Communications Studies professor Georgie Monahan has been named Orange Coast College’s 2020 Faculty Member of the Year. Monahan has been teaching for 40 years, 31 of those years at OCC. She found her calling at Coast teaching community college students, and hasn’t looked back since.
“I always knew I wanted to teach adults, and then I realized I wanted to teach the most diverse, real audiences,” says Monahan. “My field of study is an important one and the concepts and skills are critical for all to learn. For those students who did not/have not experienced privilege, I was more excited to be in the classroom with them because I wanted to hear the stories and see the growth.”
With a teaching philosophy that is rooted in mutual benefit and learning, Monahan has earned the trust of countless students over the years, and found a way to reach them where they are. “Teaching is a two-way street. I have learned so much from my students for my education and growth. And I know they have learned from me,” she shares. “Many of my students opened themselves up by identifying, and feeling safe enough to share, their life experiences.The craft of teaching well, I believe, means being real and that creates safety for students to find their courage to question, clarify, and to learn.”
The honor of being named Faculty Member of the Year is especially meaningful for Monahan as she prepares to retire this month. As she prepares for the next chapter, she has fond memories of her colleagues and is grateful for their recognition.
“Working and learning with my colleagues was a grand experience.,” Monahan says. “I am so honored and quite surprised to be given this award. It is an amazing way to end a career.”