Monday, February 24, 2020

Grossmont College's Dia de Familia promoting careers in public service


Crime lab demonstrations, free food, folklorico dancers, a VIP panel, a drone giveaway and more are on tap for Grossmont College’s Dia de Familia, a free community event promoting careers and programs tied to public service and non-profits.

The 4-8 p.m., March 5 event sponsored by the college’s s Via Rapida FYE program will be at the Main Quad, targeting the Latinx and East County communities. More than 200 attendees are expected, organizers say. 


“This is one of our major events of the year focusing on high school students, adult re-entry students, current Grossmont College students and their families, but anyone interested in a public service career is certainly welcome,” said Gabriela Soto, an outreach specialist for Via Rapida FYE and chief organizer of Dia de Familia.  

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Top faculty lauded at Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges

Daniela Sow
Three instructors at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have been awarded top honors for their commitment to students at the East County campuses.

Grossmont College English Instructor Daniela Sow received the President’s Leadership Award, one of the highest honors recognizing distinguished service to the college. At Cuyamaca College, Steve Weinert, a psychology instructor who founded a fledgling research lab at the Rancho San Diego campus, received the 2020 Award for Teaching Excellence. Rachel Farris, whose students speak fondly of her nurturing approach to teaching accounting, was the part-time faculty recipient of the same award.



Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Citizens' bond oversight committee issues annual report

A rendering of the Grossmont College
Visual and Performing Arts Center 
The bond-funded construction projects that are transforming the Grossmont and Cuyamaca College campuses are highlighted in a citizens’ oversight committee annual report released this week.

The 2019 Annual Report by the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee reviews progress in the past year on the construction work that was funded by Prop. V, the $398 million bond measure approved by East County voters in 2012.

The major projects underway include:
  • A new Visual and Performing Arts Center at Grossmont College, which includes a 390-seat theater with a professional performance stage, orchestra pit and balcony for student performances that will be open to the community. Construction is set to be completed in spring 2020.
  • A renovated Student Center at Cuyamaca College, including an expanded veterans’ resource center and improved facilities for the career center, bookstore, and convenience store.
  • A renovated Science, Math, and Career Technology Complex at Grossmont College, which will house the Administration of Justice and Earth Science programs, a fingerprinting lab for the Forensic Technology program, computer labs and classrooms. The first phase of the project was completed in January 2020.
  • A renovated Ornamental Horticulture facility at Cuyamaca College, which will provide classrooms, new greenhouses, a retail area and outdoor instructional spaces. The work is expected to be completed in fall 2020.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Grossmont College Ranks Among Top 100 Nationally for Associate Degrees Awarded to Minorities


Grossmont College was recognized as No. 52 in the country for the number of associate degrees awarded to minorities in a recent study produced by Diverse, a news magazine dedicated to diversity in higher education. 

“This recognition shows that our collective energies toward high, rising and equitable success among all groups, which was recently commended by our accrediting agency, are working for our students,” said Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, Ed.D. “Our classified professionals, faculty and administrators have come together to change the way we work inside and outside of the classroom so that all students have the opportunity for success – and our students are rising to the occasion by earning their associate degrees and certificates.”

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes selected for Aspen Institute fellowship

Cuyamaca College President
Julianna Barnes 

Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes has been selected by the Aspen Institute to join the 2020-21 inaugural class of the Aspen New Presidents Fellowship program.

The new initiative is designed to support community college presidents in the early years of their tenure to accelerate transformational change on behalf of students. Barnes is one of 25 college leaders selected from more than 100 applicants for the Aspen Fellowship, which is funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and run by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.

The leaders, all of whom are in their first five years at their post, begin their seven-month fellowship in June. Their institutions span 15 states and vary widely, from a rural college with fewer than 2,000 students to a statewide system that educates more than 150,000.

“I am truly honored to be selected for this prestigious program that will benefit our students and, in turn, our community,” Barnes said. “The Aspen Presidential Fellowship’s focus on student success and equity resonates with the mission and vision of Cuyamaca College which is a higher education leader. I cannot wait to learn all I can to make certain the college remains on the cutting edge in meeting student needs.”

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Lorenzo Vilches: Cuyamaca College student's drive leads to accolades

Lorenzo Vilches 

How highly does Lorenzo Vilches regard Cuyamaca College? Enough to endure an 80-mile commute taking more than two hours daily from his home in Borrego Springs to the Rancho San Diego campus.

“You do what you have to do,” said Vilches, 23, who is building an educational pathway leading toward a career in the design, development and manufacture of race cars. “I’ve been lucky enough to meet with and learn from some very good professors. The ability that students have here to approach the faculty, get to know them and learn from them is invaluable.”

Vilches earned an associate degree in June 2019 in automotive technology and is now tackling a second degree in engineering. He’s already taking the automotive technology skills he’s learned at Cuyamaca College with him to his job at a repair shop, where he is helping with everything from changing tires to replacing transmissions. But he isn’t done yet; Vilches is planning to transfer to a four-year college or university after securing his second associate degree.

A first-generation college student with a 3.7 GPA, Vilches was one of 500 Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students who received a scholarship from the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges this academic year.

“Lorenzo is the kind of student that makes me love teaching,” said physics instructor Miriam Simpson. “What makes Lorenzo stand out is his ability to know his own abilities and limits and make realistic decisions about how to succeed.”