More than 40 current Salt Lake Community College faculty members were once SLCC students themsleves.
Many of these faculty who received support from their instructors now encourage students of their own.
Accounting professor Lynnette Yerbury knew right away that she wanted to come back to SLCC to teach.
“I loved the educational experience I received at Utah Technical College,” Yerbury says, referring to SLCC by its former name. She recalled predicting that she would come back to teach from the moment she attended her graduation ceremony.
“The students are amazing,” she says.
As a student, Adam Dastrup didn’t always know what field he wanted to pursue. He attended SLCC from 1995 through 2000, exploring many different majors, until he finally discovered his passion in geography.
He finished up his coursework and transferred to the University of Utah before returning to SLCC to teach.
“There are definitely more pros than cons working as a professor at SLCC,” Dastrup says. “Every semester brings new students, new experiences and new opportunities to connect with others around you.”
School of Applied Technology professor Kathy Himle agrees.
“The majority of my students are the salt of the earth,” Himle says. “They are the best of the best.”
When her student Gabino Chacon-Escarcega started Himle’s Novell engineering course, he had never even touched a keyboard. With his four young children working on coloring projects in the hallway, he plodded on.
“He worked so hard until he mastered it,” Himle says. “Then he’d help others in the class.”
Chacon-Escarcega finished the course and now works for SLCC in infrastructure. Touched by his incredible ability to succeed against all odds, Himle considers him to be one of her heroes.
Himle has taught other students who have returned to SLCC as faculty.
Herb Davis and Brett Wheelock are adjunct instructors, Ron Whiteman is a technician and Nathan Fyffe is a teaching assistant. They all work together in the Computer and Networking Technology department.
“If someone had told me ten years ago that I’d be teaching at a college, I would never have believed them,” Wheelock says.
Yerbury advises former students who want to return to SLCC to always keep the end goal in mind and get work experience in their chosen field.
“Watch for a job opening and go through the hiring process with your whole heart. Go after it like you really want it, and it will show,” she says.