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!

Saddleback College Honors Veterans Day at Moving Ceremony

(L-R) Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president, Saddleback College; Terence Nelson, dean of transfer, career, and special programs; Kolin Williams, VETS counselor and Army veteran; Nick Martinez, student veteran; Gary Poertner, chancellor, SOCCCD; Dr. James Wright, SOCCCD Board of Trustees member and Air Force veteran.

Student Amanda Strader Sings the National Anthem

On Thursday, November 8th, Saddleback College veterans were honored in a moving ceremony hosted by the Veterans Education Transition Services (VETS) Center at the college’s veterans memorial.  The event was attended by South Orange County Community College District Chancellor Gary Poertner, Saddleback College President Tod Burnett, faculty, staff, and administrators of Saddleback College, and veterans from Saddleback College and the community.  Amanda Strader, a student at the college, sang the national anthem.

The event’s keynote speaker was Dr. James Wright, a member of the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees and a retired colonel of the United States Air Force.  In a stirring tribute to veterans, Dr. Wright stated, “This is a day of remembrance for those who sacrificed and especially those who have fallen.  They are our war heroes.”

Speaking of the services provided to veterans at Saddleback College, Dr. Wright stated, “Veterans are one of our greatest untapped resources.  They are self-sufficient, they understand the concept of sacrifice for the greater good; they have lived it.  They think globally.  They are the role models we need at our colleges.  We owe them our gratitude and the chance to have meaningful careers.”  To read Dr. Wright’s speech in full, click here.

Dr. James Wright

Dr. James Wright

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “Thank you to our veterans for their service and sacrifice, which does not go unnoticed at our college.  This group of men and women never fail to impress all of us at the college; not only have they risked their own lives for their country, but are typically model students and citizens who display great leadership and compassion.  They are a prized group on our campus and it is our pleasure to serve them.”

Nick Martinez

Nick Martinez, a Saddleback College student who served in Iraq with the United States Marine Corps, stated, “My fellow veterans: You have been part of the world’s bravest and toughest force.  Today let’s celebrate the acknowledgement of our sacrifice, the many thank-you’s, love, and support.”

Kolin Williams, a counselor in the VETS Center and a veteran of the United States Army, served as master of ceremonies and stated, “For many veterans, the transition to civilian life can seem like an insurmountable challenge, but with that challenge can come great achievement.  We are proud of our veterans and thank them for their service.”

Saddleback College Gears Up for Homecoming 2012

On Saturday, September 29th, Saddleback College will host its annual Homecoming celebration, featuring family-friendly tailgate events, entertainment and food, an Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony at halftime, and the first 2012 conference football game versus Santa Ana College. Pre-game tailgating activities will begin at 4:00 p.m. and kick-off for the game is at 6:00 p.m.  Admission to the game is $10.00 for general admission and $6.00 for students, seniors, children, and active-duty military; on-campus parking will be free. Several of the pre-game festivities are free but some will require admission into the stadium.

The Saddleback College Associated Student Government is sponsoring a pre-game tailgate event, which will feature a live band, Waffle-icious food truck, kids’ games, a bounce house and ball pit. During the tailgate, donations will be collected for several local charities.

During halftime, 74 Saddleback College alumni will be presented with medallions and inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was started in 1980 and new members are inducted every four years.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, President of Saddleback College, stated, “All are invited to attend what will be a great Homecoming football event where the Gauchos are sure to play a great game against the Santa Ana Dons. The work of our students and athletics department in the planning of fun pre-game and halftime festivities will help to make this an event to remember.  I encourage all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members to come out for this wonderful annual tradition.”

 

Newly Remodeled Health Center Provides Saddleback College Students Affordable Physical and Mental Health Services

The newly redesigned, calm, and private waiting area in the Student Health Center

The newly remodeled Saddleback College Student Health Center provides free and low-cost physical and mental health services to an average of 40-100 students per day, including access to six physicians, five registered nurses, two licensed clinical psychologists, and eight counselors. For a fee of $18 per semester, the Student Health Center provides preventive care, prescription and over-the-counter medication, blood work, counseling appointments, eye exams, and education about health-related issues.

The updated center features two exam rooms, a trauma room that can accommodate a paramedic gurney, and several counseling rooms, with a secure electronic medical record system that increases privacy and decreases paperwork. Beginning on Monday, August 20th, the Student Health Center (SSC 177) hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (closed from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. every day). For more information, including a complete list of services, visit http://www.saddleback.edu/shc/ or call (949) 582-4606.

“Saddleback College strives to provide the best for our students, both inside and outside the classroom,” stated Dr. Tod Burnett, president of Saddleback College. “The staff in the Student Health Center does a fantastic job to ensure that our students are healthy enough to succeed, and this remodel provides our staff with the tools they need to do their job effectively and efficiently. I want to thank Jeanne Harris-Caldwell and her staff for all the hard work they put into this amazing update and renovation that will better serve our students and employees.”

Jeanne Harris-Caldwell shows off the trauma room that can accommodate a gurney

“Students cannot be successful unless they proactively maintain their physical and mental health,” stated Jeanne Harris-Caldwell, RN, director of the Student Health Center. “We are committed to providing high-quality care for our students regardless of age, health status, or whether or not they have health insurance.”

California Community Colleges Chancellor, Jack Scott, Retires

Dr. Tod Burnett, Saddleback College President, and Dr. Jack Scott, California Community Colleges Chancellor

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending a retirement celebration for California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott whose retirement is effective September 1, 2012. The event, “A Sulte to Jack Scott: A Legacy of Service,” was a fitting tribute to Dr. Scott, who served as chancellor since January 2009 and has been a proponent for community colleges since he became president of Pasadena City College in 1987.

Dr. Scott’s legacy includes several sweeping reforms to support student success. Two of the Chancellor’s most innovative initiatives – the Associate Degree for Transfer program and the California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force – will create a positive change for our students for many years to come.

Saddleback College was honored to have Dr. Scott speak at commencement in May where he imparted words of wisdom to the new graduates, urging them to be prepared for roadblocks but to always be persistent. Throughout his career Dr. Scott has always been persistent and the 112 California community colleges are better because of him! Congratulations Dr. Scott on your retirement, you will be missed!

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.”

For more pictures and details about the event, continue reading…

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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.