Monday, February 25, 2013

Sustainable Landscape conference at Cuyamaca College

Keynote speaker Jeff Fulgham
Cuyamaca College is hosting its fifth annual Sustainable Landscape Conference Thursday, March 7, at the campus performing arts theater, with topics ranging from local resource-conservation efforts to the role of trees in ecological landscapes.
“We will examine sustainable landscaping as a regional issue and focus on the environmental elements of air, earth, water and fire,” said Don Schultz, conference chairman and coordinator of the college’s ornamental horticulture department.
Starting with registration and a continental breakfast at 7 a.m., the conference continues until 4 p.m. with keynote speaker Jeff Fulgham, who has worked for three decades promoting global energy and water conservation. He is currently the chief sales, service, strategy and sustainability officer at Banyan Water, Inc., a Bay Area water management consulting firm. Also on tap are a panel discussion on sustainability in the city and the county moderated by a San Diego County Water Authority official, a trade show highlighting green products and services, and multimedia presentations in the digital theater.

Friday, February 22, 2013

CCC members reaching for the sun

CCC members installing solar panels

Well known as a leader in all things green – from its sustainable landscaping and energy-efficient buildings to its green-career preparation programs, Cuyamaca College’s latest venture has youthful members of the California Conservation Corps excited about green jobs.
A pilot program put together by the college’s Continuing Education and Workforce Training Division recently linked the CCC’s San Diego center with San Diego Gas & Electric , providing  24 corps members 116 hours of introductory experience and training in a variety of job fields in the sustainability sector: green building retrofitting and performance, energy auditing, home-energy rating and solar photovoltaic installation.
The program, financially backed by the state chancellor’s office, along with SDG&E, proved so successful, with nearly 100 percent completion of the four program modules, that a new CCC class is on tap, expected to begin in a matter of weeks.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cuyamaca College auto tech student benefits from Dreamkeepers grant

Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will be hosting Give the Dream, a series of fundraising events throughout East County on Saturday, March 16. Money raised from the events will be used for Dreamkeepers, a program that makes emergency grants to students facing unexpected financial harships. For more information about the event, go to
Here's a profile of one student who benefitted from a Dreamkeepers grant.

Edgar Torres
With nearly a full load of classes at Cuyamaca College and a full-time job to help support his
family, Edgar Torres was stressed out enough, even before his 2003 Chevy Impala started having issues.

For Torres, going without a car isn’t an option. He lives in San Ysidro with his parents, a sister, a nephew and a niece, and works as a security guard in El Cajon in addition to attending classes at Cuyamaca. He knew he had a big – and expensive – problem on his hands when his car’s intake manifold began leaking. An auto tech student at Cuyamaca, Torres usually takes matters into his own hands when it comes to car problems, but this was no simple fix.
“I was worried about what I could do when someone in my automotive class told me about a Dreamkeepers grant he had gotten through the college,” Torres said. His father is disabled and his mother works as an elementary school aide,  so Torres, 29, the primary breadwinner for his family.    

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Two Cuyamaca instructors honored for teaching excellence

Everyone has a favorite-teacher story – the memory often ingrained for life of a particular instructor whose love of the profession has proven inspiring. At Cuyamaca College, the Academic Senate each year recognizes one full-time and one part-time instructor selected by a faculty committee based on student nominations, rankings and reviews.
The winners of the Award for Teaching Excellence this year are Debra Babylon, an art instructor for 17 years and a two-time winner for her teaching prowess; and Eddie Sturgeon, a Superior Court judge by day and an adjunct law professor at Cuyamaca College two nights a week. 
“Caring and committed instructors with the knowledge and engaging methods of these two are what makes Cuyamaca a special place to learn,” said President Mark J. Zacovic. “Their contributions to students are immeasurable.”
Debra Babylon: Passion for teaching art a framework for life
Debra Babylon in her art class
Art instructor Debra Babylon knows well how much of a difference an instructor can make in a student’s life.
Without a committed high-school teacher in her hometown of Findlay, Ohio, Babylon said she probably would be struggling to make a living waiting tables.
“It was (this teacher) who helped me get a college scholarship,” Babylon said. “I stayed in contact with her over the years, and I visited her when she was in assisted living.”
Her recent teaching award is the second one for Babylon, a Bowling Green State University alumnus who came to the college district in 1996 as an adjunct instructor at Grossmont College before getting a full-time teaching post in 1998 at Cuyamaca College. In 2003, she received what was then called the Teacher of the Year award.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Grant helps Grossmont College student fulfill her dream

Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will be hosting Give the Dream, a series of fundraising events throughout East County on Saturday, March 16. Money raised from the events will be used for Dreamkeepers, a program that makes emergency grants to students facing unexpected financial harships. For more information about the event, go to
Here's a profile of one student who benefitted from a Dreamkeepers grant.

Arianne Moseley

When Arianne Moseley took her truck in to get the tires refilled, the service manager apologetically told her that her tires were so old that doing so would be too dangerous. He then pointed out that she was putting lives at risk whenever she got behind the wheel.
With four children ranging in age from 12-21 still at home, the Grossmont College student depended heavily on the 10-year-old truck, but she heeded the warning and began riding the bus to get around. The Lakeside resident said it took 1½ hours to get to get to the campus from her Lakeside home.
“I did a three-hour commute five days a week because of classes and my work-study job on campus,” said Moseley, an administration of justice major who eventually wants to help prison inmates with recovery.
A student worker in the Extended Opportunities Program and Services office, Moseley was familiar with Dreamkeepers, and decided to seek help.
“It was awesome – I was truly blessed,” she said. “I got $500 and through connections my ex had, I was able to get four new tires out the door for my truck. I no longer had to put the lives of my kids at risk.”

Friday, February 8, 2013

Black History Month at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges

A library exhibit featuring John Robert Clifford, a seminal figure in African American history and a forefather of a Cuyamaca College administrator, and a stepping demonstration by members of a historically black fraternity are part of the commemoration of Black History Month at Cuyamaca College.
At Grossmont College, the celebration takes on a culinary and artistic flair, with events ranging from a soul food lunch with live jazz; a rare visit by a pair of blues and jazz icons; and a showing of a student documentary on multiculturalism.
All events are free and open to the public.
Danene Brown at Cuyamaca College's exhibit
Through the month of February, the Cuyamaca College library is showcasing the accomplishments and times of key figures such as “J.R.” Clifford, a trailblazer in education, journalism, law and civil rights, and the great-great-great uncle of Danene Brown, interim vice president of instruction at the campus.
Born in 1848 in Moorefield, West Virginia, Clifford fought for the Union in the Civil War; became the principal of the first public black school in the South, and was the publisher of the nation’s longest-running black newspaper before its forced closure in 1917. He was also one of the nation’s first black lawyers, and helped found the Niagara Movement, the cornerstone of the modern civil rights movement.  The group continued until 1911, when most of its members became the backbone of the newly formed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Give the Dream fundraising events March 14 and 16

For some students, the dream of a college education can be imperiled by an unforeseen emergency or financial hardship.  To help its students realize their dreams of a college education, Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will be hosting Give the Dream, a series of fundraising events throughout East County on Saturday, March 16. The funds raised will be used for Dreamkeepers®, a program that makes emergency grants to students facing unexpected financial hardships.

This fundraising extravaganza will bring together the East County community in support of helping students reach their educational goals in a fun and celebratory environment.  Attendees can participate in a counting sheep contest for great prizes, enjoy live music from The Heroes (Grossmont Center only) and KPRI Radio Popup Bands, view eye-catching installations and interact with a dream interpreter (Grossmont Center only from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.).  Donations will be accepted at the events and can also be made online at