Carol Lasquade named Outstanding Faculty of the Year 2011-2012
Lasquade opened her graduation remarks encouraging students to "take flight and soar" and explaining her personal commitment to higher education, and community colleges in particular, by describing her own personal experience. "I was a single parent with a three-year-old son from an Italian working class family when I started at my local community college back in Massachusetts many years ago. I was 26 year old, divorced, and a 'welfare mom'!"
She is known on campus to be an enthusiastic supporter and motivator of students. She is a member of the counseling faculty at College of the Desert and also coordinates the EOPS/CARE and CalWORKs programs at COD. These are federally- and state-funded programs that provide academic counseling and financial support to students from educationally and financially disadvantaged backgrounds. CARE is specifically targeted for single parents.
Not only did Carol attend her local community college and continue on for a bachelor's degree and then a master's, but her pursuit of education inspired her brother, her mother, and her father to pursue the next steps in their educational pathways, as well. As her son grew up, he knew no other choice, but to attend college right out of high school.
Lasquade also encouraged the graduating class to be proactive in their support of education funding and to be mindful of their responsibility as voters when presented with political and legislative opportunities to advance the goals of education. "We need to remind those who serve us in the capitol that for every $1 they invest in higher education, the state receives $4.50 in return."
At College of the Desert, the Outstanding Faculty of the Year is selected from nominations and voting among the faculty. The designation of Faculty of the Year is a recognition from one's peers which, for many, brings special meaning to the honor. The award was presented during the graduation ceremony by both the president of the COD Academic Senate, Ms. Zerryl Becker, Associate Professor Computer Information Systems, and Simon Myers the president of the student government organization Associated Students of COD.