A professor of biology and faculty leader has been selected to serve Citrus College as dean of social and behavioral sciences.
As of today, Dana Hester, 43, will assume her new responsibilities. Michael Hurtado, Ed. D., former dean of social and behavioral sciences retired in December 2012 after 47 years at Citrus College.
Hester earned her Ed.D. in education from Cal State Fullerton, her master of science in biology is from the University of Houston-Clear Lake and attended the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown where she received a bachelor of science in biology.
Hester began working at Citrus College in August of 1998. Now after nearly 15 years as a biology professor, she will move into the next phase of her career at the college which she says feels like home.
“I think the faculty in the division are amazing and inspiring,” she said. “I have a great relationship with them as a faculty member and as a colleague.”
She is taking on the role of dean with optimism and confidence.
“Initially, I think it will be hard making that transition from the classroom to being in an office,” Hester said.
“I think I’m going to have a steep learning curve with some of the administrative types of things, but I know that I’m capable for the job.”
In her role as dean of social and behavioral sciences, Hester will be the instructional leader responsible for the development, coordination, and supervision instructor in administration of justice, anthropology, child development, economics, geography, history, humanities, philosophy, political science, psychology, social science, and sociology.
In addition, she will be responsible for the study abroad and distance education programs.
“The Student Learning Outcome area was confusing and challenging for a lot of the faculty,” said Melanie Anson, professor of speech. “But Dana was able to take charge of it.”
“She’s been president of many committees here at Citrus” said Anson. “She always volunteers to be a leader amongst her peers.”
Although Hester will no longer be teaching, her former students still thank her for the impact she madez on them.
“She really did shed light onto my future courses as a nursing major,” said Jon Duquette, 22. “With all of the biology courses I have to take, it was the starting lesson towards my passion for microbiology.”
“What stood out the most to me was her explanation and lesson on the functions and parts of a cell,” said Christopher Floch, 27.
“I also appreciated how courteous she was.”
“Since I don’t have an aide, she would always print out the lecture notes in advance.” Floch said.
Hester makes it clear that she disagrees with those who claim that psychology and sociology are not “real” sciences.
“If you truly understand science, then you know that statement doesn’t hold water,” she said. “I think that’s something people say to make themselves feel more important.”
“There is definitely a hierarchy that starts with physics all the way down to psychology,” Hester said.
“The main difference with social sciences versus some of the other more traditional sciences is that you have more qualitative data that’s gathered.”
Though the realities of moving onto a new job have not hit her yet, she says they probably will when she moves her things out of her current office located in the Lecture Hall building.
“I’m really excited to be able to stay here and challenge myself in this new way,” she said.
“The logic goes that being at the next level as a dean, I can potentially impact more students than I could one on one in the classroom.” she said.
“First and foremost, my commitment is to Citrus,” Hester said. “I really do feel like this is where I belong.”