History Major Wins Academic Homemaker Award

Joelle Elbeyrouthy was named this year’s winner of the $1,000 Glendale Community College Homemaker Academic Award in a ceremony held Aug. 30.

The scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating GCC student who attains academic excellence along with family responsibilities. Elbeyrouthy, who is married and has an 8-year-old son, managed to maintain a GPA of 3.5 during her
2 1/2 years on campus.

In order to be able to take care of her family and excel academically, she arranged her classes around her son’s school schedule, and enlisted her husband’s and a babysitter’s help in looking after for her son. “Studying is not as difficult as working,” she said when asked how she managed to be a homemaker while attending school full time. She added, “Teachers tend to be more understanding than bosses.”

The awardee came with her family to the U.S. from Lebanon five years ago. After graduating from GCC, she transferred to Cal State Northridge where she has just started her first semester as a history major. According to Elbeyrouthy, the hardest thing about being a mother and a full-time student is finding the time to study. “I often had to study late at night when my son was asleep and the housework was completed. Still, I found it manageable.”

The Homemaker Academic Award was established by a late GCC psychology Professor Jeanne Cunningham. After graduating from GCC, Cunningham obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and returned to GCC to serve as a faculty member for more than 25 years. She died in 2004 and was honored by the college with a memorial plaque placed in a garden between the San Rafael and the Sierra Nevada buildings.