Wednesday, March 3, 2021

April Holman honored with President's Outstanding Leadership and Service Award

 April Holman started working at Cuyamaca College a mere three weeks before the COVID shutdown last March, but she has proven herself to be so integral to the campus that she has been honored with the President’s Outstanding Leadership and Service Award for Classified Professionals.

The Grossmont College alum and administrative assistant to Vice President of Student Services Jessica Robinson was lauded at convocation. Previously an administrative assistant to Grossmont College’s dean of Admissions & Records and Financial Aid for 3 ½ years, Holman is credited for helping the streamline the process to get $1.4 million in emergency aid to Cuyamaca students hard hit financially by the pandemic.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges laud top employees

Four employees at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have been awarded top honors for their commitment to the East County campuses. 

Cuyamaca College English instructor Karen Marrujo, who brings to the classroom equity and social justice issues, received the 2021 Outstanding Faculty Member Award. Spanish instructor
Anaid Stere-Lugo, recognized for finding ways to save students hundreds of dollars in textbook costs, is the part-time faculty recipient of the same award. The two were among hundreds nominated by students for their teaching excellence and judged by the college Academic Senate Faculty Awards Committee.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

A life-changing experience at Grossmont College

Danna Yunis

Danna Yunis was a broken person when her father – her best friend – passed away in 2018. Her comeback began when she resolved to heed his urgings in pursuing an education and earning a degree from his alma mater.

“I drove to Grossmont College, completely in tears, because that’s where he went to school,” Yunis said. “I had suffered a tremendous loss, I was very depressed and I needed to do something, to move forward, to have something to look forward to.”

Two years after enrolling at the El Cajon campus, Yunis has something else to look forward to: she transfers in fall 2021 to San Diego State University – another school her father attended – for a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric. She plans to earn a master’s degree in creative writing and hopes for a career as a community college professor.

She credits Grossmont College for supporting her in the first steps on her journey.

“The instructors at Grossmont have a passion for teaching,” said Yunis, who received a 4.0 point average in fall 2020. “It’s not just a job for them. They inspire you. They have people there helping you every step of the way, whatever it takes, whatever you need.”

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Finding a future at Cuyamaca College

Caitlyn Bullert

Caitlyn Bullert had hit bottom. Unemployed, formerly homeless and a recovering alcoholic, the 53-year-old Spring Valley resident found hope at Cuyamaca College.

“Invaluable,” Bullert said of the Rancho San Diego campus. “Just totally changed my life.”

Indeed, the one-time college dropout is on track to graduate in Fall 2021 with an associate degree in social work and is aiming to transfer to San Diego State University the following spring en route to a master’s degree and a career working with those who are struggling with the same demons she conquered.

“I want to help people because I know what it feels like to be there,” said the vice president of the Cuyamaca College Phi Theta Kappa honors society, who is holding down a 3.7 grade point average. Her academic achievements were recently recognized by the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges with a California Coast Credit Union Scholarship of $500.

The turnaround, Bullert said, often brings her to tears. And it has left admirers in its wake.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Construction begins on Cuyamaca College Student Services Building

Construction, which is expected to continue till summer 2022, will be funded by Proposition V, a $398 million bond approved by East County voters in 2012. Bond funds have enabled the district to continue the work on the college campuses that began after the 2002 passage of Prop. R, which resulted in the construction or renovation of 13 major facilities.

Recently completed Prop. V projects include a $ 44 million Performing and Visual Arts Center and $13.2 million Phase 1 of the Science Math and Career Technology complex at Grossmont College, and at Cuyamaca College, a $4.2 million Student Center and Veterans Services renovation, and $17 million renovation currently underway of the Ornamental Horticulture Complex and Building M.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

2021 Black History Month events on tap at Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges

Speaker panels, a poetry reading, and presentations, including one on the nation’s first Black vice president, are among February’s Black History Month events presented by Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.  

A diverse selection of events is being offered at both colleges to honor the traditions, legacies and contributions of Black Americans. All events are free and presented virtually.      

Grossmont College’s events will be available for live-stream viewing on the Grossmont College YouTube channel and Cuyamaca College’s are posted as Culture & Community Circle events on the Student Affairs website. For direct links to the events, go to


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

College District adds $1.1 billion to local economy

A new economic impact report finds that the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District added $1.1 billion to the San Diego County economy, providing a dependable stream of skilled employees to the region’s workforce and dramatically boosting lifetime earnings of graduates.

The study was conducted by Emsi, an Idaho-based labor market analytics firm which produces similar reports for colleges and universities nationwide. Researchers analyzed data for fiscal year 2018-19 to determine the economic impact and the return on investment for dollars invested by students in their education, by alumni who remain in San Diego County, and the impact of the District’s operational spending. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Nedra Brown's COVID-19 experience

Nedra Brown
With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, a GCCCD employee agreed to share her experience with the illness. 

As she slowly recovers from her bout with COVID-19, Nedra Brown has a message for anyone who doubts the seriousness of the virus.

“Even if you do not know someone who has been affected, the virus is real,” said Brown, Associate Dean of Athletics at Grossmont College. “The symptoms are real. It’s not something I would want anyone to go through.” 

Brown says she was careful. She has been working from home and only had limited contacts except for trips to the grocery store. When she woke up one morning in November with flu-like symptoms, she was relieved when they went away after she took some pain medication.

About a week later, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Brown was still feeling a little achy when she noticed she had lost her sense of smell. Even a body spray and a strong household disinfectant had no scent for her. Brown was tested for COVID-19 the next day, and learned she was positive.

“I just broke down. I cried and cried,” she said. “I just could not believe it. I felt sad and embarrassed and angry and scared.”

She immediately isolated herself from the others in her household – her sister and her elderly mother, who is at-risk with cancer. None of the people she had been in contact with tested positive for COVID-19, and Brown still isn’t sure how she got the virus.