Monday, June 13, 2022

College district names 2 top administrators

Kerry Kilber Rebman, left, Nikki Salgado
The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District has selected two administrators to fill top leadership posts.

Nicole “Nikki” Salgado has been chosen as Vice President of Administrative Services at Cuyamaca College, and Kerry Kilber Rebman as Associate Vice Chancellor of Technology for GCCCD.

“Nikki and Kerry will provide strong leadership to ensure that we are providing the highest quality programs and services to students and broader communities in East County,” said Chancellor Lynn Neault. “I’m thrilled to welcome them to their new leadership positions, and I look forward to working closely with them.”

Monday, June 6, 2022

GCCCD to launch drone program

 Students will soon be able to attain a certificate in the high-demand and high-pay field of drone operations at the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

Students line up for a class photo taken by a drone.
The field is in great need of highly trained workers, and college and district leaders partnered with business professionals across the region to develop the free new program. The district has long been a leading job generator in East County. Similar drone operations program supported by the U.S. Department of Labor ended last fall, after temporary grant funding stopped. The district’s governing board voted in March to expand the program this fall.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Grossmont College caps yearlong initiative promoting random acts of kindness

 One employee was recognized for putting together goodie bags for the homeless. Several others received a shout-out for volunteering to read to toddlers at the campus Child Development Center. A student was saluted for filming a video of sunrises and sunsets and collecting sand in a small bucket for an elderly senior who had shared his dismay about not being able to visit or walk on the beach during the pandemic. All are among those being acknowledged and honored as part of the Grossmont College Random 60 initiative, a yearlong endeavor highlighting 60 random acts of kindness taking place during the college’s 60th anniversary.

          “Grossmont College has been an integral part of East County for the past six decades, and we launched this undertaking to shine a light on the goodness that permeates our campus and remind us of all the good we have done and will continue to do for our community,” said Grossmont College President Denise Whisenhunt. “It has certainly been inspiring.”

Friday, May 27, 2022

Cuyamaca, Grossmont colleges return to in-person commencements

 After two years of virtual commencements, Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges are going live and in full regalia in June, with 500-plus more graduates than last year, celebrating the return of in-person ceremonies.

Some 2,325 students are set to receive 5,203 degrees and certificates in processionals to be held Wednesday, June 8, at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Communication and Arts Building at Cuyamaca College, and Thursday, June 9, at 9:30 a.m. in Parking Lot 1 in front of the Performing & Visual Arts Center at Grossmont College. The ceremonies will also be livestreamed, for Grossmont College at, and for Cuyamaca College at

“With the lifting of pandemic restrictions, we are joyfully anticipating the time-honored ritual of commencement, of hugs and tears of happiness as our graduates walk one by one to mark a tremendous achievement,” said Chancellor Lynn Neault. “The perseverance of our graduates emerging from a difficult era of COVID-19 is reflected in every degree and certificate earned.”

Monday, May 23, 2022

Cuyamaca College researcher named statewide Classified Employee of the Year


A Cuyamaca College Research and Planning analyst and president of the campus’ Classified Senate will be honored Monday by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors in Sacramento with this year’s statewide Classified Employee of the Year award.

Katie Cabral is one of just seven classified, or non-instructional, staff members throughout California to be recognized for demonstrating the highest level of commitment to the mission of the state’s community colleges.

“Since she began her work in research and planning with t
he Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District in 2016, Katie has stood out as an exceptionally talented and dedicated classified professional,” said Chancellor Lynn Neault. “It was only after working for one year for our district that she received our local equivalent award for classified professionals. I am thrilled to see her now receive statewide recognition for her trademark commitment and excellence.”

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Grossmont College Theatre Arts season closes with 'All in the Timing'


The award-winning Stagehouse Theatre at Grossmont College wraps up its 2021-2022 season with a production of “All in the Timing.” The production was written by David Ives
and directed by Grossmont College theatre arts instructor and Broadway actor Geno Carr. Opening night is May 19 at 7:30 p.m.

 Winner of the John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award, this critically acclaimed evening of comedy comprises six, one-act plays that combine wit, intellect, satire, and just plain fun. Carr recently joined the North American tour of “Come From Away,” reprising the role of Oz and others that he originated for the Tony Award-winning play on Broadway. Musical direction for the production is by Nancy Snow Carr, a soprano who has been singing, performing, and teaching professionally for the past two decades. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Student exhibit at Hyde Art Gallery

The Hyde Art Gallery at Grossmont College unveils its final display of the academic year with its annual Spring Student Art Exhibition from May 16 through June 1. A reception is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Gallery, which is located in Grossmont College’s Performing and Visual Arts Center, 8800 Grossmont College Drive, in El Cajon.

  “We show the works of regional and national artists all year long, but the show that gets the most recognition and attention has always been the Student Art Exhibitions,” said gallery coordinator Alex Decosta. “It’s really exciting to see the work that comes in.” 

The recurring exhibition highlights the most innovative art and design projects produced by Grossmont College students throughout the semester, including ceramics, sculpture, painting, drawing, jewelry, digital media, and photography. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

College district staffers lauded for worker excellence

From left: Laura Murphy, Francys Ropohl and Janice Fischer
 A 37-year employee with the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, a health and safety specialist who became a go-to expert on COVID-19 and an administrative assistant on a mission to help tackle students’ food insecurities were lauded at a district Governing Board meeting Tuesday night for worker excellence.

Laura Murphey, a business analyst with the District’s Information Technology; Francys Ropohl, health and safety specialist with Cuyamaca College; and Janice Fischer, an administrative assistant with Grossmont College’s Career and Technical Education/Workforce Development (CTE/WD) office, each received the 2021-2022 Chancellor and Classified Senate Award recognizing the excellence of classified, or non-instructional, staff at the East County college district. All three are also graduates of Grossmont College.

“This trio represents the best of our classified professionals whose skills, knowledge and collaborative efforts help us to better serve students and the community,” Chancellor Lynn Neault said. “The three award recipients strongly reflect the priority of building community within our institution in the work that they do.”

Monday, May 9, 2022

Cuyamaca College alum selected for prestigious aerospace fellowship

A student who once struggled to find her academic footing is now looking toward a Ph.D. and a future in space exploration.

Cuyamaca College alumna and former staff member Monica Namo is one of just 51 recipients worldwide of a prestigious 2022 Brooke Owens Fellowship. Namo is currently earning her second bachelor’s degree. The coveted opportunity includes a summer internship and mentorship program for undergraduate women seeking careers in aviation or aerospace technology.

The fellowship was created in 2017 in the memory of Dawn Brooke Owens, an American pilot and space policy expert who worked with NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and the White House.

Namo was selected out of a pool of more than 1,000 applicants after a rigorous selection process that included interviews with dozens of leading aerospace employers. Participants in the program, nicknamed “Brookies,” are selected based on their community commitment, creative abilities, record of leadership and desire to pursue a career in aerospace.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Grossmont College marks 60th Anniversary

 Grossmont College celebrated its 60th anniversary May 3 in the Main Quad with music, food, prizes and proclamations. A legislative contingent also joined in marking the big day. In attendance were: County Supervisor Joel Anderson (District 2) and staff member Paige Bounds; Zach Bunshaft from Governor Gavin Newsom's office; Jessie Schmitte from State Sen. Ben Hueso's office; Lori Brown from State Sen. Brian Jones' office and Moana Alo from Assembymember Akilah Weber's office. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Grossmont College to host its first Refugee Job Fair

 Grossmont College will host an inaugural Refugee Job Fair on May 10 with more than two dozen employers from a wide range of industries. The event is designed to benefit a growing number of refugees settling in the region, and is open to all.

          Among the employers registered to participate are the Cajon Valley Union School District, Sycuan Casino Resort, ConAm Management, Manpower San Diego, Amazon, San Ysidro Health, Logan Heights Community Development Corporation, Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley and Goodwill Industries. The event is being organized by the Grossmont College Career Center and Grossmont College Career & Technical Education in partnership with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, International Rescue Committee, San Diego Refugee Forum, and Public Consulting Group.

          The event is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

          “This is a wonderful opportunity to build awareness for our partnered employers and assist underserved participants with in-demand jobs,” said Career Services Supervisor Renee Nasori. “We are having a huge impact helping individuals achieve their dreams and reach their career aspirations.”

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Get ahead during summer session

 Registration for the summer session will open to all students on May 2, and both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are adding resources to help students earn units.

Affordable, flexible, and fast classes will be offered both online and in-person for the summer at both colleges, and students can choose online or in-person learning. These 

summer courses offer community college students great opportunities to advance their education and training, but they’re also valuable for students in the University of California and California State University systems who wish to complete required courses during the summer and enhance their overall college experience. The summer session begins June 13 and wraps up Aug. 4, with classes ranging from a few days to eight weeks.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Colleges celebrate AAPI Heritage Month

After two years of remaining virtual, Grossmont College is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month live with aloha spirit.

May marks national AAPI Heritage Month, and Grossmont College will open and close the month’s celebrations with games, dancing, cultural presentations and food, beginning outdoors on May 4 in the campus’ Main Quad and wrapping up May 18 at Griffin Gate.

Cuyamaca College will host online AAPI Month events, with links to be posted on its Culture & Community Circle Workshops page, Grossmont’s mix of in-person and virtual events will all be streamed online. Links are posted on the college’s AAPI page,  Please RVSP through the same link if you plan to attend the Grossmont College events in person.

All events are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Colleges explore building affordable student housing


For the first time, Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will explore building affordable housing for students. The new initiative is being funded by a pair of $150,000 state grants received by the colleges, enabling college leaders to take a serious look at ways of providing housing security to students in need.

The grants will fund a variety of financial, architectural, and environmental impact studies. Subsequent state grants would fund the construction of housing.

“Housing is a key factor in student success,” Lynn Neault, Chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. “If you’re hungry or you haven’t had a good night’s sleep, it’s going to be a huge challenge to focus on college. This grant is giving us resources to carefully look at the possibilities of how to provide our students with housing they can afford.”

The community college district sets aside funding for emergency housing for students in dire need, including vouchers for hotels, and provides for other basic needs through campus food pantries and food distributions.


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Mexican photo exhibit to make U.S. debut at Cuyamaca College

 The photographs are rich in color and culture, and the stories behind them tinged in blood and atrocities.

The exhibit of the works of Mexican photojournalists, never before shown north of the U.S. border, kicks off May 5 – Cinco de Mayo – at Cuyamaca College. The photographs offer a rare window into life in the state of Guerrero, chronicling the day-to-day experiences of indigenous and Afro-Mexican people and the tragedy of poverty and ongoing drug violence.

The free exhibit, called “A Photo for Freedom,” will feature the wor
k of 20 photojournalists, in the lobby of the Samuel M. Ciccati Performing Arts Center. The exhibit will run through early June.

A 5-8 p.m. event on May 5 inside the college’s digital theater will feature an online presentation by the exhibit curator and independent journalist Marlén Castro, as well as a reception featuring Oaxacan cuisine from El Tejate Restaurant in Escondido. The digital theater is adjacent to the lobby where the photos will be exhibited. The May 5 event is open to the public. RSVPs are requested at . The digital theater presentation will also be streamed live on YouTube, at

Friday, April 15, 2022

Grossmont College water polo coach a hall-of-famer


Grossmont College water polo coach Tyrent Lackey, a former NCAA Division I and II All-American athlete, has been inducted into the California Community College Athletic
Association (CCCAA) Hall of Fame. Lackey received the recognition April 6, becoming the first Grossmont College coach to earn the plaudit.

 “It’s a great honor,” said Lackey. “I’m very proud to be a former community college athlete and thankful for the recognition I have received from the CCCAA. My hope is that I continue to represent what’s great about community college athletics as I pursue my coaching career.”

Lackey, who began playing water polo at age 9, attended Grossmont College in 2003 and 2004, after graduating from Patrick Henry High School in San Diego. At the time, he was unsure of his future. Lackey enrolled at Grossmont and thrived. He was named the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (PCAC) Co-Player of the Year, and voted onto the All-SoCal first team and All-America first team while serving as team captain.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Prominent authors to appear at 26th Annual Literary Arts Festival

The 26th annual Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival returns April 25 for a week
of virtual events featuring acclaimed authors and poets from around the nation who will read their work, teach their craft, and discuss sources of their inspiration. 

 “The Literary Arts Festival from Grossmont College’s Creative Writing Program is the leading festival of its kind in the region, and we are proud to bring together so many distinguished writers to discuss their craft and share their work with our students and the entire community,” said festival and Creative Writing Program Co-coordinator Adam Deutsch. 

All events are open and free to the public. Biographies of the writers, as well as workshop descriptions, bibliographies and registration links are available at

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges holding events recognizing Arab, Middle Eastern cultures

April is widely recognized as National Arab American Heritage Month and both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will celebrate the cultures, contributions, history, and resilience of Arab and Middle Eastern communities. 

All events are free and open to the public.

Grossmont College:

  •  Tuesday, April 5: Understanding Ramadan, a holy month of fasting, introspection and prayer for Muslims; Griffin Gate in Bldg. 60, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., presented by Dr. Noha Ireiqat, who teaches Arabic and English as a Second Language courses.
  • Wednesday, April 6: Arabic Language and Communication, Building 55-524, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. presented by Dr. Sonia Ghattas-Soliman, co-chair of World Languages at Grossmont College and professor of Arabic.
  •  Monday, April 11: Henna: A Presentation and Application, Griffin Gate, 2:30-4:30 p.m. 
  • Thursday, April 14: Arabic Calligraphy, a presentation on the main six patterns of calligraphy followed by a demonstration by a master calligrapher, Ayman Karkhy. Griffin Gate in Bldg. 60, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 14: Debka (Arabic folk dance) and light lunch, Main Quad, 2:30-4 p.m.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Two students named Phi Theta Kappa All-California Award winners

 A Cuyamaca College student and a Grossmont College student have each received one of the highest honors available to community college students.

Artrice Bennett, a student at Grossmont, and Fawzia Bakhit, a student at Cuyamaca, have been named 2022 Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-California Award Winners. Bennett and Bakhit are among just 114 community college students statewide to be selected for the All-California Academic First, Second and Third Teams. Both Bennett and Bakhit were named to the Third Team. Bennett, a student at both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, received her award through Cuyamaca.

PTK recognizes the academic achievement of college students and provides opportunities for its members to grow as scholars and leaders. Established in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa has a presence on nearly 1,300 community college campuses in 11 nations. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) recognized Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for two-year colleges in 1929. Building on the success of the national All-USA Team Program, PTK launched the All-State Academic Team Program. The purpose of the program is to provide recognition at the state level for these top community college students.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

College district selects new associate vice chancellor, HR director

Nashona Andrade and Eric Klein
The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District has filled two key positions with the recent promotions of Eric Klein as associate vice chancellor for Educational Support Services, and Nashona Andrade as the new Human Resources director. 

Chancellor Lynn Neault said the selections of Klein and Andrade will further strengthen an already talented leadership team. 

 “Both Eric and Nashona will bring passion and innovation to these positions,” she said. “They will help keep our district moving forward.”

Klein, who joined the district in 2019 as Grossmont College’s dean of Learning and Technology Resources, will coordinate strategic enrollment management efforts, manage institutional data and work closely with Information Technology to design and improve systems to support operations. He is highly regarded by his peers and leaders in the district, and committed to serving students.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Short-term classes start April 4 at Grossmont, Cuyamaca colleges

Looking for a quick, affordable and flexible way to earn college credits, obtain critical work skills, or

Cuyamaca's HAZWOPER certification class.
expand your academic horizons?

Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are offering numerous short-term, accelerated classes in person, virtually and in hybrid formats beginning April 4 for students seeking a variety of ways to advance their education and professional training. Grossmont College’s list of short-term classes, is updated daily. A list of short-term classes at Cuyamaca College is available through the college’s home page.

Short-term classes, which help students earn credits quickly, range in length from four to eight weeks – in contrast to 16 weeks for regular semester-length classes. These short-term classes run between early April and late May.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Stagehouse Theatre Spring Season Opens Feb. 26 at Grossmont College

 The award-winning Stagehouse Theatre at Grossmont College is back this spring with a trio of
performances that will include Pride & Prejudice, All in the Timing, and As You Like It.

As You Like It, a pastoral comedy written by William Shakespeare and directed by Benjamin Cole, is the latest addition to the Stagehouse Theatre’s annual Inside the Actor’s Process that tours more than a dozen San Diego County high schools as part of the Grossmont College Theatre Arts Department’s outreach program. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, however, high school students – and the general public – will be treated to four free performances on February 26 and March 5 at the Stagehouse Theatre at 2 and 7:30 p.m. both days. Reservations are required by calling the Stagehouse Theatre Box Office at (619) 644-7234.

Pride & Prejudice, directed by Shana Wride and written by Kate Hamill, is based on the novel by Jane Austen. It comes to the Stagehouse Theatre with 7:30 p.m. performances on March 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26; and at 2 p.m. on March 19 and 26.

District’s long-running record of clean audits continues

Independent auditors reviewing the financial oversight of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District have given top marks for the 18th year in a row to the district for its fiscal prudence. 

The Governing Board received reports detailing the district audit, as well as independent reviews of the district’s Proposition V bond building fund, and the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges, for fiscal year 2020-21. East County voters approved Proposition V in 2012, enabling the district to make $398 million in major facilities upgrades across the two college campuses. 

 “All reports have unmodified opinions, which is the best opinion we can have and there are no other findings for 2021,” Sahar Abushaban, Vice Chancellor for Business Services, told the Governing Board last month.

Clean, unmodified opinions are the finest that an auditor can issue. The auditor found no blemishes in internal control or compliance at the district. In addition to giving the district a clean bill of health for 2021, the general audit by the certified public accounting firm CWDL noted that the district had taken corrective measures to address two minor record-keeping findings for 2020.