By Devon Martinez, Student Editor

PPCC faculty recently honored Professor Ann-Marie Manning as faculty of the year for 2018-2019.

Manning was appreciative of the honor. “One of the things that I think is important is that there is a lot of great faculty that teach here,” she said. “It’s an honor to work with them.”

Manning began teaching at PPCC in 2003 as adjunct faculty member and was hired as a full-time professor in 2013.

She devotes her time to her passion for helping those who need the most help, and the faculty of 2018 voted her in because of her selfless effort towards the community at PPCC.

Manning is extremely busy teaching Social Work and Women Studies full time. When she is not helping in the classroom, she is assisting with the mobile food pantry and is also at the forefront of starting a conversation about solving PPCC student housing issues.

According to Manning the reason why she made it on the radar for Faculty of the Year is due to the work she does with the mobile food pantry.

Manning worked on the mobile food pantry last year, but this year she’s leading the charge to provide a local market for students to grab what they need with no questions asked.

According to Manning, the food market is, “like a little grocery store.”

Manning is also attempting to solve the housing problem that plagues Colorado Springs, and the PPCC student body. With housing costs rising locally, it’s becoming tough for students to focus on school when they are not secure with housing.

Manning said she has been working with Dr. Bolton to address this issue, which is complicated.

Finding the solution begins with starting a conversation. “We are having conversations with people in the community who are interested in potentially partnering with Pikes Peak Community College on housing issues, and so we are hopeful that we will be able to make that turn into a reality,” Manning said.

She admits that this project is, “a massive undertaking.”

Manning believes solving these issues will provide a net benefit for Colorado Springs with the local businesses desperately looking for new hires, and for Pikes Peak Community College because a healthy student body is not one where students struggle to survive.

According to Manning if people can find homes other doors will open, and people will have a chance to set their lives straight and get back on their feet.

Manning admits that she doesn’t like to be bored, and it’s really evident with her intense work ethic, which she said came from her parents who showed her the value of hard work.

“I certainly had great role models with my parents. They certainly had  a strong work ethic,” she said, adding, “One of the things my parents did growing up was they volunteered. They always gave back.”

Manning believes that she’s fortunate that she found work that she enjoys, and believes in. She said, “I’ve been doing social work since 1988. I love it. I am fortunate that I found something that I’m passionate about.”

Manning has some advice for any student struggling in school. “The top two reasons that people don’t persist in school is money and grit. So, what I would say to students is reach out, check in with the counseling center, check in with our 2-1-1 program, which connects students to resources, and this is a program that we have through Pikes Peak United Way. There are resources here at the college and in the community that you may be able to tap into, but it’s important for you to reach out.”

Manning said, “If there’s an area that you’re weak, well, that’s something you have got to work harder at, but it’s a great way to change your life to get an education.”