Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Bill Garrett selected for 10th term as Governing Board president

For the 10th year in a row, Bill Garrett was selected Tuesday night as president of the
L to R: Chancellor Cindy Miles; Governing Board members
Edwin Hiel, Elena Adams, President Bill Garrett, Greg Barr,
Debbie Justeson; Student trustees Evan Esparza,
Sebastian Caparelli
Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board, while Elena Adams joined the board that leads the two-college East County college district.

Board member Edwin Hiel was elected vice president, and board member Debbie Justeson was selected to serve as clerk of the board.

Garrett, retired El Cajon city manager who has served on the Governing Board since 2004, was reelected this year without opposition. Adams, an East County resident and lifelong educator currently employed at San Diego Continuing Education, was elected to fill the vacancy created when board member Mary Kay Rosinski decided not to run for re-election.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Constitution competition brings 400 middle and high schoolers to Grossmont College

More than 400 middle and high school students from throughout San Diego and Riverside counties will converge at Grossmont College Dec. 15 and 16 to compete in a series of simulated congressional hearings testing how well they know the Constitution.  

Eleven middle and high schools are taking part in the innovative educational program titled We the People… The Citizen and the Constitution, which is now in its 29th year. The program is sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, Grossmont College, and the Cuyamaca College Constitution Education Committee. The Elks Lodge of El Cajon provides major funding for the event.

       The competition gets under way at 9 a.m. both days, with an awards ceremony to follow at 12:30 p.m. Events will take place in the 500 building, just north of Griffin Center, at Grossmont College, 8800 Grossmont College Drive, El Cajon, 92920.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Drone technology program gets clearance to take flight

Levi Wilson gives a drone demo.
Grossmont College is moving forward with developing a program in drone technology, due to a large turnout at Grossmont College’s recent workshop on careers in drone technology, along with the announcement of a $6 million federal workforce development grant that Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges were just awarded.

“Clearly, the interest is there and with the funding to support developing education and training to support rapidly growing business applications, we have an obligation to the public to build a drone technology program,” college president Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh said following a two-hour workshop last week that drew more than 60 attendees, including those from Los Angeles County.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Janet Leak-Garcia: Cuyamaca College graduate illustrates how far an education can take you

Janet Leak-Garcia
Once stuck in a steady stream of dead-end, minimum-wage jobs, Janet Leak-Garcia now has a Ph.D., works in the nation’s capital and has contributed to agricultural trade agreements with South Korea. She once organized an international food safety training program in Thailand for a group of Pacific Rim nations. And she is at the forefront of scientific efforts to protect millions of acres under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service. 

None of it would have happened without Cuyamaca College. 

“Cuyamaca College changed my life,” Leak-Garcia said.  

Her life includes a hardscrabble childhood that took her from Idaho to California to Arizona and back to California. Her past includes emancipation at age 16, living in a ramshackle converted garage, and finding herself as a single mother raising a daughter while barely making ends meet. She was, she said, the latest link in a long line of generations failing to overcome the challenges facing them. 

“I was supporting myself with no skills,” Leak-Garcia said. “I was just kind of going from job to job. We barely had enough to eat.” 

Biology Professor and friend Kathryn Nette said Leak-Garcia’s story serves as an inspiration to countless others. 

“We have many students at Cuyamaca who have challenges similar to those that Janet faced that could keep them from achieving their goals,” Nette said. “I often tell Janet's story to students who are feeling like they want to give up, and I have seen many of them develop renewed enthusiasm and faith in their own abilities because they found a way to identify with her. I don't know if she understands how many students we have been able to help because of her success.” 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Employee profile: Ariane Ahmadian, Cuyamaca College Admissions and Records Office

Ariane Ahmadian
Ask her to describe Cuyamaca College in a single word, and Ariane Ahmadian doesn’t hesitate: Community. 

“Cuyamaca is all about community,” said the assistant senior in the Admissions and Records Office who also serves as president of the college’s Classified Senate.
“I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with faculty, staff and administrators throughout the campus, and what comes through very clearly is that the best interests of the students are always a priority," she said. "I love the community atmosphere and the collaborative working relationships that have been built between people who are clearly so passionate about what they do.” 

Ariane, 30, was herself a student at the college. She first enrolled following her graduation from West Hills High School in 2004. She took classes at both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges off and on over the next several years, and she landed a job as a student hourly worker in the Admissions and Records Office in 2009.
Ariane was promoted to an assistant senior in 2013, the same year she earned her associate of arts degree. She started her bachelor’s degree program in organizational management at Cuyamaca in January through a college partnership with Point Loma Nazarene University. 

As an assistant senior, Ariane oversees the processing of all records, from residency verifications to official transcripts. She also coordinates the high school dual enrollment program, processing all paperwork needed for high school students to enroll. 

“We have close to 1,000 students this fall in our dual enrollment program, a number that has definitely been steadily growing the past few years thanks to the efforts of the East County Education Alliance and our incredible student outreach department,” she said. 

“I’m very proud to say that I work here,” Ariane said. “We get a lot done at this college, and we’ve been able to get a lot done by working together as a team.”


Friday, December 2, 2016

Register now for spring classes at Cuyamaca, Grossmont colleges

From anthropology to water technology, East County’s community colleges offer a full spectrum of classes for almost 30,000 students working toward a degree or interested in improving their skills and knowledge.
 Open enrollment begins Dec. 6 for the new semester beginning Jan. 30. 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. 29.
The two colleges are offering more than 2,600 class sections this spring, up more than 10 percent from a year ago. Both campuses offer a variety of traditional, online and hybrid classes, and Grossmont College will be offering Saturday classes to provide more scheduling options for students.