Communications professor wins 2020 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award

El Camino College (ECC) communications professor and Forensic Speech and Debate Coach Brittany Hubble received the 2020 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award last November.

According to the Academic Senate Outstanding Adjunct nomination packet, the annual award is given to instructors who demonstrate a commitment to serving students, education and their discipline, El Camino College’s mission and involvement in professional and/or student activities.

“If there’s a more qualified person to receive an award, I have yet to meet them,” Michael Wagreich, 19 year-old Forensics team president and political science major said. “I think Brittany is genuinely one of the most compassionate, understanding and challenging mentors we have.”

Hubble is part of a team of debate coaches who have continually lead the ECC Forensics team to championships.

“Long before me, we’ve always been a successful team,” Hubble said. “We’ve become more consistently competitive not only against other community colleges, but other 4-year universities as well.”

Hubble’s family moved around a lot, during her school years she attended over seven different schools from kindergarten to high school. Fitting in was difficult due to changing schools and she wasn’t part of any set groups, Hubble said.

Her introduction to communication studies changed her trajectory. Hubble first joined the ECC community as a student at ECC, she intended to complete general education classes then pursue a degree in business or law.

She didn’t have a long-term interest in debate but was encouraged by family and instructors to give it a try, Hubble said.

“As soon as I became active on campus and joined the debate team I realized that I wanted to be in education,” Hubble said. “One of the things that sold me on El Camino was that alumni often come back to help out at tournaments and practices.”

The sense of community and continuity that alumni bring to the team is also part of the team’s success. She inspires her current students the same way that she was inspired by her mentors to be part of the community.

“It creates a lifetime bond, once you are on this team you are not gone from the team,” Hubble said.

Wagreich hopes to transfer to University of California, Los Angeles, but plans to stay on the Forensics team anyway.

“Once you’ve been debating for El Camino, it’s really difficult to justify debating for anybody else,” Wagreich said.

Kaiyl McClain, 19-year-old political science major and debate team member enrolled at ECC during the pandemic. She was not able to have a traditional classroom experience and credits debate for giving her a sense of belonging.

“Debate has created a community for me, long-term relationships with like-minded people,” McClain said. “It’s really amazing the community they’ve created.”

McClain also said she attributes her comfort level and skill level growth to having Hubble as a strong female role model.

“Just seeing successful women in the debate world is inspiring,” McClain said. “In the beginning, it was intimidating to be the only female in a male-dominated division of competition [but] now I feel more empowered.”

In addition to her service in her immediate community, Hubble extends herself beyond the ECC community to other debaters, especially females who haven’t had the benefit of coaching from a female perspective.

“I’ve become friends with other students, especially women who do speech and debate who don’t have coaches like me. I provide them with help and support so that they can get the most out of the experience,” Hubble said. “There’s so much to be gained from the experience of feeling rewarded for your successes, and overcoming challenges.”