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College of Marin
President’s Weekly Briefing — February 28, 2013
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Lieutenant Governor to Speak at Commencement

I am pleased to announce that Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will be the speaker for College of Marin’s 86th Annual Commencement Ceremony honoring the Class of 2013.

Gavin Newsom was elected as the 49th Lieutenant Governor of the State of California on November 2, 2010. His top priorities are economic development and job creation, improving access to higher education, and maintaining California’s environmental leadership. His background includes the start-up of 15 small businesses, creating more than 1,000 jobs in the private sector, and serving as a county supervisor and the mayor of the City and County of San Francisco.

Newsom gained worldwide attention when he granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples setting the tone for his first term as mayor. Under his energetic leadership, the economy grew and jobs were created. San Francisco became a center for biotech and clean technology. He initiated a plan to bring universal health care to all of the city’s uninsured residents. He also aggressively pursued local solutions to global climate change.

In 2007, Newsom was re-elected with more than 73 percent of the vote. He built upon the successes of his first term, launching new environmental initiatives and a comprehensive strategy to transform one of San Francisco’s most troubled neighborhoods into a life sciences, digital media, and clean tech center. More than 80 percent of the previously uninsured are now covered by the city’s first-of-its-kind universal health care program. San Francisco enjoys the highest minimum wage in America, universal paid family leave, and universal child care. San Francisco’s public school district is the highest performing urban school district in the state. Newsom also balanced seven consecutive budgets on time during national economic instability without laying off a single teacher, police officer, or firefighter.

Please join me for what I’m confident will be a memorable Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 24, at 6 p.m.


Tickets Available for Opening Night Performance of Big River

Big RiverDirected by James Dunn
Musical Direction by Paul Smith
Choreography by Sandra Tanner
Based on the book by William Hauptman

Opening Night Performance and Post-show Party—$40
Friday, March 1, 8 p.m.
James Dunn Theatre
$40 tickets available at door or call the box office (415) 485-9385
Don't miss the Marin County Premier of Big River this Friday night (presented by special arrangement with Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatricals). Join us for a spectacular performance followed by an after-show party where you will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with cast members and musicians.
As American as apple pie, Big River recently played to sold out houses at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto. Based on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, this show is everyone’s favorite bad boy adventure story. Tom Sawyer, The Duke, The King, and all the other wonderful characters from Twain’s masterpiece come to life as Huck Finn and Jim, the runaway slave, raft their way down the Big Muddy—the mighty Mississippi River. With a musical score reminiscent of the music of preslavery days in Missouri, this show will be a wonderful outing for the entire family.
Additional performances of Big River
February 28 (Pay-What-You-Will Preview)
March 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 8 p.m.
March 10 and 17 at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $25 general, $18 seniors, $15 students, $10 children 12 and under

WeGoMarin Ridesharing Program

Students, faculty, and staff now have a way to share the cost of driving through WeGoMarin, a real-time ridesharing program sponsored by the Transportation Authority of Marin.

WeGoMarin is not like traditional carpools which require carpoolers to plan days or weeks in advance. Instead, everything is done in real-time. Carpoolers looking for a ride to the college just log in to the ridesharing app, Avego RTR, and look for riders or drivers in real-time. The system matches WeGo users with an immediate, real-time commute carpool. Rides can also be set up for later in the day, later in the week, or even for regularly scheduled rides.

To start sharing rides:

  • Set up a WeGoMarin account
  • Users will be sent a link from your smart phone to create an Avego account. (The following link can also be pasted into a browser: )
  • Download the Avego RTR app
  • Open the app, click on the Menu button (in the upper left corner), and select Login from the bottom of the menu
  • Click on your name in the menu to set up your profile, including a picture and a few words about your commute

Once the account is set up, $50 in Avego credits will be deposited into the account.

From now through April 15, every shared ride is entered into a weekly drawing for $100 in prizes; and everyone who shares two or more rides in a week gets a $5 Starbucks card.

More information on how the beta and pilot programs work is available online.

Personnel Actions from the February 19 Board of Trustees Meeting

Classified Personnel Recommendations
Michael (Tom) Hudgens has accepted the position of Program Specialist in the Community Education and Services Department effective February 11, 2013.

Resignation of Academic Personnel
Benjamin Jose, physics instructor, has submitted his letter of resignation effective May 23, 2013.

Fruit Tree Bench Grafting Workshop

On Saturday, February 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. College of Marin, along with Conservation Corps North Bay and The University of California Cooperative Extension, will offer a workshop on vegetable crop succession and rotation planting at the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden. Learn the art of bench grafting with a tutorial, demonstration, practice, and grafting of a tree to take home. You can then hone your skills by grafting additional tree stock for the farm. The cost is $50 and includes taking one tree home. More trees can be grafted for personal use with an additional fee of $10 per tree.

Instructor John Valenzuela is a horticulturist, consultant, and educator focused on fruit trees and ecological edible landscapes called food forests, while also maintaining a small rare fruit nursery in Novato. He is currently the chairperson of the Golden Gate Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG), and has been coordinator for their annual Scion Ex-change for 3 years. He has led grafting classes for four years for the Marin UCCE, in addition to classes through the Ecology Center in Berkeley and other venues throughout the West Coast.

Register online soon as class size is limited to 30 participants. Master Gardeners receive three CE hours for their attendance. Clippers and gloves will be provided but please feel free to bring your own if you have them.

The farm stand will be open to the public for produce, fruit tree, and plant sales from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parking at the Indian Valley Campus is free on weekends. Please wear walking shoes with closed toes and be prepared for rain. For more information contact Liz Peer. Proceeds support the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden, pay for instructors, and public outreach by Master Gardeners.

College Representatives on Campus in March

College representatives from CCA (California College of the Arts), Columbia University, Mills College, UC Berkeley, Dominican University, and The Art Institute of California will be coming to the Kentfield Campus in March. Representatives will be available to provide information about their programs and answer questions. For more information contact Cynthia Lavi at (415) 485.9671

Tuesday, March 5
CCA (California College of the Arts)
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Student Services Building, Conference Room A

Thursday, March 7
Columbia University, School of General Studies
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Transfer and Career Center

Tuesday, March 12
Mills College
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Transfer and Career Center

Thursday, March 21
UC Berkeley
9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (By appointment only; call 415.485.9671)
Counseling Department

Tuesday, March 26
Dominican University
9:30 a.m. to noon (By appointment only; call 415.485.9671)
Transfer and Career Center

Thursday, March 28

The Art Institute of California
10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Student Services Building, Cafeteria Entrance


Communications Department Professor and Department Chair Patricia O’Keefe published “GIFTS from Our Journals: Transferring Notes in the Margin to Teachable Moments,” Western Journal of Communication Volume 77, no. 1, (January/February 2013): 1-13.

Great Ideas for Teaching Students (GIFTS) are among the most popular and well-attended panel sessions at many academic conferences. The article describes the process by which current research in the Western Journal of Communication can be transferred into GIFTS for lower division communication classrooms. The goal is to provide an entrée for people who consider themselves teachers, either primarily or exclusively, to read the latest scholarship and incorporate it into their teaching.

In addition to this publication, Professor O’Keefe became the president-elect of the Western States Communication Association at their annual convention this February 15 through 18. The conference was held in Reno, NV. O’Keefe will be the primary program planner for next year’s WSCA convention in Anaheim, CA.

Free Tax Preparation Services Are Available at the Single Stop Office

COM’s Single Stop Office offers free tax preparation, financial counseling, legal advice, and benefits screenings to COM students, faculty, and staff. Free tax preparation services are available now through April at the Single Stop Office.

The goal of Single Stop is to provide students with additional resources to help increase retention and graduation rates. Single Stop also offers benefit screenings and application assistance, which can give students access to food services (CalFresh), low cost or free health insurance (Medi-Cal, CMSP and Healthy Families), child care services, affordable housing, CalWORKs, and cash aid programs (general assistance).

For more information about tax preparation or other services, please contact Edwin Towle, M.S., Single Stop Coordinator at the Student Services Center, Room. 124, call ext. 7761, or email

Flu Shots Available at a Reduced Cost

The College of Marin Health Center will be offering seasonal flu shots to students and faculty at both the Kentfield and Indian Valley Campuses.

Flu shots are $5 for students, $10 for faculty and staff.

Kentfield Campus Clinics:
Mondays: 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 8:30 a.m. to noon
Wednesdays: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. (must call before coming in)
Thursdays: 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Fridays: 8 a.m. to noon

Indian Valley Campus Clinics
No drop-ins; you must call for an appointment
Mondays: 9 a.m. to noon
Tuesdays: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Call (415) 485-9458 for an appointment or more information.

The Health Center is not a Medicare provider and is not able to bill insurance plans. Anyone wishing to receive a shot must be 18 years of age or older.


Baseball vs. Mendocino College
Saturday, March 2, 1 p.m. in Kentfield
Baseball vs. Yuba College
Tuesday, March 5, 2 p.m. in Kentfield
Baseball vs. Laney College
Thursday, March 7, 2 p.m. in Oakland

Softball vs. College of the Redwoods/Cabrillo College—doubleheader
Friday, March 1, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Kentfield
Softball vs. Napa Valley College—doubleheader
Thursday, March 7, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in Napa

Track and Field—Beaver Relays at American River College
Saturday, March 2, all day in Sacramento

Swimming and Diving—Mariner Invitational
Saturday, March 9, all day in Novato (IVC)


Have a great weekend,

David Wain Coon, Ed.D.


President's Weekly Briefing Web Page
Technical Contact: Nicole Cruz, Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director of Communications, Community Relations, and Advancement, (415) 485-9648
Content Responsible: Cathy Summa-Wolfe, Executive Director, Communications, Community Relations, and Advancement, (415) 485-9528