Barbara Knowdell was one of the twenty-three original full-time faculty hired in 1967. After 34 years of dedicated teaching and service to the college, she elected to retire in 2001 and was granted emeritus status. She began her career in Physical Education and Health but then began to teach in the Business Office Technology area. As computers became increasingly important, she also taught several different computer applications courses including Microsoft Office apps, DOS, and desktop publishing. She was a driving force on the original campus computing committee and the establishment of the first inter-disciplinary microcomputer labs. In addition, she played a major role in planning the computing building.
Barbara demonstrated professional leadership by serving as a representative to the Faculty Senate for over 20 years and as the Senate President in 1974-75. She served on numerous committees campus wide and served on the California State Business Education Advisory Committees. She also held several administrative positions including 2 years as Division Director for Business and Computer Studies.
Barbara willingly and expertly retrained herself in response to the changing needs of the college and students. She shared her expertise by mentoring both full-time and part-time instructors and constantly revising and updating curriculum. She committed herself to high standards and made a lasting contribution to Ohlone.
Barbara and her husband continue to live on 11 acres in the hills east of San Jose where she manages the property and the well that serves 3 families. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the local Spring Valley Fire Department and she helps them with their office / computer tasks. She is currently assisting them with getting all their information into a specialized database. She also continues to ride horseback and is an avid reader.