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

College honors women who advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion

From left; Jacque Whited (representing Jackie Labouff), Candy Paula, Argelia Andrade, Mele Makalo, Rachel Pittock and Col. Mia Walsh pose in the East Dining Room after the March 27 reception. During the ceremony, the six awardees were honored and celebrated for their roles in advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion. (Erica Lee | The Union)

Every year, the El Camino College Women’s History Month Committee selects community candidates to become recipients of the Distinguished Women Award.

This year’s theme is “women who advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion.” The votes are in, and six women were chosen to receive the award.

The awardees were honored during the March 27 reception in the East Dining Room, during which certificates of recognition were handed out.

In addition to receiving the certificates, the six women will also have their portraits placed on the El Camino College Distinguished Women’s Wall of Fame in the Schauerman Library.

Jackie LaBouff, one of the awardees, received the award in memoriam as she died last February. LaBouff was a preschool teacher for the Torrance Unified School District and a member on the City of Torrance’s League of Women Voters and the Human Services Committee. She was also the president and founder of the Widow Friendship Group and started a charity called Human Touch, which provides assistance to pregnant teens.

The Union asked each awardee five questions to better understand their roles in the community and what led to their nominations.

Argelia Andrade is a Spanish and dance professor who has worked at El Camino College for nine years. Read her Q&A here.

Candy Higgins Di-Meo is a local artist, singer and musician who goes by Candy Paula. Read her Q&A here.

Col. Mia Walsh is the commander of Space Base Delta 3, a Space Force base located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo. Read her Q&A here.

Mele Makalo is student success coordinator for MANA, a program on campus that helps Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students succeed in education. Read her Q&A here.

Rachel Pittock is a part-time boxing instructor, adviser of the Boxing Club and assistant coach for the El Camino Women’s Beach Volleyball team. Read her Q&A here.

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