Amber Katherine, a philosopher who has blended her passion for the environment with teaching and mentoring, and Dan Nannini, a counselor who has become something of a statewide guru on transferring to universities, have been named Santa Monica College’s 2011 Co-Faculty of the Year.

In naming the winners, the SMC Academic Senate also announced that it was nominating Katherine for the statewide Hayward Award, which honors outstanding community college faculty who have a track record of excellence in teaching and professional activities and have demonstrated commitment to their students, profession and college. The Hayward Award is sponsored by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.

“Professor Katherine and Dan Nannini are such outstanding faculty members that we could not narrow the award this year to just one recipient,” said SMC kinesiology professor Elaine Roque, chair of the Academic Senate’s Sabbaticals, Fellowships & Awards Committee.

“Amber is a compassionate and caring professor who has helped transform SMC into one of the greenest colleges in the state, and Dan is one of the state’s leading transfer experts at an institution that is the No. 1 transfer college to the University of California, USC and more. We’re honored to call them our colleagues.”

Katherine, of Mar Vista, who has taught philosophy at SMC since 1999, has been a campus leader, particularly in the area of sustainability. She has served on the Academic Senate Executive and other committees, chairing the Environmental Affairs Committee.

Nannini, has worked at the college for 23 years ever since he was hired as a general counselor in 1988. During his tenure, the Culver City resident has been assigned to several counseling divisions, including the Scholars Program, an honors transfer program. But he has made a particular mark in the past 14 years as the Transfer Center faculty leader, a role that is critical to the college.

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