MCU Librarian Rincón Selected Educator of the Year

Educator of the Year, José Rincón of Marymount California University

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club has named Marymount’s Director of Library Services and Learning Support Coordinator José Rincón as one of its nine Educator of the Year recipients.

A ceremony celebrating the educators will take place virtually on February 4.

“I’m humbled to join this distinguished group of educators who represent the best the Palos Verdes Peninsula has to offer,” said Rincón. “When I signed up as a Cal State Northridge work-study library assistant 22 years ago, I never thought it would bring me here today, reveling in this full-circle moment.”

The Educator of the Year event serves the dual purpose of honoring local teachers and raising funds for need-based college scholarships. Educators are selected annually among local elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools.

“Of all years, we felt this is a critical year to highlight teaching,” said Rotary Club President Eileen Hupp. “We applaud all educators who are working tirelessly online, in hybrid format and in person.”

Rincón said he believes deeply in the transformational impact of education and finds new ways to support and celebrate learning. Since working in academic libraries, Rincón has appreciated his time collaborating with students and faculty to help them achieve academic, professional and personal success.

“Each interaction is a chance to learn something new, and supporting library users teaches me how I might solve a technology issue or find research on an obscure topic,” he says, adding that he truly enjoys helping students find the resources they need to be successful in their degree programs.

“Our library has now adopted a new role to assist our students navigating the loneliness inherent during the pandemic,” Rincón says. “Research shows that loneliness and isolation can be as damaging to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So we have created a safe, virtual space for our students to come and study together, offering them inclusiveness and a sense of community. We also encourage students to take time to socialize in the Zoom breakout rooms.”

Rincón also works with faculty on course design, course-specific library guides and an annual Celebration of Scholarship, and teaches an online information literacy course.

The university’s Faculty Senate selected Rincón, who also serves as an adjunct faculty member, from among several MCU nominees for the Rotary Club honor.

“I am immensely grateful to our President Brian Marcotte and the Marymount California University Faculty Senate for honoring me with their vote for this recognition. I would like to recognize the other nominees,” Rincón said. “There are simply so many outstanding, passionate, creative educators at Marymount, who challenge, inspire and support our students every day.”

This is yet another honor for Rincón, who was also selected as MCU’s 2020 Educator of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the university and to online learning.