Campus Connection

Your online source of news, information, and features for and about Mt. SAC employees.


News & Information :2013

Return to 2014 Campus Connection Features

Mt. SAC Team Wins Cyber Wars Event

Cyber WarCongratulations to the Mt. SAC Cyber Team and Computer Information Systems Professor Jim Gau and Jesus Rubio who, after seven hours of attacking and defending network services, won first place in a recent Cyber Wars national competition sponsored by the Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA), held Dec. 14 via remote access.

Competing against college teams across the country, Mt. SAC faced off against nine other teams, including second-place Rochester Institute of Technology, and a few California State Universities.

“What is different about CSSIA Cyber Wars is that each team is able to directly communicate to every other team,” said Gau, who coaches the team. “So while each team maintains its services and guards its confidential data, teams are able to attempt penetration of all other team networks simultaneously and interrupt the services of their opponents.”

Competing for Mt. SAC were students Andrew Chamberlain, Ryan Gerberding, David Mitchell, Marina Alkasas, Brian Mason, Brian Brookman, Timothy Bassier, Edin Alegria, and observer Sebastian Savage. (Posted 12-19-13)

Year-End Town Halls: 2013 Was a "Good Fiscal Year"

Town HallAt two year-end town hall meetings last week, President Bill Scroggins noted that 2012-13 was a good fiscal year for Mt. SAC and community colleges in general. He also provided key insights into the state budget, campus construction, and new programs going forward into the current 2013-14 fiscal year.

“California is undergoing an economic recovery similar to the rest of the nation,” Scroggins assessed, adding that the recovery has trickled down to help improve the fiscal climate for the state’s community colleges.

As a whole, California’s community colleges are looking at $754 million in new revenues with $521 million in deferrals owed by the state to community colleges and $300 million in mandatory claims. For Mt. SAC, that translates into approximately an extra $4 million for the college in the current fiscal year, which runs through June 30.

For 2012-13, Mt. SAC saw $1.3 million in growth restoration funding, and employees received a 2.57% salary, health and welfare increase, totaling $3.8 million. Scroggins said that initial estimates predict additional one-time funding sources will continue through 2015, but those funds will drop off in 2016. The fact that most of these funds are “one-time money will be a challenge to manage,” he said. More will be known when the Governor’s state budget comes out in January.

Going forward, the college will be looking to grow enrollment by 2% above the funded rate. In the coming year, the college is likewise interested in expanding student internship programs and expanding its direct training services to businesses.

Scroggins also provided an overview of major campus construction projects, including the new $18.5-million Child Development Center, scheduled to open this spring; the $2.5-million Facilities Plan Room and Emergency Operations Center; the Building 12 renovation, slated to open next fall; the $11-million Student Success Center, which will replace portable buildings 16 B, C, and D; the stadium renovation, scheduled to begin in 2015; and the new six-level parking structure, which is expected to start construction also in 2015.

The town hall meetings also provided the audience an opportunity to ask questions of a panel of campus leaders. The question topics ranged from faculty hires, a proposed universal proctor testing center on campus, and travel and conference requests.

The panel consisted of Administrative Services VP Mike Gregoryk, Instruction VP Irene Malmgren, Student Services VP Audrey Yamagata-Noji, Human Resources VP James Czaja, CSEA 262 Acting President Bill Rawlings, CSEA 651 Representative Marian Popa, and Faculty Association President Lance Heard. (Posted 12-19-13)

Mt. SAC Trustees Elect New Officers;
Two New Trustees Installed

TrusteesAt its annual organizational meeting on Dec. 11, the Mt. SAC Board of Trustees elected Fred Chyr as president, Dr. David K. Hall as vice president, and Judy Chen Haggerty, Esq., as clerk for a one-year term.  Also new trustees Laura Santos and Robert Hidalgo were sworn in to four-year terms as the Mt. SAC governing board expanded from five to seven members as a result of district reorganization. 

The vast Mt. SAC geographic district was restructured earlier this year into seven trustee areas, requiring each representative to reside in and be elected from those areas versus the historical at-large process. 

President Chyr (Area 5) was elected to the governing board in November 1995 and reelected in 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011.  He last served as board president in 2009.  He has nearly 30 years of experience in business and education and currently serves as Associate Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at the University of La Verne. (Read his bio here)
Vice President Hall (Area 2) is the longest-serving trustee by one month over Chyr in that he was appointed to fill a board vacancy in October 1995.  Two years later, he was elected to the position and was reelected in 2001, 2005, 2009 and this past November (unopposed).  Hall previously served two terms as president of the Mt. SAC Foundation. Professionally, Dr. Hall is senior vice president of Hitchcock Automotive Resources, which owns and operates auto dealerships throughout Southern California. (Read his bio here)

Board Clerk Chen Haggerty (Area 6) was elected to the board in 2001 and reelected in 2005, 2009, and this past November (also unopposed).  She is the first Asian-American to serve as a trustee and a former president of the board.   Trustee Chen Haggerty is a practicing attorney, law professor at Rio Hondo College, and the Law Area Chair for the University of Phoenix.  (Read her bio here).

Trustees sworn in


Trustee Santos was elected in November to represent the newly created Area 3, which covers La Puente, Bassett, Baldwin Park, and Irwindale.  She previously served on the Basset Unified School District Board since 2007.  (Read her bio here)

Trustee Hidalgo was also elected in November to represent the newly created Area 4, which covers most of West Covina and Valinda.  He previously served on the Rowland Unified School Board of Education since 2005.  (Read his bio here)

Completing the board membership are outgoing president Dr. Manuel Baca (Area 7) and trustee Rosanne Bader (Area 1).  In addition, a student trustee (currently Karina Maureira), is elected annually by the student body to represent its interests on the board.

(Posted 12-13-13)

Professor Publishes Poetry Collection

BrantinghamEnglish Professor John Brantingham recently published a collection of poetry, The Green of Sunset, which is derived from his life and travel experiences. Published by Moon Tide Press, the new poetry collection is Brantingham’s fifth book and second collection of poetry.

“The idea was to find what was special in what was often seen as the mundane,” he said of his new book. “So a lot of the poetry came from places that had been foreign and special to me, but mundane to the people who were native to the area.”

The Green of Sunset is currently available through and at Gatsby Books in Long Beach.

An English professor at Mt. SAC for 15 years, Brantingham has appeared on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his previous work.

(Posted 12-12-13)

Mt. SAC to Renovate Stadium,
Vie for 2020 Olympic Trials

StadiumLooking to continue its historic traditions well into the 21st century, Mt. San Antonio College plans to renovate its 65-year-old stadium and place a bid to host the 2020 Olympic Track and Field Trials.

“For nearly seven decades, this historic track and stadium has attracted world-class athletes who’ve set world records,” said Mt. SAC Relays & Special Events Director Doug Todd at an international press conference on Dec. 2. “The stadium has served us and the world community well, and now it’s time to totally renovate it to continue offering the best in track and field for years to come.”

“Project 2020” will transform Hilmer Lodge Stadium into a state-of-the-art track and field/cross country/football facility, including the installation of a nine-lane International Association of Athletics Federations-compliant synthetic track with a natural turf infield.

The new stadium will feature new bleachers for 11,000 spectators, a field house with locker rooms, two weight rooms, two lecture halls and a high-tech press box that can accommodate the digital global media.

“Constructing a wider and faster track will bring more top-level athletes and greatly enhance our chances of winning the bid for the Olympic Trials in 2020,” said Todd. “With a new state-of-the-art facility, large seating capacity, perfect Southern California weather conditions, and local amenities to accommodate every need for vast crowds, Mt. SAC stands an excellent chance of winning the bid.”

Todd also noted the economic multiplier effect on the region by attracting the Olympic Trials and other major events to the new venue. Nearby cities and all of Southern California would greatly benefit from the patronage and tourist spending typically associated with large-scale events.

StadiumStadium construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2015 and be completed in early spring or summer of 2017, in plenty of time for the Olympic Trials in 2020. The renovation will be underwritten with Measure RR construction bond funds, as the stadium upgrade is included in Mt. SAC’s campus improvement master plan.

Named for Mt. SAC’s legendary first track coach, Hilmer Lodge Stadium is home to the world’s largest track and field invitational (Mt. SAC Relays) and the world’s largest cross country invitational, which attracts over 20,000 participants annually. In addition, Mt. SAC hosts the LA84 Foundation Youth Days, CIF Championships and Footlocker West Regional Cross Country Championships. The upgrade would allow Mt. SAC to host additional national events, Todd said.

Dedicated in 1948, the stadium has been the site of two Olympic trials, 20 world records in track and field, football championships, commercials, movies, graduations and the “greatest day in track and field,” when six world records were broken or tied in one evening.

Stadium Fly Through Animation, no audio.

(Posted 12-06-13)

Honors Director Receives National Award

CarolynHonors Program Director Carolyn Kuykendall is one six educators throughout the U.S. and Europe awarded the 2013 National Collegiate Honors Council Fellows recognition.

The prestigious honor is awarded based on leadership, scholarly activities, teaching, and sustained commitment in college and university honors programs.

Carolyn has served as the Honors Program Director at Mt. SAC for five years and has a total of 19 years experience as an honors director. Mt. SAC has one of the largest honors programs in the state with 700 students and an average of 30 courses offered per semester.

(Posted 11-21-13)

HSO Team Hosts High School Educators Conference

HSOMt. SAC’s High School Outreach Team hosted 100 feeder high school district administrators, counselors, teachers, transitional specialists, and career technicians at a recent High School Educators Conference in the Design Technology Center Auditorium. The main focus of the conference was to help district partners facilitate their students’ transition to college and to enhance their understanding of new state legislation and initiatives that impact K-16 public institutions, such as Common Core, SB1456 (the Student Success Act), and the California Dream Act. Everyone walked away better informed of Mt. SAC efforts to foster student success.

Link to Photo Gallery

(Posted 11-21-13)

ABE Coordinator Angelena Pride Elected to RUSD Board

ABE Coordinator Angelena 
Pride Elected to RUSD BoardIn her first bid for an elective office, Angelena Pride, Outreach Specialist for the Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program, emerged the winner for a seat on the Rowland Unified School District Board this week. She will sworn in on Dec. 10.

Angelena garnered the most votes (2,050) among the seven candidates for two school board seats. Rowland Unified operates 19 schools with 15,000 students and more than 700 teachers.

“I’m still shocked over the win,” she says. “As a parent, I was concerned about certain policy decisions made by the board and the direction things were going. Since I’m not the type of person who just complains and does nothing about it, I decided to try to make a difference and run for a board seat in this election.”

Over the years, Angelena has been very active with the Rowland school district, serving as a volunteer to support high school football, bingo fundraisers, and the Rowland choir. She also served on the RUSD strategic planning committee. Her son, Kameron, is a product of Rowland schools and is now a second-year chemical engineering student at Mt. SAC. Her daughter, Mariko, is a junior at Rowland High School.

A Mt. SAC employee for 16 years, Angelena coordinates ABE’s summer high school instruction program and recruits local dislocated workers to get them retrained and gainfully employed in the workforce.

ABE Director Madelyn Arballo says Angelena’s “experience, education, and service to the community demonstrate her long-term commitment to education and student success, which are her primary areas of focus as she begins her service on the Rowland school board.”

The Mt. SAC family congratulates Angelena!

(Posted 11-08-13)

Laura Santos and Robert Hidalgo
Elected to Expanded Trustee Board

Laura Santos and American Flag
Laura Santos
Robert Hidalgo
Robert Hidalgo

Bassett Unified School District board member Laura Santos and Rowland Unified School District board member Robert Hidalgo were elected yesterday (Nov. 5) to the Mt. SAC Board of Trustees. They will be sworn in to begin their four-year terms at the Dec. 11 board meeting.

The election of Santos and Hidalgo expanded the Mt. SAC governing board from five to seven elected members due to redistricting, and they are the first to be elected within the new trustee geographic areas. Santos will represent District 3, which includes La Puente, Bassett, Baldwin Park and Irwindale. Hidalgo will represent District 4, which includes most of West Covina and Valinda.

They will join incumbent trustees David K. Hall (District 2) and Judy Chen Haggerty (District 6), who were unopposed in this election, as well as Rosanne Bader (District 1), Fred Chyr (District 5), and Manuel Baca (District 7). The board’s student trustee, Karina Maureira, is elected annually by the Mt. SAC student body. The governing board establishes policies relative to the college’s strategic mission and direction regarding instruction, governance, and operations.

Santos has served on the Bassett district board since 2007. She also serves on the Los Angeles County School Trustee Association’s community college subcommittee. Santos earned a B.A. in political science at UCLA and a law degree at UC Davis. She has practiced law and currently practices public relations in the San Gabriel Valley.

Hidalgo, who has served on the Rowland district board for eight years, is an assistant principal at Glen A. Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights. He is a former board member of the California Latino School Board Association and a former board president of the La Puente Valley Regional Occupational Program. Hidalgo is a graduate of CSU Fullerton (B.A., History) and Cal Poly Pomona (M.A., Education).

(Posted 11-06-13)

Livestock Team Rustles Up Winners at Fresno Fair

Livestock TeamCongratulations to Mt. SAC's Livestock Show Team and advisors Jamie Phillips, Maya Padilla, and Larry Poncetta, whose hard work paid off with first- and second-place winnings at the recent Big Fresno Fair College Show.

The team won five first-place awards and four second-place honors for its Mt. SAC-raised beef and sheep. Preparing well in advance of the fall semester, students showed 11 sheep and 11 beef cattle in their respective classes, ranging from yearling ewes to prospect market steer.

Students also won showmanship awards, competing against other colleges. Orlando Ochoa won first place in the novice sheep showmanship division, and Adrian DeHaro took second and Juan Ascencio took third in novice beef showmanship.

(Posted 11-04-13)

Annual Health Fair Set Oct. 16

Health FairEmployees are invited to the annual Mt. SAC Health Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the courtyard of the Health Career Complex (Bldg. 67B).

Upon showing their Mt. SAC ID, participants will be able to undergo free cholesterol and glucose screenings, body fat and spinal tests, as well as dental vision exams.

In addition, specialists and resource staff will be on hand to discuss a wide range of health issues, including the Affordable Care Act (aka: Obamacare, which goes into effect Oct. 1), fitness and nutrition, dental health, veterans’ programs and resources, and sexually transmitted infections and reproductive health.

Gifts will be distributed while supplies last. Sign language interpreters and printed materials in alternate formats must be requested at least three days in advance. For more info, contact Student Health Services: ext. 4400. (Posted 9-26-13)

Seasonal Flu Shots Offered, Beginning Oct. 1

Flu ShotsFlu season is here! Employees who would like to get a preventive flu shot may do so during the first week of October at the Student Health Center (67B).

Flu clinic appointments will be available Monday through Thursday, starting Oct. 1, and walk-in services will be offered on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning Oct. 4.

The costs for the shots are: $10 (cash) for part-time faculty and $20 (cash) for employees and noncredit students. Shots for credit students are free. A Mt. SAC ID is required for all visits, and clients should allow at least 30 minutes for their visit.

To make an appointment, call Student Health Services at ext. 4400 and have your Banner ID employee number ready. (Posted 9-26-13)

Fall Enrollment Up 1.27%
Class Offerings Up Nearly 4%

Fall EnrollmentDean of Enrollment Management Dr. George Bradshaw reported this preliminary finding to the Board of Trustees recently, noting that 27,180 credit students were enrolled on the second day of classes this semester, compared to 26,840 during the same period last fall.

Of this number, 16,563 were part-time credit students and 10,289 were full-time. Fall credit class offerings increased 3.9%, from 2,847 in 2012 to 2,959.

“The numbers will fluctuate as more students continue to register and add and drop classes during the initial weeks of the semester,” George cautioned. “More definitive enrollment data becomes available after the third week of classes.”

As in previous years, a majority of the college’s in-district enrollment comes from Pomona (3,590), West Covina (3,077) and La Puente (2,551). Out-of-district enrollment showed 1,642 students listing Upland as their city of residence while another 1,235 students traveled from Chino Hills. The college also continued to draw out-of-district students from Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga and Chino.

International student enrollment continues to increase steadily from 470 students last fall to 529 this semester. (Posted 9-9-13)

Health Plan Open Enrollment
Underway with 6 New Plans

Mt. SAC Gallery ShowEnrollment season for employee health plans is now open through Oct. 4.

CalPERS is offering six new health plans, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. An information session will be held on Friday, Sept. 13 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Design Technology Center Auditorium (Bldg. 13). Representatives from Blue Shield, Health Net, United Healthcare, and Kaiser-Permanente will be onsite. Questions will be addressed and health plan brochures will be available.

“We encourage everyone to join us for this highly informative session with our new and existing health care providers to learn more about what each plan offers,” said Mt. SAC Benefits Specialist Karen Pilling.

Those who wish to attend the information workshop must register online through Professional & Organizational Development. For further information, contact Karen at ext. 5478. (Posted 9-9-13)

Art Gallery Opens Season
with “Sense & Sensibility I”

Mt. SAC Gallery ShowMt. SAC's Art Gallery kicks off its new season with the first of a two-part exhibit featuring the works of noted art professionals, “Sense & Sensibility I.” This month-long exhibit will run Sept. 12 through Oct. 17 at the campus Art Gallery and is free and open to the public.

A long time in the making, “Sense & Sensibility I” will showcase the work of curators, critics, dealers, consultants, exhibition designers, teachers, and others employed in the local art industry. Participating artists are Carl Berg, Kimberly Brooks, Scott Canty, Seth Curcio, Shana Nys Dambrot, Amir Fallah, Peter Frank, Julie Henson, Margaret Lazzari, David Michael Lee, Matthew May, Michael Miller, Christopher Pate, Kathryn Poindexter, Max Presneill, John Seed, and H.K. Zamani.

"This exhibition has been a long time coming and marks a major milestone in Mt. SAC's art history," says Art Professor and Mt. SAC Curator Fatemeh Burnes. "You will see amazing works by noted artists at both exhibits, and I encourage the entire campus community--students, faculty, and staff--to come and enjoy these treasures."

A special opening reception will be held Thursday, Sept. 12, 4 to 6 p.m., in the Art Gallery. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Tuesday nights, 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Sense & Sensibility II will open Nov. 7 and run through Dec. 12.

For more information, visit the gallery’s website at (Posted 9-5-13)

College Leaders Launch Academic
Year at Fall Convocation


Mt. SAC launched the 2013 fall semester with two opening sessions on Aug. 23—one for faculty and the other for classified staff and managers—in the Clarke Theater. President Bill Scroggins opened the sessions with a state of the college summary and a short-list of priorities for the 2013-14 agenda, followed by a financial overview by VP Mike Gregoryk, presentations by faculty and classified association leaders, presidential award presentations (see related articles below), and a Q&A session.

Scroggins announced that for the first time since 2006, COLA and growth funding will be awarded to the college and employees, thanks to improvements in the state’s financial position. Pending board approval on Aug. 28, employees will receive a 1.57% COLA ($1.9 million) retroactive to July 1. Growth funds amount to $1.8 million (1.63%), which Mt. SAC must earn by achieving and sustaining enrollment targets. Scroggins also announced that Mt. SAC will see a partial restoration of categorical funding for special academic and support programs that benefit disadvantaged and disabled students.

In the area of campus improvements, Scroggins and Gregoryk noted the completion of major landscape and infrastructure projects, the near completion of the Early Childhood Education Center, the issuance of $150 million in Measure RR bonds, and plans to construct a 2,000-space parking structure, business and computer technology center, and major stadium renovations.

In his financial outlook, Gregoryk said the college is in a better financial position than in previous years, but noted that “many unmet needs remain.” He announced that the college has received new one-time funding of $1.2 million that will help address these needs, including instructional equipment, software upgrades, and materials.

Citing some challenges ahead, Scroggins noted that Mt. SAC must make intentional efforts to meet its enrollment cap in an improving economy where some students tend to drop out and potential students defer college for full-time jobs.

Down the road, Gregoryk urged everyone to encourage legislators to support the extension of Proposition 30 (California’s temporary sales tax increase) as two funding components are due to expire in a few years. The measure generates some $17 million annually for Mt. SAC.

For the remainder of the day, employees enjoyed a Welcome Back BBQ lunch (photo gallery coming soon) and engaged in a full afternoon of professional development workshops.—CB, (Posted 8-23-13)

LAC Committee, Library, and Music
Professor Win Presidential Awards


The Learning Assistance Center’s Study Techniques Committee, the Library & Learning Resources Division, and Music Professor Robert Bowen were the recipients of the President’s Awards for Excellence & Innovation in Teaching & Learning during Fall Convocation.

In the Outstanding Curriculum and Pedagogy category, the Study Techniques Committee received a $2,000 cash award and a certificate for using data from Student Learning Outcomes assessment to create new curriculum and interventions to improve student success. The committee was chaired by LAC Professor Lori Walker.

The Library & Learning Resources Division, led by Dean Meghan Chen, was honored with the $2,000 Outstanding Basic Skills Award for organizing a series of retreats to discuss planning, assessment, results, and the opportunity to highlight outcomes-related accomplishments.

The $1,000 Outstanding Personal Innovation Award was presented to Dr. Bowen for increasing the transfer rates of music students through exceptional instruction and curriculum development.

The ceremony marks the third year for these awards, initiated by President Bill Scroggins in 2011 to inspire and encourage innovation in teaching and learning.—Mike Taylor, (Posted 8-23-13)

Faculty and Classified Employees
Win College Champion Awards

ChampionsKinesiology & Athletics Professor Ron Kamaka, Geography & Political Science Professor James Stone, and High School Outreach Specialist Elmer Rodriguez were presented with the second annual College Champion Awards during the 2013 Fall Convocation.

Ron received the Torch Bearer Award, which honors an employee who has positively impacted the college community. James received the Eternal Flame Award, which recognizes an employee for dedication to one or more of the college’s core values. And Elmer received the Burning Bright Award, which honors an employee for going above and beyond his/her regular duties.

President Bill Scroggins presented the honorees with the awards, and they enjoyed a pre-convocation breakfast with the president and the VOICES Committee, which helps select the award winners. Each recipient also received $500 and a unique commemorative trophy, created by the Fine Arts Department.

Ron is a Cross Country/Track & Field assistant coach. His nominator wrote: “Ron’s attitude and energy are contagious. His professionalism is superior, and his influence is powerful. He is very much a difference- maker and embodies what the Mt. SAC family means to so many.

James was honored for his contributions toward making the college a leader in environmental awareness and sustainability through innovative curriculum development, organization, and student involvement.

Elmer was honored for his countless hours serving students and for his advocacy of AB 540 (state legislation related to undocumented students’ fees). He also volunteers in the community and at local high schools as a facilitator for the California Dream Act and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals workshops. —Mike Taylor, (Posted 8-23-13)

Interim Deans and VP’s
Introduced at ConvocationMatt Judd

Among the new and promoted employees acknowledged at Fall Convocation were newly appointed interim academic managers: Natural Sciences Division Dean Matthew Judd, Natural Sciences Associate Dean Karelyn Hoover, and Business Division Associate Dean Jennifer Galbraith. They will serve in this interim positions through the academic year, while the process for filling the positions proceeds later within the year.

Also introduced were new VPs Dr. Irene Malmgren (Instruction) and James Czaja (Human Resources), and Professor Lance Heard as the new president of the Faculty Association. (Posted 8-23-13)


Admin. Building Landscape
Project Nears Completion


Finishing touches are under way for the Administration Building (4) landscape project. The north phase of the project has been completed, featuring a garden courtyard with lush landscaping and new access pathways converging at an oval concrete pad with seating and power outlets (for charging electronic devices).

The courtyard provides an inviting space for students, employees, and visitors to relax, hangout, read, and just enjoy the beauty of our evolving campus. In addition, the perimeter of the building is being enhanced with upgraded landscaping and improved building access.

This landscape component completes the Administration Building renovation and upgrade project, which was designed by landscape architect Marlene Imirzian & Associates and constructed by Tilden Coil. (Posted 8-23-13)

Daniel Lamoree Earns Award
for Developing Cohort Tracking Tool


Congratulations to former Educational Research Assessment Analyst Daniel Lamoree, who was recently recognized at the RP Group Conference in Pomona for his work developing Illuminous, a cutting-edge cohort tracking tool now available to educational researchers throughout California.

Illuminous contains five core features: automated data warehousing; cohort construction; application of success metrics to cohorts; the ability to graphically represent output of success metrics; a replication report repository.

The RP Group is a nonprofit organization that provides research, evaluation, technical assistance, and professional development services to community colleges.

Daniel is currently on temporary assignment in the IT department working as a Senior Systems Analyst/Programmer. (Posted 7-24-13)

Irene Malmgren Named
Vice President of Instruction

IreneDr. Irene Malmgren, vice president of academic affairs at Citrus College, has been named Mt. SAC’s next VP of Instruction, effective July 1, replacing Dr. Virginia Burley, who will retire June 30.

“Irene is an excellent choice for Mt. SAC,” said President Bill Scroggins. “She brings a wealth of senior leadership experience in both academics and administration, which will continue to benefit our students and the college overall going forward.”

As chief instructional officer, Irene will head the largest division of the college and all of its instructional programs and services, including seven academic divisions and a workforce of 1,600 full- and part-time faculty, deans, managers, and staff. She will also serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet and as the college’s accreditation liaison officer, and will oversee strategic academic planning, research, and evaluation.

A resident of Orange, Irene has managed academic affairs at Citrus for the past eight years, serving as the college’s accreditation liaison officer, a member of its collective bargaining team, and as a member of the Citrus College Foundation Board.

Previously, Irene served Santa Ana College as dean of counseling and as a professor and department chair of psychology. In addition, she presided over the Academic Senate and counseled disadvantaged students from local high schools through Santa Ana’s Higher Ground Program.

Outside of education, Irene was a marriage and family counselor, a training and career development consultant, and a land use analyst for the City of Garden Grove.

Irene holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in experimental psychology from Cal State Fullerton, a master’s in counseling psychology from Chapman University, and a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of La Verne. (Posted 6-12-13)

James Czaja to Head
Human Resources

JamesJames Czaja (pronounced: CHY-ya), a seasoned human resources, labor relations and employee development professional, has been named vice president of human resources and will assume his duties at Mt. SAC on June 18.

A Long Beach resident, James comes to Mt. SAC with more than 20 years of experience in human resources, including the last five years as labor relations-campus relations and dispute resolution senior manager for the California State University’s Chancellor’s Office.

“James brings the full scope of human resources skills and experience that we were searching for, including direct experience with labor negotiations, grievance and complaint resolution, investigations, compliance monitoring, and professional training,” said Mt. SAC President Bill Scroggins. “He brings added value by combining the technical knowledge of the field of personnel relations with the compassionate touch reflected in his counseling training. We look forward to Jim joining our executive team.”

In addition to his tenure at the Chancellor’s Office, James has another eight years of human resources management experience at San Francisco State University, Cal State Fullerton, and Cal State Dominguez Hills. He also has human resources experience with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach.

James holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California-Irvine and a master’s in counseling from Cal State Fullerton. (Posted 6-12-13)

Top Losers Are Top Winners in
Employee Weight Loss Competition

Mt. SAC Lite

Mt. SAC-Lite? One could call us that since our employee population is now nearly 2,000 pounds lighter thanks to the Top Loser weight-loss competition, which ended this week. Some 65 employees across the campus stuck with the 12-week program that empowered them to shed excess pounds through nutrition classes and other resources, weigh-ins, and free unlimited use of the Wellness Center and its services.

Participants organized themselves into 16 teams (mostly by departments) and 11 individuals. They came up with very clever names to motivate their members, such as “Thin It to Win It,” “Weapons of Less Consumption,” “Fit and Fab,” “ESL: Elegant, Slim, Lovely,” and FAT (Financial Aid Technicians).” Yasmin Strutzel, the Blue Shield account manager who coordinated the program with the Mt. SAC Employee Wellness Task Force, said Mt. SAC generated the highest number of participants and teams in a workplace campaign since the health care provider’s Top Loser competition was launched in California.

The baseline weight for the original 108 participants at the start of the program on March 4 was 13,801.2 lbs. The ending aggregate weight of the 65 employees who completed the program dropped to 11,889.4 lbs. at final weigh-in last week.

A $540 cash award went to the Top Team Loser, “GORDITO,” which consisted of one surviving team member, Omar Musallet, who lost 14.39% body fat. Second place honors went to “The Book Ends” team (Library & Learning Resources: Dennis Ramos, Loralyn Isomura, Amber Sprague, Emily Woolery, Chisa Uykei), which lost 6.6% body fat and will split $540. And $270 cash awards went to each Top Individual Loser: Edwin Romero (16.3%) and Misty Kolkachian (13.3%). The award pot of $1,620 was generated by the $10 entry fee paid by each participant as well as matching funds provided by Blue Shield.

All competition winners will be presented and congratulated at the June 26 Board of Trustees meeting.

Safety & Risk Management Director Karen Saldana thanked Blue Shield of California, St. Jude Hospital, K.C. Kranz, Sandra Weatherlit and the Wellness Center team for their partnership in this competition. She noted, “Employee health and wellness benefits everyone involved—both the employee and the employer—and it can ultimately reduce health care and premium costs. So we encourage all Top Losers and others to stay on the path to robust health.”

While the Top Loser competition has concluded, the fitness component of the Employee Wellness Program continues through the summer with exercise programs being offered for free by the Wellness Center. For more info and exercise class schedules, click here. (Reposted 6-18-13)

State and College Updates
Key Topics at Town Hall

Town HallState budget proposals and updates on college initiatives topped the list of topics covered at Tuesday’s Employee Town Hall meetings, conducted in the auditorium of the new Design Technology Center.

President Bill Scroggins and VP Mike Gregoryk outlined the governor’s May revised state budget as well as alternate budget proposals—all part of the budget reconciliation process that is expected to be wrapped up by the Legislature by the end of summer. Among other things, the funding scenarios call for substantial funding restoration for categorical programs (e.g., EOPS, CalWORKs, DSPS, CARE) as well as modest increases in growth funding (1.6%) and a COLA (cost-of-living) increase (1.57%) for employees. Scroggins said these increases are welcomed news, particularly the COLA provision, which he noted has not been granted for several years.

Scroggins pointed out that all of the projections out of Sacramento were not rosey—most notably the Chancellor’s Office structural deficit that’s still looming and will trickle down to all community colleges (about a $1.8-million hit to Mt. SAC).

As for the Mt. SAC agenda, President Scroggins outlined the campus improvement priorities, noting that the trustees recently approved the sale of $150 million in Measure RR bonds. Current projects underway are the Administration Building hardscape and landscape project and the Early Childhood Education Complex, which is scheduled for completion in October.

Projects currently under state review are the Food Court, Student Success Center, the San Jose Road campus entrance improvements, and the Emergency Preparedness Office. Behind those will be the relocation of the tennis courts (south of Temple Ave.), construction of the Business/Computer Science Complex, a 2,300-square-foot parking structure, stadium improvements, a solar energy farm (producing 1MW of power), scheduled maintenance projects, and infrastructure upgrades.

Beyond campus improvements, Scroggins outlined additional college initiatives and priorities: the reclassification study, professional development needs, the Student Success Plan, the Mountie Academic Plan (MAP), strengthening academic programs, AA-T degrees, the need for emergency preparedness training, video-captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, employee wellness, and economic/workforce development.

In addition to these reports, employees heard updates from the CSEA leadership and were introduced to the newly appointed Vice President of Human Resources, James Czaja, who is currently senior labor relations manager for the CSU Chancellor’s Office.

Click these links for the full Scroggins and Gregoryk presentations. (Posted 5-29-13)

Academic Senate Presents
Outstanding Faculty/Manager Awards

Faculty-Managers Award WinnersAt its Faculty and Manager Recognition Ceremony, the Academic Senate presented its Outstanding Faculty Award to Physics & Engineering Professor Martin Mason and its Outstanding Manager Award to Marketing & Communication Director Clarence Brown for the impact of their respective achievements on students, academic quality, and the college overall.

The Senate also presented its “10+ Awards” to individuals/departments in specific categories, including:

  • Cristina Hernandez—Curriculum, including establishing prerequisites and placing courses into disciplines
  • Music Department (Jason Chevalier)—Degree and certificate requirements (revamping its AA in Liberal Arts and establishing an AA-T)
  • Academic Honesty Task Force (Tom Edson)—Grading policies (researching and recommending practices to address the student academic honesty policy)
  • Steve Burgoon—Education program development (redesigning and updating courses in the Graphic Design and Illustration program)
  • Glenda Bro—Standards or policies regarding student preparation and success (revising Basic Skills Grant timelines and processes, which enabled full Senate involvement)
  • Barbara Gonzales—District and college governance structures, as related to faculty roles (outreach to multiple departments without senators , which provided for diverse viewpoints at Senate meetings)
  • Beta Meyer—Policies for faculty professional development activities (increasing faculty professional development offerings)
  • Jennifer Galbraith—Processes for institutional planning and budget development
  • Michelle Sampat—for faithfully monitoring legislative issues and reporting State Academic Senate actions.

Congratulations to all! (Posted 5-29-13)

Employee Service Honored
at Annual Classy Awards

Classy's Award WinnersClassified employees were honored in Grammy-style fashion on May 22 at the Classified Senate’s annual Classy Awards production in the Clarke Theater. They were often referred to as the “glue that holds the college together.”

Scores of employees were recognized by decade increments of service to the college: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years of service. The groups were introduced by managers and trustees impersonating recording artists, such as Adele, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Lee Greenwood, Reba McEntire, Chumbawamba, and Gwen Dickey. Thirty-year honorees Andy Paulin (Kinesiology & Athletics) and Maria Torres (Nursing) saw their Mt. SAC journey portrayed on video. New employees and retirees were recognized as well.

Special awards went to those employees who were voted as “distinguished” in several categories: Beth Quinlan (Campus Improvement), Beverly Heasley (Rookie of the Year), Sean Kelly (Citizenship), Mary Lange (Campus Leadership), Kenneth Frank (Creativity & Innovation), Pam Childs (Outstanding Achievement), Linda Diaz (Commitment to Student Service), and Karen Johnson (Best Attitude).

Retiring Virginia Burley was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, having served Mt. SAC for 27 years as an English professor, associate dean of Humanities, dean of instructional services, and presently vice president of the Instruction Division.

The Classys was the culmination of a full week of activities designed to honor classified employees and to celebrate their many contributions to the college. Activities and events included a bingo party, an appreciation BBQ lunch (hosted by college managers), a nature walk through the Wildlife Sanctuary, and a pre-retirement planning workshop. A photo gallery of the week's highlights will be posted on this site soon. (Posted 5-23-13)

Educators of Distinction Honored

Educator WinnersThe Associated Students recognized five faculty members as “Educators of Distinction” at a recent awards ceremony. They were selected by Mt. SAC students for making an impact on their education, for positively influencing their lives, and for motivating them to realize their educational goals and potential. Recipients were: Professors Paul Sharpe (Drug & Alcohol Counseling), Rocio Avila (English), Charles Merward (Philosophy), April Tellez (History), and Robert Augustus (Sign Language).
(Posted 5-15-13)

Former State Chancellor Jack Scott
to Keynote 67th Commencement

CommencementDr. Jack A. Scott, retired chancellor of the California Community Colleges, will keynote Mt. SAC's 67th Commencement Ceremony, set for Friday, June 14 at 6 p.m. at Hilmer Lodge Stadium. The college will also honor Kimberly Ann Harrison as the "Alumna of the Year." She is a young television writer-producer ("Criminal Minds" and "Friends"), who completed Mt. SAC's radio/TV broadcasting program in 2001.

Hundreds of graduates of the Class of 2013 will be awarded AA, AS, AA-T, and AS-T degrees. More than 2,500 degree petitions were filed and processed this year, which is among the highest filings in college history.

The ceremony will feature traditional highlights, such as the flyover by the Mt. SAC Flying Team and the singing of the National Anthem by Fermata Nowhere. (Posted 5-15-13)

Mountaineer Staff Wins
"First-in-Class" Honors

Forensics TeamCongratulations to The Mountaineer staff and its adviser, Paul McLeod, for receiving First-in-Class" honors from the American Scholastic Press Association. The Mountaineer tallied 930 out of a possible 1,000 points in judging by ASPA. Along with a certificate, ASPA provided the judges' extensive written feedback and score sheets in various categories. Judges are seasoned college advisers, as opposed to professionals in the field utilized by the state association.

Mt. SAC journalism students also represented the college at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges state conference last month in Sacramento, participating in competitions, seminars and discussions about the industry.

Adolfo Tigerino (fall editor of, spring editor of The Mountaineer) received the Special Merit Award for Leadership. Former Mountie staffer Tianna Winters, editor of the fall-winter Substance magazine, was recognized as well.

And in yet another contest, Substance magazine was a finalist for a 2013 Maggie Award from the Western Publishers Association at a banquet in Los Angeles.

Congratulations to all! (Posted 5-15-13)

Jazz Band Wins Reno Festival

Forensics TeamCongratulations to Music Professor Jeff Ellwood and his Mt. SAC Jazz Ensemble for winning the Reno Jazz Festival competition (community college division) for the second consecutive year.

Outstanding musicianship awards went to saxophonist Tama Shutts, trumpeter Kyle Martinez, and drummer Mike Oktay. Jeff says the band has “worked extremely hard, plays with passion, and has proven that they are one of the strongest community college jazz programs in the western United States.” (Posted 5-07-13)

Marketing Team Wins Record 11 State Professional Awards

Marketing Team

Mt. SAC’s Marketing & Communication team won a record 11 PRO Awards at the annual statewide conference of the California Community College Public Relations Organization, held last week in Santa Ana.

Of the 11 awards, five were gold—earning top distinction for the college in the categories of best schedule (spring 2013) and college catalog, best commencement program, best photography, and best logo design (Aspire).

Over 225 entries were submitted by 40 colleges throughout California and were judged by panels of professional experts in journalism, photography, graphic design, marketing and public relations. The latest wins bring the total of awards won over the past decade to nearly 80.

“By far Mt. SAC has one of the state’s best collegiate marketing and communication operations,” said Marketing Director Clarence Brown. “Our design and visual arts team is first-rate in knowing how to visually communicate a message to various audiences in a compelling way. The quantity and quality of work they produce is astounding, and it’s always affirming when professionals in the field recognize it. I’m very proud of all of our staff, who produce web communication, publications, marketing collateral, photography, graphic designs, and marketing campaigns.”

In addition to the awards, CB served as a conference presenter, discussing the importance of marketing metrics and evaluating the results and strategic value of marketing activities. In another session, he was joined by Mt. SAC Web and Portal Services Supervisor Eric Turner and Senior Systems Analyst/Programmer Ken Frank to demonstrate the mountieAPP, which provides students and employees 24/7 access to college information. (Posted 4-26-13)

Mt. SAC Forensics Team Wins 8th National Title

Forensics TeamThe Forensics Team kept Mt. SAC’s national championship momentum rolling by capturing the coveted title of the 2013 Phi Rho Pi National Championship Tournament on April 20. This Super Bowl-caliber competition, held at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, drew talented student speakers from over a dozen states, representing 60 community colleges.

Team Mt. SAC captured the first-place Overall Sweepstakes (top award), the first-place Individual Events Sweepstakes, and the third-place Debate Sweepstakes—earning more points than any other competing team.

This win further entrenches Mt. SAC’s standing as a dominant force in the collegiate forensics world. Mt. SAC has won eight community college national championships: 1994, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2011, and 2013. In between these years, Mt. SAC chose to compete at university-level national tournaments and placed among the top 10 in 1999, 2002, 2004, and 2007, according to Communication Professor and Forensics Coach Jeff Archibald.

As individual competitors at the recent Phi Rho Pi tournament, all 14 Mt. SAC students won awards (six golds, three silvers, 10 bronze). Two students achieved the best overall scores in their respective event: Awais Spall (gold, Impromptu) and Conny Chege (gold, Program Oral Interpretation), and Barrett Tate and Brandon Orewyler took the gold in the Parliamentary Debate category as the only duo to win all eight rounds of competition.

“We are just incredibly proud of each speaker and the team as a whole,” says Jeff. “Winning the national title brings added distinction to our students, the coaches, the Forensics Program, and to the college overall. At the individual level, our goal was for each of the 14 Mt. SAC students to win an award, and each did. So, quite remarkably, we actually accomplished everything we set out to do at this tournament, which is such a prestigious forum.”

Congratulations to all of the winners and the faculty coaches: Jeff Archibald, Danny Cantrell, and Shae Hsieh. (Posted 4-24-13)

Design Tech Center Dedicated

Design Tech Dedication

College trustees, employees and students as well as community leaders came out on April 12 to celebrate the dedication of the new Design Technology Center.

Speakers and presenters extolled the high-tech features that facilitate innovative instruction and learning in this 63,000-square-foot center, which houses computer-based design programs such as animation, architecture, graphic arts and illustration, interior design, and photography. Faculty and students made classroom presentations and demonstrated cutting-edge technology for guests who toured the impressive facility after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Visitors also toured the 400-seat, high-tech multimedia assembly hall—the campus’ second largest auditorium after the Clarke Theater. (Posted 4-15-13)

For more comprehensive coverage, read this San Gabriel Valley Tribune article.

Culinary Team Serves Up Medals

Culinary TeamMt. SAC’s Culinary Team won two medals—including the top prize!—at the recent SkillsUSA State Competition in San Diego. Alan Kang won the gold (first place) in the Culinary Arts category and will advance to the nationals in June. Brittany Johnson won third place in the Commercial Baking category, earning herself a bronze medal.

Congratulations to Alan, Brittany, and their team faculty advisor Dr. Fawaz Al-Malood, who directs the Business Division’s Restaurant & Hospitality Management program. (Posted 4-12-13)

Singcopation Wins Jazz Festival

Bruce Rogers with Singcopation GroupMt. SAC’s award-winning Singcopation vocal jazz ensemble sang their way to first place in the Collegiate Vocal Jazz category at the recent Next Generation Jazz Festival. That wins them an opportunity to perform at the world’s most prestigious jazz event, the Monterey Jazz Festival in September.

Congratulations to this talented ensemble, directed by Mt. SAC’s celebrated Professor Bruce Rogers, who directs choral activities at Mt. SAC and also conducts the world-ranked Chamber Singers. (Posted 4-12-13)

Robotics Team Wins State Competition

Robotics Team

The Mt. SAC Robotics Team won the state Vex Robotics Championship recently at Cal State Northridge. Despite 12 grueling matches, one of the robotics catching fire, and numerous other challenges, the team prevailed with only one match loss.

Team Captain Vincent Vendiola was recognized with the Individual Excellence Award at the event for not only his invaluable team contributions, but also for helping other teams that experienced challenges with their robots. The 12-member team is now preparing for the World Championships April 18-20 against 50 international competitors, representing 12 countries.

Congratulations to the team members as well as their faculty coach, Professor Martin Mason. (Posted 4-12-13)

5 Professors Granted Tenure

Mt. SAC SealFive probationary faculty members were granted tenure recently. They are Dr. Damany Fisher (History and Art History Dept.); Michael Hood (Earth Sciences & Astronomy); Sam Nassar (Counseling); Kelly Sherwood (Medical Services); and Dr. Curtis Simon (Geography & Political Science).

The evaluation process is rather rigorous, coordinated by an evaluation team for each professor composed of at least two tenured faculty members and one administrator. The team completes a summary evaluation report of the probationary professor’s performance, based on information gathered from classroom visitations, student evaluations, input from faculty peers, a review of a portfolio of materials used by the professor, and other sources deemed relevant by the evaluation team.

The team then recommends tenure to be granted, and that recommendation and all supporting documentation is reviewed by the VP of Instruction or VP of Student Services (counseling faculty) and the President. The President’s recommendation goes to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

Congratulations to our newest tenured faculty! (Posted 4-10-13)

L.A. County Supervisors Honor
Mountie Basketball Champions

Basketball ChampionshipMt. SAC’s state championship Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams took center stage at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting this week, receiving certificates and proclamations of congratulations from Supervisor Gloria Molina.

She commended them for their historic achievements, noting that the men’s team earned its first state title in the history of the college, and that the women’s team captured its sixth state title with an undefeated record of 34-0 this season.

Members of both teams and their coaches traveled to the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration for a special reception, followed by the recognition ceremony. Women's Coach Brian Crichlow and Men's Coach Clark Maloney both expressed their appreciation for being honored by the supervisors. President Bill Scroggins, joined by Athletics Director Joe Jennum, told the audience that these outstanding athletes are students first and foremost and noted they are also strong performers both on the court and in the classroom thanks to the WIN Program. (Posted 4-10-13)

2 Students, 2 Professors
Celebrated as “Inspiring Women”

Inspiring WomenIn commemoration of Women’s History Month, two students and two faculty members were recognized and celebrated as “inspiring women” at the ninth annual Inspiring Women of Mt. SAC Luncheon, held March 27 in the Student Life Center.

Sponsored by the Associated Students, the program featured a keynote address by Biological Sciences Professor Dr. Carmen Rexach and award presentations to students Sandra Rodriguez and Lacy Webb and History Professor Dr. Kimberly A. Earhart and Counseling Professor Dr. Wanda Fulbright-Dennis.

Each honoree was presented by her nominator and then offered words of thanks and moving comments about their respective journeys. The luncheon was emceed by AS President Ahmad Azzawi. Opening and closing remarks were offered respectively by History Professor Dr. Kathleen Cannon and Student Services VP Dr. Audrey Yamagata-Noji. (Posted 4-1-13)

Mt. SAC Rolls Out Workforce
Training Program to Chamber Execs

Training ProgramLocal chamber of commerce executives gathered at Mt. SAC this week to learn about workforce training opportunities that Mt. SAC can offer their member businesses through its revitalized contract training program, Training Source.

Representatives from the Irwindale, Pomona, San Dimas and Filipino American chambers joined in a lively discussion with President Bill Scroggins and Continuing Education Dean Donna Burns to explore ways they can effectively partner to address current and emerging training and business development needs. Participants learned about Mt. SAC’s contract training and fee-based workshops that employers can arrange for their employees and managers.

Chamber executives said they were interested in having Mt. SAC interns work at their locations to assist their members, either as part of service learning or work experience programs. They also urged Mt. SAC to continue its outreach to the business community since business owners–big and small–are generally unaware of the programs and workshops Mt. SAC offers.

Scroggins said that businesses and the college cannot wait for economic recovery to happen, but collaboratively must stimulate that recovery.

“We want to be partners in attracting businesses to the region,” he said. “Having a comprehensive training program would clearly be a benefit. Help us rebuild this vehicle for training.”

Others attending the meeting were: Community and Career Education Director Paulo Madrigal; Instruction VP Ginny Burley; Instruction Dean Terri Long; Tech & Health Dean Sarah Daum and Associate Dean Jemma Blake-Judd; Adult Basic Education Director Madelyn Arballo; Marketing and Communication Director Clarence Brown; Research and Institutional Effectiveness Director Barbara McNeice-Stallard; Foundation Executive Director Bill Lambert; and Public Affairs Director Jill Dolan. (Posted 4-1-13)

Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams
Win State Championship Titles

Basket Ball ChampionshipsFor the first time ever, Mt. SAC now rules the community college basketball kingdom. Both men’s and women’s teams won their respective championship games last weekend with decisive victories.

The men’s win marked a significant milestone—their first state championship title in Mt. SAC history, defeating Chaffey College 102-88. The Mounties finished the season with an impressive 29 wins, 3 losses.

For the women’s team, it marked their sixth California Community College Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Championship title. They defeated Mt. San Jacinto College 54-41, and completed the season undefeated at 34-0. This was a back-to-back season win for the Mounties, who captured the state title in 2012, then three-peat in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and then in 2004.

Congratulations to the hard-working teams and to the skillful coaching staffs, headed by Clark Maloney (men) and Brian Crichlow (women). (Posted 3-20-13)

Design Technology Center Dedication
and Open House Set April 12

Design Tech CenterMt. SAC employees are invited to join community leaders and industry representatives for the ribbon-cutting dedication ceremony and open house festivities planned for the new Design Technology Center (Bldg. 13) on Friday, April 12 at 2 p.m.

College leaders, administrators, and students will extol the high-tech features that facilitate innovative instruction and learning in this 63,000-square-foot center, which houses computer-based design programs such as animation, architecture, graphic arts, and photography. Faculty and students will also make presentations and demonstrate cutting-edge technology for guests who tour the impressive facility after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Visitors will also tour the 400-seat, high-tech multimedia assembly hall—the campus’ second largest auditorium after the Clarke Theater. (Posted 3-20-13)

Mt. SAC Launches Mountie Academic
Plan (MAP) to Help Students Track Progress

This week, Mt. SAC launched the new Mountie Academic Plan (MAP), a powerful online tool that enables students to track progress they’ve made toward completing their degree and educational plan. Formerly known as DegreeWorks, MAP allows students to:

  • MAP or Mountie Academic PlanView their educational plan as developed with a counselor;
  • Track their CSU, UC, and Mt. SAC degree-applicable grade point average (GPA) and their overall GPA;
  • View their progress in the CSU/UC transfer path;
  • Run “what if” scenarios to see how close students are to completing other degrees and certificates to compare their options; and
  • View their degree audit worksheet, which will detail their progress—course by course—towards their declared degree objective at Mt. SAC.

“Our students’ success at Mt. SAC depends greatly on their meeting with a counselor to develop an educational goal and following a defined plan,” says VP of Student Services Audrey Yamagata-Noji. “MAP provides excellent tools to help them track their progress and reach their goals. This is just another element toward our advancing the college’s student success initiative.” (Posted 3-13-13)

Spring Flex Day Focuses on
Faculty Roles in Student Success

Flex DayTo kick off the spring semester, over 80 faculty members participated in FLEX Day with a “student success” theme, aligned with the statewide Student Success Initiative. The FLEX activities focused on either the faculty role in the accreditation process through curriculum modification, technology, and general activities; or about directly increasing student success in such areas as student communication, student experiences (study abroad and student research), and best teaching practices.

The day started with faculty exploring the new Mountie Academic Plan (MAP, formerly known as DegreeWorks). This online degree audit and educational planning tool allows students to login through the portal and view their academic progress. It is designed to inform students better about degree and career options in order to enhance their experiences with counseling and developing educational plans.

The faculty engaged in a series of morning breakout sessions, covering a varied range of topics: stress management, best practices in distance learning, iDevices and Droids for MtSAC access, UCLA requirements for transfer students, and online tutoring.

The Faculty Association hosted a working lunch, where faculty learned about the four essential components (standards) of accreditation and their roles in: (1) Institutional Mission & Effectiveness, (2) Resources, (3) Student Learning Program and Services, and (4) Leadership & Governance. Faculty participate in these four
areas as part of their employment at Mt. SAC, and they were reminded of the importance of documentation.

In the afternoon, faculty had two series of breakout sessions, including presentations on COR (course outline of record) and curriculum process, computer technology basic training in OmniUpdate and Course Studio, how to propose a study abroad program, and an interactive gallery of student research with student presenters.

Presenters included Shanti Atashpoush, Pat Bower, Julie Bray-Ali, Virginia Burley, Ema Burman, David Charbonneau, Michael Dowdle, Sun Ezzell, Barbara Gonzales, Lianne Greenlee, Michelle Grimes-Hillman, Martha Hall, Beverly Heasley, Tamra Horton, Carol Impara, Mary Johnson, Heidi Lockhart, Angel Lujan, Jannie Ma, Barbara McNeice-Stallard, Tesla Parrales, John Pelliteri, Bailey Smith, as well as Mt. SAC students presenting their posters. (Posted 3-13-13)


Students Advocate for Continued
Support at Capitol Rally

Capitol RallyArmed with banners and filled with enthusiasm, more than 30 Mt. SAC students traveled to Sacramento on Monday to rally in favor of protecting higher education funding as part of the annual March in March rally.

They joined over 2,000 students from community college, CSU and UC campuses across California to have their voices heard on the steps of the state Capitol regarding the need for continued funding support of higher public education, financial aid, and controls on tuition increases.

Following the rally, Mt. SAC students made legislator visits and attended a meeting of the state Community Colleges Board of Governors. They were warmly welcomed by Board President Dr. Manuel Baca, who also chairs the Mt. SAC Board of Trustees.

Accompanying the Mt. SAC student delegation were Student Life Director Maryann Tolano-Leveque, Student Activities Coordinator Edwin Romero and Public Affairs Director Jill Dolan. (Posted 3-6-13)

Black History Month Concludes
With Celebration and Recognitions

Black History Event PhotosCongratulations to Aspire coordinators Tamieka Hunter and Tyee Griffin for producing an outstanding Black History Month Celebration for Aspire students and mentors on Feb. 28.

After a welcome from Dean Carolyn Keys, attendees were treated to an a cappella version of Mariah Carey’s “Hope,” sung by student Jevanie Merchant. A keynote address by youth mentor and Keith Hosea followed, leaving everyone energized.

Student Danielle Martin delivered a rousing and powerful reading of a poem she wrote in just two days. And Tabitha Plunkett, the winner of the recent Black History Speech contest, delivered an inspiring and powerful speech about imagery of black women.

Aspire also recognized Career & Transfer Services Job Developer Arnita Champion-Carter and Public Services Professor/Department Co-chair Paul Sharpe for their dedication and work with students.

Speaking to the event theme, “Success from Within,” Tamieka underscored the importance of the celebration as not only “an event where we understand our history and celebrate our accomplishments, but also to realize that the motivation and drive for our success comes from within.” (Posted 3-5-13)

Mt. SAC Revives Athletics Hall of Fame;
Inducts 8 Athletes, Coaches and Supporters

Athletics Hall Event

After a 20-year hiatus, Mt. SAC revived its public induction of outstanding former athletes, coaches, and supporters of the athletics program at a star-studded Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet on March 2 at the Pacific Palms Resort. Nearly 300 persons showed up to congratulate the eight honorees inducted into the 2013 Class in perpetuity. In addition, eight members of the 1992 and 1993 classes were formally inducted as well.

Athletics Hall Event“This event was a year-and-a-half in the making,” says Athletics Director Joe Jennum. “We were determined to do whatever it took to bring back the Hall of Fame ceremony to properly induct the exceptional men and women whose accomplishments not only brought distinction to themselves in their athletic professions but also brought distinction to Mt. SAC and its legendary athletics program. We’re now making the ongoing commitment to continue this as an annual Mt. SAC tradition as it had been.”

The Class of 2013 covered a broad range of sports—football, baseball, softball, track and field—and also acknowledged philanthropic efforts to support the college and athletics. The recognition segment featured video biographies, and personal remarks by award presenters, as well as moving acceptance remarks by each honoree. Joining a expansive group of legendary Mt. SAC Hall of Famers were:

  • Sophia B. Clarke, philanthropist/supporter (posthumous)
  • Willie Dancer, first Mt. SAC track/field national champion
  • Linda Garrison, California’s first female community college dean and athletics director for both men’s and women’s sports and pioneer for women in athletics
  • Dr. Ernie Gregoire, world-renowned track/field coach and Mt. SAC Dean
  • Art Mazmanian, Legendary Mt. SAC baseball coach and mentor
  • Pam Newton, All-American softball player and nationally recognized player/coach
  • Antonio Pierce, All-American football player, Super Bowl champion, and TV sports analyst
  • Don Ruh, legendary cross country/track coach and director of Mt. SAC Relays

Among those of the Classes of ’92 and ’93 were Debbie Cavion, the current associate dean of kinesiology and athletics at Mt. SAC, Mountie track standout and Mt. SAC job developer Zelda Bolden, and Bob Seagren, an outstanding Mountie track/field athlete, Olympic pole vault champion, and TV personality, who emceed the banquet ceremony. Among the dignitaries and sports elite who attended were Walnut Mayor Mary Su, 49er NFL star Delanie Walker, former NFL running back Leonard Russell, Olympic hurdler Dr. Mark Crear, former NBA star Pete Williams, and Olympic and world record hurdler Geoff Vanderstock.

The Hall of Fame Committee is already busy planning next year’s event and preparing the slate of honorees who will be inducted into the Class of 2014. Serving on the committee are Marc Ruh (chair), Clarence Brown, Debbie Cavion, Joe Jennum, William Lambert, Evans Roderick, and Brian Yokoyama. (Posted 3-11-13)

CA$H for College Helps Students with the Financial Aid Process

Cash for College EventMore than 1,200 persons participated in Mt. SAC’s annual CA$H for College event in February, which offered free financial aid assistance to area high school seniors and their parents.

“There is no better way to provide information about financial aid and get families to apply for financial aid than with one-on-one interface and assistance,” said Mt. SAC Financial Aid Director Chau Dao. “Our annual CA$H for College event reduces the fear about the financial aid process and provides hands-on professional help to local families.”

The event began with remarks by State Senators Ed Hernandez and Bob Huff, and Mt. SAC Trustees Dr. Manuel Baca, Dr. David Hall, and Rosanne Bader.

With the event organized into two sessions, Student Services staff provided hands-on assistance to students and their parents in completing and filing federal student aid (FAFSA) forms for the 2013-14 academic year. The event helped students maximize their financial aid prospects by meeting the early financial aid deadlines.

Information and application forms were also available from Admissions and other Mt. SAC student support services. So far this year, the Financial Aid Office has processed over 43,000 federal student aid applications and over 36,000 Board of Governors fee waivers. (Posted 2-27-13)

Compensation Study, Wellness Program,
and Construction Topped President's
Topics List at Spring Classified Meeting

Classified ConferenceClassified employees gathered for a meeting and professional development workshops Wednesday as the college prepared to welcome thousands of students on Monday for the start of the spring semester. President Bill Scroggins started off with good news, indicating that Proposition 30 has proven to be good for higher education and stopped the bleeding from ongoing budget cuts. He said that demand for education is higher than ever and is a reflection of the growing need for a skilled workforce.

Dr. Scroggins also provided an update on the classification-compensation study, which has taken longer than anticipated. Job classifications and job descriptions have been completed and are set to be distributed to employees within a few weeks. Yet to be done is the compensation section of the study, which may take up to five months to complete. He said it is likely that some out-of-class assignments will become permanent and those that have been working unofficially out of class may see their job descriptions updated. Dr. Scroggins, who called the study a tremendous resource for Mt. SAC, assured employees that no one’s level of compensation will be lowered. Those cases where some salaries require an increase will be reviewed as well, despite current limitations on resources.

Dr. Scroggins also touched upon the creation of a campuswide wellness program that will include incentives for participation in physical activities and weight loss programs. “Your health and well-being are partly the responsibility of the district as an employer,” he said. He added that by improving the health of college's employees, insurance premiums could be significantly reduced.

The campus should expect to see a reactivation of the college’s building program, with plans underway to issue bonds under Measure RR, which could generate between $185 million and $210 million. Projects include the building of a 2,300-space parking structure on the north end of campus near Parking Lot A, the Business and Computer Technology Center, and renovation of athletics facilities. Also in the works is construction of a food court where Building 5 once stood and a new student support services building -- dubbed the "Student Success Center" -- east of the Student Services Center (9B).

Following the meeting, employees were encouraged to take part in several sessions focusing on such topics as leadership, resume building and proper nutrition. --Jill Dolan (Posted 2-21-13)

Doug Todd Named International
Track/Field "Coach of the Year"

Doug Todd with view of the Mt. SAC Homer Lodge Stadium behind.Mt. SAC Athletic Special Events Director Doug Todd was honored as the 2012 International Track and Field Coaches Association's "Coach of the Year." Doug was honored for his commitment to Track & Field and Cross Country across the globe, through his work directing the Mt. SAC Athletic Special Events.

The award was presented by ITFCA Vice President Bob Fraley during the recent Run For The Dream Indoor Track and Field Invitational in Fresno.

"No one does more for track and field and cross country than Doug Todd and his staff at Mt. SAC," said Fraley. "Their work has made a huge impact on these sports and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who annually attend and compete at their events. This honor is most deserved, and we thank Coach Todd for all he has done for the sports of Track & Field and Cross Country."

Doug currently serves as professor, head women's cross country and assistant track and field coach at Mt. SAC. He also directs the Mt. SAC Athletic Special Events, which oversees the Mt. SAC Relays, LA84 Foundation Youth Days Track and Field Meet/Clinics, Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational, the Footlocker West Regional Cross Country Championships and the Mt. SAC International Track Camps. Each year over 100,000 people from various parts of the world attend or compete at a Mt. SAC athletic special event. (Posted 2-21-13)

Free Wellness Program Designed
to Help Boost Employee Health

Fitness Wellness Center

Beginning with the opening of the spring semester, Monday, Feb. 25, Mt. SAC employees can take advantage of a new program at the campus Wellness Center (Bldg. 27A) that provides free access to the cardio circuit room (M-Thurs., 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays 7 a.m.-3 p.m.); free baseline fitness testing and analysis of results; a free fitness program design; and free appointments with a personal fitness trainer.

Employees will also have access to an employee-only Zumba class on Mondays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., as well as a cardio dance class on Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

This Employee Wellness Program is in alignment with the college’s initiate to help employees get healthier, enjoy the consequent health benefits, and to avoid the negative health consequence that come with a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle.

An economic benefit also results from having healthier employees. Their productivity levels increase. Illness-related absences decrease, and health care premiums drop. For more information, contact the Wellness Center at ext. 4625. (Posted 2-21-13)

Student Chefs Serve Up 2 Top
Medals at SkillsUSA Regionals

Alan Kang and Brittany JohnsonMt. SAC students Alan Kang and Brittany Johnson cooked up a storm, winning first and second place respectively at the recent SkillsUSA Regional Competition at L.A. Trade Tech on Feb. 2.

Alan won the culinary arts competition, and Brittany placed second in the commercial baking event. Kang will advance to the SkillsUSA state competition in April in San Diego. The students’ participation in the regionals marks the first time the Mt. SAC Hospitality Management Program has sent students to the competition. Both students trained with adjunct professor Shelley Doonan. The program now boasts a new commercial culinary facility and three new culinary courses. (Posted 2-11-13)

Restricted Smoking Policy
Goes into Effect Feb. 25

Smoke in the Zone.Effective the start of the spring semester (Feb. 25), Mt. SAC will enforce its new Restricted Smoking Policy (AP3565). Designed to promote a healthier campus environment, the policy applies to everyone on campus—employees, students, and visitors.

It essentially requires smokers to smoke within 10 feet of designated smoking zones. There are nearly 20 of these zones conveniently established across campus, identified by visible signage and ash trays. These zone locations are posted on the college website, on campus directory signage, in the spring class schedule, and on campus maps (printed and online).

Compliance with the policy will be monitored and enforced by Public Safety officers, and warnings will be issued to violators during the initial weeks of implementation in the spring semester. However, as of March 11 going forward, violators will be cited and subjected to fines, which are addressed in AP3565.

The new policy—adopted by the trustees and student leaders—seeks to provide reasonable accommodation to those who choose to smoke on campus while acknowledging and responding to the health concerns of nonsmokers. Information about the policy is posted on the college homepage, student portal, marquees, and class schedules. Large vinyl banners (see graphic) will be visible soon across campus. For additional information about the policy, zone locations, and smoking cessation resources, please visit our webpage at (Posted 2-11-13)

Turf Teams Score Big in Student Challenge

Turf Team WinnersMt. SAC’s turf teams recently competed in the Ninth Annual Student Challenge at the Sports Turf Managers Association’s 24th Annual Conference and Exhibition in Daytona, Fla. Mt. SAC enrolled two teams into the competition – one coming in second and the other finishing fourth in the nation in the Two-Year College category.

For the second consecutive year there were females competing on teams and Mt. SAC was the only college to have an all-female team. In fact, for the first time, the women outnumbered the men. There were five females and three males competing this year.

Team 203 members are Kevin Marsh, Kay Hoevel, Joel Balsiger and Freddy Gonzalez. Team 207 members are Fleur Nooyen, Kelly De La Peza, Danielle Booth and Raquel Zepeda. The team coaches are Brian Scott, Professor of Horticulture and Chaz Perea, Adjunct Professor of Horticulture. Way to go Mt. SAC! (Posted 2-5-13)

2 Mounties Are Golden Mike Winners

Golden MikeRadio Broadcasting students Tamika Adams and James Rojas recently won a Golden Mike Award from the Radio Television News Association for their Best Public Affairs Show called “Interchange.” The Radio and Television News Association of Southern California annually honors the best in radio and television, ranging from the major networks to college stations. KSAK, Mt. SAC’s radio station, has won more than 20 Golden Mikes in the past seven years. (Posted 1-29-13)

Rogers to Receive Choral Educator Award

Brue Rogers plus studentsCongratulations to Music Professor Bruce Rogers who received word recently that the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) is presenting him with the "Pearson-Silver Burdett Choral Educator Award." The award honors excellence in choral education and performance. Bruce will receive his award during the CMEA Convention in Fresno next month. (Posted 1-24-13)

Sanchez Wins Top National Honor

SanchezMt. SAC Men’s Soccer Head Coach Juan Sanchez was named the 2012 National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Division III Community College Men’s Coach of the Year. Juan led his team to its fourth consecutive California Community College Athletic Association State Championship this season. He had been previously been a finalist for this prestigious award the past three seasons.

In the past four seasons, Juan has led the Mounties to a remarkable record of 82-5-11. This year’s team finished the season with a record of 21-3-1 record, giving Juan his eighth consecutive South Coast Conference Championship and Coach of the Year honor. (Posted 1-24-13)

Flying Team Soars With Conference Honors

Flying Team next to jetMt. SAC’s Flying Team is soaring high once again, bringing home three top trophies from the annual Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference. Seventy pilots from six colleges and universities from across the western U.S. competed in SAFECON, hosted by San Jose State University.

The team won the Top Two-Year School Trophy for an unprecedented 22nd consecutive year and the Top Safety Trophy for the second time. Mt. SAC students received 22 individual awards, including top finishes: Taylor Ewing, second place Top Pilot; Josh Spolar, first place Instrument Flight; and Nelson Contreras, third place Message Drop. Team members scored top 10 finishes in all 10 events at competition.Congrats to faculty advisers Robert and Linda Rogus. (Posted 1-24-13)

Mt. SAC Adds 130 Spring Classes,
Opening 4,000 Seats

Students looking at Schedule of ClassesAs students begin registering for the spring semester, Mt.SAC has added 130 classes, thanks to funding provided by Proposition 30, which was passed by California voters last November. The additional class sections mean the college can open up 4,000 seats in classes, providing access to 1,000 students.

“The passage of Proposition 30 not only saved us from cuts totaling $8.6 million, but provided $1 million in new money for Mt. SAC to add 130 class sections for the spring semester,” said President Bill Scroggins. “If Prop. 30 had failed, Mt SAC would have been forced to deny access to over 8,000 students. Instead, we are opening our doors to 1,000 more students.”

In response to student needs, Mt. SAC has added class sections for the highest demand courses for students attempting to complete requirements for transfer, complete degree and certificate requirements, and accelerate progress through writing, math, and reading classes.

Sections were added in chemistry, biology, math, English, and speech as well as general education courses needed for transfer, including political science, history, earth sciences, and psychology. Career preparation classes in nursing, child development, and hotel and restaurant management have also been added to the spring schedule.

“It is the college's goal to support students in their need to meet their educational goals in a more timely way and to provide courses for students needing to begin their education at Mt. SAC,” said Instruction VP Ginny Burley.

The additional classes are posted in an online addendum to the Spring Schedule of Classes. Students began registering for classes on Jan. 16. The spring semester begins Feb. 25.

Over its seven-year lifespan, Proposition 30 is expected to generate some $6 billion in additional state revenues annually, most of which will be earmarked for K-12 (89%) and community colleges (11%). Approximately $210 million in additional funding will go to community colleges this academic year. (Posted 1/22/13)

8 Legends to Be Honored at
Athletics Hall of Fame on March 2

Athletics Hall of Fame BanquetMt. SAC employees are invited to the college’s Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, March 2 at 6 p.m. at the Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry. Eight individuals will be honored:

  • Sophia B. Clarke (Posthumous Meritorious Award), Mt. SAC philanthropist and athletics program supporter
  • Willie Dancer (Athlete Award), first track and field national champion
  • Linda Garrison (Meritorious Award), athletics administrator and pioneer of women in athletics
  • Dr. Ernie Gregoire (Coach Award), world-renowned track and field coach
  • Art Mazmanian (Coach Award), legendary baseball coach and mentor to many pro players
  • Pam Newton (Athlete Award), All-American softball player and nationally recognized player/coach
  • Antonio Pierce (Athlete Award), All-American football player, Super Bowl Champion, ESPN Analyst
  • Don Ruh (Coach Award), legendary cross country/track coach and director of Mt. SAC Relays

“Mt. SAC has enjoyed a rich history of legendary athletics and athletes, and this banquet is our way of preserving that legacy and recognizing those who have distinguished themselves in professional sports, in coaching at Mt. SAC, and in supporting our program over the years in an outstanding manner,” said Joe Jennum, Mt. SAC Athletics Director. “We urge the entire Mt. SAC family to save the date—March 2— to show their support of these individuals by attending this historic event.”

Formal invitations with ticket information will be sent soon campuswide. (Posted 1/22/13)


Continue to 2012 Campus Connection Features