Campus Connection

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


News & Information

Athletics Wins a Record 4th National Cup


For a record fourth time, the Mt. SAC Athletics Program has won the National Association of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) Cup. Mt. SAC's win also marks the first time a California program has won the award for consecutive years (2012-13 and 2013-14).

The NATYCAA award recognizes outstanding athletic programs' success at the two-year college level. For the 2013-14 year, the Mounties won two state championships in wrestling and women's track, along with four second-place state finishes in men's soccer, women's basketball, men's swimming, and softball.

Mt. SAC has also placed second in the vying for the award five times, which is also a record.

(Posted 10-10-14)

Mt. SAC Celebrates Alumni Day Oct. 18

Alumni Day

Mt. San Antonio College will celebrate its more than one million alumni with a full day of activities at the second annual Mt. SAC Alumni Day on Saturday, Oct. 18, beginning at 1 p.m.

Mountie pride will be loud and proud with over seven hours of speakers, shows, and tours as Mt. SAC showcases the successes of its many alumni, faculty, and current students.

Just some of the activities scheduled include a presentation by alumnae Kim and Ericka Harrison, famed television writers for “Criminal Minds” and the new hit show “How to Get Away with Murder,” agriculture and wildlife sanctuary tours, planetarium shows, and a music faculty concert in the Feddersen Recital Hall.

The day's event will be capped off with the top-ranked Mt. SAC football team taking on Citrus College at 6 p.m., preceded by a pre-game fly-over by the college's nationally respected flying team and a reception with a barbecue, music, and lots of Mountie spirit.

For more information on Alumni Day, call the Mt. SAC Alumni Association at (909) 274-5443 or check online at

(Posted 10-10-14)

Mt. SAC Awarded NSF Grant for Science Teachers' Program

Richard StrandMt. SAC is the recent recipient of a three-year $624,668 grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a program to encourage and train future science and math teachers.

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Teacher Preparation Program will provide academic support, teaching opportunities, enrichment activities and research experience for current Mt. SAC students who are interested in becoming middle and high school science and math teachers.

“The goal is to get science and math students to become science and math teachers,” said Chemistry Professor Iraj Nejad, who is leading the program along with Chemistry Professor Charles Newman.

The program will operate with two cohort groups of 15 to 20 current Mt. SAC students who have completed four transferable math and science courses with a GPA of 2.80 or higher.

One of the highlights of the program is to have the students participate in summer research programs at UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton. Another highlight will include work experience at the Mt. SAC Summer Science Exploration camp in which cohort students will assist in teaching middle and high school students. In addition, students will enroll in a Science and Math Classroom Practices course offered by UC Irvine.  The cohort students will also gain instruction experience as supplemental instructors and tutors in their major areas.

The first step will be to recruit Mt. SAC science and math students during spring 2015 for the first cohort group to begin in fall 2015.  The long-term goal of the program is that, once it is developed and implemented, it will be sustained by Mt. SAC's Teacher Prep Institute.

(Posted 9-23-14)

Professor's Play Earns East Coast Praise

Richard StrandTheater Professor Richard Strand's play “Butler” garnered accolades in theater reviews including The New York Times as it made its debut this summer with the New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Branch, New Jersey.

“The show is easy enough to review. Just call it splendid,” writes Ken Jaworowski of The New York Times.

“ ‘Butler' is an excellent and engrossing play laced with humor,” says New Jersey Review.

The play is part comedy, part historical drama, and part biography, which involves a real historical event at the beginning of the American Civil War. The story focuses on Major General Benjamin Butler of the Union Army, whose fort in Virginia is expecting an attack when three escaped slaves appear before the general seeking sanctuary. The ensuing events set up the debate over what is right versus what is legal.

(Posted 9-19-14)

New Mt. SAC Child Development Center
Plays a Dual Role in Education
College to hold grand opening for new complex that
serves children, students, families

Child Development CenterImagine a service that allows people to return to school, provides quality childcare, and serves as a hands-on training facility. That's exactly what Mt. San Antonio College‘s new Child Development Center will offer the college community's children, students, and families.

“Moving into a larger modern facility allows us serve more children and more students,” said Mt. SAC Child Development Center Director Tamika Addison about the new center that opened to students last spring and open for childcare a month ago.

The 33,800-square foot, four-building complex houses child development classrooms, labs, observation spaces, and other required facilities to provide quality education and childcare for up to 162 children, infants to five years old.

Mt. SAC will celebrate the grand opening of the Child Development Center's new complex (building 70) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 26, at 10 a.m. Assemblyman Curt Hagman, Senator Bob Huff, and college administrators will be on hand for the ceremony.

“Childcare is sometimes the biggest barrier for people who want to return to college and continue their education,” said Addison, who added that over 200 families each semester use the childcare services they offer.

But the center's services are much more than babysitting or just watching the children.

“We are concerned with their early education as well. We work with the whole child,” said Addison. “We prepare the children to do well later in school in kindergarten and elementary school.”

The childcare program at Mt. SAC has received national accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, which serves as the program's seal of approval as a quality childcare center. Each semester, there is a waiting list of about 150 for people who want to get their children into the program.

The center also is also one of very few childcare centers that offer subsidized programs for families that qualify. Between 18 and 25 percent of most families' income is spent on childcare. For some families, that subsidy, offered through three sources including the Department of Education, is a lifesaver. A subsidized food program offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture is also available for children.

In another role, the center also serves as a training facility for more than 50 child development students every semester who serve as assistant teachers and received practical, hands-on training.

“We are training the area's future childcare workers,” she said.

Once they finish the program, the students will fill childcare positions with programs like Head Start and will be in demand because of the training they have received.

“The childcare field is constantly growing, and because of the need for trained childcare workers, childcare centers and programs like this are in demand,” said Addison.

According to Employment Development Department statistics, new job growth in the area of childcare is up 46 percent in California, and the childcare field is ranked in the top 50 fastest growing job fields in the state.

“The jobs are there. The question is can we meet the demand,” she said.

The grand opening for the complex comes more than four years after its groundbreaking in June 2010. The $18.5-million complex was the first of the campus construction projects funded under the college's $353-million Measure RR bond.

(Posted 9-19-14)

Digging Into a Future Food Services Building

Construction has recently begun on the campus' future Food Services Building, which will replace the Campus Café.

Food ServicesThe $12.7 million project will construct a new building just south of the present Campus Café on the site where Building 5 once stood.

The new 13,500-square-foot facility will seat approximately 90 people for interiordining and over 200 for outside dining on the east, west, and south terraces. The new building will house several new food stations, including room for a deli, a pizza location, a grill station, Asian cuisine, and a coffee shop as well as self-serve cold display cases.

The Campus Café will be demolished after the new facility opens.

The new Food Services Building is expected to be completed by December 2015.

(Posted 9-19-14)

Emergency Preparedness Week WebcastMt. SAC Art Gallery Revisits
Exploration of Figurative Art
with "The Way of Flesh II"

The Mt. San Antonio College Art Gallery will kick off its 2014-15 season with “The Way of Flesh II,” which runs Sept. 18 through Oct. 16, at the Art Gallery. This exhibit is free and open to the public. 

“The Way of Flesh II” displays the legacy of figurative art through the eyes and hands of three generations of contemporary artists, without geographical limitations. By contextualizing, juxtaposing, and challenging the limitations of traditional media, this exhibition offers the audience a complexity of inventive approaches to rendering the figure in the classical tradition. “The Way of Flesh II” picks up 20 years later after the original “The Way of Flesh” exhibit at the Mt. SAC gallery in 1994.

Participating artists are Sigmund Abeles, Sharon Allicotti, Juliette Aristides,Steven Assael, Ron Brown, Dawn Butler, Thomas Butler, Wes Christensen, Domenic Cretara, Dirk Hagner, F. Scott Hess, Jared Linge, Pamela Diaz Martinez, Daina Mattis, John Nava,Odd Nerdrum, Ryan Schroeder, Robert Schultz, Luis E. Serrano, Betty Shelton, Richard Shelton, Cynthia Sitton, Thomas Stubbs, Ruth Weisberg, Jerome Witkin, and Peter Zokosky.

Daina MattisJuliet AristidesA special opening reception will be held Thursday, Sept. 18, 4:30 to 7 p.m., in the Art Gallery. An artists' panel for the exhibit will be held Sunday, Sept. 28, 1 to 4 p.m. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Tuesday nights, 5 to 7:30 p.m.

The Art Gallery is located in Building 1B. Admission is free. For more information, call the Art Gallery at (909) 274-4328.

(Posted 9-16-14)

Emergency Preparedness Week WebcastEmergency Workshops Provided Live In Person and Online

As a part of Emergency Preparedness Week, important workshops will be provided for employees, including training on their responsibilities as disaster service workers, earthquake preparedness and fire safety. For more information about the workshops, visit and click on “Workshop Calendar” or call Professional & Organizational Development at ext. 4504. Space is still available for special speakers and demonstrations, including:

In addition, three workshops will be webcast live at as well as recorded and reposted with captioning:

  • Understanding Earthquakes: Science, Monitoring, Impacts and Preparedness 
    Monday, Sept. 15, from 9:30-11 a.m.  
  • Fire Safety Preparedness: Safety Reminders for the Home
    Tuesday, Sept. 16, from 9-10 a.m.
  • Psychological First Aid, Physical and Emotional Recovery Techniques
    Thursday, Sept. 18, from 10-11 a.m.

(Posted 9-12-14)

Emergency Preparedness Week
Sept. 15 -19

Emergency Preparedness WeekMt. SAC will host Emergency Preparedness Week Sept 15-19 with five days of workshops, displays, and drills designed to make the college community more aware of what to do before and during an emergency.

Workshops on everything from first aid to fire extinguisher training to caring for pets during a disaster are being offered. A keynote address on “Understanding Earthquakes” featuring a Cal Tech scientist Erin Burkett will be held on Monday, Sept. 15, at 9:30 a.m., in the Design Technology Center auditorium, Building 13-1700.

Emergency coordinators are also conducting emergency drills at surprise times and locations Wednesday, Sept. 17, between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. The campus is encouraged to review:

Exhibits and displays from community groups and vendors such as the Safe N Ready, Safe T-Proof, and the American Red Cross will also be part of the event. Participants can experience an 8.0 magnitude earthquake through the Shake House.

For a complete listing of workshops, visit and click on “Workshop Calendar” or call Professional & Organizational Development at ext. 4504.

(Posted 8-29-14)

Flex Day Kicks Off the New Academic Year
Additional growth funding helps community colleges

Dr. Audrey Yamagata-Noji Honored with Rice AwardMt. SAC prepared for the new school year with Flex Day, which launched with Fall Convocation's general sessions. The day included 17 employee breakout sessions covering topics ranging from stress management to IT security to psychotherapeutic teaching.

In two separate faculty and classified opening sessions, President Bill Scroggins focused on the uptick in the economy and state funding, including an additional 11 percent in growth funding for community colleges this year.

“Mt. SAC has been fortunate to be able to grow, and that's an important point because those funds become part of the budget,” Scroggins said.

Overall, the community college system saw about 2.75% growth, Scroggins said. But not all community colleges grew.

“Now we are in a position to take advantage of the growth funding and better serve students,” he said.

In addition to the improving economy, President Scroggins also commented on improvements on campus, which included the grading in preparation for an Athletics complex, a new food court and a future parking structure.

Breakout sessions such as “The Tao of Professorship: Psychotherapeutic Teaching,” “Fight It, Flee It, or Fake It? Managing Personal and Professional Conflicts,” and “Rich Media–Teaching with the Hidden Treasures” were provided during Flex Day.

Other offerings covered discrimination awareness, DVD captioning, transfer pathways, helping non-native speakers succeed, curriculum, collaborative teaching, copyright and fair use, stress management, IT security, Disabled Student Programs and Services, the Writing Center, reading across the disciplines, and the using Planetarium for student learning.

A question and answer session was offered at both opening meetings as well as a presentation on accreditation by Accreditation Liaison Officer Irene Malmgren and Faculty Accreditation Coordinator Kristina Allende. Other presentations were also made by Faculty Association, Academic Senate, Classified Senate, CSEA chapters, and the VOICES committee.

(Posted 8-29-14)

Child Development Complex Opens

Dr. Audrey Yamagata-Noji Honored with Rice AwardThe Child Development Complex fully opened this August, welcoming children into its facilities for the first time. 

Mt. SAC will celebrate the grand opening of the complex (Building 70) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by guided tours on Friday, Sept. 26, at 10 a.m.

The 33,800-square foot, four-building complex houses child development classrooms, labs, observation spaces, and other facilities to provide child care for up to 162 children.

The $18.5-million complex was the first of the campus construction projects funded under the college's $353-million Measure RR bond. The complex opened to students and classes last spring.

(Posted 8-29-14)

Dr. Audrey Yamagata-Noji Honored with State Diversity Award

Dr. Audrey Yamagata-Noji Honored with Rice Award

Congratulations to Student Services Vice President Dr. Audrey Yamagata-Noji who was honored recently with the Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award in Sacramento.

Yamagata-Noji was named for the award for establishing numerous programs that provide mentorship and tutoring services for underrepresented students. She has been a champion of diversity and equity programs at Mt. SAC that support student success, including the college's Bridge Program for first-time college students, the Arise Program for Asian and Pacific Islander students, and the Aspire Program for African-American students. The award was established to honor community college staff, districts, colleges and programs that have made the greatest contribution toward diversity and equity at community colleges.

“Dr. John W. Rice wanted all community college students to be treated equally, fairly, and with respect. All he wanted was for everyone to have an equal chance at an education, and the winners of the award today want the same thing,” said California Community Colleges Board of Governors President and Mt. SAC Trustee Dr. Manuel Baca.

The award is named after the former California Community Colleges Board of Governors member and the father of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

“For my father, being a part of the community college system was not just a profession, but it was a passion and indeed a mission and a calling,” said former the U.S. Secretary of State, who delivered the keynote address at the 14th annual awards ceremony. “He recognized that education is not a right, it's a privilege and that someone stood up for him and that he must stand up for others.”

Yamagata-Noji has served as Student Services Vice President at Mt. SAC since 1996. She has also served on the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education for over 30 years and is currently serving as board president.

(Posted 7-15-14)

Health Career Students Win 8 Gold Medals

AwardsCongratulations to Mt. SAC health career students who recently won eight gold medals at the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) national competition in Orlando, FL.

“We had 11 competitors this year, and all 11 ranked nationally as finalists. That is quite an achievement,” said Mt. SAC psychiatric technician professor and HOSA advisor Mary Ellen Reyes. “Being involved in and competing in HOSA is a life-changing experience for students.”

Deborah DelgadoFelicia DunnJessica Munoz, andCecily French all won gold medals in the biomedical debate competition. Nichole Campos, James Nma OnwukaBlanca Tovar-Garcia, and Denise Workman all won gold medals in the creative problem solving competition. Mercedes HamiltonDarlene Cabrera and Lori Osterman Fructuoso were finalists in the creative problem solving event.

More than 6,000 secondary and post-secondary students competed in 56 different health-related events at the national leadership event held June 25-28.

(Posted 7-08-14)

Academic Senate Honors Outstanding
Faculty, Management, Staff


At the recent Faculty and Manager Recognition Ceremony, the Academic Senate presented its Outstanding Faculty Awards to Political Science Professor James Stone and posthumously to Communication Professor Phillip Maynard. The Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award honored Learning Assistance Professor Mariaelena Gomez-Lecaro, and Outstanding Classified Awards went to Chemistry Lab Tech Tatiana Lopez and Educational Advisor Linda Diaz.

The Debbie Boroch Developmental Educator of the Year Award went to Matt Burgos, a faculty member in the Theater Department.

The Senate also presented its “10+ Awards" to individuals and departments in specific categories including:

Dance Department––Curriculum (for being the first to place their courses related in content into families per new state repeatability guidelines)

Agricultural Sciences Department––Degree and Certificate Requirement (for laddering certificates for students)

Glenda Bro and Terri Long––Education Program Development (for the research, planning, and implementation of the Pathways Initiative)

Reading Task Force––Standards and Policies Regarding Student Preparation and Success (for quickly and collegially addressing an important component of student assessment and placement for compliance with the Ed Code)

Tom Edson––Governance Structures (for working tirelessly to bring to the Senate's attention areas and issues in which faculty voices are needed.)

Distance Learning Committee––Faculty roles and involvement in accreditation (for planning and staging a mock accreditation visit of Mt. SAC's distance learning courses to ensure quality and legal compliance)

Beta Meyer––Professional Development (for restructuring and improving faculty professional development opportunities and restoring faculty oversight of conference and travel)

Michelle Grimes-Hillman––Processes for program review (for revising, streamlining, and improving curricular review processes)

Eric Kaljumagi––Processes for Institutional Planning and Budget Development (for leading the Strategic Plan Task Force and compiling the Mt. SAC Strategic Plan)

Scott Guth––Other Academic and Professional (for championing the restoration of testing services funding)

Retiring faculty and managers were also recognized, including Clarence Brown, Carolyn Kuykendall, Mike Goff, Gail Gonzales, Paul Hischar, Max Lizarraga, Paul Sharpe, Robin Tripp, and Kathlene Watanabe, who collectively provided 150 years of service to the college.

(Posted 6-06-14)

Employee Service Honored at Classy Awards

Memorial DayClassified employees were honored on May 21 at the Classified Senate's annual Classy Awards production in the Clarke Theater.

Employees were recognized by increments of service to the college: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years of service. The lone 30-year honoree was Barbara Soriano. Twenty-five-years honorees were Maria Cetina, Kathleen Clarke, Alice Duerden, Guillermo Monterroso, David Quiroz, Joe Vasquez, and Kevin Wiley. New employees and retirees were recognized as well.

Special awards went to those employees who were selected as “distinguished” in several categories. Winners and their awards were Kathleen Clarke (Commitment to Student Service), Troy Lyon (Outstanding Achievement), Jazmin Vargas (Rookie of the Year), Patti Boyer (College Appreciation), Rick Nguyen (Best Attitude), Rondell Schroeder (Citizenship), Edwin Romero (College Leadership), Carlos Duarte (Campus Improvement), Larry Poncetta (College Excellence), and Clarence “CB” Brown (Lifetime Achievement).

The Classys were part of a full week of activities designed to honor classified employees and to celebrate their many contributions to the college. Other activities were a bingo party, a lunch hosted by managers, a nature walk through the Wildlife Sanctuary, goofy golf, and a pre-retirement planning workshop.

(Posted 6-06-14)

Veterans Honored for Memorial Day

Memorial DayThe Veterans Service Center and the Mt. SAC Student Veterans Club paid homage to fallen service members for Memorial Day with displays that honored veterans from all service branches.

In front of the Veterans Service Center along Miracle Mile, small flags dotted the walkway along with biographies and pictures of fallen veterans for students and staff to see.

“I was moved by the amount of people who stopped to read each line of the biographies of the fallen soldiers we highlighted,” said Mt. SAC student and Army veteran Nellie Letizio.  “It helped me realize that there are people out there who took time to commemorate Memorial Day beyond the traditional barbecue.”

The backroom of the center was also turned into a memorial with pictures of memorial sights across the nation dedicated to veterans from wars and conflicts throughout the country's history.

(Posted 6-06-14)

Flying Team Wins National Title

Flying TeamCongratulations to Aeronautics professors Robert and Linda Rogus and Mt. SAC Flying Team who won the Top Community College Trophy at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's national competition at Ohio State University.

With 76 points, Mt. SAC topped second-place Colorado Northwestern Community College with 27 points and third-place Central Texas College with 14 points to win the two-year college trophy. Mt. SAC's Josh Spolar (West Covina) won second place in the instrumental flight event, and Evelyn Marquez (Pomona) and Spolar placed fifth in message drop event. Manutea Maurin (Diamond Bar) was Mt. SAC top scoring contestant with 32 points.

The airmeet included over 275 competitors from 27 teams that included Southern Illinois University, Ohio State, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and the U.S. Air Force Academy. Overall, Mt. SAC placed 14th overall against both university and two-year colleges.

The win marks the sixth time since 2000 that Mt. SAC has won the national award.

(Posted 5-23-14)

IT Wins Chancellor's Technology Award

Class PassCongratulations to Chief Technology Officer Vic Belinski, Enterprise Application Systems Director Bob Hughes, and the Information Technology Enterprise Application Systems Team for winning the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office's Technology Focus Award.

The award recognizes Mt. SAC's work in implementing the system programming and web design aspects of the Foothill Transit Class Pass for Student Transportation program. The team created a web application that registers a Foothill Transit bus pass in the college's student information system when a student swipes his or her ID card. It allows a staff member to verify enrollment and issue a bus pass to students in less than five seconds. Data is then sent each night to Foothill Transit to activate or deactivate bus passes.

So far, some 8,500 students have received a free Class Pass, which created additional passenger demand for expanded bus service along routes that serve the college. In response, Foothill Transit added buses to meet that demand. Not only has the program increased student use of mass transit overall, it has also helped reduce area traffic congestion and relieved overcrowding in campus parking lots.

(Posted 5-22-14)

Students Win Gold at SkillsUSA State Competition
Two students qualify for the national SkillsUSA tournament

SkillsUSAMt. SAC vocational education students won three gold medals and a bronze at the SkillsUSA 47th Annual State Leadership Conference competition on April 24-27 in San Diego.

Jose Gomez (Azusa) won the gold medal in the electronic technology competition, and Hyun Cha (Rowland Heights) won the gold in telecommunications cabling. Both will represent Mt. SAC at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference competition on June 23-27 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Sukhdav David Singh (Chino) took the gold medal in technical design, and Samuel Arrieta (Monrovia) won the bronze medal in telecommunications cabling.

The SkillsUSA championships are showcases for the best career and technical students in the country. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. More than 5,600 students are expected to compete at this year's national event.

Professor Max Lizarraga is the campus advisor for the SkillsUSA competitors.

(Posted 5-15-14)

Faculty Appreciation Events Announced

Thank YouThe Mt. SAC Faculty Association will sponsor two events in May to show faculty members just how much they are appreciated.

The Retirement/Tenure Tea is scheduled for Tuesday, May 27, noon to 2 p.m., in the Faculty Association Office (Bldg. 23, Room 5100).

Faculty Appreciation Day is set for Friday, May 30, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Student Life Center (9C). Lunch, Midway games, and prizes—including a drawing for an Apple iPad—are all part of the festivities.

To make the required reservations for each of these events, call the Faculty Association Office at ext. 4531.

(Posted 5-15-14)

Mt. SAC Honors 20 Students of Distinction

Students of DistinctionMt. SAC will honor 20 Students of Distinction at its annual awards ceremony and luncheon on Saturday, May 17 at 11:30 a.m. at the Royal Vista Country Club, 20055 E. Colima Road, in Walnut.

These annual awards recognize students for competitive, academic, and personal achievement as well as outstanding service to the college.Recipients of this year's Academic Achievement award, who earned a minimum 3.75 GPA, are Aldo Hadiwijaya, Sijin Yan, Veronica Chavez, and Eunice Briët.

Recipients of the Service Achievement award, who earned a minimum 3.0 GPA and provided notable volunteer service to the college and community, are Cinthia Rios, Cynthia Nunes Robinson, Edgar Morelos, and Melissa E. Candell.

Recipients of Personal Achievement award, who were selected based on a minimum 2.75 GPA and overcame personal hardship, are Alexandra Nina Latorre, Chloekae B. Nepomuceno, Heather Dawn Melendez, Jayson Amrit Heyer, Jazmin Salgado, Nicholas Ryan Lazzareschi, and Rhonda S. Walker.

Recipients of the Competitive Achievement award, who earned a minimum 3.0 GPA and earned distinction as part of a competitive student group or team, are Adrian Ramirez, Brody Goens, Edward Isao Sanchez, Nathan Kenji Pike, Tiziana Ruiz Dominguez.

Tickets for the awards luncheon are $15 and must be purchased by May 6 through the Student Life Office: (909) 274-4525.

(Posted 5-2-14)

Diabetes Lecture Inspired
Employee Lifestyle Changes

Rick Mystrom

Several employees who attended the April 21 diabetes lecture by author Rick Mystrom indicated that they were inspired to make simple diet and lifestyle changes to improve their overall health and avoid the national diabetes epidemic. Rick shared his life journey and how he has managed the disease since he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes over 50 years ago.

He offered a number of easy behavioral changes that could actually reverse the disease or make it very manageable. The tips are outlined in his new books, “My Wonderful Life with Diabetes” and “What Should I Eat?

At the Mt. SAC lecture, Rick presented a practical approach to diabetes management, noting, “a perfect diet does not lead to a perfect life—only a boring life.” He described how one can develop good eating patterns that evolve into good eating habits. “And all of that results into becoming healthier, trimmer and feeling better,” he said.

The Rick Mystrom presentation aligned with the goals of the college's Employee Health & Wellness Program. His books can be ordered through his website:

(Posted 5-2-14)

Forensics Wins Back-to-Back National Titles

Forensics TeamFor the second straight year and the third time in the last four years, the Mt. SAC Forensics Team won the Phi Rho Pi national speech title at the national tournament held April 7-12 at Casper and Northwest colleges in Denver.

Mt. SAC edged out rival Moorpark College for the community college title, while Matthew Schaupp won first place in parliamentary debate and Barrett Tate placed fifth for Bovero-Tabor Award, which recognizes the top individual speakers. All together, Mt. SAC won seven gold medals, five silver medals, and nine bronze medals.

This championship victory marks the ninth time Mt. SAC has won the Phi Rho Pi national title. Combined with four wins as the top community college at the four-year college national tournament, the championship marks the 13th time in the last 20 years that Mt. SAC has been recognized as the top community college in the nation.

Professors Jeff Archibald, Danny Cantrell, and Roger Willis-Raymondo coach the team.

(Posted 5-2-14)

Mt. SAC Jazz Groups Win
Top Honors at Reno Festival

Jazz GroupsCongratulations to our Jazz Ensemble and vocal jazz group, Frontline, each having won first place prizes in their respective divisions at the 52nd Annual Reno Jazz Festival recently held at the University of Nevada, Reno.

This year's win marks the first time Frontline and director William McIntosh has captured the festival's top vocal prize. In addition to the group win, member Tama Shutts won the “Outstanding College Vocal Musician Award.” His renditions of Burt Bacharach's “Wives and Lovers” and Earth, Wind and Fire's “Shining Star” earned rave reviews.

Under the direction of Jeff Ellwood, the Mt. SAC Jazz Ensemble captured first place honors in the Community College Band category for the fourth time within the last five years.

We are all very proud of these two incredible ensembles for their teamwork, musicianship and extraordinary leadership.

(Posted 5-2-14)

Health Career Students Win Silver and Gold
at State, Advance to Nationals

Health and CareerCongratulations to Mt. SAC's Health Career students who won six gold medals and six silver medals at the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) state leadership conference held March 29-April 1 in Anaheim. More than 2,100 students competed at the state competition.

Nichole Campos, James Nma Onwuka, and Blanca Tovar-Garcia won gold medals in the creative problem solving competition. Felicia Dunn, Jessica Munoz, and Cecily French won gold medals in the biomedical debate competition.

Darlene Cabrera, Mercedes Hamilton, and Lori Osterman Fructuoso took silver medals in creative problem solving. Deborah Delgado, Irma Macias, and Denise Workman won silver medals in biomedical debate.

All 12 Mt. SAC students will advance to the national HOSA competition to be held June 25-28 at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Professor Mary-Ellen Reyes is the team's advisor.

Parachutes & Ladders XIII Conference
4/18/14, 8:30 am-3:30 pm | Design Technology Center

Dr. Yeap Ban HarInternationally renowned Singapore Math expert Dr. Yeap Ban Har will address the conference theme, “Teach Less, Learn More: Tools for Sharing, Learning, and Growth” at this annual gathering focused on effective teaching methods. Lecture and breakout sessions will explore critical thinking, problem solving, lesson study, questioning techniques, collaboration, and investigation.

Mt. SAC employees may pre-register online at; all others at: Onsite registrations accepted at the door. For conference information, contact Martha Hall at (909) 274-6381 or

*Anyone requiring interpreting services should make arrangements through the Mt. SAC Human Resources Office: (909) 274-4225.

Bursar's Office moves to Admin Bldg. May 1

To more efficiently serve students, the Bursar's Office is moving to the lower level lobby of the Administration Building (4), effective Thursday, May 1. The last day of service in the Bursar's current location (9A) is Monday, April 28.

Hours of operation will remain Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students will continue to go to the Bursar's Office for payment of:

  • Registration fees for credit courses
  • Parking permit and parking citation fees
  • Enrollment verification fees
  • Production card fees
  • Mandatory and optional fees for certain classes (e.g., field trips)

Photo ID's will no longer be issued by the Bursar after April 21. Students will obtain ID's in the SacBookRac after that date.

The Bursar's new space will house a HigherOne student refund ATM as well as computer stations to allow students to handle various business transactions online via their portals.

Two Instructors Win Starbucks
During the Faculty Directory Event

Congratulations to Barbara Gonzales and Kathleen High, Mt. SAC instructors from the Learning Assistance Center. They submitted their contact information to the online directoryand will be rewarded with a Starbuck's gift card. Both names were drawn at random from the pool of faculty who submitted their contact information.

Picture of Terri Long drawing the winners

Dr. Terri Long (pictured), Dean, Instructional Services, will distibute the prizes.

Self Service Screen captureIt is not too late, you can win a Starbuck's Gift Card too!

To be entered in the next Starbuck's gift card drawing, simply login to the portal (, click the Update Contact Information link on the Faculty tab (as shown to the right), and enter your information. Whether you drink coffee or not, please update your professional contact information regularly, especially if you move offices or change phone numbers. Your students will thank you and the college administration thanks you.

(Posted 4-04-14)

Flying Team Headed to Nationals

Flying TeamCongratulations to the Mt. SAC Flying Team which will advance to the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's nation competition after recently qualifying with a third-place finish at the regional airmeet hosted by Embry-Riddle Aeronautic University in Arizona.

At the 2014 Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) airmeet, Mt. SAC also claimed its 23rd consecutive regional community college award as the top two-year school in the competition. With 112 points, Mt. SAC placed third behind first-place Embry-Riddle with 333 points and second-place San Jose State University with 114 points.

In addition to the top two-year school award, Mt. SAC took second in the flight event rankings. Manutea Maurin placed second overall in the short-field landings event, and Josh Spolar took second in the instrument flight event.

 The top three regional teams receive invitations to the national competition. The national SAFECON airmeet will be hosted by Ohio State University on May 12-17.  

Over the years, the Mt. SAC Flying Team has consistently earned top honors as one of the best collegiate flying teams in the country. The team has won the Top Community College trophy at the regional competition every year since 1991. Mt. SAC has won the Top U. S. Community College award at the national airmeet in 1984, 1985, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2007.

Aeronautics Professor Robert Rogus serves as advisor for the Flying Team.

(Posted 3-14-14)

Design Engineering Team Wins Manufacturing Competition

Industrial Design Engineering TeamCongratulations to Mt. SAC's Industrial Design Engineering Team who won the design competition at the AeroDef Manufacturing Summit and Exposition on Feb. 25-27 at the Long Beach Convention Center.

The team's multi-platform simulator was the winning entry in the community college/trade school competition. After weeks of planning and work, students completed the project and adapted it to simulate flight, car racing, and a roller coaster. It also has the capacity to simulate other activities and sports.

Orange County Wheelchair Repair and Maintenance owner Mike Williams donated the motors used for the simulator, an example of the Design Engineering Program's cooperative relationships with industry.

Professors Max Lizarraga and Steve James serve as advisors for the team.

(Posted 3-14-14)

Turf Teams Trample Competition in Texas

Turf TeamCongratulations to Horticulture Professors Brian Scott and Chaz Perea whose Turf Team captured a national championship college competition at the Sports Turf Managers Association's 25th annual conference held on Jan. 21-25 in San Antonio, Texas.

With a total score of 136, Mt. SAC's first-place championship team set a scoring record for all two-year college teams over the past three years. The first-place finish comes with a $4,000 award that will be used for the turf program at Mt. SAC.

Two Mt. SAC teams, Turf Teams 202 and 209, competed against students from 31 two-year colleges and universities from throughout the country, including teams from Purdue and Virginia Tech.

Turf Team 209 tied for third place in the two-year college division. (Posted 3-2-14)

Classified, Faculty Flex Day Focuses on Growth, Technology


A joint classified and faculty Spring Flex Day afforded two opening general sessions and provided nearly 20 employee breakout sessions with topics ranging from union contracts to Adobe Acrobat to the cosmos.

During two separate faculty and classified opening sessions, President Bill Scroggins focused on the college's current state of enrollment and a potential increase in future funding from the state.

“There's more money on the horizon—that's the good news,” Scroggins told faculty and staff. “The challenge going forward will be to grow enrollment to qualify for the funding.”

Recently, Gov. Brown proposed a 3% hike in growth funding and an overall funding increase for community colleges of 11%, Scroggins said. So with additional funding on the line, Mt. SAC is doing what it can to qualify for those funds.

“We are positioning ourselves to reach the growth target,” he said. One of the ways the college is trying to grow enrollment is through the use of social media.

The flip side of the funding increase for growth is that enrollment is currently down. Enrollment for fall was basically flat, and for the first day of the spring semester, unduplicated credit enrollment was down 1.8%.

Scroggins said the shift in the enrollment pattern could be tied to an improving economy and job market. He said growth at community colleges has not been uniform throughout the state with coastal area colleges experiencing declines in enrollment while inland area colleges are seeing some growth. Conversely, coastal areas are also seeing lower unemployment at about 6% while inland areas are experiencing higher unemployment at around 9%.

Another $2 million in funding is available for Student Services, but there are certain requirements for those funds tied to the Student Success Act. One such requirement will be major changes in student priority registration as early as next summer.

“There's new money coming, but it comes with a lot of strings,” he said.

President Scroggins also introduced the technology-themed sessions with the question: “Does technology drive teaching or does teaching drive technology?”

Breakout sessions such as “Copyright and Fair Use in an Open Access World,” “DVD Captioning,” and “Adobe Acrobat Basics” were offered during Flex Day.

Other offerings covered CSEA contracts, street self-defense, campus safety, student emotional issues, CalPERS, student behavioral issues, decision making, SB440, content review and requites, student success, study abroad, and distance learning as well as tours of the planetarium and the wellness center.

Opening session presentations were also given by Student Services VP Audrey Yamagata-Noji, Academic Senate President Dan Smith, Learning Assistance Center Director Bailey Smith, Supervisor of the Writing Center Nicole Blean, and Web Specialist Mark Fernandez.

(Posted 2-25-14)

High-5 to Forensics Coaches
for Tournament Awards

Forensics Team winCongratulations to Mt. SAC Forensics coaches Danny Cantrell, Jeff Archibald, and Roger Willis, whose team captured third place in the overall sweepstakes at the Sunset Cliffs Classic Speech and Debate Tournament, held Feb. 7-9 at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego.

Competing against 44 colleges and universities, Mt. SAC students won a total of 12 awards, including two first-place awards. Mt. SAC's Matthew Schaupp was recognized as the top community college speaker at the tournament, and Professor Cantrell was recognized with the Quintilian Service Award for his contribution to coaching, judging, and speech tournament administration.

This spring, the team is looking forward to competing at the state community college championship, the national championship in Denver, and an international tournament in Paris, France as well as a tournament in China later this year. (Posted 2-13-14)

Midterm Accreditation Report Earns Commendation

Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for SchoolsMt. SAC's Midterm Accreditation Report passed its review by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges with flying colors and earned commendation.

In a letter to President Bill Scroggins, the commission commended Mt. SAC on the report, submitted last October, and for meeting the recommendations made by the commission, based on its last site visit in 2010. Colleges are expected to meet the eligibility requirements and accreditation standards at all times during their accreditation cycle. For Mt. SAC, that cycle was the maximum allowable—six years.

ACCJC accreditation is a community college's “good housekeeping seal of approval,” affirming the quality of learning, teaching, administration, and student service delivery.

Mt. SAC's next full accreditation review and site visit will be conducted in the fall of 2016. (Posted 2-11-14)

Honors Director Receives
PTK Administrators Award

CarolynHonors Program Director Carolyn Kuykendall is one of 25 educators to be chosen for Phi Theta Kappa's prestigious Distinguished College Administrator Award. She will receive the award in April at PTK's 96th annual convention in Orlando, FL.

The international honor recognizes college administrators who demonstrate outstanding support for PTK, the largest honors society in higher education with chapters throughout the world, including the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Peru.

“Mt. SAC's Honors Program is clearly on the international radar,” said Humanities and Social Sciences Dean Jim Jenkins. “Carolyn has brought this program a long way in a short time, and many students have transferred to top schools because of her.”

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 boasts the largest honors programs in the state with 700 students and an average of 30 honors courses offered per semester.

(Posted 2-04-14, pictured from her national award)

Mt. SAC Athletics to Induct 8
at Hall of Fame Banquet Feb. 8

SealMt. SAC will induct eight former athletes and program supporters at its 2014 Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 8, 5:30 p.m., at the Pacific Palms Conference Resort in the City of Industry.

This year's inductees are former New England Patriots running back and 1991 NFL Rookie of the Year Leonard Russell, former Dodger pitcher Brett Tomko, Olympic silver and bronze medalist in the 110 high hurdles Dr. Mark Crear, former Dodger first-round draft pick and the current manager of the Milwaukee Brewers Ron Roenicke, former All-American and the first Mountie to play in the WNBA Lauren Ervin, former San Diego Charger and Simple Green founder Bruce Fabrizio, retired Mt. SAC Dean and long time supporter of the athletic program Dr. Kay Ragan, and the first Mountie track team to win a state championship, the 1957 Mt. SAC Track Team.

Individual tickets for the event are $65 with tables of eight going for $500. For event information and tickets, click here. (Posted 1-31-14)

Faculty Public Memorial Services

Phillip D. Maynard

Math Professor Joe Franko
Saturday, Feb. 15 @ 2 p.m.
Orange Grove Friends Meeting House
520 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena

Communication Professor Phil Maynard
Thursday, Feb. 27 @ 3:00 p.m.
Design Technology Center Auditorium

Mt. SAC Mourns Loss of 3 Family Members

Mt. SAC mourns the loss of three family members, which occurred over the holiday season—two admired faculty members and a student leader.

Joe FrankoMath Professor JOE FRANKO passed away on Dec. 19 at the age of 67. He joined Mt. SAC in 1990 and was very engaged in academic and campus life. He was a regular performer in the annual Puttin' on the Hits scholarship fundraising show, sponsored by the Mt. SAC Faculty Association, and he was a key faculty supporter and mentor to LGBT students. Joe was recognized for his work and passion in this area by being presented the first-ever David Sanchez Award.

In addition, Joe established a school in Pakistan that is now educating more than 600 Afghan refugee girls. A public memorial service for Joe will be conducted on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. at the Orange Grove Friends Meeting Home, located at 520 E. Orange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena.

Phillip D. MaynardCommunication Professor PHILLIP D. MAYNARD passed away on Jan. 4 at age 66. He also joined the Mt. SAC faculty in 1990 and was also a regular performer in Puttin' on the Hits. He served as Academic Senate President at Mt. SAC and was appointed to serve on the State Academic Senate. An outspoken champion for student equity and diversity, Phil was widely admired by his students as an inspirational exceptional instructor and mentor. See his full biography below.

Phil's services are still pending as of this writing. Plans for a campus celebration of his life are also underway.

Taylor EwingTAYLOR EWING, captain of the Mt. SAC Flying Team, died unexpectedly on Dec. 28. He was a bright student who made a huge impact on the aeronautics program—not only as the team leader, but also as an aeronautics tutor and as an employee at Brackett Airport in Pomona.

Taylor enrolled at Mt. SAC in 2010 and earned dual degrees (A.S. in Commercial Flight and A.S. in Aviation Science). He was working on an additional degree at Mt. SAC, with plans to transfer to a university. He earned his FAA Instrument Rating and FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate through Mt. SAC and was working toward his FAA Flight Instructor Certificate. Taylor captured many academic and precision flying awards at regional and national competitions. His national ranking was 10th, and he was instrumental in leading the Flying Team to national recognition last year with the American Airlines Safety Award.

Taylor's inseparable girlfriend and flying partner, Samantha O'Brien, is also a member of the Mt. SAC Flying Team and is a Mt. SAC flight instructor. Samantha is featured in the video-feature about Mt. SAC's Aeronautics Program, produced by the California Lottery. Click here to see that segment.

Taylor's memorial arrangements are pending as well.

The entire Mt. SAC family expresses sympathy and compassion to the families, friends, students, and colleagues of these awesome individuals who, in unique ways, brought additional distinction to the college and profoundly touched the lives of everyone around them. RIP.

(Posted 01-10-14)

Mt. SAC Mourns the Passing of Professor Phillip D. Maynard

Phillip D. MaynardMt. SAC Communication Professor Phillip D. Maynard, who taught speech classes at the college for 23 years, passed away on Jan. 4 at age 66. Services are pending.

“This is a sad moment for Mt. SAC as the college mourns the passing of one of its most celebrated and popular faculty members,” said President Bill Scroggins. “He not only was a valued faculty leader on our campus, but he was also an impactful leader statewide to improve the quality of instruction for millions of students throughout California.”

Maynard began teaching at Mt. SAC full-time in 1990. He was actively involved in addressing diversity on campus through extensive faculty training, and he developed the college's inter-cultural communication course. He served as an advisor to various student organizations at Mt. SAC, including the Muslim Student Association, the Inter-Cultural Awareness Council, the Associated Students, and others. He also mentored innumerable students across all cultures and was highly regarded by those he taught in his popular speech communication classes and by those he coached on Mt. SAC's nationally ranked Forensics Team.

“Phil's passing is a tremendous loss for the entire Mt. SAC family, particularly his current and former students as well as his campus colleagues,” said Humanities and Social Sciences Dean Jim Jenkins. “He had a passion for teaching in a dynamic way that uniquely connected with students. They truly admired him.”

During his distinguished tenure at Mt. SAC, Maynard served as president of the Academic Senate and in 2004 was appointed to serve on the State Academic Senate, which represents faculty throughout California's community college system. In 2002, he delivered the keynote address at Mt. SAC's 56th Commencement, and he earned numerous honors, including the Educator of Distinction Award in 2010, the Community Service Award of the National Council of Negro Women in 2012, and the National Campus Faculty Award in 2001, given by the Center for the Study of Diversity in Teaching and Learning.

Prior to coming to Mt. SAC, Maynard worked as an executive director for an urban social service agency and later served as deputy director for CETA, one of the first government-funded job-training initiatives for low-income persons.

Maynard received his bachelor's and master's degrees from California State University, Fresno.

(Posted 01-07-14)

Continue to 2013 Campus Connection Features