Monday, September 26, 2016

Surfer-turned-teacher Lauren Halsted finds tranquility in classroom

Five instructors at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have been selected by their peers as the academic year’s best faculty members. The honorees were lauded at fall convocations for exemplary service to the East County campuses.
At Grossmont College, art history professor Marion de Koning received the Distinguished Faculty Award, and Administration of Justice instructor Shaun Donelson was picked for the adjunct award. At Cuyamaca College, English instructor Lauren Halsted and math instructor Terrie Nichols are co-winners of the Outstanding Faculty Member Award, and Arabic instructor Aklas Sheai received the award for adjunct faculty.





Here's a profile of one of the recipients, one in an occasional series: 

 
Lauren Halsted
English instructor Lauren Halsted’s first job out of college was as a freelance writer for Surfing Girl Magazine – fitting for someone who’s been hanging 10 from the time she was a kid growing up in San Juan Capistrano. These days, with her busy teaching schedule at Cuyamaca College and two young children, she’s had to cut back her daily surfing to about once a week.



Hired as an adjunct faculty member in 2005, she became full-time in 2008, melding teaching with service on numerous committees.

Like fellow instructor Terrie Nichols in the math department, Halsted has been at the forefront of Cuyamaca’s accelerated learning initiatives since 2011. Over the years, she has helped shepherd English acceleration by writing curricula, leading workshops and creating a UC San Diego extension course preparing educators to teach accelerated classes. Halsted also started a mentorship program at the college and served on the English subcommittee of the East County Education Alliance, a partnership between the college and local high school districts.


“I have always loved the community college because it symbolizes the promise of education,” Halsted said. “We really are the place of opportunity and second chances for so many members of our communities.”


Aspiring to become a writer and teacher, the Orange County native earned her bachelor’s in English from UC Santa Barbara and after a three-year writing stint at the surfing magazine and the Tahoe Daily Tribune, she returned to school for a master’s in English literature from San Francisco State University.


She moved to San Diego in 2005, becoming an adjunct at San Diego Mesa, Cuyamaca, Saddleback and Palomar colleges.


“I quickly fell in love with Cuyamaca because of the people here—our students and the faculty, staff, and administrative team,” said Halsted, who in 2011 earned her doctorate in education from San Diego State University’s Community College Leadership program. “It truly feels like a family here, and I am honored to work with such amazing people every day.”


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