Fall Semester Monthly Update – December 2023

It is hard to believe we are at the end of both the fall semester and 2023! On behalf of the Palomar College Governing Board and the Office of the Superintendent/President, I want to wish you all a safe and relaxing holiday season. And in case you missed it, here is the Palomar College Happy Holidays Video Message for you to enjoy.

As always, I am looking for ways to continue to facilitate communication with the campus community, so you may have noticed we are now sending out the Superintendent/President’s monthly Report to the Governing Board. What I especially like about this report is that it also provides a monthly update for all divisions. In addition, I would like to draw your attention to the annual Report to the Community 2022-2023 that was published earlier this month.

Prior to us officially leaving for the winter holiday break, here are highlights of my November and December year-end activities.

Campus Engagement

Special Events

  • Attended Palomar College’s outstanding performing arts production of Manifest Destinitis.
  • Attended the inspiring Research Methods Fall 2023 Poster Fair.
  • Attended the Palomar College Foundation President’s Associates Gathering, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.
  • Attended the Paramedic Program’s (EME) Accreditation kick-off meeting.
  • Attended the Police Academy Graduation.
  • Attended the Fire Academy Graduation.
  • Attended the Palomar College Nursing Pinning Ceremony.
  • Attended the quarterly Independent Citizen Oversight Committee meeting.
  • Attended the festive End-of-Year Celebration for the Rising Scholars program.
  • Hosted the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President End-of-Year Planning Retreat.
  • Hosted the Executive Cabinet Holiday Appreciation Dinner.
  • Hosted the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Human Resources Campus Forums.
  • Met with the Huron Consulting Group currently working on a new comprehensive Outreach Plan for the college.
  • Visited Dr. Rocco Versaci’s English class, where I was able to witness first-hand the dynamic quality learning that our students are exposed to daily. To say I left the class impressed is an understatement!

Standing Meetings

  • Attended the Regular Governing Board meetings and Special Governing Board workshops.
  • Participated in standing leadership and governance meetings with College Council, Executive Cabinet, Leadership, Budget Committee, Faculty Senate, PFF,CCE, AA, and CAST.  

Community Engagement

Local Representation: Educational Partners

  • Attended the North County Higher Education Alliance’s Hispanic Serving Institution Faculty Symposium.
  • Attended the San Diego North Economic Development Annual Awards Luncheon.
  • Chaired the monthly San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association (SDICCCA) meetings with regional CEO’s and trustees.
  • Hosted the University of California San Diego’s visit to our San Marcos campus with the goal of continuing to strengthen and increase transfer rates between our institutions.
  • Met with Superintendent Dr. Michael Dodson from the Julian High School District to discuss expanded dual enrollment opportunities.
  • Met with Superintendent Dr. Brian Thurman from the Ramona Unified School District to discuss expanded dual enrollment opportunities.
  • Met with the San Diego Concilio of Educators to discuss our Latino/a student and employee success metrics at Palomar College.
  • Participated in an Educational Equity Panel with California Community College Deputy Chancellor, Dr. Daisy Gonzalez at the Chicano Federation of San Diego County Leadership Training Institute. We were joined by UC and K-12 partners.
  • Presented Palomar College updates to the Beta Delta Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an organization that promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.
  • Presented at San Diego Mesa College’s Puente, Umoja, and KAPWA student event where I was able to share my experiences as a community college student and how it positively impacted my academic journey.
  • Provided welcome remarks for the San Diego State University Community College Leadership Alumni Group annual event held at our Rancho Bernardo Campus. Thank you, Dr. Joseph Allen for the invite.
  • Spoke to San Diego State University doctoral students regarding community college leadership and highlighted some of the critical work happening at Palomar College as a model for building effective healthy organizational structure.
  • Toured the City of Ramona with Trustee Michelle Rains to gain a better understanding of the community that is part of our Palomar College service area.
  • Visited the Alta Vista Alternative High School to support our dual enrollment efforts and to connect with faculty teaching these courses. A special thank you to faculty member Barbara Hammons for the invitation. I was proud to see the purpose-driven work we are doing! I am also appreciative to Vista Unified Superintendent Dr. Matthew Doyle who joined me.

Local Representation: Community Partners

  • Attended a board meeting for the Escondido-based creative youth development organization, A Step Beyond.
  • Attended an Oceanside Museum of Art’s community celebration.
  • Attended the MANA de North County San Diego’s Annual Meeting where Dean Diane Studinka received an award for her service and advocacy on behalf of Palomar College.
  • Attended the Opening Reception of Fleet Week as the Chair of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association (SDICCCA).
  • Met with local education leaders hosting Assemblymember David Alvarez, who serves as Chair of the California State Assembly Subcommittee on Education Finance.
  • Met, for the second time, with representatives from Apple regarding our growing partnership.
  • Met with the founding members of the Fallbrook Advisory Council to set forth community goals for 2024.
  • Met with TrueCare’s Wellness Services CEO, Michelle Gonzalez, to discuss future partnerships.
  • Participated in the annual San Marcos Kiwanis Holiday Parade representing Palomar College in a bright red vintage 1929 Ford.
  • Provided the Welcome remarks for the San Diego and Imperial Region Consortium’s sponsored Counselor Conference, which included more than 300 educators from around the region focused on creating career pathway pipelines.
  • Served on a panel representing all ten local community colleges at the San Diego Tourism Association Board Retreat.

Statewide Representation

  • Attended the Community College League of California (CCLC) Annual convention in Indian Wells along with our Governing Board. Conference topics included public safety, title IX, ethics and responsibilities as leaders, student housing, and federal grant proposals.
  • Participated in Community College League of California (CCLC) market research.
  • Served as a keynote speaker at the annual COLEGAS conference.

National Representation

  • Submitted Palomar’s official Excelencia preliminary application.
  • Participated in Wheelhouse Seminars.
  • Participated in the National Community College Hispanic Council End-of-Year Board of Directors meeting.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): 

  • Palomar launched an inclusive process to send a team to the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) 2024. We are excited that many Palomar faculty and staff have also submitted proposals to present. Good luck to all who have expressed an interest.
  • Palomar supported the CSU San Marcos Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Summit with Dr. Tara Yosso as the keynote speaker. Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Nicole Belisle will be leading several HSI initiatives in 2024, in collaboration with key stakeholders, to help Palomar fully embody the “servingness” to our students.
  • ​Our Chief Diversity Officer also led a meeting for all affinity groups (ALASS, APAHE, Empowered Women, PBFSA and PC3H). This is the first of many collaborative discussions that will take place as we consider DEIAA in 2024.

Comets of the Month:

The Comets of the Month for November are Matt O’Brien, Netta Schroer, Betsi Little, and Kristin Peviani for their successful execution of the Research Methods Fair. The level of coordination this event takes is impressive! And the opportunity this event represents for our students is phenomenal!

The Comet of the Month for December is our Interim Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Human Resources, Christine Winterle, who has done a tremendous job in moving the district forward as we searched for a permanent hire. I would like to publicly thank her for her dedication and commitment in this role.

Thank you all for everything you do to make Palomar a fabulous place to work and learn!

Have a great winter break! Go Comets!

Pictures of the various events are posted at:
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