Congratulations Saddleback College Graduates!

Today, Saddleback College recognized graduates and certificate of achievement recipients at its annual commencement ceremony. The graduates became Saddleback alumni in front of hundreds of adoring family, friends, and faculty. Before the degrees were conferred, commencement Speaker and California Community Colleges Chancellor, Dr. Jack Scott, imparted words of wisdom to the group, urging them to be prepared for roadblocks but to always be persistent.  The Commencement Student Speaker Janis Alexa Smith shared her story of struggles and triumph and earned her degree in front of her children and grandchildren.

For more pictures and a great article, check out the story that the Orange County Register did about commencement!

Of the students who graduated from Saddleback College this year, 301 received honors, including 28 summa cum laude (4.0 grade point average), 95 magna cum laude (3.75 to 3.99 grade point average) and 178 cum laude (3.5 to 3.74 grade point average).  Showing the diverse range of ages at the college, the youngest graduate, Alex Cole, is 16 years of age, and the most senior graduate, Helen Ngo, just celebrated her 80th birthday!  Fifty-six graduates are younger than 20 and 22 graduates are over the age of 55.

Students participating in commencement are candidates for Associate in Arts and Science degrees and certificates of achievement.  More than 2,000 students will also be transferring to four-year colleges and universities to continue studying for their baccalaureate degrees.  This year’s graduates will be transferring to four-year institutions such as USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton, San Diego State University, and Arizona State University, among others.

Commencement is a special time at Saddleback College where we celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates.  I am very proud of our students and the faculty, staff, and administrators who played an integral role in helping them reach their goals.  Congratulations to the Class of 2012!

South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees President Nancy Padberg lead the conferral of degrees along with Trustees David B. Lang, Frank M. Meldau, Ph.D., Marcia Milchiker, and T.J. Prendergast, III, and Chancellor Gary L. Poertner. During the ceremony, special recognition will be given to the two retiring faculty members who will be elevated to Professor Emeritus status and to Professors of the Year.

 

Congratulations to the 52 Men and Women who are Graduating from the Nursing Program Today!

On Tuesday, May 15th at 7:00 p.m., 52 graduates of the Saddleback College nursing program will be honored with a traditional candlelight pinning ceremony held at McKinney Theatre at Saddleback College.

The ceremony will begin with a welcome from Tammy Rice, assistant dean of health sciences and human services and director of the college’s nursing program. Graduating student Ed Page will give the “Remember When” speech.  Professor Diane Pestolesi will then formally present the class. Professors Phillis Kucharski and Pat McGinley will honor each graduate with the time-honored nursing pin, a symbol of a nurse’s service to others, and their induction into the nursing profession.

Graduating student Emily Crick will present the class pledge, which will be followed by acknowledgements from Rice.  Graduating student Barbara Wright will give the Farewell Address to represent the end of their journey as students and the beginning of their journeys as nurses.

Saddleback College Professors Betsy Brewington and Janine O’Buchon, together with graduating student Tasha Gates, will preside over a candle lighting ceremony, which has symbolized the passing of knowledge from one generation to the next since Florence Nightingale first brought enlightenment to the nursing profession in the 19th century.

The graduating class of Spring 2012 is proud to include:
(All listed in alphabetical order with their city)

Continue reading for complete list.

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More than 100 People attend Transfer Celebration

The Transfer Center’s annual celebration was once again a huge success. More than 100 students, faculty, staff, administrators, parents, and friends came out to support students who are transferring to colleges and universities. The celebration is a time for students to mingle with future classmates and meet representatives from their transfer colleges. This year Saddleback transferred more than 2,000 students to colleges and universities all over the world!

A couple of transfer facts:

  • Saddleback College is 12th out of 112 California Community Colleges in transfers to UCs and CSUs.
  • Saddleback College is ranked third in the state in the number of transfers to UCI
  • We are ranked third in the number of transfers to CSUF and CSULB
  • Saddleback is the highest in Orange County for transfers to San Diego State University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Chico State, CSU San Marcos, Humboldt State, and San Francisco State

For a list of students and their transfer colleges, please keep reading.

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Saddleback Faculty Honored by Former Students

Each year, University of California, Irvine holds an Educator Recognition Reception and Award Ceremony during which their honors students have the chance to identify someone from their community college who was critical in helping them successfully transfer. On May 7th, five Saddleback College faculty were honored for their dedication to their students.

This year’s honorees:

  • Dr. William Alston, Organic Chemistry Professor, recognized by Seyed Pairawan
  • Dr. Scott Fier, Chemistry Professor, recognized by Arshan Ferdowsian
  • Dr. Carmen Hernandez-Bravo, Spanish Professor, recognized by Ashley Santellan
  • Elizabeth Ininns, Microbiology/Anatomy Professor, recognized by Sabrina Tamme
  • Dr. Kris Leppien-Christensen, Psychology Professor, recognized by Morgan Zisch

Honorees, students, and supporters!

Everyday our faculty work tirelessly to help their students meet personal goals, whether that is transfer, career training, or self-improvement and I am extremely proud of the professors who have been honored at this event. Because of your dedication, your former student are doing great things at UCI and are sure to be successful following completion of their degree.

I would also like to thank those who made it out to UCI to support our faculty - Gary Poertner, Chancellor, South Orange County Community College District; Dr. Don Busche Acting Vice President for Instruction; and Dr. Bob Cosgrove, President Elect, Academic Senate.

Saddleback College Recognizes Professors of the Year

Saddleback College named Dr. David DiLeo, a history instructor, Ken Lee, a landscape design instructor, and Rob Henry, a consumer health issues instructor in the college’s Emeritus Institute, as the 2012 Professors of the Year.  All three professors were nominated by their students and were honored at the April 30th meeting of the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees.

Saddleback College has so many exceptional professors that it is always difficult to narrow it down, but the student feedback spoke volumes for Professors DiLeo, Lee, and Henry. Students sang their praises and it’s clear that these superb professors  have very positively influenced many lives.

Dr. DiLeo Addresses his History Class

Dr. DiLeo Addresses his History Class

Professor of the Year Dr. David DiLeo teaches history and has been a full-time professor at Saddleback College since 1993 and was praised by his students for being one of the most devoted and kind professors they have ever learned from. He was also commended for providing an inclusive learning experience that broadened their minds and pushed them to learn new ideas.

“I am honored to represent the entire Saddleback staff and faculty as the 2012 teacher of the year recipient. It is most certainly a privilege to do what we do. The pursuit of knowledge, and its cousin, understanding, is a necessary and worthy endeavor,” said Dr. DiLeo. “My hat is off to a tireless support staff, a dedicated board and administration, and my talented colleagues.”

Associate Professor of the Year Ken Lee

Associate Professor of the Year Ken Lee

Associate Professor of the Year Ken Lee began teaching landscape design classes at Saddleback in 2000. Lee’s nominating students called him their mentor and expressed appreciation for inviting them to his landscape design business for a glimpse into practical applications of their studies. Lee was described as professional, welcoming and down-to-earth.

“As a teacher and a mentor for a young generation, I believe that teaching should be a passion, not just a job. All teachers should be passionate about what they do. Without it, it would be impossible to influence the next generation to become better. Passion from a teacher, about any subject, is contagious, spreading out to everyone in the classroom,” stated Lee.

Emeritus Professor of the Year Rob Henry

Emeritus Professor of the Year Rob Henry began teaching for the Emeritus Institute in 2005 after teaching in the Division of Health Sciences and Human Services since 1987 and was  been nominated by his students an astounding 40 times! His emeritus students say he is an outstanding example of what an educator should be and his class is a “must” for everyone.

“I spent 18 years instructing traditional students on campus.  It wasn’t until I began teaching emeritus classes as well that I became fully fulfilled as an instructor,” said Henry. “The exchange of ideas and knowledge is truly rewarding.”