Week of September 19, 2022 Update

I hope this update finds everyone in good spirits as we head into the new week. Below is a brief recap of my Campus and Community engagement activities from the previous week.

Campus Engagement

  • I attended two Latinx Heritage Month workshops. The first workshop was “Deported Veterans,” led by Robert Vivar, Director of the Unified U.S. Deported Veterans Resource Center. This workshop spread awareness about the experiences of immigrants who have served in the United States Military and have experienced deportation. The second workshop was “Chicano Studies Majors Shape the Future,” led by Dr. Angelica Yanez, which created awareness regarding the value of a Chicano Studies major. The Ethnic Studies Department will continue to host a variety of workshops and events to support Latinx Heritage Month. The schedule can be found here.
  • Attended the Latin America Flavors event and enjoyed a tamale in the Student Union Quad. The festivities will continue this week and I encourage you to stop by. Here is the schedule for the other events in the series. Please join us as we celebrate.
  • Attended a Puente Club meeting. A special thank you to faculty members, and Puente Coordinators, Sonia Gutierrez, and Cynthia Cordova for providing their students with leadership and networking opportunities. The Puente Program is a national award-winning program that has helped thousands of students transfer to a university, earn degrees, and return to the community as leaders and mentors to future generations.
  • Attended the Governing Board Special Meeting. During this meeting, we approved the 2022-23 Emergency Conditions Allowance Plan and engaged in a listening/visioning session for the District’s Educational and Facilities Vision Plan 2035.
  • Attended a sneak-peak screening of a film produced by PCTV featuring our Transitions program and the stories of our formerly incarcerated students. This was an eye-opening experience, and I can’t wait to share it with our community at large. I would not be surprised if PCTV wins another Emmy with this powerful film!
  • Attended the Palomar football game on Saturday, along with Trustee Christian Garcia. It was also wonderful to see the large group CCE #4522 assembled to cheer on our student athletes. President Anel Gonzalez and CCE leadership conducted the coin toss, celebrated with great food, and even had an opportunity drawing for their members. CCE certainly knows how to throw a party! Palomar had a spectacular win 31-24 over College of the Canyons.

Community Engagement

  • Participated as a judge, alongside other community leaders, in the San Marcos Boys and Girls Club 2023 Youth of the Year competition. I had the opportunity to meet the stellar contestants, and I was impressed by the level of competition. The winner is scheduled to be announced this upcoming week. Thank you, Cathy Baur, CEO of the San Marcos Boys and Girls Club, for inviting me to participate in this event.
  • Attended the Honoring Our Region’s Heroes Awards Breakfast which recognized the dedicated officers, first respondents, military, and public safety leaders who have gone above and beyond in their duties. This event was hosted by the North San Diego Business Chamber. Thank you to Chief Moore and Foundation Executive Director Stacy Rungaitis for representing Palomar College.
  • Attended Teach for America’s inaugural Inclusive Excellence in K-12 Education convening event, along with Trustee Mark Evilsizer. This convening’s goal was to foster greater inclusion in the K-12 education system by bringing together people from different sectors and asking them to commit to diversifying the K-12 education workforce.
  • I am excited to announce that I have been selected as a 2023 Wheelhouse Fellow. Wheelhouse, part of the UC Davis’ School of Education, is a Center for Community College Leadership and Research. The institute selects 15-18 CEOs yearly to participate in the program specifically designed to support their performance, increase their effectiveness, and expand their network of resources.

Educational and Facilities Vision Plan 2035

Thank you to everyone who has participated in a listening session and/or plans to participate in one. Your perspectives on our current environment have been valuable and your ideas for our future are innovative. Our Governing Board participated in a workshop this past Tuesday and provided their thoughts and ideas as well.

We are not done yet! This week we continued to send meeting invites for internal listening sessions scheduled for October and November. We are also adding a few more drop-in sessions focused on our educational programs and services as well as general sessions for anyone who is interested or did not have time to participate. I will send additional communications with details as we finalize the dates and times of these sessions.

This week, we sent invitations to our external education, business, and community partners seeking their participation and ideas for shaping our future. In October, we will start holding listening sessions with our students. In the coming months, as we begin to craft our plan, I look forward to working with the Educational and Facilities Plan Vision Task Force to reflect upon the insights provided by all of you, our students, and our external partners.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Updates and News

  • California Native American Day occurred on September 23rd and was recognized by the District as a holiday on Friday. The day honors the cultural contributions of Native American communities. Palomar College is fortunate to have one of the longest running American Indian Studies department. I encourage individuals to take advantage of the amazing opportunity to explore earning a Certificate in American Indian Studies to gain greater cultural knowledge and insight into the rich contributions Native Americans have made.
  • September is Deaf Awareness Month. Deaf Awareness Month is a time to celebrate the rich cultural history of the Deaf community and continue the work of advocating for the rights of Deaf people everywhere. On Thursday, the National Deaf Center’s Community Engagement Manager Diego Guerra facilitated a webinar and student panel focusing on the deaf college student experience. This webinar examined how relationships with these students can increase their likelihood of feeling supported and included. Participants also learned strategies for providing deaf students opportunities for engagement on campus, and how to leverage campus and community resources to build partnerships that offer spaces for these meetings.
  • Along with 300+ community college educators from around the state, three of our Palomar employees Carmelino Cruz, Mercedes Tiggs, and Brikia Cephus traveled to the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, Africa to attend the All-African Diaspora Education Summit. This year’s summit focused on the policy initiative, Beyond the Return. I have been in contact with them this week while they were traveling and have already seen some amazing pictures and videos. I look forward to them sharing their experiences with our campus community in the future.
  • The PC3H Committee/Pride Center invites you to join them on Sunday, Oct. 2nd for the 2:00 p.m. performance of Greetings from the Red Planet and the “Post-Show Experience” with the cast and crew. They will discuss theater queer representation, examine the intersections of queerness with climate change in the play, and explore the play’s broad spectrum of queer identity. Don’t miss this special collaborative theatre experience! For more information, contact Lisette Lasater llasater@palomar.edu.
  • The Community College League of California is hosting its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Town Hall event on Thursday, Oct 6 at 6 pm. This event will teach us about innovative student outreach strategies using a DEIA lens. Please join me and register online here.

Hiring Updates

Throughout the process of filling vacant positions in Executive Cabinet, I will be including periodic hiring updates in my weekly emails. Regarding the hiring of the permanent Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction and the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services, we remain on track for a December Governing Board appointment. Thank you to both committees for remaining steadfast in their task. More specific details will be provided next week regarding our Student Services and Human Resources positions.

Comet of the Week

The Comet of the Week is Nichol Roe, Associate Dean of Workforce Development and Extended Studies. Nichol has an incredible work ethic and is always taking on new projects and opportunities. In addition to several projects she is currently overseeing, she serves as the co-leader of the Region X Workgroup for Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) and is working to create a statewide CPL framework. Thank you for making Palomar College a stand-out in the region.


Have a great upcoming week. Go Comets!

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