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.

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

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)

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)

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 Honors Program Featured

Honor StudentThe American Association of Colleges & Universities has featured the Mt. SAC Honors Program in the "AAC&U Member Innovations" column of its online newsletter, "AAC&U News." The program was lauded as a model for advanced instruction and learning. Click here for the entire article. (Posted 12/17/12)

Forensics Team Finishes Strong in Fall Championship

Forensics TeamWorking its way to the National Championship next April, the Mt. SAC Forensics team capped a successful fall season by taking the third-place sweepstakes at the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensic Association Fall Championship tournament held Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 at Cerritos College.

With 36 colleges and more than 650 students competing, Mt. SAC students won 28 awards in all, including two first-place honors, two second-place awards, and six third-place finishes. Mt. SAC’s Hester Kim won first place in the junior program oral interpretation event, and Michelle Marin took first in the junior persuasive speaking competition. The Mt. SAC squad was also honored with the Dan Miller Perpetual Sweepstakes Award, which recognizes achievement over many years in the region.

At tournaments in November, the Forensics team trumped the competition, winning 45 awards and far surpassing its competitors. Mt. SAC took the second-place sweepstakes at the Ray Dahlin Invitational on Nov. 9 and second in the overall sweepstakes at the Grossmont Griffin Invitational Nov. 10-11.

The team also competed at the Cal State Northridge Robert Barbera Invitational on Nov. 11 where Kim, a first-year student, won first place in the Novice Programmed Oral Interpretation event. Teammates Michelle Ecarma, Cliff Davis, and Barrett Tate also won gold medals in the parliamentary debate competition.

The team is coached by Communication Professors Jeff Archibald, Shae Hsieh, and Danny Cantrell. (Posted 12/17/12)

Men's Soccer Team Captures 4th
Straight State Title

Men's Soccer TeamCongratulations to Coach Juan Sanchez and the Mt. SAC Men's Soccer Team for winning it's fourth back-to-back state title. This is the first time in the 39-year history of the California Community College Athletic Association soccer program that a team has won four consecutive championships. The Mounties defeated the City College of San Francisco to score this unprecedented distinction.

The Mounties beat the previous record of three consecutive state championships previously held by Santa Ana College. For overall non-consecutive state championships, Mt. SAC is now tied with El Camino College with four titles. Santa Ana continues to hold the overall record with seven titles, followed by Foothill College with five. (Posted 12/17/12)

Community Colleges and CSU Launch
New Transfer Degree Website

Happy StudentThe California Community Colleges and the California State University have launched a new website that provides comprehensive information about the new Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T/AS-T) pathway that lets students earn an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree, with no wasted units. The website,, is the ultimate resource for students and parents to learn about the Associate Degree for Transfer.

“An Associate Degree for Transfer will ease the transfer process for California community college students to transfer to a CSU campus and is the best place for students and parents to get information about this exciting new program," said Acting California Community Colleges Chancellor Erik Skinner.

The key features of the website include:

  • Complete details on how the new transfer pathway works
  • Up-to-date information about the transfer majors available by California community college campuses that are matched to similar bachelor’s degrees at California State University campuses
  • Interactive maps that help students find a campus
  • Application information
  • A degree progress checklist
  • Testimonials from students who have earned an Associate Degree for Transfer and successfully transferred to a California State University campus

" explains how the new transfer pathway works and the many benefits for students to earn an Associate Degree for Transfer," said Ephraim P. Smith, California State University executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. "This is an excellent tool and we're excited to share it with students, parents and the people who will help them make informed decisions about pursuing their bachelor’s degrees."

The Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (Senate Bill 1440, Padilla) became law in 2010 and requires the California Community Colleges and California State University to collaborate on the creation of AA-T and AS-T degrees. Upon earning these degrees, students will be guaranteed admission to a California State University campus with junior standing. While not guaranteed admission to their campus of choice, students will be given priority consideration for admission to a California State University campus that offers a program that has been designated as “similar” by California State University. Once enrolled at California State University campus, students will be able to complete a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree with no more than 60 additional units.

Community colleges offer more than 450 new associate degrees for transfer in 20 of the most popular transfer majors, and more are being added. These degrees provide pathways to more than 300 baccalaureate degrees across the California State University system. will be updated frequently as more degrees become available every term.

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