Christine Csanadi Deckard, Grossmont College, Walk of Fame Honoree
Senior scientist at Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Pacific in San Diego; internationally recognized expert in laser technology
Christina Csanadi Deckard struggled in her first physics class at Grossmont, but then Bob James stepped in to help.
“He was a wonderful physics instructor,” she said of the retired educator. “I was in his office every day, trying to figure it out. Then, a light bulb went on.”
Deckard earned an “A” on the final exam and James gave her an “A” for the class, where she was the only woman enrolled. After completing an AA degree at Grossmont, she received a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in mathematics at San Diego State University.
Now, Deckard is an internationally recognized expert in laser technology and employed as senior scientist at Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Pacific in San Diego. She also came back to Grossmont as an adjunct to teach math and science, mostly physics, from 1989 to 1998.
“One of the big things with Bob James, he wasn’t a unique instructor,” she said. “All the instructors I had at Grossmont are there for the students. They go out of their way and do whatever is necessary to see the students move in the direction they need to. That’s harder to find in the bigger universities.”
Decker gave the keynote address at Grossmont’s graduation ceremony in 2011 and is now working with the math and science dean to create programs to encourage middle and high school girls to attend Grossmont in those fields.