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Chaparral 2017-2018: 26.6 Saying Goodbye To Retirees

Saying Goodbye to a Vice President, Professor and Top Notch Admissions and Records Enrollment Services Technician

By Ellen Oppenberg
Student Services Division, DSPS

At the end of each term when the Retirement Recognition Luncheon invitation is posted, we quickly scan the list to see who will be leaving the college. When we see a name we know, we quickly lament and start recalling all of the great work and dedication that came from this individual. We wonder how it is that time flew so fast and now this individual, a colleague, is starting a new chapter in their life. Although our days will now be incomplete without the benefit of running into them in the hallways or hearing their voice when we place a call to their office, we will relish in the legacy they have left behind.

"Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.” (anonymous).

We wish all of those retiring this school term the opportunity to, “Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.” (anonymous).

When polled for their insight about the years they spent at GCC and where their adventures will now take them, Dr. Rick Perez Dr. P, Professor Ed Douglas ED and Jenny McMahon JM (a graduate of GCC) were immediate with their responses.

When students, faculty and staff recall you, what do you want them to most remember about you?

Dr. P: Student centered decision making and terrible humor

ED: That I was dedicated to the students and to the art of theatre.

JM: My student friendliness


What role(s) did you play as an employee during your years at GCC?

Dr. P: Vice President for Student Services, Title IX Coordinator, and twice as the District’s Chief Negotiator.

ED: I began in 1987 as a Public Speaking instructor. After a few years I started teaching classes in the Theatre Department. I also taught The History of Cinema for a long time. I have directed many plays and served as fight director in many others.

JM: I worked in A&R as a Sr. Enrollment Services Tech., evaluated incoming transcripts from other schools, processed graduation petitions, worked with Veterans, and was responsible for the college catalog and student handbook.


What has been your greatest accomplishment(s) at GCC?

Dr. P: When I started GCC in 2007, the only Armenian manager in SS was Alen Andriassian. Today in 2018 – there are six SS Armenian managers: Tzoler, Hoover, Aida, Arda, Elmira, and Yeranui. In 2007, the Latino student population was wavering slightly above 25%. Now it is 32% allowing GCC to continue receiving Title V grants.

ED: The plays I directed, especially Twelfth Night, which I directed last fall and the students I truly influenced.

JM: Working with Student Services to help students accomplish their goals.


What is your next step?

Dr. P: Home projects, more fitness and golf, and travel…This summer I will be in Italy and Spain.

ED: I'm planning on doing volunteer work and after my wife retires, June 8th, travelling, going to concerts and truly enjoying the fruits of our labors. I will also work on any theatre projects at GCC that would benefit from my skills as a fight director. Additionally, spending a lot more time surfing and playing basketball. I will continue to work on film and theatre projects outside of GCC.

JM: No response given but in this author’s opinion, Jenny will continue the philanthropy she has become well known for and spend time with her beautiful family.

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