New professors share insight after first full year

With the school year coming to a close, these three professors are wrapping up their first year teaching full-time at Cosumnes River College.

Professors Iris Dimond, Trang Abeid and Omari Williams began working on campus after being adjunct professors at the beginning of the fall 2016 semester and have learned a lot from their first year,about both the campus and its students.

“Trying to find a routine is the trickiest part of it,” said Dimond, an early childhood education professor. “And with each semester being a little bit different with classes and rotations, it can be a bit challenging.”

Dimond is a graduate from Sacramento City College and California State University Sacramento. Before getting her full-time job, she had 15 years of prior experience working on other campuses. She said she could see the differences between the previous places she worked at and what it’s like working alongside CRC students.

“All of the schools are very, very different in culture and climate due to their location and population and everything else,” Dimond said. “I love the fact that we have the most diverse campus, and I think that’s what keeps things interesting and fresh every semester.”

Throughout the school year, she has also been able to get a closer look at some of her students and take note of their development as she teaches them day after day.

“Some are outstanding academically, some are outstanding for their personalities and for their commitments to the field,” Dimond said. “That’s the uniqueness of working here, or working with anything where you deal with the public; you have to deal with everybody.”

Dimond isn’t finished learning either, and something that she found out in her first year at CRC also serves as good advice to her students.

“The best thing I’ve learned is: if you have a question, seek it out yourself,” she said. “Because I find that not everybody else always knows, so I’ll go and ask the person I think might know the answer, and they don’t know either, so I’ve had few situations where I’m like, ‘let’s go find that out together.’”

Abeid, an English professor, was previously an adjunct professor on campus as well, but she said becoming a full-time faculty member meant she had to balance the time she spent in her office and at home.

“There’s also a lot of other responsibilities I have to take into account,” Abeid said. “As full-time faculty, we’re expected to attend more meetings, be on committees to help with student success and help with strategic planning.”

Because of this, Abeid also said that she’s learning how to balance everything so she won’t burn out, and that setting boundaries was important.

Abeid, who also graduated from CSUS, as well as the University of the Pacific, said she finds the work she does at CRC very gratifying.

Abeid said  faculty members who had been at CRC longer helped her transition into her position and shared knowledge of campus information involving separate departments.

“I usually default to older faculty if I have a question about something like the campus or anything like that,” Abeid said.

Williams, a music professor, is excited to help his students polish their vocal skills and expand their musical knowledge.

“Things are going very well,” said Williams, a Michigan State University and Moores School of Music graduate. “The settling takes some time, and it will probably take some years to get this program where I want it to be for the school.”

Williams said that what he enjoys about the campus is the amount of diversity, especially when he learns about students’ backgrounds and finds out how he can teach them in better ways.

Williams plans on continuing to build the music department alongside his colleagues in order to have more of the community join their classes.

He also said that even if the classes grow, he stills wants students to “take it seriously, and treat it more like a class rather than a club.”

In the upcoming fall 2017 semester, Williams said that he plans on holding more events to help advertise for the music department, especially vocal classes, and wants to cover a wide variety of people, in age, gender or ethnicity, in order to give them the tools they need to succeed.

All three professors find their new roles extremely gratifying and look forward to helping the CRC community grow. “It’s very rewarding,” Abeid said. “Especially when I talk to the students and they accomplish a lot.”