Week of March 20, 2023 Update

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

Campus Engagement

  • Hosted Executive President’s Cabinet meeting.
  • Held standing meetings with CCE, AA, and CAST leadership.
  • Met with Professors Kathleen Sheahan, Scott Nelson, and VPI Tina Recalde to discuss future Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Attended a Special Governing Board meeting. At this meeting, candidates were interviewed to fill the Trustee Area 2 board vacancy. Resident of Area 2, Cassandra Schaeg was selected as the provisional appointed trustee who will serve in the role through November 2024. Her first meeting will be Tuesday, April 11th. We are excited to welcome her to the Palomar College family.
  • Attended the bi-monthly College Council meeting. We had a great presentation on the importance of accessibility by counselor Alyssa Vafaei, and we reviewed the process for updating our 389 Governing Board Policies and Administrative Procedures.

Community Engagement

  • Represented Palomar College, alongside CSUSM’s President- Dr. Ellen Neufeldt and MiraCosta College’s Superintendent/President- Dr. Sunita Cooke, at the 2023 North County Philanthropy Council (NCPC) luncheon. NCPC’s mission is to promote, and strengthen, philanthropic acts in the community by bringing together nonprofit professionals, volunteers, donors, and businesses. Our panel presentation centered on how we collaborate to promote social mobility through workforce opportunities to elevate educational equity in the North County.
  • Interviewed by San Elijo Middle School Counselor, Nicholas (Nick) Vega, for his Career Course video series. We discussed the great academic programs Palomar College offers, and we discussed my personal career pathway to college presidency.
  • Met with Dr. Louis Freedberg when he visited Palomar to learn more about our Behavioral Health Counseling Services. You may recognize the name because he served as the Executive Director of EdSource for over 10 years. Dr. Freedberg will use the information he gathered for a podcast being underwritten by a grant from the Hewlett Foundation. The podcast focuses on equity in mental health as it affects college students. I was happy to share my perspective on the mental health needs of college students and the great work we are doing at Palomar to address those needs. Thank you, Dr. Patrick Saviano for facilitating the meeting.
  • Met with Escondido Police Chief, Edward Varso. We are thrilled that he took the time to visit our Escondido Education Center. We toured some of our first responder classes and showed him some of our outstanding state-of-the-art classrooms. We also discussed our safety and security efforts for the Center, including our plans for new fencing. Thank you, Tom Medel, Todd McDonald, Julie Lanthier Bandy, and Chris Moore, for joining me.
  • Attended a peer review team meeting sponsored by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) in Los Angeles. I was joined by Senior Director, Michelle Barton who is also serving on an accreditation team for another institution. It is great when Palomar is represented on a statewide platform, and for us to proactively stay well-trained to support our own institutional accreditation process.
  • Attended the Community College League of California’s Government Relations Webinar. These webinars provide important information regarding federal and state legislation and proposals that potentially impact Palomar.
  • Attended A Step Beyond’s 2nd Annual Community Reception at the Escondido California Center for the Arts. I am privileged to serve on the Board of Directors, and there is nothing better than watching young people thrive by using the performing arts as the catalyst for academic achievement. Thank you, Tom Medel for joining me at the event.

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

  • We have two exciting workshops coming up next month by two renowned experts. Attorney Paul Grossman and Jamie Axelrod will present on Monday, April 17th, information to help participants discover the evolution of the disability rights movement, gain information on being a disability ally, and will discuss the rights and responsibilities under disability laws. You can either participate in person (LRC 438) or via Zoom. Here is the flyer to sign up.
  • Also, please register for the Disabled Student Experience Panel scheduled on April 14th, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. via Zoom. Here is the flyer to sign up.
  • Tarde de Familia will take place on Friday, April 21st from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Student Union. Please mark your calendars and spread the word by sharing the social media flyer. If your department, or program, would like to participate in the Information Fair, please visit TDF Information Fair.xlsx and sign up before April 17th. For any questions, or for more information, please visit the Association of Latinos and Allies for Student Success (ALASS) website or contact alass@palomar.edu.

Comets of the Week

This week’s Comets of the Week are Jessica Horn and Kayla Mere who represented Palomar College at the Clean California Community Day:  Vista Community Clean Up and Outreach event sponsored by Senator Catherine Blakespear. They tabled at the beginning of the event and then grabbed gear and worked to help beautify public spaces in the Vista community. The two Comet superstars picked up an impressive 21 pounds of trash! Thank you both for your civic engagement!

Have a great, and restful, Spring Break! Go Comets!


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