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Elizabeth Hernandez

I am nominating:Elizabeth Hernandez
Years of Service at Cal Poly:2
Position:Learning Specialist
Why are you nominating this person? Why do you think he/she deserves the award?
Liz is passionate about helping students with disabilities. When an opportunity became available at ARCHES, she came to our office and gave us her “elevator speech” on why she would be an asset for the job-And she has been. Liz goes beyond the job requirements in supporting her students to be: successful academically; overcoming personal and social barriers vis-à-vis their disability; and reaching personal goals (e.g. graduate school, careers). She has an insatiable desire to learn and has participated in every training available and accepts extra responsibilities/challenges that will foster learning – all with the desire/intent on doing the best at her job. She oversees the ARCHES tutoring program, and she applies the same commitment to supporting their professional and personal development. As a colleague, Liz has a wonderful disposition, she is respectful, kind, team player, and a genuine person with a big heart.

In what way(s) does this person enhance or contribute to the Cal Poly Pomona campus community?
Liz understands the importance of being an active participant with other departments to broaden the knowledge of working with students with disabilities. She serves on the Learning Support Council and is the chair for the Tutor Training and Development Commitment where she collaborates with other tutor programs like EOP and the Learning Resource Center, providing disability-related training to their tutoring staff. Outside of CPP, Liz has volunteered time to speak in classes at USC Masters of Education program (her alma mater) and serves as a mentor for new Student Affairs professionals. She also serves on the Advising Council to learn and share about advising related topics. For the past two years, she has served on the Jason Strand Memorial Scholarship committee (provides money to students with disabilities).

Please select 2 of the 6 Division of Student Affairs values for which your nominee best exemplifies:
X Student Centered Philosopy
☐ Integrity
☐ Interconnectedness
☐ Environmental
X Passion
☐ Quality
☐ Richness of Diversity
☐ Sustainablity

Please share how your nominee exemplifies value #1:

She cares about the mental and intellectual well-being of her students. Liz will stay after hours to follow up with her students and accepts any responsibilities to support them. In ARCHES, it is common for students to share some very real personal challenges like homelessness, death a family member, health problems, and difficulties in managing/disclosing their disabilities. She is attentive listener but also strategizes on how to assist these students through these challenges. Liz is always researching on campus and off campus resources to empower herself with alternative options for her students. She is acutely aware of protecting the confidentiality of her students and is quick to correct ignorance about disabilities.

Please share how your nominee exemplifies value #2:

Liz loves working with students with disabilities. Throughout her academic studies, she focused on gaining experiences specifically in this field because she knew she wanted to pursue this field. Whenever there is an increase of disabilities types into the ARCHES program (e.g. ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyslexia), Liz is quick to further educate herself on these categories and integrate this learning into her tutor training programs. She is also a strong advocate for higher education and has gone beyond knowing the minimum requirements to go to graduate school by researching the process to go to professional programs (Law, Medical, Vet), teaching credentials and special licenses (EIT – Engineer in Training).