Omar Villa was recently named Central Arizona College faculty of the year.
The faculty of the year award recognizes faculty who have made a difference in the lives of students inside and outside the classroom. The selected faculty should be a role model for students who not only demonstrates excellence in instruction, but also leadership and a passion for helping students learn.
CAC students were invited to nominate outstanding faculty for this honor.
The following statement about Mr. Villa was submitted:
“It is my great pleasure to nominate Professor Omar Villa, for the 2019-20 CAC faculty of the year. Mr. Villa portrays caring and success in his teaching. He is an exemplary professor that helps ease his students in his classes and about math. He makes sure his students learn to do math most easily and effectively.
"He pays attention to detail in his students and the ones who struggle in his math classes. He makes sure that everyone has a chance to pass his math class regardless if he must tutor on his days off or between classes.
"I have known Mr. Villa since I have taken my first math class at CAC. I have always struggled with math and he has shown me different scenarios on how to learn to do the equation with different styles of learning my math equations, which indeed helped me pass his classes.
"I have also referred other students to take his classes because he is an exceptional professor, he cares and tries to help all his students pass his classes. He is very approachable and easy to talk to. I admire how Mr. Villa has the patience and non-judgmental on anyone that struggles in his classes. That is why I nominate him for this award.”
Mr. Villa attended CAC immediately following high school and completed an Associate of Science degree. He transferred to Arizona State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in computational mathematical sciences. He later attended Western Governor’s University and obtained a Master of Arts in mathematics education.
While attending classes at CAC, Mr. Villa became a mathematics tutor, working under Jane Ellen Reid in the Interactive Learning Center. He retained his position as a part-time mathematics tutor while attending ASU.
In 2010, Mr. Villa returned to CAC as a full-time instructional specialist and in 2018 became a member of the mathematics faculty.
He recounts, ‘’it was a wonderful moment in my family’s life.”
When asked what advice Mr. Villa would give his students, he stated, “Stress is your biggest enemy in learning, and procrastination bring lots of stress. Also, laugh at all my jokes/stories.”
It is Mr. Villa’s goal to continue to teach new classes previously not taught in the past, while incorporating learning skills such as test-taking strategies, time management, note taking and stress management in his courses to allow students to grow academically.
Outside of his work at CAC, Mr. Villa enjoys coaching. He currently manages a small soccer club and coaches a team that travels around the state.
Mr. Villa credits the CAC Mathematics Department for this award. He commented, “This award reflects their comradery and leadership.”
For 50 years, Central Arizona College has been serving and educating the diverse communities of Pinal County. It has five campuses and three centers. Go to centralaz.edu.
Editor's note: Angela Askey is CAC's executive director of public relations and marketing.