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CSEA members to receive Community College Classified Employee of the Year Award

Updated 5/29/19

CSEA members Mary Valdemar and Trinidad (Trini) Araya will be among the three outstanding community college employees honored by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors on May 21. The Community College Classified Employee of the Year Award, presented by the Board of Governors along with the Chancellor’s Office, recognizes outstanding classified employees throughout the community college system.

Mary Valdemar

Mary Valdemar

San Bernardino Valley College
CSEA Chapter 291

Mary Valdemar has held many positions during her 12 years at San Bernardino Valley College leading up to her current role in the SBVC Library and Student Support Services department. She has served as a leader within organizations, provided support to students, staff and faculty and pushed to empower disenfranchised members on her campus and in the community at large. Equity and inclusion is a mission for Mary. She sits or has served on the Latino Faculty and Staff Association, the Classified Senate, the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) district committee, the HIS Taskforce and the District Assembly to name a few. Mary is deeply committed to using her institutional memory to advocate for change and improve services for students even when the results mean something has to change in the way the college does business. Her motto is, “If it isn’t in the best interest of students, then it isn’t in mine either.” Mary has collaborated with others on campus and at the district to establish several projects focused on inclusion and student success. Mary has inspired her students to make great change in the world, but to always come back and pay it forward the way she is paying forward the help that campus leaders gave to her 22 years ago.

Trinidad (Trini) Araya

Trinidad (Trini) Araya

San Joaquin Delta College
CSEA Chapter 359

Trinidad (Trini) Araya has dedicated 16 years of service to the San Joaquin Delta Community College District. Although she is not officially an educator, she has made that an integral part of her job. Outside of her role as Senior Laboratory Science Technician, Trini has taken on the task of overseeing the student chapter of the American Chemical Society at Delta College that consists of 25 to 50 students each year. Trini works with the students on a regular basis overseeing their activities and providing mentoring. In addition to working with ACS students, Trini also hires, trains and mentors a number of students in the chemistry department. Whenever there is a need or concern, Trini has become the go to person for results in the Chemistry department. In the greater Stockton community, she volunteers with the “Stockton is Magnificent” event celebrating the community; the Stockton Asparagus festival; serving meals to the homeless; the Stockton Unified School District Science and Engineering Expo; the MESA program at the college; and other organizations where she not only volunteers but also organizes student volunteers. Trini is an inspiration to the students.

About the Award

The Classified Employee of the Year Award was established through a resolution at the May 2008 Board of Governors meeting. The award has been awarded annually since May 2009 to recognize and celebrate classified staff throughout the community college system. This year, the submission process required submissions to identify how the nominee contributes to the Vision for Success goals in their local community. Recipients of the Classified Employee Award are nominated by their colleagues and endorsed by their local Board of Trustees. Award nominations are reviewed by representatives of the Board of Governors, Chancellor’s Office staff, and the Classified representative in the Consultation Council. Recipients are selected for their commitment to professionalism, outstanding performance of professional activities, and active participation on their campus and in their community. The Chancellor’s Office received 15 nominations representing 15 districts.