By Guadalupe Pinedo
A celebration was held to honor past and present Cal Poly Pomona faculty members. The 16th annual Faculty Day was held at the center court of the engineering lab building on Thursday morning.
Since 2000, the Faculty Center has been putting together the Faculty Day event to celebrate full-time, part-time, retired and new faculty members.
Victoria Bhavsar, the director of the Faculty Center and director of eLearning, explained that there has been a staff appreciation day on campus for many years, but the lack of a faculty appreciation day is what motivated her department to start Faculty Day.
“There’s a staff appreciation day on campus, and there’s been one for many years, but there wasn’t a faculty appreciation day on campus, and so my department decided that they were going to have one but much less extensive,” said Bhavsar.
Bhavsar believes it is important for faculty members to have a special day where they feel appreciated and valued. Faculty members work hard throughout the year to help and nurture their students, and they deserve to have a day that is all about them, she said. It can be hard to express those feelings on a day-to-day basis but having a day like this is important because it allows everyone to do just that.
“Although it’s very important to express appreciation on an ongoing basis, sometimes we’re not always able to do that life gets busy, and we just don’t say the things we should say in a timely fashion,” said Bhavsar, “So having a day when we’re able to say, ‘oh yes this is the time that I need to say all those things I’ve been saving up is this.'”
Bhavsar has been putting the event together since 2008, and over the years faculty members have expressed their excitement for the event and look forward to attending the celebration.
“There’s been about 130 to 160 faculty that attend, and they certainly seemed pleased when I started sending out publicity for this one and telling people when it was and where it was. I got a lot of nice emails back saying great I’m looking forward to it,” said Bhavsar.
This event is a picnic for faculty to relax, eat, enjoy live music and celebrate being faculty members. This year the event featured the new mariachi band on campus, Mariachi Los Broncos.
“Faculty are very intense people, they spend a lot of energy, and it is just really nice to see them take a few minutes of downtime to just talk and eat and enjoy some music and enjoy each others company for a little while,” said Bhavsar.
As faculty enjoyed an hour of food and downtime, the mariachi entertained the crowd with traditional Mexican songs. While some enjoyed their meals, others sang along with the band and even learned a little Spanish in the process.
Angela Shih, a professor and chair of the mechanical engineering department, has attended Faculty Day in the past and enjoys getting to catch up with her colleges. She explained that it can be tough to see each other daily, but events like this make it easier.
“I think for those of us who have been working in our department for so long, we don’t really have time to talk to our colleges outside of our regular day-to-day, so it’s great that we can bring everybody together from the whole campus,” said Shih.
This day is exclusively for faculty. Only a few students are invited, Cristina Dypiangco, a third-year communication student, was among the few students who got to show their appreciation for their professors.
Dypiangco is not only a student on campus, she also works for the Faculty Center. As the Faculty Center’s student assistant, Dypiangco has been a part of events just like Faculty Day in the past and believes showing appreciation for those who devote their lives to helping their students is vital.
“It’s important to have Faculty Day because it’s a time to really appreciate our faculty. I feel like it’s so easy to get caught up with school,” said Dypiangco. “This is a specific day similar to Mother’s Day or Father’s Day to really take time to reflect upon everything that our professors do for us. Whether it’s with their teaching or helping us with research, they’re there to support us, and it’s really important to take time to recognize that.”
Guadalupe Pinedo / The Poly Post
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