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Compton College Honors 2024 Distinguished Employees and Civility Champions

Compton College recently announced its honorees for the 2024 Distinguished Administrator, Faculty, and Staff awards. The annual awards recognize outstanding administrators, faculty, and staff members for their commitment to Compton College and its educational mission. Antonio Banks, director – black and males of color Success; Theresa Barragan-Echeverria, transfer counselor; Roderick Todd, social sciences adjunct instructor; Iris Fernandez, program specialist – Tri City Adult Education Consortium, were recognized for their dedication to students, Compton College, and colleagues.

In addition, Compton College is proud to announce its 2024 Civility Champion: Sarorth Lai, human resources representative, and Susan Johnson, English instructor, who are shining examples of how positive interactions with one another are critical to cultivating and maintaining a meaningful and effective intellectual environment, as stated in Compton College’s Statement of Civility and Mutual Respect. The Compton Community College District introduced its Civility Champion Award in 2020 to honor outstanding employees whose contributions demonstrate a commitment to self-reflection, care, empathy, and respect while acknowledging the culture and humanity of others.

Pictured (L-R): Dr. Sharoni Little, Juanita Doplemore, Dr. Antonio Banks, Andres Ramos, Iris Fernandez, Barbara Calhoun, Theresa Barragan-Echeverria, and Kendra Carnes

Distinguished Administrator Award recipient Antonio Banks is responsible for improving academic success, retention, and graduation rates of students who are black and males of color through collaboration with campus faculty, staff, administrators, and students to advance the Compton Community College District’s Student Equity and Achievement goals of ensuring equitable educational opportunities for all students. Banks joined Compton College in this newly-created role in 2021 and, in a short time, has set in motion a comprehensive initiative to achieve and be regarded as a benchmark for the following initial goals: 1) complement campus initiatives designed to satisfy students’ basic needs; 2) creating an environment where students’ sense of belonging is a priority; 3) improving the interconnectedness among students and with faculty and staff; 4) expanding students’ purview of opportunities in higher education and career beyond Compton College, and 5) using professional development to continually improve college employees’ ability to serve students in these specific demographics.

While the Black and Males of Color Success initiative is still in its infancy, 15 workshops were hosted during the 2023-24 academic year related to academic success, personal and professional development, and cultural identity development. Banks also partnered with the professional development department to deliver three leadership academy programs during the year.

Banks is dedicated to aiding in the academic and societal advancement of disproportionately impacted student groups. He has extensive experience providing innovative, collaborative, inclusive, and actionable solutions at community colleges, university campuses, and nonprofit educational organizations. Before joining Compton College, Banks served as the statewide charter director for the African American Male Education and Development Network in Los Angeles, where he provided oversight in developing 22 community college-based charter programs throughout California. 

Pictured (L-R): Dr. Sharoni Little, Juanita Doplemore, Susan Johnson, Sarorth Lai, Andres Ramos, Barbara Calhoun, and Kendra Carnes (not pictured Roderick Todd)

Distinguished Faculty Award recipient Theresa Barragan-Echeverria has served as the sole transfer counselor overseeing the campus Transfer Center for nine years. She is a lifelong learner focused on perfecting her craft, is passionate about student success, and is dedicated to problem-solving and providing solutions for positive outcomes. She is currently pursuing her doctorate while working full-time. In addition to counseling more than 1,200 students in the last few years alone, she served on many a college task force and committee, leads the annual Transfer Fair, university representative visits, campus tours, the northern California university tour, and transfer admit celebration each year. She champions new university partnership programs and Transfer Guarantee Programs such as the Loyola Marymount University Transfer Pathways and California State University, Dominguez Hills Cross-Enrollment programs. Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Award honoree Roderick Todd is an instructor in the Social Sciences Division. Todd joined Compton College in 2020 and, in the following years, has displayed a dedication to teaching and service for the Social Sciences Division and the campus and community at large. In the fall of 2023, he volunteered to fulfill teaching requests for local high schools in ethnic studies and history and teaching courses at Compton College. He taught Introduction to Ethnic Studies and U.S. History at Willowbrook High School’s Early College and History of the African American 1877 to Present at Centennial High School. Most importantly, he is fulfilling the instruction of many core general education courses necessary for transfer. Since he joined Compton College during the pandemic, he took the initiative to get up to speed quickly and secured certification on the Canvas system for online learning. Todd is active in the college’s Black and Males of Color Success initiative, providing mentoring and programming support and regularly participating in the A2Mend conferences and events.

About Compton College

Compton College is the community’s education solution, offering a full complement of transfer and degree courses and career and technical education. Students may earn an associate degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year university, or train for a career. Compton College is located at 1111 E. Artesia Boulevard, Compton, CA 90221.