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.