Courtesy of Whatcom Community College Information Office
Whatcom Community College’s Full-time Faculty Excellence Award for the 2018-19 academic year went to psychology instructor Melanie Zabel, while the Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award went to Transitional Learning’s ESL instructor Catalina Hope.
Zabel began at Whatcom as an adjunct psychology instructor in 2009. She was hired full-time in 2016, and received tenure in March of this year.
When nominating her for this award, one student said, “Not only is she a professional in the subject of psychology, she is one of the most understanding and down-to-earth people that you will meet. Students respect her and will go to her for advice on any life-related subject.”
Another student wrote, “She is an absolute gem as an instructor.”
Hope, the winner of the Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award, began at Whatcom after volunteering in a classroom for English as a Second Language in 2008. She was so inspired working with beginning level ESL students that she went on to earn her teaching certificate from Western, and was hired as an adjunct faculty in the Transitional Learning program the next year.
Hope’s peers praise her dedication and commitment to her students, as well as the College and its mission.
“Catalina is truly gifted in her ability to effectively reach non-native English speakers while not diluting the content or talking down to students. She treats everyone with respect and compassion,” said a colleague.
One of Hope’s students said, “She is changing my life not only for the better, but for the best … everyone knows Catalina is an instructor, but for me she is a super hero.”