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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

EOPS and financial aid honor retirees in outgoing ceremony

The Financial Aid and Extended Opportunity Programs and Services departments held a ceremony Friday to honor five faculty members in the departments who are retiring this semester.

The event was held at Memorial Plaza with many faculty, students and family in attendance to honor Silvia Suayfeta-Cortez, Ana Jimenez, Gregory Baranoff, Marsha Wright and Dave Morley. Refreshments, food and tables were set up for attendees to talk and reminisce with everyone about the five faculty members.

EOPS counselor Paloma Arnold, who helped put together the event, said it was a necessity that they honor the retiring faculty in the departments since they’ve dedicated so much throughout their careers.

“I’m so happy for all of them and this journey is going to be such a big and positive change,” Arnold said.

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Suayfeta-Cortez, an EOPS student advisor for 34 years, said her experience at City College has been “unforgettable.”

“At first I was unsure, but now I know it’s time,” Suayfeta-Cortez said. “I grew as a person a lot and I have so many memories here with the students and staff.”

Suayfeta-Cortez looks forward to staying in touch with City College by returning to take courses that she never had the chance to take. Her plans after her last semester include traveling and renovating her mother’s home.  

Marsha Wright, EOPS director, said that she is excited to travel to places like Germany and Cuba with her friends, and spend time with her grandkids.

“We care unconditionally about the students and I know the staff and I will always continue to serve them,” Wright said.

She said the program has been her family and that they will all continue with that bond.

Gregory Baranoff, financial aid student advisor, is retiring after 18 years of service through the Supplemental Early Retirement Program.

“Accommodating the students’ goals is my goal,” Baranoff said. “Don’t be afraid to fail and experience all you can.”

Baranoff said he had mixed emotions about leaving City College but that he’s truly grateful to give back and have the experience to work in the department. During his retirement, he wants to recreate his mother’s immigration journey and travel like she did.

Ana Jimenez is also retiring through the early retirement program after 33 years as a financial aid student advisor. Jimenez said she’s looking at the retirement as a positive life change and happy to take the relationships she has built with her.

“Things are always changing, but the care for our students will never,” Jimenez said. “This is my second home and we take care of each other.”

Jimenez reflected on happy memories with all the departments she worked in and the evolution she was a part of as the college changed with technological advances. She said “my plan is to not have a plan” in regards to retirement.  

EOPS counselor Dave Morley is retiring this semester, after what was expected to be a five-year term turned into 17 years of service at City College. Morley said that he has always wanted to do something different but he is grateful for his time here.

“It has been one of the very best experiences,” Morley said. “You go to work everyday knowing you have the chance to help someone.”

An attendee interrupted Morley to call him the “Michael Jordan of all counselors,” and the financial aid adviser said how happy he is that he made so many friends and was able to work with such diversity.

Morley’s plans for retirement are to visit his daughters in Australia and Hawaii, and spend time with his family and grandkids.

The retirees stayed busy throughout the event as a few tears and laughter were shed for the five faculty members saying their goodbyes at the ceremony.

“If you like being a cheerleader, this is a great place to work,” Morley said.

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