Santa Barbara City College received national recognition this week as Professor Manou Eskandari, chair of its Political Science department, was named Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Eskandari, who was the only professor in California to get the award, will head to the Ronald Regan building in Washington D.C. to receive the prestigious honor.
“It’s another feather in the cap for the college,” Eskandari said, adding he would like to receive the award on behalf of City College, not just himself. Eskandari is a big believer in SBCC — both of his children attended — because of the “high level of education in a relaxed atmosphere.”
During his 20 years at SBCC, Eskandari also founded the Middle East Studies program. Started in 2006, the program offers history, political, culture, and religion courses and often attracts students interested in pursuing careers in government and business. Eskandari has also brought in renowned international speakers — Iranian journalist Hooman Madj’s talk last month packed the building — and he has taken students on trips oversees; his next trip is planned for Israel, Morocco, and southern Spain. Eskandari also brought a chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honors society for two-year colleges, to SBCC.
“He is a very committed to his field of study and it shows,” said City College president Lori Gaskin. She said she nominated Eskandari for the award because he exhibits both high standards and quick wit in his vibrant classroom, makes learning accessible to all students, and goes above and beyond. “He’s representative of all of our faculty,” she added.
Esakndari agrees: “We have [professors] who are of national caliber. It makes the atmosphere of City College very unique.”