Cuesta College has announced the recipients of the Cuesta College Volunteer and Honored Alumni Awards for 2011. The individuals will be acknowledged for their volunteerism and continued support of education and their communities at the Annual Awards Luncheon on May 6 hosted by the Cuesta College Foundation.

The event will be held in the Associated Students Auditorium Room 5401 from 12-2 p.m. Tickets to attend are $20 per person. For more information or to register for the event, contact the Cuesta College Foundation office at (805) 546-3915.

Dr. Frank Martinez Superintendent/President’s Award: Doug Hilton (Arroyo Grande) has been affiliated with Cuesta College since 1972 as an evening instructor, loyal supporter of higher education and a board member and officer with the Cuesta College Foundation. Hilton is a retired San Luis Obispo superior court judge.

J. Vard Loomis Distinguished Board Service Award: Bob Wacker (San Luis Obispo) has exemplified distinguished board service by overseeing the Foundation’s investments and serving on committees supporting the Foundation’s mission and goals to advance Cuesta College. He has been a member of the Foundation since 1998. Wacker has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and is the founder and president of R. E. Wackers Associates, Inc.

John Schaub Student Volunteer Award: Nick Seawater (Los Osos) has volunteered in the biology lab for two years. He takes care of all the biology equipment and works diligently in the greenhouse. He also frequently comes in on the weekends to assist with projects.

“I’ve never encountered any student with such dedication and spirit,” said Ron Ruppert, instructor and chair of the biological sciences department.

Merlin E. Eisenbise Service in the Classroom Award: Hannah Slobodnik (San Luis Obispo) has volunteered as a music librarian for the Cuesta College North County Chorus for the past four years. She compiles more than 50 folders of music every semester and created a detailed numbering system for the folders. Slobodnik also assists the conductor at concerts, rehearsals and fundraisers with set up, tear down and general maintenance of the members.

“I can attest that the success of this ensemble is certainly due in part to the kind of support and heartfelt work that Hannah Slobodnik has given,” said Cassandra Tarrantino, North County choir director.

Betty Nielsen Volunteer of the Year Award: Charlie Cabassi (Arroyo Grande) has been a member of the Foundation Board of Directors since 1992 and the Athletics Booster Club Board of Directors since 1995. Cabassi graduate from Cal Poly and has been in the family business at E. C. Loomis and Son Insurance since 1961. He volunteers his time for several Foundation and Booster Club activities.

2011 Honored Alumni: Michael J. Aubuchon graduated with honors from Cuesta College in 1976 and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree and lifetime teaching credential. He has been an educator for more than 30 years and currently teaches advanced placement courses at Monte Vista Christian School in Watsonville, California. He has been married for forty years and raised seven children in addition to providing a loving home for many foster children throughout the years.

2011 Honored Alumni: Margaret Ikeda graduated from Cuesta College with an associate’s degree in 1978. She continued her education at the University of California, Davis and the University of California, Berkeley studying architecture. She is the founder and principal of Assembly, an architecture practice in Berkeley, California.

2011 Honored Alumni: Peter Kardel (San Luis Obispo) attended Cuesta College from 1989 to 1995, earning a 3.66 GPA. Kardel is the founder of Clever Ducks, a computer network services business in San Luis Obispo. He is passionate about his business, family and preserving the environment, offering many sustainable options through his company.

2011 Honored Alumni: Rolfe Nelson (Atascadero) graduated from Cuesta College in 1968, where he served as the student body president and was on the basketball and track teams. Nelson earned his bachelor’s degree and teaching credential from Cal Poly. He also served in the United States Navy. Nelson spent is 32-year career in education working for the Atascadero Unified School District.


Released April 26, 2011