Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Graphic design student a portrait of perseverance

Grossmont College student Jake McDermott
Jake McDermott isn’t letting the challenges of his past keep him from realizing the promise of his future. The former foster youth who has overcome learning disabilities and ADHD is thriving at Grossmont College, where he is a member of the campus Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, volunteers extensively, is on track to transfer to San Diego State University and is looking forward to a career as a graphic designer and photo editor.

“There are a lot of support services at Grossmont, and the counselors and staff at the college are really supportive, helpful, and caring, which is why I am doing so well,” McDermott said. “It’s just a good place to get a good education.”

McDermott’s efforts have been rewarded with several Osher scholarships from the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges, and he also helps support himself through a work-study program that has him using his skills as a graphic artist at The Common Ground, the Grossmont College student engagement, cross-cultural space.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Marsha Fralick: 40 Years of Memories at Cuyamaca College

It wasn’t the best first impression. 

Marsha Fralick had just accepted a job as a founding faculty member at Cuyamaca College in summer 1978 when she and her husband decided to have a look at the new campus in what was then a desolate stretch of El Cajon. “I was pretty shocked,” Fralick said. “There was only one building and a bunch of dirt. There were no roads, no sidewalks, just a lot of construction going on. My husband turned to me and said, ‘You may have made a mistake.’”

Forty years later, as Cuyamaca celebrates its ruby anniversary, there is no question Fralick made the right choice. “Every time I come to campus I feel a great deal of pride,” said Fralick, who officially retired in 2007 but still teaches an online Counseling 120 course. “It’s a beautiful college with beautiful, modern buildings and amazing students. This is what we all dreamed of, and it’s great to see it become a reality.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Grossmont College's Drone Technology Program launching free piloting classes

Grossmont College’s much-anticipated Drone Technology Program launches Oct. 30, with grant-funded classes offering free, comprehensive instruction designed to train novices to become FAA-certified commercial drone pilots with skills to pursue jobs or to become self-employed.

President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh said the college is excited to offer the new program at no cost to students, noting that private drone schools typically charge thousands of dollars for the training. Despite the cost, the training is growing in demand with many drone pilots working as freelance contractors, flying drones for small businesses and major companies, alike.  Grossmont College’s classes train pilots for two commercial tracks – Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) cinematography and UAS surveying and mapping. 

“Clearly, the interest and demand are there and with the funding to support developing education and training in this burgeoning career field, we were very keen to start this program,” Abu-Ghazaleh said, adding that as the new curriculum is expanded, classes will be offered next spring in the programming and technology that make autonomous aircraft function. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

College district has much to cheer about with new vice chancellor

Crediting community college for setting him on a quest for learning, Sean Hancock went on to attain two advanced degrees and top posts as a college administrator, and is now the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s first Vice Chancellor of Student and Institutional Success.

Hancock is responsible for coordinating districtwide educational services to promote student success and overseeing the District Services departments of Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness; Information Technology Services; and Community and Workforce Development.

Music reverberates with start of ECHO concert series

An assemblage of internationally-acclaimed musicians who have performed at symphony halls around the globe are lined up for the second season of the Cuyamaca College ECHO Chamber Music Series, which kicks off Oct. 11 with a 7:30 p.m. concert featuring a selection of Mozart violin sonatas.

 Performances are being underwritten by Sam Ersan, a vice chairman of the San Diego Symphony Board of Directors who has helped transform the chamber music landscape in San Diego County through his support of numerous classical musical organizations. Ersan is a major funder of the Mainly Mozart Festival, the force behind the Sam B. Ersan Chamber Music Fund at UC San Diego and the founder of the Camera Lucida piano quartet and the Myriad Trio. ECHO is an acronym for the East County Harmonics Organization.

Monday, October 1, 2018

'Swing Under the Stars' to raise music scholarship funds

The Grossmont College Music Department will host its first-ever Swing Under the Stars concert and student scholarship fundraiser on Thursday, Oct. 11, in the Main Quad of the East County community college. 

“Swing Under the Stars will raise much-needed funds for student scholarships,” said Derek Cannon, Music Department faculty and chair. “We hope our former students, local jazz fans and the East County community will come out to support our department.”

Swing Under the Stars will feature free swing dance lessons from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., courtesy of Grossmont College Dance Adjunct Associate Professor Nancy Boskin-Mullen and Dance Department students. The JazzKatz Orchestra, a 14-piece big band ensemble lead by Grossmont College music alumnus Chaz Cabrera and lead vocalist Whitney Shay, will start at 7:30 p.m.