Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Math instructor calculating in making subject approachable to students

 Five instructors at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have been selected by their peers as the academic year’s best faculty members. The honorees were lauded at fall convocations for exemplary service to the East County campuses.

At Grossmont College, art history professor Marion de Koning received the Distinguished Faculty Award, and Administration of Justice instructor Shaun Donelson was picked for the adjunct award. At Cuyamaca College, English instructor Lauren Halsted and math instructor Terrie Nichols are co-winners of the Outstanding Faculty Member Award, and Arabic instructor Aklas Sheai received the award for adjunct faculty.

Here's a profile of one of the recipients, the third of an occasional series:

Terrie Nichols
Thinking back to her senior year in high school when her biggest achievement was ditching 54 days of classes, Cuyamaca College math instructor Terrie Nichols said it was only through the miracle of community college that she is where she is today.

Divorced with two young boys and pregnant with her third, Nichols returned to school in her late 20s, enrolling at Cuyamaca College. With no job skills, she viewed Cuyamaca as an opportunity to improve her lot in life. The move proved transformational.

“A counselor placed me into an English class and an elementary algebra class that first semester,” she said. “While watching the instructor prove the quadratic formula in that basic skills math class, I fell in love with math and decided right then and there that I wanted to be a math teacher – and more specifically a math teacher at Cuyamaca College.”

Friday, October 7, 2016

Administrator named to prestigious institute mentoring African-American leaders

Cuyamaca College VP Scott Thayer
Scott W. Thayer, Cuyamaca College’s vice president of Student Services, has been named one of 15 fellows with the Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership (Lakin Institute). The Lakin Institute is presented annually by the Presidents’ Round Table, a national association that helps prepare African-American community college leaders as chancellors, presidents, and chief executive officers.
 As Cuyamaca College’s vice president of Student Services, Thayer oversees counseling services, admissions & records, financial aid, student affairs, Extended Opportunities Program & Services (EOPS), Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS), and athletics. He previously held the position of assistant dean of Student Affairs at Pasadena City College near downtown Los Angeles, where he was responsible for providing comprehensive student involvement and engagement programs for 30,000 commuter students. Under his leadership, Thayer has secured over $2.6 million in additional funding in support of student success.  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Grossmont College to host Fall Preview event Oct. 29

Grossmont College Student Center
Grossmont College, East County’s largest and oldest college, will host a Fall Preview event from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 29, on the Grossmont College campus at 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon.

“While structured for students ready to finish their school years, this event is a perfect opportunity for anyone interested in attending our college,” said Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, Ed.D., who will welcome attendees at 10:30 a.m. in the Main Quad. “Whether it’s to start or continue their college journey, to improve their career skills or to learn a new language or maintain lifelong learning, Grossmont College is here for East County residents and their families.”

Monday, October 3, 2016

NSF grant for Cuyamaca College's Water and Wastewater Technology program

Students tour a water treatment plant.
Cuyamaca College has secured a National Science Foundation grant of nearly $900,000 for an innovative new program to improve and expand training of the next generation of water industry professionals needed to operate and maintain California’s complex water supply and delivery systems.

Funding for California WaterWorks: Building the People Pipeline comes at a critical time. The Water Research Foundation and the American Water Works Association anticipate that water utilities will lose up to half their workforce over the next decade as older workers opt to retire. A 2014 Water Research Foundation report estimates that nearly one-third of the water industry workforce is eligible to retire.

“Cuyamaca College's Water and Wastewater Technology Program has a well-deserved reputation for its commitment to quality, innovation, and a high standard of excellence in providing instruction and training to prepare our students for a career in the water and wastewater industry,” said Joe Young, who coordinates the program that has delivered water and wastewater management education for more than half a century. “This latest National Science Foundation grant will help us to improve and expand our program and continue to set the pace in water and wastewater workforce development.”

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Jessica Murguia: From first-generation college student to Cuyamaca College employee

Jessica Murguia
The past 18 months have been good to Jessica Murguia. Marriage. Master’s degree. And most recently, a new job as the Interim Student Services Coordinator in the High School and Community Relations Department at Cuyamaca College – a post that includes overseeing outreach to high schools and the community, scheduling campus tours, and organizing the East County Education Alliance’s annual college and career fair, “Got Plans?” 

She couldn’t be happier. 

“Serving first-generation college students, serving students who cannot afford to go into a four-year college or university straight out of high school, serving students from underrepresented communities, it gives you a rewarding feeling that you’re helping to make a difference,” said Jessica, whose personal experiences underscore the impact Cuyamaca College is having. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

College district wins NCMPR marketing, PR awards

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Marketing and Communications Office took home one gold and two silver Medallion awards Thursday from a national marketing organization for two-year colleges.

At its District 6 conference in San Diego Sept. 29, the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations lauded the district with:

Cuyamaca College hosting political discussion series

With Election Day just around the corner, here’s an opportunity to get a historical perspective of voting in America.

The Cuyamaca College Department of History, Social and Behavioral Sciences will present “Politics: Past and Present Series 2016,” through the month of October to focus on a variety of political discussion topics, including voter suppression, gender, foreign policy, local propositions, and the role of persuasion in politics.