Accreditation Institute 2013

On February 8th and 9th, I have the privilege of joining faculty members Dr. Bob Cosgrove, Jenny Langrell, Tony Teng, and Dan Walsh at the seventh annual Academic Senate for California Community Colleges’ Accreditation Institute, Meeting and Exceeding the Standards: The Evolution of Accreditation. The institute was co-hosted by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

The event gave the Saddleback representatives the chance to hear great presentations and to talk to our colleagues from around the state.

On Friday, we attended a general session with ACCJC President Barbara Bano, then we had the chance to attend the following breakout sessions: Accreditation 1010: The Rubrics and Beyond; Budgets, Dialog and Sustainability; and Integrated Planning. Following lunch, Academic Senate President Michelle Pilati welcomed the group and Dr. Nathan Tharp from Feather River College presented his dissertation at a general session entitled Accreditation in the California Community Colleges: Influential Cultural Practices. The second round of breakouts included ” Institutional Effectiveness and Student Learning: the Integration of Student Support and Learning Support Services; Governance, Boards, and Standard IV; Data: What Do We Mean and What Kind Do We Need?. The day wrapped up with a general session – Hot Topics in Accreditation.

Saturday started with three breakout sessions – Faculty Leadership in Accreditation; Accreditation in a Multi-College District; and Distance Education and the Accreditation Process – and ended with Sanctions: The Phoenix Factor, a general session with Kevin Bontenbal from Cuesta College.

Accreditation is an issue that is always in the front of my mind and this institute helped to address many issues that Saddleback has faced. I look forward to implementing what we learned.

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

 

 

Transfer Day 2012

Students, faculty, staff, management, alumni, and friends, I am excited to invite you all to attend tomorrow’s Transfer Day in which we are welcoming over 80 regionally accredited colleges and universities to our campus.  Our students come to Saddleback College with many aspirations and a great deal of them seek to transfer on to our partner colleges and universities.  This is a vital component of our college mission and one of our top priorities.  You may recall that a couple of years ago the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges commended our college for creating a positive transfer culture on our campus.  We would like to expand our transfer culture by asking YOU to get more involved with transfer day by doing three things tomorrow:

  1. Please wear an article of clothing that represents your personal alma mater or from a college or university that you recommend;
  2. Please visit the quad between 10am and 1pm and stop by your alma mater if present and say hello to the representative, and maybe even tell some students why you endorse that institution; and
  3. Please encourage students to attend Transfer Day!

The following colleges and universities will be in attendance:

University of California

*UC Berkeley *UC Davis *UC Irvine *UCLA *UC Merced *UC Riverside *UC San Diego *UC Santa Barbara *UC Santa Cruz

California State University

*Cal Poly Pomona *Cal Poly San Luis Obispo *CSU Dominguez Hills *CSU Fullerton *CSU Fullerton – Center for Careers in Teaching (CCT) *CSU Fullerton – Department of Visual Arts *CSU Long Beach *CSU Northridge *CSU Sacramento *Humboldt State University

California Private Institutions

*Academy of Art University *Alliant International University *Ameritas College of Brandman University *Argosy University *Art Institute of California (Orange County) – A Campus of Argosy University *Azusa Pacific University *Azusa Pacific University – Orange County Campus *Biola University *Brandman University *Cal Baptist University *Chapman University *Concordia University – Irvine *Hope International University *Laguna College of Art & Design *La Sierra University *Loma Linda University *Loyola Marymount University *Marymount College *The Master’s College *Mills College *Mount St. Mary’s College (Nursing Department) *National University *Otis College of Art and Design *Pepperdine University – Irvine Campus *Pepperdine University – Malibu Campus *Point Loma Nazarene University *San Diego Christian College *San Francisco Art Institute *Sophia University *Southern California Institute of Architecture *Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS) *University of La Verne *University of Phoenix *University of Redlands *University of San Francisco *USC *Vanguard University of Southern California *Webster University *West Coast University *Whittier College *Woodbury University

Out-of-State Institutions

*American Public University (American Military University) *American University *Arizona State University *Bellevue University *Chamberlain College of Nursing *Columbia University – School of General Studies *Johnson & Wales University *Portland State University *Savannah College of Art & Design *Springfield College *Temple University *University of Arizona *University of Hawaii at Manoa *University of Massachusetts Lowell *University of Montana *NEW*University of New England

For more information, please go to the Transfer Center website at:  www.saddleback.edu/transfer

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at Transfer Day and wearing your favorite college or university gear!

Thanks for Another Successful In-Service Week

A big thanks to Professor Jane Horlings, our amazing Flex Week coordinator!

In-Service Week is always one of my favorite times of the year. It is wonderful to meet our new faculty and staff, attend the informative presentations and meetings, and see everyone back on campus. This year’s In-Service was heavily focused on what we as a college and district will be working on this year: improving completion rates. It was exciting to hear the innovative work that our faculty, staff, and management are doing to help our students complete their degrees, certificates, job training, and transfer. I look forward to continuing this discussion throughout the 2012-13 academic year.

This year we welcome 27 new full-time tenure track faculty to Saddleback.  All of our new faculty are extremely talented and knowledgeable in their fields and I can say without hesitation that Saddleback is lucky to have hired each and every one of them.  Thank you to Professor Jane Horlings, our amazing Flex Week coordinator, for once again planning a fabulous in-service that provided wonderful sessions for our new and veteran faculty alike.

Dr. David Morse, a professor of English at Long Beach City College and a member of the Student Success Task Force, presented “Faculty, Local Senates, State Senate & Student Success Task Force: We Need to Know What We Are Getting Into”

President-Hosted Events

Once again, I was happy to host three In-Service Week events – the Presidents’ Faculty Breakfast and Associate Faculty Dinner co-hosted by Academic Senate President Bob Cosgrove, and the Presidents’ Classified Staff Luncheon co-hosted by Classified Senate President Donald Mineo.

At the faculty breakfast, I was pleased to announce 27 new tenure track faculty, which is one of the largest classes Saddleback has ever hired! I would like to thank everyone at the college – especially our Academic Senate and Board of Trustees – for being so supportive of our faculty. It was great to look out into the audience and see so many people who support our faculty and college, including Marcia Milchiker, clerk of the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees, and Chancellor Gary Poertner.

It was a pleasure to welcome our associate faculty at our associate faculty dinner, a tradition that was just started last year but has already become popular. The college is committed to providing more support for our more than 600 associate faculty and the dinner was a great way for them to get acquainted with the college and the services available to them. Teresa Bear, chemistry professor (and a former associate faculty member), Christina Hinkle, political science and history associate faculty, and Patti Flanigan, dean of online education and learning resources, provided excellent information about the Associate Faculty Support Committee.

Thank you to Bob Cosgrove for presenting information about the Academic Senate at both faculty events.

At the classified luncheon, I was pleased to announce even more new hires: Fifteen classified staff were welcomed to Saddleback. Speakers at the luncheon included South Orange County Community College District Trustees Dave Lang and Dr. Jim Wright, Donald Mineo, president of the classified senate, Sara Sheybani, CSEA president, and Dr. Caroline Durdella, director of planning, research and accreditation.

At each of these events, I was pleased to present the 2012 Annual Report for our Saddleback College Foundation that highlights many of the impressive gains over the last couple of years.  For example, our foundation’s endowment has grown from $500,000 in 2008 to $5 million today—a ten-fold increase in less than four years.  The foundation has also increased the amount of annual student scholarships from $198,000 to $339,000 over this same period.  For a copy of the Saddleback College Foundation Annual Report, please click here.

 

Renee Bangerter, liberal arts professor, presents the work she has done to bridge the gap between high school and college preparedness

The Annual State of the College Report – Complete to Compete

This year, I once again presented my Annual State of the College, which includes my top 10 projects for the 2012-13 academic year. I borrowed the title of my report, “Complete to Compete,” from the National Governors Association report on the need to improve college completion rates, which has become a priority in our nation, state, and district. The United States, once the world’s leader in education, has fallen behind in the education of its citizens – a vital component of our economic well-being.  To get us back to where we used to be, improved attainment of degrees and certificates has become a centerpiece of the national conversation on education.

President Obama has called for an increase of five million additional graduates by 2020 and California’s community colleges are being asked to increase their graduates by one million by 2020. This means that here at Saddleback we must double the number of completions.  This is a monumental task that is going to take the entire Saddleback community to achieve. Recently, our state legislators established criteria for meeting the challenge to meet this goal, and state Chancellor Jack Scott established the Student Success Task Force (SSTF), which analyzed system-wide topics related to student success and developed the following eight statewide recommendations:

  • Increase College and Career Readiness
  • Strengthen Support for Entering Students
  • Incentivize Successful Student Behaviors
  • Align Course Offerings to Meet Student Needs
  • Improve the Education of Basic Skills Students
  • Revitalize and Re-Envision Professional Development
  • Enable Efficient Statewide Leadership and Increase Coordination Among Colleges
  • Align Resources with Student Success Recommendations

We are already taking these recommendations seriously at Saddleback: We have made presentations to our Board of Trustees, will participate in college-wide student success discussions, are in the process of developing student success metrics and developing strategic planning, and we continue to do the fantastic work we do each day for the success of our students.

My Top 10 Projects

Again in this year’s report I presented my top 10 projects for the coming academic year.  While the college will continue to focus on strategic planning, accreditation, and other priority projects, I will be working on these projects with diverse groups on campus: This year, they are:

1. Student Success Task Force Recommendations - We need to develop strategies for implementing the SSTF recommendations and increase student completions.
2. High School Student Success Partnerships - We need to formalize relationships with our local high schools and have already been working with our outreach department to create an innovative pilot program that will be more broadly implemented.
3.  Student Completion Metrics – If we are going to improve completions, we need to first define what that means for our college.
4. Strategic Plan – This year we will be evaluating the effectiveness of our 2010-2013 strategic plan and update the planning process in preparation for development of the next plan.
5. New Faculty Training and Development - Develop and implement a year-long support program for new faculty hires that includes training for development.
6. Alcohol and Drug Prevention - Alcohol and drug abuse is a major issue for our students and can impact their success. We will be embarking on a college-wide effort to provide awareness and support to prevent abuse.
7. Campus Safety and Emergency Planning - Working closely with our police department, we will be updating our emergency preparedness and implement recommendations.
8. Foundation Personnel - Our foundation has be performing extraordinarily well, even with their limited resources they have. This year our director and the president of the board of governors will be finding ways to fund new positions to better support their mission.
9. Learning Resource Center – The LRC is opening on Monday and we will continue to improve it as well as host a grand opening early next year.
10. Student Payment Services and One-stop Veterans Center - Currently, the payment services are located across the quad from the Student Services Center (SSC), which is not convenient for our students. We are working on a reorganization to bring the payment offices into (SSC).

Click here to view the full text of my Annual State of the College Report.

As I stated last week, our college is fortunate to have the most accomplished faculty and best staff, administrators, and managers of any community college in the state.  Locally we have the finest k-12 schools and we get great students.  We arguably have the most financially stable district in the state with a great chancellor and board of trustees.  I know that by working together we can be a model college for enhancing student success and increasing student completions, and I hope you share in my excitement about our future.

Thank you for all that you do each day for our students, college, and community, and have a wonderful fall semester!

Saddleback Hires New Faculty and Staff

At this year’s In-Service presentations, President Burnett introduced the 27 new tenure track faculty and 15 new classified staff who will support the new student completion goals.

Please join me in welcoming the newest members of the Saddleback College community!

New Tenure Track Faculty

The newest faculty members pose with President Burnett and Academic Senate President Bob Cosgrove

  • Amara Aguilar, Journalism
  • Ariel Ann Alexander, Music
  • Shellie Banga, English Composition
  • Jack Beckham, English Composition
  • Christina Bowles, Nursing
  • Donald P. Bowman, Accounting
  • Todd Brei, Physics
  • Deidre Cavazzi, Dance
  • Sarah Chang, Counselor
  • Kathryn Damm, Psychology
  • Stevie Daniels, English as a Second Language
  • David Charles Dixon, Physics
  • Michelle M. Duffy, Reading
  • Michael Engels, Counselor
  • Monica Friedrich, Biology
  • Esther Gravis, Nursing
  • Yorgos (Georgios) Kouritas, Music
  • Kenneth Lee, Horticulture
  • Laura Leedahl, Nursing
  • William Francis McGuire, Theater
  • Bouchra Nadeau, French
  • Orlantha Nin, Transfer Center Coordinator/Counselor
  • James “Patrick” Quigley II, Mathematics
  • John Richard Reese, Art
  • Kia Shafe, Mathematics
  • Jeff Vogel, Reading
  • Lydia Welhan, Librarian

New Classified Employees

President Burnett stands with the newest classified employees

  • Yvonne Belardes, Office Assistant, Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Susan Cook, Administrative Assistant, Math, Science and Engineering
  • Edward De La O, Grants Analyst, Administrative Services
  • Ileana Grecu, Night Custodian, Facilities
  • Linda Hall, Senior Administrative Assistant, Business Science and Economic and Workforce Development
  • Rania Hamad, Career Services Technician, Counseling Services and Special Programs
  • Natalie Hart, Office Assistant, Student Development
  • Bonnie Minnis, Office Assistant, Community Education
  • Karen Kelley, Sr. Lab Technician, Math, Science and Engineering
  • Hochin Moon, Articulation Specialist, Counseling Services and Special Programs
  • Mason Roset, Photography/Art Lab Technician, Fine Arts and Media Technology
  • Ashley SanFilippo, Office Assistant, Online Education and Learning Resources
  • Randy Van Dyke, Cinema and TV Lab Technician, Fine Arts and Media Technology
  • Sheri Wenzel, Senior Accounting Specialist, Administrative Services
  • Karen Yang, Administrative Assistant, Liberal Arts

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.

Announcing Saddleback College’s New Dean of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering: Dr. Christopher McDonald

After a nation-wide search, Saddleback is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Christopher McDonald as the new dean of mathematics, science, and engineering. Dr. McDonald is sure to be an excellent successor to Dr. Jim Wright and serve the college and students very well.

Dr. McDonald began his tenure at Mt. San Antonio College in 2002 as a mathematics professor and was chair of the department beginning in 2008.  In this capacity, he provided leadership and oversight of the operations, services, and instructional programs for a department serving more than 8,500 students each semester and includes 40 full-time faculty, 44 adjunct faculty, and four full-time classified personnel.  Also as department chair, he managed the strategic planning, budget, scheduling, student learning outcomes assessment, program review, associate degree, course articulation, student petition, and curriculum development processes for the department.

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Saddleback’s Statement of Mutual Respect and Collegial Behavior

Saddleback College is very pleased to present the Saddleback College Statement of Mutual Respect and Collegial Behavior (click the link to download a PDF version of the document) that was unanimously approved by Consultation Council at Tuesday’s meeting and subsequently endorsed by President Burnett.  Everyone at the college should be extremely proud of this effort.  This is the first statement of this kind ever drafted by our college, and it was completed in a process that was true to the very principles being drafted.  Under normal circumstances it is difficult to get consensus on a statement like this one, but this was not the case at Saddleback.  The college’s Academic Senate, Classified Senate, Associated Student Government, and Management Team worked together over the past year in a respectful, collegial, and productive manner in discussing and developing this statement.  In addition, each of our district bargaining units reviewed and signed off on the final statement.  The outstanding support from the Faculty Association, California School Employees Association (CSEA), and Police Officers Association (POA) has been very much appreciated.

All college faculty, staff, and administrators are encouraged to print out a copy of the Saddleback College Statement of Mutual Respect and Collegial Behavior and display it in his/her office to show support for this important effort.  Everyone is also encouraged to emulate these principles every day and help us to continue the college’s strong commitment to our mission of student success.

Congratulations Saddleback College Graduates!

Today, Saddleback College recognized graduates and certificate of achievement recipients at its annual commencement ceremony. The graduates became Saddleback alumni in front of hundreds of adoring family, friends, and faculty. Before the degrees were conferred, commencement Speaker and California Community Colleges Chancellor, Dr. Jack Scott, imparted words of wisdom to the group, urging them to be prepared for roadblocks but to always be persistent.  The Commencement Student Speaker Janis Alexa Smith shared her story of struggles and triumph and earned her degree in front of her children and grandchildren.

For more pictures and a great article, check out the story that the Orange County Register did about commencement!

Of the students who graduated from Saddleback College this year, 301 received honors, including 28 summa cum laude (4.0 grade point average), 95 magna cum laude (3.75 to 3.99 grade point average) and 178 cum laude (3.5 to 3.74 grade point average).  Showing the diverse range of ages at the college, the youngest graduate, Alex Cole, is 16 years of age, and the most senior graduate, Helen Ngo, just celebrated her 80th birthday!  Fifty-six graduates are younger than 20 and 22 graduates are over the age of 55.

Students participating in commencement are candidates for Associate in Arts and Science degrees and certificates of achievement.  More than 2,000 students will also be transferring to four-year colleges and universities to continue studying for their baccalaureate degrees.  This year’s graduates will be transferring to four-year institutions such as USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton, San Diego State University, and Arizona State University, among others.

Commencement is a special time at Saddleback College where we celebrate 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 2012!

South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees President Nancy Padberg lead the conferral of degrees along with Trustees David B. Lang, Frank M. Meldau, Ph.D., Marcia Milchiker, and T.J. Prendergast, III, and Chancellor Gary L. Poertner. During the ceremony, special recognition will be given to the two retiring faculty members who will be elevated to Professor Emeritus status and to Professors of the Year.

 

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.