“Our classified employees often work behind the scenes”
With his trademark “Ask Me” button showcasing his helpful attitude, Ventura College’s Alwin Sauers Jr. has been named the 2021 Ventura County Community College District Classified Employee of the Year. The VCCCD bestows this honor in accordance with the California Community Colleges (CCC) Board of Governors, who will now consider Sauers for the CCC statewide award. The award recognizes classified professionals who positively influence countless lives by showing the utmost commitment to our community colleges, by upholding professional ethics and standards and by serving the community with purpose and passion. They embody the best of California’s community colleges.
Fellow VCCCD Classified Employee of the Year nominees included Thomas “Tommy” Arellano of Moorpark College, and Gabriela Rodriguez of Oxnard College.
“Our classified employees often work behind the scenes, yet they play a critical role in helping VCCCD students achieve their academic and professional goals,” said Board Chair Joshua Chancer. “All three candidates are outstanding employees who reflect the District’s focus on serving students, and we are thrilled to have Alwin represent the District at the state level.”
Arellano is the athletic equipment manager at Moorpark College. He is known for his unlimited skills and contributions to the athletic department during his 39 years with the District.
Rodriguez is the student activities specialist for Oxnard College. For the past five years, she has served students and staff with a passion that is imperative to maintaining OC’s high-quality enrichment and academic offerings.
“Gaby focuses on students with every breath she takes. In all her interactions at the college, Gaby is conscientious, strives for success and is fired up to participate. … She does all of this with her characteristic boundless energy and drive to make OC a special place to study and work for everyone,” noted Dr. Oscar Cobain, vice president of student development, in the nomination.
Sauers is a custodian at Ventura College and Ventura College East Campus, where his focus for over seven years has been on serving students. Sauers is an ever-present fixture on the campuses, making him a VC and VCEC ambassador available to help students. With his “Ask Me” button and gentle demeanor, every student feels comfortable asking him for assistance. As an essential worker, Sauers takes special care in guaranteeing the cleanliness of the campuses during the pandemic and always.
“Alwin Sauers Jr. is special. He is a mensch, a good man, who does his job and then some with a true commitment to all the students that we serve. When his name comes up in a discussion or meeting, the response from everyone is always the same: we smile and sing his praises. Alwin is truly deserving of this honor,” wrote Susan Royer, college services supervisor, in Sauers’ nomination.
Up to six recipients will be honored as California Community Colleges Classified Employee of the Year at the May 2021 Board of Governors meeting, where they will receive a $750 cash award and a plaque.