Cypress College announces the nomination of Political Science Professor Gloria Badal for the 2023 Orange County Teacher of the Year award. Bestowed by the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE), the annual award recognizes outstanding K-12 and community college educators in Orange County. Candidates will be honored at a recognition banquet hosted by SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union at the Disneyland Hotel on October 28.
A 19-year veteran educator, Badal has been a professor of political science at Cypress College since 2007. She has also served as a lecturer at California State University, Fullerton, and adjunct instructor at Santiago Canyon College, Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College, and Riverside Community College.
From the first political science class she took as an undergraduate at California State University, Fullerton, Badal recalls falling in love with political science and realizing she wanted to be like the professors who made ideas come alive for her.
“My inspiration were professors like Raphe Sonenshein, Bruce Wright, Jesse Owens Smith, and Carl Jackson. Today, my motivation is still in those early memories of the inspiration I gained from my professors. If I am that inspiration to my students, my goal has been achieved.”
Badal said receiving the nomination to represent Cypress College as Teacher of the Year is the highest honor of her career.
“This nomination means that my students know how much I love teaching them and how important their success—not only in my class, but in life—is to me,” said Badal.
In addition to her role as professor, Badal is the political science department coordinator, the faculty advisor for the political science club, a faculty mentor for the Legacy Program, and the political action committee chair of United Faculty.
According to Dr. Lisa Gaetje, dean of social sciences at Cypress College, Badal is a beloved professor who creates a climate where students are allowed to respectfully disagree, become advanced critical thinkers, and enhance their commitment to social and political engagement and global citizenship.
“Gloria sees the relevance of her course content to the advancement of educational trajectories, but also to engaged participation in society as a whole,” said Gaetje. “She is thoughtful about the equitable experiences of students and is keenly aware of how a college experience and student connectedness to their courses and instructors can change lives.”