Awards and Achievements

Awards and Achievements

John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards 2013

President Brian Murphy recently named nine De Anza faculty and staff members as winners of the League for Innovation John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards for their outstanding contributions in teaching and leadership as well as on specific projects. Winners are:
  • Alicia Cortez and Paula Silva, Puente project
  • Jim Haynes, Anu Khanna, Coleen Lee-Wheat, Mary Pape and Toño Ramirez, Student Learning Outcomes
  • Kent McGee, DegreeWorks, an online tool that helps students create education plans
  • Kevin Metcalf, a searchable captioned video project

The League for Innovation in the Community College established the excellence awards in 2012. The awards are open to League Alliance member institutions to celebrate exemplary contributions and leadership by community college faculty and staff.

Alicia Cortez

Alicia Cortez, Counselor and Puente Coordinator

Alicia Cortez has been working at De Anza since fall 1990 as a full-time tenured counselor and instructor in various programs and roles. She worked in general counseling for nine years targeting services for underrepresented students, seven years with International Student Programs and the past six years with the Puente Project as program co-coordinator and counselor/instructor. Cortez has also worked part time with EOPS as well as taught part time in the ICS and History Department.

She serves as the committee chair for the Latina/o Student Recognition Ceremony and was one of the founders 19 years ago of this tradition. Cortez also serves on the planning committees for the De Anza College Partners in Learning Conference and the Latina/o High School Student Conference. In addition, she is a board member for the California History Center.

Her educational background includes a B.A. in cross-cultural studies from Saint Mary’s College of California, an M.S. in social welfare from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in history from San Jose State University.

Cortez enjoys spending time with her family organizing road trips, camping outings and family get-togethers. She also likes walking and being in nature, reading Chicana and Chicano history, historical fiction and memoir, and watching the Colbert Report, “Downton Abbey” and movies with her husband and two sons.

“What inspires me is our student’s ganas (desire) instilled in them by their families and communities to further their education. I am amazed by some of the daunting circumstances and challenges they face but in light of them, they thrive," says Cortez. "As an educator working with first generation college students, my role is to encourage the spirit of Si Se Puede as they lay the foundation for the next generation of college going families.”


Jim Haynes

Jim Haynes, Adapted Physical Education Department Head

Jim Haynes has worked at De Anza since 1976 when he was hired as an Adapted Physical Education instructor. He serves as a faculty representative on the Student Services Planning and Budget Team, the SLO representative on the College Planning Committee, and chairs the College Values review. Over the past 37 years, Haynes has had the opportunity to serve as an Academic Senate officer for 10 years (serving two terms as president), co-chair the Curriculum Committee, and co-chair the College Personnel and Enrollment Team. He has served on the Faculty Association Executive Committee, including three years as its De Anza conciliator. He has been the Adapted Physical Education Department Head for 28 years, the Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS) coordinator (three years), and the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) coordinator for Student Services (four years).

Haynes earned a B.A. and an M.A. from San Jose State University in physical education. He likes to play golf, go camping and spend time with his grandchildren when he is not working.

“What excites me the most is having the opportunity to play a role in assisting students in discovering and achieving their personal potentials. Our students with disabilities daily inspire me as they persistently strive to reach their goals," says Haynes. "Over the years I have drawn great energy from working at a college that encourages and enables the faculty and staff to take advantage of the opportunities to stretch themselves personally and professionally beyond their comfort zone."


Anu Khanna

Anu Khanna, Intercultural Studies Instructor

Anu Khanna has been an Intercultural Studies faculty member at De Anza since fall 2000. She is co-chair of the Curriculum Committee, the curriculum lead for the IMPACT AAPI grant, a member of the SLO Core Team, and co-coordinator of the Learning in Communities (LinC) program.

Khanna holds a B.A in speech communication from the University of Illinois, an M.A. in communication from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. in communication from Arizona State University.

She likes to read fiction, cook and perform with an Indian folk dance group.

“Growing up I was often told ‘Be curious, learn something.’ I try to pass on my enthusiasm for learning to my students. What inspires me most is hearing from former students who tell me how they applied something from my class and where it has led them. I like knowing I’m playing a small role in their educational journey – helping them become curious learners,” Khanna says.


Coleen Lee-Wheat

Coleen Lee-Wheat, Physical Education Instructor and Dean of Physical Education & Athletics

Coleen Lee-Wheat is a native Californian who graduated from Lynbrook High School in San Jose and began college studies at De Anza in 1973. She transferred to UCLA in 1975 and returned to the Bay Area after graduating with a B.S. in kinesiology in 1977. She earned her M.A. with an emphasis in exercise physiology and sports history in 1986 at Hayward State University.

She began her coaching career in women’s tennis in 1985 at Foothill College. In 1986 she was hired in a full-time position as the Women’s Tennis coach and drafting instructor at Riverside Community College. In 1988, she worked as the coordinator of the NASA AMES Fitness Center, and in the fall of 1989 began her career as a full-time physical education instructor at De Anza College. Her roles in the Physical Education Division have included curriculum rep for 1989-1994 and division scheduler for 11 years.

Lee-Wheat has also served as the SLO Coordinator for Instruction (January 2009-June 2010) and as the Academic Senate vice president (June 2010-June 2012). She is the dean of Physical Education and Athletics at De Anza and remains active on the SLO Core Team. Golfing, hiking, surfing and jewelry making are some of her hobbies.

According to Lee-Wheat, her "most memorable experience has been working with an amazing group of faculty on the De Anza SLO Core Team. We built an innovative model for student success from zero through long discussions, conferences and meeting new people. The camaraderie and my deep admiration for colleagues are what motivate me to keep plugging along."


Kent McGee

Kent McGee, Graduation and Evaluation Coordinator

Kent McGee has worked at De Anza since 2001in the Evaluations Office. He spent the first two years as an evaluator and the last 10 years as the graduation and evaluation coordinator. McGee is a member of the Educational Technology Advisory Committee (ETAC).

In his free time, McGee enjoys woodworking and carving, which he has done with wood and marble. Geocaching is another of his interests. His daughter sparked his interest in geocaching, an activity in which people hide caches in public spaces, mostly parks and open space preserves, with some clues on how to locate them and the coordinates to plug into a GPS. McGee also enjoys travel.

“I am honored to be nominated for a John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award. I count myself as lucky to work for the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, which places such a strong emphasis on student success. As a result of the hard work done by my colleagues at both De Anza and Foothill, our students now have a powerful degree auditing system to assist them in achieving their academic goals,” McGee says.


Kevin Metcalf

Kevin Metcalf, Learning Management Systems Administrator

Kevin Metcalf has worked at De Anza for the past 11 years in the same position, although the job title (currently learning management systems administrator) and description have evolved. He also teaches Advanced PERL Programming and Intro to Unix/Linux part time. Metcalf serves as the co-chair of the Technology Task Force.

He earned a B.A. in computer science from Point Loma Nazarene University and an M.S. in information systems from National University. In his free time he likes to play video games.

“The creation of the searchable captioned video project grew organically from the need to re-encode broadcast video for the web and the need to bring associated captions with them. It became clear that captions of web video could be pulled in real-time from a database. Over time, the system became a powerful study aid for students enrolled in online classes,” Metcalf says.


Mary Pape

Mary Pape, Computer Programming Instructor

Mary Pape began working at De Anza as adjunct faculty in the spring of 1981 and has been a tenured member of the faculty since fall 1988. Her duties at De Anza include teaching computer programming classes, serving as SLO co-coordinator and Computer Information Systems Department Chair.

Pape has taught at various levels, from Head Start to high school to university and graduate levels, but most enjoys teaching at a community college where there is great diversity in students’ backgrounds and academic preparation as well as academic goals and aspirations.

She has a B.S. in mathematics from Santa Clara University and a California Standard Secondary teaching credential. Pape earned an M.B.A. in finance from Cappella University in 2008.

Spending free time with  her family – two daughters and three grandchildren – is most important to Pape but she manages be active in U.S. Figure Skating as a technical panelist, skating judge and organization officer. She has ice-skated all her life and still skates regularly. Occasionally she skates competitively. She reports that she even met her husband on the ice.

“My goal in teaching is to open students to the possibilities that education creates and to help them acquire the knowledge and skills to realize their dreams. I see the Student Learning Outcome process we are now engaged in as developing a culture wherein we work together as a department, as a division and indeed as an entire institution to further these goals. Each day I am inspired and energized by the enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge that my students bring to the classroom,” Pape says.


Tono Ramirez

Toño Ramirez, Philosophy Instructor

Toño Ramirez is in his sixth year with De Anza College. He served as a Puente mentor for two years and on the student disciplinary hearing board for two years. He is in his third year of teaching with the First Year Experience program. Ramirez is also the SLO co-coordinator.

Ramirez holds a B.A. in philosophy from UC Santa Cruz, an M.A. in philosophy from Brown University, and is in ABD status toward his Ph.D. from Brown University.

He enjoys recording and performing music, playing with his children and reading with a cat on his lap.

“I’m honored to be recognized for my work at De Anza and to have the opportunity to work within a truly vibrant learning environment," says Ramirez. "My involvement with the learning outcomes process has helped me to see some of the harder truths in the old saw that ‘effective teaching involves hard work.’ In particular, it depends entirely upon our willingness to identify, discuss and work to resolve challenges confronting our campus community. I often find myself challenged – in the best of ways – by my students and colleagues, and hope that I am able to reciprocate in my work at the college." 


Paula Silva

Paula Silva, Language Arts Instructor

Paula Silva as worked at De Anza College since the fall of 2007. She taught writing in the First Year Experience program from fall 2007 to spring 2011, and is in her second year as the co-coordinator and writing instructor in the Puente project. Silva is the founding faculty adviser for Integral Movement for AB540 Student Success (IMASS).

Silva is a graduate of City College of San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz and San Francisco State University, where she earned an A.A., a B.A. in American Studies and an M.A. in English composition, respectively.

She cherishes spending free time with her best friend and partner in life, Sue, and her 7-year-old-daughter Lila.

“I am most inspired by the people with whom I work most closely – first-generation, undocumented and low-income college students," Silva says. "Their undying courage, resilience and leadership affirm my daily quest for a more just world. I am also deeply impacted by the colleagues I have worked with over the years who practice loving, culturally responsive and critical pedagogy: people who share my belief that higher education can serve as a path toward freedom and social justice for our most marginalized students."

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Last Updated: 3/27/13