Faculty Awards and Honors

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Dr. Karolyn Hanna


Annual Faculty Lecturer 2008-2009

Karolyn R. Hanna was born in 1942 to William C. and Irene (Johnson) Klammer in Mankato, MN. The eldest of four children, Karolyn was raised with a strong work ethic in a Christian home. At an early age, she and her siblings were required to participate in household chores. While her mother worked part-time, Karolyn was expected to “take care of” her brothers (not an easy task – which any of you who have met them will understand!) Childhood memories included fun-filled family gatherings and church-centered activities as well as active involvement in 4-H - a national youth organization where the emphasis was on “learning by doing” and striving to “make the best better” – a motto which influences Karolyn to this day.


After graduating from high school, Karolyn attended Mankato State College (now Minnesota State University, Mankato) where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. While in college, she worked as a nurse’s aid and later as an operating room technician at a local hospital. Following graduation Karolyn moved to St. Paul, MN where she was employed as a staff nurse on a medical surgical unit at St. Luke’s Hospital. In September 1964, she was offered and accepted a position as a nursing instructor at Barnes Hospital School of Nursing in St. Louis, MO.


While living in St. Louis, Karolyn met Hugh E. Hanna, Jr., an officer with the USAF. In 1967, following completion of Hugh’s tour of duty in Viet Nam, they were married. From that point on, Karolyn’s career paralleled Hugh’s military assignments. When stationed at March AFB (Riverside, CA), she worked as an Operating Room Nurse at Riverside Community Hospital and taught part-time at Riverside City College. Following a move to Offutt AFB (Omaha, NE), Karolyn taught nursing and became Assistant Director of Creighton University School of Nursing. While living in Omaha, she earned a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling.


A move to McClellan AFB in Sacramento, CA found her taking a position as Staff Development Nurse and Assistant Director of Medical Education at Mercy San Juan Hospital. When Hugh went to the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, CA, she taught in the Nursing Program at Imperial Valley College. Then in 1978, Hugh accepted a position at Oceanographic Services in Santa Barbara and Karolyn was hired by SB Cottage Hospital as Director of Nursing Education. After moving five times in eleven years, the Hannas were able to put down roots! Since coming to Santa Barbara, Karolyn completed a master’s degree in Nursing from CSU Dominquez Hills and a PhD in Education from UCSB.

hanna and macdougle

Karolyn’s career at Santa Barbara City College began in 1980. For the past 29 years, she has been committed to providing quality education to students enrolled in SBCC’s Associate Degree Nursing Program. She has also been heavily involved in college governance activities, having served two terms as President of the Academic Senate and on numerous college committees including the Student Learning Outcomes Project and the college’s Accreditation Self Study Steering Committee.


She also has served on committees and review boards for a number of state, regional and national organizations including the National League for Nursing, the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. She recently participated in a UCLA-sponsored regional grant to further teaching gerontology at California Community Colleges and currently serves as a site visitor for accreditation of nursing programs by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).


At the state level, Karolyn’s commitment to teaching excellence was recognized in 1994 when she received the Hayward Award for Educational Excellence from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. Last fall, she was honored with the Association of Community College Trustees Pacific Region Faculty Award - for the 2008-09 academic year. These awards represent the five top community college faculty members in the U.S.

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When asked about her educational philosophy, she shared the following: “Education is a powerful process. It creates opportunities, promotes growth and changes the lives of individuals, groups and communities. Students come to us with unique aspirations, interests and abilities. As we meet, the student and I begin a journey together – a journey toward their goal of becoming a registered nurse. To achieve that goal means acquiring the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of members of the nursing profession. It’s a process that requires deep personal commitment and substantial effort. I believe that students must be active participants in the process. My role is to present a vision of excellence in nursing. I have to be knowledgeable, compassionate, a skilled clinician and a positive role model. Focused on educational outcomes, I guide and direct learning in a variety of ways. I strive to be open, honest and responsive to the needs of each individual while maintaining highest professional standards. By clarifying expectations and creating an environment that inspires, encourages and supports, it’s my goal to foster self-confidence, self-discipline, and ultimately the student’s own level of professional excellence. Their success becomes a shared success – together we touch the lives of others”.

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