Skip to Content  |   A to Z Index  |   Kentfield Campus  |   Indian Valley Campus

College of Marin
President’s Monday Briefing -May 24, 2010
Home New Students - Prospective Students Current Students of College of Marin Colletge of Marin Faculty and Staff About the College of Marin College of Marin Search Engine
Farewell and Thank You!

This is the last week of spring semester and COM’s 83rd Commencement will take place this Saturday, May 29, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Baseball Field behind the Diamond PE Center (weather permitting).

I look forward to seeing you there for what will be the last commencement that I will participate in as superintendent/president. Commencement continues to be one of my favorite college events because it is the moment when all of us can see the outstanding results of our collective efforts through the achievements of our students. Our students work incredibly hard to achieve their goals, and our faculty and staff work equally as hard to ensure their success.

The past six years of my tenure at the college have been immensely rewarding. As I reflect on how much has been accomplished and the many challenges that we faced, I am very proud of what has been achieved. While there is more to be done, I know that you will be able to accomplish much by continuing to work together.
I will be retiring in June and the college is in the process of hiring my replacement. As the search for a new COM superintendent/president continues, I feel that I am leaving you in the very capable hands of Al Harrison, whose great experience and knowledge will serve the college well during this transitional period.
Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving with you!

Parking Update
If you drive to COM you may have noticed a sudden increase in the number of ADA (disabled) parking spaces lining the parking lot in front of the Austin Science Center. The reason for this addition is the imminent closure of Parking Lots 9 (south of the creek near the new West Bridge) and 4 (west edge of campus near the old Dickson Hall), now being prepared for construction of the New Science/Math/Central Plant (SMCP) Complex. The law requires a certain number of ADA spaces in locations close to buildings; these spots will maintain our required count and will be in force through construction of the SMCP Complex, which is expected to start during the summer. The building should be visible by the time school starts in the fall.

Professional Development Needs Survey: Your Feedback is Needed The Professional Development Committee is conducting a brief online Professional Development Needs Survey through the Staff Development Office to help identify faculty and staff training needs and provide information to develop a Professional Development Plan. A global e-mail titled “Prof. Development: YOUR Feedback Needed!” was sent to all employees Friday, May 21, with a link to the survey. The survey is designed to take about five minutes to complete. Please provide your feedback by completing the survey so we can prioritize faculty and staff professional development needs.


Annual Faculty and Staff Luncheon

The annual Faculty and Staff Luncheon sponsored by College Council and the Academic and Classified Senates will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m., Thursday, May 27, in the campus green area near Fusselman Hall at the Kentfield campus. In an effort to conserve resources, invitations were sent via campus e-mail on May 3. You may RSVP by sending an e-mail to or calling ext. 7508 by May 20, 2010.

83rd Commencement Exercises
This year’s commencement exercises will take place Saturday, May 29, 2010. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and will be held at the Baseball Field, Kentfield Campus. For more information please contact Student Affairs at (415) 485-9376 or visit

College of Marin Athletes Honored in Inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame
Five Athletes to be Recognized for Achievements in Sports and the Greater Community

Five former College of Marin star athletes whose achievements in sports grew into successful careers and lives of generous service to the community will be honored at an inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner on June 5.
College of Marin Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner Celebration
Date:         Saturday, June 5, 2010
Time:         Social hour at 6 p.m., dinner and induction at 7 p.m.
Location:   San Rafael Community Center, 618 B Street, San Rafael
Cost:          $40
RSVP to Diane Kukahiko, Physical Education Office, (415) 485-9580,

2010 Classified Leadership Institute
It’s not too late to register for the 18th Annual Classified Leadership Institute held at Granlibakken Conference Center on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. There is a great lineup of presenters and motivational speakers that encourage attendees to bring their knowledge and participate. Some highlights that may be of interest to our classified staff include: breakout sessions that focus on senate building and shared governance, the classified perspective of preparing for accreditation, and legislative and budget updates. The keynote speaker is Julie Martin Whiting who was the first in her family to attend college. She is a strong advocate for higher education with a first-hand perspective as she pursued advanced degrees while working full time. The conference runs from Thursday, June 10, through Saturday, June 12, 2010. For registration information visit

Flex Update
he Fall 2010 Independent Flex days are Aug. 11 and Aug. 12. The Mandatory Flex day is Friday, Aug. 13. College Convocation will take place from 10 a.m. to noon followed by department meetings organized by your department chair in the afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to
3:30 p.m.
Flex information and activities will be posted and updated over the summer on the Staff Development page on the college Web site. Click on “Staff Development” under the “Faculty and Staff” tab at If you would like to present a workshop on the Independent Flex days or during the semester, please e-mail for a proposal form. You may also download a Flex Workshop Proposal Form on the Staff Development Web page.
Reminder! Spring 2010 Flex Verification Forms are due in Human Resources by Friday, May 28, 2010. The forms can be downloaded from the Staff Development Web page.

Performing Arts

Contemporary Opera Marin
Eating, Drinking, Shopping
Paul Smith, director
June 19, 23, 25, and 26 at 7:30 p.m.
St. Hilary Church, Tiburon
Contemporary Opera Marin, College of Marin’s opera program, will once again be the resident opera company of the Tiburon Music Festival, June 19 to 26. This summer’s theme is Eating, Drinking, Shopping. The program will include fully staged English language performances ranging from JS Bach’s Coffee Cantata to PDQ Bach’s The Seasonings, Mark Blitzstein’s Triple Sec to settings of Prohibition era songs and, by popular demand, a revival of Mischa Spoliansky’s 1930s cabaret opera, Send for Mr. Plim. Visit or call 415.485.9460 for information and ticket reservations.

In Remembrance
Our beloved colleague Carla Zilbersmith passed away May 17, 2010. Carla was an original, a bright flame and a tremendous spirit. Last week the film about Carla’s struggle with ALS, “Leave Them Laughing,” won the Special Jury Prize at the Toronto Film Festival.
Carla chronicled her experience of living and dying with ALS in her blog:
In keeping with her inimitable style, Carla penned her own obituary, which is included below.
Written by Carla:
Carla Zilbersmith, born December 15, 1962, died today, May 17th, 2010.Carla Zilbersmith died in her home this afternoon of Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as ALS. Carla Zilbersmith was mother to Maclen Zilber, her only son...that she knows of. She was also daughter to Jack and Velma, sister to Jason and Stephen. Friend to an amazing group of caring, creative and competent friends, and lover to several very lucky and largely undeserving men. Although ALS is a fatal and incurable illness, Carla never gave up hope that one day her death would be surrounded by a cloud of controversy and speculation. Her final words, spoken through a clenched jaw, were "oil can." The memorial is tentatively planned for the afternoon of, Saturday, June 5. Details will be emailed as soon as they are determined. It is guaranteed to be the funniest funeral that you have ever attended or your flowers back. Costumes encouraged but optional.

Final notes:
The film makers of “Leave Them Laughing” continue to raise funds for final edits to the project. All donations that flow through the fiscal sponsor, the International Documentary Association, will qualify as a tax-deductible, charitable contribution.
A student scholarship has been established honoring Carla. Donations can be made to the “Carla Zilbersmith Drama Scholarship Fund” through the College of Marin Foundation.


Emeritus Students Exhibit Paintings by Kay Carlson
The current exhibition at the College of Marin Emeritus Center, Splendor of Place by Kay Carlson, runs through June 17. You can see this beautiful collection of paintings in the Student Services Building, Room 146. The exhibition is sponsored by Emeritus Students College of Marin.

Infrastructure Projects Scheduled for Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
Infrastructure improvements on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Ross are in progress. The work will likely result in traffic impacts during the dates specified below. Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) recommends allowing extra travel time and considering using alternate routes. Please see description of project below:

  • Pipeline: through June 15.
    MMWD will be installing 2700 feet of pipe on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard between Winship Avenue and Lagunitas Road. Work hours are from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays. Two lanes of traffic will be open at all times.

COM Athletics

California Community College State Track and Field Championship Results
College of Marin Track and Field Coach George Adams was pleased to have two female student-athletes competing in the state championship meet held at Antelope Valley College on Friday and Saturday, May 21 and 22.

Angelina Pilacelli placed fourth in the women's pole vault with a vault of 9-11.

Emmanuelle Orleans finished sixth in the women's heptathlon, seventh in long jump at 16-7 3/4, placed third in the 800 in 2:33.58, and 10th in javelin throw at 70-10. Congratulations, ladies!


Please note: You will receive the next edition of the Monday Briefing during Flex Week.

Have a great week,

Frances L. White, Ph.D.

back to top

President's Monday Briefing webpage
Technical Contact: Nicole Cruz, Assistant to Director of Communications and Community Relations, (415) 485-9648 x7648
Content Responsible: Cathy Summa-Wolfe, Director of Communications and Community Relations, (415) 485-9528