Week of September 26, 2022 Update

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

Campus Engagement

  • Attended the 2022-2023 Budget Committee Meeting. Through the development of annual fiscal plans, the Budget Committee recommends budgeting parameters and aligns the college’s priorities to budgets and institutional planning.
  • Attended the Latin America Flavors event and enjoyed a pupusa in the Student Union Quad. Pupusas are a delicious food originally from El Salvador which happens to be where my family migrated from so I may be partial.  Here is the schedule for the one remaining event in the series. This week’s event will serve empanadas!
  • Attended a Special Projects meeting where we discussed timelines for the remaining three Prop M construction projects. We also discussed campus housing.
  • Attended the State of the Budget meeting.
  • Met with Council of Classified Employees (CCE) leadership meeting and focused on the topic of hiring.
  • Held my monthly Open Office Hours this week. I always enjoy meeting with colleagues, hearing from employees, and addressing questions and concerns.
  • Attended the Disability Resource Center’s Access and Equity Hour. This week’s event was focused on the Intersectionality of Incarcerated & Disabled Identities.
  • Attended the play Greetings from the Red Planet at the Palomar Performing Arts Studio Theater. This event is part of the 2022-2023 performing arts season. Here is a link to view other upcoming events. The play by Natalie Ann Valentine centers around a queer-gender-fluid barista that will be the first person to live on Mars as our planet races towards climate collapse. Congratulations Director Michael Mufson on another exceptional production. The play runs through October 9th.

Community Engagement

  • Presented to the California Retired Teachers Association. I had the opportunity to share about my path to becoming Superintendent/President of Palomar College, campus updates, my goals for college, and our plans for the future.
  • Received a Hispanic Heritage Month proclamation on behalf of Palomar College at the San Marcos City Council meeting. Thank you, Mayor Rebecca Jones and the San Marcos City Council, for recognizing Palomar’s commitment to promoting education in the Latino/a community.
  • Attended CSU San Marcos’ Annual Report to the Community event. President Ellen Neufeldt spoke about the university’s new five-year plan entitled “the Power of Us” which prioritizes increasing student social mobility and serving first-generation college students.
  • Attended a special workshop for College Presidents and Chancellors to learn about financial aid Title IV regulations and legislative updates.
  • Attended the COLEGAS Webinar, “Tu Lucha es Mi Lucha: Rebuilding Our Colleges by Honoring Students & Educators’ Ancestral Knowledge.” These events remind us of how to create environments that are affirming for our Latinx students.
  • Co-facilitated the Black/African American Community Advisory Council Meeting with Cheryl Kearse.
  • Attended the Boys and Girls Club of San Marcos’ Youth of the Year Celebration Dinner. At this event, winning Youth of the Year and winning Junior Youth of the Year were recognized. I had a great time participating as a judge at this year’s competition.
  • Attended a fundraising event to benefit the Fallbrook School of the Arts called “Art under the Stars.” I was invited by members of our Fallbrook Community Advisory board. A special thank you to Trustee Norma Miyamoto for joining me and representing Palomar College.

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

In honor of Disability Awareness Month, the Disability Resource Center (DRC) is hosting sessions and events to spread disability awareness and to recognize the value of our diverse workforce as well as the role and contribution of disability in society. Here is a link to the calendar. We invite our colleagues from across campus to host a session or event highlighting their efforts in bringing disability to the diversity, equity, and inclusion work being done at Palomar College. Please visit the sign-up form to present during Disability Awareness Month.

October is also LGBTQ History Month! The Palomar Pride Center is hosting several events throughout the month to celebrate. Here is a link to view the calendar of events. I look forward to seeing everyone at these events!

October marks Filipino-American Heritage Month. This year will be the 30th anniversary of Filipino-American History Month which began back in 1992. Here is a link to the Filipino American National Historical Society’s website where you can learn more about the history of this month and specifically Filipino-American history. Stay tuned for upcoming events taking place here at Palomar!

Educational and Facilities Vision Plan 2035
This past week, we opened registration for our community partner’s listening sessions, and they are filling up quick! This upcoming week we will begin advertising our listening sessions for students through Canvas, social media, flyers, and other methods of communication. Also, we are putting the final touches on our campus-wide survey that will launch this week. Finally, as I mentioned in my last communication, we will continue to hold our campus community listening sessions and have set up several “drop-in” sessions for those who have not been able to make it to their designated sessions. Thank you again for your wisdom and perspective as we develop this signature plan.

Our Accreditation Steering Committee held its first meeting of the year on Friday, September 30, 2022. The committee reviewed our follow-up report timeline and discussed our own self-improvement plans and projects identified in our Quality Focus Essay. This fall semester will be spent working to address our accreditation recommendation related to institutionalizing our processes and practices for integrated fiscal reporting, internal controls, and financial planning. In the spring, we will begin drafting our follow-up report in preparation to submit in November 2023.

Annual Security Report

In the spirit of continuing our Summer of Safety efforts, the 2022 Annual Security Report that contains Clery Act information within the report can be found here.

Hiring Update: Student Services

I am excited to announce, pending board approval, effective November 1, 2022, Dr. Brian Ellison will join Palomar College as the Acting Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services. Dr. Ellison has served as a senior community college administrator for over 18 years and has served as both an Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services and Instruction. His proven administrative capabilities in both Student Services and Instruction, paired with his belief in collaboration between the two areas being the primary generator of positive student outcomes, makes him a perfect fit for our college. Dr. Ellison also has an evidenced commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as a principal author/contributor to Student Equity Plans. He has also facilitated multiple institutional efforts in support of closing student achievement gaps and has provided operational oversight for legislative initiatives associated with Student Services and Instruction.


I am also excited to welcome Director Adrianne Lee to Executive Cabinet. Through expanded duties, she has accepted to be the Student Services administrative lead with our focused institutional enrollment efforts. Enrollment, and the process for enrolling, remains a central focus for our institution and Director Lee’s extensive experience, and proven record, in Student Financial Aid, Veterans, and Promise will help us move this institutional priority forward.


Comet of the Week
The Comet of the Week is Police Dispatch Center Coordinator, Nieves Suarez. Nieves did an incredible job compiling this year’s Annual Security Report. The report is essential to keeping our campus and community safe and creating transparency. Thank you for your great work!


Have a great upcoming week. Go Comets!


For pictures of the various events, follow:

Twitter: @palomardrstar

Instagram: @palomardrstar

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