Saddleback College Recognizes Maintenance and Facilities Staff at Dedication of New Bridge

The view of the new bridge from the LRC

Recognizing the commitment and hard work of Saddleback College’s facilities and maintenance staff, more than 150 guests attended a ribbon cutting and dedication on Friday, July 27th to celebrate the opening of the college’s new bridge that connects the upper campus to the newly-renovated Learning Resource Center. Brian McMahon, a 34-year veteran of the college and the longest-serving member of the facilities and maintenance department, was asked to cut the ceremonial ribbon.

“This event is all about our facilities and maintenance staff and the gratitude we have for the work they do each day,” stated Dr. Burnett. “At least a few times a week I hear someone mention how beautiful the Saddleback College campus looks. The staff has done a fantastic job and it shows.”

The facilities and maintenance staff pose in front of the bridge entrance

Marcia Milchiker, clerk of the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) Board of Trustees, spoke at the event, “Having been a professor, I know that a clean, well-maintained campus is vital to student success. The work that the facilities and maintenance staff does has a huge impact on helping our students achieve their goals and it is important that they be recognized for their hard work.”

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Saddleback College Receives $570,000 National Science Foundation Grant to Provide Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Saddleback College’s innovative S-STEM Scholars Program has been awarded $567,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support academically talented and financially disadvantaged students who are pursuing degrees in a chosen STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) major. The program, which will begin in spring 2013, will provide comprehensive support to 14-20 students each year, including scholarships totaling approximately $9,200 per student for each academic year they are in the program.

L-R: President Dr. Tod Burnett; Dr. Jim Zoval, assistant professor of chemistry; Frank Gonzalez, assistant professor of mathematics; Cathy Arreguin, grants analyst; Dr. Chris McDonald, dean of mathematics, science, and engineering

“The S-STEM Scholars program provides an unparalleled financial and educational support system that will help our students transfer to a four-year college or university and will eventually lead them to lucrative career opportunities,” stated Dr. Tod Burnett, president of Saddleback College. “This National Science Foundation grant will make college a reality for many who never thought higher education was possible.”

“At Saddleback College we take pride in our ability to develop innovative ideas to tackle the problems associated with attracting, recruiting, and supporting students in STEM fields,” stated Dr. Chris McDonald, dean of mathematics, science, and engineering. “The S-STEM Scholars Program presents a wonderful opportunity for us to provide financial support to deserving, capable, and highly motivated Saddleback students.”

“I am very excited about the difference this NSF grant will make in the lives of our students who will be awarded these scholarships,” stated Dr. Jim V. Zoval, assistant professor of chemistry. “I am also glad that we can offer students an opportunity to participate in the undergraduate research that will be funded by this grant.”

Dr. Zoval also added, “Cathy Arreguin has contributed to every step of getting this grant, including a large part in the writing of the proposal.”

The Saddleback College Division of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering offers nine associate degree programs that qualify for the S-STEM Scholars Program – astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, geology, computer science, engineering, and marine science. Current or future students who would like to apply for the two-year program and scholarship must meet a minimum GPA requirement and show a financial need. To find out more about the program, including how and when applications will be accepted, contact Frank Gonzalez at fgonzalez@saddleback.edu.

Automotive Technology Program Receives $50,000 Donation for Student Scholarships from Tuttle-Click

Saddleback College’s automotive technology program was awarded $50,000 for student scholarships thanks to a generous donation from Tuttle-Click Automotive Group. The Tuttle-Click Automotive Technology Scholarship,  a partnership through which students get on-the-job training at a local Tuttle-Click dealership while earning four certifications and their associate degree in automotive technology, awards students $750 per semester, a Matco starter tool set valued at $4,500, and job placement upon completion. This is the second year Saddleback has received the donation; the first was awarded in 2008 and 10 students have participated in the program.

(L-R) Math, Science and Engineering Dean Christopher McDonald, Foundation Board President Jim Leach, Service Director at Tustin Tuttle-Click Dale Sponseller, Automotive Technology Department Chair Clifford Meyer, Division of Advanced Technology and Applied Science Dean Don Taylor

“This partnership with Tuttle-Click is an excellent example of how everyone benefits when the college and industry work together to train students for successful careers,” stated Dr. Tod Burnett, president of Saddleback College. “The scholarships provide students the support to complete their education, and the jobs at Tuttle-Click get their careers started immediately following their graduation. It’s an ideal situation for our students.”

Dale Sponseller, service director at Tustin Tuttle-Click Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge, stated, “Saddleback College’s automotive technology instructors have the same high standards for  their students that we do for our employees, so this partnership has been extremely beneficial to Tuttle-Click and Saddleback. Students who complete the program continue to move up the ranks at Tuttle-Click dealerships throughout the area.”

“Our outstanding automotive technology instructors work tirelessly to help our students exceed their academic and professional goals,” stated Don Taylor Saddleback College Division of Advanced Technology and Applied Science dean. “This partnership provides students with a career goal that is not only viable but also profitable.”

“This is the perfect program for students who are interested in cars but who also want to start their careers quickly,” stated Clifford Meyer, automotive technology department chair. “I am extremely proud of the students who have completed the program and am happy to continue the partnership with Tuttle-Click.”

Most graduates of the program continue to work for Tuttle-Click and many are now senior technicians. When students complete the two-year program, they will have earned an associate degree and be certified in automotive chassis, automotive engine service, automotive engine performance, and general automotive. Students who are interested in the program must first apply as an entry-level technician or apprentice technician at a local Tuttle-Click dealership and then fill out a separate application for the scholarship. Prospective students who would like more information on the program may contact Clifford Meyer at cmeyer@saddleback.edu.