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2015 Award Recipients

2015 Classified Employee of the Year Award Recipients

Rochelle Franco, Los Rios Community College District

Rochelle Franco is the Admissions and Records Evaluator II/Degree Auditor at Folsom Lake College and has been with the district for 17 years. Rochelle exemplifies a community college success story as she began her college experience at Folsom Lake College’s El Dorado Center (EDC), earning an Associate’s Degree in General Education Transfer, and then transferring to Chapman University to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. Throughout her educational journey and into her professional career, she has remained committed to Folsom Lake College and its students. As a student at EDC, she served as a math tutor. Following graduation, she worked for five years as a temporary classified employee in multiple capacities, including financial aid, assessment, and admissions and records. Due to her exemplary job performance and breadth of knowledge, she ultimately reached the position of Admissions/Records Evaluator II/Degree Auditor, the position she holds today. As a community college student, temporary classified, and now an Admissions/Records Evaluator II/Degree Auditor, she is fully aware of her key role in ensuring that students complete their educational goal. She has served on the college’s Curriculum Committee for the past twelve years and continually advocates for students and provides advice and counsel on ways to facilitate student completion. She is known for identifying and helping to mitigate potential barriers to goal attainment. Rochelle’s background as a community college student and graduate, deep understanding of her role, knowledge of college protocols and processes, combined with an insightful awareness of the factors across the college that can serve as barriers to goal attainment make her an invaluable advocate for student success. The Board of Governors, the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges are proud to recognize Rochelle Franco as a 2015 Classified Employee of the Year Award winner.


Donni Jean Prince, Desert Community College District

Donni Jean Prince is a Veterans Resource Specialist and has served the district for 36 years. In her decades-long career, Donni has very likely made possible the continued education of a wider age range of students than perhaps any other single department at College of the Desert. In a given day, Donni will handle the varied educational needs of seventy year old Vietnam veterans and twenty-two year old Iraq/Afghanistan veterans alike. Veteran Students are a cohort that is drawn to “remedial instruction,” “adult noncredit instruction,” and “vocational instruction” areas of study in great number. Donni is the key person who pivots new veteran students into active participants in these fields, drawing from her vast experience and keen observational prowess to provide veteran students--on a daily basis--with guidance and support from day one of semester one through graduation. Homelessness and poverty plague the veteran population at an alarming rate and along with our Coachella Valley, Donni’s work has been nothing short of vital in providing student veterans with the tools, knowledge, and support required to graduate and improve their financial and social well-being. The Board of Governors, the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges are proud to recognize Donni Jean Prince as a 2015 Classified Employee of the Year Award winner.


Kelly Ramos, Contra Costa Community College District

Kelly Ramos is a Minority Retention Specialist and has been with the district for 6 years. Kelly exemplifies the mission of the California Community Colleges through her passion for empowering our students to transform their lives and reach their academic goals. In every position she has held, she has demonstrated a strong work-ethic focused on providing students the resources and support structures they need to achieve their dreams. She advocates for more efficient and productive programs, processes, and procedures to help students navigate their educational journey with ease so they can focus on their studies. She loves to collaborate across campus departments and with our community to provide solutions that result in the largest positive impact for our students. Kelly embodies the practice of collaboration and inclusion on our campus. She strives to support students, faculty, and staff in campus activities, services, and programs. She brings the classified perspective to our shared governance committees and works with other constituency groups in order to promote change and enhance the educational experience of our students. This is exemplified in her collaborative work with faculty to develop The Hub, which was commended in our accreditation report and at our Convocation on Innovation. The Board of Governors, the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges are proud to recognize Kelly Ramos as a 2015 Classified Employee of the Year Award winner.


Vance Manakas, Ventura County Community College District

Vance Manakas is an Athletic Trainer and has served the district for 33 years. Vance is an exceptional team player. He is always the first to volunteer to assist on special projects in his department, such as Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and fundraisers. His follow through is exceptional. Vance is fully committed to the health of his athletes and to the care, prevention and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. He always ensures that there is an athletic trainer scheduled for every home athletic contest. Students, coaches and peers all enjoy working with Vance. Vance is professional and enthusiastic in his support of men and women’s athletics. Vance supervises and councils student athletic trainers in the correct techniques and responsibilities of athletic training and administration. Vance regularly monitors and evaluates the athletic training programs at CSUN and CLU to ensure that Moorpark College provides the same quality educational opportunities to our students. Vance creates rehabilitation programs for both students and staff under the auspices of team physician, he also develops emergency protocols for the Athletic Training Department. Vance regularly communicates with physicians, coaches, and college administration regarding the total health care needs of our student athletes. Vance is a founding member of the bylaws committee of the California Community College Athletic Trainers Association (CCCATA); a sub-group of the Commission on Athletics, and is a WSC representative to the CCCATA. Vance will be a presenter for Health Services Association of California Community Colleges 2015 Annual Conference on “First Aid for Orthopedic Emergencies.” In 2012, Vance was inducted into the California Community College Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame. The Board of Governors, the Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges are proud to recognize Vance Manakas as a 2015 Classified Employee of the Year Award winner.