John Queen to Receive Prestigious Recognition

Michele Bowles

John Queen, chair of the political science department, will receive the Full Time Faculty of the Year Award from the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges on Sunday.

The award is in recognition of Queen’s outstanding professional involvement based on campus and district-level activities. Queen was chosen by the selection committee for his long-term, full-time accomplishments.

Queen is also a professor of political science, past president of the GCC academic senate, and the accreditation coordinator.

The awarding organization champions the interests of the state’s community colleges. The association is built with a professional staff and also citizens that volunteer to better the school systems. They spend time testifying at hearings for the greater good of community colleges. The staff meets with legislators to come up with ideas and forums to continue education at the community level in California.

The faculty award has been granted yearly since 1953. The faculty association is a group of 22 board members from other community colleges. It promotes funding and academic freedom for schools like GCC. It also focuses on the retirement benefits for full-time professors.
The award will be presented at the FACCC Advocacy and Policy Conference on March 6 in Sacramento. Queen’s wife, who is currently visiting their daughter in North Carolina, will be joining him.

“It is nice to get recognized for your work,” Queen said while he was looking at his plaques on his office wall. He laughed and said, “I’m sure this is my last award, I couldn’t get anymore. I don’t know what else I could get.”

Queen was also the winner of another award, the William L. Parker Exceptional Service in 2010. This award focuses on a long-term professor’s committee participation, leadership, outreach and grant work. The award is given out by a committee of former recipients of this award. It came with a $1,000 prize for academic purposes.

Queen has been a full-time professor at the college since 1992. Since then he has served as the past president of the GCC academic senate for five non consecutive years, from 1998 to 2000 and from 2007 to 2010. Queen retired from his position last year.

“Other people need to participate in the system. We needed new blood.”

Queen said that even with all his accomplishment the biggest reward comes from teaching at GCC. He has spent time teaching part time at UCLA, Cal Poly Pomona, and Occidental College. After teaching a quarter here and there at these universities he landed at GCC in 1992. Among all these opportunities he prefers teaching full-time at GCC.

“I prefer community college to a university because I enjoy teaching rather than researching.” he said.

Queen was released from teaching two classes and allowed to teach only three because he is the accreditation coordinator for the book, “Institutional Self Study Report in Support of Reaffirmation of Accreditation.
In other words, Queen and everyone else involved on campus are responsible for making sure GCC is prepared to be accredited every six years. This allows the school to stay open, students to get loans, and instruction to continue uninterrupted.

Queen’s colleagues are very supportive of him. They appreciate all of his hard work and dedication towards the school.

“John Queen always seems to be the first to volunteer for a lot of difficult tasks,” Denise Robb, a political science professor, said.
The day after the award ceremony Queen will be right back at it. Due to his passion for teaching, Queen is going to lobby to stop the budget cuts on Community Colleges.

Queen encourages his students and people in the community to get out and vote so students will continue to have the opportunity of community college. With the tax cuts Queen says that the one of the major changes he has noticed is the drop out percentage.

“Students don’t seem to drop out of classes as much; it’s as though they know they might not be able to get the same class next semester,” Queen said.

The professor would like to see people understand the budget crisis the schools are under opposed to complaining about it. He wants people to understand that if they want to keep things open for the students, someone has to pay for them.

“I’m optimistic that people realize that if they want things, such as community college, they have to pay higher taxes and that they will follow through,” Queen said.

He suggests that students talk to members of the assembly line and the State Senate. He said he has seen students participate in Sacramento for the March for March and would like to see a greater outcome this coming March 14.

March for March will be held at the Raley Field and will end at the capitol. Thousands of students and administrators will participate in this march. All of these people are coming together in order to recognize the importance of affordable education for every student. More information can be found at
“People have to vote, students have to vote, that’s it,” Queen said.

Other than lobbying, teaching and winning awards Queen and his wife enjoy going to the movies. The most recent movie was “The Social Network,” which he said they really enjoyed. They also enjoy taking hikes with the Sierra Club and spending time with their daughters.

Queen proves his dedication to his students and co-workers every day in the classroom and will continue to do so for at least another decade.
“I won’t be retiring for 10 years, at least,” Queen said.