Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Time to jam at Cuyamaca's winter music fest

Winter Wonder Jam -- Cuyamaca College’s early holiday gift to the community featuring homegrown bands and musicians playing an eclectic mix of music practically for free – is set for 7-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in the performing arts theater.
Musicians perform at a past Wonder Jam concert.

Open to the public, the sixth annual music fest is put on by students in the Music Industry Studies program as a term project to learn the intricacies of concert promotion and production. Admission is $5 or a donation of three canned goods to the San Diego Food Bank. Ample free parking will be available at the college at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in Rancho San Diego.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cuyamaca College's Cisco Networking Academy offering 16-week certification program

Instructor Steven Grishkowsky and student William Simmerman
in the Cisco Networking Academy lab
Michael Kelsey was working at a local Starbucks when he enrolled at Cuyamaca College’s state-of-the-art Cisco Networking Academy en route to finding a new career. Today, he’s taken the hands-on training he received and put it to use as a networking consultant for a San Diego internet technology firm.

“I not only would recommend the Cisco Academy to others, but I have recommended it to others,” Kelsey said. “As a matter of fact, a co-worker of mine has gone through the academy as well.”

Cisco is a leader in the Internet’s infrastructure hardware, and the Cisco Networking Academy covers a combination of concepts to understand the foundations of how such systems work. The Cisco classes teach students how to design, build, troubleshoot, and secure computer networks for increased access to career and economic opportunities. The Cisco Networking Academy offers eight courses that begin with Introduction to Networks (CIS-201).

And starting this spring, the Academy is revising its curriculum to allow students to earn certification as an entry-level network technician within just 16 weeks.

Spring into action: Register for classes

Cuyamaca College's CISCO Networking Academy trains students.

From accounting to xeriscaping, East County’s community colleges offer a full spectrum of classes, and with the new semester starting Jan. 25, now is the time to register 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 ends Jan. 22, 2016.
A wealth of traditional, online and hybrid classes are offered at both colleges, many of which satisfy general education requirements needed for university transfer.

Monday, November 23, 2015

High school students learning about cybersecurity at Cuyamaca College

Steele Cayon High School Instructor Ruth Maas, Cyberpatriot
coach Richard Lane, and Cuyamaca College instructor
Curt Sharon work with Steele Canyon students Nick Varone,
Joe Principe and Jeremiah Genesse.
Instructors with Cuyamaca College’s Computer and Information Science Department are coaching East County middle and high school students in a prestigious nationwide cybersecurity competition sponsored by the nonprofit Air Force Association in Arlington, Virginia.

The Cyberpatriot competition is aimed at increasing the awareness of cybersecurity by delivering a basic cybersecurity education to high school and middle school students in an exciting format that enhances leadership, communication, and cooperation skills among its competitors.

More than 3,300 teams from schools from around the nation have registered for this year’s competition. Among those participating are teams from Steele Canyon High School and Hillsdale Middle School in Rancho San Diego. More than a dozen students from those two schools are visiting Cuyamaca College each week for lessons, in-person coaching from a faculty of experts, hands-on experience in a state-of-the-art computer lab, and discussions making them aware of the latest cybersecurity issues.

“Our kids are excited about being on a college campus and they love the environment at Cuyamaca,” said Ruth Maas, a computer science teacher at Steele Canyon High. “It is inspiring them and opening their eyes to the kind of programs available and the kind of certification they can receive at Cuyamaca College.”

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Xavier Daniels: Finding his future at Grossmont College

Xavier Daniels
Just call him the Renaissance Man.

Xavier Daniels excelled at sports in high school, is an accomplished musician, studies theatre in hopes of finding work as an actor, and is planning on attending medical school en route to becoming a physician. Now, just weeks after stepping into the arena, the Grossmont College student already is turning heads as a member of the school’s Speech and Debate team.

“I had no idea what it was, but it looked interesting to me, so I figured, why not?” said Daniels, 21. “I believe people shouldn’t be afraid to explore all their options, follow their passion, and see how things work out, and I felt speech and debate could help me not only with acting, but with my oral communication skills.”

So far, so good. In his third competition this fall, Daniels notched a picket fence – or ranked 1st by all judges in the room – during the preliminary rounds of a tournament at Pasadena Community College for his performance during an impromptu speech.

Though he faltered in the final round, he left many competitors in awe.

Xavier already has become a core member of the advanced team,” said Speech and Debate Team director Roxanne Tuscany, who also teaches small group communication and public speaking at Grossmont College.He has done this not just by success in winning events, but more by being an active member.  He has already performed in a readers theatre for the English Department’s Banned books presentation, he has a dramatic duo selection, a prose selection and impromptu as events for the team.  For a first semester team member this is a lot of dedication, and success.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Native American Celebration and Dance Nov. 24 at Cuyamaca College

Dancers at the 2014 Native American Social
Gathering and Dance
The latest in a growing number of Native American celebrations at Cuyamaca College takes place Tuesday, Nov. 24, with the 5th annual Native American Social Gathering & Dance, an event that last year drew more than 200 people.

The Social Gathering & Dance takes place from noon to 3 p.m. on the Cuyamaca College Grand Lawn. It features the Soaring Eagles, a Native American cultural dance group based in San Diego, whose members will detail the symbolism and history behind each dance and what they mean to individual tribes. Added this year are performances from Aztec dancers.

The celebration is free and open to the public.

“It’s a wonderful educational experience for people from other cultures who may not know a lot about the Native American culture to get a glimpse of our culture, what we do and what we are about,” said Rachel Tsosie, president of the Cuyamaca College Native American Student Alliance that helped organize the event.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Poinsettias on sale at Cuyamaca College

Ornamental horticulture students and poinsettias
Santa has taken up residence in the mall, Christmas decorations are going up in local neighborhoods, and holiday marketing is in full swing. Which means just one thing: It’s time for the annual poinsettia sale at Cuyamaca College’s Ornamental Horticulture program.

Once again this holiday season, the Ornamental Horticulture program is the community source for poinsettias. This year, the nursery at Cuyamaca College is offering two varieties: the Ecke Early Freedom Red and the Ecke Christmas Feelings Merlot.

All proceeds benefit the Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture program and help it purchase lab supplies and gardening tools.

“We have a great program thanks to the support of industry, gardening clubs and the community, and the poinsettia sale is just one manifestation of that excellence,” said Donald Schultz, the Ornamental Horticulture’s program coordinator.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Kudos to the Grossmont College nursing program!

The Grossmont College Nursing Program hosted another successful visit from its accrediting body, the California Board of Registered Nursing. For two days this week, the Nursing Program hosted three site visitors who compared the program to the regulatory body's rigorous set of standards -- and found Grossmont College's program met 100 percent of the criteria.

"My congratulations to the Grossmont College Nursing Program," said Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh. "To complete the accreditation process successfully is admirable. To receive rave reviews and not a single recommendation for improvement is an endorsement of the excellence in academics and student-centeredness that this program exhibits."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

District awarded $1.2 million state grant to help students coming out of foster system

Students in Cuyamaca College's UP! Program
Students coming from foster-care backgrounds struggling to get through college will get much needed help, thanks to a $1.2 million grant the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District will receive from the state starting next year.

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors Monday approved the awarding of the grant to 10 college districts throughout the state. The East County college district is the only one in San Diego County awarded Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support Program funds stemming from 2014 legislative action.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges offering three-week intersession courses

Registration begins Nov. 16, 2015, for spring intersession classes at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges. Students attend classes Jan. 4-22 and can complete a course, including those satisfying general education requirements, in only 15 days.

The cost of the courses is the same $46 per unit that applies for regular-session classes, with most classes meeting daily for 3.5 hours and earning students three units. Registration for regular spring semester classes also begins Nov. 16 and ends Jan. 22, 2016.

Cuyamaca College student Mariah Moschetti shoots for the stars

Mariah Moschetti is reaching for the sky.

The Cuyamaca College Associated Student Government President was recently accepted into the super competitive NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program and spent Oct. 26 to 29 studying at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

“It definitely was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially for someone who wants to work in the space industry,” s
Mariah Moschetti talking with an astronomer at
the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
he said. “Incredibly inspirational. I met some amazing people. And I learned so much.”

The NASA program was just the latest in a string of achievements for Moschetti since she arrived at Cuyamaca College.

“Mariah is an amazing student,” said Lauren Vaknin, Cuyamaca’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs. “She has been involved with the Associated Student Government for more than two years as an Emerging Leader, Vice President, and as the President. She has also served on numerous campus committees, such as Student Services Council, Student Services Program Review Committee, and the Cuyamaca College Council – all while maintaining a high GPA. I am constantly impressed with Mariah’s reasoning skills and how well she interfaces with students, community leaders, and campus administrators.”

Monday, November 9, 2015

Opportunities soar for Air Force veteran at Cuyamaca College

Chris Reaves
In honor of Veterans Day, here is a profile of a veteran now attending Cuyamaca College.
Chris’ Reaves first try at community college 14 years ago ended in disappointment. But after his military service, the Air Force veteran is now earning solid grades as a wastewater technology major at Cuyamaca College, training to become a wastewater treatment operator.

Reaves credits the military for instilling discipline and Cuyamaca College for helping him find direction.

“Back when I had just graduated from Mount Miguel High School, I had no idea what I wanted to do and I enrolled in community college because that’s what my friends did,” he said. “But I was too immature and too busy socializing with my friends. With the freedom to come and go as I wanted, I was skipping classes and when I got my first grades, all I saw was a row of ‘W’s (withdrawals).”

With no career prospects and nothing beyond a high school education, he enlisted in the Air Force. Reaves completed his basic training and was sent to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, where he was assigned to traffic management operations.

“I was the point of contact for all military personnel and dependents flying out of Peterson, making flight arrangements and such,” the former senior airman said.

Friday, November 6, 2015

El Cajon Elks Lodge honors Cuyamaca College veterans

Cuyamaca College veterans and Elks Lodge members
About 30 military veterans, now students at Cuyamaca College, enjoyed a barbecue and received school supplies at a Veterans Week commemoration hosted on campus Wednesday by the El Cajon Elks Lodge.

The event, which also included a raffle for prizes including T-shirts, gift certificates from merchants and a pair of tickets to a Chargers’ football game, marked the second year that Elks Lodge 1812 joined the college in honoring student veterans.

Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes said the event is a reminder of the college’s commitment to the academic success of its more than 700 student veterans.

“We are thankful for your service and this is but one way to show you how important it is to us to put into action our commitment to you,” she said.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

For former Marine, college the answer to life after military

Briona Partin

In honor of Veterans Day, here is a profile of a veteran now attending Grossmont College.

Being a wife and mother of five children ages 2 to 12 is tough enough, but throw into the mix the roles of college student, retail sales associate and president of Grossmont College Student Veteran Organization, and you’ve got the hectic life of Briona Partin.

Following her discharge from the Marine Corps in 2014, Partin enrolled at Grossmont College after her husband, a former student, sang the college’s praises.

“I have loved every minute,” said the nine-year veteran who reached the rank of sergeant as as a motor transportation operator, mainly driving military cargo trucks called MTVRs (Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement).

Partin said she was initially wary about revealing her veteran status to others on campus, but after discovering the student veteran organization, or SVO, and the Veteran Resource Center (VRC), which provides a central entry point for veterans as they transition from the military to the classroom, she had a change of heart.

“Grossmont has helped me as a veteran by having the VRC, which is a great place to go, relax, be in an environment where you can talk freely without feeling the need to apologize or being judged,” she said. “Within the VRC, you have other service members who have been there, done that, and fully understand.”