On May 15th, beloved English Professor Christine Abbott retired after 23 years as an educator at the Eastern Sierra College Center in Bishop and Mammoth Lakes. The first full-time faculty member to be hired at ESCC in 1994 after Mono and Inyo Counties were annexed into KCCD’s territory, Abbott has shared her passion for undergraduate education in a variety of English classes.
“I knew by 17 I wanted to teach English (Yep: inspired by a high school instructor),” she said. “What a lucky person am I to have worked doing what I most love---and with thousands of wonderful students. Our world is in great hands because of our students; in fact, I believe the world will become a better place because of their passion for important global issues.”
Professor Abbott has been a moving force in the growth and development of both the Mammoth and Bishop campuses. With a very small staff, titles are often thrown aside, and everyone chips in to help, that’s just what you do to serve students.
“Clearly, full-time faculty with close ties to department members is key to stability and growth. Our close working relationships, among ourselves and with staff members, also contribute to ESCC’s strength, and my joy in working here for 23 years.”
She remembers ESCC’s rocky history, “we didn’t have a name: we were simply “Northern Outreach, and occasional packages would arrive from Ridgecrest marked NO,” she laughs.
Actively serving on many committees over the years, including: Accreditation Self Study and College Council, Abbott also assisted as an advisor for Metamorphoses, the college literary and art journal. Professor Abbott has invested many hours bringing forward best practices to help students at the ESCC campuses stay engaged and complete their goals, and recently received the status of Professor Emeritus by the Kern Community College District.
Her house sold and most of her belongings packed in storage, Abbott and her 10-pound dog Oliver are off to seek new adventures. We will miss our trusted colleague, mentor, and friend and wish her all the best in her retirement.