December 2007


Mt. SAC Board Officers Elected

WALNUT, Calif.— At its annual organizational meeting on Dec. 12, the Mt. San Antonio College Board of Trustees elected Dr. Manuel Baca as President, Fred Chyr as Vice President, and Dr. David K. Hall as Clerk. They will serve a one-year term.

Baca has served as a Mt. SAC Trustee since 1999 and is a former Board President. He is a Professor of Government at Rio Hondo College and recently served as that college’s Interim President. Baca is a career educator with over 25 years of experience in the state university and community college systems. Long active in the community, he is past 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.

Chyr, who has been a Mt. SAC Board member since 1995, was recently reelected to his fourth term. A resident of Hacienda Heights, Chyr has more than 20 years of experience in education and marketing for Southern California educational institutions and businesses. Currently, he is the Chief Marketing Officer for the University of La Verne. He is also a member of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership.

A Board member since 1995, Hall is Senior Vice President of Hitchcock Automotive Resources in the City of Industry, one of the largest privately owned retail automotive groups in the United States. He serves as finance chairman for the 48th District Agricultural Association’s Schools Involvement Program, as Chairman of the Human Resources and Security Management Committee for the Industry Manufacturers Council, and on the board of directors for the San Gabriel Valley Family YMCA. A resident of San Dimas, Hall received the San Gabriel Valley YWCA’s Community Commitment Award (2000), the Puente Hills Area Chamber of Commerce Silver Service Award (1997), and the American Heart Association’s Exceptional Service Award (1993).


Cadet Is the First Woman Commander in Mt. SAC’s Fire Academy

WALNUT, Calif.--When Mt. San Antonio College’s Fire Academy graduates its class of 39 cadets next Thursday, Tori Jung will have the satisfaction of knowing that she is part of the first academy to achieve a 100% pass rate in the college’s history. Moreover, she will have the personal satisfaction of knowing that she is the academy’s first female company commander.

“I felt honored and privileged to have this opportunity to be the company commander,” said Jung, who as company commander is responsible for the other cadets and serves as the liaison between the fire chief and the students. “But I have to give a lot of credit to the other 38 cadets for their efforts, because everybody here worked together as a team.”

The 20-year-old Hacienda Heights resident was chosen by her fellow cadets to serve as the academy leader, and to Jung that approval served as a vote of confidence in a field where few women serve, let alone lead.

“She has good command presence, and it was always very evident that she had the respect of the other cadets and instructors,” said Mt. SAC Fire Technology Director Jerry Austin.

Generally, there are always some cadets who drop out of the program for various reasons––mainly personal. A grueling five-day-a-week schedule that starts before the sun rises and ends after dusk can put a strain on their personal and family lives.

Typically, the demanding day starts with stretching exercises at the Ontario Fire Training Center at 5:45 a.m. Depending on the schedule for the day, there will be a morning run and some push ups. Then there are class periods, lectures, and hands-on training. Students who stick with the program usually complete the academy in three semesters, but never since Mt. SAC began the academy in 1988 has the whole class pulled through. The fact that the entire class finished is testament, partly, to Jung’s determination and leadership ability, said Austin.

“It’s still very rare to see female firefighters in metropolitan fire departments,” said Austin, a career firefighter and former chief of the Anaheim Fire Deptment. “Tori demonstrated her skills, and she has the mental toughness that will help her overcome any barriers in a professional setting.”

While female firefighters are not completely unheard of today, there are still relatively few women in the fire service. Among Mt. SAC’s class of 39, there are three female cadets, which stands out as a larger-than-average number. According to Austin, San Diego fire departments, for example, employ more women as firefighters than other areas, which actually may indicate a trend reversal.

So far, Tori herself hasn’t focused much about being a female firefighter. She would rather think of herself as a firefighter, period.

“I haven’t seen any issues with women in the fire service, and everybody has been very accepting of the three female cadets in our class,” she said.

Tori’s interest in firefighting was sparked at age 7, when she saw Ron Howard’s film Backdraft.

“I also remember liking Dalmatians a lot,” she said of the traditional firehouse mascot.

From there, she later participated in the La Habra Heights fire explorer program, which introduces high school students to the fire service as a possible career.

“I liked the comradery and teamwork I observed at the station,” said Tori.

By this time, she was hooked on the idea of firefighting as a career.

“Firefighters aren’t part of the fire service because they want to be heroes, but because they love their jobs,” she said. “Every day, it’s a learning experience.”

After graduation, which will be held at Mt. SAC on Dec. 13, Tori and her classmates will have earned Mt. SAC’s Fire Technology Certificate and will be state-certified firefighters.

“This means they can work for any fire agency in California or outside the state,” Austin said.

With the recent spate of wildfires across Southern California, now is the perfect time to be entering a career as a firefighter, according to Austin.

“The demand for firefighters is very high due to the worsening conditions in fire-prone Southern California and also due to the growing number of firefighter retirements,” said Austin. “Many of these academy graduates should be hired within a year.”

Austin estimates that Los Angeles city and county fire departments are currently hiring 250 new firefighters each year and that by 2010 Southern California will need 7,500 additional firefighters. The new Mt. SAC grads can go on to work for any number of fire departments throughout the southland and, of course, outside of California as well.

Jung’s plans for the future include a job search, but she will also continue her education by earning an associate’s degree in fire technology, which she will wrap up by taking two remaining classes during Mt. SAC’s winter session. She then hopes to land a job as a firefighter and would some day like to get involved in the arson investigation side of the fire service.

“I know I can do the job, and any sense of a barrier motivates me to do better and go the extra mile,” she said.


Mt. SAC Holds Holiday Ceramics Sale

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. 4-6.

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. 4 and 5, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Dec. 6, 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. 4316.

Mt. SAC Awarded $900,000 NSF-ATE Grant for Computer Security Education

Mt. San Antonio College was recently awarded a three-year $900,000 National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education grant to raise computer security awareness throughout the region.

In partnership with Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Los Angeles and Long Beach City College, Mt. SAC’s Regional Information Systems Security Center (RISSC) will serve as the center of the grant’s activities and focus on increasing workforce development, curriculum development, outreach and dissemination throughout the region.

Mt. SAC received an initial NSF project grant in 2003 and together with Cal Poly Pomona established RISSC, located on the Mt. SAC campus. The center’s purpose was and continues to be to develop curriculum and train students, faculty and information security professionals to guard against computer crime. The initial grant also resulted in the creation of the first local degree program of its kind. Mt. SAC Students are now able to earn an associate’s degree in Network Security and Systems Management (NASM).

“This new grant gives us an opportunity to build on the success of the previous NSF grant. The relationships are in place to do some exciting things in computer security and feasibly impact the whole Southern California region,” said Jaishri Mehta, Mt. SAC’s Computer Information Systems Professor and the grant’s principal investigator.

Currently, RISSC offers an array of classes and certificate programs while continuing to focus on enhancing security content for other degree programs and professional training.

For more information, call the Regional Information Systems Security Center at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4702.

Mt. SAC Journalism Students Bring Home Regional Medals

Mt. San Antonio College journalism students won 12 awards recently at the Southern California Journalism Association of Community College conference at Cal State Fullerton.

Katherine Contemprato (Chino Hills) won second place in the feature writing category, and Ron Fu (Rowland Heights) took second place in the feature photo competition. Watchara Phomicinda (Montclair) won second place in the sports photo category, while Agnes Radomski (Diamond Bar) and Beatrice Alcala (West Covina) placed third in the infographics competition. Aubrey Miranda (La Puente) won for her editorial cartoon.

Adam Valenzuela (Mira Loma) placed fourth in the editorial cartoon category, and Ron Fu (Rowland Heights), Raul DePaz (La Puente), Liz Gunn (Riverside) and Jessica Herrera took home honorable mentions. Gabriel Mendoza (San Gabriel) received an editor-in-chief recognition award.

The regional winners will advance to the Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ state competition in Los Angeles on April 3-5.

Incumbents Reelected to Mt. SAC Board

Mt. San Antonio Community College District Trustees Rosanne Bader, Dr. Manuel Baca and Fred Chyr retained their seats for another four years on the college’s governing board during the Nov. 6 at-large elections.

With four candidates running for the three seats up for election, Bader received the highest percentage of votes (23,039) with 29.6 %. Bader, who is currently board president, will now serve her second term. She is a retired elementary school principal with 32 years of experience in education as a teacher and administrator.

Baca was reelected to his third term on the board, garnering 24.78 % (19,289) of the vote. Baca, currently the board’s vice president, has over 25 years of experience in the state university and community college systems. He is a Professor of Government at Rio Hondo College and recently served as that college’s Interim President.

Chyr, a Mt. SAC board member since 1995, was reelected to his fourth term, receiving slightly more than 23 % (17, 946) of the vote. Chyr, who is currently serving as board clerk, has more than 20 years of experience in education and marketing technology for Southern California educational institutions and businesses. Currently, he is the Chief Marketing Officer for the University of La Verne.

Challenger Ed Chavez, the former assemblyman for the 57th district, received 22.57 % (17,565) of the vote.