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News: PCC Announces Underwood and Camara as 2013 Risser Award Winners

Underwood and Camara

Pasadena City College is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the J. Ray Risser Awards. Instructor Shane Underwood has received the 2013 Risser Outstanding Teacher Award for his exceptional work in the English Division, and Digital A/V Production Technician Mathew Camara has received the 2013 Risser Outstanding Support to Education Award for his contributions in the Information Technology Services office.

In order to be nominated for the Outstanding Teacher Award, a teacher must demonstrate a high quality of instruction; be an inspiration to students; show fair, understandable evaluation and grading; and loyalty to the college. Underwood has consistently made students feel as though their voices are worth hearing and their ideas worth speaking about. He is described as intelligent, helpful, understanding, and motivating.

“His expectations of his students and himself are incredibly high, yet he constantly encourages his students to reach out for help when they need it,” a student said. That student went on to receive Honors Superior in English.

“I’m very flattered,” Underwood said. “It’s very unexpected. I’m just glad to know that what I’m doing is resonating with students.”

Students and staff nominate candidates for the Outstanding Support to Education Risser Award. The award is given each year to a member of PCC’s educational support staff whose performance shows exceptional dedication to the goals of the college. The winner has demonstrated quality job performance, service beyond the job requirements, and the attitude and qualities of character. Camara demonstrates all of these and more.

“It was nice to be honored,” Camara said.

Described as devoted, ambitious, talented, polite, and good-natured, Camara “has been a lifesaver for the Television and Radio Department,” an instructor said.

Credited with building and cultivating effective programs and learning environments, Camara is a favorite among students and instructors.

“Mat is always pleasant, provides excellent support and consistently goes beyond the call to make sure our equipment is operational for our productions,” a student said.

Ray Risser, former social sciences instructor and trustee of the college, established the Risser Award for educational support staff at PCC in 1980. A second Risser Award is presented to a member of the faculty at PCC.

For more information about the Risser Award, contact the PCC Foundation at (626) 585-7065.

Release Date: 05/15/2013
Contact: Juan F. Gutierrez , Director, Public Relations
Phone: (626) 585-7315

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