By Cristal Gomez
Alumna, now professor, Brenda Chan received the Hayward Award from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges in Sacramento.
The Hayward Award is awarded to an outstanding community college faculty members who have an excellent record in both teaching and demonstrating a commitment to their students, college and profession.
Chan, who is one of the nursing professors on campus received her Associates Degree of Science in Nursing from East Los Angeles College in 1991.
After receiving her Associates Degree, Chan began to attend Azusa Pacific University to obtain her Masters and Doctorate Degrees.
When she came from Shanghai, she began to attend ELAC and volunteered at White Memorial Hospital for seven years.
The experience of helping the nurses and doctors allowed her to see what the career is like.
“I felt fortunate to help others in need. Giving back to the community by helping them made it all worth it,” Chan said.
She was inspired to become a nurse after her grandfather died when she was 17 years old.
She would care for him during that summer.
Two of her aunts took turns in making sure he was comfortable. Chan always wondered what she could do to help.
She began to consider a career as a nurse through the influence of her mother and sister, her mother being a pediatrician and her sister being a nurse.
Chan had received her Masters of Science in Nursing and Family Practitioner in ’97 and in her Doctorate from Azusa Pacific University in ‘17.
“When I was getting my Doctorate, it was a challenging three years since I have a family and a job. After I got my doctorate, I tell my students, don’t wait keep going and finish all your schooling,” Chan said.
While she was obtaining her Masters and Doctorate she continued to work full time at White Memorial and ELAC.
“A doctorate in nursing is about research. I felt fortunate to have a great adviser and mentor”
With her doctorate degree, she began to see how she can provide comfort for someone toward the end of their life. She hopes to educate the nurses and students to become more knowledgeable in this area.
Chan worked at White Memorial from 1992 to 1999, shortly after, she had received her Associates in Science from ELAC.
“I was lucky to find my job at White Memorial. I had a lot of great training when I was at (ELAC), being able to have hands-on experience with the surrounding community,” Chan said.
When Chan received the Hayward Award, she was in shock about the news. Once she travelled to Sacramento, she realized it was real.
“I couldn’t believe that I got the award. This is such a prestigious award that not a lot of colleges get. I felt honored since I’m sure there are more people who have more experience with teaching,” Chan said.
Apart from teaching, Chan has been involved in various committees on campus.
Some of the committees include curriculum, hiring and distance learning. She is also the adviser for the international students club.
She advises all students to ask questions during their time of study.
“It is always good to ask questions, collaborate and be curious. Have a study buddy. Share your knowledge with others. Reach out to faculty it is our job to give you the guidance to be the best,” Chan said.