May 2008

TUESDAY, MAY 06, 2008

Mt. SAC Health Students Win Medals at State HOSA Competition

WALNUT, Calif.—Continuing their tradition of competitiveness, Mt. San Antonio College health career students recently won a gold medal, 11 silver medals, and two bronze medals at the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) state competition in Santa Clara. More than 800 secondary and post-secondary students competed at the state tournament.

“We have been very fortunate to have so many Mt. SAC health careers students compete and win at the state and national levels since 2001,” said Mt. SAC Psychiatric Technician Professor and HOSA Advisor Mary Ellen Reyes.

Chijioke Egboluche (Covina) won a gold medal in the nutrition competition, a silver medal in creative problem solving, and was a finalist in the Kaiser health care issues competition. Chotinan Mahapiti (Walnut) won silver medals in creative problem solving and the health care concepts competition, and Chaona Malunga (Riverside) won silver medals in the biomedical debate and nutrition.

Randy Luttrell (Ontario) won a silver medal in the biomedical debate, a bronze medal in medical math, and was a finalist in the Kaiser health care issues exam. Crissy Burroughs (Ontario) won a silver medal in prepared speaking, and Afoma Ekedolum (Ontario) was a silver medalist in the biomedical debate. Holly Sanders (Victorville) won a silver medal and Defina Osby (Inglewood) won a bronze medal in the extemporaneous speaking competition.

Laura Espinoza (Pomona) won a silver medal in the biomedical debate and was a fourth-place finalist in the pathophysiology competition. Angelita Pedraja (Anaheim) won a silver medal in creative problem solving and was a fifth-place finalist in pathophysiology. Nnenna Emeruwa (Riverside) was a fourth-place finalist in the medical spelling competition and was a finalist in Kaiser health care issues.

All 11 Mt. SAC students will advance to the national HOSA competition in Dallas, Texas, in June.

HOSA, established in 1976 by the U.S. Department of Education, is the national organization for secondary and post-secondary health career students. The organization provides students in 40 states with skills, leadership development, and career development.

Mt. SAC Students Win Gold at State, Advance to Nationals

WALNUT, Calif.—Two Mt. San Antonio College students will advance to the SkillsUSA national competition after winning gold medals at the SkillsUSA state tournament held recently in Fresno. Mt. SAC students won a total of four medals at the competition.

Paul Fernald (West Covina) won a gold medal in the electronics technology competition, and Gilbert Vallez (Chino Hills) took the gold medal in the architectural computer aided drafting (CAD) event. Both gold medalists will be representing Mt. SAC at the SkillsUSA national competition, June 23-27, in Kansas City, MO. Both Fernald and Vallez also won gold medals at the state competition last year.

Other medalists at the state championship for Mt. SAC included Corey Border (Upland), who won the silver medal in MIG (medal inert gas) welding, and Miguel Carrillo (Rowland Heights), who won the bronze medal in TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding.

SkillsUSA (formerly the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America–VICA) is a nationally affiliated vocational club representing secondary and post-secondary students in the trade, technical, and health education fields. The vocational education organization represents more than a quarter million students in over 13,000 chapters nationwide.

Passion Pays Off for Interior Design Student

WALNUT, Calif.— Arcel Punsalang wants everyone to know: he is passionate about interior design and one of the best places to study it is at Mt. San Antonio College.

Punsalang’s enthusiasm paid off recently when the Philippines native won a student competition sponsored by the International Interior Design Association.

“I have never been so proud of myself,” said Punsalang, a 37-year-old former civil engineer. “It was a nerve-wracking experience but I was able to beat out bigger schools and get some recognition for Mt. SAC.”

Punsalang competed against students from Cal State University Northridge and the Design Institute of San Diego. For his win, he received a $4,000 scholarship and was honored during a ceremony last month.

Punsalang, a father of three from Walnut, began his studies at Mt. SAC in 2005 focusing on computer science. He had always dreamed of becoming an architect but back in his native country, that was too lofty of a goal because of the expense. Instead, once here, he followed his creative impulses and enrolled in the interior design program.

Fast forward a few years and Punsalang found himself as the lead designer working on the newly renovated Founders Hall building on campus.

“It is a privilege to work on this project and with (Mt. SAC President/CEO John Nixon),” he said. “The combination of old and new is a challenge for this building.”

As part of the revamp, Punsalang and his team decided to soften the all-white space by adding color through rugs, window treatments and art.

Since his win, he has been approached by two design firms and is setting his sights on attending Cal State Long Beach in the fall.