Professor receives award for excellence

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is one of the most competitive programs at Richland College with more than 500 students from different countries.

“Rise Up, Richland, a Thousand Times Again For You!” was the theme for this year’s college convocation on Aug. 17 in Fannin Hall. Dr. Scott Branks del Llano was awarded the Excellence In Teaching Award for full-time faculty.

The other award finalists were for full-time faculty Heather Appleby, physics professor, and Raj Seekri, mathematics professor.

Branks del Llano started his career 30 years agoworking with refugees at Mountain View College and El Centro College. He worked with refugee communities and taught English programs. That led him to teaching ESOL and brought him to Richland where 137 countries are represented. Branks del Llano has taught in the School of World Languages, Cultures and Communications at Richland for 20 years.

“My passion was teaching English. Therefore, I started working through a global education and global student population. I love the English language. I love poetry, literature and fiction, so it is natural for me to be teaching,” he said.

Branks del Llano teaches seven classes, all in English. Two of them are in creative writing; others include American literature as a protest, a literature course and English 1301, which is college composition, the first English class students take. “I felt very honored and very proud. It is an important award to all professors because we are nominated by our students and peers, which makes it a double honor,” said Branks del Llano. “I feel like I’ve learned so much from them over the years.  So, it felt like a reward for all the work that we’ve done together and I celebrated with my students.” Branks del Llano designed and coordinates the Richland College Institute for Peace and Human Rights. He champions the Literary Festival and Peace Pole Project at Richland College which is now an integral part the annual Intercultural Festival held in the spring.