This tribute was written by Dr. Louise Barbato on the occasion of David Pardess's retirement.
Professor David Forbes Pardess, BA, MA. and PhD in Romance Linguistics and Literatures from UCLA, has been a full-time faculty member at Los Angeles Mission College for the past 37 years. Literally over 12,000 students have had the honor of having David as their professor. David has been a source of inspiration to his students and a wonderful colleague during the course of the years. Having passed up opportunities to teach at the university level, David is very loyal to Mission, so much so that in 1990 he wrote Mission's alma mater, "Hail to Mission," and later suggested the Eagle as the college's new mascot. David remembers that he felt honored when he was selected to be one of the pioneers at the newest campus of the Los Angeles Community College District in 1975, its first year of operation.
David came to Mission directly from UCLA to design the LAMC English as a Second Language program, and at the age of 24, began teaching French and Spanish here. Over the years he has added Italian, Portuguese and linguistics to his teaching repertoire. David has also taught Spanish, Spanish phonology and Romanian at UCLA, Spanish at CSUN, Spanish, Spanish linguistics and Portuguese at Cal State LA, and has had numerous other part-time teaching assignments at Valley, Pierce, City and Moorpark. He has authored Spanish, Italian and Portuguese teaching materials and has always had a number of projects in the works.
A Fulbright scholar and State Department honoree, David has studied in Italy, Romania and Brazil. His love for languages and diverse cultures began when he was growing up in the multi-lingual community of San Pedro. His first real contact with a romance language was in the kitchen of Gracie, his older sister's Italian-American mother-in-law, who served David wonderful Sicilian dishes and taught him his first words in Italian.
David has an uncanny ability to imitate people's accents and a love for grammar. These talents have enabled him to become fluent in a number of languages that cross language family divides.
As a young boy, his teaching abilities surfaced as he would insist on sitting his mother down and teaching her in front of the blackboard in his room. He enjoys making difficult concepts clear for students.
David has served on so many college committees that it would be hard to list them all. However, most recently he has enjoyed being a contributor on the Work Environment Committee and, particularly, the Commencement Planning Committee.
As for the future, after retirement David plans to continue teaching at Mission as an hourly instructor, continue his study of languages, linguistics, music and other subjects, write educational materials, travel, and become a regular at the gym.
We all wish David a very happy retirement, and we hope the he will have the opportunity to fulfill his dreams!