“Esau is one of the many wonderful students at Grossmont and we are privileged to play a role in helping to develop their full potential and achieve their educational goals,” said Grossmont College President Sunita V. Cooke, Ph.D. “I am very proud of him for attaining this honor and of Dr. Carlos Contreras, who was a finalist.”
Contreras has taught history at Grossmont since 1998 and formerly was chair of the Department of History at the college. He has been the recipient of the college’s Excellent in Teaching Award and was chosen in the fall to participate in the American Historical Association’s “Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges” project, a three-year endeavor to reframe the origins of the United States within a broad geographical and chronological context.
Contreras began his working life on his parents’ farm in Mexico, but immigrated with his family to Texas when he was in the sixth grade. He earned his doctorate at UCLA and has volunteered as a mentor for low-income, first-time college students and with educational groups to foster diversity, equity and inclusion on school campuses and in the hiring of faculty.