Culinary Student Takes Second Place at Statewide Competition

Last Friday, culinary student Amber McGlynn placed second at the Shelton Farms Poultry Competition. This annual event is funded by the California Community College Chancellors Office of Family and Consumer Sciences and all California community colleges are invited to participate.

Amber was selected to represent Saddleback after winning in-house competitions. For placing second in the competition, Amber took home $500 and a bag of goodies from Shelton Farms and a trophy.

Congratulations Amber!

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!

WALL Literary Journal Magazine Takes First Place in National Competition

Congratulations to the students and faculty who were involved in producing the 2012 edition of WALL Literary Journal, which was awarded First Place in a national competition sponsored by the American Scholastic Press Association, a New York-based organization that annually honors excellence in campus publications.

WALL 2012 staff: Ethan Baker, Denise Blike, Ambrose Cappuccio, “Jimie” Shiovan Cespedes, Matthew Devine, Shirley Eramo, Laurel Ann Glover, Karla Lara, Tyler Newman, Brianna Ortega, Conor Powell,  Steven Sheley, Bryce Sherman, Jerrica Sibley, and Faculty Advisor Gina Victoria Shaffer.

Now in its 13th year of publishing, WALL annually features the poetry, short stories, personal essays, artwork, and photography of Saddleback College students.

Students enrolled in English 160, a 3-unit class devoted to producing the journal, assume positions of leadership on the staff while learning the fundamentals of publishing.  Staff members are responsible for reviewing and selecting student submissions, graphic design, layout, publicity, editing, and proofreading.

The deadline for submissions for the 2013 edition of WALL is Monday, February 11. For details on submitting work, visit http://www.saddleback.edu/la/SubmissionGuidelines.html

-By Gina Victoria Shaffer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English

Spring 2013 Flex Week and the President’s Award for Leadership and Innovation

After another successful Flex Week, the spring semester is in full swing! Thank you to everyone who made presentations during the week and to those who attended the sessions. The sessions I was able to attend were informative and provided a great chance for two-way conversation and I heard the same about many of the other sessions. It was great to see so many faculty attending multiple sessions; I greatly admire your commitment to personal and professional development.

I want to give a special thank-you to Jane Horlings, flexible calendar program coordinator, who spent countless hours organizing the session topics, times, and locations. It is because of Jane that any of this is possible. Thank you to all the faculty, staff, managers, and administrators who made Flex Week a success.

One of my favorite things about Spring Flex Week is that we recognize the winners of the President’s Award for Leadership and Innovation. This year we had such a stellar group of nominees that I chose multiple winners in several of the nomination categories.

At the Presidents’ Faculty Breakfast, I announced two full-time faculty winners and a management winner:

Renee Bangerter co-chairs, with Associate Faculty member Dawn Lewis, the English Professional Learning Council, through which she established a partnership with high school teachers from the Capistrano, Saddleback Valley, and Laguna Beach Unified School Districts.  This council not only offers wonderful collaborative opportunities for Saddleback with our local high schools, but it directly and positively impacts our work on Student Success Task Force recommendation one, which directs community colleges to collaborate with K-12 to jointly develop new common standards for college and career readiness.

Working with the council, Renee has done amazing work partnering with Turnitin.com to write six common core rubrics using the English Professional Learning Council’s input, generating three rubrics for grades 9-10 and three rubrics for grades 11-12.  These rubrics are now used by teachers throughout the nation.  Also under Renee’s leadership, the council offered three webinars that garnered a national audience. Renee’s efforts have put Saddleback on the map in common core standards and has complemented our already expansive efforts in partnering with our local high schools.

College President Burnett, Kim Branch-Stewart, Academic Senate President Bob Cosgrove

Kim Branch-Stewart has accomplished a great deal in the three years she has been in her tenure-track faculty position.  Her accomplishments are especially remarkable given that all human services faculty, except for Kim, are part-time. Kim’s accomplishments include her leading role in having human services faculty identify core courses needed by all human services students, facilitating the process of curriculum change to help clarify critical content common in the field and encourage students to complete the core course before taking other human services courses linked to a specific certificate.  This has increased student readiness, increased the number of students completing certificates, and has encouraged students to complete multiple human services certificates.

Kim also led the implementation of the ASL-Mental health Innovation Grant from the OC Healthcare Agency, through which she established a partnership with the Recovery Education Institute , which offers Saddleback courses for credit.  She guided human services faculty to re-examine the Criminal Justice Program and celebrate its uniqueness by changing the name to Community-Based Corrections and now stands out as only a handful of such programs in the state.   And on top of it all, Kim is a superb and inclusive teacher who engages students in active learning.

Burnett and Christian Alvarado

Christian Alvarado has been at Saddleback for just over a year and, in that time, has overseen a more efficient Financial Aid Office. In Christian’s short tenure, he has transformed the slow, paper-heavy financial aid process into an efficient, automated system. The process for awarding financial aid used to take several months but, under Christian’s leadership, awards are approved in 30 days or less. These efficiencies help to get students the money they need in less time, helping them to cover their expenses and stay on track.

There were also two associate faculty members, which were named at the Presidents’ Associate Faculty Dinner:

Cosgrove, Abigail Astley, Burnett

Abigail Astley proposed and piloted a new Applied Psychology 1 course for international students, helping them through the matriculation process and creating their academic plans.  The class provides information to international students about various aspects of the U.S. educational system and the campus resources that are available to them.  The students who took the class demonstrated a higher level of knowledge and self-confidence, and the knowledge students acquire through the class helps them complete their academic programs within their duration of status and in compliance with immigration and college policies. The class also enriches the experience for students, helping them adjust their cultural lens and seek out activities to complement their scholarly pursuits.

Cosgrove, Brock Shermerhorn, Burnett

Brock Schermerhorn is commended for helping to elevate Saddleback’s real estate program as one of the top two programs in the state.  His successful outreach efforts have focused in part on newly-discharged veterans at Camp Pendleton, who have pursued careers in real estate after earning their certificates and degrees at Saddleback.  He has also developed a program to partner with real estate agents who are veterans to mentor Saddleback veteran graduates in the field.  Additionally, his work with local high schools has allowed students to begin taking real estate classes before they graduate from high school. Brock has also worked to develop a successful distance education program in real estate and has accommodated students by offering a staggered start date schedule.

Finally, at the Classified Staff Luncheon, I named two full-time classified winners and one part-time classified winner:

Burnett, Deborah Armstrong, Classified Senate President Donald Mineo

Deborah Armstrong‘s work in the Library’s transition to the new LRC was nothing short of extraordinary.  Through collaborative efforts, and while library faculty were mostly off-site, Deborah overcame several challenges to open the library to students on the first day of fall semester classes.  In a very limited time she found solutions to shelve our textbook collection, ensured that all technology was up and running, and worked effectively to streamline procedures when two service areas were combined into one.

Because of Deborah, the library was open to provide services to students on the first day of the semester.  And now that this urgent period is over and done with, Deborah continues to impress her colleagues through her work on the library materials security technology, integrating the stored collection, and finishing the discard process.

Burnett, Donna Pribyl, Mineo

Donna Pribyl is commended for moving the college brand forward by creating high quality graphic design work that is seen throughout our college campus and community in the form of banners, printed marketing materials, web design work, special event pieces, and other marketing collateral that frankly, make us look good.

She oversaw the updated design of the college’s stationery, and worked extensively with vendors to ensure that prices were kept to a minimum.  She also took a leading role in the college’s branding guide, overseeing everything from new logo guidelines to the design of new power point templates, including the one you’re looking at now.  Donna also took the lead in designing various pieces for the White House Economic Council visit, producing quality work in a very short period of time for this high-profile event.  On top of it all, Donna is an incredibly hard worker and possesses a courteous demeanor focused on  customer-service, always working to help others look good.

Jon Ginnaty is a ceramic artist who provides excellent support to our art faculty and facilities, and plays an active role in our surrounding arts community.  In addition to being an artist and a lab tech, Jon teaches a ceramics class here and at Chapman University.

Over the past year, Jon worked extensively with Keenan and Associates to develop safety standards for our art programs, and has been instrumental in coordinating several activities that bring the community to our campus, including the Printmaking Steam-Roller party, Happening/Unhappening, the Veterans Chili Bowl fundraiser, and the student holiday art sale. Jon always to take on additional duties and is appreciated for being a team player.  He is always quick to help and greets everyone with a smile.

Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees, the work you do is a huge part of why we are successful at helping students reach their goals!

Nominees:
Full-Time Faculty
Maryam Azary, Counseling
Barbara Cox, Business
April Cunningham, Librarian
Tom DeDonno, Office Information Systems
Barbara Huggins, Nursing
Rebecca Knapp, Business
Tony Teng, Accounting

Associate Faculty
Sam Abbas
Jenny  Clark, Biology
Narges Rabii, Social Science
Gordon Richiusa, English

Classified Staff
Catherine Beres
Juan De La Cruz
Mira Manchik
Tracy McConnell

Classified Part-Time
Trudi Baggs
Bradley Hoseith

 

 

Nursing Professor Phillis Kucharski Recognized for National Award

Congratulations to  Saddleback Nursing Professor Phillis Kucharski, MSN, RN, OCN, who was named the 2012 Educator of the Year by the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (N-OADN) Foundation. The N-OADN Foundation Educator of the Year Award recognizes overall excellence in associate degree nursing education and is the highest award given by the foundation.

Phillis was recognized at the January meeting of the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees.

It is a testament to Phillis’s excellence that she was nominated by several of her current and former students. Saddleback has one of the best nursing programs in the nation and it is largely due to the hard work and dedication of our nursing faculty who work tirelessly to ensure the success of our students.

Kucharski joined the Saddleback College Nursing Department in 2001 and teaches medical surgical nursing lecture and clinical, community health nursing, and pediatrics clinical. Kucharski served as an advisor for nursing students and helped increase the retention rate of the program to 93.5%. In addition to her role at Saddleback, she is the Oncology Educator for Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach where she teaches several nursing oncology courses.

Congratulations, Phillis!

Learning Resource Center (LRC) Wins Architecture Award

Recently, the Learning Resource Center (LRC)  won an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award, a prestigious design award that is given only twice each year.  Congratulations to gkkworks, the architectural firm that designed the LRC, and everyone who put in countless hours, sweat, and tears into completing this remarkable remodel.

 

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.”

Saddleback Student Wins Outstanding Abstract Award at Statewide Honors Conference

Learon Inbar speaks to the plenary about her research

At the Honors Transfer Council of California’s (HTCC) annual statewide conference, Saddleback College student Learon Inbar was named as one of four winners of the Outstanding Abstract Award and took home a  $500 scholarship prize. Learon is in her second year at Saddleback and is studying a mix of art and theater, with an ultimate goal of becoming a theater costume and set designer. She is hoping to transfer to UCLA or Berkeley in the fall and, eventually, attend graduate school so she can teach and conduct research, in addition to theater work.

The HTTC conference took place at UCI on March 31 and involved students from member schools who were chosen by the council to present research in their field of choice. Learon presented the 400-word abstract and the results of her research to the council during the conference.

“I had taken the Honors Humanities 10A class with Professor Chattopadhyay and Professor Rosenberg, and that particular semester we had focused on the art and intellectual development of the Middle Ages in Europe; this led to my chosen time period for my research,” Learon said about her paper’s inspiration. She wrote about what textiles meant for people in the Middle Ages and found interesting connections between levels of power and a person’s evidence of wealth.

Two more students, Jonathan Fisher and Austin Burrow, were also honored as Exemplary Achievement scholarship winners at the event. Congratulations to all of our award-winning honors students!

Two of our students, Jonathan Fisher and Austin Burrow, are among these Exemplary Achievement scholarship winners

The Saddleback College Honors Program is an interdisciplinary effort to develop exceptional talent, ability, and scholarship in highly motivated students. It is not a club, service organization, or even a recognition of past academic achievement. It is, rather, a path to further and higher achievements. Any Saddleback College student may enroll in any Honors class. No special permission is required. If you would like more information about the Honors Program, visit http://www.saddleback.edu/honors/.