Week of December 12, 2022 Update

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

Campus Engagement

  • Attended a Budget Committee Meeting where we discussed the status of the current budget for the remaining academic year.
  • Attended the Governing Board’s Annual Organizational Meeting. At this meeting, newly elected members of the board were sworn in, Jacqueline Kaiser, Michelle Rains, and Dr. Judy Patacsil. Trustee Christian Garcia was selected as the new Board President, Trustee Roberto Rodriguez remains as the Vice President, and new trustee Dr. Judy Patacsil will serve as the Secretary of the Board. Regular Governing Board meetings will be held on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 4:00 pm.
  • Visited our glass blowing program’s special event where I met famous artists Einar and Jamex De La Torre who gave a demonstration of their glass-making process. Thank you, Professor Michael Hernandez, for inviting me to this very special event. The demonstration was fascinating! The De La Torre Brothers are border artists whose work reflects, and interprets, a broad range of historical and contemporary sociopolitical issues. Their work incorporates the icons and imagery of pre-Columbian art, mass consumerism, and a unique distillation of their experiences living on both sides of the border. Their work is found in major museum collections and public art installations around the world and can be seen at the newly opened Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture at the Riverside Art Museum.
  • Attended the morning kickoff for the California Urban Wood Academy Conference hosted at our San Marcos campus this year. The participants were key government and industry leaders from all over the nation who utilize urban and reclaimed woods to create eco-friendly consumer products. I was happy to make brief welcoming remarks alongside acting Vice President of Instruction Diane Studinka and Dean Susan Wyche. A special note of appreciation to Instructor Jennifer Anderson and Georg Kast from our Cabinet and Furniture Technology Program, for inviting me.
  • Attended the American Welding Society’s (San Diego Chapter) meeting held on our San Marcos campus. At this meeting, industry leaders gave presentations on new welding technologies. Thank you, Instructors Kevin Powers and Ashley Wolters for the fantastic tour of the facilities.
  • Attended the Educational and Facilities Planning Task Force meeting where we reviewed campuswide survey results.
  • Attended the Noche de Cultura event. I was amazed by all the fantastic performances! We have such artistically talented and creative students and employees. Thank you to all who helped make this evening a success.
  • Held my monthly President’s Open Office Hours where I had the opportunity to meet with several campus and community members in a 1 on 1 setting.
  • Attended the Fall 2022 Nurse Pinning Ceremony. These events are always moving, and I appreciate all the work that goes into making this a special event for our graduates and their guests. Great job nursing department!
  • Attended the Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee (ICOC) meeting where we discussed the current status of the district’s Prop M projects.

Community Engagement

  • Attended the President’s Associates Annual Gathering hosted by the Palomar College Foundation. We had over 60 community members in attendance. A special thank you to Executive Director Stacy Rungaitis, our Foundation staff, and Kaiser Permanente for sponsoring the event. Also, a big congratulations to Will Rivera who was inducted as the 2023-2024 Chair of the Board. For those unaware, the Palomar College Foundation provides student emergency grants, scholarships, and faculty grants to enhance the educational experiences of students.
  • Attended the San Marcos Chamber’s VIP Reception for Mayor Rebecca Jones. We are very happy that she will continue to serve in this role, and we appreciate that she has always been a great supporter of Palomar College.
  • Attended the San Diego North Economic Development Council’s Awards Luncheon with the Palomar College Foundation. It was very nice to introduce our new Palomar College Trustee (area 1) Dr. Judy Patacsil to our North County partners. Thank you to all the Palomar representatives who were in attendance.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Upcoming Events

  • Please, “save the date” for Palomar’s Social Justice Community Festival on Friday, January 27th, 2023, led and hosted by Palomar’s Educators for Equity, Diversity, and Cultural Consciousness (EEDCC). EEDCC intends to create an inclusive, engaging, and joyous exploration of areas that will help transform our college, and further prioritize our DEIAA efforts in our community.
  • On Wednesday, January 25th, leading Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Scholar Dr. Gina Garcia will be coming to our campus to lead the HyFlex event: “Transforming Hispanic-Serving Institutions for Equity and Justice.” This event will discuss what makes Hispanic-Serving Institutions uniquely Latinx, and how college leaders, faculty, and staff can transform these institutions into spaces that promote racial equity, social justice, and collective liberation. Please register in advance for this important HyFlex event.

Important Technology Update

Unfortunately, due to recently updated authentication requirements enforced by Microsoft, the College’s Cisco Unity phone system is no longer capable of forwarding voicemail notifications and transcripts to Outlook email inboxes. Voicemail messages are still going to, and can be listened to, on-campus phones. However, all related content is no longer being sent to Outlook. Please note our Information Services department is working diligently to fully understand the details of this security change and to find a resolution. In the meantime, the following workarounds are currently available:  Forward all calls to an alternate or personal phone number (if working remotely). Forward calls to Microsoft Teams, where the voicemail notifications are working, and messages can be listened to within the App. We apologize for this inconvenience, and we will continue to work with our vendors in seeking a resolution to this problem as quickly as possible.

Comets of the Week

The Comets of the Week are our employees who serve Palomar’s Camp Pendleton Site (CPPEN): Ryan Williams, Aaron Sifferman, and Yvette Maynard. Ryan Williams, as the Education Center Director, coordinates all the services at Camp Pendleton. Aaron Sifferman, the Camp Pendleton Site Specialist, is there every day helping sometimes up to 10+ students simultaneously. Yvette Maynard, the Senior Education Center Coordinator for Fallbrook and CPPEN, always goes out of her way to volunteer to help students. I thank these three outstanding employees for their hard work and strong commitment to our Camp Pendleton students!

Season’s Greetings

Education is the key to countless pathways. As we enter a new year, we have an opportunity to reflect on our many achievements and to look forward to a promising future before us. At Palomar College, our success is driven by our incredible students, classified professionals, faculty, and administrators! For this, the governing board and I are extremely grateful for your dedication and service! May you enjoy a healthy, peaceful, and happy holiday season! Go Comets!

Please note, in observance of the holiday season, the district will be closed from Wednesday, December 21st, 2022 through Monday, January 2nd, 2023.

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