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2013 Classified Employee of the Year Awards

Cathie Browning, Los Rios Community College District

Cathie Browning is an Information Technology Assistant II at American River College (ARC) and has been with the district for 14 years. Cathie’s work in the integrated planning process at ARC helps faculty and staff make use of program review and the educational master plan as instruments for improving academic programs and student support services. She assisted with the writing and documentation of the college’s accreditation SLO Proficiency Report, and the document was a testament to her professionalism and attention to detail. Cathie has participated in several organizations and committees on campus including the ARC Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee, ARC Planning Coordination Committee, the Classified Senate and the Los Rios Community College District Interest Based Alliance Steering Committee. Cathie is also a founding member of The Way Ministries. This nonprofit organization feeds over 1200 homeless individuals on a weekly basis. She also organizes an annual Christmas feast that includes donations of several crucial items, haircuts, showers, and a dinner for the under privileged and homeless population in Sacramento.

The Board of Governors, the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges are proud to recognize Cathie Browning as a 2013 Classified Employee of the Year Award winner.

Kathy Chaika, San Mateo County Community College District

Kathy Chaika is a Senior Accounting Technician at City College of San Mateo and has been with the district for 29 years. Kathy is a highly motivated, competent and dependable employee who cares about the college, her colleagues and the students at the college. When working with others she takes the approach of teacher/mentor rather than expert. Kathy has been an active leader and participant in supporting the work of CSEA Chapter 33. At the college level she serves on the Budget Planning Committee, Presidents Council and the Classified Events Planning Committee, which raises money for student scholarships. In her community Kathy has volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club, Police Activities League and the Pony League. Kathy and her family also take in abandoned and/or abused teenagers providing them with assistance and a safe place to stay.

The Board of Governors, the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges are proud to recognize Kathy Chaika as a 2013 Classified Employee of the Year Award winner.

Don Eckmann, Pasadena Area Community College District

Don Eckmann is a Supervisor in Facilities Services at Pasadena City College and has been with the district for 25 years. Don has made several contributions to the college and takes great pride in the work that he does. You can see his work all across campus from the maintenance of the renowned mirrored pools to the Child Development Center. He works diligently to make sure the campus is a beautiful and safe environment for everyone including students and staff. He volunteers his time by assisting the construction technology instructors, helping to build birdhouses for the children in the Child Development Center and welcoming our military men and women home from combat at the airport. Don is also the 2013 recipient of the Pasadena City College Risser Award for Outstanding Support for Education.

The Board of Governors, the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges are proud to recognize Don Eckmann as a 2013 Classified Employee of the Year Award winner.

Juan Patino, Santa Barbara Community College District

Juan Patino is a Grounds Maintenance Worker at Santa Barbara City College and has been with the district for 25 years. Juan helps to provide a beautiful, safe and clean environment that serves as the backdrop for teaching and learning at the college. He actively participates in the Emergency Preparedness and Safety Marshall Program. His participation in this program is crucial to the safety of our students and community members. In the words of his nominator, “Juan’s lead by example approach to his daily work activities encourages his colleagues to aspire to the same level of commitment, dedication and contribution. It is classified staff such as Juan who brings positive energy, pride, and a can-do attitude to the forefront each and every day.”

The Board of Governors, the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges are proud to recognize Juan Patino as a 2013 Classified Employee of the Year Award winner.

Rena Pheng, Long Beach Community College District

Rena Pheng is a Custodian at Long Beach City College and has been with the district for seven years. The words used to describe Rena were role model, upbeat, professional, leader and hardworking. She is a trusted employee who takes pride in her job, always goes the extra mile and works hard to make sure that everything runs smoothly at the college. Not only is she a role model to student assistants, but she is also a motivator, leader and role model to her colleagues, who constantly look to her for advice and direction. Rena is currently a student at California State University Dominguez Hill, who works full-time and still finds the time to volunteer at Meals on Wheels and Catered Manor Nursing Home. In the words of her nominator, “To have an individual like Rena represent not only the Facilities Division, but the District as a whole, goes beyond what anyone can ask for. We are extremely fortunate to have Rena here at Long Beach City College.”

The Board of Governors, the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges are proud to recognize Rena Pheng as a 2013 Classified Employee of the Year Award winner.