Thursday, March 28, 2013

A garden for the ages at Cuyamaca College

Interested in volunteering at the Cuyamaca College Intergenerational Garden? Contact Amber Hughes at (619) 660-4662 or by email at

When the little sprouts at Cuyamaca College’s Child Development Center sit down for  lunch, they’ll soon be munching fruits and veggies from their very own garden, one they’ll cultivate with the help of local seniors.

For a few hours each week, seven gardening enthusiasts, ages 60 and older, share a little of their know-how with 60 preschoolers tending  a small, practice garden of sorts as they await the installation of a much larger one that the college is calling its Intergenerational Garden. Recently cleared of mountains of mulch and debris that had collected over the years on the vacant site, the 1/3-acre plot between the Child Development Center and the Water Conservation Garden will boast lots of extras, including a nearby amphitheater and a meandering creek bed.

The Child Development Center is a pre-kindergarten daycare facility serving both the college and off-campus communities, and is uniquely suited as an onsite lab for students enrolled in the college’s child development program.

Thanks to donated material and hours, the irrigation system is expected to be completed in April, with planting to be well under way by the garden’s official grand opening at the end of June. The Intergenerational Garden will be a public attraction at Cuyamaca College for everyone to enjoy. With fundraising and corporate sponsorships, an adjacent  community garden is anticipated with dozens of plots for public leasing.

Monday, March 25, 2013

"The Anatomy of Hate; A Dialogue of Hope" documentary to be screened April 3 at Grossmont College

“The Anatomy of Hate; A Dialogue to Hope,” an award-winning documentary film directed by Michael Ramsdell and focusing on individual and collective ideologies of hate will be shown during a free screening and Q&A with the director at 3:30 p.m. April 3, in Building 26, Room 220 at Grossmont College.
The 90-minute film follows the director’s six-year journey with groups such as the white supremacists and Palestinian militants, as well as U.S. embedded troops in the Middle East. It is juxtaposed with interviews from leading experts in sociology, psychology and neurology to reveal both the emotional and biological factors that make everyone susceptible to acts and ideologies of hate. At the same time, this film posits, these are the very same traits that enable people to rise above the negativity.
Open to the public, this film screening is made possible by the support of the Grossmont College World Arts and Cultures Committee and is presented by the Grossmont College Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEI).

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Brad Daluiso Golf Classic May 3

Grossmont College Athletics, in partnership with the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, is once again hosting the Brad Daluiso Golf Classic. 

The event will take place on Friday, May 3, 2013 on the Oak Glen course at the Sycuan Golf and Tennis Resort.  Check-in and a putting contest begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 11:00 AM. 

Proceeds from the event are used to support athletic programs at Grossmont College.

The tournament is hosted by Brad Daluiso, a Grossmont College alumnus, a board member of the Foundation and a retired NFL place kicker.  For more information or to register, please contact the Foundation at 619-644-7109 or

Friday, March 22, 2013

Citizens Bond Oversight Committee to monitor Proposition V spending

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, created by Proposition R’s passage in 2002, now has the responsibility of monitoring Proposition V, the construction bond measure approved by voters last November.
CBOC board members
Top, l to r: Warren R. Ates, Ron Oberndorfer (chair) Bill Baber
Bottom: Emilie Zouhar, Zack Gianino, Renae Arabo, Paul Botte
Not shown: Mohammed Alyasini, Glenice Stainbrook
The district’s Governing Board approved the expansion of the CBOC’s duties during its regular meeting last month. The 11-member volunteer oversight committee, which has been monitoring spending on the $207 million Prop. R bond measure, is now also charged with ensuring that the $398 million in Prop. V bond revenues are spent solely on construction at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges as promised to voters.
The committee’s role is to review and report on district spending of taxpayers’ money for construction and to provide a public accounting of the district’s compliance with legal requirements. Committee members appointed by the Governing Board include community members with expertise in construction, procurement and finance, as well as representatives of business, student and taxpayer organizations.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Destination Imagination state tourney at Cuyamaca College

Nearly 3,000 volunteers and students statewide from elementary grades through high school will converge on Cuyamaca College all day Saturday for the 2013 California Destination Imagination State Tournament, a precursor to a global competition designed to help children develop critical thinking skills in a fun, creative way.
The students have been working since last fall on the Team Challenge portion of the competition, choosing from among seven technical, scientific, fine arts, structural engineering and community service projects created by the non-profit organization, Destination Imagination, based in Cherry Hill, N.J.  The 200 teams competing Saturday have already won a top spot in one of California’s seven regional competitions held in February. Local schools represented include Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, Flora Vista Elementary School in Encinitas, and multiple schools from Cardiff and Encinitas.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Give the Dream nets $80,000 for emergency grants to East County college students

Give the Dream volunteers at Grossmont Center
Give the Dream, a two-day event throughout East County, has netted about $80,000 in donations that will benefit Grossmont and Cuyamaca college students whose dream of a college education can be imperiled by a financial emergency.

Events were held March 14 and 16 to raise money for the Dreamkeepers program at the two East County colleges. Dreamkeepers provides emergency grants of up to $500 to students who face a crisis such as car problems, medical issues, or an unexpected bill that could force them to drop out of college. The money raised through Give the Dream will provide funding for scholarships in 2013-14 and begin an endowment of the program.

“We are so grateful to the residents and businesses of East County who showed their support for our students by contributing to Give the Dream,” said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Three from Grossmont & Cuyamaca colleges recognized for excellence

A trio of faculty and staff from Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are among the first recipients of a national award recognizing outstanding community college teaching and leadership.
Grossmont College geology instructor Gary Jacobson and health science lab technician Pat Murray  and Cuyamaca College counselor Donna Hajj are recipients of the John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards presented at a community colleges conference this week in Dallas, Texas. The inaugural award is from the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international consortium of more than 800 community colleges.
The award is named after John Roueche, president of the Roueche Graduate Center at National American University, and his wife, Suanne Roueche, president of the Assistance League of Austin, a philanthropic, non-profit organization. The pair has partnered with the League for Innovation on numerous community college initiatives for 35 years.
“Our district’s recipients of this new award exemplify the forward-thinking philosophy that the League for Innovation embraces,” said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, and former chief operating officer for the League. “Our colleges are able to better prepare students for the future because of the ingenuity and dedication of faculty and staff like these three honorees.”

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Diversity Dialogues offered this spring at Cuyamaca College

The spring Diversity Dialogues program is now available at Cuyamaca College. The discussions -- all free and open to the public-- focus on a variety of diversity awareness and social justice topics.

Students who attend at least three of the semester workshops earn a Diversity and Leadership certificate and will be recognized at a student leaders ‘reception in May. Those receiving the certificate and transferring to San Diego State University earn credit toward the SDSU Multicultural Competence requirement. All workshops are in Room I-207 in the student center.

“As an institution enriched by diversity, Cuyamaca College embraces those qualities that distinguish us as individuals, but at the same time, unite us as members of a very special campus community,” said President Mark J. Zacovic. “An appreciation for the college’s diversity is a cornerstone of what we proudly call ‘The Cuyamaca Way,’ and this workshop series is another way to highlight this message.”

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cuyamaca, Grossmont colleges add new short-term classes for spring

Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are adding dozens of new short-term classes this spring as the result of strong demand by students and approval of a statewide tax measure by California voters last fall.
The eight-week classes beginning April 1 range from job-training courses in automotive technology to general-education offerings such as American history, and will provide more credit options for students seeking degrees, credentials or university transfers.
The two East County colleges will also be offering a robust schedule of classes this summer, in contrast to the meager, budget-impacted choices of recent summers.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Grant keeps dream alive for Grossmont College nursing student

Roberta Steele
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. You can also watch a video about Roberta.
After getting laid off from her job as an office manager for an auto glass repair shop, Roberta Steele decided to return to school to pursue a career in healthcare. That move is certain to pay off once she completes her nursing degree at Grossmont College, but living on $700 a month in government assistance and a small stipend from a work-study job is tough, especially for a single mom with two young twins. With a bachelor’s degree in theater from San Diego State University already in hand, her financial aid options are limited by guidelines limiting aid only to those without university degrees.
When she lost her mother last year, Steele wasn’t sure if she could continue college. She said a $500 Dreamkeepers grant came in the nick of time, providing a financial and morale boost, as well as the incentive to continue her studies.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

College for Kids offered at spring break

Fencing is one of the classes offered at College for Kids
College for Kids, a summer enrichment program at Cuyamaca College, is now available during spring break, March 25-28, 2013.
Offered through the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s Continuing Education program, College for Kids provides the perfect combination of fun and learning, with low-cost classes and activities for youth ages 8-14. The program serves parents and kids alike by providing fun, safe and educational activities with the added benefit of an early introduction to a college environment.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Defining Advocacy -- A message from Chancellor Cindy L. Miles

The following message was sent to Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District employees by Chancellor Cindy L. Miles

Advocacy, n.: The act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy; active support

Last month, several members of our Board of Trustees joined me and other district leaders in traveling to Sacramento and Washington, D.C., to advocate on behalf of our District with our state and federal legislators. Our goal was to discuss some of the most pressing concerns facing community colleges with our elected representatives, and to urge their support for the key issues facing our District and others.

In Sacramento, our delegation was made up of Governing Board President Bill Garrett and Trustees Greg Barr, Edwin Hiel and Debbie Justeson, along with Student Trustee Samantha Elliot, Grossmont College President Sunny Cooke and Communications and Public Information Director Anne Krueger. We joined delegations from other San Diego and Imperial County community colleges to provide a stronger and more unified voice when we met with state legislators from our region. We had productive discussions with several San Diego County legislators, including Sen. Marty Block, Sen. Joel Anderson, and Assemblywoman Shirley Weber.

Sen. Joel Anderson meets with GCCCD leaders
The mood during the meetings with legislators was palpably more positive than previous years as the result of the passage of Proposition 30 last November and a more optimistic overall state fiscal outlook. Instead of simply begging for an end to massive budget cuts, we were able to talk about what our colleges saw as the priorities affecting community colleges in the governor’s budget. We reminded legislators that while Proposition 30 ended further cuts, our colleges still have a long way to go to recover from the devastating budget losses we’ve all suffered.