National Peace Officers Memorial Day

May 15th is National Peace Officers Memorial Day. The purpose of this designation is to honor those Peace Officers who have died, or were disabled, in the line of duty. We thank those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in their service to others. We appreciate and thank Peace Officers who serve, protect, and strive to engage in policing that treats everyone with dignity and respect.

Campus Engagement Highlights
Asian Pacific Alliance in Higher Education (APAHE) Events
This week, I was able to support an event sponsored by the Asian Pacific Alliance in Higher Education (APAHE) titled Identity and Truth Through Poetry and Spoken Word. Presenters read poems that explored their Asian American identities. Thank you to everyone for sharing your poems and for inviting me to the event. Thank you, Dr. Angela Kong, Monica Diego Schmidt, Gary Sosa, Joe Limer, Stephanie Sajor, Eddy Gana, and Ashley Launza, for your continued support and participation in these types of events.

Queer Pride at Palomar
We had a great time celebrating the Pride Center’s Queer Pride event. It was a fantastic, well attended, event! It was heartwarming to see everyone come out to support our LGBTQIA+ community and Pride Center. During the event we unveiled Palomar’s new Pride Progress flag. The flag symbolizes our institutional commitment and dedication to inclusiveness and allyship. I want to thank the members of the Pride Center Committee to Combat Hate (PC3H) for making this event possible. A special thank you to Dr. Abbie Cory, Dylan Davison, Jenny Ferrero, Pippa Pierce, Lisette Lasater, Madelyn Byrne, Ben Mudgett, Jessica Horn, Susan Miller, Rafiki Jenkins, AJ Lewis, and Mark Raymundo.

EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs/FYRST/Palomar Promise, and TRIO SSS Class of 2022 Celebration
EOPS/CARE/CalWORKs/FYRST/Palomar Promise, and TRIO SSS did an amazing job hosting approximately 200 people in the student union to celebrate the graduates of these various programs. It is evident that the educational support these programs provide has a positive impact on student success. It was emotional to hear the phenomenal student speakers as they expressed their gratitude for the support they received. Thank you to our amazing employees in these programs who daily assist our students to ensure their success! Your work is making a significant and positive difference!

MODA Fashion Show
Palomar’s Fashion Merchandising and Design Program hosted the incredible MODA Fashion Show this week. This event highlighted the college’s 75th anniversary with the theme of, “Diamonds are Forever.” Ten student designers made their debut with unique and expressive handmade garments. The show was well attended and took place on the first floor of the Learning Resource Center. I was very impressed with the talent exhibited on the runway. Here is a great video put together by PCTV that explains the different aspects of what goes into arranging a show. Thank you, Rita Campo Griggs and Dean Susan Wyche, for the invitation and your leadership.

Phi Theta Kappa Ceremony
I had the pleasure of saying a few words at the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Induction Ceremony. This event celebrated new PTK members and recognized their hard work and commitment to academic excellence. I was particularly impressed with these students because they earned this distinction during the pandemic! I would like to express my sincere appreciation to PTK Co-Advisors Dr. Dana O’Callaghan and Jennifer Backman who tirelessly served as a source of support for these students during a difficult time.

Fortissimo and Palomar Symphony Orchestra Concert
Over the weekend I was able to welcome the Fortissimo Orchestra (students from local middle schools and high schools) who played side-by-side with our Palomar Symphony Orchestra. It was wonderful to experience this very special event. The amazing program also featured Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major which featured acclaimed pianist, and educator, Dr. Ching-Ming Cheng. The event was spectacular! I am thankful to our Orchestra Director, Dr. Ellen Weller, for her vision in providing this type of community-based programming.

I was also able to attend the live theater production of Kentucky. I was not familiar with the play prior to attending, but I was pleasantly surprised by the thought-provoking content. And as always, I was extremely impressed by the level of professionalism in the execution of the production. A big thank you to Director Michael Mufson for a job well done. A special note of appreciation to Tony Cucuzzella for the spectacular set design. And I must compliment Dr. Molly Faulkner’s performance of the grandmother character. I did not even realize it was her until half-way through the play! Absolutely fantastic all the way around! Finally, a special thank you to House/Box Office Manager, Heather Murray-Mowery for helping me coordinate my visits!

Community Engagement Highlights
A Step Beyond
I am excited about the developing partnership with A Step Beyond (ASB). I met with CEO, James Wright, to discuss establishing educational pipelines between our organizations for incoming students and their parents. A Step Beyond, a non-profit youth development organization in Escondido, possesses a stellar record for serving underserved students through the creative arts. I look forward to the good work we will do together to serve our surrounding community.

San Diego North Economic Development Council’s (SDNEDC) 9th Annual North County Economic Summit
This week the SDNEDC hosted the 9th Annual North County Economic Summit at CSUSM. The convening brought together over 400 leaders from throughout North County to hear insights about how national and international trends will impact our county. They discussed important consequential developments including inflation, housing prices, and the great “reset” of COVID-19. I appreciate our Palomar Foundation for hosting a table and allowing several district representatives to attend and hear this vital information that impacts our college.

The North County Higher Education Alliance (NCHEA) Presidential Breakfast
The North County Higher Education Alliance (NCHEA) is an educational consortium comprised of Palomar College, MiraCosta College, and CSU San Marcos. The goal of NCHEA is to improve the educational opportunities for North County citizens through a collaboration between the three member colleges. This week, we virtually held the annual President’s Breakfast where the Annual Report was presented. The Annual Report recapped the goals and achievements of NCHEA throughout the 2021/2022 academic year, and we discussed potential future plans for the organization. I am excited to announce that our very own, Luis Guerrero, will take the helm of the organization over the next year! Congratulations Luis and thank you for your leadership!

SDCAAWCC 2022 Annual Recognition Event Honoring Women Who Make a Difference
The San Diego Chapter of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges (SDCAAWCC) formally recognized four incredible Palomar College women for their amazing contributions in advancing women at the 2022 Annual Recognition Event. Congratulations to Sina Venise Laie (Student), Anel Gonzalez (Classified), Patti Dixon (Faculty), and Dr. Nora Kenney (Administrator)! These equity-minded leaders were honored for their significant contributions to the college’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism efforts. The event was held at Mesa College and Palomar College had a strong showing of support! I would also like to thank our Palomar leaders who made this event possible Dr. Mireya Aguello Gutierrez-Aguero, Dr. Hossna Sadat Ahadi, Mercedes Tiggs, and Jenny Ferrero who serve on the leadership of this great organization.

Comets of the Week
Last Saturday, May 7th, Palomar faculty, staff, and ESL students volunteered to beautify the Early Childhood Education Lab School in Escondido. Thank you Lisa Casas, Gary Sosa, Marcel Castillo, Trevyan Thomson and the ESL student volunteers who participated! You can watch the video here. It’s a pleasure to see our employees and students come together on a weekend to improve the space of our youngest comets.


Have a great upcoming week. Go Comets!

For pictures of the various events, follow:
Twitter: @palomardrstar
Instagram: @palomardrstar