We're shining a spotlight on dedicated faculty members hailing from various corners of California! Get to know these outstanding educators and their contributions to the academic community.


 Desiree Montenegro
Cerritos College

Desiree Ann Montenegro is a passionate Communication Studies instructor currently shaping minds at Cerritos College, Long Beach City College, and Palo Verde College. Armed with a Master of Arts (M.A.) from CSULA, she not only educates but also actively contributes to the field as a member of the FACCC Board of Governors and the FACCC Part-Time Committee.

Inspired by the supportive network she found during her own studies, Desiree embarked on a journey into higher education, driven by her desire to empower and inspire students. Her guiding principle echoes the words of Nelson Mandela: "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world."

If Desiree could journey through time, she'd set her sights on the vibrant 1920s, drawn by the era's music, fashion, and art. Reflecting her belief in the transformative power of gratitude, she dreams of teaching a class on practicing gratitude in times of adversity.



Dara Perales
MiraCosta College

Dara Perales is an integral part of the Letters, Transfer Department at MiraCosta College, where she channels her passion for literature and writing into shaping the minds of students. Armed with a Master's in Literature and Writing Studies from Cal State University, San Marcos, Dara's journey into higher education was spurred by her own transformative experience at a local community college. 

Reflecting on her inspiration to work within higher education, Dara fondly recalls how her local community college provided her with direction when she felt adrift after high school. Today, she is proud to be a full-time faculty member at the very institution that guided her path.

With a favorite motto of "Kindness is free," Dara embodies empathy and compassion in both her personal and professional life. When she's not sparking intellectual curiosity, Dara indulges in a myriad of interests and hobbies, including reading, walking, stitching, vegan baking/cooking, and traveling.


Sarah Thompson
Las Positas College

Please meet Sarah Thompson, a dedicated educator with over 20 years of experience, specializing in Sociology and Global Studies at Las Positas College. Holding a Master's degree from Rutgers University, Sarah's passion for education is evident in her roles as the current Co-Chair for the FACCC Legislative & Budget Committee and as a member of the FACCC Board of Governors.

Sarah's journey into higher education was inspired by the influential professors she encountered during her college years. Their impact, coupled with her realization of the transformative power of knowledge in social justice movements, fueled her desire to pursue a career in academia. As Sarah puts it, she was driven by a youthful ambition to change the world, a goal she feels grateful to have achieved.



Jarod Middleton
Foothill College

Jarod Middleton is a seasoned educator in the Paramedic Program at Foothill College. Armed with a Bachelor's degree from Loyola Marymount University, Jarod's journey in higher education was inspired by his service on the School Board in San Jose. His dedication to teaching has made a significant impact on the community college landscape.

When it comes to teaching, his dream class would revolve around the art of food and wine paring, showcasing his passion for the culinary arts. Despite being a community college teacher and faculty member, Jarod's alternate career choice would have been a math teacher. However, his most rewarding experiences come from working with community college students, particularly the thrill of running 911 calls with past paramedic students. Having recently retired from the San José Fire Department, Jarod brings a wealth of real-world experience to his teaching.



Velvet Pearson
Long Beach City College 

We're thrilled to introduce Velvet Pearson, a seasoned educator with over two decades of experience in higher education.

Currently teaching English at Long Beach City College, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. Her journey into higher education began after a fulfilling experience teaching abroad in France, which inspired her to pursue further studies and ultimately led to her current position.

Velvet Pearson finds immense reward in working with community college students, witnessing their learning journey, and celebrating their successes in achieving their goals. Passionate about her field, Pearson envisions her dream class revolving around Science Fiction. Beyond academia, she indulges in a myriad of interests and hobbies, including reading, writing, attending concerts, and creating mixed media art through crocheting, knitting, and sewing. If she could master any skill, it would be fluency in Japanese. 



 John Fox
Foothill College 

Please meet John Fox, a previous member of the FACCC Board and current member of the Communications Committee, and a dedicated faculty member at Foothill College, where he teaches Sociology. With a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and over two decades of experience in higher education, John brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to his role.

His inspiration for working in higher education stems from a profound belief that education is our best hope for creating a better world.

This philosophy is encapsulated in his favorite motto, "From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs," by Karl Marx. Passionate about creating positive change, John envisions teaching a class on creating a better world by being nice to others.



Andrew Aleman
College of the Desert

As a sociology professor at College of the Desert, Andrew Aleman understands the power of people coming together. As Region D Governor on the FACCC Board of Governors, Andrew has dedicated himself to building those connections – strengthening ties among California community college faculty and advocating for support from state legislators.

One of Andrew’s favorite mottos is “Honey, life is just a classroom” – a quote from Taylor Swift; he lives by bringing people together to collaborate and learn from one another. Andrew has arranged lunches connecting local community college faculty with legislators like Senator Portantino, Rubio, and Newman, as well as with Assemblymembers Rubio, Bryan, Lowenthal, and Calderon to educate them on crucial faculty priorities and challenges. He also attends greater Los Angeles Democratic events to network and share the faculty perspective.



   Ian Walton

Ian Walton is a retired math educator with an illustrious career spanning over 20 years. Holding a Ph.D. from UC Santa Cruz, Ian's passion for teaching has left an indelible mark on the community college landscape. Ian's inspiration stems from his time as a graduate Teaching Assistant during a one-year Fulbright Scholarship at UC Santa Cruz.

Currently serving as a FACCC Board Member, Ian occupies the "Governor for Retired Faculty" seat and actively contributes to the FACCC Retirement Committee and Policy Committee

Beyond academia, Ian is an avid outdoors enthusiast with hobbies that include hiking, skiing, and travel. A skilled musician, he enjoys playing the guitar and singing in his free time. If given the chance to master any skill, Ian's choice would be snowboarding, showcasing his adventurous spirit.



  Daniel Judge
East Los Angeles College

Daniel Judge is a dedicated educator and the current Region B Governor on the FACCC Board of Governors, where he also serves as a valued member of the Legislation & Budget Committee.

Holding a Master's Degree in Mathematics from California State University Los Angeles and an impressive 20+ years experience, he is currently instructing Mathematics at East Los Angeles College. 

One of his guiding principles in life is encapsulated in the quote, "He who controls the data, controls the narrative," which he finds particularly relevant in today's world.

Daniel's journey in higher education was sparked by a unique revelation. He stumbled into the world of teaching Mathematics during graduate school and found himself in disbelief that they paid people for such an incredible job. Since then, working with community college students has been an enriching experience. Daniel sees them as treasures, acknowledging that he learns just as much from them as they do from him.



 Trav Williams
Hartnell College & Gavilan College

Introducing Trav Williams, an esteemed educator with experience in Business Administration, spanning over two decades. Currently, he holds positions at both Hartnell College and Gavilan College. Driven by a passion for learning and a desire to inspire others, he earned his Ph.D. in Business Management from Capella University.

Trav's favorite motto hails from Bahá’u’lláh: "Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom."

For Trav, the most rewarding aspect of working with community college students is the satisfaction of knowing he has equipped them with valuable skills and knowledge. Among his memorable experiences, a heartfelt conversation with a student who overcame a personal crisis stands out.



 Dr. Anthony Barcellos
American River College

Dr. Anthony Barcellos is a highly experienced mathematics professor with more than two decades of teaching in the field. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis, and currently teaches at American River College, where he shapes the mathematical minds of students.

Dr. Barcellos was initially inspired to pursue a career in higher education by his desire to emulate the educators who had a profound impact on his life. His admiration for their meaningful careers motivated him to follow in their footsteps.

What Dr. Barcellos finds most rewarding in working with community college students is their self-motivation and dedication. Students within higher education are not constrained by family expectations or social pressures, making their pursuit of knowledge a genuinely inspiring journey.



Francis Howard
Laney College, Merritt College, and San José State University 

Francis Howardis a dedicated educator with a strong background in higher education. As a former member of the FACCC Legislation & Advocacy Committee and a current member of the FACCC BIPOC Committee, Francis brings a wealth of experience to the field. 

With over 20 years of teaching experience at institutions like Laney College, Merritt College, and San José State University, Francis has established a remarkable career. Holding a Ph.D. from Walden University, the journey to higher education was always a dream for Francis, even during a stint in the entertainment industry involving singing, acting, and filmmaking. 

One motto that resonates with Francis is "It never hurts to try," reflecting a positive and determined outlook on life. If given the opportunity to time travel, Francis would venture to the year 3500 to catch a glimpse of the future.

Eve-Marie Andrews
College of the Desert

Eve-Marie Andrews, an esteemed member of the Department of Counseling & Advising at the College of the Desert, is a true veteran of higher education. She holds an MS in College Counseling from San Francisco State University, with a notable internship at Stanford University marking her journey to excellence.

Despite her impressive career, this month (October, 2023) marks Eve-Marie's 90th birthday, and she shows no signs of slowing down. Happy Birthday, Eve-Marie! Her unwavering dedication to her students and her passion for her work are truly inspirational.

In a hypothetical world where she could master any skill, Eve-Marie dreams of designing clothes, a testament to her creative spirit and desire for continuous learning. 




 Kelley Vandecoevering
College of the Desert

Introducing Kelley Vandecoevering, a dedicated history professor with 5-10 years of teaching experience. Kelley holds a dual concentration doctorate from the University of Memphis and lives by the motto, "Learn from the people who lived history rather than those who wrote it."

If she had a time machine, Kelley would zoom back to the WWII Pacific Theatre. Her unique talent lies in her ability to articulate herself on multiple emotional, developmental, and socioeconomic planes.

Outside of academia, Kelley enjoys crocheting, visiting historical sites, and indulging in naps.

She aspires to master cake decorating and photography. In her higher education journey, Kelley has learned that the students you least expect often shine the brightest. 



 Rudy Ramirez
College of San Mateo

Allow us to introduce Rudy Ramirez, a dedicated educator who has spent over two decades as an Ethnic Studies professor. With an M.A. from San Francisco State University, he is deeply committed to student-centered teaching.

Rudy's journey into higher education was sparked by a fortuitous encounter with a retired teacher who offered a candid glimpse into the teaching profession's realities. 

Despite his extensive experience, Rudy humbly admits that his penmanship on whiteboards is far from perfect, but he excels on paper. Outside the classroom, he envisions himself as a social worker, continuing his mission of helping others.



 Emily Haraldson 
Glendale Community College

Meet Emily Haraldson, an accomplished Art History professor at Glendale Community College. Her educational journey led her to earn an M.A. from California State University, Northridge, where her natural teaching talent was recognized by her graduate advisor. This recognition propelled her teaching career, with her first position at Mt. San Antonio College.

Emily is deeply committed to higher education and actively contributes to the community. Currently, she holds the position of Interim Executive Director at FACCC and is a valuable member of the Legislation & Advocacy Committee. Her leadership extends to her previous role as the Chair of the Communications Committee. Beyond her academic pursuits, Emily finds joy in cooking, baking, and practicing meditation. 

If given the opportunity to dine with a historical figure, Emily would choose the multi-talented Leonardo da Vinci, sharing his extroverted nature and love for entertainment. 



  Dr. Katie Berryhill 
Los Medanos College & Solano Community College

Let us introduce you all to Dr. Katie Berryhill, a distinguished astronomy educator with more than twenty years of educational proficiency, holding an Ed.D. from the University of Wyoming. 

Katie holds a full-time position at Los Medanos College and contributes her expertise part-time at Solano Community College. Her journey into higher education was inspired by her parents' illustrious careers in academia; her father served as a college president, while her mother was the founding chair of a department of education. 

Beyond the classroom, Katie enjoys indulging in escape rooms with her family and capturing the world through the lens of her photography. Her favorite motto is, "I touch the future—I teach," coined by Christa McAuliffe. 



Dr. Cirian Villavicencio
San Joaquin Delta College 

Meet Dr. Cirian Villavicencio, a friendly and experienced Political Science professor at San Joaquin Delta College. As a first-generation Filipino American, he's passionate about boba, traveling, mountain biking, scuba diving, hiking, photography, and advocacy. If he could dine with anyone from history, it would be Mahatma Gandhi. He dreams of mastering the guitar and would time travel to Ancient Greece to witness the birth of Athenian democracy. If not a professor, he'd be a college football coach. His motto: "If you're not at the table, bring your own chair."