Remembering Associate Professor Joe Tinervia

It is with great sadness that I report the loss of Associate Professor Joe Tinervia, who passed away on Friday after his brave battle with pancreatic cancer.  Joe worked as an associate faculty member for the last 23 years in our Division of Business Science and Economic and Workforce Development, and was a respected author, writer, and editor who worked in the publishing industry for many years.

Many of us who didn’t get to work with Joe on a regular basis got to know him as we prepared the college’s accreditation self-study report, for which he served as editor.  Joe’s gift for grammar, English, and communications made him an obvious choice in this endeavor, and he did the job extremely well.  It was a true pleasure to work with him.

Joe was an incredible human being—warm, friendly, and caring, with a wonderful sense of humor.  As stated by his friend and colleague, Dr. Barbara Cox, “Joe was a great gift in my life.  Great gifts are also the hardest losses.”

Joe was an extremely generous man, giving abundant time to his students to answer questions and help them prepare for their academic and professional goals.  He cared immensely about his students, colleagues, and friends, and it showed.  Indeed, Joe—described often as a role model, hardworking colleague, and friend—will be greatly missed by all who were lucky to know him.

Our condolences go out to Joe’s family and friends.

Saddleback Interior Design Team Raises $30,000 for HomeAid Orange County

The Saddleback College Interior Design Team participated in HomeAid Orange County’s signature fundraiser Project Playhouse, which raises money to help the county’s homeless population. The team designed a playhouse, titled Over The Rainbow Cottage, which was displayed at the Irvine Spectrum and then auctioned off. Over The Rainbow Cottage not only raised $30,000, it was also received the People’s Choice award!

Congratulations to the team of design students who created this fantastic playhouse: team leader Barbara Schierhold, Susan Koubas, Keith Stanley, Carolyn Hall, Kaitlin Galati, and Joni Owen.

Classified Senate Donates Thanksgiving Baskets to 33 Student Veterans

The Saddleback College community does it again! Following the Classified Senate’s second annual Thanksgiving basket drive, 33 student veterans were able to bring home a gift card to purchase their Thanksgiving turkey and baskets loaded with all the trimmings. This is a great way for our campus to give back to these men and women who have done so much for our country. I am very proud of the fact that we were able to collect enough food for 33 families, four more than last year!

Thank you to everyone who was able to donate and the Classified Senate for making this happen, especially Tracy McConnell who organized the food collection and basket distribution.

Missing Saddleback College Professor Found

I am pleased to report that Professor Amy Ahearn was safely found this weekend by the Los Angeles Police Department.  We all have been very concerned about Amy and we are relieved to hear that she is back with her family and loved ones.

Thank you to all for keeping Amy in your thoughts and prayers.  We all wish Amy the very best and look forward to seeing her again soon.

Nominations Now Being Accepted for the 2011 President’s Award for Leadership and Innovation

The President’s Award for Leadership and Innovation was created to recognize members of Saddleback College’s faculty, classified staff, and management who have demonstrated and exemplified the spirit of leadership and innovation over the past year.  Leadership and innovation refer to a new and more effective way of doing things or doing what it takes to make things happen which have a positive impact on our students, campus, and/or community.

The President’s Award for Leadership and Innovation will be given annually to one person from each of the following groups:

1) Full-time Faculty;
2) Part-time Faculty;
3) Classified Staff;
4) Classified Manager; and
5) Administrator

The four awards will be presented during the coming Spring in-service week at the President’s faculty breakfast and classified staff lunch.  Award recipients will receive district-wide recognition and a $250 gift certificate from the Saddleback College Foundation.

To nominate yourself or another person, complete the form, which can be found by following this link: Leadership-and-Innovation-Award-2011. Submit the form to Sophie Miller in the President’s Office at by December 2, 2011.

Prior award recipients include:
Elizabeth Horan, Distance Learning Librarian
Don Lindboe, Senior Fiscal/Veteran’s Specialist
Estella Garrison, Director of Community Education
Diane Pestolesi, Professor of Nursing
Penny Skaff, Counselor
Matthew Brodet, Video Production Specialist
Audra DiPadova, Director of Student Development

Saddleback Hosts Student Success Task Force Meeting

Photo Courtesy of Michael O'Meara

Saddleback College hosted a student success town hall meeting on Tuesday, November 8th attended by nearly 200 students, faculty, staff, and community members who were given the opportunity to provide suggestions about ways to increase student completions at  the state’s community college system.

The town hall was part of a series of  meetings held by Chancellor Jack Scott’s statewide Student Success Task Force that is examining ways to improve student achievement in California.  The task force has produced a draft of recommendations for development of a plan to be adopted by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and presented to the state legislature by no later than March 2012.

At the town hall, the draft recommendations were presented and discussed by Task Force representatives  Dr. Yasmin Delahoussaye, Interim Vice Chancellor of Educational Programs and Institutional Effectiveness at Los Angeles Community College District, Dr. Melinda Nish, President of the California Community College Chancellor’s Instructional Office Executive Board and Vice President for Instruction at Orange Coast College, and Erik Skinner, Executive Vice Chancellor of Programs at the California State Community College Chancellor’s Office. Participants were provided opportunities to bring forth questions and comments to these representatives, which would be considered by the task force in preparation of the final recommendations to be presented to the board of governors and legislature.

It was a pleasure to host the Student Success Task Force and to give our community the chance to speak about the many issues facing community colleges and our services for students. I am confident that the feedback provided will be vital in enhancing student success and shaping the future of California’s community colleges.

Chancellor Gary L. Poertner, said, “Student completion is a top priority and this town hall meeting was an important step in ensuring our students are given the greatest opportunity to succeed. I look forward to seeing the final report so we can turn the recommendations into action.”

While the Student Success Task Force has held  several student success meetings throughout the state, the November 8th town hall at Saddleback College  was the only meeting that was held in Orange County. Students and community members of all ages filled the room and provided feedback about a host of issues including financial aid, prioritizing classes, and partnering with local high schools.

To learn more about the Student Success Task Force and view the draft  recommendations, please visit

Saddleback Students Take Home National Awards

(left to right) Zac Rodriguez, Debra Hill, Ryan Rodriguez, Kelly Jones and Larissa Garrett.

Have you received the new Saddleback spring 2012 postcard in your mailbox? The card features five Saddleback College Cinema/Television/Radio students who recently came back winners from the College Broadcasters, Inc. National Student Production Awards at the 2011 National Student Media Convention in Orlando.

Zac Rodriguez, Debra Hill, Ryan Rodriguez, and Larissa Garrett took home the prize for Best Documentary for their short film “Bullets to Bubbles,” which tells the stories of veterans who have turned to SCUBA diving for mental and physical rehabilitation.

Kelly Jones, a disc jockey on Saddleback radio station KSBR 88.5 FM and online at took home the prize for Best DJ.

To view “Bullets to Bubbles” and to find out more about enrolling in spring semester classes, visit the New Students page at

Saddleback Receives Donation from San Diego Gas & Electric

SDG&E External Affairs Representative and Foundation Board Member Duane Cave Presents a Check to President Burnett, Foundation Board Member Jim Leach, and Foundation Project Assistant Nancy Cho

A new website to help Saddleback College students find internships will be created in January, thanks to a generous $7,500 donation from San Diego Gas & Electric. The new site will be free to students.

According to the project proposal to SDG&E, in partnership with Irvine Valley College, Saddleback will develop an online internship system that will be accessible to hundreds of employers and more than 40,000 students each semester. The current internship system at Saddleback is successfully utilized by 250 students each semester and this new system is expected to more than double that number.

The free online system will enable employers to quickly fill internship openings, which allow students to obtain valuable work experience in their chosen career fields. The process also allows students who have not chosen a career path to test drive a career.

Dr. Georgina Guy, EOPS/CARE Coordinator, Receives California Outstanding Service Award

Dr. Georgina Guy

EOPS (Extended Opportunity Program and Services)/CARE Coordinator and CalWORKs Director Dr. Georgina Guy was given the Outstanding Service Award by the California Community Colleges EOPS Association. Dr. Guy’s staff submitted the nomination form in hopes of recognizing her for going above and beyond the call of duty. One California EOPS employee is chosen for the Outstanding Service Award for making an “outstanding contribution and provided outstanding services to EOP&S.”

Orlantha Nin, EOPS Counselor, stated “Dr. Guy deserves this award for her tireless efforts to advocate for college students in the EOPS population.  She does this at the local level by coordinating our program at Saddleback College and she is also very involved in advocating at the regional and state level.  We are all very proud to know that her efforts are being recognized.”

Recently, Dr. Guy has taken the initiative to make two major changes on our campus. First, she converted her programs into a fully-paperless systems. This serves both as an efficiency and as an environmentally-friendly means of providing a service. The paperless system allowed the EOPS students to be the first group on campus to move fully to online student educational plan.

Dr. Guy also spearheads the new EOPS Student Success Committee. This summer, all students who found themselves facing challenges were required to meet with Dr. Guy and a counselor to review their situation. This hands-on approach and intervention made a significant impact on students and aided in making informed programmatic changes in the following term.

Congratulations on your well-deserved award, Dr. Guy! The entire Saddleback community is proud to have you on our team!

Outreach Office Gets Busy Helping Students

The Saddleback College Outreach Office released their numbers for the fall semester and it is clear that they have been doing a great job helping our students. While the primary goal of the Outreach Department is to bring new students to Saddleback, the center also operates the college switchboard and has campus counter service available to students.   where staff and student workers provide general information regarding college programs, services and course information, office hours and locations, and directions.

During the first week of the fall semester, the Student Information Center helped 1,700 students, an average of 340 per day! On their busiest day, Monday, August 22, 454 students visited the Information Center. Additionally, the center helped 3,500 callers through the college’s general number (4500).

In the 2010-11 school year, the department did:

  • 146 High School Visits (Includes College Nights, Quad Visits, and classroom presentations)
  • 22 Community/Business Visits
  • 139 Campus Tours
  • 22 On Campus outreach/recruitment events (i.e. Family Night and Senior Day)

Finally, I want to give kudos to the department for increasing their outreach activity. The following show a percentage increase in outreach visits since 2008-09 to current:

  • High School outreach visits increased by 37%
  • Community/Business outreach visits increased by 27%
  • Campus Tours visits increased by 30%
  • On campus outreach/recruitment events increased by 45%

Thank you to all of the staff and student assistants that support the Outreach Department!