Thursday, December 19, 2019

Lauren Sambrano: She found her way at Grossmont College

Lauren Sambrano
Lauren “Cookie” Sambrano was bouncing around from one community college to another unsure of her future or what she wanted out of life.
Grossmont College put her on track. Surrounded by support and enveloped by caring faculty and staff, Sambrano flourished in her studies, transferred to San Francisco State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. Today, Sambrano is living a block from the beach, working as a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley and giving back to Grossmont College with monthly payroll donations to the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges to support others in reaching their educational and career goals
“I’m always going to donate to the Foundation,” Sambrano said. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for Grossmont College.”

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Officers selected for East County college district governing board

Linda Cartwright
Linda Cartwright has been unanimously selected by her fellow board members for a second one-year term as president of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board for 2020.

Cartwright, a retired elementary school teacher, was elected to the board in 2018. Board members also voted to have Debbie Justeson continue serving as vice president, while Elena Adams will again serve as clerk of the board.

At its December 13 meeting, dates were also set for the 2020 board meetings. Meetings will alternate between Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges and will be held at 5 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month between January and June 2020, and on the second Tuesday of the month from July to December 2020. The exceptions will be May, when the meeting will be held on May 21; July, when no meeting will be held; and December, when the meeting will be held December 15.

The district’s two colleges, Grossmont College in El Cajon and Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, together serve almost 30,000 students. More than 5,700 degrees and certificates were awarded to nearly 2,700 graduates of the colleges last June, a new record for the East County district.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Rice Family Foundation pledges $100,000 for student scholarships

Lisa Wilson and her daughter, Jessica,
holding the Bill and Judy Garrett 
Civic Leadership Award.
Cuyamaca College is naming a classroom in the Ornamental Horticulture Complex after a longtime benefactor which recently endowed the college district’s Promise Plus program $100,000 for student scholarships.

The Governing Board approved the classroom dedication Friday in recognition of the decades-long support of the Rice Family Foundation, which has donated more than $1 million to Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges over the years, particularly the horticulture program. 

A plaque will be posted outside a classroom in the complex currently under renovation as part of the college district’s Proposition V construction bond program. The $16.7 million project, scheduled to be completed in fall 2020, will include updated facilities, well-equipped greenhouses, an outdoor instructional area and expanded retail space for the college nursery. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Trio at college district picked for annual classified employee excellence award

Three employees of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District have a good reason to celebrate this season as they are lauded for their exemplary work as classified professionals.
At the Dec. 13 Governing Board meeting, the three will be named the 2019 winners of the Chancellor/Classified Senate Award. The jobs of the winners – Tenille Venard at Grossmont College, Jane Lytle from Cuyamaca College and Della Elliott from District Services, -- are varied, representing the broad range of tasks performed by non-instructional staff.
 In recognition of classified professionals’ critical role, one member of each college and District Services is chosen each year for the honor and is presented with a trophy and a $250 gift certificate.
 “What these three classified professionals have in common is their unwavering commitment to excellence in their service to students and their campus communities,” Chancellor Cindy L. Miles said. “Our classified professionals are fundamental to our institution. They are the first faces that students see when they arrive at the campuses and it is often their guidance that students seek to navigate the twists and turns of their educational journeys.”
Tenille Venard

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Grossmont College’s ‘Shark Tank’ gives mock entrepreneurs biting lessons


A student makes his "Shark Tank" pitch.
Limited only by their imaginations, students in Julie Hansen’s Principles of Information Systems class at Grossmont College pitched their entrepreneurial ideas to a group of faculty and staff “sharks” Tuesday.

Fashioned after the ABC reality television series, “Shark Tank,” in which business tycoons in the making pitch proposals to a panel of five investors or “sharks,” this week’s daylong event at Grossmont College featured 11 presentations, most tailor made for sci-fi aficionados.
From a teleporting service that beams customers from place to place, a manufacturer of a contact lens that eplicates the features of an iPhone to a 3D printing operation that makes human organs, the teams of two to five students made their pitches, not for funding but for grades. 
Instructor Julie Hansen was one of the four "sharks."

Four judges gave from one to five points in 10 categories: logo, flier, website, testimonials, potential markets, global expansion, financials, database, presentation and one criteria that explains the futuristic quality of the proposals: disruptive technology. 

“The ideas should be well developed, creative and out of the box,” said Hansen, whose “Shark Tank” competition is one reason she was recognized in the fall as the adjunct recipient of Grossmont College’s Distinguished Faculty Award.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Finding a second career and a passion for the arts at Grossmont College

Diane Cozzens 

Diane Cozzens never thought about returning to college until her triplet sons enrolled in a digital arts class at Grossmont College.

“I just enjoyed watching what they were doing and I wanted to learn how to do it myself,” Cozzens said. “So I signed up for Introduction to Digital Arts in the summer of 2017.”

She was hooked. “I loved it and I continued taking classes to keep learning more,” she said. “Along the way I took a required art history class, and I loved that, too. So I took another one, and then another one and another one until there weren’t any more to take.”

Cozzens, 60, already had a full life when she decided to begin taking classes. She had raised six children and home-schooled three of them, worked as a bookkeeper and owned a small craft business, and spent countless hours volunteering in Santee, where she lives.

Cozzens is on track to graduate this June with an associate degree in digital arts, an associate degree for transfer in art history, and an associate degree in university studies – humanities and fine arts. She’s planning to transfer to San Diego State University next fall and has her sights set on a second career restoring art at local museums.

“I’m really glad that I went back to school,” Cozzens said. “At one point, I didn’t know if I could do it, but I’m glad I did.”

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Cuyamaca College student Johana Ibarra: Dreaming of a bright future

Johana Ibarra
By her reckoning, some of the teachers Johana Ibarra ran into as an immigrant at a San Diego elementary school were far from stellar. 

“I was there for two weeks before they realized I didn’t speak any English,” Ibarra said. “They thought I was just a quiet little girl who didn’t say much.” 

Ibarra’s solution: become an elementary school teacher herself. Thanks to Cuyamaca College, she is well on her way. 

Carrying a GPA that is just one “B” shy of a 4.0, Ibarra volunteers as a peer mentor with both the Resources for Immigrant Students in Education (RISE) and the Cuyamaca College Pathway Academy and serves as an Associated Student Government senator. 

She volunteers with a variety of organizations, including the nonprofit, and is on track to earn an associate degree in elementary teacher education in the spring of 2020. Ibarra has her sights set on transferring to San Diego State University or UC San Diego in the fall of 2020. 

Her accomplishments resulted in a California Coast Credit Union Scholarship from the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges, and she will be among the dozens of students honored at a January scholarship award reception.