Los Angeles Mission College recently announced the winners of their 2nd Annual Distinguished Instructor Awards. Honorees were selected for their efforts to create an equity-minded, student-centered educational environment at LAMC.
Chander Arora, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Biotechnology in the Life Sciences Department. Over the past four years, Dr. Arora has maintained a 90–100% job placement rate for students completing the biotechnology program.
One approach to building an equity-minded, student-centered learning environment is through project-based learning. In Dr. Arora’s words, “Project-based learning pedagogy creates a cohesive culture and inclusion amidst diversity, as well as the development of important skills bridging a college-level science classroom to career readiness.”
During Academic Year 2023/24, Dr. Arora will lead workshops on project-based learning pedagogy and how to contextualize soft skills for employment in the classroom.
Professor Althea Manalang Lao is a Senior Adjunct Professor of English in the Department of English, Journalism, and Communication Studies. In her effort to identify equity gaps among her students, she noted that students often “cite their status as either first generation or nontraditional college students as a huge reason for their feelings of insecurity and skepticism about their sense of belonging in academia.”
By employing active learning strategies in the classroom, Professor Manalang Lao helps students realize they have a place in higher education. Her approach relies on group-centric activities that focus on the practical application of the academic skills they are learning while maintaining a safe space for students of all ages and backgrounds to work together, learn, and support each other.
For her equity-minded workshops in 2023/24, Professor Manalang Lao will show faculty how to implement technology tools that will facilitate productivity and student collaboration in classes of any modality.
Pictured from left to right: Awards Facilitator Jacob Skelton, Academic Senate President Carole Akl, Distinguished Instructor Award Winner Chander Arora, College President Armida Ornelas, and STEM Counselor Madelline Hernandez.