COMPTON—Compton College recently announced its honorees for the 2021 Distinguished Faculty and Staff awards. The annual awards recognize outstanding faculty and staff members for their commitment to Compton College and its educational mission. Sean Moore, biological sciences professor; Diego Back, head coach for women’s soccer; andLaVetta Johnson, administrative services accountant, were recognized for their dedication to students, Compton College, and colleagues.
In 2020, the Compton Community College District introduced its Civility Champion Award to honor outstanding employees whose contributions demonstrate a commitment to self-reflection, care, empathy, and respect while acknowledging the culture and humanity of others. As stated in Compton College’s Statement of Civility and Mutual Respect, how people interact with one another is critical to cultivating and maintaining a meaningful and effective intellectual environment. Compton College is proud to announce its 2021 Civility Champions: Fazal Aasi, biological sciences professor; Sean Whaley, institutional research analyst; and Patricia Mendoza, Compton College student.
Meet Compton College’s Distinguished Faculty and Staff
Sean Moore, recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award, is a cosmetology professor who has worked as a Compton College full-time faculty member since 2016. During his time at Compton College, he has served as chair of the College Curriculum Committee, a representative for business and industrial studies, and an executive board member on the Academic Senate. In fall 2020, he was recognized for his outstanding leadership by the Academic Senate. Having been an instructor in multiple Career Education programs in the past, he understands the importance of program visibility and providing opportunities for students to connect to the local community. He has escorted cosmetology students on field trips to the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and the Hollywood Museum to provide real-world experiences that broaden students’ knowledge of career opportunities in the cosmetology-related field of their choosing.
Moore was instrumental in helping establish the Cosmetology program at Compton College and is recognized for proactively thinking out of the box in terms of recruitment of students for the program, and training other cosmetology faculty in alternative instruction methods when the college transitioned to online-only classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also worked on the Compton Community College District’s Cooperative Work Experience Education Plan to meet the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office requirement.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in business and management from Pepperdine University, and associate degrees in cosmetology and general studies from Cerritos College. Moore is a licensed cosmetologist and barber with more than 24 years of combined occupational and teaching experience.
Diego Back, recipient of the Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Award, is head coach for the women’s soccer program at Compton College, where he is an asset to the entire Tartar Athletics program. Coach Back has been student driven since he started with Compton College in spring 2019. Compton College’s most recent women’s soccer sophomore class, under Coach Back’s tutelage, had all three student-athletes signed and committed to compete at the four-year universities for various institutions. He also helped establish a transfer signing ceremony for student-athletes who have committed to teams at four-year universities and a commit day for his incoming first-year student-athletes.
During this time of alternative academic instruction, Coach Back has gone above and beyond to be present in his students’ educational journeys and advocate for student-athletes who have faced challenges during the pandemic. Since the women’s soccer team was unable to train on campus, he came up with creative ways to add value to his students from an instructional perspective. He invited professional athletes for online presentations and engagement with the team, created a virtual study hall during days off, and invited different staff members to inform student-athletes about the many student services and resources available at the college.
Back earned a juris doctorate from Trinity Law School, a master’s degree in bioethics and a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University, and a master’s degree in leadership management from the University of LaVerne.
LaVetta Johnson, recipient of the Distinguished Staff Award, is an accountant in the Administrative Services department at Compton College. She works in the Bursar’s Office and helps students troubleshoot issues related to enrollment fees and promise grants, as well as tuition for out-of-state students. Johnson prides herself in going above and beyond to assist students and ensure their expectations are met. If a student’s question or service need is outside of her area of responsibility, she will personally direct students to the correct department or personnel to make sure their needs are met. She has assisted students with resolving financial aid issues, petitions, deductions from their taxes, holds, residency issues, how to read the account summary on their online account with the college, purchasing a parking pass, and requesting transcripts.
A professional who takes pride in her work, Johnson believes that assisting others allows her to grow and become a better person. She welcomes opportunities for professional development and has participated in the Mentor Program offered by the Association of California Community College Administrators, as well as its Administrators 101 Program to expand her leadership skills. Johnson was also selected to be a participant in Compton College’s upcoming inaugural Leadership Academy. Having earned her bachelor’s degree, she is currently researching universities to pursue a master’s degree in business administration.