Week of May 22, 2023 Update

As the semester comes to a close, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all employees for making this a successful academic year for our students and institution. It is my hope you are able to get some respite during the summer.

Below is a brief recap of my Campus Engagement activities from the previous week.

Campus Engagement

  • This week’s highlight was the 2023 Commencement Ceremony where we honored close to 600 graduating students (nearly 4,000 degrees and certificates were awarded this academic year). A special note of gratitude to the Student Life and Leadership team! Sherry Titus, Pippa Pierce, and Kimberly Rocca we appreciate your extraordinary leadership. The event was outstanding thanks to your detailed planning. Also, my sincere appreciation for the countless contributors that made this event possible! Your efforts do not go unnoticed and are sincerely appreciated by the entire institution!
  • Attended Professor Wing Cheung’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Student Service-Learning student presentations. The caliber of work these students are engaging in, under his direction, is incredible. I left with a newfound appreciation for the GIS field.
  • Attended Professor Lisa Cecere’s cinema class screening. This is my second year attending the event, and I always am impressed by the talent and creativity our students demonstrate. Thank you, Professor Cecere, for your investment in these accomplished students.
  • Attended the Umoja Rites of Passage Ceremony. The overall feeling of this event was one of gratitude for the caring support students received throughout the year. Thank you, Professors Kyle Owens, and Richard Carr for creating a welcoming/caring environment that supported student success. I would also like to extend another note of appreciation to all those who have supported Umoja all year long.
  • Attended the Architecture and Interior Design Open House at the Rancho Bernardo Education Center. The architecture students designed a conceptual amphitheater to host the MODA Fashion Show, and the results were incredible. The Interior Design student projects were equally impressive. The level of professional standards applied to their projects was inspiring. Professors Joseph Lucido and Jessica Newman, my compliments to you on another year of impressive-professional student projects.
  • Attended the always wonderful Nurses Pinning Ceremony. Thank you to the entire Nursing Education Department for consistently producing well-prepared graduates year after year!
  • Attended the inaugural Asian Pacific Islander Graduates Celebration. Thank you, Angela Kong, Monica Diego Schmidt, and all the members of the Asian Pacific Alliance in Higher Education (APAHE) for organizing this first of its kind event in the history of Palomar College. A special thank you to Trustee Dr. Judy Patacsil for serving as the keynote speaker at the event.
  • Attended the Certificate Ceremony for the first class of the Escondido Union School District and Palomar College Paraeducator Partnership. A special note of gratitude to all who made this partnership possible. Thank you for your efforts Laurel Anderson, Gina Wilson, Kerry Diaz, Teresa Laughlin, and Diane Studinka. I would also like to commend the entire Child Development & Education Department for finding creative ways to expand their course offerings to the community. Their second cohort is already full!
  • Attended the Celebration of Black Graduates. Thank you, and congratulations, to Professor Amber Colbert, Cheryl Kearse, and all members of the Palomar Black Faculty and Staff Association (PBFSA) for hosting a spectacular and entertaining event. The Yiriba Drummers and the Tanzanite African Acrobatics were phenomenal!
  • Attended back-to-back Palomar College Symphony Orchestra performances. The first was a performance by the Fortissimo Youth String Orchestra. Young musicians performed side-by side with members of our Palomar Symphony Orchestra. A special thank you to Fortissimo’s Director Shannon Yandall for her dedication to training the next generation of musicians. After Fortissimo played, the Palomar Symphony Orchestra took the stage for the “Magic of Nature” performance. I am not exaggerating when I say it was an outstanding performance! Thank you, Dr. Ellen Weller. You are a musical genius, and your love for your students is evident. Congratulations for ending the year on such a high note (pun intended).
  • Attended the Budget Committee meeting.
  • Met with Faculty Senate leadership.
  • Met with Council of Classified Employees leadership.
  • Hosted Executive President’s Cabinet.
  • Participated in ongoing Faculty interviews.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Upcoming Events

  • In honor of Pride Month, Palomar College will host a Progressive Pride Flag Raising ceremony on June 1st on the San Marcos campus. The event begins at 12:30 PM.
  • Register now for the Hispanic Serving Institution Fall 2023 Book Club! This year’s selection is Dr. Gina Ann Garcia’s new book: “Transforming Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) for Equity and Justice.” Dr. Garcia is a leading scholar on Hispanic Serving Institutions and an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Join us for an interactive book club to understand the framework that will help Palomar College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, transform into a space of liberation that promotes racial equity and social justice. The first 50 people to register will get a free copy of the book. To register, please access this link.

Comets of the Week

The Comets of the Week are Laurel Anderson and Gina Wilson from the Child Development & Education Department for facilitating and developing Palomar’s new Paraeducator Certificate Program in partnership with Escondido Union School District. They both worked hard to make this project a reality and supported the partnership through every step of the way.

Please note, I will take a hiatus from the weekly email through the summer. However, feel free to follow me on social media and stay connected with exciting weekly happenings.

Have a great summer! Go Comets!

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