Attending Local College Events

Recently, I have had the privilege of attending several college events to support and represent our college and its students, alumni faculty, staff, and administration.

Zachary Storey and Wade Kilbarger in Spring Awakening (Photographer: Ken Kinder)

First, I had the pleasure of seeing Spring Awakening, a fantastic Saddleback student performance at the Studio Theatre. The cast was extremely talented and the show sold out all nine performances! Congratulations to Director Daniel R. Trevino and everyone involved in the production.

I also attended the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology’s 40th Anniversary celebration with recent graduate Dr. Estella Castillo-Garrison, director of community education, and Mike Engels, counselor, who is considering starting the program. The event featured 40 donors and was entitled, “Why I Give.” Many of our Saddleback alumni transfer to Pepperdine and it was an honor to support the university and their students.

Finally, Dr. Donna Rane-Szostak, our dean of health sciences and human services, and I met with Dr. Janeen Hill, the interim dean of Schmid College of Science and Technology at Chapman University, to discuss how we can collaborate on developing Chapman’s health sciences programs. Chapman is particularly interested in the proposed simulation hospital that would be housed at ATEP. Following the meeting, I was honored to be Dr. Hill’s guest at the opening night of Chapman’s College of Performing Arts’ American Celebration. It was a productive meeting and an impressive performance by Chapman students.

Meeting with colleagues at local colleges and universities is one of the best ways to initiate collaborations, which often translates into improved student success. I look forward to more of these meetings with local schools, businesses, and community members.

Standing Room Only at Annual Family Night

Professor Ochoa Talks about Speech Communication and the Forensics Team

More than 200 high school students and their families packed into SSC 212 on November 5th for the Saddleback Outreach Department’s annual Family Night. Attendees visited with dozens of college departments at an educational fair, sampled hors d’oeuvres  prepared by culinary students, and listened to music from Students had the opportunity to learn about what majors and career training is offered at Saddleback and meet with deans, faculty, and staff from several departments.

Next, President Burnett, Leslie Humphrey, director of outreach and recruitment, Sahar Ghassemi, associated student government senator of kinesiology and athletics, Lucas Ochoa, professor of speech communications, and three members of Saddleback’s forensic’s team, provided valuable information about being prepared for college and ways to succeed. All seats were filled and people stood throughout the room as Sahar provided insight about what students can expect to get out of coming to Saddleback and what they need to put into their education while they are here. Professor Ochoa and the forensics team put on a great performance and showed why they are one of the best teams in the nation.

Finally, students were able to attend workshops about CTE, financial aid and scholarships, and, transferring and the honors program. All of the workshops were standing room only, the presenters were engaging and informative, and students and family members asked insightful questions.

Family Night has become one of our best events and everyone involved should be proud of the excellent work!

For more pictures, click here.



Congratulations to the New CSU Chancellor

Congratulations to University of California, Riverside Chancellor Dr. Timothy P. White who was selected to serve as the California State University Chancellor. Dr. White is replacing Charles B. Reed, who is retiring. We look forward to continuing our great relationships with the CSUs and are always working to increase our transfer rate and preparedness!

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:

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

Announcing Saddleback College’s New Transfer Center Coordinator: Orlantha Nin

It is with great pleasure that Saddleback College announces that Orlantha Nin has been selected as the new transfer center coordinator.  If her name sounds familiar, it is likely because you have seen her on campus over the past 12 years.  A part-time counselor and associate professor, Ms. Nin worked in the transfer center from 2000 to 2003, and has worked in EOPS/CARE since 2006.  She has also served as the counselor representative on the careers with children grant, and was a member of the child development program advisory board, faculty association, and associate faculty support committee.  After her years of committed service as part-time faculty, it is wonderful to welcome Ms. Nin as full-time, tenure-track faculty.

From 2007 to 2010, Ms. Nin was a lecturer at CSU Long Beach’s educational opportunity program, where she developed curriculum and taught three sections of the program’s student success, orientation, and study skills class.  She also offered instruction on study skills, goal setting, learning styles, term paper development, and writing and research skills.

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More than 100 People attend Transfer Celebration

The Transfer Center’s annual celebration was once again a huge success. More than 100 students, faculty, staff, administrators, parents, and friends came out to support students who are transferring to colleges and universities. The celebration is a time for students to mingle with future classmates and meet representatives from their transfer colleges. This year Saddleback transferred more than 2,000 students to colleges and universities all over the world!

A couple of transfer facts:

  • Saddleback College is 12th out of 112 California Community Colleges in transfers to UCs and CSUs.
  • Saddleback College is ranked third in the state in the number of transfers to UCI
  • We are ranked third in the number of transfers to CSUF and CSULB
  • Saddleback is the highest in Orange County for transfers to San Diego State University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Chico State, CSU San Marcos, Humboldt State, and San Francisco State

For a list of students and their transfer colleges, please keep reading.

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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.

Annual President’s Chat

This week I held a President’s Chat, where all college employees are invited to ask questions about any topic in an informal setting.  I was very pleased with the turnout and was happy to see that all of our governance groups were well represented.

The first question allowed me to address a topic that is of interest to many: smoking on campus. Saddleback allows smoking on campus, except inside a building or within 25 feet of a building’s entrance.  I was asked if there was any way to make our campus smoke-free. Currently, Associated Student Government (ASG) is conducting a survey to gauge the mood of their peers and will decide on a plan of action when they get the survey results. Once ASG provides its recommendation, college administration will determine the next steps.

In light of recent reports about the Cal State System’s enrollment freeze, the group voiced their concerns about how this would affect students. The sad news is that higher education cutbacks have already begun to affect our students, we are more impacted than ever and even our highly-qualified transfer prospects are finding it increasingly difficult to get into a CSU or UC.  Despite all of this, there are some positive things — we have secured new TAG agreements to CSU and UCs, and our top feeder school, CSU Fullerton, is one of the few that is still accepting spring transfers.  It is our responsibility to make our transfer students as competitive as possible, which is something that everyone in the Saddleback community is dedicated to doing.

As the state budget continues to deteriorate, it will be interesting to see how the community college system adapts and at least one school is already taking drastic steps to serve their students:  Santa Monica College has proposed a tiered pricing systems. This topic was raised at the chat and it is something that we are definitely watching.

I also provided a library and learning resource center update.  The new building is expected to be ready for services at the start of the fall semester and we will begin moving stacks and personnel during the summer. A grand opening event is expected to occur during the fall semester.

Other topics included the Student Success Task Force update and the ATEP campus. The task force recommendations are currently going through the legislative process, but the good news is that we are already doing many of the recommended steps to improve student success. The SOCCCD Board of Trustees recently approved a proposal for ATEP, which will give Saddleback and IVC the opportunity to develop on the land. We are very excited about the Allied Health Center for Innovation and Healthcare Education, which will be the leading healthcare training center in the country. More details will be coming about the site, including industry and educational partners.

I want to thank everyone who participated in the President’s Chat and please keep an eye out for future invitations!

Senior Day is March 29

Saddleback College will welcome hundreds of high school seniors to the college’s annual Senior Day on Thursday, March 29th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the quad outside of the Student Services Center. The festivities will include informational workshops on the academic, career, and counseling programs offered to Saddleback College students, as well as a free In-N-Out Burger lunch, games, and prizes.

2011 Senior Day Scavenger Hunt

Senior Day is a wonderful opportunity for high school seniors and their parents to learn about the outstanding programs and services offered at Saddleback College, where student success is our top priority. I look forward to seeing our future students on campus at Senior Day.

Saddleback students, faculty and staff should be aware that campus will be busier than a typical Thursday and should adjust their schedule accordingly.