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Paul Fisher

What makes education interesting and exciting for RCC Business Technology instructor Paul Fisher is how each student brings a different slant to teaching.

“I am often inspired by the challenges students face and the effort that they put forth,” Fisher said. “Education is hard work. By educating ourselves, we change the way we think and act, sometimes changing some basic beliefs that we have held for a long time. Being in the mix of this change is what I really enjoy.”

Fisher joined RCC in 1989 as a part-time instructor and was appointed to a full-time position in 1997. Before joining Rogue, he worked for California Fruit’s personnel and production departments. He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Patrick’s College and an MBA in labor relations from California State University at Stanislaus.

Currently Fisher is working on a Ph.D. in education from Oregon State University. He also serves as an advisor to the RCC Veterans Club on the Riverside Campus.

RCC student Daniel Madrigal says Fisher is great at connecting classroom learning with workplace reality.

“He’s a very good business math teacher. He taught us great ‘tricks’ and suddenly math became easy,” Madrigal said. “He uses the textbooks and handouts, but in class he would apply that information to how things would work in the real world. His stories are awesome.”

John MadrigalCWE lets student earn college credits at his jobsite

Having already completed high school by the time he turned 15, Daniel Madrigal immediately plunged into taking business classes at Rogue Community College. At 17 he was hired by Motorcycle USA, one of the nation’s leading Internet retailers to help with bookkeeping.

Now 19, Madrigal has already earned a business assistant certificate and is studying for an associate’s degree in business technology. Still working at Motorcycle USA, he’s earning college credits at his jobsite through the RCC Cooperative Work Experience program. Building on classroom studies, CWE provides students opportunities for hands-on learning in their career area.

Madrigal, who has compiled a 3.6 GPA, was well trained and stood out among a field of other job candidates, said John Warekois, chief financial officer for the firm, which ranks in the top 200 Web-based vendors.

“From day one, I felt Daniel brought a good skill set with him,” Warekois noted. “I was really able to just throw tasks at Daniel. I don’t have a lot of time for training, but he was up and running.“ Another thing that set Madrigal apart, Warekois recalled, was the thank you note he send after his job interview. It was a courtesy gesture he’d learned in RCC instructor Laura Peterson’s business class.

Madrigal, who was homeschooled after eighth grade, recalls growing up amid his family’s expectation that he and his siblings would go to college.

“My parents made us do our homework and always wanted us to succeed,” Madrigal said. RCC has become something of a Madrigal family tradition: Brother George studied construction technology and brothers Gabriel and Ricardo took automotive technology classes. Madrigal, who says he likes his job and accounting, plans to continue studying at RCC and has his eye on becoming a CPA.

“One of the best things about RCC is it’s close to home, but mostly it’s great because of the teachers.” RCC Business instructor Paul Fisher has been exceptionally important to Madrigal’s college experience.

“He’s a very good business math teacher,” Madrigal said. “He taught us great ‘tricks’ and suddenly math became easy. He uses the textbooks and handouts, but in class he would apply that information to how things would work in the real world. His stories are awesome.”

For his part, Fisher thinks the sky is the limit for Madrigal.

“Daniel is quiet and very respectful of others. As the saying goes, he is a still water, but he runs deep. Sometimes I would think he wasn’t grasping the information, but the reality is he was simply waiting for other students to catch up,” Fisher explained.

“I am particularly impressed by his offer to help other students. He’s asked for students’ resumes for a part-time position working for his employer. He wants to give other RCC students a chance at employment and an opportunity to advance themselves.”

Have a story idea for the website? Please E-mail Rand Hill

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