Farewell to Dr. Carmen Cortez Dominguez

We are excited to announce that Dr. Carmen Dominguez has been selected as the new dean of fine and performing arts at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita.  While we are happy for Dr. Dominguez, we are sad to see the departure of one of Saddleback’s highly accomplished faculty leaders.  When she came to the college in 1996 as a music instructor, the symphony orchestra had two members, no budget, and all of the equipment was 20 years old.  Since serving as chair of the music department, she has successfully expanded the college’s music program and staunchly advocated for new equipment.  Most notably, a 24 station state-of-the-art piano/keyboard lab, choral equipment, and a seven-foot Steinway grand piano, were donated to the college from the Nordstrom Corporation.  Last May she conducted the orchestra and college choirs in sold out performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sensational Phantom of the Opera and Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd in the prior year.  During  her past 15 years with Saddleback, Dr. Dominguez has served and provided leadership on numerous college and district committees, including serving as president of the academic senate for four  terms.

Dr. Dominguez is one of those rare individuals who has made a tremendously positive impact on our students, college, and community and she will be missed by all of us.  We asked Dr. Dominguez if she had a departing message for everyone at the college and not surprisingly she said,  “Thank you for the last 15 years, it’s been a HOOT!”  Indeed, it has been a hoot all these years, and we wish Dr. Dominguez the very best at her new college home.

To thank Dr. Dominguez for her years of service at Saddleback College and to wish her the best of luck as the new dean of arts at College of the Canyons, you are cordially invited to attend a celebration in her honor on Friday, August 5th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the courtyard of the fine arts complex.  Click here for the invitation.

Saddleback Now a Member of the Southern California Regional Transit Training Consortium

Clifford Meyer and Raj Dhillon

Saddleback College is the most recent member of the Southern California Regional Transit Training Consortium (SCRTTC), a nonprofit dedicated to providing a training resource network focused on employment in the transit industry. The consortium is made up of 31 transportation agencies, community colleges, and universities.

Clifford G. Meyer, Department Chair of the Automotive Technology Program, vigorously pursued this partnership with the organization, which provides training for instructors as well as a gateway for students to find jobs in the industry.

The Automotive Technology Program provides students the opportunity to earn certificates in four specialties: Automotive Chassis Specialist, Automotive Engine Service Specialist, Automotive Engine Performance Specialist, and General Automotive Technician. Instructors will now be able to work with industry partners to keep these programs up-to-date and to keep adding new programs, as the demand for transit workers increases.

For more information on SC’s Automotive Technology programs, visit www.saddleback.edu/atas/automotive_technology. For further information about the SCRTTC, visit www.scrttc.com.

100 Student-Athletes Make Honor Roll

Assistant Athletic Director Jerry Hannula just let us know some exciting news… 100 of the college’s 332 student-athletes have been named to the Spring 2011 Athletic Honor Roll, including 14 student-athletes with a perfect 4.00 grade point average! A complete list of the incredible student-athletes can be found here.

In order to make the honor roll, student-athletes must have passed at least 12 units during the semester with a 3.00 GPA or higher.

The Spring 2011 semester numbers are in line with the Fall 2010 numbers, where 115 student-athletes where listed on the Honor Roll including 15 with a perfect 4.00 grade point average.

“The success of our athletic teams is apparent when they are in actual competition.  What isn’t quite as apparent to the community is how well these student-athletes are doing in the classroom.  At Saddleback, we take great pride in the academic accomplishments of our student-athletes,” said Tony Lipold, Dean and Athletic Director.

Pendleton Marines and Sailors Visit Saddleback

For many active duty military college isn’t on the radar. If they do have a moment to think about education, they are often unsure of their career options, do not know all of the financial aid that they are eligible for, and don’t know what types of classes they should be taking. Unfortunately, many veterans have never set foot on a college campus and the possibility of reaching upward social mobility through higher education isn’t an apparent option.

Recently, the Saddleback College VETS  (Veterans Education & Transition Services) program brought 17 Camp Pendleton marines and sailors to campus as part of early transition assistance.  Several veterans who had successfully made the transition from military to school shared their stories about the struggles and triumphs of enrolling in college after being discharged. Attendees then took a campus tour, which ended at the Veterans Memorial, before heading off to UCI for another campus tour.

“Our intent is to have this serve as a template that I can share at the Region Representative meeting at the California Community College Chancellors Office in July with the hopes to have this event replicated across the state,” said Terence Nelson, Assistant Dean, Counseling Services and Special Programs.

One message was made clear throughout the day: start planning for college now.

After many attendees shared their fears of leaving the military and only being qualified for minimum jobs, presenters pushed them to open their eyes about high-paying career options that are available with a certificate or a degree. Several speakers encouraged the soldiers to go back to the base and immediately research several career paths and colleges that they might be interested in.

The event also carried a strong theme of starting over. High school performance doesn’t matter, said Elizabeth Tepe a Saddleback student, athlete and veteran. She went from barely passing her high school classes to getting excellent grades at Saddleback and becoming a successful student athlete. Her story seemed to hit a nerve with many audience members who expressed their own concerns about being held back by their past.

During the tour, the marines and sailors seemed encouraged to look into their higher education options and the conversation was lively and upbeat. One of the active duty members summed up the day by telling the presenters, “I never considered college an option for me, but I’m getting more pumped just by being here.”