Superintendent/President Harrison’s Convocation Address to the College
The Board of Trustees and I have worked hard over the summer months to ensure a smooth transition while a permanent replacement for the new College of Marin superintendent/president is found. The search for the new superintendent/president is in progress and you will have an opportunity to meet the five finalists recommended by the search committee during the week of August 30 when they will be on campus participating in forums and interviews.
Prior to the start of the new academic year, convocation provides us with an opportunity to reflect on what has been accomplished and look to the year ahead. At the core of our mission is student success and at the heart of student success is the tremendous work that each of you do in and out of the classroom. I’d like to take this moment to express my deep appreciation for all that you do for our students, our college and for our community. We have many reasons to be proud and we have accomplished so much.
Last year the college achieved many milestones and received a number of accolades. While there are too many accomplishments to list in this forum, a few highlights include: COM professors Yolanda Bellisimo and Robert Kennedy received statewide recognition for their pathways assessment model; arts and humanities professor Katrina Wagner won a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities grant to study Native Cultures of Western Alaska and the Pacific Northwest Coast; Chemistry Professor Patrick Kelly and English 98 Instructor Meg Pasquel both received Golden Bell awards for teaching excellence; the COM Organic Farm Project was selected by Washington D.C.-based Corps Network as a Project of the Year; the Diamond PE Center reopened last fall and was recently awarded LEED Gold for its sustainable building features; five former College of Marin star athletes, whose achievements in sports grew into successful careers and lives of generous service to the community, were honored at an inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner; and the college modernization program received a Green California Community College Summit Pioneer Award for its overall sustainable building practices.
In addition, recent research conducted by our new Director of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Chialin Hsieh shows that College of Marin excels academically and significantly exceeds the state average for transfer, retention, and student success in a number of important areas. You can read more about these findings in your convocation packets. For these achievements we can all be very proud. Special thanks again to all of our faculty and staff who work every day to support student success and make College of Marin an outstanding institution.
Our institutional self study co-chairs will give us an update this morning; however, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have worked tirelessly on preparing the college for the institutional self study journey, including the self study committee members, the many members of our governance committees and our various planning committees. Thank you for your good work.
Second, we still have to address what is perhaps the most difficult period of fiscal instability that the college has ever seen. Revenues continue to decrease and expenses continue to grow. Our spending or disposable income has been reduced and there is nothing we can do in the short-term to offset these reductions. Our operational budgets are decreasing and the demand for our wonderful services is increasing. Our modernization program is moving forward on schedule and within budget; however, we will have to devote an amount of our already limited financial resources to ensure that new facilities are properly maintained and conducive to a teaching and learning environment.
During one of the most difficult economic periods in history, we have been able to work together for the benefit of our students, our community, and our college. Thankfully, we have managed to avoid becoming mired in petty differences thereby allowing us to focus on the important issues that we face. So far, we have been able to adjust without negatively affecting the lives of our employees and students. Moreover, through our continued efforts of cooperation and collaboration, I believe that we can emerge from this most difficult period even stronger than we were when we started.
Welcome back and I hope that you have a wonderful and productive semester!
Welcome New Academic Senate Members
I would like to congratulate our new Academic Senate Officers, including Sara McKinnon who is serving as President, Derek Wilson, Vice President, Becky Brown, Secretary, and former Academic Senate President Yolanda Bellismo who will serve as treasurer. I would also like to welcome the following new members to the Academic Senate: Becky Brown, Bonnie Borenstein, John Sutherland, and Robert Ovetz. For more information about the Academic Senate visit http://www.marin.edu/senate/index.html.
New Textbook Rental Program Has Arrived At COM
Barnes & Noble began piloting their rental program earlier this year at 25 campus bookstores across the country. Response from students where the program was piloted was tremendous. In particular, students like having the option of getting their books immediately—as opposed to waiting for a shipment to arrive—and they appreciated knowing that the books they were renting were guaranteed to be the right books for the classes. More than 90 percent of the students surveyed said they would rent from their campus bookstore again.For more information about the College of Marin bookstore, visit http://marin.bncollege.com.
Volunteers needed for First Week of School
The Office of Student Development and Special Services is looking for volunteers to help direct students to classes, and other locations, during the first week of school. People are needed at the dates, times, and locations shown in the table below.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you would be available to work any of these shifts by calling Rhonda Jones at (415) 485-9618.
New Book Published by Staff Member
Curriculum and Articulation Technician Tom Hudgens has published an amazing cookbook titled The Commonsense Kitchen: 500 Recipes Plus Lessons for a Hand-Crafted Life. Hudgens worked as a chef for 15 years, including stints at Chez Panisse, Liberty Café in San Francisco, and the Moosse Café in Mendocino. In addition to his current position with the Office of Instructional Management he teaches cooking classes through COM Community Ed.
The book is a big, all-purpose cookbook with recipes in all categories. Recipes are based on his time as the chef (1998-2001) at Deep Springs College, a unique 2-year honors college for academically advanced young men, situated on a working cattle ranch in the high desert of California’s Eastern Sierra region. He also attended Deep Springs as a student from 1988 through 1990.The book is published by Chronicle Books of San Francisco and is available at 1st Street Books in Kentfield, across from Half Day Café. It’s also available through most online bookstores. For information about the publisher go to http://www.chroniclebooks.com. More information can also be found at the author’s Web site http://www.tomhudgens.com.
COM Professor Featured in Strings Magazine
Tara Flandreau along with the College of Marin Symphony Orchestra were featured in the June 2010 edition of Strings magazine. Flandreau, a violinist and composer and the performing arts department chair, has conducted the orchestra since 2001. The article recognizes the orchestra for providing an opportunity for high-school students, doctors, businesspeople, homemakers, and middle-school string teachers to perform music that they wouldn’t get a chance to play anywhere else. Excellent work!
Director of COM Choral Activities Taking Oratorio to New Heights
College of Marin Professor Boyd Jarrell had a wonderful write up in the June 20, 2010, Marin Independent Journal. Jarrell, director of choral activities since 2004, also directs COM's 100-voice Marin Oratorio. The article highlights that under his direction Marin Oratorio concert offerings have doubled and public attendance has quadrupled, to the point of selling out the 600-seat Fine Arts Theatre. Many in the community have commented on the quality of these performances. I wish you continued success in the future!
RN Program Graduate Named Employee of the Month
Director of Health Sciences Roz Hartman reported that Beth Cassidy, 2008 RN Program graduate, was named April Employee of the Month at Marin General Hospital. Beth works in the cardiac stepdown unit (CSU). Her nominators said she is “respectful and sensitive to patients’ needs…an exceptional RN. Communicative and calming. She went above and beyond in obtaining a social worker for me to talk to…Keep up the good critical thinking skill”. Cassidy received a $250 cash award and a premium parking space. Kudos goes to the Health Sciences faculty and staff for doing so much to make the department an environment for success.
Thank You to Marin County Fair Volunteers
This summer many new faces were seen at this COM’s general information booth at the Marin County Fair. Many thanks to all of the fair volunteers for their time, including Arnulfo Cedillo, Barbara David, Becky Reetz, Cathy Summa-Wolfe, Deirdre Martinez, Devon Kinka, Hoa-Long Tam, Janice Austin, Jeanie Jacobson, Jeff Cady, Joanna Pinckney, Kelvin Ling, Linda Beam, Maridel Barr, Marti Sukoski, Melinda Molloy, Nicole Cruz, Olga Borissova, Paul daSilva, Pearl Monemzadeh, Sara McKinnon, Scott Adams, Scotti Clair, Shook Chung, V-Anne Chernock, and Vickie Lamke.
Thank you to Barry Douglas and John Rodriguez from Maintenance and Operations for doing such a beautiful job hanging pictures of College of Marin students, faculty, and staff in hallways of the Learning Resources Center. Many people have commented on how professional it looks and how nice it is to read about members of our COMmunity.
COM awarded two grants from Marin Community Foundation!
The College Skills Noncredit ESL program has applied for and received an $80,000 grant from the Marin Community Foundation (MCF) for the development and offering of 9 noncredit vocational ESL classes. These classes would be offered in Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 and include two ECE bridge classes, English for Healthcare Workers, two levels of English for Childcare workers, English for Landscapers and Gardeners, English for Restaurant and Hotel Workers, English for Housekeepers and Custodians and in Spring, if all goes well, a class on Civics and Financial Literacy. Congratulations to Sara McKinnon for her hard work securing funding for this project.
Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet a Success
College of Marin will host its Fall 2010 Welcome Week August 17, 18, and 19 in the Learning Center Quad area, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Transfer Agreement Guaranteed (TAG) Workshop
Seven UC campuses offer guaranteed admission to California community college students who meet specific requirements. Students participating in a Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program will receive early review of their academic records, early admission notification, and specific guidance about major preparation and general education coursework. tudents planning on transferring to a UC campus in fall 2011 should attend the TAG Workshop on Wednesday, August 25, 2010, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Science Center, Room 144. Contact the Transfer/Career Center at (415) 485-9671 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat. Students can begin the application now BUT may only submit online between September 1 to 30, 2010.
The College of Marin will be holding its Annual Transfer Day on Thursday, September 30, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Services Building, dining area. This event is a great opportunity for students, parents, academic advisors and the community to meet representatives from four-year California colleges, universities, private colleges and out-of-state institutions and get their questions answered about the institution, admissions, housing, financial aid, and the general transfer process.
The Fine Arts Gallery is featuring new work by Jason Dunn in the exhibition Sculptures and Vessels now through Sept. 23, 2010. A reception for the artist will be held Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact Andrea Antonaccio at (415) 485-9493 for more information.
The College of Marin Emeritus Center is sponsoring an exhibition titled Currents featuring paintings by Sharon Paster now through Sept. 20 in the Student Services Building, Room 148. A reception for the artist will be held Tuesday, Sept. 7, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Emeritus Center is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call (415) 485-9368 for more information.
Student Parking Information for fall 2010
Please share this information with students.
*Correction: Information in a COMall sent August 10 stated that parking permits could be purchased from Campus Police in TB-1. Parking permits may only be purchased from Admissions and Records. Sorry for the confusion.
Free parking in lot 13 at the Kentfield Campus
Parking Lots 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 12, 13, 15, 16, and 17 are open. Modifications to parking lots are as follows:
Student Parking at the Indian Valley Campus
Al J. Harrison II
President's Monday Briefing webpage