SOCCCD, Saddleback College managers and administrators attend NIMS, NRF conference

Saddleback College President Tod Burnett stands with Andrew Craven, police technical services specialist, Susan Cook, administrative assistant for the Division of Math, Science and Engineering, and Karen Kelley, senior lab technician, who were recognized for their work on the college’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

On Friday, November 15th, South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) and Saddleback College managers and administrators attended a National Incident Management System (NIMS) and National Response Framework (NRF) conference that provided training on and resources in emergency preparedness.

The exceptional workshop was led by Saddlebacks’ Chief of Police Christopher Wilkinson, and Kim Aufhauser, special advisor for emergency Management to the California Community College State Chancellor’s Office.  The day-long conference provided attendees with information on NIMS, a foundation for incident management at all jurisdiction levels, and NRF, a framework that defines guiding principles on how the nation responds to emergency situations.

Broken into two sessions, the morning lecture focused on several NIMS components such as, preparedness, communication and information management, resource management, and command management. The afternoon session focused on NRF roles and responsibilities, response actions, response organization, and planning activity.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Mobile Incident Command Vehicle was also onsite for managers and administrators to tour.

During the event, Andrew Craven, police technical services specialist, recognized the college’s Community emergency Response Team (CERT) members, Susan Cook, administrative assistant for the Division of Math, Science and Engineering, and Karen Kelley, senior lab technician for their response to an emergency on campus.

At the end of the day, managers and administrations completed a final exam and were presented with a certificate of achievement and a Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) Card to communicate with key national security and emergency preparedness personal during emergency events.


Foundation Board of Governors Presents Kia Motors with Certificate, Plaque

On Thursday, October 24th, Saddleback College Foundation Board of Governors First President Gary Capata presented Scott McKee, a Kia Motors America representative, with a plaque and certificate for their contributions to Saddleback’s Automotive Technology Program during a Board of Governors meeting.

Alan Davis was also presented with a plaque and certificate for his work in facilitating a partnership between Kia Motors America and the college’s Automotive Technology Program. The relationship started when Davis’ son started classes at Saddleback College in 2007.

During the past six years Kia Motors America has given the college’s Automotive Technology Department cars and equipment totaling more than $173,260 in value.

Clifford Meyer, professor and department chair of automotive technology, stated “It has been a wonderful relationship with great benefit to the students.  Thank you for your help and support.”

Don Busché, acting dean of advanced technology and applied science, stated, “Saddleback College has had a strong auto program since 1976, which has become stronger due to support from Kia and other auto donors like them.”

Saddleback College to Celebrate Veteran Success with Noted Speakers, Reception

On Tuesday, November 12th Saddleback College will celebrate five years of veteran success and the opening of the college’s newly-renovated veterans center that offers comprehensive services for veterans including benefits assistance, counseling, and other services to help veterans transition to civilian and college life.  The event will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Saddleback College Student Services Center.

The keynote speaker of the event is Secretary Peter James Gravett of the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Secretary Gravett is a retired major general of the United States Army and is the highest ranking official of veterans services in the state.  Gravett retired with more than 40 years of service in the U.S. Army and California National Guard, and served as commanding general of the 40th Infantry Division and became the first African American National Guard division commander in the 225-year history of the National Guard in the United States.  Additional speakers include David J. Davis, acting director of the Department of Veterans Affairs regional office in San Diego, and Jack Williams, an Iraq War veteran of the Marine Corps and alum of Saddleback College who is now in his third year of law school at the University of California, Irvine.  Additional student veterans, as well as college administrators and staff, will offer remarks.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “Saddleback places a high priority on providing comprehensive services to veterans to help them succeed at the college and beyond.  I am very proud of the work of our faculty and staff who each day help our more than 1,300 veterans in their transition to civilian life.  This event will not only celebrate the accomplishments of our student veterans, but also those at the college and in our community who dedicate themselves to ensuring that our veterans get the support they deserve.”

The event will feature the First Marine Division Band, and the Southern California Army Recruiting Battalion will serve as Color Guard.  John Huntington, associate faculty in the college’s division of fine arts and media technology, will sing the National Anthem.  Additionally, an American flag flown in Kabul, Afghanistan will be presented to student veterans.

As part of the festivities, the college’s Veterans Club will be hosting “Veterans Week,” which will include opening day festivities on Tuesday, November 12th, featuring a performance by the Marine Corps Band.  This event will include a $5 entrance fee and lunch will be provided.  On Wednesday, November 13th, a “Warrior Challenge” will include an obstacle course and the opportunity to win a free t-shirt, and on Thursday, November 14th a military gear show will give guests the chance to meet Saddleback veterans, who will display the gear they used in the military.  All Veterans Week events will be held in the quad from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Saddleback College’s wide-ranging services for veterans were recently augmented by a recently- signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) services, allowing the college to host an experienced VA vocational rehabilitation counselor to assist students in achieving their educational and career goals through the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other education benefit programs.   This landmark MOU, which created a partnership between the VA, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College, has made the colleges two of fewer than 100 colleges nationwide to offer VSOC services.

Saddleback College Professor Honored at Orange County Teachers of the Year Gala

Dr. Scott Fier, a chemistry professor and Saddleback College’s Professor of the Year for 2013, was honored at the Orange County Teachers of the Year gala on Friday, October 25th at the Disneyland Hotel.  Dr. Fier, who was named Professor of the Year after being nominated by his students, was recognized along with 56 educators in the county at the Orange County Department of Education’s annual gala that celebrates outstanding teaching in Orange County.

Dr. Fier has taught at Saddleback College since 1993 and has served as more than a professor, but also as a mentor to his students. Dr. Fier stated, “I coached my first little league baseball team when I was eighteen, and that was my inspiration to become a teacher. Teaching is coaching. Coaches provide instruction, organize practice, and motivate their athletes so they can apply what they have learned in order to be successful in competition. This is what teachers do every day for their students so that they can be successful in life.”

“Congratulations to Dr. Fier, a truly inspirational professor who is very deserving of this honor,” said Dr. Tod Burnett, president of Saddleback College “It is always a pleasure to see our professors get the recognition they deserve, and I was honored to celebrate with Dr. Fier at the gala for his exceptional work. ”

During the gala, the Orange County Department of Education also honored The Dr. James Hines Foundation, established by Bill and Sue Gross in 1992 to honor Dr. Hines’ integrity, love of learning, and passion for excellence.  Dr. Hines was an English professor at Saddleback and retired from the college in December 1993. He passed away in January 1994. The Dr. James Hines Foundation has awarded more than $2.6 million to exemplary teachers.