5 Jeri Castro Facilities Custodian I Wilshire Center 15 Sandra Chavez Administrative Assistant II English as a Second Language Program 5 Kerrie Cornell Administrative Assistant II Lifeskills Education Advancement Program 5 Deepali Dave Accounting Specialist Administrative Services 20 April Fante Manager Disability Support Services Program 15 Curtis Galvez IT Project Leader Instructional Technology Services 5 Dr. Adam Gottdank Director Disability Support Services Program 15 Rae Lynn Holguin Admissions & Records Technician Cypress Center 20 Leslie Jackson-Reed Administrative Assistant II NOCE Basic Skills Program 15 Gary Jimenez Counselor Counseling and Student Services 5 Cathy Johnson High School Records Technician Student Records 20 Cathy Mang Instructor English as a Second Language Program 15 Mary Jo Marvulli Admissions & Records Technician Anaheim Campus 20 Mary Margaret Moscoso Admissions & Records Technician Wilshire Center 5 Khanh Ninh Counselor Counseling and Student Services 15 Lily Park Admissions & Records Specialist Wilshire Center 5 Deborah Perkins Director Counseling and Student Services 15 Katherine Pham-Le Administrative Assistant III Vice President, Student Services Office 5 Valentina Purtell President President’s Office 20 Lara Rofman Job Developer Disability Support Services Program 5 Regina Russell Administrative Assistant II California Adult Education Program 5 Julie Schoepf Executive Assistant III President’s Office 20 Erin Sherard Instructor, Parenting Lifeskills Education Advancement Program 5 Alli Stanojkovic Instructor Disability Support Services Program 5 Dr. Kimberley Stiemke NC Instructor Basic Skills Program 5 Ayano Suzuki Testing & Assessment Specialist English as a Second Language Program 5 Kim Tang Manager Career Technical Education Program 5 Edwin Teh Instructional Aide, High School Diploma Program Basic Skills Program 5 Martha Torres-Gutierrez Vice President, Student Services Vice President, Student Services Office 20 Dr. Harpreet Uppal Senior Research & Planning Analyst Wilshire Center 5 Matt Van Gelder Instructor Disability Support Services Program 5
NOCE Committees & Workgroups
Visit the Committees and Workgroups webpage for all the information for each committee and workgroup meeting at NOCE.