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College of Marin
President’s Weekly Briefing - April 20, 2011
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Kay Ryan Wins Pulitzer Prize

Retired College of Marin Basic Skills Professor and former U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan has won a prestigious Pulitzer Prize for her latest book of poetry titled “The Best of It: New and Selected Poems,” which was published last year by Grove Press. Kay’s poetry spans 45 years and has been described as “witty” and “rebellious.” Congratulations, Kay, on this tremendous achievement!
An Evening with Kay Ryan, filmed at College of Marin on Dec. 11, 2008, will be screened on Comcast channel 30 on Friday, April 22, at 5:30 p.m. Thanks to the Community Media Center of Marin for sharing Ryan's reading on such short notice of her Pulitzer award.

WASC Follow-Up Report Update

The college community has made great progress towards addressing the WASC recommendations for the October 2011 Follow-Up Report. A synopsis is available online (PDF). For more information please direct email messages to Dr. Chialin Hsieh, Director and Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) at

April Data Nugget

As reported in the March 28, 2011, President’s Monday Briefing, each month the Office of Planning Research and Institutional Effectiveness (PRIE) will disseminate a brief data report or data nugget to address WASC Recommendation #4 regarding strengthening the role of research through broad institutional dialogue and critical analysis.
April’s data nugget is: The Accountability Reporting for Community Colleges (ARCC) 2011 Report.
The ARCC Report is a statewide community college report published annually by the Chancellor’s Office. It tracks seven critical indicators related to student progress, achievement and success based on College of Marin data and compares our rates to peer groups and state averages. Information in the ARCC Report will be used by departments and college-wide to start institutional dialogue and make recommendations for improvements.
Highlights include:

  • COM student progress and achievement rates are ahead of the state average.
  • The percentage of our students completing 30 or more units over six years is lower than our peer group and the state average.
  • The percentage of students who persisted (returned to COM to take classes) from fall 2008 to fall 2009 is lower than our peer group and the state average.
  • COM’s successful vocational course completion rates are ahead of our peer group and the state average.
  • Although a significant number of our students are not prepared for college level work based on COM Placement Data, the ARCC report indicates:
    o   Basic Skills successful course completion rates are ahead of our peer group and the state average.
    o   Basic Skills course improvement rates are ahead of our peer group and the state average.
    o   ESL course improvement rates are ahead of our peer group.

The entire ARCC 2011 Report is available on the Data Nuggets web site. For questions, suggestions or feedback, please direct email messages to Dr. Chialin Hsieh, Director and Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) at

Accrediting Commission Continues COM Nursing Program Accreditation

At its March meeting, the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) Board of Commissioners granted the College of Marin associate nursing program continuing accreditation. The program’s next report will be due in two years.

Dental Accreditation Report

The Dental Program’s interim 2011 Self-Study Report (and attachments) can be reviewed at under the heading College of Marin WASC Letters and Reports. Please refer any comments/suggestions to no later than April 28, 2011.

New COM Chief of Police to be Sworn In

Newly hired Chief of Police Mitch Lemay will be sworn in on Friday, May 6, 2011. The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. in the Student Services Building, first floor. All are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

College of Marin launches access to online Library/Learning Resources in MyCOM Portal

Starting Monday, April 18, 2011, MyCOM users will have access to a new Library/Learning Resources page, including a variety of valuable online databases and other resources designed to support student success. Databases will include, Britannica Online, CQ Researcher, Expanded Academic ASAP—Infotrac, History Study Center, Oxford Art Online, ProQuest Research Library (National News 5) Newspapers, and Science Full Text Select among others. The new Library/Learning Resources Tab also includes links to the Online Writing Center, Distance Education resources, and ARTstor, a digital database offering thousands of high-resolution royalty free images. You can access this treasure trove of learning resources and online services by logging in to your MyCOM account on Monday, April 18, and selecting the Library/Learning Resources Tab.


Alpha Gamma Sigma Award Winners
On April 2 College of Marin student, Rhea Stewart-Laws was awarded a scholarship by Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS), the academic honor society and service organization of the California Community Colleges and Counselor Toni Yoshioka, a faculty co-advisor for the College of Marin AGS Chapter was awarded an Outstanding Advisor award. Awards were given at the annual AGS convention, which is attended by members of AGS chapters at community colleges throughout the state. At each year’s convention, the organization awards scholarships to students who excel in academics and/or community service. This year’s convention, in Ontario, CA, had 495 attendees representing 42 different colleges. Stewart-Laws received the Ed Walsh Award, which recognizes outstanding community service. COM had 16 AGS members at the conference.
Outstanding Educator Recognized
College of Marin Chemistry Professor Dr. Erik Dunmire was recently named Outstanding Community College Educator by the American Society for Engineering Education. Congratulations, Erik!
COM Classified Senate Selected as Model
The College of Marin Classified Senate received notification this week that they had been selected by the California Community Colleges Classified Senate (4CS) as a Model Classified Senate. The Model Senate Award is given to organizations that exercise their role in shared governance with autonomy and professionalism and define the standard of staff participation within the learning environment. Well done!

2011 Golden Bell Awards
This year’s Golden Bell teacher honorees from College of Marin are Ron Palmer, Auto Collision Repair Technology instructor and chair of Career Education disciplines, and Anne Gearhart, part-time biology instructor and Student Learning Outcomes facilitator for Math and Sciences. They will be recognized at the Golden Bell Awards Ceremony on May 26 at 4:30 p.m. in Angelico Hall at Dominican University in San Rafael. In addition, College of Marin’s Registered Nursing Education Program led by Roz Hartman, Director of Health Sciences, will receive a Golden Bell Program Award.

Model UN Club Takes Off at COM

A new club is steaming ahead at College of Marin, the College of Marin Model United Nations club (COMMUN). The driving forces behind the club are the past and present students of Paul Cheney’s Politics 210 class, War, Peace and the United Nations. Each year students from the class have gone to the Berkeley Model UN conference which this year was held in San Francisco. They had such a great time they wanted to participate in other Model United Nations conferences. At the beginning of April they went to two other conferences, one held on the UC Berkeley campus and the other at Diablo Valley College. The participating members of the club are Jesse Taylor Vermont, Peter Chow, Mariana Sosa Cordero, Jaylana Zemansky, Nima Zarkoub, Cyrus Massoumi, Tesfaye Johanson, Chris Lowell, Nick Olsen, and Scott Blood. Members of the club won special recognition for their excellent performances in debate and presentation at both the Berkeley and DVC events! Students interested in joining the club should contact Nima Zarkoub at nimazarkoub@gmail.comor Paul Cheney at

Hands Across California

On Sunday about 20 people representing College of Marin showed up to participate in Hands Across California. This event was organized to call attention to the nation’s largest system of higher education, illustrating the impact of community colleges. Nearly all of the 112 community colleges in California formed a vast statewide human chain stretching from San Diego to above Sacramento in the North, over to San Francisco and down the coast through Los Angeles and back to San Diego to complete the circle. Funds raised will benefit scholarship funds that help students who are struggling to pay for college.

Back in the Swim this Summer at both Campuses!

The 2011 public summer swim program at the Kentfield Campus will begin June 20 and run through Aug. 14. The pool will be open Monday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Public swim will be extended to the fall on Saturdays and Sundays only Aug. 20 to Sept. 25 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $5 per day for adults and $3 per day for children under 13, seniors (55+) and the disabled. Lifeguards will be on duty. For additional information call (415) 457-8811 ext. 7587.
The Indian Valley Campus will have open recreational and lap swimming June 20 to Aug. 11, Monday through Thursday, from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 per day for adults or an 8-day pass for $35; and $3 per day for $3 per day for children under 13, seniors (55+) and the disabled or an 8-day pass for $21. Lifeguards will be on duty. For additional information call (415) 883-2211, ext. 8260.
Purchase swim tickets and passes at the pool with cash or check only. A parent or guardian must sign a waiver for minors to use the pool. Parking permits are required and are available for purchase from parking lot machines for $3. Recreational parking permits may be purchased in the Fiscal Services Office for $15 per month.

Long-Term Insurance Enrollment Period Extended

Don’t miss this opportunity—the enrollment period to apply for a long-term care insurance policy has been extended to May 6!
Please contact our long term care planning specialist, Karen Marblestone Perry at (650) 224-9204 or reach her by email at and she’ll be happy to go over this program on an individual basis with you before May 6. Discounts apply to spouses/partners, siblings, and parents. Apply now and take advantage of long-term care insurance at a premium discount.
For employees working less than 30 hours per week an additional long-term care discount insurance program is available and will be discussed on an individual basis.

The Educational Excellence Innovation Fund provides seed money that encourages College of Marin’s faculty and staff to dream out loud.

The Educational Excellence Innovation Fund (EEIF) has four areas of concentration:

1. Leverage for Fund Development
Provides start-up planning and financial support to faculty and staff in devising programs and services:
Closely linked to college/district strategic goals/priorities

  • Possesses significant potential for development of linkages with external organizations such as business, industry, government agencies and community organizations
  • Has a high level of potential for procurement of additional private or public sector funding as a result of Educational Excellence Innovation Fund support
  • Coordinated with the activities of the Educational Excellence Innovation Fund, the President’s Circle, College of Marin Foundation

2. New programs reflecting business and workforce training

  • Addresses emerging work force issues in the Bay Area and/or Marin County
  • Provides learning opportunities into the environmental, medical, or technological work force
  • Increases career opportunities and skills development

3. New pedagogies, learning styles, and learning communities

  • Introduces new teaching methods, such as utilizing technology and web-based instruction
  • Implements faculty development of educational websites
  • Creates distance learning and on-line options for instructional delivery

4. Program revitalization

  • Adds new components to existing programs
  • Creates partnerships with business to expand program offerings

For proposal instructions and applications please email
Proposals should be submitted to the Superintendent/President’s Office by May 6, 2011. Awards will be announced in June.
Faculty Proposals submitted to the Superintendent/President’s Office will be forwarded to U.D.W.C. per Article 8.3 of UPM contract.

Upcoming Events

COM's Jazz Appreciation Month Celebration

April is jazz appreciation month and to celebrate the Associated Students of College of Marin, Jazz Ensemble Band Foundation, and Black Student Union will present live jazz music by College of Marin's Jazz Ensemble Tuesday, April 26, from noon to 1 p.m. outside the Student Services Building.* The COM Jazz Ensemble is directed by Doug Delaney and will feature vocalists Beverly Freeman and Citrina Niles with spoken word by Todd McCleary. Soul food will be for sale.
Also, during the month of April documentaries on the history of jazz will be shown in the lobby of the Learning Resources Center. Books on jazz will also be displayed in the library.
For more information on the event contact Beverly Freeman via email at For additional information on jazz appreciation month go to

*Event will move inside the Student Services Building if it rains.

Jazz Appreciation Month Essay Contest

Instructors: Let your students know that the Black Student Union is sponsoring an essay contest with a $100 gift card awarded to the winner. Entries must come from currently enrolled COM students. All submissions are due by April 22 at noon in the box in the Black Student Union located upstairs in the Student Services Building. The topic for the essay is: How did jazz music change America, and how has it positively affected their life? The essay should be 300-500 words, typed and double spaced. Please include contact information with your submission.

Organic Farm and Garden Plant Sale

College of Marin will hold a spring plant sale on Saturday, April 30, 2011, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden. Plants and produce for sale include vegetable starts, herbs, annual and perennial flower starts, perennial shrubs, fruit trees, assorted berries, artichokes, greens, herbs, cut flowers, and more. Live music will be provided by the old time trio Wagon. Also, don’t miss out on Wednesdays at the Farm Stand. Each Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. a wide variety of produce is available for purchase. Please remember to bring your own bags as they are not supplied. All proceeds support the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden. For more information please contact Jenna Brager at (415) 720-2051 or

Performing Arts

Black Comedy, by Peter Shaffer

Directed by Jeffrey Bihr
April 28 is a pay-what-you-will-preview
April 29 and 30, May 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 8 p.m.
May 8 and 15 at 2 p.m.

College of Marin Studio Theatre at the Corner of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Laurel Avenue in Kentfield
$15 general and $10 for students and seniors. VISA and MasterCard are accepted and group rates are available. For reservations call the Box Office at 415-485-9385.
The laughs begin when the lights go out! Dark is light and light is dark in this hilarious comic ballet of a farce! In an attempt to impress his future father-in-law and score a job with a wealthy European art dealer, our hero and his fiancée “borrow” some very expensive antique furniture and objects d’arte from his fussy neighbor to spruce up his apartment. When the power fails, the neighbor returns unexpectedly and the not-so-old girl friend shows up; chaos ensues!
Great fun for the entire family! Seating is limited in the Studio Theatre so reserve early. This show is sure to be a sellout.

Piano Repertoire and Interpretation Class Concerts
Paul Smith, instructor
Wednesday and Thursday, April 27 and 28, noon
Performing Arts Theatre
Donation suggested, parking $3

The class will perform solo compositions by Franz Liszt, Percy Grainger, Anton Arensky, J.S. Bach and others in two concerts. Different repertoire each day.

Chamber Ensemble Concerts
Jessica Ivry, director
Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30, 7:30 pm
Lefort Recital Hall (PA 72)
Donation suggested: $7, parking free

Music for small ensembles performed by COM chamber music students, including works by Beethoven, Milhaud, Mozart, Weber, Foote, and Gershwin.

COM Symphony Orchestra

Tara Flandreau, conductor
Saturday, May 7, 7:30 p.m.
St. Hilary Church, Tiburon
Sunday, May 8, 4 p.m.
Unity in Marin, Novato

Donation suggested: $20 general, $10 students, seniors, staff, and alumni.
The May concerts feature performances by three winners of the 2011 COM Concerto Competition. Two interesting 20th century works are included: soprano Emily Bender will perform Samuel Barber’s evocative work Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and bassoonist Karen Wright will play the seldom heard Ciranda das Sete Notas for bassoon and strings by Heitor Villa-Lobos. In a more classical vein, tenor Peter Tedeschi sings the aria Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön from The Magic Flute. The program will also feature two orchestral favorites, the Classical Symphony by Prokofiev and the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.

2011 Annual Spring Job Fair

The College of Marin Job Placement Center will host the Annual Spring Job Fair on Wednesday, May 11, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kentfield Campus, Student Services Building, first floor. Employers and resource agencies from the Bay Area will be present to provide employment opportunities and resources to College of Marin students, alumni, and community members.
A list of employers and agencies that will be in attendance and accepting resumes may be viewed on the Job Placement Center web site. For more information contact the Job Placement Center at (415) 485-9410.

Transfer Recognition Reception

The Transfer/Career Center will be hosting its Fifth Annual Transfer Recognition Reception to honor and recognize our students who are transferring on to four-year universities. The event will be held Friday, May 20, 2011, at the Kentfield Campus, Student Services Building, first floor. The evening will begin with a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. to formally acknowledge our students, followed by a reception. You are invited to celebrate and honor our students as they make their transition from the college to attain their educational and professional goals.
Please confirm your attendance by emailing Emy Bagtas at, by Friday, May 13. For more information call (415) 485-9671.

2011 Student Art Show

This year’s student show, Last Call, will be up in the Fine Art Gallery from April 25 to May 13, 2011. A reception for the artists will be held Tuesday, April 26, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the gallery. All artwork must be picked up no later than Wednesday, May 18, 2011, by 4 p.m.

Paintings by MaryAnn Nardo

A new exhibit sponsored by the Emeritus Students of College of Marin is on display in the Student Services Building, room 146 through June 27. A reception for the artist will be held Monday, May 2 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. featuring live music by Jon Mitguard.

COM Athletics

Softball vs. Yuba College—Double Header
           Thursday, April 21, 1 and 3 p.m. in Kentfield

Softball vs. Mendocino College—Double Header
           Thursday, April 26, 1 and 3 p.m. in Kentfield
Track and Field—Big 8 Conference Trials
           Wednesday, April 27, all day in Modesto

In Remembrance
Mark Gorrell, who taught architecture at College of Marin, passed away Wednesday, April 6. Mark turned 70 in January. He has many claims to fame; among them was a term as president of the Berkeley Ecology Center. His Green Architecture class was a popular addition to the COM architecture program. He was known as a cheerful person with a great sense of humor and will be missed by many.

Have a great week!

David Wain Coon, Ed.D.


President's Monday Briefing Web Page
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