Week of October 10, 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.

The Great California ShakeOut Earthquake Drills

Please note, the Great California ShakeOut Earthquake drill will take place this upcoming Thursday, October 20, 2022, at 10:20 a.m. and 6:20 pm.  The entire District, including the San Marcos Campus, Escondido Education Center, Fallbrook Education Center, and Rancho Bernardo Education Center will participate in the drill this year.

During the drill, information and directions will be delivered in a 60-second message broadcast through the Palomar College Emergency Notification System to all phones and other emergency notification channels utilized by the Palomar Community College District.  Everyone in classrooms, offices, and facilities will be instructed to follow the proper steps to ensure a safe and prompt protection strategy.

The drills are being coordinated through our Palomar College Environmental Health & Safety department.  For more information, please visit the following link.

Campus Engagement

  • Attended an Educational and Facilities Vision Plan 2035 meeting with the steering group to discuss Palomar’s long-term development plan and later in the week met with a small coordinating group to make sure we are on track and adapting as necessary as we go through this process.
  • Attended the 2022-2023 Budget Committee Meeting.  Through the development of annual fiscal goals, the Budget Committee recommends budgeting parameters and aligns the college’s priorities to institutional planning.
  • Attended award-winning author Sonia Gutierrez’s discussion about her novel, “Dreaming with Mariposas” in celebration of Latinx Heritage Month.  I have enjoyed reading the book but hearing the author directly speak to the characters was fascinating!
  • Attended a Special Projects Meeting to continue to discuss and prioritize the District’s hiring efforts.
  • Met with the Palomar Faculty Federation for our standing monthly meeting.
  • Welcomed the Student Senate For California Community College’s (SSCCC) Board of Directors to our campus.  SSCCC pursues policies that will improve student access, promote student success, engage and empower local student leaders, and enrich the collegiate experience for all California community college students.  Along with our ASG members, I enjoyed meeting student leaders from across the state.
  • Facilitated our bi-monthly College Council Meeting.
  • Attended the Palomar College Planetarium show, “The Sky Tonight”.  This live presentation uses the Digistar 7 system to take audiences on a journey through the current night sky.  During the show, you learn about the constellations and planets that are visible for this specific time of the year.  Here is a link to the Planetarium website to learn more.  Professors Mark Lane and Scott Kardel, and all who make this show possible, are to be commended!  I cannot say enough about this show, and I highly encourage all of you to check it out!  I promise, you will not be disappointed!  Be sure to get your tickets ahead of time because this popular show tends to sell out.

Community Engagement

  • Attended the Palomar College Foundation’s Annual President’s Invitational Golf Classic Fundraiser at Maderas Golf Club.  The funds raised from this event go towards removing financial barriers for our Palomar College students.  Thank you to Executive Director Stacy Rungaitis, and her incredible team, at the Foundation for making this event a success every year.  And thank you to everyone who supported the fundraiser.
  • Attended the North San Diego Business Chamber’s Regional Connect event at the Palomar College Rancho Bernardo Education Center.  This event gave me the opportunity to talk to community members about our amazing facilities and programs.
  • Attended the Latino Book and Family Festival on MiraCosta College’s campus.  The event featured over 100 exhibitors and more than 30 award-winning authors of works in all genres written by, or about, Latinos.  The exhibitors highlighted the importance of literacy and promoted awareness of college and community resources.  The festival also featured entertainment, a children’s stage, bilingual activities, workshops, food, and book giveaways.  Thank you to Outreach Specialist Tony Quiroz and ETS Coordinator Edwin Torres who made it possible for Palomar to have an information booth at the event.
  • Attended the Boys and Girls Club of San Marcos (BGCSM) Annual Auction.  Each year, this auction raises vital funds to support the BGCSM and its programs and services provided to thousands of kids and teens each year.  The evening gathered over 200 business and community leaders.  A special note of appreciation to Trustee Roberto Rodriguez and Trustee Christian Garcia who attended the event representing the Governing Board.

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

  • October 17-21 is Undocumented Student Action Week.  This event is held annually to help California Community College students know what resources are available to them and for institutions to lend their support to these students.  Our campus has some great events planned for this week and here is the link to view the calendar.  This year’s theme is Juntos Podemos (Together, We Can): Collaborative Ecosystems that Support Undocumented Students.  Here is also a link to our undocumented student resource page.  Additionally, California Community Colleges (CCC) will be hosting daily webinars designed to raise awareness about the challenges undocumented students continue to face and discuss solutions that support their educational dreams.  Here is a link to register for the webinars.  Please note, Palomar College remains committed to supporting undocumented students.
  • October 10 was Indigenous Peoples’ Day.  It is designed to celebrate and honor Native Americans and their history.  Here is an interesting NPR article that talks about the history and geography of Indigenous Peoples’ ancestral homelands.
  • ​​October is LGBTQIA+ History Month.  The Palomar Pride Center has many fantastic events planned for next weekHere is a link to view the calendar.
  • October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  The Disability Resource Center will be hosting events throughout the month.  Here is the link to their calendar.  This month of awareness invites us all to recognize the value of our diverse workforce and the contributions made by people with disabilities in our society.
  • October is Latinx Heritage Month.  On Monday the 17th, DRC Counselor Dr. Sabrina Menchaca will lead a workshop entitled, “Latina Me & My A.D.D.” in honor of both Latinx Heritage Month and Disability Awareness Month.  Here is a link to the flyer for this specific event.  Additionally, the Ethnic Studies Department is hosting events to celebrate Día de Los Muertos on November 1st and 2nd in the LRC.  These efforts will be led by Professors Alex Gómez and Dr. Angelica Yañez who will discuss the importance, and history, of Día de Los Muertos.  There will be hot chocolate and pan dulce.  Here is a link to the flyer.

Vision Plan 2035

The Educational and Facilities Vision Plan Task Force will meet again this coming Thursday.  A warm welcome to Tricia Frady who is now serving as a tri-chair on this important task force.  During the meeting, task force members will begin discussing data that will inform our plan.  Also happening next week, our educational and facilities planners will continue to hold listening/vision sessions on the San Marcos campus and our Education Centers.

Comet of the Week

The Comet of the Week is Nelida (Nellie) Herrera Martinez.  Nellie is the Director of the North County Educational Opportunity Center (NCEOC).  For those unaware, the goal of the NCEOC is to identify and assist adult participants who want to enter, re-enter, continue, or enroll in a program of post-secondary education.  Nellie goes above and beyond and is constantly planning outreach events to help students apply to Palomar.  Every time I see her, she is out in the community helping our potential students.  I am very grateful for her consistent hard work in this area.

Have a great upcoming week.  Go Comets!

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


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