Week of February 27, 2023 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 the official Welcome Ceremony for our new Assistant Superintendents/Vice Presidents Todd McDonald and Tina Recalde. They have been with us just a little over a month and their positive impact is already being felt. A special thank you to Monica Galindo, Kelly Miller, Heather Sutton, Anna Hilton, and our Palomar Foundation for organizing and sponsoring the event.
  • Attended the Special Governing Board meeting. At this meeting, the Governing Board finalized the provisional trustee application process and timeline. The Governing Board is seeking a Provisional Trustee for Area 2 to complete the term left vacant by Christian Garcia, who resigned to begin his appointment at the City of Escondido City Council. You can find more details on the Trustee Area 2 Provisional Trustee Candidate Information webpage.
  • Attended the Palomar College Black Faculty & Staff Association/UMOJA Fundraiser event at the Mesa Rim North City Climbing Center. It was wonderful to see so many colleagues come out to support the culminating event of our Black History Month celebration. I cannot say enough about the quality of programming our campus was able to experience this month thanks to the outstanding efforts of PBFSA and UMOJA.
  • Hosted an Executive President’s Cabinet meeting that focused on the process for handling Incident Reports. We all appreciated hearing about the timely response, and person-centered approach, our Student of Concern team demonstrates when working to keep our campus community as safe as possible.

Community Engagement

  • Met with Marine Corps University representatives as they visited our San Marcos Campus. This was their first time seeing the campus in-person since our partnership began in 2020. James Cohn (Dean of Academics) and Troy Morton (Associate Dean of Academics) from the College of Enlisted Military Education & Marine Corps Senior Enlisted Academy at Marine Corps University in Quantico, VA attended. James and Troy have been staunch supporters of our Military Leadership Program and the work we are doing at Palomar to support the military community beyond their active-duty service. The meeting focused on providing program updates, discussing outreach/retention efforts, reviewing enrollment and completion statistics, and discussing action plans for further development/expansion of our program. Thank you Victoria (Tory) Hanes, Nichol Roe, Tina Recalde, Diane Studinka, Christine (Tina) Barlolong, Jason Jarvinen, and Candace Rose for making this successful visit possible.
  • Visited Classical Academy High School in Escondido for a Q&A with students in their Student Leadership Program. We discussed effective leadership traits and the importance of a college education. It is always a pleasure to connect with local college-bound students. Thank you Mr. Jonathan Sonoda for inviting me to visit!
  • Attended the Puente Conference in Riverside. The conference celebrated Puente’s 40-year anniversary of supporting the mission to increase the number of educationally underrepresented students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities from a community college. The Puente Project is a national award-winning program that has improved the college-going rate of tens of thousands of California’s educationally underrepresented students since 1981. Thank you, Cynthia Cordova and Michael Lundell, for also representing Palomar College at the conference.

Comets Doing Great Things

  • During the monthly Leadership Meeting, the various Vice Presidents provided general updates from their areas. Also, Professional Development Coordinator, Matt Grills conducted a leadership workshop to make participants more aware of how the PD Office can support their training efforts via the PD Portal and other tools such as live trainings and/or Micro Trainings.
  • The Counseling Department’s annual High School Counselor Conference featured Palomar’s Career Technical and Extended Education programs and shared important updates and information regarding how we support new high school students during their onboarding and registration. Close to 90 high school counselors were in attendance, and 100% of those who were surveyed would recommend the conference to a colleague. Several attendees also informed staff that they felt welcomed and felt as though this was the best High School Counselor Conference Palomar has hosted. This event couldn’t have been possible without Dr. Glyn Bongolan’s incredible coordination and leadership skills. I also want to thank the countless individuals it took to make this event a success Adrianne Lee, Anita Talone, Arianna Lopez, Ashley Wolters, Benjamin (Jamie) Moss, Brittany Wong, Christine Winterle, David Meske, David Miller, Deanna Shoop, Debra Avila, Jacob Shiba, Jason Jarvinen, Jennifer Finn, Joe Ledesma, Jordan Clarke, Jose Ramirez, Karmi Flores, Leslie Salas, Lizette Echavarria, Lorena Lomeli-Hixon, Luz Barragan, Mark Bealo, Melissa Allen, Michael Andrews, Michael Gomez, Mireya Gutierrez-Aguero, Nancy Browne, Nichol Roe, Norma Villa Cortez, P.J. DeMaris, Riham Mathieu, Rita Campo Griggs, Rosalinda Tovar, Sergio Hernandez, Shauna Moriarty, Steven Salter, Susan Wyche, Tony Quiroz, and Trong Nguyen
  • Palomar College was well represented at Vista High School’s 2023 Futures Fair. This was the school’s largest campus-wide fair that included colleges, local companies, career speakers, employers, volunteer opportunities, and many other services. It was intended for students to begin exploring college careers and other professional pathways. Four-year public and private colleges, community colleges, technical institutes, vocational schools, military, and​ apprenticeships​ were present. Palomar’s S.T.A.R. Tutoring, Outreach Services, EOPS, and Palomar Promise were all represented. The feedback I received was extremely positive!. Thank you Leti Murillo for sending me the great pictures, and a special note of gratitude to all who are supporting our enrollment recovery efforts!

 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Upcoming Events and News

  • Our campus has many wonderful events planned to celebrate Women’s History Month. There will be film screenings, panel discussions, demonstrations, and many other activities. Please view the calendar at this link. We look forward to the educational, insightful, and uplifting events planned for our community.
  • Palomar College was also well represented at the 16th Annual African American Male Education Network & Development (A2MEND) Summit in Los Angeles. Our delegation included students from UMOJA and Puente, and faculty and administrators as well. The summit’s theme was based around the Resurrection of Black Male Success in community colleges and in the community.
  • March is Irish American Heritage Month, zoom backgrounds can be downloaded here: https://www.palomar.edu/deiaa/deiaaevents/
  • I would like to also announce the upcoming Disabled Student Experience Panel scheduled for Friday, April 14th. I attended this event last semester and was moved by the student speakers. So, I wanted to announce it as soon as possible so you could get it on your calendar because the student panelists are always incredible! It will take place via Zoom. Click here for a link to the flyer where you can sign up on the PD Portal.

Comets of the Week

This week we have 3 Comets of the week. Colleagues of Robert Sedillo, Palomar’s Infrastructure Systems Administrator, wanted him to be recognized for his outstanding work! I was told Robert has been instrumental in fine-tuning Palomar’s emergency notification system. He was our lead in troubleshooting challenges as they were identified and happily took on the training of colleagues as needed. Robert’s commitment to the health and safety of our students and employees throughout the district is exemplary!

Dr. Shauna Moriarty reached out to me and shared a student-centered feel-good story that highlights our next two Comets of the Week. This last week a student, who uses a walker, informed the DRC that he was stuck outside the SSC building, and that he needed support with fixing his wheel that had become bent. The DRC called for assistance and Officer Delaney and Tyrone Davis, from Facilities, arrived to assist. Tyrone assessed the broken walker, removed the twisted wheel, straightened out the bent bolt, and patiently replaced it rendering the walker useful again. Tyrone performed the repair with patience, steadfast expertise, humility, and confidence. Officer Delaney stayed the entire time to lend support and to ensure the student was supported through the ordeal. In the end, the student was able to make it home safely and expressed immense appreciation for all involved. Nice job Palomar heroes!


Have a great upcoming week. Go Comets!

For pictures of the various events, follow:
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