The California Community Colleges Board of Governors honored four outstanding community college employees yesterday with its 2016 California Community Colleges Classified Employees of the Year award. Three of the four recipients are CSEA members: Stan Rapada, Rebecca Saffold and Jocelyn Vila.
“These employees have distinguished themselves in serving students, and I congratulate them for their outstanding work,” said California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Geoffrey L. Baum. “They go above and beyond to help students succeed, and we join the entire system in expressing our thanks and congratulations for this well-deserved recognition."
Stan Rapada is a financial aid specialist and has served the district for 12 years. Stan has been recognized for his strong ability to think critically and solve problems. He is sensitive to the needs of the diverse student population, and has shown willingness to go above and beyond for both colleagues and students. He is highly motivated to provide each student with the proper information needed to reach their educational goals, and has shown a great deal of compassion and dedication to each and every student. Stan currently oversees the Veteran Resource Center at the San Joaquin Delta College. He has dedicated much of his work to providing student veterans with proper mentoring programs, in addition to textbooks and an on-campus food pantry. He has played a significant role in the Veterans Stand Down event that is held in Stockton; an event that provides information and help to all homeless veterans on where they can go to seek assistance. Stan has continuously helped organize the group of student volunteers that assist in this life-changing event. His work has played a vital role in turning lives around and empowering students to keep moving forward.
Rebecca Saffold is an educational programs support specialist and has served the district for 10 years. Rebecca has been recognized for her commitment to the mission of both the California Community Colleges and Santa Barbara City College. She began her career with Santa Barbara City College in 2005 with the Continuing Education program, later to be called One College. Her ability to grasp the basis of both credit and noncredit programs has given her a unique and strong advantage within the college district, and has allowed her to connect with both students and faculty. In 2013, she was selected to assume the position of educational programs support specialist, where she tracked faculty teaching and service loads to ensure that all faculty members are compensated accurately. She has long been highly regarded at the college for the quality of her work and her 101 unwavering commitment to excellence. Her depth of knowledge has allowed her to thrive in positions that are technical, complex, and data dense. She takes great deal of pride in her service to the college and has remained extremely active in providing the proper services to all students. Her kind and personable demeanor is truly valued by her colleagues.
Jocelyn Vila is the program service coordinator and has served the district for seven years. She is committed to empowering and transforming the lives of students by providing exceptional services and support through her outreach and in-reach efforts. She has a deep devotion of helping students towards the pursuit of their future and encourages students to explore and think about all options available to them. She has remained as the main point of contact in the financial aid outreach programs to promote access to higher education for low-income and educationally-disadvantaged students, and has gone above and beyond for all students, especially those in the Foster Youth programs, by meeting with each student face-to-face. Jocelyn is passionate about her work in higher education and strives to provide equity and equality to all students. She has been highly regarded as one of the strongest and most dedicated leaders within the San Mateo County Foster Youth Services Coordinators Program, and has unceasingly displayed a high degree of integrity, responsibility, and ambition. Her efforts have always been dedicated to student success and works tirelessly to ease the transition for students as they progress through their educational path. She understands that education is an opportunity for individual transformation and authority and has truly utilized all that she has learned over the years to empower students to do more.
Established in 2008, and first handed out in 2009, the award is given annually to community college classified employees who demonstrate the highest level of commitment to professionalism and the community colleges. Recipients are nominated by members of their college or district community and endorsed by their local board of trustees. Award recipients are selected by representatives of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Recipients must have a record of outstanding performance on the job, as well as a record of active participation on campus and in their respective communities.