From the President

In Memory of Sandra Diaz

Jan. 29, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I am very sorry to let you know of the death earlier today of Sandra Diaz, our faculty colleague in Nursing.

She taught our students – including at an area hospital – to serve in the next generation of nurses, and as such, was a hero in the fields of both healthcare and education. It is even more saddening, then, that she died of COVID-19.

Please know that we worked to ensure that all of Sandra’s students followed county health protocols, including quarantining and testing, following her initial diagnosis. We were heartened that none of her students tested positive for the virus during that time.

Certainly Sandra would have been grateful, as well. By all accounts she was a caring, supportive and empathetic instructor, modeling the best qualities of a conscientious nurse, and engaging and enthusiastic in her teaching. Her dean, Anita Kandula, told me that Sandra always extended this deep care to her colleagues as well, relaying a story about Sandra going to the division office on what happened to be a particularly trying and difficult day for her. On her way to Anita’s office, tired and upset, Sandra still made a point of stopping to talk to division assistant Sasha Bostick, and ask how she was doing – just one example of the kindness she always offered to those around her. I am sorry for those of us who did not have the opportunity to get to know Sandra, and for the students who will not benefit from her warm and wise teaching.

I am sorry, most of all, for Hector Diaz, Sandra’s husband of 41 years; her four daughters, Sharon Gutierrez, Naomi Garcia, Rachel Diaz and Rebekah Sanchez; and her 10 grandchildren, with one on the way. We extend to all of them the deepest sympathy on behalf of De Anza College.

Sandra, a proud member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, came to De Anza as a part-time instructor in 2016 and was hired full time the next year, later becoming a member of the De Anza Latinx Association, and planning this year to engage in outreach to area high school students. Sandra was scheduled to receive tenure in March, and I will ensure that she is awarded that honor posthumously.

If you wish to send a card or gift to Sandra’s family, please be in touch with Anita Kandula, who will learn of any special requests the family may have. Thank you for the sympathy and kind thoughts I know you are extending to Sandra’s family now. And for yourself, please continue to take all possible precautions against the COVID-19 virus. 

With appreciation,

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