From West Hills College
West Hills College Coalinga Alumnus of the Year Tracey Jaurena
West Hills College Coalinga Alumnus of the Year Tracey Jaurena
Photo Contributed by West Hills College

Tracey Jaurena, “a perfect choice,” has been selected as the 2016 West Hills College Coalinga Alumnus of the Year.

Jaurena graduated from West Hills College Coalinga in 1982 with her associate’s degree and then transferred to California State University, Fresno to earn a degree in physical education with an emphasis in athletic training. She went on to get her master’s degree in sports medicine from Western Michigan University in 1987.

In the fall of 1999, she returned to West Hills College as an athletic trainer and faculty member. She retired in December of 2015 after years of service as WHCC’s Head Athletic Trainer.

“I’m amazed and truly honored to be named Alumnus of the Year,” she said.  “There have been many deserving people who came before me and received this honor and I never thought I’d be one of them. It’s a blessing.”

Dr. Carole Goldsmith, President of West Hills College Coalinga, said Jaurena is a perfect choice for the honor.

“It’s an honor that fits Tracey well as she has demonstrated all of the distinguished qualities we look for in selecting an Alumnus of the Year: professional achievement, service to students, service to the community and loyalty to the ideals of West Hills College,” she said.

Jaurena has earned many accolades for her work as an athletic trainer and advocate.

She is a national spokesperson for the “Defeat the Heat” public safety campaign, a national program designed to alert parents to the dangers of dehydration and heat illness in active children.

 In 2014, she was named the Athletic Trainer of the Year by the California Community College Athletic Trainers’ Association. She earned the honor after responding to a student who had stopped breathing during basketball practice. 

She has also served as the President of the Coalinga Lions Club and she lends her services to treat athletes at Faith Christian Academy’s home football games. She also assists Dr. Paul Griffin’s medical practice with all athletic physicals each year at no cost to students.

Gina Tollison, who nominated Jaurena for the honor, said her time at West Hills has left a lasting impact.

“After earning her degree here she dedicated her entire career to West Hills College Coalinga,” she said. “She was integral in the construction of our state of the art sports medicine and training facility.  She represented the Falcon Family with passion as well as compassion.”

Jaurena will be honored during the WHCC commencement ceremony on May 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the WHCC gymnasium.