Dr. Miguel Powers Named Fullerton College Teacher of the Year
Fullerton College students recognized English Professor Dr. Miguel Powers as the 2018 Fullerton College Teacher of the Year. The confidential nomination statements from several current and past students revealed a common theme that celebrated Powers for his “life-changing” and innovative teaching methods. He stands out for his empathy for all students and his passion to ignite change beyond the classroom.
Powers is a two-time recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award – he received the award in 2005.
“Dr. Powers is the most innovative teacher I have had,” said one nominator. “I say teacher, but what he actually does is facilitate an environment of growth and learning. His is a classroom where students are rewarded for what they have learned, rather than what they know.”
The Teacher of the Year is selected by a committee comprised of members from Associated Students and Faculty Senate. Powers will be honored during a Teacher of the Year reception in May with four additional Teacher of the Year finalists. The finalists are Angie Andrus, Loretta Calvert, Brandon Tran and Guy Dadson, who will be considered for a county-wide recognition. Powers cannot advance to the county-level because he is a previous nominee.
Powers’ nominations highlighted his positivity and his natural ability to foster intellectual growth among his students. Students recognized him for his powerful, thought-provoking and innovative teaching methods including the introduction and practices of Growth Mindset, his efforts as a leader to improve student success, and the kindness and compassion he exhibits with each student he encounters.
“In knowing Professor Powers, it is not uncommon for a description of him to typically involve phrases such as life-changing, inspirational, or the kindest person I have ever known,” one nomination stated.
Powers’ teaching philosophy centers on the transformative power of education.
Seeking transformative learning experiences that extend beyond the classroom, Powers creates service learning assignments that challenge students to make a change outside of the classroom. In addition to his work as a teacher, he collaborates across campus to promote student success through programs such as the Mindful Growth Program and the Habits of Mind Initiative.
“My passion for transformative education developed at Oxford University, where I discovered educaré, the classical notion that the ultimate purpose of education is to ‘raise up,’ or change the student,” Powers said. “As an educator, I set out to challenge, empower and inspire students. I want them to find joy in learning; to empower students to learn how to learn, how to change, and how to use what they have learned to make change in the world.”