Week of October 24, 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

  • Attended a water polo doubleheader! I had the opportunity to watch the women’s water polo team compete and then, immediately following, I watched the men’s water polo team match! What an incredible fast-paced sport. The level of physical strength it takes to play water polo is awe-inspiring. I would like to recognize our wonderful Head Coaches Mandy Simon and Michael Mulvey for their team leadership. A special thank you to Assistant Coach Lucy Gates for the invitation.
  • Met with the Confidential and Supervisory Team (CAST) and Administrative Association (AA) leadership for our standing 1:1 meeting. We discussed how our college can make our employees feel more valued, the contract process, handbook updates, and ideas about how to invest in the professional development of our CAST and AA members.
  • Attended this week’s College Council Meeting. For this meeting, we covered several topics and spent time discussing the upcoming design for the new Fallbrook Education Center. The College Council is the principal participatory and planning governance body for the College. It provides a forum to review and recommend the direction and focus of the College, consistent with the College’s vision, mission, and values. Thank you to my co-chair Cheryle Kearse for leading the meeting.
  • Attended the DRC’s Access and Equity Hour. This week’s event was a faculty spotlight featuring Math Professor, Fari Towfiq. Professor Towfiq provided detailed-effective teaching methods to utilize when working with DRC students.
  • Met with Stephanie Wu, Student Trustee for the Governing Board, and Chris Garcia Mendez, President of the Associated Student Government, this week. We discussed current challenges our students are facing, and we discussed potential solutions that we can quickly implement as a district. The student voice is critical, and I always enjoy meeting with these two exceptional leaders.

Community Engagement

  • Fox News LOCAList produced a video segment  featuring how Palomar College is combating student food insecurity. Here is the link to the video. It was wonderful to see Palomar College highlighted throughout the county for the incredible work we do at our Anita and Stan Maag Food and Nutrition Center. In conjunction with California Coast Credit Union and the San Diego Food Bank, we are able to meet the nutritional needs of so many students and their families. A special thank you to Pippa Pierce and Sherry Titus for their daily leadership with this project.
  • Attended the Association of Chief Business Officials (ACBO) 2022 Fall Conference with Acting Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Nancy Lane. The conference identified issues currently impacting community colleges, and we discussed the intricate details of community college financing. ACBO membership includes 72 districts and 115 California community colleges which represents over 2.1 million students.
  • Participated in the North San Diego Business Chamber’s, Women Connect: Women Leading the Way, virtual event. As a panel member, I shared my strategies for keeping calm under stress and the importance of building a circle of influence. Thank you, Debra Rosen, CEO of the North San Diego Business Chamber, for inviting me to participate.
  • Met with Dr. Jennifer Jefferies, Director of the Fallbrook Regional Health District, and current member of Palomar’s Fallbrook Advisory Board Committee. She was also formerly the Superintendent of the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District for over ten years. During our meeting, we discussed strategies for how Palomar can strengthen our footprint in Fallbrook.

Hiring Updates

  • As part of the hiring process, the district will conduct open forums for the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction and Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services positions. At the forums, the campus community will be able to meet the candidates, learn about their qualifications, and ask them questions. Questions are currently being accepted until noon on Friday, November 4th, and can be sent to Palomarjobs@palomar.edu. The forums will also be recorded and streamed online afterwards for those who are unable to attend. Forums will be held in the Governing Board room (LRC-438).  We hope you can join us!

    Here is the schedule for the November 8th Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction open forums:
    Tina Recalde 8:30 am – 9:30 am
    Narges Rabii-Rakin 9:45 am – 10:45 am
    Andrew MacNeill 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

    Here is the schedule for the November 9th Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services open forums:
    Richard Storti 8:30 am – 9:30 am
    Todd McDonald 9:45 am – 10:45 am
    Dennis Curran 11:00 am -12:00 pm

  • Dr. Brian Ellison will join Palomar College as the Acting Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services on Tuesday, November 1st. Dr. Ellison has served as a senior community college administrator for over 18 years and has served as an Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services and Instruction. Please stop by his office and say hello.

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

  • The Ethnic Studies Department will host events to celebrate Día de Los Muertos this week on November 1st and 2nd in the LRC. These efforts are led by Professors Alex Gómez and Dr. Angelica Yañez who will discuss the importance, and history, of Día de Los Muertos. Here is a link to the flyer.
  • Tuesday, November 8th, is National First-Generation College Celebration Day which recognizes the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965. To celebrate first-generation college students, faculty, staff, and alumni, we are hosting a special event from 12 pm – 2 pm at the San Marcos Library/LRC Plaza. More information to come.
  • November is Native American Heritage Month. You can visit the month’s official website here to participate in online events and view interesting online exhibitions. This month is a time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of Native Americans, and an opportunity to educate ourselves about the various tribes and raise general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and at present.

Vision Plan 2035

We continue to make progress during the “discovery phase” of our plan development. Last Friday we started sending out links to our Vision Plan 2035 survey. We are administering the survey to all students, faculty, and staff. Survey items are tailored for each group and are provided in both English and Spanish. Please take a few minutes to provide your feedback.

Comet of the Week

The Comet of the Week is Math Professor, and Director of Palomar’s Math Center, Fari Towfiq. Professor Towfiq is student-centered, and she is dedicated to making mathematics accessible to ALL students. She is constantly refining her curriculum and introducing new innovative ways to reach students. Hearing her speak this last week inspired me, and I felt enormous pride about how she is moving Palomar forward to be better equipped to meet the diverse needs of our students!

Have a great upcoming week. Go Comets!

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



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