SAN MARCOS — The start of this month brought sadness among many at Palomar College. Sadly, Professor Joe Limer passed away on Sept 2. He was a respected professor at this school for over 20 years and will be missed by all.
Professor Limer was an active member of the community here at Palomar. He is leaving a legacy behind to be remembered.
Joe Limer taught as an Associate Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies. He was passionate about teaching and enjoyed helping students. He had a positive impact on this school. Dr. Hossna Sadat Ahadi, an Associate Professor of Counseling, shared that students “were inspired and empowered by his teaching. Many students are now lawyers, politicians, professors, and more” because of him. His teaching sparked interest in students and influenced many to pursue a career in law.
Bill Jahnel also shared that he has met “multiple students who chose to go into the law or politics because of his (Professor Limer) mentorship.”
He liked to challenge his students. Pushing them to be the best version of themselves. He saw the potential in everyone. The Co-Chairs of the Asian Pacific Alliance in Higher Education (APAHE) group, Monica Diego and Angela Kong, said that “his lectures were very animated and informative. He had students practice debating topics together as a class, so lectures were never boring. Everyone participated in class.”
Teresa Laughlin once asked if she could observe one of his teachings and was astounded by what she saw. “When I went into his class, I was amazed at how engaged the students were,” she said.
Palomar’s President, Star Rivera Lacey, also shared a few kind words about Professor Limer after his passing about his impact on students. He was “extremely dedicated to the success of his students. He was well known for his ability to engage students with his sense of humor and extensive knowledge, and make his classes dynamic learning environments,” she said.
Joe Limer was a member of the Asian Pacific Alliance in Higher Education (APAHE) group. Their goal is to create a supportive and inclusive environment for students. Limer helped build an empowering cultural community within Palomar that encouraged diversity, specifically for Asian Americans.
His colleagues were honored to work beside him. “Joe supported the APAHE group in so many ways. He was a social justice and transformational leader in our community,” said Dr. Hossna Sadat Ahad. Monica Diego and Angela Kong shared that “he was with us from the beginning of our formation, through every event, and every celebration… he wasn’t afraid to be raw and honest. Joe brought out the best of us. Joe inspired us to be true to ourselves and to do whatever it takes to change the world, one student at a time.” It’s evident Professor Limer was an influential member of this group and on the faculty as well.
Throughout his life, he also gained many achievements, including two bachelor’s degrees, one in English and one in Political Science. He earned a master’s degree in Political Science, specifically in Public Policy. He also eventually took it a step further and obtained a Juris Doctor degree to practice law, even though he ultimately decided to give that up to teach college students.
At Palomar, he was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Award, which is a significant achievement for his influential teaching.
He was also a poet. His passion for poetry led him to win the National Poetry Slam Competition for the years of 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018. He never failed to share his poetry. His powerful words were spoken at many healing circles on the Palomar campus.
Hearts are broken by this loss. Joe Limer was many things. He was a valued professor, a mentor, a colleague, an activist, a loved one, and a friend.
Bill Jahnel expressed his sorrow by saying, “beyond all his accomplishments, he was shining light of a colleague and friend. There is a devastating silence where his voice once was.”
Professor Limer will be remembered at Palomar.
This past weekend, students celebrated Joe Limer at Queen Bee’s Art and Cultural Center.