May 2016 Advocate: CSM celebrates Part-Timer Appreciation Day


CSM celebrates Part-Timer Appreciation Day

by Michelle Kern, CSM Chapter Chair & Strategic Campaign Initiative (SCI) Organizer

The College of San Mateo chapter of AFT 1493 partnered this year with the Center for Academic Excellence to celebrate the third annual Part-Timer Appreciation Day on May 12th, marking the occasion with company, delicious food, and provoking discussions.

Professional Development Coordinator and Biology Professor Theresa Martin spearheaded the partnership with AFT 1493, approaching the union with the idea of both organizations co-sponsoring the event, which made for the most successful Part-Timer Appreciation Day yet.

Administrators & Trustee show appreciation

There were over 25 people in attendance, with guests arriving at different points during the event, to enjoy the refreshments, and get a chance to chat with faculty from many different departments. CSM President Michael Claire, Sandra Comerford, Vice President of Instruction, and SMCCD Trustee Maurice Goodman also joined various department deans to celebrate the contributions of part-timers to the academic and community life of the college.

Questions & answers from the attendees

Professor Martin created a Gallery Walk to prompt discussion and thoughts, with questions posted near large sheets of paper on which to write answers:

  • Without being humble, what do you value most about yourself as a learner, instructor or 
colleague at CSM?
  • In each of our lives there is a time when we just know that we have experienced a perfect moment
– a moment when we feel really good about the work we are doing and what we are contributing. As you think back on your learning experiences, tell us about one of the most exceptional learning moments in your life. Who was involved? What about that experience made you feel most involved and most excited?
  • Is there an area in your work where you’ve been successful building good relationships that positively affect that work? How would other areas of your work be changed if those same qualities existed in those relationships too?
  • If you had three wishes for CSM, what would they be? Please share things that would enable the college to become even more vibrant and truly the sort of
place in which great learning and teaching take place on a daily basis.
  • When you are feeling most supported for your work as a part-timer at CSM, what do you appreciate?”

Some of the responses included, “I like that I am always experimenting with strategies to engage students,” “Each time a student asks a genuine question,”  “I appreciate being a POC faculty serving as a positive, competent model for our multi-cultural population.”

Among people’s wishes for CSM were, “Department chairs,” “More full-time faculty,” “Replace our grass with flowers,” “When new full-time positions come available, offer hiring from previous applicants from CSM,” “Full-time Professional Development Coordinator.”

CSM a top choice among adjuncts’ colleges

After perusing and reading the responses, President Claire and Trustee Goodman both expressed their warm regards for the part-time faculty at the College of San Mateo, and faculty shared their thoughts and experiences about working at the college.   Part-timers expressed a sense of being valued as colleagues at CSM, a sentiment expressed historically at the two previous Appreciation Day celebrations.  The part-time faculty at the event agreed that CSM is one of the most satisfying of the numerous colleges at which they work, in terms of feeling like a peer and being treated with respect.




Some of the attendees at the Part-Timer Appreciation Day included
(left to right) Phillip Tou (Chemistry), Erica Reynolds (Instructional Technologist), SerKuang Chen (Math), and Theresa Martin (Biology & Professional Development Coordinator)