​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Mustang of the Month


​Mustang of the Month

Mustang of the Month is designed to highlight employees that exemplify Norco College's core commitments mentioned below.

Nominations are solicited from Norco College employees. The college president will select a recipient each month whose achievements fit the criteria.​​

​Award recipients will receive corral bucks and college-wide recognition.


Core Commitments 

Access – Be accessible Norco College Be a Mustang Manifesto
Equity – Be equity minded
Student Success – Champion and celebrate student success
Expertise – Be an expert in your field
Mutual Respect – Practice mutual respect with a belief in personal dignity
Collegiality – Be an excellent colleague accepting different perspectives with respect
Inclusiveness – Be inclusive
Integrity – Model integrity by maintaining an open, honest, and ethical space
Quality – Be a person of quality in all things
Environmental Stewardship – Foster environmental responsibility
Innovation – Innovate, inspire & seek creative solutions
Civic Engagement – Engage and listen to the Norco College Community

Nominate TODAY!​


Mustang of the Month June 2022

June 2022


Norma’s nominator describes her as “queen of the kitchen in all areas of food services.” Each day, Norma seamlessly steps into catering, cooking, cashiering, and barista without hesitation. With an eye for quality, Norma ensures that everything is just so with perfect presentation. Her patience with and guidance of student staff is admirable as described by her nominator. Congratulations on this well-deserved acknowledgement, Norma! You have earned the respect and admiration of your colleagues and students alike with your expertise, can-do attitude, and dedication to service.

Mustangs of the Month May 2022

May 2022


This phenomenal group was nominated for the collective heaving lifting they did in rearranging the scheduling for the fall. Individually, they demonstrate the college’s core commitments through daily interactions with your classified colleagues, faculty, and students. As one nominator stated, “the excellent customer service approach sets our faculty up for success in the classroom which in turn sets our students up for success!”

Mustang of the Month April 2022

April 2022


Brady was nominated because of the high quality of care he has for students. His nominator wrote, “He creates an environment of collaboration, respect, and inclusiveness that gives students permission to express themselves creatively through music creation. His support leads to consistent and high-quality student output, exemplified by the latest MIS commercial album releases (www.norcomusic.com).” The nominator goes on to described how Brady’s students come to understand that they can trust and depend on each other in a community defined by his example of acceptance and support. Probably one of the greatest compliments an educator can receive is that students routinely report participating in MIS makes them better human beings and the extra support and care for students is evident in the music they create together.

Mustang of the Month March 2022

March 2022


Leticia is recognized for her respectful, caring, and kind attitude towards students and for being an excellent resource and advocate for our students. Her nominator writes, “as a financial aid expert, she loves to help students achieve their educational potential by helping award and disburse monetary resources.” With a passion for helping students and a collaborative spirit, Leticia goes the extra mile to connect students with additional resources and services to ensure their needs are met. A skilled professional with a talent for collaboration and a heart for students makes Leticia an excellent example of what makes a Norco College Mustang of the Month.

Mustang of the Month February 2022

February 2022


Dr. Lee was nominated by more than one person, each described his inclusive spirit, keen editing eye, and above all his sense of fairness. One of his nominators writes, “He has a marvelous style about him. He's very much a collaborator who strives for fairness and peace. He's a masterful negotiator who is able to advocate for "the other side" as well as bridge the gap of compromise.” Dr. Lee is recognized for his kindness and sensitivity to the needs of others in addition to his innovative problem solving, and tireless dedication to making Norco College a better place to learn and work.

Mustang of the Month January 2022

January 2022


Anyone who has encountered these two gentlemen can attest to their excellent work ethic and willingness to lend a hand. Their nominator writes, “Jeff, and Art have both committed themselves to being selfless, creating an example amongst their peers and the people around them and what it means to serve others.” One of the hallmarks of a Norco College Mustang is the eagerness to assist others both effectively and with kindness; Jeff and Art have mastered this ability. These key qualities in addition to their creative problem solving and commitment to serving our student population make Jeff and Art two shining examples of a Mustang of the Month.

Congratulations to Jeff and Art on this well-deserved acknowledgement!

Mustang of the Month December 2021

December 2021


Dan was nominated for his constant willingness to go above and beyond to fix our technical problems which often arise at critical times. His approach to handling these stressful situations inspires confidence and a sigh of relief to those he is helping. His nominator provided an example, “Today was the first of our proctored mid-term exams and in STEM 201 the media was not working. Thirty students stood impatiently outside as the instructor and dean struggled to get it to work because the exam depends on projecting pictures for students to see. Dan dropped what he was doing and rushed over to the STEM Center to immediately fix the problem.” Dan’s knowledge and skillset are an asset to the college and his good-natured humor and reassuring presence is a gift.

Mustang of the Month November 2021

November 2021


Melissa was nominated by more than one person! A nominator writes that she is “an incredibly hardworking person with consistent focus on the mission of our college. She is collaborative, innovative and passionate about all things Norco College.” Melissa is described as a champion for students, equity, and inclusion. “Her leadership with Guided Pathways has brought about a streamlined pathway for students to help them achieve their academic and career goals.” Among her many talents, Melissa is a problem solver, a collaborator, and a model of what it means to be a Mustang.

Mustang of the Month October 2021

October 2021


Dr. Parks received an enthusiastic nomination for several reasons including his devotion to the college, consistent availability, and inclusivity. His nominator writes, “he treats everyone with kindness and respect. He holds himself to a high standard and leads with integrity.” Dr. Parks is also recognized for his transparency and, for his amazing spreadsheets! The nominator goes on to say, “numbers are his thing but he takes the time to prepare detailed data driven spreadsheets to help guide our decisions from a fact based position.” We are so fortunate to have Dr. Parks as a member of our community.

Mustang of the Month September 2021

September 2021


Cathleen Chou, interim Director of Student Health Services and Virginia Perez, Medical Administrative Assistant, were nominated for implementing a smooth vaccination verification process and for their exemplary efforts ensuring that our students were able to safely enter the fall term. Cathleen and Virginia worked tirelessly behind the scenes to clear the way for every student who encountered an issue with the vaccination verification system. Their teamwork is a true embodiment of a culture of care for our students and college community.

Mustang of the Month August 2021

August 2021


Dr. Gray is recognized for her skilled and effective teaching and program development, and for her work as Chair for the Program Review Committee through two accreditation cycles. Her nominator said it best when they wrote, “Dr. Gray’s leadership is informed by a wonderful sense of humor, transparency, and candor--always supported by an unwavering focus on student success and equity. She has an amazing work ethic, which she uses to develop innovative and effective ways to facilitate program review, such that the college is always assessing and improving the student experience.”

Mustang of the Month July 2021

July 2021


Justin’s nominator submitted his name for consideration for his “excellent work during the pandemic and his incredible collaboration to assist with the reopening of the campus safely.” In addition to this work, Justin demonstrated a commitment to the college’s core values through his outstanding work with the vaccination clinics, “ he truly cares about the well being of all stakeholders and is a true professional in his field.”

Mustang of the Month June 2021

June 2021


Norco College is fortunate to have a team of dedicated and talented classified professionals preparing the college for the safe return of our colleagues and students. The custodial team is comprised of the following fabulous individuals nominated for going above and beyond to ensure employees and students have a safe and clean place to work and learn.

William Brown, 11 years

Randy Burroughs, 21 years

Ernesto Cardenas, 1 year

Michael Honesto, 1 year

Leslie Jones, 1 year

Malia Lilly, 26 years

Colleen Norgard, 3 years

Cruz Rodriguez, 1 Year

Edwin Villalobos, 6 Years

Mustang of the Month May 2021

May 2021


It is my privilege to announce Denise Terrazas as Mustang of the Month!

Her nominator writes, “Denise tirelessly supports the college community in her role in the President's Office with grace, diplomacy, and amazing professionalism. She goes above and beyond to solve problems and connect people who are working to make the College stronger and more connected to our communities. She is often the first person our community visitors interact with at the College, and she does a superb job representing core commitments and creating an inviting environment.”

Denise, I share these sentiments and can attest to the consistent quality of your work and the attention to detail you give day in and day out. I feel fortunate to have you on my team.
Congratulation on this well-deserved acknowledgement. We appreciate you immensely.

Mustang of the Month April 2021

April 2021


This announcement is bittersweet as Jim is retiring this month. Jim’s nominator writes that he is “a strong and reliable leader that keeps the Maintenance, Grounds and College Utilization team together, collaborative and working at peak performance.” I couldn’t agree more, Jim “leads by example, has broad institutional knowledge of the college, strong subject-matter expertise, and leads the team in a manner that values feedback and communication.” Norco College is so fortunate to have benefited from the leadership Jim has shown throughout his career. Jim, you epitomize the core values of the college in every way. You will be greatly missed and we wish you the very best for your future endeavors.

Mustang of the Month March 2021

March 2021


Ruth has been nominated for how brilliantly she embodies the Norco Mustang spirit to ensure that students come first. Ruth goes out of her way on a daily basis to be accessible, she is a mentor, trainer, advocate, researcher and above all, a champion for our students. Ruth’s nominator writes, “Ruth is Norco College's #1 foster youth advocate! She has created an equitable and accessible service environment online and through various apps to serve students; serves as a champion to celebrate students and continues to innovate ways to inspire and seek creative solutions for the Phoenix Scholars Program.”

Mustang of the Month February 2021

February 2021


Dr. Burnett is a true champion of students, her nominator writes “Dr. Burnett is a tireless advocate not only for our students, but for the next generation of Mustangs. She has served as a faculty leader in countless roles, providing expertise for our college and on statewide Early Childhood Education committees.” I am proud to recognize Dr. Burnett for her leadership in countless roles, for bringing in grant revenue, supporting Distance Ed, and for her unwavering vision for Stokoe as the future home of our NC students. Most recently, Dr. Burnett was invited to be a part of Design Team for the California Commission for Teacher Credentialling Pilot, in which we will identify a Quality Peer Review process for the new CA Early Childhood Education (ECE) Teacher Performance Expectations. Norco College and its students both current and future could not ask for a fiercer advocate than Dr. Burnett.

Mustang of the Month January 2021

January 2021


David was selected for his passion and dedication to student success through the engagement and career centers, his work in student onboarding, student employment, career centered counseling, and the Norco College Success Network. His nominator writes, “Guided Pathways can prove to be a difficult puzzle to put together but he is able to put the pieces together and then help explain the reasoning in a way that people understand and become motivated.” They go on to say that despite his busy schedule, David makes time to listen to students and colleagues in need of his assistance, “he is one of the most thoughtful and hardworking individuals I have ever met.”

Mustang of the Month December 2020

December 2020


Polly is truly an asset to the college, her nominator writes that “she has been an integral part in ensuring the success of our FTF microbiology lab classes this semester during COVID safely and with excellence.” With mutual respect, inclusiveness, dedication, integrity, and excellence, Polly “maintained a kind, friendly deposition with open communication about the course lab organization, supplies needed and equipment. Microbiology Lab courses this semester would not have been a success without her.” Thank you, Polly, for your tireless dedication to our students and your colleagues.

Mustang of the Month November 2020

November 2020


​Daren is recognized for his exemplary efforts to transition tutorial services online.  His nominator writes that Daren “set everything up so that our students could easily access tutors and has continued to work tirelessly to make sure staff, faculty, and students have what they need in order to be successful and maintain best practices.”  In true Mustang fashion, “Daren goes above and beyond, always with professionalism and a positive attitude! He's just all-around an awesome, competent person, and Norco College is lucky to have him.”

Mustang of the Month October 2020

October 2020


​Lenny embodies the mustang spirit and our core commitments each and every day. Lenny’s nominator tell us that “you will always find a smile on his face as he works tirelessly to ensure our website content is accurate and accessible to students.” It is well known throughout the college that his follow-through is impeccable! Lenny makes himself accessible for a multitude of technical questions and, as many of us have experienced, he patiently guides us through the troubleshooting process.

Mustang of the Month September 2020

September 2020


​Dr. Hitchcock has a wonderful passion for students. She demonstrates remarkable collegiality as a leader, mentor and inspiration to colleagues in the Arts, Humanities and World Languages Department. Dr. Hitchcock provides amazing opportunities for training and support to Associate Faculty in the World Languages Program. Her students benefit from her global experience, expertise and compassion. Norco is wonderfully enhanced by Dr. Hitchcock's service and integrity over the past two and a half decades in the Riverside Community College District.

Mustang of the Month August 2020

August 2020


​Alex’s nominator writes, “Alex is student centered personified. He is all about helping students reach their goals. I have never seen him in a bad mood or not focused on genuine human interaction. He is an example to all of us.”

Alex goes above and beyond to be the kind of person who seeks to lift up our students and help to shepherd them along the path. As a first generation, RCCD Alumnus, and accomplished scholar, he overcame life’s challenges to be the successful public servant he is today. We are fortunate to have Alex as a member of our Mustang community.

Mustang of the Month July 2020

July 2020


​Over the last two years Sean Davis’ tireless efforts have had a profoundly positive impact on the Umoja and Norco College communities. As a result of his meaningful and innovative outreach, both on and off campus, the Norco Umoja community has surpassed 250 active, engaged participants - all leaders in training. He is a true servant leader who puts students' needs above all else by making himself accessible to students nearly 24/7. He is a gifted and natural teacher and counselor, exuding grace, empathy and care for anyone he interacts with.​

Mustang of the Month June 2020

June 2020


​Charise has been instrumental in several important projects and challenges the college has been faced with. Among those proje​cts, she used her organizational skills to facilitate the cataloging of over a 1,000 pieces of evidence for our accreditation visit going above and beyond to pave the way for a successful visit. Charise also assisted with the remediation of many documents to help our students and faculty adjust to the online environment in record time.

Mustang of the Month May 2020

May 2020


Michael is an amazing advocate for our faculty and students, especially with respect to online education. He matches grace and compassion with expertise and hard work. Not only is he dedicated and excellent in the classroom, but he is a wonderfully collaborative and engaging leader.

Mustang of the Month April 2020

April 2020


Gail has been a pillar of Norco College and Riverside Community College District for 32 years, serving in many different leadership roles.

In the words of her nominator, “Dr. Zwart is awesome. She is a great communicator who is transparent in planning and teaching.”

Gail embodies the Norco College spirit by modeling the core commitments.

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