Full-time faculty grows by 12.5 percent at PAC

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By Kaylee Jackson-Edwards
Pulse Staff Reporter

Palo Alto College expanded its teaching staff by adding 11 new full-time faculty members.

In the 2015-2016 academic year, PAC had 88 full-time faculty members compared to the 99 full-faculty members they have now, a 12.5 percent increase.

Professor Juan Tejeda is currently the lead instructor for the Mexican-American Studies program, and he will retire at the end of the fall semester after 15 years at Palo Alto College. The hiring replacement process included 27 applicants, and Dr. Lori Beth Rodriguez was ultimately chosen to fill the position.

“I am very excited to be joining the Palo Alto College staff,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez plans on keeping the MAS program going strong while bringing some new, exciting ideas to PAC. Rodriguez graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio and Our Lady of The Lake University, so San Antonio is special to her. Rodriguez is a native to San Antonio, so the city is special to her. Along with Rodriguez, the college will welcome 10 other full-time faculty members.

Joining PAC in the Behavioral Science Department is Professor Maria Aurora Yanez. Yanez currently teaches six classes, which include four Sociology 1301 classes and two Humanities 1301 classes. In October, Yanez will teach Sociology 1306.

“I am very excited to be teaching SOCI 1306: Social Problems because we had not offered this course in awhile,” said Yanez.

When asked how she became an educator, Yanez responded, “Five years ago, I had the opportunity to teach my first SOCI 1301 class as an adjunct at Northwest Vista College, and I discovered that I loved it. From that point onward, I decided to dedicate my time to teaching. I believe there is nothing more important than teaching. I feel very fortunate to be able to interact with such incredible students; thus, it is especially rewarding to be teaching at PAC.”

Another full-time faculty member added to the PAC campus is Professor Shauna Holzhaus, who was hired on full-time in August in the Veterinary Tech Program. This fall semester, she is teaching Veterinary Anatomy & Physiology Lecture, Introduction to Veterinary Technology Lab, and Pharmacological Calculations Lecture/Lab. In the Spring 2017, she will teach Veterinary Parasitology Lecture, Veterinary Parasitology Lab, and Veterinary Radiology Lecture/Lab.

“The animals that we house will be up for adoption at the end of each semester,” said Holzhaus. Contact Tamra Schroeder at (210) 486-3359 for more information on animal adoptions.

Professor Edlyn Oliveria joined the full-time faculty in early August. Oliveria has a full course load of three Music Appreciation classes. In addition to teaching, she is the choir director and private voice lesson coach on campus. She will also be the voice coach for the April production of “West Side Story”.

“Palo Alto College will become the beacon of arts on the South Side,” said Oliveria.

Other full-time faculty joining PAC are Vicente Claudio, Social Science; William Cook, Industrial Technology; Rose Flores and Robert Miranda, Sciences; Virginia Nelms, Math; Ryan Schuermann, Social Sciences; and Lisa Trevino, English, Foreign Language, and Communication.