Welcome Dr. Werle, Vice President for Instruction and Roxanne Metz, Grants and Contract Manager

Dear Saddleback College Family:

I am very pleased to officially announce that after a nation-wide search, Saddleback College has selected our new vice president for instruction to replace Dr. Don Busche upon his retirement.  Dr. Kathleen H. Werle is known to many of us already as Irvine Valley College’s dean of academic affairs, where she has worked since 2011 and was quickly recognized as a hardworking administrator who works collaboratively with faculty, staff, administration, and community.  We are very fortunate to have Dr. Werle join our Saddleback College family as we move forward on some very  important efforts over the coming years including integrated strategic planning, enrollment management, accreditation, and implementing the state’s student success task force recommendations and related legislative regulations.

Dr. Werle’s accomplishments as dean of academic programs at IVC are significant.  She co-chaired two successful accreditation follow-up report committees, initiated and helped plan two successful student success summits for the district, participated in the development of the district strategic plan and serves on the district-wide planning council, participated in the workgroup that updated the IVC strategic plan and aligned it with the district planning cycle, created an online toolkit to post documents and resources of use to faculty, and won the president’s award for administrative excellence.  In addition to these accomplishments, she worked closely with the vice presidents for instruction and student services, faculty, and administrators to provide optimum quality instructional, student learning and support services, coordinated and evaluated performance outcomes of the instructional programs and departments assigned to the schools of the college, worked closely with the deans to coordinate offsite, contract, and Emeritus educational offerings, oversaw the ATEP site and programming, and engaged in and provided support for program review, academic planning, accreditation, institutional effectiveness, strategic planning, and budget development processes.

Prior to joining IVC, Dr. Werle was vice president of instruction at San Diego Miramar College, where she planned, organized, administered, and evaluated the college’s curriculum, instructional programs, and learning resources, initiated and led the college’s work in institutional effectiveness assessment, program planning, review and evaluation, and established goals and objectives for the instructional division.  She also led the development and implementation of student learning outcomes assessment, provided leadership in developing the enrollment management plan and instructional facilities plan for the college, and developed annual budget recommendations.

Her previous positions include dean of applied science, technology, and physical education at San Jose City College, dean of applied arts and sciences at Evergreen Valley College, and interim dean of humanities and social sciences at Victory Valley College.  Before serving in administrative roles, Dr. Werle was a nursing instructor, assistant director, and department chair at Victor Valley College, an associate coordinator of the statewide nursing program at CSU Dominguez Hills, and an instructor in the psychiatric technician program at San Bernardino Valley College.  She also was a nurse and nursing supervisor at St. Bernardine Medical Center for 15 years.  Dr. Werle holds a Ph.D. in gerontology and public policy from USC, M.S.N. in nursing administration from CSU Los Angeles, B.S.N. in nursing form CSU San Bernardino, and Diploma in Nursing from Lutheran Medical Center School of Nursing.

Of her appointment, Dr. Werle says, “I was initially attracted to Saddleback College because of the number and diversity of career preparation programs offered, but there are many additional strengths that I’m aware of.  I look forward to working with faculty and staff to make the vision articulated by Dr. Burnett, that Saddleback College will be the first choice of students who seek a dynamic, innovative, and student-centered postsecondary education, a reality.”

In addition to Dr. Werle, I am very pleased to announce that we have hired Roxanne Metz as our new grants and contract manager.  Roxanne worked at College of the Redwoods for the last six years, where she served as the director of planning, grants, and institutional effectiveness.  Roxanne has extensive experience with grant scoping, grant writing, grant and contract management, planning, and accreditation.  Roxanne is currently studying for her doctorate of management in community college policy and administration at the University of Maryland University College.  Roxanne and her family moved to Orange County from Eureka, California and we are thrilled she has joined Saddleback.

We are very fortunate to have Dr. Werle and Roxanne join our college’s management team, so please join me in welcoming them to Saddleback!

Saddleback Librarian April Cunningham to Serve as Curriculum Designer for AiA project

April Cunningham has been selected to serve as a curriculum designer/facilitator for  “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success” (AiA), a three-year project conceived by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support the design, implementation, and evaluation of a program to strengthen the competencies of librarians in campus leadership and data-informed advocacy. April’s role will be to create dynamic and authentic learning experiences for participating librarians using blended learning and peer-to-peer collegial relationships resulting in action learning projects.

April is the Instruction Coordinator Librarian at Saddleback College. She leads the library in all forms of instruction, including library workshops, class orientations, embedded librarian projects, and credit library classes.  April has an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in Community Colleges from CSU Fullerton and a Masters of Library and Information Science from UCLA.  She is currently serving as the Director-at-Large for Community Colleges for the California Association of College and Research Libraries.  At Saddleback, she is the library’s representative on the Educational Planning and Assessment Committee and also serves on the Academic Senate Student Success Committee.

-By Elizabeth Horan

Wednesday: Health and Wellness Fair

It is my pleasure to invite you to a long-awaited event that will be held on our campus tomorrow.  The Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul: A Community Health and Wellness Fair will be held on our quad tomorrow, Wednesday, April 10th from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The event is free and will feature educational workshops, free health screenings, and health and wellness community resources.  Participants will have numerous opportunities to learn about basic health needs, nutrition, exercise, and stress management.  Additionally, educational sessions will offer information on mental health issues, substance abuse, and healthy relationships.

Our very own KSBR 88.5 FM will provide a live radio broadcast, and music, dance, and fitness performances, a poster contest, and opportunity drawings will be held.  We are also excited to have live cooking demonstrations and tastings from Ashley Santo Domingo, a contestant on Top Chef who is currently Executive Chef of Whole Foods Laguna Niguel.

All students, employees, and members of our community are encouraged to attend this signature event for Saddleback.  Special thanks to Martine Wehr, a member of our nursing associate faculty, for her excellent work and coordination on behalf of the health of our students, employees, and community!

Congratulations to the 2013 Professors of the Year

Saddleback College named Dr. Scott Fier, a chemistry instructor, Farida Gabdrakhmanova, an interior design and computer-aided design (CAD) instructor, and Melinda Smith, a fashion instructor in the college’s Emeritus Institute as the 2013 Professors of the Year.  The professors were nominated by their students and will be honored at the April 29th meeting of the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees.

The students’ nominations of Professors Fier, Gabdrakhmanova, and Smith speak to the dedication they have to their students and the passion they have for teaching. Saddleback College has so many exceptional instructors that it is always difficult to select our professors of the year, but it is clear that these superb professors have very positively influenced many lives.

Saddleback’s Professor of the Year is Dr. Scott Fier, who has taught at the college since 1993 and was praised by one student as being “the greatest educator I have ever had in all my years in education.” His students also said that he is more than just a professor; he is a mentor who is there for them inside and outside the classroom.

Dr. Fier stated, “I am truly honored by this award. I feel very fortunate to teach at a school with a wonderful faculty that always puts students first, and with a great staff and administration that is always supportive. Students come to Saddleback College because they have goals and dreams, and for those in my classes I try to help them reach their potential. My favorite thing to hear from former students is how well they were prepared for university classes by Saddleback College.”

The Associate Professor of the Year is Farida Gabdrakhmanova, who began teaching interior design and CAD classes at Saddleback in 2011. Gabdrakhmanova’s nominating students used the words “compassion” and “caring” to describe her and said that they appreciate that she is tough on them when they need it. Students stated that her willingness to help promoted the success of her students.

Gabdrakhmanova stated, “I am so deeply honored to have been chosen as Professor of the Year. This award does not belong just to me. I share it with my colleagues, who were also my teachers at Saddleback. They challenged me to start teaching two years ago and continue to support and encourage me today. I share the award with my students, who inspire and motivate me every single day with their commitment and positive attitude toward learning. I teach to help my students grow, learn, and gain confidence in everything that they do. I am not an ‘easy’ teacher, but I have high expectations of my students because I believe in them and I want them to leave college prepared and ready to succeed in the real world.”

Emeritus Professor of the Year Melinda Smith has been teaching fashion classes for Saddleback College’s Emeritus Institute since 1999. Emeritus Institute classes are developed to provide older adults personal, social, cultural, economic, and environmental benefits to positively impact their lives. Smith’s classes are some of the fastest-filling in the Emeritus Institute and it’s easy to see why when her students say, “I schedule my activities around this class so that I don’t miss any days because [Smith] makes each day exciting” and “She is so respected by the students you can hear a pin drop while she is lecturing.”

Smith stated, “It is truly a pleasure to teach what I love to such creative and enthusiastic students in the Emeritus Institute. I love the interaction and exchange of ideas that take place in the classroom. My students are delightful and I am so appreciative of this award.”

Congtatulations to Brooke Sauter, Classified Employee of the Year!

Photo Courtesy of Mike Sauter

At Classified Staff Development Day I was honored to announce Brooke Sauter as Saddleback College’s Classified Employee of the Year!

If you’ve been fortunate to work with Brooke, you know how deserving she is of this award, and if you haven’t worked with Brooke, you’ve undoubtedly heard about her excellent work ethic and infectious enthusiasm.  Brooke is a senior administrative assistant in the college’s division of counseling services and special programs where she is appreciated and admired for her professionalism, efficiency, skills, and willingness to help in all areas of the college.  Brooke’s service is instrumental in our Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS) program, where her ability to connect with men and women who have returned from military service helps them ease their stress and anxiety.  Brooke also offers her savvy skills to several campus-wide activities including commencement, senior day, and programs in our outreach and student development departments.  She is known as a person who gets things done and is sought for her vast knowledge.

To get an idea of just how respected Brooke is, take a look at some of the quotes included in her nomination packet:

“Veterans that I have had a chance to talk with have noted that Brooke is the ‘back bone’ of the VETS Center.  She is always attentive, alert, and willing to help any individual in any situation with any problem.”

“Brooke is resourceful, efficient, and willing and able to gather exact information in a timely manner, a trouble shooter, extremely courteous, and easily builds rapport with co-workers and students.”

“With my transition from military to civilian life Brooke has personally assisted me with that transition which in return has made me a better college student.”

“It is not uncommon to see Brooke actually run to answer a phone, allow a veteran to study in her office, or take the time to coach a student through a FAFSA application.”

“She carries herself in a way that makes you feel comfortable approaching her because she is open and willing to provide assistance regardless of how small or large the task is.”

“It is a pleasure to work with Brooke.  Her professionalism, sense of humor, willingness to work with others, honesty, and insistence on doing what’s best for all students makes her a natural leader.”

As you can see, Brooke is praised throughout our college for her tremendous service, and that praise is more than well-deserved.  Congratulations to Brooke for her outstanding contributions to Saddleback College, students, faculty, and staff.  We appreciate all that you do for us!