Los Medanos College - Inside LMC
November 2010

In This Issue
  • New Developments
  • Announcements
  • Awards and Acknowledgements
  • Personnel Update
  • Alumni Success Stories

  • Greetings!

    We're more than half-way through Fall 2010, and there are lots of exciting things happening. Don't miss out on all the news!

    New Developments

    graphic for award
    Title V-HSI Grant Awarded to LMC!

    LMC has received a second Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) grant, for $3.2 million. The five-year grant will be used for high school readiness for college, transfer readiness, and institutional readiness, assessment and professional development.

    High School Readiness for College focuses on outreach and orientation, and will create customized new student orientations, bilingual community and school partnerships, and a Welcome Center. Transfer Readiness will create the ÉXITO Transfer Center and Programs, coordination and scale up of existing LMC Learning Communities, and will house the Transfer Academia, integrating academic, support services and engagement opportunities for Hispanic and low-income transfer students. Finally, Institutional Readiness, Assessment and Professional Development in which the college will create and sustain a college-wide assessment and transfer culture to support informed, data-driven and equity-focused decisions with its focus on student learning and improved outcomes for students.

    Ruth Goodin lead the successful effort, with a great writing team including Barbara Austin, Rosa Armendariz, David Belman and Mary Oleson; with additional assistance from Bruce Cutler, Humberto Sale, Helen Wu and Frances Moy. Student focus groups were held in the planning process, lead by student leaders Larry Nalls (now deceased) and Deborah van Eckhardt.

    Ruth is very appreciative and enthusiastic about the grant. "Of all of the grants written since I have been at LMC, this grant has had the most college and community-wide input. This grant is a synthesis of what the college's transfer planning during the past several years. "

    She is now working with Richard, Bruce and the Student Services Deans regarding staffing and hiring. Lead positions will be open soon. Grant implementation will begin in January, although there may be a few small things starting before that.

    If you have a moment, let these folks know how much you appreciate their commitment and dedication to a diverse, successful LMC student and graduate community. Keep tuned!

    campus image
    LMC Renovations - What's Next?

    Wow, what a dynamic place LMC is! Just when we celebrate another renovation completion, something else starts.

    Next on board the Nursing Department and also the entry in from Lot C by the Little Theatre and the entry by the Planetarium. Construction continues with a move by Business/Central Services and a temporary move by Student Services while the fabulous Welcome Center is being created.

    For the complete story, including architectural drawing, check out this link: http://www.losmedanos.edu/sg/documents/Oct42010assemblyfacilities.pdf

    Blue Phones Depart

    Most of you may know that the blue emergency phones that were scattered outside near parking lots and the lake are now gone. They died a slow and expensive death, but many agree their time came and went.

    An article in 'Inside Higher Ed" published in early September explained the reasoning behind the phones' departure: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/09/02/phones


    ace logo
    ACE Students To Present Findings

    ACE cordially invites the LMC community to their "Fall 2010 Presentation To The Community" on Thursday, December 16th, 4:00-6:00 p.m., in the Library Community Room.

    ACE students will present their findings on the following social justice topics:

    • How does gang violence affect the Latino community in Brentwood?
    • How does the lack of support affect teenage moms?
    • How do drug dealers affect learning at local high schools?
    • How does the level of support affect people who have lost their parents/guardians due to violent crime?

    ACE is still going strong which means we'll be able to offer ACE in Spring 2011 and start recruiting . Do you have students who are eligible for English 90 in Spring 2011 and you think they may be interested in ACE? If so, please have them contact Tue Rust, trust@losmedanos.edu.

    If you have a chance, stop by some time and see what exciting stuff ACE students are doing. In the Team Self Management class, students continue to grow their team management skills, learn deep introspection through focusing exercises, and develop future-thinking skills used by today's industry leaders. In our Social Justice class, students are learning how to conduct primary research on local community issues. This includes administering 150 surveys in an attempt to find our community's needs, determining possible out-of-the-box solutions and developing a 20-30 minute PowerPoint presentation based on the above mentioned research questions.

    Team Self Management Class Mon 2-3:30 CC3-319 Wed 2-3:30 SC1-132

    Social Justice Research Class TTh 1:30-3:30 CC3-319

    MESA Program Scores 100 Laptops for Students

    We will be receiving 100 laptops for MESA students to take home in January. We have been named in the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant award.

    Each student who receives a laptop must do 12 hours of community service to increase digital literacy. Mesa Program Director Carol Hernandez explains, "While I am excited to receive these laptops, I think this is a huge opportunity to do some great work within our community."

    Carol is waiting for more details about the program, but the initial announcement described the purpose of the grant:

    "In brief, this $10.9 million grant award will fund a three-year program to provide outreach, training and educational support in key communities throughout the state, and will ultimately provide access to more than 61,000 broadband users in California through three primary components:

    · In collaboration with the California Community College Technology Center housed at Butte Community College, an online digital literacy program will be made available to provide the educational support and tools needed to help enhance the online aptitude of individuals for whom computer and Internet use is still a challenge.

    · Support will be provided to the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office in its statewide efforts to provide laptop computers to community college Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) students who participate in community service.

    · In partnership with the Great Valley Center, an affiliate of UC Merced, efforts will be made to expand the access of broadband technology and conduct outreach to promote digital literacy with an emphasis on serving low-income residents in the Central Valley region."

    The community college MESA grant award, which includes all 33 community college MESA programs, will be disbursed in coordination with the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office and the Foundation for California Community Colleges.

    Eight LMC Students Selected for Statewide MESA Leadership Conference

    A select group of eight Los Medanos students were among 150 college students across California chosen to participate in a special leadership conference. Attending LMC students included Chris Sanchez, Rosario Catania, Jeffrey Umotoy, Edgar Ramos, Allan Sanchez, Bader Aljishi, Nwachukwu Ezumah and David Dominguez.

    The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Student Leadership Conference offered extensive professional and leadership development through direct interaction with industry mentors and speakers. The hand-picked MESA students, all science, engineering, or math majors, were from 24 universities and community colleges across the state, including Los Medanos College.

    Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) sponsored the event and more than 25 PG&E employees volunteered their time to work closely with the students during the 2-day conference in October.

    NASA astronaut and MESA alumnus Jose Hernandez spoke to MESA students during the event. The astronaut motivated students to continue through tough engineering and math courses with stories of his upbringing as a farm worker in central California. He went on from that humble background to fly aboard the Discovery space shuttle in 2009. He participated in MESA while a student at the University of the Pacific and UC Santa Barbara.

    "It's very important what MESA is doing to support you to stay in these fields," Hernandez said. "I'm a product of MESA, so you see good things come out of the program."

    Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, MESA is one of the largest programs in the state to support educationally disadvantaged students so they can graduate from college with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees.

    "We know that California's economy needs more STEM workers to stay competitive," said MESA Executive Director Oscar F. Porter. "These students provide the solution to industry's need for well-trained professionals.

    "They were selected to attend the conference because these students have strong leadership skills. This event gives them a chance to interact extensively with STEM professionals currently working in the field," said Porter.

    Awards and Acknowledgements

    Ben Jahn, English Adjunct Faculty, Wins NEA Grant for Fiction

    Ben Jahn was awarded a $25,000 grant for fiction - allowing him more time to focus on his writing this year (2010). He is currently working on a novel. Ben also writes short stories, some of which were recently published in McSweeney's, ZYZZYVA and The Santa Monica Review; or are coming out this winter in several literature magazines including Fence, PANK and 5Chapters.

    Cora Stryker, LMC English Adjunct, Awarded Steinbeck Fellowship

    Cora Stryker was the receipient of the Steinbeck Fellowship, a one-year fellowship at San Jose State University intended to give emerging writers the time to finish a book-length project.  She won it with an excerpt from her first novel, Raven's Manzanita, which was at the time unfinished.  During the year she was on fellowship, she reduced her teaching load and finished the novel.  (In reality it took another year of revision to get it to where it is now which, she thinks, and hopes, is finished.)  She has just started to shop the manuscript around.

    program coverLMC Graduation Program Wins Design Award
    The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) has awarded the college with a bronze medallion for the 2010 Graduation Program. The program brochure was designed by John Schall, LMC's media design specialist.

    The award was presented at recent NCMPR regional conference. The Council is a professional organization for community college marketing and public relations professionals.

    Personnel Update

    LMC Morns the Loss of Rosalie Cassells

    RosalieRosalie Cassells, an adjunct art instructor at LMC for 15 years, recently passed away after a long illness. Ken Alexander had put together a brief email to employees about her and her commitment to our students and to her own art:

    "Please join the Art Department in a brief thought in remembrance of a truly remarkable friend and colleague, Rosalie Cassell, who reluctantly left this world two nights ago after a long and difficult struggle with inevitability.

    She has been with us, and here (in the truest sense) for our students for almost fifteen years as an instructor and Gallery Director. Rosalie taught drawing, painting, color theory and art appreciation for us in a way that I admire most: transparently, with little need for assistance and with absolute confidence in her professional and dedicated service. Even as she declined physically, she insisted on teaching her courses and working with her students far longer than anyone had a right to expect. Rosalie was also a dedicated artist who sometimes, to my chagrin, turned down course assignments I'd hoped she would teach in order to spend time creating her own work, an imperative for her discipline and one that I had to admire.

    She was of course much more than a colleague and while the characteristics that made her such a great teacher simultaneously could make us all crazy, we loved her like a sister and will hold her in our hearts with affection for the good times we shared. Thank you for helping us say goodbye."

    Ken Alexander, Art Department Chair

    Her obituary was published in the Berkeley Daily Planet.

    Alumni Success Stories

    LMC Alumna at Cal Shares Transfer Experience

    The statement "I can't do it!" isn't a part of Guadalupe 'Lupe' Valencia's reality. Now completing her first year at UC Berkeley, Lupe's story is a real-life success, right in our own backyard.

    For many LMC students, faculty and staff, Lupe is a familiar face on campus. Maybe its because she was a student worker here in LMC's transfer center, assessment center, counseling department and information center (where she is employed as an hourly classified staff member today). Or maybe it's because she was involved with Puente, La Raza, Brother2Sister, and busy mentoring other Hispanic students on campus during her student time here. Or perhaps it was because last spring, she was an active mentor for UC Berkeley's Starting Point, a mentorship program supporting community college students considering enrolling at UC Berkeley.

    At any rate, Lupe has made her mark at LMC. A first-generation college attendee and graduate, she stands out as an older student (now alumna) bent on succeeding with her education. Younger students have always migrated towards her for advice and support. Her daughter has joined her here for two summers while on break from a computer graphics bachelor's program at San Francisco State.

    "It was the concurrent enrollment program that fueled my interest in trying Cal", explained Lupe. " I found out everything about it that I could. Another LMC classmate enrolled with me and we tested it out. The first class we tried to get into was full. The second, we just showed up and talked with the professor."

    That professor, Alex Saragoza, teaches for the Chicano Studies department. He has had a connection with LMC's Puente program. When he heard that Lupe and her friend had taken BART from Pittsburg to Cal to take his class, he squeezed them in as concurrent students. They both loved the class and have continued on.

    When Lupe expressed her own doubts about actually transferring to UC Berkeley, Professor Saragoza responded, "Lupe, you have what it takes to be here. I'll see you at Cal next year!"

    Once Lupe successfully transferred, she was very interested in helping other would-be Cal transfer students at LMC. "Students are often in the dark about a lot of things. In talking to them about UC Berkeley, they often need help navigating the application process, and getting a grasp on prerequisites. As a mentor for Starting Point, I presented special seminars to prospective students, providing moral support and encouragement. "

    "Many times, students are under the assumption that UC Berkeley is looking for geniuses and perfect grades. They also question if they have what it takes to be there. Professor Saragoza reassured me that I could be a successful student at UC Berkeley. I see myself in each and every student who's scared, doubting and apprehensive. I like to open their eyes to this world. I consider myself so lucky and blessed that I was able to make my transition from college to university student. I want other LMC students to follow their dreams and I'm happy to answer their questions about transferring to UC Berkeley."

    Students are referred to the Starting Point program by LMC counselors. If students are interested in learning more about the program or concurrent enrollment, visit the Transfer Center, ask a counselor, or contact Marcia Cantillana at marciacantillana@berkeley.edu.

    Three of the students Lupe worked with last spring are now in their first quarter at Cal. Lupe continues with her studies; this past summer she even received an A in two of her courses. She's a double major in Chicano Studies and Spanish, and hopes to get her master's to become a counselor or possibly teach college-level Spanish. We're thinking she'll get there, and hope she comes back to teach at LMC.

    LMC's Women's Basketball Stars Now at 4-Year Schools

    Two women who had accomplished great things on the LMC basketball courts are now in their first year of full-ride scholarships at four-year schools.

    Antonette Capili is now playing basketball at Holy Names University in Oakland, An Antioch High graduate, Antonette was selected twice for 1st Team All-Bay Valley Conference while at LMC. Last year, the 5'6" guard averaged 19 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals a game and hit 97 three-point baskets. She scored a total 1,042 points and hit 166 three-point baskets in her two seasons here.

    Her new coach, Steve Spencer, is very excited to have Antonette on the Holy Names Women's Basketball team. In a Holy Names news release, he was quoted: "Antonette fits our system perfectly, we are excited she chose Holy Names. Obviously she can score it and really shoot it, but she can also defend, handle, pass, scrap on the floor. She can do a lot of things and should contribute immediately."

    Alumna Christina Washington signed a full-ride scholarship to Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois. Hailing from Antioch HS, she was team captain for the LMC Mustang Women's Basketball team. She was ranked 4th in the state for shooting an average of 57.5% from the field, 17th in the state for averaging 9.5 rebounds per game, and 70th in the state for points per game (12.9 p.p.g). Blackburn head coach Mike Williams is pleased to have Washington committed to Blackburn for the next three years as he tries to bring a championship to their program.

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