The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Keeping up with the new professors, Humanities and a new counselor

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Erica Brenes, English instructor, grades her students' papers during office hours. For her it is important to make every student feel important as they are learning.

Erica Brenes, English Professor

Q: What was it like becoming a full-time professor at El Camino? How long were you working part-time for?

A: “Becoming a full-time professor made me feel secure. It made me feel like winning the lottery because these kinds of jobs are hard to come by. Before becoming full-time I spent 5 years teaching at other community colleges.”

Q: Is there any student who has impacted your career/life?

A: “Yes, Bryan passed away last semester. I had this student for 3 semesters and he taught me to value every student I ever have.”

Q: Who or what inspired you to teach?

A: “I always wanted to teach English, but growing up I had bad teachers, but when I got to college I met really great professors. It was then that I realized studying literature could be fun. I went to OCC and later on transferred to UCLA.”

Q: What does being able to teach mean to you?

A: “Students are the best and I like watching them grow massively throughout the semester. I also like to watch as they overcome struggles. There are students who ask me questions about something as simple as a coma, and I love when those students grow.”

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Professor Rhea Lewitzki interacts with her English 1A students during one of her Friday classes on Sept. 18. Lewitzki is one of 19 new full-time faculty members hired by El Camino College. She has career experience teaching at Golden West, Cerritos, as well as El Camino. Photo credit: Jo Rankin

Rhea Lewitzki, English Professor

Q: How long have you been a full-time professor? What was it like when you got offered the position?

A: “It is my 4th week as a full-time professor. When I got offered the full-time position I was out of words to express how happy I felt.”

Q: Who or what has inspired you to be who you are today?

A: “Students are who inspire me. They’re the reason why I teach how I teach.”

Q: What has been your overall experience as a professor at El Camino?

A: “El Camino is student centered. I get the impression that students come first. We look to have the best teachers, and as a result we have some of the best students.”

Q: Are there any personal goals you hope to accomplish?

A: “To have, to teach the best English 1A course at El Camino.”

Q: Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of school business?

A: “I’m in a punk band and I am the bass player. I also enjoy boxing.”

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Monica Lanier, Guidance Counselor

Q: What was it like when the school offered you a full-time position? How long have you been working full time?

A: “It was really exciting. I’ve been working full-time since January 2015. I was working part-time at three other community colleges for 1 year prior to becoming full-time, and out of all the colleges, El Camino is my favorite.

Q: Are there any personal goals you hope to accomplish in the near future or later on in your life?

A: “I’d like to have a non-profit that helps high school students with their transition to college. I would also like students at El Camino to know that there is counseling services and I want them to take advantage of the opportunities.”

Q: Who or what has inspired you?

A: “I was recently sick, and I had to get dialysis due to a kidney transplant. Through all of this I continued to counsel part-time. This helped me understand the struggles that sometimes students go through and it helped me in my career to become a better counselor.”

Q: Are there any students that have impacted your career?

A: “I have met students who work full-time and were never encouraged to go to college. It is those students who inspire me everyday.”

Q: What are your hobbies? What do you like to do besides work?

A: “I like to paint, watch kids play sports. I also love going out to eat at new places and I like to do arts and crafts.”

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