Palomar College Recognizes Memorial Day

I sincerely hope that over the Memorial Day holiday you have the opportunity to remember, and honor, those patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure the freedoms we enjoy today. These heroes, and their service to our country, will never be forgotten. Wishing everyone a restful and safe holiday.

Campus Engagement Highlights
Our 2022 (in person) Commencement took place this past Friday. It was an incredible event and a very special day for our students and our entire campus community. This year’s graduates had to overcome unprecedented obstacles to earn their degrees and certificates. We had a total of 445 graduates participate in the ceremony! I was especially moved to see so many of our Palomar employees cross the stage. This is also the first year where we live-streamed the ceremony. In case you missed it, you can find the recording of the ceremony here.

I cannot say enough about the countless individuals that made this event a reality! A huge thank you to Director Sherry Titus for her extraordinary leadership, and congratulations to her entire Student Life and Leadership team. They managed to pull off a flawless event! There is also not enough room in my update to note all the different campus contributors that made this event possible, so I will simply say to all of you who had a part in making commencement a huge success -THANK YOU! Your efforts are noted and sincerely appreciated!

Budget Committee and State of the Budget Meeting
This week the Budget Committee met, and we also held a State of the Budget meeting. At both events, last year’s budget was examined, planning efforts for our next year’s budget spending plan were discussed, and the 2022-2023 budget assumptions were noted. We also discussed the May revise highlights and a possible formation of a subgroup to review compensation.​ Thank you, Acting Vice President Nancy Lane for the informative and timely updates.

Palomar Architecture and Interior Design Student Showcase
The Architecture and Interior Design Student Showcase at the Rancho Bernardo Education Center was incredible. I was extremely impressed with the outstanding student work I saw! Graduating interior design students displayed their portfolios, and our architecture students presented several projects. I also was able to take a tour of the new space featuring computer labs, a design studio, a library, and a new student learning space. I was excited to see the departments working in their new facilities. Thank you Joseph C. Lucido, Rita Campo Griggs and Anita Talone for organizing this wonderful event.

Faculty Senate
Thank you to the Faculty Senate for inviting me and allowing me to provide an update on the District’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Antiracism (DEIAA) efforts. I look forward to continued discussions as we keep these efforts at the forefront of our work as a District. Thank you to Vice President Vikash Lakhani and Vice President David Montoya who also provided updates on our enrollment and hiring efforts.

Enrollment Events
I was able to support the enrollment event at our San Marcos Campus this week. Many student programs and services came together to assist our students in registering and applying for financial aid. I have had the pleasure of attending several of these enrollment events over the course of the last month, and I want to thank our fantastic employees that have contributed to their success: Gabriela Lopez, Maritza Huerta, Jonatan Miranda, Julie Lanthier Bandy, Nancy Browne, Steven Salter, Leslie Aguilar, Omar Sanchez, Debra Avila, Rosalinda Tovar, Pipa Pierce, Cari Martinez, Patrick O’Brien, Ryan Williams, Joe Ledesma, Nellie H. Martinez, and Yvette Maynard.

Honors Recital Concert Hour
I was also able to virtually attend the Honors Recital Concert Hour. This was a great event, filled with beautiful music, that showcased our applied music students. After the performance, students received several scholarship awards. Thank you to our wonderful Performing Arts Department for always providing opportunities for our students to showcase their talents.

Umoja Rites of Passage Ceremony
I also had the pleasure of attending the Umoja ceremony to celebrate our students. Umoja (a Kiswahili word meaning unity) is a community-based program dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African Americans. The Umoja program is one of my favorite retention programs because it creates a welcoming environment that fosters self-efficacy and a strong desire to succeed. I also love that Umoja encourages socially responsible leadership from students, not only in their communities but in the world. Thank you Umoja leaders and supporters for providing this support system for our students. Thank you to all our Umoja supporters and a special thank you to Richard Carr and Kyle Owens for their leadership during the Spring Semester and hosting a great Rites of Passage event.

Cinema Class Screening
Thank you, Professor Lisa Cecere, for the invitation to screen the students final Cinema class projects. What a fantastic experience. There is nothing better than seeing students beam with pride to show their final work in front of their peers, family, and friends! I was excited to see how well attended the screening was.

Nursing Pinning Ceremony
I also attended the wonderful Nurse Pinning Ceremony for our spring 2022 graduates that took place in Escondido. It was heartwarming to see the graduates pinned by loved ones. So many of us commented on how moving the ceremony was. A huge congratulations to all the organizers of this wonderful event. A recording of the event can be found here.

Celebration of Black Graduates
The celebration of our Black Graduates was exceptional! Graduates, surrounded by friends and family, were recognized for their academic achievements. The program was filled with inspirational student stories and the closing of the program was excellent. The program ended with fantastic drumming and a performance by a troop of amazing acrobats! Thank you and congratulations to the Palomar Black Faculty and Staff Association (PBFSA) for hosting such a phenomenal event for our students! Thank you Amber Colbert, and all our wonderful PBFSA members, who made this event such a special one for our graduates and their loved ones.

Cabinet and Furniture Technology Scholarship Awards Ceremony
I was able to make an appearance at the Cabinet and Furniture Technology Department Scholarship awards Ceremony and Student Exhibition event on Friday. Again, I continue to be impressed by all the phenomenal instruction and student produced work that is taking place in this area. After Friday’s event, I am most definitely looking forward seeing our students’ work displayed at the San Diego County Fair! Thank you, Jennifer Anderson and Georg Kast, for your leadership at this well-attended special event that celebrated our students.

Comet of the Week
Great news! The Palomar College baseball team and coaches have made an impressive run to the State Championship! The team earned a spot in the CCCAA Final Four for the first time in seven years, following a stellar 37-11 season. This team plays with immense talent and heart. We are so proud of them, and the entire coaching staff, for this incredible accomplishment. Congratulations to Palomar Head Coach Ben Adams for leading the team successfully and navigating this competitive season. We wish you and the team the best of luck!

Thank you to our Palomar community for a successful spring semester and it is my hope you will get some well-earned rest over the summer. Go Comets!

*** Please note, my weekly emails will resume once again in the fall semester***

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