Allan Hancock College bid a fond farewell to 12 retiring faculty and staff members who contributed a combined 271 years of service to the college during a virtual recognition ceremony on May 14.
“We’re really excited for these colleagues who are moving on,” said Dr. Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D., Hancock superintendent/president. “We are ecstatic about them being able to go on to their next journey. We also know that they are leaving the college a better place than they found it.”
This year’s honored retirees included faculty who spent decades educating Hancock students as well as staff members who worked to support students in attaining their educational goals.
“It was so much fun to see the students bloom,” said Debbie O’Campo, a plant services coordinator who retired after 39 years with Hancock. “They would come in green and just blossomed like butterflies. They were ready to go out into the world and show what Hancock helped them accomplish.”
Ms. O’Campo said she “grew up” working at the college and will miss the “family-type feeling” of assisting, guiding and supporting the students she met over her almost four decades of work. She plans to focus on her beadwork with her new free time and return to Hancock as a student.
“I’m looking forward to going back to school and just enjoying it,” Ms. O’Campo said.
Storm Hogan, who retired from the fine arts department after 31 years of service to the college, was celebrated for her “commitment to putting students first … regardless of the size and nature of their requests.”
Robert Murtha, an assistant professor in the English department, was the retiree with the third-longest tenure at the college, working for 28 years before retiring.
The full list of this year’s retirees includes Debbie O’Campo, plant services coordinator, 39 years; Storm Hogan, administrative assistant, 31 years; Robert Murtha, assistant professor of English, 28 years; Russ Ashman, custodial services supervisor, 26 years; Kathy Headtke, librarian, 25 years; Krystyna Musev, professor of mathematics, 23 years; Jim Harvey, director of facilities, 22 years; Sharan Kelly, human resources/professional development coordinator, 20 years; Lizabeth Phillips, recruitment coordinator, 16 years; Stan Williams, groundskeeper, 15 years; Patty VanNest, accounting technician, 15 years; and Andy Densmore, fire academy coordinator, 11 years.
Hancock also honored additional faculty and staff during the event. Adrienne Allebe, Lynn Becerra-Valencia, Lainey Campos, John Ceceña, Kellye Cohn, Jill Cralley, Christopher Diaz, Claudia Diaz, Sean Gottlieb, Martha Hull, Megan McComas, Susan Roehl, Jesus Solorio and Chellis Ying Hood were all recognized as newly-tenured faculty during the ceremony.