December 2005


Mt. SAC Welding Project Hopes to Bring Dignity to the Dead

WALNUT, Calif.—They were the innocents who fell victim to childhood disease and were buried in a cemetery that later had fallen into decay and looked more like an open field. Now, 100 years later, a service learning project by welding students at Mt. San Antonio College hopes to bring some measure of dignity to the Native American children who were buried at the Sherman Indian School Cemetery in Riverside.

“There are no identifying signs or symbols at the cemetery,” said Lorene Sisquoc, curator of the Sherman Indian School Museum. “People drive passed it and wonder what it is, but the hope is that this arch will give some dignity and respect to the kids who are buried there.”

One hundred years ago, the Sherman Indian School opened as part of a government program to assimilate Native American children into mainstream society. Children from tribes both local and from Arizona were brought to the school to be educated, taught a trade and were required to conform to Euro-American culture.

“Many of the kids buried in the cemetery came here as part of an assimilation program,” said Sisquoc. “But often times, due to childhood diseases, accidents and epidemics, the children never left and died here.”

Influenza, typhoid and farm accidents took their toll, and the children were buried on a portion of the 110-acre farm located in the Garden Homes area of Riverside away from the main campus.

Time, the elements and vandalism deteriorated the small cemetery until it was unrecognizable. Then a few years ago, the 80 graves in cemetery received new cement headstones thanks to a Boy Scout project. The next stage was to make the cemetery identifiable.

“I looked at the cemetery, and it had about 80 unmarked graves that Boy Scouts had put markers on,” said Mt. SAC Welding Professor Ben Eisley. “But the school wanted a way to make the cemetery stand out to the community.”

Eisley’s class, a beginning arc welding course, took on the three-week project to design and construct a 16-foot steel arch with identifying signage to be mounted over the cemetery gate.

Yet while the project benefits the school and museum, it also provides a learning experience for the welding students.

“We usually do welds on scrap metal, but we never put together a project like this,” said Mt. SAC student Craig Garnedus.

For the students, the project entailed learning how to bend the metal tubes to form an arch and how to cut steel shapes such as lettering for the school name and animal symbols using an automated optic eye trace cutter. The letters and symbols--which include a bear, a roadrunner, a deer, a quail and a rabbit, meaningful symbols in tribal folklore—were then welded into place on the arch.

“I think the arch is something a lot of community members will enjoy,” said Garnedus. “It has a sense of history to it, and it’s a rewarding project for us.”

The Sherman Indian School still operates today as a high school. It is part of the Office of Indian Education Programs and enrolls 500 students in grades 9 to 12.

Mt. SAC Offers Day and Evening German Courses

WALNUT, Calif.—The Mt. San Antonio College Foreign Languages Department will offer day and evening German classes during the Spring semester, which begins Jan. 9.

Learn German conversation, reading, and writing for travel, business, and fun. German I will be offered both days and evenings while German II and III will be offered only during the evenings. Earn college credit while you learn the language that is the native tongue for more than 100 million people in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

For more information on German classes at Mt. SAC, call (909) 594-5611, ext. 4570.

Judy Chen Haggerty Elected Mt. SAC Board President

WALNUT, Calif.—Judy Chen Haggerty was elected President of the Mt. San Antonio College Board of Trustees for a one-year term, becoming the college’s first Asian American Board President. Dr. Manuel Baca was elected Vice President, and Rosanne Bader was elected Clerk at the Trustees’ organizational meeting on Dec. 14.

Elected to the Board in 2001, Chen Haggerty was reelected to a second term in November. She has served as Vice President and Clerk of the Board and has been a longstanding supporter of Mt. SAC and higher education. Chen Haggerty is a Managing Director/Attorney for the law offices of Edward J. Haggerty, P.C. A 22-year Rowland Heights resident, she is also a law professor at Rio Hondo College and the University of Phoenix. In the community, she has served on the boards of directors for the Mt. SAC Foundation, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, American Red Cross, the La Puente Valley Regional Occupational Program, FORUS Foundation (RUSD) and the Rowland Heights Chinese Association.

Baca has served as a Mt. SAC Trustee since 1999 and is a former Board President. Professionally, he is the Interim Dean of Business, Art, and Applied Technology at Rio Hondo College. Baca is a career educator with nearly 25 years of experience in the state university and community college systems. Long active in the community, he is President of the Walnut Valley Kiwanis, serves as a mentor with the El Monte Union High School District, is a member of the 32nd Congressional District's U.S. Military Academies Advisory Committee, and is a past member of the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club Executive Committee.

Bader was elected to the Board in 2003 after serving a 10-month appointment as a Trustee in 2001. She is a retired school administrator with 32 years of experience in education. She is the former Principal of Diamond Point Elementary School in Diamond Bar and Allison Elementary School in Pomona, and she is a former teacher. In the community, she has been active with YWCA Board of Directors, the Pomona Friends of the Library, and the Pomona Jaycee Women. She also served as President of the Mt. SAC Foundation.

Also at the organizational meeting, Chen Haggerty and outgoing President Dr. David K. Hall were sworn in to four-year terms on the Board by Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. Chen Haggerty and Hall were reelected during the November elections.

Click here to view a larger image of Judy Chen Haggerty

Click here to view a larger image of David K. Hall.


Mt. SAC Professor Honored with State Teaching Award

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College Electronics Professor Harry Smith was recently awarded the prestigious Allan H. Maxwell Memorial Award by the California Council of Electronics Instructors (CCEI) at its fall conference held at the College of San Mateo.

The statewide award recognizes CCEI members’ outstanding contributions in electronics instruction.

Smith, an electronics professor at Mt. SAC since 1987, has served as the advisor to the college’s Skills USA Club for the past eight years, preparing students for regional, state and national competitions in skills areas such electronics, drafting, computer maintenance and welding. Each year, Mt. SAC vocational students advance to the national competition, winning four national medals in the past four years including a bronze medal in electronics technology this year.

A resident of Chino Hills, Smith currently serves as Chairman of the Electronics Department. Before coming to Mt. SAC, he taught at Glendora High School.

Students Hold Holiday Ceramics Sale

WALNUT, Calif.—Just in time for the holidays, Mt. San Antonio College Art students will hold a special holiday ceramics sale for the public, Tuesday through Thursday, Dec. 6-8.

Find that special holiday gift at the Mt. SAC ceramics sale. All types and styles of one-of-a-kind, handcrafted ceramics made by Mt. SAC Art students will be on sale Dec. 6 and 7, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Dec. 8, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Ceramics Lab, building 1A, room 10.

For more information on the Mt. SAC ceramics sale, call (909) 594-5611, ext. 4315.

Students Learn Bilingual Broadcasting

WALNUT, Calif.—Mt. San Antonio College broadcasting students are learning the ropes to the radio industry through a unique internship that provides students with on-air experience and the opportunity to broadcast the news in both English and Chinese.

“The fact that it’s an on-air broadcast and because it’s being done in two languages really makes you work together as a team,” said 22-year-old Mt. SAC broadcasting student Mike Cioffi, who writes and anchors a daily six-minute news program as part of the internship.

The semester-long internship recently established with the Asian American Broadcasting Company broadcasts the news along with music and talk shows through the subcarrier station, Radio American Living, in the City of Industry to Chinese communities throughout the Southland. Through the internship, four Mt. SAC students—two English-speaking and two Mandarin-speaking—produce a news program five days a week that is broadcast in side-by-side English and Mandarin versions.

“It’s phenomenal what’s happening here,” said KFWB anchor and Mt. SAC Broadcasting Professor Tammy Trujillo. “It’s the only internship that I know of that allows students to broadcast on the air, and it also gives our Mandarin-speaking students the opportunity to use their language skills in broadcasting.”

Trujillo stressed the need for this type of program in the Los Angeles area due to the large numbers of Mandarin-speaking residents in the area. With heavy Asian populations in valley cities such Monterey Park, Rosemead and Rowland Heights, the program provides an added service.

“It the helps Mandarin speakers learn English because it’s side-by-side,” Trujillo said.

According to station manager and CEO Tyson Chang, the news program marks the first time this type of bilingual format has been offered to the Chinese community in Southern California. The partnership, he said, has been beneficial for both sides.

“The interns are working out well, and we are glad to provide the air time,” said Chang. “We’ve had a very positive response from the community to this bilingual program.”

But as if learning the radio industry wasn’t daunting enough, Cioffi has the added pressure that his is the voice that many Chinese listeners will learn to emulate.

“I try to make it clear for listeners by emphasizing certain syllables that mandarin speakers might over look,” said Cioffi, who eventually wants a career in the radio industry.

“The professional training I’m receiving here boosts my confidence by fine tuning my skills in writing and producing.” he said.

Nursing Program Receives Grants from Local Hospitals

WALNUT, Calif.—The Mt. San Antonio College Nursing Program recently received $51,000 in grant funds from two local hospitals to provide a quality learning environment for nursing students and to address the state-wide shortage of nurses.

The Nursing Program received $34,000 from Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center and $17,000 from Citrus Valley Health Partners to hire adjunct faculty for the program. The hiring of additional adjunct faculty reduces the student-to-faculty ratio in key classes and provides extra clinical sections to accommodate more students. Citrus Valley Health Partners also provides an additional $17,000 grant for adjunct faculty in the spring.

“Our patients are the ones who ultimately benefit from this partnership,” said Lisa Foust, Citrus Valley Health Partners Senior Vice President of Human Resources. “We are so fortunate to have such a high quality community college right in our own backyard.”

Currently, California’s hospitals are experiencing a shortage of 14,000 nurses. According to a recent report, “Educating California’s Future Nursing Workforce,” California ranks 49th among 50 states in its share of registered nurses, with a ratio of only 544 registered nurses for every 100,000 residents.

“The shortage of nurses is only going to be solved by partnerships such as the one we have with Mt. SAC,” said Foust.

The state graduates fewer than 6,000 nurses annually when approximately 9,500 new nurses are needed. However, this year Mt. SAC graduated its largest nursing class of 60 students. The Mt. SAC Nursing Program enrolls 260 students.

The grants will advance the college’s nursing initiative designed to train more nurses and have more nurses pass the state licensing exam. Established earlier this year, the initiative includes Mt. SAC’s Pathways project to help nurses pass the state exam and the Fostering Student Success program, a $3.1 million public- and private-sector funding package to better prepare nursing students to earn their degrees and find employment.