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College of Marin
President’s Weekly Briefing—May 2, 2013
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Grand Opening Planned for new Science, Math, Nursing Building
NASA Engineer and COM Alumnus Adam Steltzner is Keynote Speaker 

Join us for the grand opening and dedication of our new Science, Math, Nursing building with noted lecturer and alumnus Adam Steltzner from the NASA Mars Rover Curiosity expedition. Steltzner’s lecture, titled “The Right Kind of Crazy—An Improbable Journey to Mars,” will be followed by a ribbon cutting and interactive tours throughout the afternoon on May 10. The event is open and free to all.


Friday, May 10
Kentfield Campus

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Dr. Adam Steltzner, lead mechanical engineer of the NASA Mars Rover Project
James Dunn Theatre

2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting and Dedication
Science, Math, Nursing Building, Orbital Court

3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Interactive Tours of Classrooms and Labs
Science, Math, Nursing Building


Science, Math, Nursing Building Interactive Tours
Participants will experience a code blue demonstration using a realistic technologically advanced robotic mannequin in the new Medical Simulation Lab performed by nursing students. In addition, exciting and hair raising electrical demonstrations will be offered in the physics lab, and expect some possible fireworks or other experiments performed in the chemistry lab. Biology, anthropology, and geology labs will also offered interactive opportunities on the tour.

Read more online about how College of Marin helped Adam Steltzner discover his passion for learning: How an 80s Rocker's Curiosity Landed Safely on the Red Planet.


Student Raquel Newman was named Bay Valley Conference Swimmer of the Year and advanced to the 2013 California Community College Athletic Association Swim & Dive Championships after winning second place in a 50-yard breaststroke race, third place in the 100-yard breaststroke and first in the 100-yard individual medley at the weekend conference championships on April 25-27 at East Los Angeles College. Also at the Bay Valley Conference Championships, Jordan Boyer won the 200-yard individual medley and the 50-yard backstroke. Jordan and Raquel were joined by Dana Embusch and Nora Divjak to win the 200-yard free relay. On the men’s side, Tylor Sarrafzadeh took second place in both the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyles and a third place in the 50-yard freestyle.

Peggy Dodge, Early Childhood Education coordinator, has been awarded a San Rafael Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Award for 2012-13. She will be recognized, along with the other honorees at a ceremony, during the Chamber's monthly business mixer on Wednesday, May 8 at 6 p.m. Mary Jane Burke, Marin County superintendent of schools, will be the master of ceremonies. The event will be at Cornish & Carey Commercial, 1101 Fifth Ave. San Rafael. The San Rafael Chamber Education Committee has honored over 100 education leaders in the past 15 years. The Committee includes representatives from the San Rafael and Dixie school districts, Dominican University of California, and College of Marin as well as businessmen and women with a long history of supporting education and individual members passionate about the interests of business and education. 

COM Alumn Adam Steltzner, who was the Mechanical Systems Lead Engineer for Entry Descent, and Landing for the NASA JPL Curiosity expedition in 2012, along with his team of engineers and scientists received the 2013 Trophy for Current Achievement from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on April 24. The National Air and Space Museum presents this trophy annually to recognize both past and present achievements involving the management or execution of a scientific or technological project, a distinguished career of service in air and space technology, or a significant contribution in chronicling the history of air and space technology.

Softball Players Win 2013 Bay Valley Conference Awards
Samantha Schilling was selected for All-State Bay Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year after pitching a no-hitter against Solano College and two one-hit games (against Yuba College and Contra Costa College). With 23 wins, she ranks first in the conference and third best in the state. She pitched 187 innings and had 164 strikeouts, ranking her first in the conference and sixth highest in the state. She ranks third in the conference with a 2.4 earned run average. On the other side of the ball, she hit a .350 in the conference, had a .443 percent on base and a .417 percent in slugging. She hit her first homerun against Chabot College. She played through injury and illness with enthusiasm and passion, and was the loudest cheerleader for teammates and a stoic leader on the mound.

Nia Ceasar, who started the 2013 season on a high note by hitting two for three in our first win against West Valley, was named First Team All-Conference Short Stop. She recorded 19 multiple hit games including batting 1,000 against Chabot, Napa, and Mendocino colleges. A dominant force on both sides of the ball, she hit .461, ranking fourth in the conference. She ranked third in the conference for her on base percentage of .530 and first in the conference for a slugging percentage of .789. Add that to 11 stolen bases, 18 walks, six triples, 15 doubles, five homeruns and 30 RBIs.

Gianna Bruschera made the Second Team All-Conference Catcher. She started off the season on fire, hitting two for three against West Valley and driving three runs. She had 17 multiple hit games including a three for four and four RBI game against Mission College and again against Yuba College in conference. She hit .404 with an on base percentage of .442 and a slugging percentage of .676. She had 36 RBIs, 15 doubles, and six homeruns. Gianna made the catcher position look effortless. She is a confident leader and earns the respect of teammates on both sides of a game on the field.

Marissa Mellor’s phenomenal hitting capabilities made her Second Team All-Conference for First Base. She got a hit in each of the first five games of the season, hitting over .750 in three of those games. In a tough loss to Cuesta College, she hit four for four with five RBIs and three doubles. She had a three-run homerun in our win against Solano College and went three for seven with four RBIs in our sweep against Yuba College. Marissa hit .430 with an on base percent of .492 and had a slugging percent of .640. She was second in conference for her 47 RBIs, making her sixteenth in state. She had nine doubles and five homeruns, walking 14 times while never striking out in conference games. Confidence is the biggest weapon a player can have and what makes Marissa so dangerous is that she knows what she can do and no pitcher can stop her.

In her first year at College of Marin, Nina Richardson was named Bay Valley Conference Coach of the Year. This is her eighth year coaching collegiate softball. The team finished fourth in conference with a 25-14 overall record and 16-8 in conference, missing third place by one game. The team’s overall stats were first in the conference in total hits (394), homeruns (28), total bases (568), and shutouts (0). They were second in runs (273), doubles (60), RBIs (220), walks (113), batting average (.359), and slugging percentage (.518).

Upcoming Events

Baseball Team Will Host Regional Playoffs

Friday, May 3 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m.
Kentfield Campus

As a result of winning the 2013 Bay Valley Conference Title, College of Marin will be hosting the regional playoffs this weekend. Go Mariners!

Two Evenings of Chamber Music

Jessica Ivry, director
Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4
7:30 p.m.
Lefort Recital Hall, PA 72
Kentfield Campus

Chamber music, including favorite trios and quartets by Haydn and Mozart, will be performed by experienced adult amateurs in two evening concerts. Also included will be a clarinet quartet by German composer Carl Stamitz and a clarinet quintet by French Romantic composer, Théodore Dubois. There will be a different program each evening. Call (415) 485-9460 for program details. 

Drama Department Presents I Hate Hamlet

By Paul Rudnick
Jeffrey Bihr, director
May 3, 4, 10, and 11 at 8 p.m.
May 5 and 12 at 2 p.m.
Studio Theatre
Kentfield Campus

His TV career in limbo, hot young TV star Andrew Rally has relocated to a gothic apartment in New York City. He has been offered the title role in Hamlet, but there’s a problem; he hates Hamlet! When the very inebriated ghost of John Barrymore appears in what used to be his gothic apartment, a wildly funny duel erupts between the two over women, art, success, duty, television and yes, the apartment! Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors, $10 for students, COM employees, and alumni. For tickets, contact the box office at (415) 485-9385. More information is available online.

Asian Pacific Heritage Festival 2013

Saturday, May 4
11 a.m. – to 3:30 p.m.
Performances in front of the Student Services Building.
Food and activities booths in front of the Learning Resources Center.
Kentfield Campus
Free admission and parking

Join the excitement at the 22nd annual Asian Pacific Heritage Festival, co-sponsored by the Asian-American Alliance of Marin and the Marin Chinese Cultural Association with the help of ASCOM and the International Society club. The festival is a celebration of the culture, traditions and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week is celebrated nationally during the first week of May. Performances and activities this year include lion dancing, Taiko drumming, dancing by the Redwood Empire Chinese Association, Hawaiian dancing, Aikido, Chen-style Taijiquan, origami, Qigong, Tai Chi, Chinese calligraphy, and ethnic foods. All ages are welcome. For more information, visit

College Success Saturday—Volunteers Still Needed

Saturday, May 4
8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Student Services Building
Kentfield Campus

College of Marin’s Counseling Department in connection with the Outreach Office is hosting the second College Success Saturday for high school seniors and their parents on Saturday, May 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kentfield Campus. Attending students will have already taken their placement tests and met with a counselor to develop their educational plan. At this event, an in-depth orientation will be given to both the new students and their parents that will introduce them to all the resources available to aid in their success at College of Marin. Students that attend will also be given priority registration for their chosen summer and fall courses. This is a great opportunity for faculty and staff to interact with and inform our new students about COM’s excellent academic programs and student services. Student organizations will also be on hand to welcome the incoming students to the College of Marin community. Your participation is a crucial element in this important day and volunteers are still needed. Please contact Anna Pilloton in Outreach at ext. 7663 to sign up for this great opportunity.

Jazz Ensemble

Karla Avila, director
Sunday, May 5
4 p.m.
James Dunn Theatre
Kentfield Campus
Donation suggested
Parking $3

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the College of Marin Jazz Ensemble in a fun-filled afternoon of sizzlin’ Latin grooves, smokin’ blues, and swingin’ big-band tunes by legends Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Stan Getz, Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, and others.

Book Reading and Signing by Betty Goerke

Wednesday, May 8
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Student Services Building, Deedy Staff Lounge

Kentfield Campus


Former College of Marin instructor Betty Goerke will be giving a brief illustrated talk about Chief Marin: Leader, Rebel and Legend, a book she wrote about the Coast Miwok Indian that is Marin County’s namesake. She will have copies of the book available for purchase. Also for sale will be recently published Discovering Native People at Point Reyes, an historic account of native life at Point Reyes and Tomales Bay, which includes information about nine specific walks in the area that have been meaningful destinations for tribal people for thousands of years. She will also have copies of Uncovering the Past at College of Marin, a unique publication written by Betty and her archaeology students, a book that discusses artifacts found on the Kentfield campus, a site occupied at least 3,350 years ago. Proceeds from book sales will fund the creation of a commemorative rock and sitting bench area near Fusselman Hall that will honor the Coast Miwok Indians who once inhabited the campus. Betty, co-founder and board member of the Miwok Archeological Preserve of Marin, and a trustee of the Museum of the American Indian, taught anthropology and archeology at College of Marin for over 35 years. For more information, contact Kathleen Kirkpatrick, (415) 485-9344.

Symphonic Band

Walter Mikolajcik, director
Wednesday, May 8
7:30 p.m.
James Dunn Theatre
Kentfield Campus
Donation suggested
Parking $3 

The Symphonic Band celebrates the new season with a program featuring overtures and festive music.  The performance includes the best of the wind band repertory including:  Mendelssohn’s Overture for Winds, Ligini’s Ballet Egyptien and Teike’s Old Comrades.  Also featured will be Holst’s Second Suite in F for Military Band, Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, and more.  Come see why “everything is for the best in this best of all possible concerts.”

COM Symphony Orchestra

Tara Flandreau, director
Karla Avila, clarinet
Friday, May 10
7:30 p.m.
James Dunn Theatre
Kentfield Campus

Saturday, May 11
4 p.m.
Unity in Marin
600 Palm Drive, Novato 

Our concert season concludes with classical favorites by Mozart and Brahms.  New COM faculty member Karla Avila will perform as soloist in the beautiful clarinet concerto by Mozart.  Keeping in the classical vein, the orchestra will conclude the program with Brahms Variations on a Theme by Haydn.

Advanced Voice Class Recital: In Praise of Mothers

Linda Noble Brown, instructor
Sunday, May 12
2 p.m.
The Tamalpais Retirement Community
501 Via Casitas, Greenbrae 

Monday, May 20
11:10. a.m.
Lefort Recital Hall, PA 72
Kentfield Campus
Donation suggested

Performing songs from classical vocal literature, operatic and musical theatre offerings, our advanced class singers will reflect on the many visions of motherhood. Join us on Mother’s Day for a touching, funny and sometimes deeply moving recital.

Concert Band Lunchtime Concert

Karla Avila, director
Tuesday, May 14
1 p.m.
James Dunn Theatre
Kentfield Campus
Donation suggested
Parking $3

Join the College of Marin Concert Band for a delightful lunchtime concert featuring some of the great symphonic works and classics by George Gershwin, Jerry Bock (Fiddler on the Roof) and a special wind ensemble arrangement of the masterpiece The Planets by Gustav Holst.

Reception for COM Retirees

Wednesday, May 15
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Marin Art and Garden Center
Garden Room
30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Ross

All faculty and staff are invited to attend a special reception honoring our retirees for their many years of service and wishing them well in all of their future endeavors.

Marin Oratorio Presents Judas Maccabaeus
Featuring Works by George Frideric Handel

Boyd Jarrell, director
Saturday, May 18 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m.
James Dunn Theatre
Kentfield Campus
Suggested Donation: $20 general admission, $15 for students, staff, seniors and alumni 

Oppression, struggle, victory, and peace—all are found in the colorful tale of Judas Maccabaeus, the rebel leader who rallied his people against a Hellenistic invasion and restored the Temple of Jerusalem. The celebrated 100-voice choir will be joined by full orchestra and a stellar cast of guest soloists. Michael Belle in the title role will be joined by Christa Pfeiffer, Clifton Massey and Paul Thompson. Proceeds support the programs of Marin Oratorio. For tickets and information, visit Marin Oratorio, or call (415) 485-9687.

Genesis, First Open Beginning Voice Class Recital

Linda Noble Brown, instructor
Monday, May 20
2:10 p.m.
Lefort Recital Hall, FA 72
Kentfield Campus
Free admission
Parking $3

Singers from this class have been working all semester to perform their first time for you. Come share the thrill and courage of singers stepping in front of their audience for the first time. Program will feature a mix of folk songs, art songs, and maybe even a short aria.

Gloriani–College Chorus and Chamber Singers Celebrate
Tudor Splendor in the Court of Elizabeth I

Boyd Jarrell, director
Jeffrey Paul, accompanist
Thursday, May 21
7:30 p.m.
Lefort Recital Hall, FA 72
Kentfield Campus
Donation suggested
Parking $3 

Please join in celebrating the richly creative era of Renaissance England and the court of Elizabeth I with the Chamber Singers and College Chorus performing compositions by Dowland, Tallis, Byrd, and Gibbons along with modern settings by Emma Lou Diemer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Benjamin Britten. “Come give us your hands if we be friends…”

Piano Repertoire Concert

Jean Alexis Smith, director
Tuesday, May 21 at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, May 22 at 12 p.m.
Lefort Recital Hall, PA 72
Kentfield Campus
Donation suggested
Parking $3

The Piano Repertoire and Performance Class presents two concerts juxtaposing short solo keyboard works from the Baroque era with short piano works from 20th century composers. Each concert features a unique repertoire.

Scholarship Awards Ceremony

May 22
5:30 p.m.
Student Services Center
Kentfield Campus

Please join us in celebrating this year’s College of Marin scholarship recipients. Recipients include graduating students, students who will be continuing their studies at College of Marin and students transferring to universities. They are selected on the basis of financial need, academic performance and individual merit by the College of Marin Scholarship Committee. A reception will follow the ceremony. RSVP by Monday, May 17, to (415) 485-9657.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom to Speak at Commencement Ceremony

Friday, May 24
6 p.m.
Kentfield Campus

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, former mayor of San Francisco, will be the honored speaker at College of Marin's 86th annual commencement ceremony. Gavin Newsom was elected as the 49th Lieutenant Governor 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. Under his energetic leadership, the economy grew and jobs were created. The City 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.

2013 Athletic Hall of Fame Honorees to be Celebrated at Dinner Induction Ceremony

Saturday, June 1
5 p.m. – No-host social hour
6 p.m. – Buffet dinner and induction
The Lodge at Tiburon
1651 Tiburon Boulevard, Tiburon
Tickets: $60
Seating is limited
RSVP by Friday, May 24 to Lindsay Bacigalupi at (415) 485-9580

The fourth annual College of Marin Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner and Ceremony inductees include:

  • Don Barksdale, Basketball, Track and Field (1940-1942)
  • Elmer Collett, Football, (1962-1963)
  • Jim McGowan, Football, Cross Country, Wrestling, Tennis, Judo (1963-1998)
  • Fred Arnold, Basketball (1964-1966)
  • Jim Halm, Basketball (1964-1966)
  • Kathleen Smyth, Basketball, Tennis, (1978 – present)
  • Veronica Venezia-DeMartini, Track and Field (1983-1984)

Ongoing Events

Farm Stand—Open Wednesdays and Saturdays

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Indian Valley Campus
Parking available in lot 6

If you haven't been able to come to the Wednesday farm stand, now is your chance to buy local organic produce and plants on Saturdays as well. Please remember to bring your own bags. Reusable, washable produce bags are sold on site for $1 each. All proceeds support the operation of the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden. 

Fine Arts Department Faculty Exhibition

Through May 25
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fine Arts Gallery
Kentfield Campus

Don’t miss the faculty show held in the newly remodeled Fine Arts Gallery at the Kentfield Campus. The exhibition will showcase the many art disciplines taught at the College. For more information, call Olga Borissova at (415) 485-9480. 

Emeritus Center Displays Work of Anna Ladyzhenskaya

Through June 30
Emeritus Center
Kentfield Campus

The work of internationally known artist Anna Ladyzhenskaya, a Novato resident, will be on display through June 30 in the Emeritus Center. The artist, a native of Moldova (when it was still part of the former Soviet Union) works with different forms of media to create landscapes, still lifes and portraits. She is a member of the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art. Other recent exhibits of her artwork include San Francisco’s annual Celebration of Craftswomen at Fort Mason and regular displays at Gallery Elektra in Sausalito. 

Electric Vehicle Club Hosts Hamburger Tuesdays

Tuesdays 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Outside Main Building 27
Indian Valley Campus 

Tuesdays are burger days throughout the spring semester thanks to the Electric Vehicle Club, which is hosting a weekly fundraiser to support the restoration of one of the College’s classic electric vehicles. The club will be selling beef and vegetarian burgers with the works for $3 or a burger with soda and chips for $5. The group is also selling energy drinks, water, fruit, and ice cream.


Baseball Regional Playoffs
College of Marin (28‐8) vs. Solano (21‐13)
Friday, May 3 at 2 p.m. and Saturday, May 4 at 11 a.m.
Location: Marin

Baseball State Playoffs Super Regional
Friday-Sunday, May 10-13, Time: TBA
Location: TBA

Baseball Final Four State Championship
Friday-Sunday, May 17-19, Time: TBA
Location: TBA
For information on the Baseball Regional Playoffs, visit CCCAA Sports

College of Marin Softball finishes season with 25-14 Record

Track and Field—NorCal Trials
Saturday, May 4, all day in Sacramento

Track and Field—NorCal Finals
Saturday, May 11, all day in Sacramento

Track and Field—State Meet
Friday-Saturday, May 17-18, all day in San Mateo

Memoriam: Memorial for Family and Friends of Lindsey Crocker

Saturday, May 11
3:30 p.m.
Math Lab, SMN 129
Kentfield Campus

It is with sadness that I report the sudden passing of Eileen “Lindsey” Crocker, beloved tutor in the Math Lab. Lindsey worked as a math tutor since June 2000, occasionally substituting as an instructional specialist. Those who knew Lindsey knew her as kind, clear, empathic, very patient and humble. She was someone who was always working to improve her skills. She had the ability to calm even the most anxious math student and students felt valued to have her there to help them.  She was generous and always willing to help, thinking of others before herself. Lindsay also spent quite a bit of time in the Performing Arts Department, taking classes, working in the Music Library and helping out with the stage lighting. She loved nature and politics and would often bring books, poems and articles to share. The students and staff who knew Lindsay are brokenhearted by her sudden passing. College of Marin was an important part of her life and she was an important part of ours. She will be greatly missed.

Submissions to the Weekly Briefing

Please submit information no later than Friday for the following week. Submissions received later than Friday will be included in the next week’s edition.


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