Professor Amber Katherine and counselor Dan Nannini have been named Santa Monica College’s 2011 Co-Faculty of the Year.

In selecting the winners, the SMC Academic Senate also announced that it was nominating Katherine for the statewide Hayward Award, which honors community college faculty who have a track record of excellence in teaching and professional activities and have demonstrated commitment to their students, profession and college.

“Professor Katherine and Dan Nannini are such outstanding faculty members that we could not narrow the award this year to just one recipient,” said SMC kinesiology professor Elaine Roque, chair of the Academic Senate’s Sabbaticals, Fellowships & Awards Committee.

“Amber is a compassionate and caring professor who has helped transform SMC into one of the greenest colleges in the state, and Dan is one of the state’s leading transfer experts at an institution that is the No. 1 transfer college to the University of California, USC and more. We’re honored to call them our colleagues.”

Katherine, a Mar Vista resident who has taught philosophy at SMC since 1999, has served on the Academic Senate Executive and other committees, chairing the Environmental Affairs Committee.

She was instrumental in developing the “ecological literacy” track of SMC’s graduation requirements and was the leading faculty member working with the Associated Students to organize the 2008 Focus the Nation Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions, SMC officials said.

She is the advisor to the EcoAction and Philosophy clubs, has been involved with FEAST and Earth Day celebrations on campus, and was awarded the 2007 Chair of Excellence in Philosophy and Social Sciences.

Nannini, a Culver City resident, has worked at SMC for 23 years since he was hired as a general counselor. During his tenure, he has been assigned to several counseling divisions, including the Scholars Program, an honors transfer program.

For the past 14 years he has served as the faculty leader of the Transfer Center, where the college sponsors dozens of workshops for students on completing applications and navigating the transfer process.

Nannini’s office brings in four-year university recruiters to campus on an almost daily basis during the school year, conducts bus tours to universities statewide, and hosts the largest college transfer fair in the state, SMC officials noted.

In addition, he has helped develop transfer agreements with four-year institutions throughout the world, including the Ivy League’s Columbia University in New York.

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