The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

The right business decision

Economics professor Sandra Camarenasays she believes that teaching the basic principles of economics should be taught in manner in which students can grasp realism.

She relies on Deborah Saks, new dean of Business Division, to help figure out a way to continue teaching in a way that she believes will best reach her students.

“The second unit of my class on supply and demand is very important because it affects everything [in microeconomics],” says Camarena. “I take a little more care, precaution, and time with this unit in my class because if the students aren’t able to accurately grasp the theory I will lose them for the rest of the semester.”

Camarena holds auctions to teach to her students about supply and demand: students bid on items for cash and the highest bidder takes home the winnings. However, in order for an auction to be successful, to demonstrate demand there must be an adequate supplier.

Saks, dean of the Business Division, says she does what she can to help with Camarena’s process.

“I want to do what I can to help [with] that,” says Saks. “I’ve taken economics and I know that it can be a little bit dry. Having something that’s really engaging and where you can actually see it in practice makes a big difference.”

Camarena needed items that students would like to bid on, just as a thriving market would have consumers show price points in a downward sloping curve. Saks asked colleagues to help Camarena get items for the auction.

“She made the whole idea possible because she had the idea to solicit donations,” says Camarena. “In hard budget times, what that taught me is that you have to think outside the box.”

As the new dean on campus, Saks says she never knows what her day is going to be like, but she is just glad to help the City College community.

Saks most recently held the position of dean of School of Business at Ivy Tech Community College in West Lafayette, Ind. She says she decided to move because she and her husband, Robert, liked what the area had to
offer after a California vacation.

“The job was similar to what it was at Ivy Tech, but it’s not identical,” says Saks. Some of the things I didn’t do at Ivy Tech I do here, and some of the things I did at Ivy Tech I don’t have to do them here.”

Saks says she enjoys the fact that she has more direct interaction with the students here at City College than she did at her previous job.

“I like being able to help students when they really are in a crunch, like when they try to add the class and their permission number didn’t work,” says Saks. “I like to do something about it. I feel like I can really make a difference.”
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Saks says she saw how numbers in business worked but she later wanted to focus on the human aspect. While working on her doctorate in behavior and human resources from Indiana University, Bloomington, Saks taught classes as a graduate assistant; it was then, she says, that she realized that she wanted to focus on teaching as a part of her career.

“I gave the whole administration piece of the [education] a try and I found out that I kind of like that part too,” says Saks. “It’s a very different job to be an administrator than to be a faculty member, and I like both of them. Both of them are really great jobs.”

Saks admits that she was unsure that she’d make it to the interview process, believing instead that the district would hire an internal candidate.

And when they did offer her the job, Saks says, she had to think hard about her answer.

“I had to go with my gut instinct,” says Saks. “Did I think it was going to be a good fit? Obviously they did or they wouldn’t have offered me the job. It was a tough decision.”

Saks says she knew she didn’t want to live in West Lafayette forever and her husband was excited to retire in California.

“Who wouldn’t like to come to California?” says Saks. “The day I accepted the job I sold my snowblower.”

Saks made the journey out West in March 2012, driving 22,000 miles in her Toyota Camry through the country accompanied by her beloved Bernese Mountain dog.

Saks says she got through the long drive by listening to audio books through her iPod, explaining it made more sense to drive than hire a moving company to bring her car. Saks says seeing scenic mountainous areas such as Salt Lake City and Lake Tahoe was an interesting bonus.

The trip, she adds, was smooth except for getting stuck in the snow at Donner Pass.

“The dogs love the snow, but I don’t,” says Saks. “So I don’t mind taking them to see it and let them wrap around in it. I just don’t want to shovel it off my driveway and stuff.”

Saks says she would love to enjoy all the area attractions such as nearby mountains, ocean and wine-tasting, but her husband is still in West Lafayette, working while they wait for their house to sell.

“[It’s] awful,” says Saks. “I miss him. We know that this is kind of another price we pay in order to be able to be out here. Once he’s here, we’ll be able to enjoy our lives together. In the meantime,

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