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Adjunct Colleagues Help PCC Achieve Aspen Nomination

PCCFA is pleased to feature Vanessa Shulz and Janet Mitchell-Wagner, who were instrumental in the college’s recent Aspen Award nomination.

Vanessa Schultz was PCC’s Adjunct Representative for General Education (GE) Faculty. She joined Derek Milne, Rhea Presiado, Cindy Phu, and Jillian Blatti in presenting on the Honors Program, Pathways and other components of PCC’s GE offerings. She also shared her teaching experiences that clearly
impressed the Aspen team!

Professor Shulz began her college career as a student at PCC. She was active in AGS, president of OMD and ICC, and AS executive vice president. She was the OMD graduation speaker in 1998. After PCC, she transferred to Boston University and graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts, with special concentration in
Philosophy and Political Science.

She then took a position for three years at Harvard University’s JFK School in the Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy. Upon completion of her three years at Harvard, she decided to return to California to further her studies. She obtained her MA in Philosophy at California State University, Los Angeles in 2007.

Professor Shulz’s first teaching position was at West Los Angeles College (WLAC) in Spring of 2008. Shortly thereafter she was hired at PCC and has been with us ever since. On occasion she still teaches classes at WLAC and East Los Angeles College (ELAC); currently she is also a Part Time Faculty member at Pierce College.

At PCC, in addition to her classes, she is the faculty adviser for AGS, OMD, and the Feminist Club. She was chosen to particpate in the Honors Block early in her teaching career and continues to teach in the Honors Program.

Professor Vanessa Shulz has made significant contributions to our college. Congratulations to her for a job well done!

In Spring, 2013, Part Time English Professor Janet Mitchell-Wagner was asked to be an adjunct liaison for the English Division’s acceleration program. The goal was to increase retention and success in English 1A.

She helped put together a cohort program for both teachers and students that focused on the affective domain as well as creating curriculum that centered around equity, metacognition, and technology. Professor Mitchell-Wagner specifically worked on Directed Self Placement which empowered students to develop projects that enhanced their sense of collegial awareness.

Because this program touches on acceleration practices and other PCC departments have been working on this in tandem, the college was nominated for the Aspen Award for 2017.

As part of the Aspen inquiry, Professor Mitchell-Wagner was asked to share how the program was created, how solutions to problems are implemented, and plans to continue to improve the process and program in the future.

Professor Mitchel-Wagner chose to become an English teacher while a student in the 1990s at Pasadena City College. She participated in the Oxford Abroad program. She states, “From the teachers at PCC, I gained a deep passion for learning, reflected on what and how I would contribute to society, and solidified my commitment to educational equity and opportunity for all students.”

She completed her BA in English at UCLA and began teaching English at Crenshaw High School, in Los Angeles. While at Crenshaw, she assisted in curriculum development and the training of high school teachers for their secondary California Teaching Credential. She also created a retention program
which mentored new teachers.

She developed programs that addressed the achievement gap among diverse groups of students and helped prepare them for college. She served as Impact Coordinator for LGBT students, department chair, and Girls Volleyball Coach. During that time, she also earned two Master’s degrees—one in English and another in TESOL.

Professor Mitchell-Wagner transitioned to the Community College level and subsequently trained in distance education, acceleration pedagogy, and assessment. This semester, she teaches at three different Community Colleges—PCC, Citrus, and Fullerton, with a total of nine courses and six different preparations! She has a long history with the college as her father and sister both attended PCC.

Her eldest daughter will coming to PCC next year. Recently Professor Mitchell-Wagner and her husband Bob took a three-week trip to Europe so she could pursue one of her passions—the history and art of the Renaissance.

Congratulations to Vanessa Schultz and Janet Mitchell-Wagner on their contributions for the Aspen Award Nomination!

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