Monday, April 29, 2019

Grossmont College events mark Asian Pacific Islanders Heritage Month

May marks national Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Grossmont College is hosting a series of events starting with a May 1 campus mixer and continuing through May 16 with lectures, dance, food trucks and more. 

This marks the second year that Grossmont College, with a nearly 10 percent enrollment of Asians and Pacific Islanders, is paying homage to the generations who have added to the nation’s rich tapestry and continue to contribute to its multicultural success. The events are coordinated by the API Student Club and API Committee, and sponsored by the World Arts and Cultures Committee and Student Affairs. The events are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Salsa Under the Stars to benefit Grossmont College music students

Grossmont College’s music department scholarship fundraiser, “Salsa Under the Stars,” on April 29 is a great way to practice your best Latin dance moves while reveling in the knowledge of doing a good deed.

Complete with free dance lessons from 6:30-7:30, the music department’s outdoor concert on the Main Quad showcases music instructor and internationally known salsa bandleader, composer and recording artist Manny Cepeda. Also performing will be jazz trumpet player and music department chair Derek Cannon. A recording artist and popular San Diego jazz mainstay, Cannon is also the college’s director of Jazz Studies.

After an hour of salsa lessons from Grossmont College Dance Department choreographers, even those cursed with two left feet will be ready to cha-cha the night away.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Benjamin Hart: Overcoming homelessness to shine at Cuyamaca College

Benjamin Hart
Benjamin Hart has a grade point average pushing 4.0, is on the Cuyamaca College Vice President’s List, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and was recently named to the All-California Community College Academic Team as among the top students in the state. Now, Hart has his sights set on transferring to UC San Diego, earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and opening his own business.

It has been, Hart says, a stunning turnaround for someone who spent more than a decade living on the streets as part of San Diego’s homeless population.

“I’m a pretty determined person,” said Hart, 34. “If you put one foot in front of the other in the right direction, eventually you’re going to get to where you want to go.”

Hart embodies how Cuyamaca College can help students transform their lives and create a future secure for themselves and their families.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

College district wins multiple statewide PR awards

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District received six 2019 PRO Awards Thursday from the Community College Public Relations Organization, a professional development organization that seeks to promote excellence in California's community college public relations and related professions. 

Each year, CCPRO recognizes the marketing and communications efforts of the 115 California community colleges with the PRO awards. This year, almost 350 entries were submitted from across the state.

The college district’s awards presented at CCPRO’s annual conference held this year in San Diego were:

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Music Talents on Stage May 4 at Cuyamaca College's Coyote Music Festival

A performer at the 2018 Coyote Music Festival
Some of the region’s top young musical talents converge May 4 at Cuyamaca College when the 11th Annual Coyote Music Festival returns to the Rancho San Diego campus’s Grand Lawn.
 The free family-friendly festival features groups with styles ranging from dream pop to alternative folk and R&B playing on two stages from noon to 4 p.m. Food trucks and vendors will be on hand, too.
 The entirely student-run event culminates a semester-long Music Industry Seminar class that covers everything involved in staging a music festival, including marketing, promotions, production, booking, staging and sound engineering.
 “We’re giving our students real-world experience in producing a music festival that promotes local artists while also bringing the community together,” said marketing instructor Annie Zuckerman, who noted that Cuyamaca College is the only community college in the county offering a transfer program that combines music with marketing and production.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival stacked with authors, events

Christa Parravani closes Grossmont College's LAF on April 25.
An April 22 panel presentation by a trio of local writers on the modern era of agent-free self-publishing, and later in the evening, student readings and performances of original work kick off Grossmont College’s 23rd annual Literary Arts Festival.

The weeklong festival organized by the English Department’s Creative Writing program highlights poetry, memoirs, literature, student writings and more, and also is an opportunity to hear writers from across the country talk about their inspirations and struggles putting pen to paper.

The festival is free and open to the public and concludes April 25. All events will be held in Griffin Gate in Bldg. 60. 

“Our Literary Arts Festival offers the chance to engage living authors and literature in ways rarely made possible at a community college,” festival co-coordinator Karl Sherlock said.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Grossmont College theater students taking Shakespeare on the road

Grossmont College theater students hit the road in vintage truck.
Shakespeare from the back of a ‘70s Ford pickup?

Thanks to a generous grant from the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, it’ll be theater on four wheels instead of theater in the round for Grossmont College Theatre Arts students who just began a monthlong tour in a borrowed vintage truck.

The truck serves as both transportation and a set for the 30-minute traveling show, a partnership between the college and the San Diego organization Write Out Loud to promote reading and to introduce theater to teens throughout the region. Ten Grossmont College students will spend their Fridays and Saturdays through April 27 rolling up in the truck at schools, libraries, bookstores and at the Shakespeare Birthday festival at the Old Globe. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

April 19 concert at Cuyamaca College features internationally renowned chamber musicians

Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich and pianist Orion Weiss, who is among the most sought-after soloists in his generation of young American musicians, team up for an evening of masterworks by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy and Ysaye on Friday, April 19, at Cuyamaca College’s Samuel M. Ciccati Theatre.

The 35-year-old Hadelich, who was named Instrumentalist of the Year in 2018 by Musical America, returns to the region after headlining a trio of concerts at the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in February, and he is widely considered to be one of today’s top violinists. Weiss, too, has performed with the San Diego Symphony, in addition to the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic, among other major orchestras. 

Augustin Hadelich & Orion Weiss: Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Ysaye, is the latest performance in the ongoing ECHO Chamber Music Series at Cuyamaca College. ECHO is an acronym for the East County Harmonics Organization, and the series is 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. 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. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Grossmont College student Kevin Bennett: Navy veteran committed to life of service

Kevin Bennett
Kevin Bennett has spent his entire adult life serving others. Navy veteran. Two decades as a volunteer firefighter. Now he’s  enrolled Grossmont College’s award-winning Cardiovascular Technology Program as he prepares for a career aimed at saving lives.

“It’s a great program, a great program,” said Bennett, 45. “And it’s really well put together.  I’m not going to lie to you, though. It is very rigorous, as it should be. I’m in class four days a week and I’m in labs the other day. And that doesn’t count the hours and hours of study when I get home. But the instructors are amazing and the education I’m getting is second to none.”
Bennett’s road to Grossmont College has been a long one. He was born and raised in Farmington, N.M., some 40 or so miles southeast of where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona meet at the Four Corners area of the United States. He enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school, Bennett quipped, “because it wasn’t Farmington.”

Assigned to the amphibious assault ship Peleliu, Bennett spent four years in the service as a communications technician, including a tour off the coast of Somalia in 1994 . Later, during a freak accident while pulling a cable near the top of a boiler on the San Diego-based ship, Bennett fell backward and tore up his shoulder, an injury that led to surgery and rehabilitation, and rendered him unable to lift anything for months. 

Monday, April 1, 2019

Grossmont College taking the lead to cut high textbook costs

 Dave Dillon and librarians David Feare and Melanie Quinn.
Grossmont College Counselor and Professor Dave Dillon will pick up a national textbook excellence award in Philadelphia in June, but it is his passion for providing free textbooks to all students that gives him the greatest satisfaction.

This academic year, students at the campus are saving nearly $1.3 million, thanks to the efforts of Dillon and other faculty members supporting the college’s push to sharply reduce textbook costs.

A full-time faculty member since 2007, Dillon began exploring textbook alternatives after hearing repeated student complaints about escalating prices for books. When he noticed that students were taking fewer classes or even resorting to taking cellphone photos of pages from classmates’ books, he decided it was time to confront the issue.

By 2013, the average cost of textbooks and supplies, at $1,500, exceeded the $1,334 for tuition at Grossmont College. Dillon said the cost of textbooks rose more than 800 percent between 1978 and 2010.