Irvine Valley College granted two language professors top honors this week.

Virginia Shank, who teaches English, and Mercedes Julian, a Spanish instructor, were named Professor of the Year and Part-time Professor of the Year, respectively.

Shank has worked at Irvine Valley College since fall 2012 and has published poems in several online and print literary magazines, according to a news release.

Students have praised her reading selections, high expectations and willingness to help, the release stated.

"During class, professor Shank encourages all her students to think critically and ask questions," one student said. "She believes that every student has valuable things to say and they are as actively a part of the class as the instructor."

Julian has been an adjunct instructor at IVC since 1984, teaching higher level Spanish courses.

She is known for her focus on Hispanic history and culture and for fostering a classroom environment that allows for "spirited discussion," the release stated.

"In these conversations, we learn not only about the issue at hand, but also get to know our classmates more intimately, and become more interested in each other's lives," a student wrote.

In addition, instructor JoAnna Gee Schoon was named Emeritus Professor of the Year, and Carol Danna, an administrative assistant, was honored with the college's Classified Employee Outstanding Service Award for 2014.

— Hannah Fry

@HannahFryTCN