Jimmy Kimmel Live and the MaxLove Project

Max Wilford, the seven-year-old son of
Audra DiPadova, our wonderful Director of Student Life, has been bravely
battling brain cancer.  Since Max’s diagnosis on August 5, 2011, we’ve
closely followed his progress and have been awed by his bravery.  We’ve
also been inspired by the efforts of the Wilford Family as Audra, Justin, and
Max have raised awareness of childhood cancer through the many heroic efforts
of their foundation, the MaxLove Project.

The current Rainbow Loom trend (if you have kids, you definitely already know
about Rainbow Loom) has been a wonderful way for the MaxLove Project to raise
awareness, with thousands already taking part in helping Max to create the
world’s longest Rainbow Loom chain to raise money for cancer
research.  The kids and faculty at Max’s school, Arroyo Elementary in
Tustin, have rallied behind Max’s efforts, and ultimately caught the attention
of Jimmy Kimmel, the late night talk show host, who has taken an interest in
Rainbow Loom and had a “Suit of the Loom” weaved from the thousands of Rainbow
Loom creations sent in by the children of his viewers.

Fourth graders at Max’s school created a video encouraging Jimmy to meet Max,
and last night, he did just that.

Yes, that’s right.  Max was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night.  If you missed it, we’ve provided a clip for you here.  The kindness shown toward Max is very
moving, to say the least.  It is a pure joy to see the likes of Jimmy
Kimmel and Ellen Degeneres (who was also a guest on the show) display such
warmth to this little boy we all care so deeply for.

Jimmy Kimmel is auctioning his Suit of the Loom on e-Bay, with the proceeds
benefiting the MaxLove Project.  To see the suit, click here.  At my
last glance, the suit was going for over $8,000!

In celebration of Max’s birthday, a Loom-a-Thon will be held this
weekend.  An article in today’s Orange County Register provides
information on the Loom-a-Thon and how you can participate in Max’s goal to
create the world’s longest rainbow loom.  To see the Orange County Register article, click here.

I know all of us are very proud of Max, Audra, and Justin.  They are truly
unique people who have selflessly raised awareness of childhood cancer and
thousands of other children and their families.  Their compassion knows no
bounds and we are very fortunate to know these truly good people.  For more information on the MaxLove Project, visit www.maxloveproject.org.

Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams to Enter Playoffs this Friday

The Saddleback men’s and women’s basketball teams both captured Orange Empire Conference championships last week and will begin post-season play starting this Friday.  This marks the first time since the 2002-2003 season that the Saddleback men’s and women’s teams both captured conference titles during the same season.

The Gaucho men’s team (24-5) shared the conference title with Santa Ana College but was awarded the conference’s highest seed into the playoffs and was selected as the No. 5 team in the 18-team regional playoff bracket.  The Gauchos will play host to Pasadena City College (20-9), the second-place finishers in the South Coast Conference’s North Division, this Friday (February 28) at 7:00 p.m. in the campus gym.  It will be Saddleback’s only home playoff game unless No. 4 Chaffey (25-5) gets upset in its first-round playoff game against either San Diego City College or Allan Hancock College.

The Saddleback women’s team captured their Orange Empire Conference title outright with a victory over Fullerton last Friday.  The Gauchos (19-10) finished one game ahead of Orange Coast College in the conference standings and received the No. 10 slot in the 18-team playoff bracket.  The Gauchos will travel to face No. 7 San Bernardino Valley College (18-6) on Friday (February 28) with that game also tipping off at 7:00 p.m.  San Bernardino captured the Foothill Conference title this season.

Congratulations to the Gauchos men’s and women’s basketball teams for a terrific season.  While winning the conference title for one team is always a cause for celebration, having both the men’s and women’s teams capture the title is truly remarkable.  I wish the teams all the best in the playoffs, and thank our head coaches, Andy Ground and Fentriss Winn, for their leadership and ability to nurture the very best in our talented players.

The Saddleback men’s team is led by conference MVP Eric Thompson.  Thompson averaged 13.0 points and 8.7 rebounds this season, making 68 percent of his shot attempts.  Guard Dalante Dunklin was also named to the first-team all-conference while both Andre McPhail and Dayton Boddie were selected as second-team all-conference picks.  Head coach Andy Ground shared conference coach of the year honors with Santa Ana’s Dave Breig.

The Saddleback women’s team is led by conference MVP Deja Brooks.  Brooks led the team by averaging 11.6 points per game and also added 5.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.  Brooks was joined on the first-team all-conference list by teammate Tatiana Moana while Lillie Rellin, Shannon Abdulla, and Whitney Braeutigam were each named to the second-team all-conference list.  Head coach Fentriss Winn was named as the conference’s coach of the year.

It is the third consecutive conference title for Coach Ground and the fourth title in the six years that he has held the coaching reins.  It is the second conference title for Coach Winn and the women’s program in the 10 years he has been with Saddleback, which also includes two conference runner-up finishes.

Introducing the Orange County Social Entrepreneurship Competition

Saddleback College is pleased to announce the inaugural Orange County Social Entrepreneurship Competition, the nation’s first county-wide competition for individuals, groups, non-profit, and for-profit entities.  Social entrepreneurship is “the process of pursuing solutions to complex social problems through sustainable business models.”  As one of our county leaders, we invite you to join with us to spread these growing efforts throughout the region to help solve challenges in a wide range of areas including but not limited to poverty, homelessness, environment, urban revitalization, health, and education.

There are many ways that you and your organization can participate, and we encourage you to visit http://entrepreneurship.saddleback.edu for more information on guidelines for submitting a business plan, opportunities for partnerships and sponsorships, and much more.  We will be holding a kick-off luncheon at Saddleback College on February 26th at 11:30am in SSC 212 and we hope that you and your guests will join us for this momentous occasion as one of our partners and/or sponsors.  Please feel free to contact Dr. Barbara Cox at entrepreneurship@saddleback.edu or 949.348.6226 or myself for additional information or to RSVP for the upcoming kick-off event. 

This is an exciting new opportunity for our county, and we look forward to working with you and all of our business/industry, non-profit, government, and philanthropic partners to unleash the social entrepreneurial talents throughout our region.



U.S. Solar Decathlon: Congratulations to our Team Orange

You may have heard that Team Orange, a consortium of Saddleback College, Irvine Valley College, University of California, Irvine, and Chapman University, was selected to compete in next year’s U.S. Solar Decathlon.  This is the first time that Orange County will be represented in the biannual competition, which will be held for the second time at the Orange County Great Park in 2015.

The U.S. Solar Decathlon is hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, which selects competitors and provides them with funding to build solar-powered homes.  The selected teams will now begin to build solar-powered, highly energy-efficient houses that combine affordability, innovation, and design excellence. The teams will design, construct, and test their houses before reassembling them in fall 2015 at the competition site.

Team Orange’s home design is inspired by the California poppy, which opens to soak in sunlight before closing up at nightfall.  Each member of Team Orange will focus on a specific area – for Saddleback, we will lead the team’s efforts in architecture, interior design, construction, and code compliance.  UC Irvine will oversee engineering, automation, entertainment, 3D printing, and fundraising, while Chapman will lead the marketing and outreach efforts, including the team’s website and social media.  Irvine Valley College will be responsible for the team’s engineering tech work, electrical work safety, drafting, and recycling.  Representing Saddleback are Blake Stephens, architecture department chair, and Dan Riley, architecture associate faculty, who will be assisted by approximately 30 students.

Team Orange is one of 20 student teams that will compete in the U.S. Solar Decathlon.  The other teams represent colleges and universities throughout the globe:

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
California State University, Sacramento
Clemson University
Crowder College and Drury University
Lansing Community College and Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University
Missouri University of Science and Technology
New York City College of Technology
Oregon Institute of Technology and Portland State University
Stanford University
State University of New York at Alfred College of Technology and Alfred University
Stevens Institute of Technology
University of Florida, National University of Singapore, and Santa Fe College
The University of Texas at Austin and Technische Universitaet Muenchen
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
University of California, Davis
Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University
West Virginia University and University of Roma Tor Vergata
Western New England University, Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, and Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana
Yale University

For more information, a joint press release was distributed by UC Irvine last week after the Department of Energy announced the competitors: http://news.uci.edu/press-releases/uc-irvine-to-lead-team-orange-at-solar-decathlon-2015/.

Congratulations to Team Orange for this very unique opportunity, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of your labor in 2015!