Tarde de Familia Spring 2014!

On May 2nd, I had the pleasure of attending the Tarde de Familia event. To be fair, I am very biased in that I was also on the planning group for the event (we refer to ourselves as Tarde de Familia Grupo Magnifico, but that is another story). If you aren’t familiar with the event, it was started four years ago in the Multicultural Studies department by department chair Dr. Rudy Jacobo.

The intention of the event is to welcome our Latino students and families to the campus and help them feel a sense of ownership. We want to ensure that our community members feel connected to the institution. P1050415The event hopes to inspire our community. Successful Latino professionals are invited to speak and share their histories of triumphs and hurdles they have had to overcome. These narratives help our families see that there are multiple routes to success. Finally, students network and make contact with presenters and members of the Palomar community. This allows for practical ideas, advice, and ongoing relationships.

P1050387This year’s speakers included members from the Palomar family including: Carmelino Cruz, (Noncredit Matriculation Assistant, ESL), Martha Martinez, (associate professor of Mathematics) & Assistant Superintendent / Vice President of Student Services, Adrian Gonzales. The event was hosted by Mireya Gutierrez-Aguero (HSI/STEM supervisor) who claims she is shy in these situations, but  she really MC’d like a pro!

P1050345The presentations were all in Spanish, which is a wonderful way to connect to our broader community, but difficult for mostly monolingual deans to summarize (though it was clear the talks were very enjoyable). Fortunately, grupo magnifico members and allies Mireya, Celia Martinez (STEM Career Advisor) & Jessica Ambrocio (STEM Tutorial-specialist) provided a summary for us below.

Carmelino Cruz (who by the way could host his own talk show- he has the gift of voice!) spoke about his experience arriving to the United States from Mexico. He reminded parents who shared similar experiences that they arrived to “the country of opportunities” to provide a better standard of living for their children. He encouraged the parents to be the best advocates for their children, and to believe in their children’s dreams. He encouraged both parents and students to attend college.  P1050352


Professor Martinez shared her experience about arriving to the United States from Mexico. Martinez described how she started her academic journey at Palomar College. She explained that Palomar College provided her with many opportunities, and now she is an Associate Professor of Mathematics as a way of giving back to students and the campus. Professor Martinez encouraged students to conduct study groups, to visit their professors during office hours, to seek support, and stay focused on their academic goals.  P1050406

Vice President Adrian Gonzalez shared his personal experience about leaving Imperial Valley to attend UCLA. He emphasized how the transition was both difficult and exciting to him as a young man.  He addressed the parents in Spanish, and he assured them everything would be okay with their children once they went off to college. Gonzalez addressed the students in English, and encouraged them to stay active in sports, to build relationships, and utilize the campus resources.  P1050431

Overall, the common theme was that students must expand their comfort zones, challenge themselves academically, and take advantage of all of the opportunities that were available and that we are here for them.

After the presentations, people flooded our information tables and learned about many areas of the college including financial aid, AB-540/Dream Act assistance, registration, STEM, grant funded support, the Teaching and Learning Center, Preschool availability, student clubs (including Mecha & Puente), STAR tutoring, the ESL program, and more! It was a great match between inspiration and practical information in hopes of helping people take the next steps.  P1050522

The event was a huge success and people seemed to enjoy the food and friendly atmosphere. Mireya’s homemade Horchata (which she brought in huge containers) was a perfect (and addictive) addition to a wonderful event.   A HUGE thanks to everyone who helped put this on including our facilities office who helped us set this up and have it run professionally .

We are all looking forward to next semester’s event! Hasta Pronto!





Posted in Activism, Children, Culture, Educational Program, Latino Empowerment, MultiCulturalStudies, STEM, Student Success | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

End of the semester events: Women’s Studies & American Indian Studies

Well, its been a hectic last couple of weeks.  With the stress of final exams and fires in the San Diego area, folks have certainly had a lot on their mind.  And thus, I am way behind on blog posts- hoping to catch up this week.


One end of the semester event which caught my eye was the Women’s Studies screening of the award-winning documentary the Invisible War which documents the prevalence of sexual assault in the military and the mechanisms that make it difficult for survivors to be heard and get justice.  This screening was done pre-finals, during Women’s History month (Yes, I am that far behind!).  I sadly had to miss it, but heard that the film and discussion were both extremely thought provoking and opened up people’s eyes about this important topic.

———  — ———

One event I was able to attend was the American Indian Studies (AIS) reception for students who achieved certificates this year (though my camera batetry died, had to use the ol’ I-phone).  Each student was introduced, talked a bit about what drew them to AIS, which professors they had, and what their future plans were.  Each student was also given a small gift symbolizing their commitment to the program.  A nice reception followed and our AIS folks gathered and networked and literally could not stop thinking of ways to help these students succeed (let me introduce you to x, let me tell you about program y).

The event was very inspirational.  It was so great to hear folks talking about their experiences, what they learned and what they planned to do.  Students were optimistic, energetic, and hopeful about the future.  Clearly not every student who earned a certificate could join, but for the small group who did, they really reminded all of us why we do the work we do and in particular, how extremely dedicated the AIS faculty are to their students.  A great pre-graduation celebration!



Posted in Activism, American Indian Studies, Appreciation, Feminism, Film, Student Success, Women, Women's Health | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Research Methods Poster Session- another success!

The halls of the MD building at Palomar College were packed once again with enthusiastic researchers and visitors for this spring 2014 semester’s Research Methods’ Poster Session.

ps3 Topics were quite diverse and included: testing methodology differences and outcomes, anonymity and social desirability, food labeling and consumer behavior, sexual advertising in the media and self-esteem, study habits and test performance and many more.



Thank you to Netta Schroer and the Psychology Department for providing this important opportunity for our students to conduct and present professional research!


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What’s all the Hullabaloo?

In 2011, Nicole Knotts, a site supervisor for the Child Development Center, met Steve Denyes, singer of a local children’s band called Hullabaloo. Her 5 year old son loved the music and they became “groupies”, attending local concerts frequently, standing in line for days in the pouring rain to get tickets, etc.*

That is where the Family Night Child Development Center Fundraiser began. Nicole’s idea was to help facilitate an annual event that would get our Child Development Center families out for an evening of fun and camaraderie with other center families and staff, while simultaneously raising some money.  This year’s event began by opening the gates of the center and welcoming the families to bring a blanket and picnic on the grassy area of the largest playground. Families brought their own food and also purchased pizza and cookies (which were for sale at the center). About an hour after the gates opened, Steve pulled out his guitar and sang several of his original songs. Favorites around Nicole’s house are Grownup Sippy Cup (about mom needing her “sippy cup” from Starbucks), Polite Pete the Pirate, Everybody Clap Your Hands (a staple in her  classroom), as well as many of the tried and true childhood favorites. For 30 minutes, all sang, danced, & shook maracas & waved scarves.


This year, to add a little bit of fun and competition, the staff added a pre-sale ticket challenge. The classroom that sold the most tickets won a copy of the newly released Hullabaloo CD Shy Kid Blues.


The fundraiser was a great success and much fun– $700 was also raised for the center! Well done folks- a great community event for all!

* (Some of this may be embellished by the dean)

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Service Learning Celebration!

On April 24th, the Service Learning (SL) folks hosted a ‘meet and greet’ event with members of the Palomar faculty and the broader community, with much success!  They had 17 faculty join the event, representing Behavioral Sciences, Earth Sciences, Fashion, Architecture and Interior Design, Child Development, Business, and American Indian Studies. Quite an impressive group!


In addition, representatives came from 8 community agencies and were able to exchange a lot of information with faculty about their programs and how our students could get involved. The highlight was the presentation of our First “Excellence in Service Award” to Gladis Dolores Gomez.   She was  recognized at the Fashion Show on 4/24 and received a $100 scholarship at the May Scholarship Event.


A special thanks to Dean Owens for the refreshments for the event, Rachael Horn Langford for invitations and planning assistance, and to Heather Hummel, the SL work study student.  Vice President of Instruction Cuaron stopped by and got to meet some of our community partners but sadly I could not attend this one, but thank you Kathy Grove for the recap!  SL


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Faculty Awards!

Hey there– did you know that Laurel Anderson from Child Development won the 2013-2014 Distinguished Faculty Award for full-time faculty?  She also will be Palomar’s new Service Learning Coordinator!  The part-time Distinguished Faculty Award went to Michelle Vogel-Trautt in Psychology.   So… it sounds like the Social and Behavioral sciences cleaned-up this year?!  Nice work folks!

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Honoring Civil Rights

The Multicultural Studies (MCS) Department hosted a Civil Rights festival this week in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights act.  John Valdez and his Chicano Studies students assembled a great crowd to celebrate civil rights and to emphasize the continued work necessary to ensure civil rights continue for those fortunate to have it and  for those who are in need of equity and justice.  Thank you to MCS for holding this event and keeping us reminded of these very important issues.

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