Friday, February 27, 2015

Student success: From Ethiopia to Grossmont College

Baredu Morka

After moving to America from an isolated village in Ethiopia and adjusting to life in a middle-class suburb, Baredu Morka has found her home at Grossmont College.

At first, Morka wasn’t sure she wanted to enroll.

“I had the stereotype of Grossmont College as being the last option people would look at, but then I got here and discovered how mistaken I was,” Morka said. “I love the staff and the campus leadership, and the students here come from all different kinds of backgrounds. It’s a wonderful place, a supportive community. An amazing school.”
Morka has been excelling in her studies. Her plans include transferring to Harvard University and earning a master’s degree in actuarial science or mathematics before returning to Africa and contributing to the economic development of her homeland. Morka was honored with a Barnes & Noble Textbook Award scholarship for textbook supplies and purchases.

Cuyamaca College President Mark Zacovic announces retirement

Mark J. Zacovic

        After a career spanning three decades in the California community college system, Cuyamaca College President Mark J. Zacovic has announced his retirement, effective June 30.

            Zacovic has served as president of Cuyamaca College, with about 9,000 students in Rancho San Diego, since July 2011. He led the college through some of the toughest budgetary challenges in the institution’s 37-year history, ensuring that students continued to receive a quality education while dealing with dramatic spending cuts from Sacramento.

            “Cuyamaca College will always hold a very special place near and dear to my heart,” Zacovic said. “For 37 years, the college has done great work and that work will continue and thrive in the years to come.”


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cuyamaca College professor wins statewide civic education award

Tony Zambelli
Cuyamaca College economics professor Anthony “Tony” Zambelli  has won the Roy L. Erickson Civic Education Award from the California Council for the Social Studies, an annual honor given to educators, community leaders or legislators for promoting civic education in California schools.

Zambelli will receive the award March 7 in Oakland at the council’s annual conference.

“This is truly an honor to be recognized for something I find so rewarding – to get young people to be more knowledgeable and engaged in civics in a way that’s fun and exciting,” Zambelli said.  He has put on “We the People” competitions at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges for the past 27 years to encourage middle- and high school students to learn about the Constitution and their government.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Future of science education tackled at Grossmont College educators' workshop

The future of science education in public and private schools will be the focus when more than 500 San Diego County teachers convene Feb. 28 at Grossmont College for workshops and seminars covering the Next Generation Science Standards, a set of expectations in science and engineering instruction similar to the Common Core.

The San Diego Science Educators Association 24th Conference is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event includes keynote speaker Richard Somerville, a world renowned climate scientist and distinguished professor emeritus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego, and numerous exhibitors, including the Birch Aquarium, the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair, the National Weather Service, San Diego Coastkeeper, Sally Ride Science Inc. and the UCLA Biomedical Library.

“Anyone who is interested in science education in the region will gain a lot from this day of workshops and seminars,” said Michael Reese, Grossmont College’s dean of the Division of Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Exercise Science and Wellness.

Student success: Aimee Cook on the right path at Grossmont College

Aimee Cook
Aimee Cook’s plans were set. After earning a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Philadelphia’s Temple University in 2011, Cook figured she would come home to California and work as an emergency medical technician.

Instead, she landed a job as an admissions representative in the emergency room at San Diego’s Sharp Memorial Hospital. It changed her forever.

“I would watch the nurses and see how they did everything possible to save people’s lives, to make them feel comfortable, to calm them down, just providing the utmost kindness and care no matter the circumstance,” Cook said. “I wanted to be a part of that.”

She enrolled in Grossmont College’s Nursing Program two years ago and hasn’t looked back since. Cook is set to graduate with an associate degree in June and is studying for her National Council Licensure Examination to become a registered nurse, and then earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Cook’s dedication to the profession helped her capture Grossmont College's Henry Vanden Broek Nursing Scholarship. The award is provided to a second-year nursing student with financial need.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Student success: Elham Ryland finds support at Grossmont College

Elham Ryland

Grossmont College student Elham Ryland’s favorite quote comes from the late South African leader Nelson Mandela. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

It has, in fact, become her mantra.

An immigrant from Ghana who has had more than her share of challenges in her 28 years, Ryland rises daily before dawn and embarks on a two-hour journey via public transit to reach Grossmont College, where she works two jobs and takes a full course of classes.

It hasn’t stopped her from succeeding.

Elham has a 4.0 grade point average while tackling two majors, in business administration and business management. Along the way, Elham has made the Dean’s List, the Vice President’s List and the President’s List at Grossmont College. She plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from San Diego State University before either transferring to a master’s program or working as a CPA.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Grossmont College aces new tennis courts

Members of the Grossmont College women's tennis team
try out the new courts.
New tennis courts are opening at Grossmont College, featuring a design that is expected to prevent cracks, last longer, and have reduced maintenance costs.

            The 10 new tennis courts on the Grossmont College campus replace courts that were installed in 1967. The courts suffered from frequent cracks and drainage issues that limited their usefulness and required repeated repairs.

            The new courts feature a post-tensioned concrete slab reinforced with a grid of high-strength sheathed steel. The compressed concrete reduces the likelihood of shrinkage cracks and is recommended by the American Sports Builders Association to provide the best overall experience on the courts.