Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A message from Chancellor Cindy L. Miles

This message was sent to Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District employees Dec. 19.

It’s hard to believe another year has flown by so quickly! 2012 been a great year at the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. East County voters showed their support for our colleges by approving the District’s Proposition V bond measure, and California voters gave their support to education by approving Proposition 30. Grossmont College had a golden year of recognitions as it celebrated its 50th anniversary, and Cuyamaca College received statewide recognition for its innovative green programs.

Most importantly, amidst all the ups and downs of the year, we continued to provide high-quality education for almost 30,000 students. I loved seeing the broad grins on the faces of so many of the 2,359 students who received degrees or certificates at Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges in May.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bill Garrett returns as board president for 2013

Board president Bill Garrett swears in trustee Mary Kay Rosinski

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board has unanimously selected Bill Garrett to serve a sixth straight year as president, while Edwin Hiel and Debbie Justeson were elected to serve as fellow board officers for 2013.
Garrett has served since 2008 as board president for the East County district, with about 28,000 students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges. The Governing Board meeting got under way Tuesday with the swearing-in of Garrett and Trustee Mary Kay Rosinski, who both ran unopposed in the November election. Garrett began serving on the Governing Board in 2004, while Rosinski joined the board in 2008.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ten years of spotless audits for college district

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District is ending 2012 on the up side – first with November’s twin victories at the polls with the passage of both Proposition 30 and Proposition V – and now, another round of unblemished financial audits that continue a decade-long streak.
Despite years of state budget cuts to community colleges, the 10 years of independent audits show the district’s accounting of public dollars remains crystal clear and above reproach.
This week, independent auditors once again presented the governing board with reports reflecting “unqualified” – otherwise known as “clean” -- opinions for the district’s general audit; its alternative pension plan; Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges’ foundation and the district’s auxiliary; and the Proposition R bond construction funds. An “unqualified” opinion is the best type of report to be issued from an external auditor, indicating no deficiencies in internal control or compliance. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Director of district auxiliary retiring

Stan Schroeder
Just two weeks away from retiring, Stan Schroeder, the head of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Auxiliary, was busy leading a statewide education conference in Sacramento. As his last day with the district draws nearer, Schroeder concedes his wife is a little worried.
“I think there’s a bit of anticipatory anxiety on her part, wondering how I will manage to keep busy at home,” said Schroeder, 65, who will retire Dec. 20 from his 10-year post as the director of the auxiliary, the nonprofit organization that solicits and administers grants and contracts on behalf of the district and its two colleges.

Friday, November 30, 2012

"Your Passport to the Future" at Grossmont College

*  *  *
The Adult Reentry Program will host “Your Passport to the Future,” a free informational meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Griffin Gate.  Reservations are not required.

The meeting is designed to assist adults interested in returning to school after a length of time to complete a degree or certificate, or to upgrade their skills for a new job or career.

Speakers will include former students who successfully returned to the classroom, along with information on admission procedures, transfer programs and financial aid. 

For more information, phone Nancy Davis at (619) 644-7615 or Susan Esparza at (619) 644-7697, or visit

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sustainability symposium at Cuyamaca College Dec. 13

Cuyamaca College, known throughout the state for its longtime commitment to the green movement, is hosting its third annual Sustainability Symposium Thursday, Dec. 13, at the college’s performing arts theater.
This is the first year the 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. forum will be followed by a Green Vendor and Networking Fair from 1:30-3:30 p.m. In another first, the event doubles as a scholarship fundraiser for students pursuing careers in green or sustainable industries.
Admission is $35 for the public or $5 for students and includes parking, a continental breakfast and lunch. All proceeds will be donated to the Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges Foundation to create a scholarship endowment for students taking sustainability courses at Cuyamaca College. With last year’s event drawing 300 attendees, organizers are hopeful that the symposium will strongly kick off the Foundation’s green scholarship endowment drive.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Winter Wonder Jam December 7 at Cuyamaca College

Like the incessant sounds of a metronome, the clock is ticking for music students working behind the scenes on the Winter Wonder Jam -- Cuyamaca College’s answer to Lollapalooza -- set for Saturday, Dec. 7, in the performing arts theater.
Open to the public, the event will showcase five local bands rocking at the Rancho San Diego college from 7-10 p.m. This year, students in the college’s Music Industry Studies Program came up with the idea of a toy and food drive for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and the campus food bank for needy students with families.
Admission is $5, or free with a donation of an unwrapped toy or three cans of food.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cuyamaca College educator honored for dedication to teaching economics

Tony Zambelli

A Cuyamaca College educator passionate about improving the teaching of economics has been honored by the California Council of Economic Education for his dedication to the field.
Anthony (Tony) Zambelli received the 2012 Adam’s Apple Award at the California Association of School Economics Teachers Conference Oct. 26 in Yorba Linda.
“I’m greatly honored by the award,” Zambelli said. “But I’m even more honored that so many economics teachers attended the conference for the same reason I did – to improve our craft by continually learning how to teach economics better.”
Zambelli began teaching at Cuyamaca College in 1979, just a year after the community college in Rancho San Diego opened. After a law was enacted in 1985 requiring high school students to take an economics class before they can graduate, he often conducted workshops for teachers to help them instruct their students about the subject.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Grossmont's Griffin Radio to participate in Chargers blood drive

For the 14th year in a row, Grossmont College students who are part of Griffin Radio, the student-operated on-campus radio station, will attend and man their own exhibit booth at the San Diego Blood Bank’s Chargers Blood Drive.

The blood drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Town and Country Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Mission Valley. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thank you, East County!

This column by Chancellor Cindy L. Miles appeared today in the East County Herald.
On Election Night, I had the pleasure of being part of the excitement at Election Central in downtown San Diego. You could feel the energy everywhere as the results trickled in. Thousands of people milled around the cavernous hall, some carrying signs and chanting for their candidate. Television stations set up their anchor desks around the edges of the hall, and cheers went up from some in the crowd when they reported national or statewide returns. Candidates for public office – from state and federal officeholders to members of  local school boards or public agencies -- celebrated their wins or mourned their losses.
It was exhilarating to be there and be part of all the activity, but I had a special interest in this election. I knew that the results would truly determine the future of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and its two East County colleges.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Student veteran finds success at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges

Tommy Marquez
In honor of Veterans Day, we profile another of the more than 2,000 veterans who attend Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.

Grossmont College student Tommy Marquez has time and again proved wrong the high school counselor who suggested he should limit his goals to working as a mechanic or gas station attendant.
After spending more than ten years in the Navy, including a deployment working with Navy Special Forces in Afghanistan, Marquez realized he needed to get a college education to prepare him for a civilian job. The Alpine resident said he choose Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges because other veterans told him the campuses were vet-friendly.
Marquez said teachers such as Grossmont College English Professor Sydney Brown and Cuyamaca College Child Development Instructor helped him realize that he is intelligent and capable.
 “It literally changed my life and my perspective on life,” Marquez said. “I not only got teachers, I got mentors. When I wanted to quit, they said, ‘Keep going. Don’t give up.’ It really gave me a boost of confidence.”
 He earned his AA degree in child development and a second AA degree in social and behavioral sciences, and he’s now taking classes at Grossmont that will allow him to transfer to San Diego State University in the spring. Since April, Marquez has been serving as the military and veterans caseworker for U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, assisting veterans who have issues involving their government benefits.
Marquez said he’s happy he can work through Hunter’s office to help other veterans who can benefit from his own experience.
“When I hang up that phone, I know I’ve made a difference,” Marquez said. “I don’t get a medal, but it feels good that I can pay it forward.”

Friday, November 9, 2012

GIS Day at Cuyamaca College Nov. 14

Ever wonder how your car or smart phone is able to pinpoint your location through GPS navigation? Or how your local supermarket is able to track your purchases and knows what coupons to send you to entice future buys?
In celebration of GIS Day, a global event for users of Geographic Information Systems technology to highlight such real-world applications as mapping and marketing, Cuyamaca College and Helix Charter School in La Mesa are co-hosting a local demonstration event,
“GIS  –  Designing our Future,”  from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Cuyamaca College Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cuyamaca student veteran prepares for a new career

Kaylin Rosal
In honor of Veterans Week at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, we profile a student veteran.
When a hip injury ended her military career, Kaylin Rosal turned to Cuyamaca College to get the education she needed to start her civilian career.
The 30-year-old Spring Valley resident, who was medically discharged in April after two years in the Navy, enrolled at Cuyamaca last summer under the new G.I. Bill.
“I really appreciated the fact that as a veteran, I had priority registration,” Rosal said.
Rosal said her first semester back in school was intimidating.
“I had no idea what I was doing,” she said, pointing out that in the military, a person gets used to following directives nearly every waking hour and not having to make any decisions on one’s own. “I didn’t know what forms to fill out, who they go to, where to get them – nothing.”
With help she received from Cuyamaca’s veterans services office, Rosal said she gained confidence in herself and became attuned to the paperwork process to consistently receive the VA benefits that have allowed her to continue her education.
Still, accustomed to a strict military regimen, Rosal said getting acclimated to life as a student was a bit disconcerting at times.
Some changes were unexpected, like the simple act of walking outdoors while carrying something in her right hand. On a military base, she explained, uniformed personnel aren’t allowed to walk with anything in their right, or saluting, hand in case they encounter a senior officer.
“Talking on the phone or texting while you walk was new, as was eating or drinking while in motion,” she said. “All these things I had to remind myself that it’s OK to do now. The biggest thing for me is waking up every morning and not putting on a uniform. I really miss that.”
These days, she’s busy with her classes and her part-time job as a student worker at the veterans’ counseling office at Cuyamaca, where she helps with phones and assisting other student veterans.
The nursing major is currently completing her prerequisite courses and plans to transfer into the nursing program at either Grossmont College or San Diego State University.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Victory for Prop. V and Prop. 30

 A collective sigh of relief was followed by resounding cheers last night among Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District students, officials and employees with the passage of Proposition V, the college district’s $398 million bond measure, and Proposition 30, a statewide tax measure that prevents further catastrophic cuts to education.
Voter approval of Proposition V by 56.5 percent of the East County electorate paves the way for Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges to address longstanding facility, infrastructure and technology needs. The measure required 55 percent approval of East County voters to be successful.
Statewide, voters backed public schools, colleges and universities with the passage of the governor’s hotly debated tax measure, Proposition 30, thus preventing a $338 million budget cut to California’s community colleges that would have gone into effect  had the measure been defeated.
“The election was truly a landmark event for our district and we are so excited to have the forward momentum that voters have provided,” Governing Board President Bill Garrett said.  “We’re grateful for the public’s support of Prop. V, and we’re pleased that voters understand the critical facilities and technology upgrades needed to better educate and train our students in today’s ultra-competitive world.”

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

After 46 years, Alba Orr to retire from Grossmont College

Alba Orr
When Alba Orr started working at Grossmont College 46 years ago, the campus had no sidewalks and was a barren landscape with no grass and trees. The college had about two-thirds of the enrollment it does now and none of the landmark buildings that have transformed the campus in recent years.

Orr has seen lots of changes at Grossmont since she started working here on Sept. 1, 1966 as a 20-year-old clerk in the Counseling and Guidance Department. On Dec. 28, 2012, Orr will officially retire as Grossmont College’s longest continuous employee, a longevity record that is likely to stand for decades.

She could have retired 11 years ago at age 55. “I wasn’t ready back then, but now it’s time,” said Orr, 66, a supervisor in the Business Communications Office, the college’s name for the Mail Center and switchboard. “My family says they want to spend more with me, so here I go.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Athletes, novices give wheelchair basketball a spin

Entertaining and illuminating as always, Cuyamaca College’s 15th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Game on Wednesday showcased some amazing finesse shooting in the midst of crashing and spinning chairs.
 The hour-long game, the highlight of the college’s celebration of National Disabilities Awareness month, consisted of mixed teams of wheelchair and able-bodied athletes and non-players. That’s so that the wheelchair league athletes, some of whom have been returning to play at the Cuyamaca College event for years, don’t completely dominate the scoreboard, said Mary Asher-Fitzpatrick, a learning disabilities specialist with Cuyamaca’s Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS), and event coordinator.
 This year’s wheelchair athletes included members of the San Diego Hammers, a wheelchair basketball league team sponsored by the San Diego Adaptive Sports Foundation, one of the agencies taking part in a resource fair that preceded the game. Also joining in the action were former players with the San Diego Xpress and SoCal Sol, two league teams from the past.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Foundation hosts breakfast to honor donors

Chancellor Cindy L. Miles, Grossmont College student
 JoAnn Schneck, Cuyamaca vice president Robin Steinback
When the new Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges was created last year, foundation leaders made a commitment to  donors:  before they asked for a single dollar, they would have a plan in place to properly thank and steward their contributors.

Foundation CEO Glenn Kaufhold,
Steve Devan, Grossmont FCU

The foundation did that this week when they welcomed more than 40 of its most loyal donors to a special breakfast event at Cuyamaca College that was hosted by Chancellor Cindy Miles, and Sunny Cooke, Grossmont College president, and Mark Zacovic, Cuyamaca College's president.
Grossmont College student
Tommy Marquez

It was a chance for the foundation to share important accomplishments and plans from the district and the colleges.  The donors had and opportunity to meet four extraordinary Grossmont and Cuyamaca college students. 

The students talked about how attending Grossmont or Cuyamaca College has improved their lives.

Fred Allen, Sunny Cooke, Dean Colli
"I not only got teachers, I got mentors," said Tommy Marquez, a veteran who attends Grossmont College.

Most importantly, the foundation had the opportunity to personally thank its donors.  The guests included major contributors to the foundation's recently-completed $850,000 Osher Scholarship campaign.  Also acknowledged were some of the charter members of the Possibilities Roundtable, a group of donors who contribute between $1,200 and $10,000 to the foundation annually.

The foundation plans to host the second annual breakfast event next fall. In the meantime, here are some of the images from this year’s event.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Robotics tournament Saturday at Grossmont College

A robotics tournament for elementary and middle school students will be held at Grossmont College on Saturday, Nov. 3. Sixteen teams, each with eight participants in fourth through ninth grade, will compete in the tournament organized by East County Robotics Alliance, a local nonprofit group.

The public is invited to watch the robot matches from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the college’s Health and Sciences Complex, Building #34. Admission is free.

Cory Hoover, founder of East County Robotics Alliance, said the tournament will consist of three competitive aspects, including robot design, research and adherence to core values. The core values include teamwork, working to find solutions, learning together, the spirit of friendly competition, discovery is more important than winning, sharing experiences, gracious professionalism and fun. Hoover said the entrants will be asked to develop innovative solutions designed to improve the lives of senior citizens, including assistance with daily tasks, transportation or any other challenges seniors face.

Friday, October 26, 2012

La Mesa Police Chief Ed Aceves: a Grossmont College success story

This is part of an occasional series about successful alumni from Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.

La Mesa Police Chief Ed Aceves

La Mesa Police Chief Ed Aceves thanks one of his Administration of Justice instructors at Grossmont College for launching his law enforcement career.
“At a big major university, you aren’t going to have a personal relationship with the chair of a department,” Aceves said of Professor George Hernandez. “To have someone that influential and supportive of your educational goals, especially as young person going to school, makes a huge difference.”
Aceves entered Grossmont College after high school, but left to attend the police academy when was hired as a police officer for La Mesa. Three years later, he was back and finished his AS degree in 1991. Aceves received his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach in 2005 and in June, completed a master’s degree in criminal justice and security from the University of Phoenix.
Aceves worked his entire career in La Mesa, first as a patrol officer, later in the DARE drug awareness program, as a SWAT team leader and as a trainer for the department in defensive tactics. He has taught at the police academy and worked security at the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, and attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico for a three-month leadership program.
“I can barely remember what I had for breakfast,” Aceves joked. “The fact I can remember George so well after 20 plus-years shows that he obviously had some influence.”


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges serving those who serve us

This column appeared October 25 in the East County Herald
By Cindy L. Miles, Ph. D.
Chancellor, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
I’d like to tell you about Justin Dile, whose inspiring story echoes that of many of the thousands of active duty and returning veterans attending Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges. Justin served eight years in the Army Reserves, including a 15-month active-duty deployment in Iraq, where he suffered a traumatic brain injury from a roadside bomb explosion.
Justin Dile
Justin came to Grossmont College to get his life back on track after returning stateside with post-traumatic stress syndrome. He credits the college’s caring professors and veterans support services for helping him shift from combat to the classroom. Justin was a high school dropout before entering the military, but he learned to excel at Grossmont. Last fall he graduated with honors and transferred to the University of San Diego.  But Justin didn’t leave Grossmont behind – he “pays it forward” each week as a part-time assistant in our Veterans Affairs Office.
Since 2008, community colleges across the country have seen a sharp influx of veterans like Justin. This trend is expected to continue as the U.S. military offensive winds down in the Middle East and more troops come home. Grossmont College’s veteran enrollment has doubled in the last four years and is now about 2,000. Cuyamaca College’s student veteran population now nears 800. Since 2009, both colleges have been giving veterans and active duty personnel first-in-line privileges when registering for classes.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wheelchair basketball game Oct. 31 at Cuyamaca College

A participant in last year's Wheelchair Basketball game

In commemoration of National Disability Awareness Month, Cuyamaca College will host its 15th annual Wheelchair Basketball Game from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, this year preceded by a resource fair with nearly a dozen services and agencies for people with disabilities.
Both the game and fair, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. outside the gym, are free and open to the public. Anyone interested in playing is invited to join in.  The five-on-five games typically feature a mix of Cuyamaca’s basketball team playing alongside wheelchair basketball team players from throughout the county. With all players shooting and dribbling from the low-to-the-ground, highly maneuverable wheelchairs, tumbles and spills are always as much a part of the rousing action as the pivoting and spinning of custom-built chairs across the gym floor.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Legendary music producer to lecture at Cuyamaca College

Producer/engineer Ken Scott

For Cuyamaca College’s students learning the ropes of the music industry, this week’s visit by the man who recorded some of rock’s most iconic works is one lecture not to be missed.
Grammy-nominated producer/engineer Ken Scott, whose remarkable career working with the likes of The Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones and others is chronicled in a new book, “Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust,” is putting on a presentation 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at the Cuyamaca College Performing Arts Theater. The lecture and demonstration is an opportunity for students and the public to hear the multi-track recordings of classic rock tunes broken down in a way few people have ever heard outside of the studio – one instrument at a time.
The British record producer/engineer, widely known for being one of the five main engineers for The Beatles, will follow up his presentation with a question-and-answer session. Now living in Los Angeles, Scott has been on the road, promoting the book he co-authored with fellow music-industry veteran Bobby Owsinski.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Chancellor Cindy L. Miles selected for Women in Leadership award

Cindy L. Miles, Ph. D.
Chancellor, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
        Cindy L. Miles credits her mother for never letting her think that a woman’s dreams or aspirations should be limited by her gender. “She was a feminist before there was a word for it,” said Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.
Miles’ efforts on behalf of the college district since she became chancellor 3 ½  years ago were recognized Friday by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce, which presented her with a Women in Leadership award for education. The award was presented at a chamber luncheon attended by more than 400 people at the Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley.
“I see this award as recognition of all the incredible women who are working at the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District,” Miles said. “East County is a place that appreciates strong women and where their leadership is respected and honored.”

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

College district joins Global Corporate College

As stellar providers of workforce training, Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges have been recruited to join a global network of leading colleges and universities helping companies and businesses bettter train and develop their workforce.

The two East County colleges are among the first in California to partner with the nonprofit training-management organization, Global Corporate College, to provide corporate and business clients customized employee training and development. The Global Corporate College network is expanding to include community colleges in every state, with partnerships also in progress in Europe and Asia.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cuyamaca College alumni success story: Sara Bendrick

This is part of an occasional series on successful former Cuyamaca and Grossmont students.
Sara Bendrick, the star of a 13-episode show on the DIY network, began her career as a landscape architect by taking classes in ornamental horticulture at Cuyamaca. She calls Brad Monroe one of her mentors.
“The community college gave me a great experience and the time to explore courses,” Bendrick said. “It was affordable and I took classes I was interested in.”
Bendrick took courses at Grossmont to get enough units to transfer to California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. But it was the Cuyamaca classes that cemented her interest in plants and led to a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. She has worked as a professional landscape designer for large commercial projects and private residents, and launched her own business, Sarita Landscape Design, earlier this year.
In January, she participated in a nationwide talent search for a pilot project on the DIY network, which will be called, “I Hate My Yard.” She is set to begin filming the first segments in January 2013.
A promo for  the show states that the host "whips unruly outdoor spaces into shape -- no matter how bad -- with economical, yet clever, landscape designs."
 “I haven’t seen any other schools with what Cuyamaca’s horticulture department has, hands-on experience and it’s quite an awesome program,” Bendrick said. “It was a foundation that allowed me to explore career opportunities.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cuyamaca College's green job training initiatives strike gold

If Cuyamaca College grant writers were members of a college sports team, they would be basking in the glory of a triple-season winning streak. You’ve heard of the Dream Team? Meet Cuyamaca’s Green Team.
Since June 2009, the crew has had had every one of its 39 grant proposals funded for a total of $7.3 million to train hundreds of students for solid-paying, dependable jobs, including those in up-and-coming green industries. The grants have also funded pilot programs, which have since been expanded and modeled by other colleges.
The latest win for the five-member team is a pair of grants totaling more than $730,000 from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. The two Industry-Driven Regional Collaborative grants were two of nine approved for funding out of a total of 41 proposals statewide for workforce training in everything from design robotics to nanotechnology.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Region's community colleges say state budget cuts are hurting veterans' education

Grossmont-Cuyamaca Chancellor Cindy L. Miles at press conference

On the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum, a floating tribute to America’s past wars, the region’s community college leaders said dwindling budgets are affecting their ability to serve military members and veterans returning from today’s conflicts and heading back to school.
More than 20,000 veterans, active military and their dependents attend the nine community colleges in San Diego and Imperial counties, and their enrollment numbers are climbing because of the Middle East drawdown of forces. With four years of state budget cuts, college leaders said the results of the November election will determine whether they will be forced to make even sharper cutbacks in classes that will delay the progress of veterans and other students trying to complete their education.
“We’re very proud to shine the light on the role of community colleges in the county to serve veterans,” Cindy Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, said at a news conference hosted by the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community Colleges Association (SDICCCA). “But we are dealing with ever-dwindling resources.”

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Grossmont College Theatre Arts season begins Oct. 4

Another season of drama and comedy begins Oct. 4 with the start of the Grossmont College Theatre Arts plays.
Buy your tickets now!
Here's this season's schedule:
  • Mauritius: Oct. 4,5,6,11,12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 6 & 13 at 2 p.m. Crime...Passion...Stamp Collecting? That's right, stamp collecting. When two half-sisters, mourning the recent passing of their mother, inherit a spectacularly rare stamp collection, they are plunged into the seedy underworld of cloak and dagger philately. Mauritius is a suspenseful new comedy-drama where everyone involved seems willing to bully, connive, cheat, and, if all else fails, conduct a legitimate business transaction, to gain control of the rarest of prizes. Adult language.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"The Planets" by the Grossmont Symphony

Join the members of the Grossmont Symphony Orchestra & Master Chorale at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, in the second concert of the 2012-2013 performance season entitled, “The Planets,” a multimedia performance combining music with high-definition graphics and animations from NASA and Eurospace.

Grossmont College astronomy professor Philip Blanco has prepared a presentation to be viewed on the two large screens in the sanctuary of St. John of the Cross Catholic Church in Lemon Grove. The orchestra and chorus, performing in the dark, will present the opening movement of Haydn’s “The Creation,” entitled “Representation of Chaos.”  This will be immediately followed by a full performance of Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets.”

Entertaining as well as educational for all ages, the one-performance only concert is free and open to the public. The church is at 8086 Broadway in Lemon Grove. A free-will offering will be accepted.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grossmont College presentation on listening skills Sept. 26

The Grossmont College Adult Reentry Program will host “Listen Up,” a free presentation on improving listening skills, from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Career Center on the El Cajon campus.

Speaking will be Roxanne Tuscany, communications speech professor and director of the college’s speech and debate team. Tuscany will discuss how to improve interpersonal listening and communication skills, including interpreting body language and attention levels and responsibilities to understand what’s being said.

She also will discuss and identify the differences between hearing and listening and the types of listeners, as well as gender differences that affect listening and how to use your extra thought speed.

The public is invited to attend. The Career Center is located in Griffin Center, Building #60, which is the student center on the college campus. Parking lot #7 is the closest to Griffin Center. For more information, phone Nancy Davis at (619) 644-7615 or Susan Esparza at (619) 644-7697, or visit

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Grossmont-Cuyamaca college district passes budget amid uncertainties

            Under darkening clouds of economic uncertainty, the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board battened down the hatches Tuesday, passing a $150.4 million budget that prepares the district to weather the storm, should Proposition 30 – the governor’s tax measure – fall short in the November election.
“Like the household budget planner who wisely decides not to count on that iffy pay raise for the coming year, this district is planning very conservatively,” said Chancellor Cindy L. Miles. “We’re prepared to serve our students. In the long run, that level of service will be determined by voters.”
A $5.6 million projected loss in state funds factored into the district’s 2012-2013 spending plan means funding for about 1,000 fewer students and 310 fewer class sections if Prop. 30 fails. Statewide, the tax measure’s defeat Nov. 6 will result in California’s 112 community colleges losing $338 million in funding and having to turn away 180,000 more students.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Colleges hold public remembrances of 9/11

       Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges are holding public remembrances of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people and triggered the global war on terror.

The Associated Students of Cuyamaca College is sponsoring an on-campus display of 2,977 flags, with volunteers from the college, student leaders from Steele Canyon and Monte Vista high schools, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), area police and fire departments and the U.S. Armed Forces setting up the display in the grand lawn starting at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, the day before a community remembrance ceremony set for 12:30 p.m. at the college at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"Into Abstraction" exhibit at Hyde Art Gallery

Grossmont College’s Hyde Art Gallery, located on the El Cajon campus, is now presenting “Into Abstraction,” an exhibit of 23 abstract paintings by seven local artists, through Sept. 13. The seven artists include Kathleen Thum, Doris Bittar, Jessica McCambly, Michael Whiting, Mark Sengbusch, Jeremy Gercke and Eva Struble.

The exhibit showcases contemporary abstract composition, imagery, methods, materials and techniques, according to Larry Kline, curator of Hyde Art Gallery. The paintings explore a variety of themes, ranging from politics, optics and music to history, gravity and patterns.

Admission is free to the Hyde Art Gallery. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The gallery is located on the college campus in Building #25. The closest parking can be found in Parking Lot #1. Grossmont College is located at 8800 Grossmont College Dr., in El Cajon. For information, call (619) 644-7299, or visit www.grossmont/edu/artgallery

Friday, August 24, 2012

Grossmont-Cuyamaca board opposes use of long-term bonds

Governing Board: Bill Garrett, Debbie Justeson,
Edwin Hiel, Mary Kay Rosinski and Greg Barr

The Governing Board of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District has unanimously passed a resolution opposing the use of long-term bonds, assuring East County residents that the district will seek bonds with a reasonable repayment rate should Proposition V be approved by voters in November.
The resolution approved by the district’s Governing Board Tuesday night promises to follow a policy set by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association against obtaining long-term bonds unless it can be shown that their debt costs are less than shorter-term alternatives. Other school districts in San Diego County have been criticized recently for obtaining 40-year capital appreciation bonds, resulting in a repayment schedule more than nine times the cost of the original bond.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Heritage of the Americas Museum hosting "Museum Roadshow"

Craig Helm
 On Saturday, August 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 pm, the Heritage of the Americas museum will host Craig Helm, certified appraiser, who specializes in Native American, pre-Columbian, antique pictures, guns, western memorabilia, and Asian artifacts.
The public is invited to bring in their unusual treasures so Craig can say what they are and what they may be worth.  The museum asks for a donation of $5 for each multiple of three or less items that are brought in. 

Proceeds from the Museum Roadshow will support the non-profit museum’s educational programs that benefit over 5,000 school children each year from throughout San Diego County.  Admission to the museum and parking will be free that day.
The Heritage of the Americas Museum is located on the campus of Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego.
For more information, please call the Heritage of the Americas Museum at 619-670-5194.  Be sure to check the museum web site for more details:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Chancellor's message: An Olympic effort

Chancellor Cindy L. Miles sent the following message to the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District staff on Aug. 14.

Don’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get.” - Michael Phelps, American swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals, 18 gold
It’s been inspiring to watch the Olympics the past few weeks and the array of magnificent athletes pushing themselves beyond natural limits and showing superb teamwork to achieve their goals. Athletes and coaches from countries all over the world (including Cuyamaca College coach Tim Seaman and Grossmont College alum Nic Long) came together in their mutual love and respect for the Games.

As we start another school year, I know we’ll all be making an Olympic effort to keep our District thriving and ensure our students have the best educational experience possible. We have many initiatives before us this year – some will be sprints and others will be marathons. I’ve outlined our major events below. With our continued collective dedication, we can be as intrepid as Gabby Douglas, as inspirational as Oscar Pistorius, as winning as Michael Phelps, and as legendary as Usain Bolt.