Saddleback College’s Class of 2016 to be Recognized in Commencement Ceremony

Saddleback College will recognize its 1,833 graduates and 1,849 certificate of achievement recipients at its annual commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 24th at 9:00 a.m. in the gymnasium. The event will include the traditional processional and reading of the graduate’s names, and will feature Frank Talarico Jr., President and Chief Executive Office, Goodwill of Orange County, who will serve as commencement speaker. The 2016 student speaker is Pontus Goeransson.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “Commencement is a special time at Saddleback College where we celebrate student completion and the accomplishments of our graduates. I am very proud of our students and the faculty, staff, and administrators who played an integral role in helping them reach their goals. Congratulations to the Class of 2016.”

During the ceremony, special recognition will be given to Professor of the Year Steve Teh, Associate Professor of the Year Jeff Oderlin, and Emeritus Institute Professor of the Year Lisa Messenger.

Students participating in commencement are candidates for Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees and certificates of achievement. More than 1,500 students will also be transferring to four-year colleges and universities to pursue their baccalaureate degrees. This year’s graduates will be transferring to four-year institutions such as USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach and San Diego State University, among many others.

South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees President Tim Jemal will lead the conferral of degrees along with Trustees Dr. Barbara J. Jay, David B. Lang, Marcia Milchiker, T.J. Prendergast, III, Dr. James R. Wright, Dr. Terri Whitt, and Chancellor Gary Poertner.

Of the students who are graduating from Saddleback College this year, 476 are receiving honors, including 29 summa cum laude (4.0 grade point average), 169 magna cum laude (3.75 to 3.99 grade point average) and 278 cum laude (3.5 to 3.74 grade point average). Showing the diverse range of ages at the college, the youngest graduate is 18 years of age, and the most senior graduate is 70 years of age. More than 543 graduates are age 20 or younger, and 67 graduates are over the age of 55.

Those not able to attend the ceremony will be able to watch the live stream provided by Saddleback College TV Channel 39 at https://livestream.com/accounts/8320673/events/5384160.

 

Three Social Entrepreneurs Win “Shark Tank” Style Competition at Saddleback College

Dr. Burnett Moderating

Social entrepreneurs representing 11 start-up companies pitched their business plans that seek to address complex social problems at the Southern California Social Entrepreneur Venture Challenge Showdown on Saturday, March 19th at Saddleback College’s McKinney Theatre. A panel of esteemed judges selected the first, second, and third place contestants, who will present their businesses at an investor-only symposium in Los Angeles on May 6th to win funding, customers, and business partners.

The event, which was organized by Academies for Social Entrepreneurship, was the second Orange County Social Entrepreneurship Competition, first hosted by Saddleback College in 2014, which awarded $17,500 in cash prizes to the first, second, and third place competitors, and offered coaching services to help all 11 finalists make their final pitches to social investors.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College and moderator of the event, stated, “The showdown was a culmination of over eight months’ effort to identify and support social entrepreneurs who are addressing social, environmental, and educational challenges around the world. Thank you to all of our finalists for their amazing leadership, diligence, professionalism, and devotion to making our world a better place.”

The panel of judges selected the first, second, and third place presentations:

First Place:
Takachar (Cambridge, MA)
Pioneered process for decentralized processing of agricultural waste into solid fuel.

Second Place:
codeSpark (Pasadena, CA)
codeSpark’s mission is to ignite curiosity about computer science and turn programming into play.

Third Place:
Desolenator (London, UK)
Desolinator produces an affordable, eco-friendly household water purification/desalination device.

The eight additional finalists included:

Colibri (Matagalpa, Nicaragua)
Colibri sells pay-as-you-go solar solutions to low-income, off-grid households.

COMPRA (Los Angeles, CA)
COMPRA is a foods-purchasing cooperative that serves as an alternative food distribution system in underserved neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Copilots in Care (Menlo Park, CA)
Copilots facilitates reflection and communication of patients’ medical wishes to their family members and physicians.

East Africa Fruits (Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania)
Using a franchising model to sell fresh fruits and vegetables while reducing losses suffered by farmers selling to meddlemen.

Music Lifeboat (Los Angeles, CA)
A music education program that began with a free music education app, BandBlast.

Microfarms (San Diego, CA)
A San Diego based, veteran-owned and operated farm that grows organic produce hydroponically in a solar-powered “FarmBox.”

MUrgency (San Franciso, CA)
A mobile app which connects people who need emergency response with their trusted network. Provides support that is currently unavailable in most developing countries.

Thrive LA (Encino, CA)
Ultra-affordable, off-grid tiny houses and jobs within the community. The first community will focus on returning veterans and homeless veterans. Winner of the Audience Favorite Award.

The panel of judges included:

Iosefa Alofaituli, Regional Director, Opportunity Fund
Douglas K. Freeman, Founder, National Philanthropy Day
Michael Hamilton, Chair, President, Saddleback College Foundation
Andy Horowitz, Entrepeneur and Advisory Board Chair, Chapman University Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics
Elsa Monte, Senior Vice President of Community Reinvestment and Community Development, Pacific Western Bank
Kyle Scrimgeour, Principal and Managing Member, Core Capital Management, LLC
Donald J. Voska, Chief Financial Officer, Goodwill of Orange County

Lead sponsors of the Southern California Social Entrepreneur Venture Challenge were Saddleback College, the California Community Foundation, and the Annenberg Foundation. Additional sponsors were Pacific Western Bank, Goodwill of Orange County, and the Southern California Slow Money Network.

For more information about social entrepreneurship, visit http://www.academies-se.org/.

Saddleback Wins Grant for Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Saddleback College was awarded $495,534 by the California Apprenticeship Initiative, Pre-Apprenticeship Program to prepare students identified as at-risk for apprenticeship opportunities through the Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Consortium (M-PAC). Recognized as one of the most effective training methods, apprenticeships combine classroom instruction with work-based learning. The M-PAC program addresses the need for a manufacturing workforce in Orange County, where over the next 10 years the need for skilled workers will far exceed the supply.

Despite Orange County’s prominence as a manufacturing base, no manufacturing apprenticeship programs currently exist in the region. Collaborating with the Southern California Tool and Die, Mold, Machinist and Metal Trades Apprenticeship Committee, M-PAC will focus on workforce skills development, industry need, a coordinated and integrated system of support for regional apprenticeship training, and providing historically underserved populations with skills for success in manufacturing apprenticeship. Students in the program will be provided work readiness soft skills training, simulated lab experiences, and student support services to prepare them for apprenticeship opportunities in manufacturing.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “The pre-apprenticeship program is part of our continued emphasis in developing workforce partnerships to create a new generation of workers. This unique program will greatly benefit students who seek apprenticeship opportunities while also helping local business benefit from high-quality and highly-trained workers. ”

Anthony Teng, dean of advanced technology and applied science, stated, “In today’s job market, where employers are looking for experienced, trained workers, apprenticeships provide the necessary real world experience that prepare tomorrow’s workers.”

M-PAC will identify potential participants such as non-traditional students, the unemployed and underemployed, economically disadvantaged, veterans, foster youth, and others. Outreach efforts will be a collaborative effort with K-12 districts, Regional Occupation Programs, the Orange County Workforce Investment Board, and social service agencies.

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!