Janice Morris Kollitz, Ph.D., is professor emerita of English Composition at Riverside City College. She started her serious quest for intellectual prosperity at Riverside Community College when she enrolled as a 47-year old freshman in 1985; her goal was to become a certified public accountant so she could earn “lots of money.” She had the good fortune to encounter dedicated faculty who encouraged her to expand her horizons and not limit her dreams–Astronomy Professor Bob Dixon, Biology Professor Cecil Johnson, English professors Ken Krivanek and Gary Semonella, Health Science Professor Sam Huang, and Speech Professor Dina Stallings. She began to understand how her life’s experience was simply a platform to develop knowledge. As a child she wanted to become a teacher, but couldn’t afford to finance an education. As a returning student and a grandmother, she finally saw an opportunity to obtain her “American Dream.”
Prior to teaching at RCC, Jan worked as a fry cook, sales clerk, accounting clerk, electronic technician, newspaper reporter, cosmetic company executive officer, wholesale giftwares business owner, magazine writer and editor, English tutor, substitute teacher for the Corona-Norco school district, and part-time instructor at several local community colleges and California State University San Bernardino.
Jan graduated from RCC with an A.A. degree in 1986. She earned her B.A. degree in 1987 and her M.A. in English Composition in 1989 from California State University San Bernardino. She started teaching part time at RCC in 1988 and was hired as a full-time instructor in 1989. She earned her English Composition/Sociology interdisciplinary Ph.D. in 1997 at the Union Institute Graduate School.
Jan was elected “Teacher of the Year” in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2007 by RCC students. Jan was especially appreciative of the Latino Educator’s of Tommorow for giving her the “Dia Sel Maestro” Award in 2006. when she received additional wards for her teaching from First Lady Laura Bush, Senator Barbara Boxer, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Among many other national and international awards she is recognized in Who’s, Who’s Who of America’s Teachers, Who’s Who in the West, and Who’s Who in American Women. Her favorite experience has been traveling to Florence, Italy, with Art Professor Sally Armstrong and RCC’s Study Abroad Program (1998 and 1999) and at Oxford University (2004 and 2008) with RCC Biology Professor John Biehl and RCC Business Professor Diana Webster.