El Camino College Compton Center counselor and human development instructor Michael Odanaka was recently named recipient of the Full-Time Faculty Member of the Year Award for his leadership and local advocacy efforts on behalf of all faculty members.

The award is given annually by the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) at its Advocacy & Policy Conference in Sacramento.

Michael Odanaka
Michael Odanaka

Odanaka was one of four honorees selected by the FACCC Board of Governors from a group of educators who were nominated for awards in different categories by their peers. FACCC is a statewide professional membership association that advocates solely for all California Community College faculty.

“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the entire faculty at El Camino College Compton Center,” said Odanaka in his acceptance speech. “I have the privilege of serving the local communities along with an extraordinary group of individuals dedicated to teaching, counseling, and providing vital student support services. The faculty has worked incredibly hard to help build and strengthen the partnership between the El Camino College and Compton Community College Districts.”

The colleague that nominated Odanaka pointed out in the nomination letter, “As Academic Senate president at El Camino College Compton Center, Odanaka has worked intensely to ensure that faculty members are appreciated, respected and acknowledged, especially during challenging times.”

Odanaka has served as a counselor for the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) program since 1987, when he joined the faculty. During his time at ECC Compton Center, he has taken on many special assignments.

In 2010, he co-chaired the California Nisei Diploma Project, a statewide effort to locate, and bestow honorary degrees to Japanese American students whose studies were interrupted when they were sent to internment camps during World War II. In addition, he has participated on committees for the FACCC and Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.

He earned a master’s degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, a second master’s degree in psychology from California State University, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Dartmouth College. Prior at working at ECC Compton Center, Odanaka worked for eight years at UCLA in the Academic Advancement program.

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