Jo-Ann Panzardi
Chair & Faculty
(831) 479-6497
Office Rm 811, Aptos campus

Spring 2021 Office Hours: 

MTW&F, 1:00-2:00 pm in virtual STEM Center:

My path to teaching engineering at Cabrillo College started when I was in elementary school in New York City. I have always wanted to be a teacher. I liked math and always enjoyed helping my friends with math. When I hit high school; however, so many girls were choosing teaching and nursing as careers. I wanted to be different and pursue something more unique. Since I liked math and science and was intrigued by structures, I decided to study civil engineering. Civil Engineering has many specialties. I liked geotechnical engineering, so I choose this career path. Maybe it was all those years as a kid playing in the dirt that I decided to be a geotechnical engineer.

When I hit graduate school and had the opportunity to teach, I loved it. And, it was at that point that I decided that I wanted to teach engineering. Since it was important to me to bring real world engineering into the classroom, I worked as an engineer for seven years in the areas of surveying, construction, civil, and geotechnical engineering.

Once I moved to California, I learned about the community college system. Its emphasis on teaching rather than on research made me realize that I wanted to teach engineering at a CC. While living in Santa Cruz County, I started teaching part time at a number of CCs in the Bay Area. In 1995, I landed the full-time position teaching engineering at Cabrillo. I viewed this as a great achievement for all my hard work.

At Cabrillo, we feel that engineering is a helping profession. Engineers use their technical, communication, and problem solving skills to design creative solutions for the betterment of people and the environment.

I love what I do: teach; coordinate the department; oversee grants to give students more opportunities; and be a part of the amazing community of highly motivated engineering students and the caring committed faculty.

I am the first in my family to attend college and I owe all my successes to my education and to people who have supported me along the way . I received a BS in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York (which is now part of New York University, NYU) and a MS in Geotechnical Engineering from University of Maryland, College Park. And, I am a California licensed civil engineer (license no. 49538).