February 5, 2002


Seven instructors and a counselor have joined Los Angeles Mission College as full-time faculty members, effective with the Spring semester that began on February 4, Dr. Adriana Barrera, college president, has announced.

Hiring of the new faculty members marks a major step in Dr. Barrera's pledge to expand the college's teaching ranks to meet a growing enrollment.

"Since my arrival at Mission College (in July 2000), it's been my pleasure to hire 20 new fulltime faculty members," said Dr. Barrera. "The new instructors have added depth, creativity and experience to our teaching staff. We're serving our students better than ever before."

Last Spring, five new full-time instructors joined the faculty, followed by eight more last Fall and the seven this Spring. The new hires bring to 97 the total number of full-time faculty members, including counselors, librarians, department chairs and program directors.

Bill Farmer, vice president of academic affairs, said faculty growth is crucial to Mission College, where enrollment has increased to more than 8,000.

"We need to offer more class sections than ever before to meet our students' needs," he said. "Our new instructors are an outstanding group of educators who will help us meet that goal."

The new faculty members - several of whom already have ties to Mission College - and their subjects are:

Vilma Bernal, business. Bernal is not new to Mission College, serving for the last two years as director of the college's Welfare to Work program that is operated in conjunction with Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles. In fact, Bernal is a former student at Mission College, having earned an Associate degree in 1991. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Pepperdine University and a Master's degree in business administration from Woodbury University. Bernal has been teaching business and computer-related classes at Mission College since 1998. She has a wealth of experience in the world of business, having worked as a customer service manager, job developer and recruiter, and assistant branch manager for various private businesses and a college foundation.


Carolyn Daly, English. Daly is a strong believer in the mission of community colleges. "With a community college, it is never too late for an education and almost anyone, no matter how restricted her funds, can continue her learning." Daly holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor's degree in humanities from UC Berkeley. She has taught English at Los Angeles Mission College, Los Angeles City College, Mount Saint Mary's College and Santa Monica College. In addition to her experience in the classroom, Daly brings to Mission College a wide range of skills and knowledge from previous work in video production and research, public relations, radio journalism, multimedia and theatre.


Mohamed K. Elkerdany, biology. Elkerdany has been a lecturer in biology at California State University, Northridge, since 1991 and an adjunct instructor in the natural sciences department at Mission College since 1992. Comparing the two positions, Elkerdany said he finds teaching at a community college "more interesting, more challenging, and more satisfying." He said he particularly enjoys the smaller classes and greater interaction with students that are possible at a community college. Elkerdany holds a Ph.D. in craniofacial biology from the University of Southern California and a Master's degree in oral histology and pathology from Alexandria University in Egypt.


Teresa English, developmental communications. English holds a Master's degree in education from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor's degree in liberal studies from California State University, Northridge. For the last 16 years, English has taught reading and language arts skills to adult students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She has been active in helping to develop state-approved course outlines in adult basic subjects, language arts and individualized instruction contracts for high school students.


Patricia D. Johnson, psychology. Johnson has been an adjunct psychology professor with the Los Angeles Community College District for more than seven years, the last three at Mission College. She also has served as an academic counselor at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. Johnson brings real-world experience to the classroom, having worked as a marriage and family therapist in private in practice for nine years. She is currently a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Ryokan College in Los Angeles while holding a Master's degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University and a Bachelor's degree in psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills.


Jose Maldonado, Chicano Studies. Maldonado has taught courses in Chicano Studies and history since 1998 at various institutions, including East Los Angeles, Mission, Los Angeles City, and Pasadena City community colleges and California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Prior to that he was a teaching assistant at Arizona State University, where he earned a Master's degree in history and where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate. Maldonado said he views Chicano Studies as an academic area that is touched by many other fields of study. "It is necessary to approach the subject from an interdisciplinary perspective, with reading that highlight the struggles that (have) impacted the daily lives of the people," he said.


Myriam Mekelburg, sociology. Mekelburg has taught sociology classes at several colleges, including Los Angeles Trade-Tech, Pierce, Valley, College of the Canyons, Moorpark and Ventura College. Since 1997, she also has served as director of Valley College's Independent Living Program, which prepares foster youth to live on their own. Mekelburg said she enjoys the student diversity of community colleges. "As an immigrant, I know the challenges associated with learning and mastering a second language and assimilating in a new environment." She said she brings this perspective to her teaching, which helps her interact with students who are diverse themselves. She holds Master's and Bachelor's degrees in sociology from California State University, Northridge.


Bonnie Sherman, EOP&S counselor. Since last summer, Sherman has served as program director for Extended Opportunity Program and Services/Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education - better known on campus as EOP&S/CARE. She now assumes the certificated counseling position for EOP&S, which serves low-income students with limited access to higher education. Sherman came to Mission College from Pasadena City College, where she developed and managed the SAT Preparation Program for high school students. Prior to that, she held counseling positions at the University of California, Riverside, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and the California State University campuses at Northridge, Los Angeles and San Bernardino. Sherman earned her bachelor's degree in psychology and human development from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Master's degree in counseling from California State University, Los Angeles.

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