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Monday, August 2, 2021

Emmy award-winner to leave Pierce after 15 years

Winning an Emmy sometimes doesn’t require news coverage or an entourage of photographers fighting for your attention in hopes of grabbing just a glimpse of you and the trophy.

Sometimes it’s a private affair.

“People think that when you say you won an Emmy, you get the statuette,” said Diane Levine, chair of anthropological and geographical sciences. “Only certain categories of people are entitled to get the statuette.”

Keeping her brown shoulder-length hair away from her face as her laughter vibrated through her relatively small body, Levine said she thought the award was cool then and still thinks “it’s cool now.”

Levine won the award for being an academic adviser on a film series for instructional television from Coast Community College District, which has a big film production facility.

Her award, though slightly different from directors and producers, is displayed proudly in her office right above her desk. A framed certificate that came in the mail after a $20 payment was also well worth it.

“This [award-winning project] is called ‘Physical Anthropology: The Evolving Human,’” Levine said. “Doesn’t that sound exciting?”

Now retiring after her 15 year full-time tenure at Pierce College, the New York native is excited about something else: sleeping past 10 a.m.

Longer mornings in bed and traveling whenever she pleases are some of her “obvious activities” during retirement but Levine also plans to write.

Already the co-author of “A Concise Introduction to Linguistics” published in 2005, Levine wants to compile a reader along with a more updated edition of her textbook.

“It’s in Korean too,” said Levine. “If you’re on Facebook, you can like us on Facebook too.”

Things didn’t always come so easy for Levine. The Emmy award winner and textbook writer had a rough time in the beginning of her career, but it wasn’t because she didn’t know her information. She said she didn’t know what to say to a group about it.

After obtaining her master’s degree from California State University, Northridge, Levine worked at various jobs before substituting at community colleges. It was at Los Angeles Trade Technical College that Levine realized that teaching is a little harder than she thought.

“There was a runway right by our school because they taught craft mechanics, and every time a plane flew by I would get quiet because you couldn’t hear anyway,” said Levine. “I would always say that if I taught anywhere else I better develop an hour more of material, or I won’t have much to say in a three-hour class.”

Now Levine has plenty to say.

“She knows what she is talking about. She’s been studying linguistics for a long time,” said 17-year old Matthew Kemp as he waited for his Anthropology 161 class to start. “If she doesn’t know the answer she says, ‘that’s a good question’ and can tell you how to get the answer.”

According to Levine, Pierce has always been the best place for her.

“You can tell she really loves the subject,” Kemp said.

Levine is not only leaving behind the hours of continuous grading and abundance of faculty meetings, but also her colleagues and the many students she has taught.

Assistant Professor of Spanish Margarita Pillado, who’s been sharing an office building with Levine during her four years at Pierce, says that Levine is the “ultimate colleague.”

“She is very supportive, very generous with [her] time when it comes to showing the new faculty the ends and outs of how things in done at the institution,” said Pillado. “I teach Spanish and she teaches linguistics, so we have a unique bond.”

Levine plans to come back to teach at Pierce in the spring of 2014 but online, from Africa.

“You know traveling is difficult because it’s too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter,” said Levine. “The spring and fall are the best times to travel and you can’t really do that when you teach.”

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