Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Cuyamaca College receives state diversity and equity award

Representatives from Cuyamaca College at the Dr. John W. Rice
Diversity & Equity Award ceremony
Cuyamaca College is one of two California community colleges to be honored today with the 18th annual Dr. John W. Rice Diversity & Equity Award for its innovative program that markedly increased the number of students who completed their math and English classes.

Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes and other representatives from the college received the award from Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. Santa Barbara City College was also honored for a program that assists single parent students who are new or returning to college.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Open registration starts for fall semester at Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges

With the start of fall semester Aug. 20, open registration is just days away for almost 30,000 students working toward university transfer, training for high-skill jobs or expanding their horizons at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.

The cost of the courses is $46 per unit, with most classes offering three units of college credit. Online registration for regular semester classes opens July 9 for all students and ends Aug. 19.

For first-time college students, the fall semester kicks off the much-anticipated Grossmont-Cuyamaca College Promise, which provides a year of tuition-free classes at either campus with the pledge to complete orientation, assessments and devising an education plan, and maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA as a full-time student.

Monday, July 2, 2018

"Beauty and the Beast: A New Musical" takes center stage at Summer Theatre Arts Conservatory

Beauty and the Beast: A New Musical is coming to the Grossmont College Stagehouse Theatre from July 26 through Aug. 4 as part of the annual Grossmont College Summer Theatre Arts Conservatory.

Adapted by Jeannette Thomas from Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s “La Belle et la Bete,” Beauty and the Beast: A New Musical continues the Summer Theatre Arts Conservatory’s tradition of mixing classic storytelling with modern music. Tickets are selling at a rapid pace and three performances already are sold out.

Now in its fifth year, the summer conservatory allows student performers and technicians to learn what it’s like to work in a professional theatre in daytime and evening classes. Students are taught specialized skills that include acting, costume design, lighting, set design and marketing at one of the most respected college theatre programs in the region. The program is free for the nearly 50 high school and college students taking part.

“The Grossmont College Theatre Arts Department includes a number of working professionals who are well known in the local arts community, and the summer conservatory is a great opportunity for both high school and college students to learn from the best while earning college credit,” said Beth Duggan, chair of the Theatre Arts Department. “We are really pleased with this year’s production, which promises to best one yet.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

DJ travels from Rwanda to Grossmont College to share story

For three years, Olivier Ndacyayisenga, a DJ who lives in Rwanda, has been communicating by Skype with Grossmont College summer students about the culture and heartrending history of his African country. Now, with the help of two faculty members, Olivier will talk in person at Grossmont College about the Rwandan genocide and deliver a simple message: that hope exists even in the face unthinkable tragedy. 

Olivier will be speaking from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 28 at Grossmont College’s Griffin Gate. The public is invited to the free event, sponsored by Grossmont College's World Arts Culture Committee.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Erica Abraham: First graduate of Cuyamaca College's viticulture apprenticeship program

Erica Abraham
Erica Abraham realized her life’s passion while picking Syrah grapes in a Fallbrook vineyard.

“Everything changed that day when I harvested my first 100 pounds of grapes,” she said. “I knew that morning standing in the vineyard that winemaking and grape-growing was what I wanted to do. It made my heart sing.”

On June 4, Abraham became the first graduate of Cuyamaca College’s groundbreaking viticulture apprenticeship program, the only program of its kind in California that equips students with a firm understanding about all aspects of wine production, from growing the grapes to pouring the drink.

“This program completely transformed my career path,” Abraham said moments before she accepted her California Division of Apprenticeship Standards certificate and trade card.

The 3,000 hours of training and 14.5 units of coursework has prepared Abraham for work as an independent consultant to a growing legion of wine makers in the region, including those who have turned to growing wine grapes as a hobby.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Graduating classes set records at Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges

Grossmont College commencement
Commencement is always a day of celebration and promising futures as students take part in a time-honored processional, while families and friends cheer and beam with pride.

This year’s graduation ceremonies at Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges were ones for the record books as a highest-ever 2,600 graduates received more than 5,500 degrees and certificates on June 6 and 7. These numbers translate into a 23 percent increase in the number of graduates and a 20 percent hike in the number of degrees and certificates compared to 2017’s record-setting numbers.

Cuyamaca graduate

With many students receiving multiple credentials, more than 800 graduates earned 1,300 degrees and certificates June 6 at Cuyamaca College’s 40th annual commencement. College President Julianna Barnes noted that Cuyamaca’s first graduating class numbered fewer than 40. 

At Grossmont College’s 57th annual ceremony the following day, nearly 1,800 graduates were awarded more than 4,200 degrees and certificates, the most credentials granted among all the community colleges in the region, President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh noted after welcoming the crowd in English, Spanish and Arabic. 

After 16 years, Grossmont College student reaches graduation

Ricky German and President Abu-Ghazaleh
Born with cerebral palsy, just getting to campus every day was a major undertaking for Grossmont College student Ricky German.

On June 7, after 16 years of arriving at the college at 6:30 a.m. to make it to his classes on time and facing daily challenges that to most are a matter of routine, the 37-year-old business major finally accomplished his dream. 

German joined the 1,800 members of Grossmont College’s class of 2018 in a time-honored processional and the long-awaited tassel turn, signifying his status as a college graduate.

German’s academic progress was impeded by recurring hospitalizations and setbacks, but he remained steadfast in striving for his associate degree. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Tazz Phillips: A troubled past didn't hold him back

Tazz Phillips
Tazz Phillips is the picture of success. He graduated from Grossmont College with a near-perfect grade point average, then went on to graduate with honors from San Diego State University. He’ll be starting at the police academy soon on his path to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a police officer.

His accomplishments are all the more remarkable when Phillips describes his tumultuous childhood that included parents who were drug addicts and alcoholics, five years in foster care, and two years of homelessness.Phillips said he always had the goal of bettering his life, and he never wavered from it no matter what was happening to him.

“It’s just effort and determination,” he said. “You’ve got to have the grit to do something. You have to disregard the negativity in your life.”

Phillips, a 22-year-old El Cajon resident, recently spoke to a group of students from Grossmont Union High School District schools who were visiting Grossmont College to learn more about the advantages of attending the college. The high school students’ visit was organized through the East County Education Alliance, the partnership between the high schools and the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District to inspire more students to attend college and to provide a seamless path for them on their education journey. More than 370 students from six East County high schools visited Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Dalia Valencia: Cuyamaca College was the right move for her

Dalia Valencia
More than 2,500 students will be graduating from Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges in June 2018. Here's the story of one remarkable graduate.

As an honors student in high school who had racked up more than her share of AP courses, Dalia Valencia was all set to enroll at one of the many universities she had been accepted to – until her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Once not even an afterthought, Cuyamaca College, close to her family’s home in Jamul, was suddenly her only option.

Enrolling at the Rancho San Diego campus turned out to be one of the best moves Valencia has made in her 19 years. The honors student is earning her associate degree in psychology with a GPA just shy of 4.0, and now she’s leaving for San Diego State University to continue her studies with a goal of becoming a clinical psychologist.

“When I first decided to come here, a lot of the people at my high school didn’t hold Cuyamaca in high esteem, and I kind of felt a little bit let down,” Valencia said. “But this college helped me find my way. I love how small it is. I love how everyone is so connected. And I love how everyone is here to help you out.”

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Conference to educate educators on teaching economics and personal finance

        The San Diego Center for Economic Education at Cuyamaca College is co-hosting a three-day course on economics and personal finance in late June that is designed for high school and community college instructors in building impactful lesson plans for their students.
           Titled Building Blocks for Economic Education, the June 27-29 session at the University of San Diego is presented by the San Diego Center for Economic Education at Cuyamaca College in association with the California Council on Economic Education and the Federal Reserve banks of Atlanta, Dallas, San Francisco and St. Louis. High school and community college instructors attending the symposium will learn about effective interactive lessons, emphasizing infographics and utilizing other tools that can meet any teaching style pertaining to economics and personal finance.
           Registration is $299 per person, but scholarships are available. Daily sessions are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Further information can be obtained by emailing Joshua Mitton at the California Council on Economic Education at jmitton@ccee.org. Registration fees include housing and after-class excursions at Old Town San Diego State Park and San Diego Harbor.
           Deadline for registration and payment is June 1. Registration can be completed online through the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis website at stlouisfed.org/events.
           The San Diego Center for Economic Education at Cuyamaca College trains scores of elementary and high school teachers each year on the best methods for teaching economics in the classroom and how to infuse economics into other subject areas such as history or geography. The San Diego Center for Economic Education is the only one of 11 such centers in the state that is located at a community college.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Grossmont Theatre student makes professional debut at Cygnet

Karli Cadel photography/Demetrius Clayton
Grossmont College Theatre Arts student Demetrius Clayton has seen a bit of the world as a Marine Corps vet, but he describes his first professional role in the Cygnet Theatre production of “The Wind and the Breeze” as a real jaw-dropper.
“It’s been life-changing; it really has opened my eyes to how much I have left to accomplish as an actor,” he said about his role as Shantell, a fast-food worker with aspirations to win fame as a hip-hop emcee, in the rap-infused work by Juilliard-trained playwright Nathan Alan Davis, which continues through June 10. “I have been around so much talent it’s really cool to just soak that up and sometimes, I catch myself doing that.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Something for everyone in summer session classes

This summer’s classes at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges offer something for everyone, from recent high school graduates to working adults or those looking to get into shape with a variety of health and fitness classes.  

Most classes begin June 11 and are four, six or eight weeks long. Registration continues through June 10, but some classes offer late registration until the end of the first week of classes. Class schedules and information about enrollment at both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are available at www.gcccd.edu/now/ 

All classes cost $46 a unit for California residents, or $138 for the average class. Financial aid, online application and registration are available. 

There’s more scheduling flexibility than ever, with both colleges offering online and hybrid classes, as well as evening classes to accommodate busy schedules.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Fernando Lucero: Finding Redemption at Cuyamaca College

Fernando Lucero
More than 2,500 students are graduating from Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges in June 2018. Here is the story of one remarkable graduate.

Fernando Lucero found his path at Cuyamaca College. The former gang member who survived a drive-by shooting and who was once kicked out of high school because of his grades is thriving at Cuyamaca College, is earning an associate degree in communication and is preparing to transfer to San Diego State University in the fall. 
“I knew I wanted to go to college and I knew I wanted to pursue my education, but I had no idea where to start,” Lucero said. “Cuyamaca helped me find my way. This school helped me develop my wings so I could fly.” 
Now he’s helping others at Cuyamaca College develop their wings. Although his next chapter in life will take him a few miles west to earn a bachelor’s degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State, Lucero will continue working as a student mentor at the Cuyamaca College Pathway Academy. The program helps first-generation students and those from underrepresented communities navigate the journey to a degree, certificate or four-year college or university. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Grossmont-Cuyamaca College Promise introduced at joint high school-college board meeting

The governing boards of two East County high school and college districts are making a promise to high school seniors: commit to your college success, and you will receive a free year of tuition at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.

At the fourth annual joint meeting of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and the Grossmont Union High School District boards, the new Grossmont-Cuyamaca College Promise was unveiled.

GUHSD and GCCCD governing board members and leaders
The Promise will begin in fall 2018 for first-time college students who are attending full time. It is being funded as the result of state legislation enacted last fall.

To receive the Promise, students must:

  • Be a first-time college student.
  • Sign the Promise Pledge
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a California Dream Act application.
  • Complete the college onboarding process, which includes application, orientation, assessment and developing an education plan.
  • Register as a full-time student at Grossmont or Cuyamaca College – at least 12 credit units per semester.
  • Maintain a 2.0 grade point average in the fall semester of college to be eligible for the spring.
    In 2016-17, almost 25 percent of the approximately 5,900 graduates from the 12 Grossmont Union High School District schools attended Grossmont or Cuyamaca College.
    “With the Grossmont-Cuyamaca College Promise, many more students will have the opportunity to pursue their dream of getting a higher education,” said Cindy Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. “We are excited about transforming the lives of students and their families, and creating a better-educated workforce for East County.”

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Gustavo Gonzalez Herrera: Following a Dream to Serve Others

Gustavo Gonzalez Herrera
Gustavo Gonzalez Herrera has wanted to become a doctor since he witnessed the lack of medical care afforded to the poor while growing up in a Tijuana family barely able to feed itself. Thanks to Grossmont College, he may reach his dream. 

“I want to make a difference,” said Gonzalez, 24, a biology major who is carrying a 4.0 GPA and plans to transfer to UC San Diego. 

He’s making a difference at Grossmont College, where his dedication and academic success led the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges to recently award him with a $500 Barnes & Noble Scholarship to pay for textbooks.

For a student enveloped by poverty as a child, the scholarship will have a profound impact. Gonzalez grew up dirt poor in Tijuana, one of three boys being raised by a single mom. The family for one year lived in a church, with his mother taking care of more than a dozen orphans in exchange for having a place to raise her children. 

“My mom had enough money to feed us, but not much beyond that,” Gonzalez said.

Still, Gonzalez and his brothers often resorted to sorting through Dumpsters for leftovers from a grocery distribution center, carefully sorting edible fruits and vegetables from spoiled produce.

Despite the challenges, Gonzalez never wavered from his studies nor did his commitment to become a medical professional.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Agreement allows Grossmont and Cuyamaca College graduates to earn bachelor's degree at Prague university

Anglo American University
An agreement signed between the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and a Prague university will allow graduates who have earned a degree from one of the two East County colleges to continue their education in the Czech Republic.

The district’s agreement with Anglo American University (AAU) will provide an opportunity for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in a program that is less expensive than a California State University and can be completed more quickly. In addition, students could experience a part of the world they might not otherwise have known, said Alan Krautstengl, president emeritus of AAU.

“Students would have an international experience, setting them apart from the competition,” he told the district’s Governing Board when the agreement was approved May 15. “Spending time in a completely different environment gives them an edge.”

AAU, a not-for-profit university founded in 1990, is the first independent European institution to be accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, one of six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. The university, located in a restored palace in the historic center of Prague, enrolls almost 1,000 students from more than 70 countries.

The university offers 14 undergraduate and graduate programs, and all courses are taught in English. Most classes are small, with a ratio of eight students per instructor.

Classes at AAU cost $250 per credit unit, compared to $396 per unit at San Diego State University. Krautstengl said students with outstanding academic records in their first semester are offered extensive financial support, and students with perfect or near-perfect GPAs at 3.9 or above pay no tuition.

The cost of living in Prague is also a bargain, he said. Students typically pay $300 to $400 a month for a room, and a year of medical insurance costs $500.

The university has an accelerated pathway for students with Grossmont and Cuyamaca College associate degrees so they can earn a bachelor’s degree with just 45 credits in three semesters. For those who want to continue their education in Prague, AAU also offers a master’s in business administration degree through Chapman University.

“This is a unique opportunity for our graduates,” said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. “It will add value to their education and give them an enriching international experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.”


Monday, May 21, 2018

Record number of Grossmont, Cuyamaca graduates to receive 5,500 degrees, certificates

Cuyamaca's 2017 commencement
A continuing focus on student success and a streamlined process for university transfer are yielding record numbers for Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, where a highest-ever 2,500 graduates will receive more than 5,500 degrees and certificates on June 6 and 7.
Grossmont's 2017 commencement

These numbers translate into a 23 percent increase in the number of graduates and a 20 percent hike in the number of degrees and certificates compared to a year ago.

Commencement begins at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, in front of the B Building at Cuyamaca College, and the same time on Thursday, June 7, at the Main Quad at Grossmont College.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Cuyamaca College opens new vineyard for groundbreaking viticulture program

Cuyamaca College's vineyard when it was planted in March
          A new half-acre vineyard at Cuyamaca College that is part of a groundbreaking viticulture apprenticeship program to meet a growing demand for skilled workers in the region’s wine making industry will be officially dedicated on June 4.

          The viticulture apprenticeship program, the only one of its kind in California when it launched in the fall of 2016, is aimed at addressing a shortage of qualified workers knowledgeable about vineyard management practices, including irrigation, pruning, fertilization and harvest. It was supported through a grant of nearly $260,000, much of which went to develop the vineyard.

          “Cuyamaca College for nearly 40 years has been playing a critical role in building our regional economy, and our new viticulture apprenticeship program will train the kind of skilled workers who are in demand by a rapidly expanding viticulture industry,” said Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Eighteen programs at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges recognized for boosting graduates' careers

Eighteen workforce programs at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have received state recognition for their success in boosting the salaries and careers of their graduates.

 A Grossmont College nursing student
The programs were recognized as Strong Workforce Stars, an annual recognition by the California Community Colleges honoring career education programs that show significant gains in factors that advance social mobility – a substantial increase in earnings, attainment of a living wage and a job closely matched with the graduate’s field of study.

Grossmont College’s nursing program achieved all three metrics and was awarded a Gold Star. Four other Grossmont College programs received Silver Stars for reaching two of the three metrics. Five Grossmont College programs and eight Cuyamaca College programs were awarded a Bronze Star for reaching one of the employment goals.

“This recognition highlights the value of a community college education,” said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. “Our graduates are getting rewarding jobs that support their families, and they are contributing to the economic health of East County.”

Monday, May 14, 2018

Bike rides to honor memory of Grossmont College professor killed in bicycle accident

Brian Jennings
Two guided bike rides are being held at Grossmont College May 20 to honor the memory of Grossmont College political science professor Brian Jennings, an avid bicyclist who was killed April 17 while riding his bike in Flinn Springs.
Two bike routes, both starting and ending at Grossmont College, will be offered. A 62-mile route with a 5,000-foot elevation gain will travel from the college to Soledad Mountain via Del Mar. A 12-mile route with a 1,000-foot elevation gain will travel through Lake Murray and Mission Trails Regional Park.Both routes begin at 8:30 a.m. and will be guided. A brief memorial for Jennings will be held at the top of Soledad Mountain. Members of the public are welcome to attend at no charge, although all participants will be required to sign a waiver and release of liability.

Jennings, 58, was hit by a minivan as he was riding his bike in the bicycle lane on Old Highway 80. He had been teaching at Grossmont College since 2005. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Jennings, a communications professor at Cuyamaca College, and sons Brennan and Kenny.



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Cuyamaca College Chamber Music series concludes with May 20 performance

The inaugural season of a new chamber concert series at Cuyamaca College featuring renowned international musicians concludes Sunday, May 20, with a performance by the Soleil Quartet, a group comprising four esteemed members of the San Diego Symphony.
           The Soleil Quartet, which takes the stage at Cuyamaca College’s Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre, is set to play pieces by Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Samuel Barber, and John Biggs. The 6 p.m. concert is the last of five this spring that are part of the newly launched ECHO Chamber Music Series, with ECHO being an acronym for the East County Harmonics Organization.
          The ECHO Chamber Music Series is underwritten by East County resident Sam Ersan, a vice chair at the San Diego Symphony’s Board of Directors who established the Sam B. Ersan Chamber Music Fund at UC San Diego and whose philanthropy includes founding two chamber music groups, the Camera Lucida piano quartet and the Myriad Trio.
           Ersan said he was looking at venues for a new chamber concert series in the East County and settled on Cuyamaca College because of the location and the welcoming reception he received from college administrators.
           “In its inaugural season, the ECHO Chamber Music Series at Cuyamaca College has had dazzling performances from some of the world’s great artists, and it is establishing itself as the center for great music in East County,” Ersan said. “A brilliant second season is planned, which will be performed by artists and ensembles at the top of the profession, and with a focus too, on wonderful musicians from the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Cuyamaca College has shown great enthusiasm for the ECHO series, much to our delight. We look forward to years of great musical evenings to come.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Grossmont College Police Academy cadet seeks to become rookie cop at age 73

Brian Duncan has wanted to be a cop for as long as he could remember, but for the 73-year-old El Cajon resident, that wish has remained an unrequited dream.

At least until now.

He is one of 15 cadets to be graduating Friday from Grossmont College’s 32nd Police Academy and he has his sights set next on joining the El Cajon Police Department as a reserve officer.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Annual Careers in Manufacturing tour set to depart from Cuyamaca College on May 3

Military veterans, college students and others looking at their job options are invited to take part in the East County Economic Development Council’s annual Careers in Manufacturing Tour and Panel Series co-hosted by Cuyamaca College on Thursday, May 3.

There is no cost for the event, but online registration is required beforehand.

The event’s purpose is to introduce job seekers to opportunities in the manufacturing sector, and the tour will include visits to both Taylor Guitars and Computer Integrated Machining, Inc. Cuyamaca College will host a complementary lunch and an employers’ panel. Job-training resources will also be available.

 The schedule is as follows:

  • 7:30 to 8 a.m. – Check in at the East County Economic Development Council’s table in Student Lot 5 at Cuyamaca College, 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego, 92019.

  • 8:30 a.m. – Buses depart for tours at Taylor Guitars and Computer Integrated Machining, Inc.
  • Noon to 1:30 p.m. – Complimentary lunch and a manufacturers’ panel at the Cuyamaca College Student Center. Hiring personnel from local manufacturers will be on hand to answer questions.
Sponsoring the tour are Cuyamaca College, Bank of America, Comerica Bank, SDG&E, Silvergate Bank, US Bank and Wells Fargo.
For additional information, contact Elizabeth Liddell of the East County Economic Development Council by calling (619) 258-3670, or by emailing Elizabeth.Liddell@eastcountyedc.org.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

An Evening of Extraordinary Chamber Music

The Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre at Cuyamaca College will be imbued with the music of Tchaikovsky, Joaquin Turina and Juliusz Zarebski when pianist extraordinaire Jessie Chang and the internationally acclaimed Formosa Quartet perform in the penultimate concert of the inaugural East County Harmonics Organization (ECHO) Chamber Music Series on Sunday, April 22, at 6 p.m.

The ECHO Chamber Music Series has been bringing world-class musicians to Cuyamaca College for the community to enjoy. This is the fourth of five ECHO concerts scheduled during the spring.

Jessie Chang has collaborated with major orchestras such as the San Diego Symphony, the Malaysian Philharmonic, the China Philharmonic, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, among others. She also appeared at the Blossom Festival with The Cleveland Orchestra playing Mozart’s double concerto with her duo-partner and husband, Jahja Ling, the former music director and conductor at the San Diego Symphony. In addition, Chang has been featured at Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium, Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium and at 92Y in New York.

Winners of both the First Prize and Amadeus Prize at the London International String Quartet Competition, the Formosa Quartet has been described as among the best string quartets of its generation and has given critically acclaimed performances at the Ravinia Festival, the Library of Congress, the Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, among other venues. It has recorded on the EMI, New World Records, and Delos labels. Members include cellist Deborah Pae and violinists Jasmine Lin, Wayne Lee and Che-Yuen Chen.

Admission is $5 for students, $10 for staff and for those who make advance reservations, and $15 for general admission seats. Tickets can be reserved online.

The ECHO Chamber Music Series is underwritten by Sam Ersan, a vice chair at the San Diego Symphony’s Board of Directors who established the Sam B. Ersan Chamber Music Fund at UC San Diego and whose philanthropy includes founding two chamber music groups, the Camera Lucida piano quartet and the Myriad Trio.

Cuyamaca College is at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego, 92019. For further information, call (619) 660-4288.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Multiple marketing, PR awards for East County college district

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Marketing and Communications Office has been bringing home the honors over the past month with numerous awards

recognizing exemplary marketing, communications, design and public relations efforts.

The district was honored Thursday with five PRO Awards from the Community College Public Relations Organization, a professional development and service organization that seeks to promote excellence in California's community college public relations and related professions. More than 350 entries were submitted from across the state.

The college district’s awards presented at CCPRO’s annual conference held this year in Sacramento:

Monday, April 9, 2018

Grossmont College broadcast student wins international award for radio documentary on disabled veterans

 Perales at campus radio station
Grossmont College broadcast student Alan Perales knows a good story when he sees it.

Accompanying his father on a hospital visit for a combat injury from the Vietnam War, Perales had the idea to chronicle the plight of injured veterans in a radio documentary for a Media Communications class.

 On Sunday, he picked up a first-place international broadcasting award in Las Vegas in the 2018 BEA Festival of Media Arts, billed as the world’s largest digital media and broadcast competition for students and faculty. The Broadcast Education Association is an international professional association for instructors, students and industry professionals in electronic media and multimedia enterprises.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival returns for its 25th anniversary

Up to 5,000 visitors will converge on the Cuyamaca College campus when the annual Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival returns for its 25th year on Saturday, April 28, as the college, The Water Conservation Garden and the Heritage of the Americas Museum present an array of family-friendly events featuring plant sales, craft vendors, wine tasting and more.

The Cuyamaca College nursery at the 2017 Spring Garden
and Butterfly Festival
The Water Conservation Garden and the Heritage of the Americas Museum are housed at Cuyamaca College, and all three have scheduled a bevy of activities. Cuyamaca College’s award-winning Ornamental Horticulture Department is hosting its biggest plant sale of the year, with proceeds supplementing the program’s operations. The Water Conservation Garden will be the site of butterfly releases, landscape consultations, a children’s story time with Ms. Metamorphosis, and a pollinator party with Ms. Smarty-Plants. The Heritage of the Americas Museum is presenting a Kumeyaay fire-making and artifacts demonstration, along with docent-led tours.  

“The Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival is a great way for the college, the Water Conservation Garden, and the Heritage of the Americas Museum to highlight the innovative programs we offer to the community,” said Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes. “It’s also an awesome way to spend a Saturday.”
More than 80 vendors, craftspeople and artisans will be on hand at Cuyamaca College’s Grand Lawn and in the Garden. The Grand Lawn will also house information booths and presentations from nearly two dozen Cuyamaca College academic and student programs. The Child Development Department, for example, is organizing activities for small children. Graphic design professors will discuss pathways to rewarding careers. And computer information systems instructors will detail how Cuyamaca College is putting people to work in high-demand fields such as cyber security.

The popular event, one of the largest in San Diego’s East County, has its roots in the Spring Garden Festival launched 25 years ago by the Ornamental Horticulture program at Cuyamaca College. In 2017, it combined forces with the annual Butterfly Festival, which took flight after the Water Conservation Garden opened its Butterfly Pavilion in 2014.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Employers flocking to career fair at Cuyamaca College

The military will be recruiting at the career expo.
Polish your resume and practice your elevator speech. A record number of employers will be recruiting at the 26th annual East County Career Expo set for Wednesday, April 25, at Cuyamaca College. 

Free and open to the public, the expo is set for 9:30- a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is expected to draw at least 65 businesses, companies and industries looking to hire. In past years, nearly 100 attendees have left with job offers and nearly that many job interviews have been lined up, thanks to the popular event. Sponsored by Cuyamaca College, America's Job Center of California and the East County Career Center, the expo will be held at the  Student Center, Room I-207.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Cuyamaca College students take top honors at Cesar Chavez scholarship competition

Iveth Estrada Reyes
Cuyamaca College student Iveth Estrada Reyes was honored at the March 26 Cesar E. Chavez Community Breakfast in Downtown San Diego with the top prize in a community college essay competition – a $1,000 scholarship and a new laptop computer. 

“It was an awesome experience,” said Estrada, a sociology major who has been accepted to several of the University of California and California State University campuses she’s applied to for this fall. “I’ve never entered anything like this in the past, but it’s been very motivating and I’m going to have to pursue similar opportunities in the future.”

Fellow Cuyamaca College student Likaa Mohamad took Honorable Mention in the essay competition; Estrada and Mohamad were the only two community college students who were honored.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Salsa Under the Stars: Grossmont College music scholarship fundraiser

Following last year’s successful debut that drew some 400 music fans and raised thousands of dollars for student scholarships, Grossmont College’s “Salsa Under the Stars” returns Friday, April 13, to the Main Quad.

Complete with free dance lessons at 5:30 p.m., the music department’s sole outdoor concert event of the year showcases the hip-swaying jazz and salsa sounds of music instructor and internationally known salsa bandleader, composer and recording artist Manny Cepeda.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture students blossom at national competition

The Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture program is turning heads after yet another standout performance at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition.

Cuyamaca College OH students and instrcutor Donald Schultz (top right)
 Nine students took part in the 42nd annual event, and their average score topped the average scores for students at any of the 62 colleges and universities taking part in the competition at Alamance Community College in North Carolina. Competing against major institutions such as Brigham Young University, Virginia Tech and the University of Georgia, Cuyamaca College was the only school with three students finishing among the top 25 in total points.
Cuyamaca placed fifth overall nationally among the community colleges taking part in the competition. It finished ahead of numerous large universities, including Iowa State, Auburn, and Illinois State.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Scholar finds a home at Grossmont College

Debbie Oliveira
Debbie Oliveira moved from Brazil to pursue her dream of launching a career in engineering. Thanks to Grossmont College, the honors student is steadily moving in that direction.

“I love it here,” said Oliveira, who is on track to earn an associate degree that will prepare her for a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from San Diego State University. “It’s a beautiful campus and it has a lot to offer. The support services are really good, too. I feel like I get all the information I need whenever I ask for it.”

Oliveira has found her journey to Grossmont College rewarding in more ways than one. The president of the campus chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, she was recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship by the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges.

Those her know her say Oliveira is deserving of the recognition.

“Throughout the year I’ve known Debbie as her English teacher and honors club advisor, she’s impressed me with her intense focus and commitment,” said instructor Catherine Sayre. “She constantly remains in control and committed to each of her many classes, clubs, and friends.”