Staycation Gala shows a lighter side of the faculty

Photos: Kristen Aslanian

After the last final had been given and the last paper graded, the Pierce College faculty gathered for their Staycation Destination Gala in The Great Hall on Wednesday.


An orange kitty pool and a sign were all that could be seen from the outside, but on the inside photographs of sites located in and around Los Angeles covered the walls. The smell of popcorn filled the air while laughs and sighs of relief reminded the faculty that summer had arrived.


Associate Dean of Student Affairs, Crystal Kiekel, took the staycation theme seriously and wore her pajamas, a bathrobe, and her slippers to the gala.


She also brought along her cat (a stuffed animal), the book Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince and her TV remote.


“With all the budget cuts, i’m going to stay home an go to imagination land, because it’s free,” Kiekel said.


Having all of the faculty in one place, assistant professor of French Anne Le Barbu, was hoping that she would finish meeting her co-workers.


With the spring being only her first semester at Pierce she still had only heard of certain people.


“I get a lot of emails and I come across certain names that I recognize but it is nice to put a face to the name,” Le Barbu said.


As the event continued the faculty enjoyed food by Classic Cuisine and reflected on what the past year had meant to them.


After five years of dedication, assistant professor of philosophy Mia Wood would advance in rank to an associate professor.


“It’s gone by very quickly, especially working with wonderful Pierce students,” Wood said.


For some, the realization of the people that were gathered in the room was surreal.


Joseph Roberson, a former Pierce student, is now a counselor and instructor at his alma mater.


He looked around the room and saw his former professors who had become his peers.


“It’s like riding in on a legacy,” Roberson said.


And there were many legacies present at the event, including the 2012 Pierce College Emeriti Faculty Professor of the Year recipient Richard Follett.


But, it was his traditional Scottish kilt that separated retiring anthropology professor David Schutzer from the rest of the faculty.


“If I’m going out, I’m going out in style,” Schutzer could be heard explaining to his colleagues.


Schutzer, and the rest of faculty would soon exchange the spotlight with the students that they had gotten to know so well as they prepared for the 64th Commencement Ceremony that would take place later that evening.


For a full update about the commencement ceremony keep checking back to


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