October 2005


Mt. SAC to Sponsor National Reading and Learning Conference

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College will sponsor the 38th Annual College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) Conference, “Sailing the Tides of Transition,” on Nov. 2-5 at the Long Beach Hilton.

The national conference will feature presentations and workshops that focus on reading and student learning for educators. Keynote speakers include Dr. Karen Pennington, Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life at Montclair State University, whose address is “Reading Between the Lines,” and Father Gregory Boyle, who works with at-risk youth and gangs in Southern California.

The CRLA is comprised of educators in reading, learning assistance, developmental education and tutorial services at the college level who develop innovative strategies to improve student learning.

Registration is available online at www.crla.net.

For more information, call Rick Stepp-Bolling at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4303.


Beat 100.3 DJ Joins Mt. SAC Broadcasting Faculty

WALNUT, Calif.—Beat 100.3 disc jockey PJ Butta has added college professor to his resume this fall semester and hopes to inspire students to succeed as the latest faculty member to join Mt. San Antonio College’s Radio Broadcasting Program.

“I want students to know that they can do it and reach their goals in broadcasting,” said Butta, who is teaching radio/television announcing at Mt. SAC.

Known on the air for his deftness at the microphone and his butter-smooth voice, Butta has been at The Beat for the past 12 years. He can be heard on 100.3 FM weekdays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and through the worldwide syndicated urban countdown show The Jammin’ World Chart.

“I hope to give students a heads-up through my experience in radio,” said Butta, who got his start as a DJ in college at the University of La Verne and later as an intern in the promotions department at The Beat.

Butta joins KFWB anchor Tammy Trujillo and KNAC.com co-founder Phil Hulett as part of the talented faculty in the radio program at Mt. SAC.

“It’s all professionals teaching here,” said Trujillo. “You’re not going to get that anywhere else.”

Mt. SAC to Host First Halloween Community Fair Oct. 28-30

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College’s athletics programs will sponsor three days of fun and games at the their first-ever Halloween Community Fair, Friday through Sunday, Oct. 28-30, in campus parking Lot F just north of the campus stadium at Temple and Bonita Avenues.

With carnival rides, a haunted house, games, food, hay rides and even cow-pie bingo with cash prizes, the fair promises a great time for all ages. The fair will be held Friday 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday 12 to 11 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 10 p.m.

“The fun-filled carnival provides a save Halloween environment for local families,” said event organizer Laura Beeman, Women’s Basketball Coach. “We invite everyone to come and have a great time.”

Tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and free for Mt. SAC students (with I.D.) and youth under age 18. Tickets will be available at the gate.

Halloween costumes are permitted only for children under 12.

For more information, call (909) 594-5611, ext. 4341 or ext. 4732.

Foundation Adds 4 New Members

WALNUT, Calif.—The Mt. San Antonio College Foundation, a nonprofit community volunteer support organization for the College, has recently appointed new four members to three-year terms on its Board of Directors.

Gail Kiralla-Orr is the Vice President of Corporate Operations for Majestic Realty Co., in the City of Industry and serves on the company’s Foundation Board of Directors. A resident of Walnut, she volunteers for the International Council of Shopping Centers.

David Reyno is the Director of Government Relations for ATC/Foothill Transit in West Covina, California. A resident of Irvine, Reyno serves on the West Covina Board of Directors and is active in the Southern California Leadership Network.

Mary Su is the President of MYDAD, International, an import/export business in Walnut, and volunteers with parent organizations for Walnut Valley Unified School District.

Diana Wood serves as Commissioner for the Los Angeles County Business License Commission, appointed by 4th District Supervisor Don Knabe. A resident of Hacienda Heights, Wood is also a realtor with Coldwell Banker Alliance in Hacienda Heights and is active in the Puente Hills Area Chamber of Commerce.

The 32-member Mt. SAC Foundation Board partners with and supports the College by raising funds for student scholarships, programs, and other unfunded needs. The Board supports the College’s mission to provide accessible and affordable quality learning opportunities that meet the needs and interests of students and the community it serves.

For more information, call the Foundation at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4215.

Mt. SAC to Offer Saturday Citizenship Class

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College will offer a free citizenship course on Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning Nov. 12.

Designed to help people with limited English skills prepare for the citizenship interview, the class will be held on four Saturdays and provide 20 hours of intensive instruction and practice.

Interested persons should register in person through Mt. SAC’s English as a Second Language Department in the Learning Technology Center, Building 6.

For more information, call (909) 594-5611, ext. 5235.

Mt. SAC Director Elected to State Foundations Board

WALNUT, Calif.—Leslie Kerr, Executive Director of the Mt. San Antonio College Foundation, was recently elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors for the Network for California Community College Foundations (NCCCF) at its annual Symposium in San Francisco.

The NCCCF Board is responsible for shaping policies for the state’s community college foundations and serves as an information resource on foundation issues and activities.

As Director of Development and the Foundation at Mt. SAC, Kerr works
with the Foundation Board and volunteers to expand fundraising efforts not covered by
budget resources and Foundation projects.

Prior to joining Mt. San Antonio College, Kerr served as the Director of
Development for the University of La Verne College of Business and Public
Management and as the Associate Director and chief development officer for the
Whitney R. Harris Institute for Global Legal Studies at the Washington University
School of Law in St. Louis.

A resident of La Verne, Kerr has 10 years of experience as a development officer and and has broad experience in annual campaigns, major gifts, alumni relations, special events, and grant writing.


Mt. SAC to Participate in Statewide Financial Aid Campaign

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College staff will provide financial aid information through the statewide icanaffordcollege.com campaign to be held at the Latino Book & Family Festival on Oct. 22 and 23, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Fairplex in Pomona.

Information on the various financial aid programs and financial aid forms and applications will be available. Mt. SAC financial aid representatives will also be on hand to answer questions and help students start the application process.

“This is a great opportunity for students to have the chance to explore various financial aid options that exist at California community college while enjoying the festival,” said Susan Jones, Mt. SAC Financial Aid Director and President of the California Community College Student Financial Aid Administrators Association.

A celebration of Latino culture, the free festival promotes literacy and education.

The icanaffordcollege.com campaign is a statewide financial aid awareness initiative sponsored by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

For more information, call the Mt. SAC Financial Aid Office at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4450.

Community Organizations Needed for Volunteer Fair

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College is seeking community organizations that need volunteers for its fall Community Volunteer Fair on Wednesday, November 2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., outside of the Student Services Center.

The fair is an opportunity for community organizations to recruit volunteers and for students to engage in public service, obtain hands-on learning experiences and make a difference in the community. Some of the organizations already scheduled to participate include the American Red Cross, the YMCA, Project Sister in Pomona, the Girl Scouts, the United Way and House of Ruth.

Community organizations that would like to participate should call the Mt. SAC Student Life Office at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4525.


Motivational Author Challenges Students to be "Geniuses"

WALNUT, Calif.—When author Victor Villasenor recently queried students at Mt. San Antonio College about whether they were geniuses, he didn’t mean “genius: in terms of IQ. Rather, he was actually challenging them to get to know themselves, their individual histories and the world better by looking at life through nontraditional eyes.

“Genius is the ability to access our inner voice, and a miracle is when you see what you have been taught not to see,” he told the capacity crowd on a recent campus visit.

The noted Mexican-American author of the national best-selling memoir, Rain of Gold, and last year’s Pulitzer-nominated Burro Genius regaled students with stories about his parents and grandparents interspersed with a wisdom learned through generations. Yet while his vignettes, like his books, often recall a history that is painful, the stories also exhibit personal strength through deep sense of family.

War, discrimination and disillusionment are all part of that family history, and his own personal history makes no less a dramatic tale for the severely dyslexic author who didn’t learn to read until he was 20 and as a child spoke only Spanish.

After discouraging experiences in California’s public schools in the 1940s, being told that he was worth next to nothing and serving as the target of racism, the young Villasenor quickly became disillusioned with the educational system, which contradicted the identity he had known before.

“My grandmother taught me that as humans we are five-pointed walking stars, God’s helpers, planting seeds in the garden,” he said.

As an angry teenager, he later dropped out of high school and went to Mexico for a few years where he saw that Mexicans could be architects and doctors and lawyers, not the stereotypes he had been forced to believe. He came back to the U.S. angrier than ever.

“I realized that I wanted to kill the memories, and I wanted to kill the hate,” he said. ‘We are all good people. It’s the stereotypes and ignorance that keep us apart.”

It was later while hunting antelope in Wyoming that the 20-year-old Villasenor first realized his inner voice, his genius, and knew that he had to tell the story of his family, the tragedies along with the triumphs. Courage and a certain amount of stubbornness allowed his family to persevere—the same qualities that led him to publish his first novel, Macho!, after receiving 265 rejections.

As if that obstacle wasn’t enough, it took Villasenor 16 years to write Rain of Gold, a saga of family, love and destiny, which covers the period from the war-ravaged mountains in Mexico during Pancho Villa’s revolution to the days of Prohibition in California.

The same tenacity and perseverance that allowed him to withstand rejection and discrimination he tries to inspire in his audiences. He may have overcome his barriers, but he stressed that the problems of discrimination are by no means a thing of the past. The barriers of stereotypes still exist.

He challenged the Mt. SAC students do their part to stamp out racism.

“We are still living in those dark ages when people thought the earth was flat,” he said. “But there’s only one race—the human race.”

Villasenor told the students change starts from within first and the ability to look beyond the confines of our experience and what we have been taught.

“A good book can take us out of our isolated existence,” he said. “A good book can bring us together.”


Mt. SAC Secures Multimillion-Dollar Funding Package for New Program to Maximize Nursing Student Success Rates

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College will launch a new student support program designed to better prepare nursing students to earn their degrees, pass the licensing exam, and get employed, thanks to a $3.1-million public- and private-sector funding arrangement.

Nearly $1 million of the funding comes from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s $30-million Nurse Education Initiative and will be disbursed over the next five years. The state grant requires a 2-to-1 match—approximately $2.2 million—which is being provided by Mt. SAC and its network of regional healthcare partners: Citrus Valley Health Partners, Chino Valley Medical Center, Pomona Valley Medical Center, and San Antonio Community Hospital.

“We are pleased that all the public- and private-sector partners involved were able to assemble a funding mechanism that now paves the way for us to build on efforts already under way to maximize student success and minimize attrition,” said Dr. Christopher C. O’Hearn, Mt. SAC’s President/CEO. “Through this program, we plan to add 135 critically needed nurses to the workforce and support the success rate for some 500 students over the next five years.”

While Mt. SAC’s nursing program enrollment has doubled since 2000, the College has always been concerned about any level of attrition—students dropping out for one reason or another. The new Fostering Student Success Program contains early detection, intervention and remedial strategies to keep students on track.

“We’ve designed the program to inoculate students against failure by preparing them at the onset for the challenges and demands they will encounter in a rigorous program such as nursing,” said Dr. Jesus Oliva, Director of Mt. SAC’s Regional Health Occupations Resource Center, which will oversee the program. “So often students jump into medical programs without counting the cost and potential toll on their personal lives, their families, and their finances. They often don’t have support systems in place. So when the going gets tough, those students tend to drop out. We want to prevent this by preparing them upfront and providing support for them every step of the way.”

Specifically, Mt. SAC’s Fostering Student Success Program consists of the following proactive support and intervention components:

* Orientation: Upon acceptance to the nursing program, students will be encouraged to attend orientation sessions that include their family members. They will discuss issues such as finances, role changes, and what to expect relative to the demands of the curriculum. Students will also undergo more thorough assessments of their academic readiness, study skills and time management abilities.

* Early Intervention: Strategies have been developed to identify students at risk of failing the nursing program early on, and prescribing a “learning plan” to keep them on track.

* Support Services: The program will offer ongoing counseling and tutorial services to enhance student performance and boost confidence.

* Teamwork: The program will emphasize an instructional focus on teamwork and interactive group learning.

* Skills Lab Orientation & Access: Students will get an expanded orientation to the skills lab, and offer extended lab hours to increase access during evenings and weekends.

* Ongoing Assessment: Students will receive early and ongoing feedback on their performance, based on their personal learning plan.

* Other Kinds of Support: Financial aid, extended child care and other support services will also be provided to those who qualify for them.

* NCLEX Review: Students will undergo preparation for the National Clearinghouse Licensing Examination (NCLEX), which they will take at the end of their Associate degree program. This includes a review of essential nursing skills, test-taking techniques and medical terminology.

“We’re confident that this multifaceted, preventive approach will prove effective in empowering our nursing students to succeed,” said Dr. O’Hearn. “Our healthcare partners fully support this approach as well in that they have stepped up to the plate to match the state grant so substantially. Their stake in this is to ensure the success of trained, qualified and employable nurses, who are needed to help stem the tide of California’s spiraling nursing shortage.”


Mt. SAC to Host "Knowledge is Power" Black College Expo Oct. 29

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College will host its first Black College Expo on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the campus Performing Arts Center, 1100 N. Grand Ave. Admission is free.

Under the theme “Knowledge Is Power,” the event will feature a presentation and panel discussion from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Clarke Theater (limited seating), followed by lunch in the courtyard and information/exhibit booths staffed by representatives from at least 15 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including Fisk, Clark Atlanta, Hampton, Texas Southern, Wilberforce, Grambling State, and Tuskegee universities as well as Morehouse, Spelman, Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M colleges.

In addition, representatives from Mt. SAC and local public/private universities, such as USC, UC Riverside, Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton, will be on hand to provide information about their institutions.

All representatives will be prepared to provide assistance in completing admission applications and financial aid forms and discuss housing opportunities.

The morning panel session will focus on the benefits of attending HBCUs, the supportive learning and social environments at these institutions, as well as the experiences of local HBCU students and graduates.

“This expo brings together under one roof representatives from some of the nation’s finest HBCUs who can provide area students with vital information about admission requirements, financial aid opportunities and, more importantly, discuss the advantages of attending a historically black institution of higher learning,” said Phillip Maynard, Co-chair of Mt. SAC’s Student Equity Committee and expo organizer. “We encourage African American and Latino students throughout the San Gabriel Valley to come and obtain the knowledge and resources they need to power their future at this important event.”

The Black College Expo is co-sponsored by the Mt. SAC Student Equity Committee, Student Services, and the San Gabriel Valley Section of the National Council of Negro Women, which has conducted similar expos throughout the region.

For more information, contact Eddie Lee at (909) 594-5611, ext. 5676, or visit www.mtsac.edu.

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Mt. SAC Theater to Stage "Under Milk Wood"

WALNUT, Calif.—The Mt. San Antonio College Theater Program will stage its production of Dylan Thomas’ "Under Milk Wood" on Fridays and Saturdays, October 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. in the Clarke Theater.

Somewhere between "Our Town" and "Deliverance," Thomas’ "Under Milk Wood" centers on the fictitious Welsh seaport of “Llareggub” and its eccentric townsfolk. Filled with humor, the play also examines the darker side of life which lies hidden “under Milk Wood” and reveals that life is better lived with passion than a squeaky-clean monotony. Llareggub’s dysfunctional citizens, with all their flaws, are deserving of forgiveness, acceptance and love.

Tickets are $12 for general admission, $9 for seniors and students.

For tickets and information, call the Mt. SAC Performing Arts Box Office at (909) 468-4050.

Mt. SAC Child Center Accredited by National Association

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College’s Child Development Center was recently accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which recognizes the highest quality in early childhood education programs.

“This is a significant achievement, as this national accreditation is extremely difficult to secure,” said Margie Chitwood, Dean of the Business & Economic Development Division, which oversees Mt. SAC’s center. “This is the highest level of accreditation granted, which is a reassuring message for local parents and our community.”

This prestigious five-year accreditation status was granted after a rigorous three-year process by the NAEYC, the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals. The process included a self-study of the center and a review by a national panel.

The accreditation program sets professional standards for early childhood education programs to help parents identify high-quality child care programs. More than 10,000 programs, serving over 850,000 children, are currently accredited by the NACYC nationwide.

“NAEYC accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences that help prepare them for future school success and a life-long love of learning,” said Mt. SAC Child Development Center Director Janette Henry.

Each semester, the on-campus center serves approximately 200 children (birth to age 5) whose parents are Mt. SAC employees and students as well as local families.

“Our center has become a leader in a national effort to raise the quality of early childhood education and helps give all children a better start,” said Henry.

For more information on the center, call (909) 594-5611, ext. 4920 or visit www.mtsac.edu/students/cdc.