Happy Earth Day 2022

Friday, April 22nd was the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day, and the official theme for this year was “Invest In Our Planet.” Earth Day is meant to be a time to celebrate our planet, recognize the importance of taking care of the environment, and conserving the earth’s resources. The hope is that future generations of people will be able to experience a healthy world. You can find interesting information by visiting the official Earth Day website to learn more about sustainability efforts and how to be more active in the movement.

Campus Engagement Highlights
This week, Spring Political Economy Days took place. There were many great presentations and lectures from a variety of speakers. I know that I personally learned a lot and I am thankful for these types of opportunities to expand my knowledge. Thank you to all the outstanding presenters, and a special thank you to organizers Peter Bowman, Jennifer Herrera, and Anastasia Zavodny.

On Tuesday, we held a special Governing Board Meeting where Director Michelle Barton led two informative workshops. The first workshop consisted of a board review of the survey of instruments utilized to determine their self-evaluation as required by the accrediting commission for community colleges. The second workshop consisted of an update on planning, a review of institutional effectiveness data, and a progress check on our vision for success metrics. Thank you Michelle for two excellent presentations.

The Bon Voyage Celebration for Dr. Jack Kahn also took place this past week. We had the opportunity to wish him all the best on his new adventure as the new President of Shoreline Community College. A big thank you to all those who helped set up this special event: Anna Kate Hilton, Monica Galindo, Richard Loucks, Krista Lough, Kelly Miller, and Kimberlee Ahinger.

I also had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the annual Palomar College Retirees Association (PACRA) Luncheon. I had a great time speaking with PACRA members about the state of the college and the ways in which the district can work to support our valued retirees. It was a phenomenal experience to see the collective wisdom and experience of these former employees all gathered in one room. Thank you Jayne Conway for the invitation and coordinating the details.

Friday afternoon, I held my monthly President’s Open Office Hours, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to dialogue with different campus stakeholders. I always learn so much about all the innovative and exciting projects that are underway throughout the district. I appreciate being able to learn more from those who are implementing the various projects. I am always in awe of the excellent work we do as a District to support student success and the variety of opportunities we offer.

On Friday evening, I attended the Palomar Performing Arts Latin Nights event. A great time was had by all. Participants engaged in dance lessons, experienced wonderful Cuban food, and had the opportunity to listen to great live music. Thank you Patriceann Mead, founder and director of Latin nights, for organizing this wonderful event.

Community Engagement Highlights
This week, I attended the SDSU Community College Leaders Alumni Group (CCLEAD) 2022 Fred McFarlane Lecture series featuring Rufus Glasper, President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College. His lecture titled, The Paradigm Shift for Higher Education, focused on the changing landscape of the community college system and the type of leadership needed in this new reality.

We also held our Independent Citizen Oversight Committee (ICOC) Meeting where they reviewed and approved the 20-21 annual report, reviewed the communication plan to recruit new members, received a Prop M construction update, and reviewed our latest independent audit.

I had the privilege of representing Palomar at the10th annual Chefs, Cork & Craft Gala fundraiser for one of our basic-needs partners, the San Diego Food Bank. I am appreciative of the invitation by our long-standing community partner, the California Coast Credit Union.

And finally, my week concluded by attending the Fallbrook Avocado Festival, where Palomar College had a booth. The festival was attended by thousands of people, and I am proud that Palomar was represented well. A very special thank you to the many individuals who worked on the project to make it a reality Ryan Williams, Nellie Martinez, Gabriela Lopez, Maritza Martinez Garcia, Jonatan Miranda Eligio, Citlali Rodriguez Gonzalez, Yesenia Lazcano, Adriana Alvarez, Sheri Cully, Yvette Maynard, and Tracy Fung.

Upcoming Events
Black Student Success Week (April 25-29, 2022)
This year’s Black Student Success Week’s theme is, A Vision for Black Student Success: Creating a New Landscape to Succeed. It will focus on new approaches to ensure Black and African American students succeed within California Community Colleges as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration is required to attend the daily webinars.

Monday, April 25, noon–1:00 p.m. via Zoom: Beyond Mattering: Centering the Student Narrative
Tuesday, April 26, noon–1:00 p.m. via Zoom: No Leaks: Securing the Pipeline for Black Student Success
Wednesday, April 27, noon–1:00 p.m. via Zoom: The Path to Transfer Success: A Clear Highway or a Traffic Jam
Thursday, April 28, noon–1:00 p.m. via Zoom: Transforming Black Student Success through Courageous State Leadership
Friday, April 29, noon–1:00 p.m. via Zoom: Using Radical Action: Showing Up as Your Authentic Self

Mental Health Action Week 
The California Community College’s Mental Health Action Week begins the week of May 2nd. Mental Health Action Week was established to strengthen trauma-informed care expertise across the system, improve classroom climates and campus culture, remove structural barriers, and advocate for additional resources to meet the diverse mental health service needs of California community college students and employees. There will be a great series of webinars throughout the week. Here is a link to all webinars.

Campus Notables
The Name Pronunciation Project
The World Languages Department and English as a Second Language have come together to bring us the Name Pronunciation Project. This project is designed to assist members of the Palomar community in pronunciation of the names of anyone we interact with, be they faculty, staff, or students. Here is a link to the Professional Development Micro-trainings. Join our various professors from the World Languages Department and English as a Second Language as they lead us in a Micro-training of their specific language focus. I did an introductory video for the trainings where I talk about the importance of correct pronunciation and how this expands inclusivity by respecting people’s identity. You can view all of the training videos in a YouTube playlist by clicking here.

Pride Center
Our Palomar College Pride Center and PC3H (Pride Center Committee to Combat Hate) condemns Anti- LGBTQ legislation in Texas, Florida, and elsewhere with a powerful solidarity statement you can find here. This is as a direct response to the record 238 anti-LGBT bills introduced in state legislatures across the country since January 1.

This week we held our bi-weekly COVID-19 Update meeting. If you missed the meeting, please watch the recording here. To recap, at present we are continuing with our facial covering requirement for the remainder of the spring semester. Jason Bennett, our COVID administrator, announced that COVID library monitors will begin working at the Rancho Bernardo Center this upcoming week. We are still actively working on getting clear guidance out for the summer and fall semesters as circumstances are rapidly changing.

Comets of the Week
I would like to congratulate Sina Laie (Student), Anel Gonzalez (Classified), Patti Dixon (Faculty), and Dr. Nora Kenney (Administrator)! These equity-minded leaders are being recognized for their significant contributions to the college’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism efforts. The San Diego Chapter-American Association for Women in Community Colleges (SDAAWCC) will honor them at the upcoming Annual Region X SDCAAWCC Recognition event on May 13, 2022 at San Diego Mesa College. Congratulations!

Have a great upcoming week. Go Comets!

For pictures of the various events, follow:

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