President Presents Annual State of the College and Highlights Automotive Technology Program

Saddleback College President Dr. Burnett presented the Annual State of the College at a campus community breakfast held on Friday, September 23rd attended by several dozen elected officials, business and industry representatives, and other community leaders. This year’s report was titled “Being the First Choice” and focused on the college’s vision for being the first choice of students seeking a dynamic, innovative, and student-centered postsecondary education.

In his presentation, Dr. Burnett stated, “Student success is a top priority for our state and nation, and that is what Saddleback is all about. To be the first choice of students, we not only must continue our large number of degree, certificate, and transfer completions each year, but we must significantly expand these numbers in order to meet projected workforce demands. I am confident that with our quality faculty and exceptional programs we can meet this challenge.”

The breakfast also featured a presentation from Professor Cliff Meyer on the college’s renowned Automotive Technology program that is designed to prepare students for employment as automotive technicians. Students can complete their Associate of Science or Associate of Arts degree and transfer to a four-year college or university. Students can also earn certificates in Automotive Chassis Specialist, Automotive Engine Service Specialist, Automotive Engine performance Specialist, General Automotive Technician, and, soon, Alternative Propulsion. About 425 students are enrolled in the Automotive Technology program each semester and the program has been very successful in helping students find well-paying careers.

The president’s Annual State of the College provides an overview of the past academic year and a preview of the coming year’s opportunities and challenges for Saddleback College.  A full copy of the report can be found on the college website or click here to download a PDF of the full report.

Gauchos Celebrate Homecoming with a Tailgate Party and a Win!

On Saturday, September 24th, Saddleback College hosted its annual Homecoming celebration, featuring family-friendly tailgate events and food, halftime entertainment, and a football game versus Victor Valley College. The Gauchos won the game 48-14 and increased their record to 4-0. Saddleback quarterback Ben Gomez threw for a school, sing-game record 487 yards and three touchdowns. The team went into the game rated No. 4 in the latest Dirty 30 national rankings. Go Gauchos!

Photo Courtesy of Associated Student Government

The Associated Student Government hosted pregame tailgating activities will begin at 4:00 p.m. and kick-off for the game is at 6:00 p.m.  The tailgate events will be located in front of the stadium and are free. Admission to the game is free with an ASB Stamp or $5.00 for general admission; on-campus parking will also be free.

Homecoming King Jordan Larson and Queen Sydne Ames. Photo courtesy of ASG.

The Saddleback College Associated Student Government is sponsoring a pre-game tailgate event, which featured a DJ, Chomp Chomp Nation and Panfinity food trucks selling dinner and the Sea Salt Candy Company selling dessert. There was also a bounce house and an obstacle course for kids. During the tailgate, $200 in donations were collected for Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and Max Wilford, son of Saddleback College Student Development Director Audra DiPadova, to help the family following Max’s recent brain surgery.

The Homecoming King and Queen were named before the game and a donation was made to the club of their choice. Jordan Larson made his donation to Chess Club and Sydne Ames made her donation to ASG. Congratulations to the winners and their clubs!

Physics Professor Embraces the Future of Green Technology

Mitch Haeri stands next to his zero emission, hydrogen fuel cell car

Dr. Mitch Haeri, a professor of physics and astronomy, was recently selected to drive a hydrogen fuel cell car as part of a pilot program by Mercedes-Benz.  The program is part of an effort to get more clean energy cars on the road and bring awareness to the public about the zero emission vehicles that produce water as exhaust.  The perks of the program include free automobile insurance and fuel, which Dr. Haeri, who said he is “Mr. Green” because of his eco-friendly way of life, gets at local hydrogen filling stations.

Fuel cell cars generate electricity that feed an electric motor and are fueled only with hyrdrogen.  With a horsepower of 135, driving one feels no different from driving a regular car (Dr. Haeri was kind enough to let the author take his new wheels for a spin).  All car manufacturers produce hydrogen fuel cell cars, but as of now only Mercedez-Benz and Honda have them available in small numbers for the public to drive.

Dr. Haeri was one of the few selected for the program after submitting an essay to the auto manufacturer.  This is the third eco-friendly car he has driven, being the owner of two Toyota Priuses (including the first model that was released) before being selected to lease his new hydrogen-powered automobile.

Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour Comes to Saddleback

About 250 students attended the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour (EET) on Monday, September 12 to learn about ways to launch their own businesses. The EET is a half-day conference that brings top young entrepreneurs to colleges, universities, workforce development organizations, and chambers of commerce, to encourage entrepreneurial spirit. Attendees are given the chance to hear from keynote speakers, participate in workshops, and network with fellow attendees and entrepreneurs.

Business Professor, Rebecca Knapp was the driving force behind getting the tour to Saddleback College and the effort paid of with a large, excited group of future business leaders!

Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Knapp

Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Knapp

Saddleback College to Commemorate 10th Anniversary of 9/11

To pay tribute to the victims of September 11, 2001 and those who died in subsequent action, Saddleback College will be hosting a 9/11 commemoration ceremony at the college’s veterans memorial on Thursday, September 8th at 4:00 p.m.

Saddleback College President Tod A. Burnett and Associated Student Government President Joseph Hassine will provide the opening remarks, Emergency Medical Technician faculty member Ruth Grubb will lead a moment of silence, Marine Corps Veteran and Saddleback College student Elizabeth Tepe will speak, and student Chase Chandler will perform Taps.

Saddleback College 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony
Date: Thursday, September 8th
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Campus Quad in front of the Veterans Memorial
Parking: Free parking in Lot 5 during the event