Best Community-College Professor - 2012
Multiple generations in North Orange County have learned about Chicano, California and ethnic history under the legendary Jerry Padilla, who has taught at Fullerton College for more than 40 years. They enroll not just because some of his courses satisfy the GE requirements, but also because few people are better qualified to teach the subjects than he. A third-generation Orange Countian of Mexican and native descent, Padilla engages his students with witty banter and heavy pedagogy, all with an enthusiasm befitting a kindergarten teacher. You know you have a great professor when he can preach about Carey McWilliams in one sentence, then crack a joke about not being able to get lucky at the infamous Foxfire Restaurant in Anaheim Hills.