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College of Marin
President’s Weekly Briefing —September 12, 2013
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Constitution Day

The College of Marin Trustees approved a resolution last month honoring September 17 as Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of the nation’s Constitution on that day in 1787. The trustees said in a declaration last month that it is important all students be aware of the nature and function of this living document. The resolution is also a response to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005, which established a statutory mandate that educational institutions receiving federal funds should recognize the special day.
College of Marin will commemorate Constitution Day by distributing free pocket size versions of the U.S. Constitution to students compliments of Congressman Jared Huffman's office. Students will also be invited to see the film 42, the life story of Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey. Constitution Day events will take place on Wednesday, September 18, 2013, at 3 p.m., in the Deedy Staff Lounge located in the Student Services Building at the Kentfield Campus. More information on the national celebration can be found at the Constitution Day website.


The student labs in the new College of Marin Science, Mathematics, Nursing and Central Plant Complex have earned top design honors from the American School & University, a national trade publication that showcased educational interiors in its August issue. The especially noteworthy 25,000-square feet of lab space is located in the three-story, 77,000 square foot complex that was designed by San Francisco-based ED2 International Architects/Planners. About five years in the making, the project grew out of ongoing collaborative discussions with instructors, trustees, neighbors and designers and earned a LEED-certified gold rating for its use of natural lighting, recycled materials, locally sourced materials and energy conscious systems. The labs have appropriate ventilation and improved safety systems as well as moveable cabinetry, storage and furnishings and modular mechanical systems. Partitions accommodate different class sizes. The flooring, ceiling and building’s exterior are made of recycled materials. Peter W.T. Wong, Senior Principal for Planning and Design at ED2, said, “If you had a checklist of what you’d like to see in a 21st century building, it would all be there.”
Part-time Biology instructor Tina Christensen has co-authored a paper that was recently published in the journal Cell Biology Education. In the article, Christensen, with coauthors Jennifer L. Breckler and Wendy Sun, demonstrated that the test performances of students with lower math scores improved after they viewed a class demonstration. “Using a Physics Experiment in a Lecture Setting to Engage Biology Students with the Concepts of Poiseuille's Law” was published in a special issue on integrating Physics and Biology education. It appeared in the June 3, 2013, issue.
The Novato Fire Protection District (NFPD) promoted Lori Jessell, a College of Marin instructor, to the rank of captain at a ceremony on September 4 at the Buck Center in Novato. Jessell joined NPFD as a fire inspector in 2002 after working as a firefighter for two years with CalFIRE. She is a California state certified fire officer, fire inspector, fire investigator I and II, plans examiner and public educator, as well as an active member of many organizations. She has served in leadership positions for Marin County Fire Prevention Officers, the Northern California Fire Prevention Officers and the Marin County Fire Investigation Team. She is a member of the California Conference of Arson Investigators. She teaches the Emergency Medical Responder/First Responder course, coordinates the College of Marin Fire Technology Program and serves as a liaison between COM and the Marin County Emergency Medical Services Agency. The NFPD is an independent special district serving nearly 63,000 residents and responding to more than 5,000 incidents annually.
Over 550 students attended the Saturday Services Open House last month to register, learn about Community Education and enjoy the Nursing Department’s barbecue for incoming nursing students. Thank you to all who helped make it a huge success.

HR Helpful Hint: Conference Leave Requests

New editable online forms are available for faculty requesting conference leaves. Requests are handled by the Professional Affairs Committee, which makes recommendations about faculty requests for reimbursement expenses to the vice president of student learning. If you would like more information about the process, please visit the Faculty Handbook Section XI on Professional Opportunities. Applications must be time-stamped by HR at least 15 days prior to a requested leave to be eligible for approval and funding.

Personnel Actions from the August 20, 2013 Board of Trustees Meeting

Appointments of Academic Personnel
Nicholas Fara has been appointed Automotive Technology Instructor, effective August 16, 2013.
Lori Moraca has been appointed Child Development Program Site Supervisor, effective August 12, 2013.

Appointments of Educational Management Personnel
Derek Levy has been appointed to the position of Dean of Student Success, effective August 15, 2013.
Cari Torres-Benavides has been appointed Interim Vice-President of Student Learning, effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, or until the position is filled.
Diane Traversi had been appointed to the position of Dean of Enrollment Services, effective August 13, 2013.

Resignation of Instructional Personnel
Emily Monsour, Children’s Center Teacher, submitted her resignation, effective August 3, 2013.

Upcoming Events

Welcome our International Students This Afternoon

Please join me, along with the Center for International Education, in welcoming our new and returning international students. Enjoy complimentary coffee and pizza while socializing with our students.

Thursday, September 12
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Student Services Building, Cafeteria
Kentfield Campus

Drama Club Carwash and Bake Sale

Come support the College Drama Club this Sunday by getting your car cleaned while enjoying fresh baked goods. All proceeds will go to the club, which is hosting an exciting October performance and workshop by the Moradokmai Theatre Troupe Thailand.

Sunday, September 15
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Parking lot 4, off of Laurel Avenue, Northeast side of campus
$10 per car
For information, contact the Drama Department Office at (415) 485-9555

Local Vendors on Campus for Welcome Week

Vendors offering services to our students and staff will be on both campuses next week to help us all learn about local businesses and discount programs. Vendors include: Marin IJ/San Francisco Chronicle, Comcast, Verizon, Redwood Credit Union, Riley’s Art Supplies, Gideon Bible, Blue Cross/Allstate, KMEL, Live 105, Lobo’s Ice Cream, Marin Education Fund, Union Bank, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and many wonderful art and jewelry vendors. Take a break and join in the festivities. To learn more, contact Vickie Lamke in Student Affairs, at (415) 485-9376.

Tuesday, September 17 through Thursday, September 19
10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Learning Resources Center Quad
Kentfield Campus

Wednesday, September 18 and Thursday, September 19
10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Internet Café Quad
Indian Valley Campus

Health Center Flu Shots

Flu shots will be available on both campuses to anyone over 18 years of age for $20. The Health Center does not bill insurance plans and is not a Medicare provider. Call (415) 485-9458, for more information.

Fridays, September 20 and 27, October 4 and 11, 9 a.m. – noon
Health Services Portable, parking lot 6
Kentfield Campus

Monday, September 30, 10 a.m. – noon
AS 121
Indian Valley Campus

Fall Plant Sale: IVC Organic Farm & Garden

Come stock up on the freshest organic produce, herbs, flowers and plants – all while enjoying live music, tastings, face painting, bouquet-making and farm tours at the IVC Organic Farm & Garden Fall Plant Sale. There will also be a Native Feast Day Celebration, Sunday, Sept. 29, Noon – 3 p.m. The Native Feast Day is a collaboration with the Cultural Conservancy, Seventh Native American Generation and other native youth groups. It will include an afternoon of seed saving, native food tastings, storytelling and tours of the future ethno botanical garden at IVOF&G. Guest speakers include Coast Miwok and Jenner Pomo Jacquelyn Ross, a fisherwoman, native food gatherer, educator and writer; and Kiowa Lois Ellen Frank, a Sana Fe, NM-based chef, culinary anthropologist, photographer and author of Indian Foods of the Southwest Nations. All proceeds support the operation of the Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden. For more information, contact Jennie Pardi at (415) 720-2771 or, or visit the Conservation Corps website.

Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden
Indian Valley Campus

Fine Arts Gallery Opens This Fall with Diebenkorn Works on Paper

The artistic mastery of internationally revered artist Richard Diebenkorn will be presented in a premier exhibit at the Fine Arts Gallery beginning Monday, September 30, 2013. The seven-week exhibit features 40 pieces, 38 of which have never been publicly viewed. The selected works on paper portray a richly intimate glimpse into the artist’s evolution spanning more than 40 years. The show, which includes pencil and ink drawings on paper, collages of torn paper and watercolors, is the first show to be produced by the Diebenkorn Foundation.

Chester Arnold, chair of the Fine Arts Department at College of Marin, a painting instructor and artist, curated the exhibit. He sifted through hundreds of drawings, many of which were unframed in flat files in storage at the Foundation. Some of them were created in lean times for the artist on the back of old advertising posters for Mother’s Cookies and Pennzoil.

The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper 1949–1992
September 28 – November 14, 2013
Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
One Saturday only, September 28, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
College of Marin Fine Arts Gallery
Kentfield Campus
The show is open to the public free of charge.

Advanced Voice Singers Choice Recital: Canzoni Preferiti

Under the direction of instructor Linda Noble Brown, the Advanced Voice class at College of Marin presents a fall concert recital of favorite art songs and arias. It will be a program of songs by the likes of Mozart, Schumann, Wolf, and Faure, as well as arias from the traditional canon by Bizet, Puccini, Verdi and Bellini, and perhaps even a couple songs from traditional musical theatre to round off the program.

Monday, September 30, 11:10 a.m.
Lefort Recital Hall, PA 72
Kentfield Campus
For more information, call (415) 485.9460. To receive performance notices electronically, email

COM Drama Department Presents A Streetcar Named Desire

By Tennessee Williams
Directed by W. Allen Taylor

When it made its Broadway debut in 1947, A Streetcar Named Desire paved the way for a whole new genre of theatrical experience steeped in the technique of “method acting.” Emotionally fragile Blanche DuBois, struggling to hang on to her stability and the disappearing world of Southern gentility, arrives in the hot, steamy, squalid French Quarter of New Orleans where her pregnant sister Stella is living with her husband Stanley Kowalski. Stanley is a force of nature, primal, brutish and sensual. When Blanche sets up court in his house, Stanley becomes infuriated and the collision between the two causes Blanche to draw deeper into the world of illusion and fantasy. One of Broadway’s most celebrated plays of all time, “Streetcar” won the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and New York Drama Critics’ Circle award for Best Play and has enjoyed many awards and nominations throughout several revivals since its premiere.

Thursday, October 3 at 8 p.m. (Pay what you will preview)
Fridays and Saturdays, October 4, 5, 11, 12, 1, 8 and 19 at 8 p.m.
Sundays, October 13 and 20 at 2 p.m.
James Dunn Theatre
Kentfield Campus
$20 general; $15 seniors; $10 students, COM employees, and alumni

The Box Office opens September 26 and is open Tuesday through Friday, 3:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. and one hour before performances on Saturday and Sunday. (415) 485-9385.

Ongoing Events

Cop’s Corner

Receive immediate text messages of campus closures and emergencies by signing up for AlertU, College of Marin’s emergency notification system. Marin Community College District Police Department, with sponsorship from, has an emergency SMS messaging platform to enhance communication services during crisis situations. The program allows campus police to broadcast critical information in real time to mobile devices of employees and students. This is particularly important for those who may be in or near a crisis zone. Subscribers can also relay emergency information to our AlertU account manager or administrator from inside a crisis zone. Friends and family members are also able to subscribe to receive updates. To sign up, go to AlertU and follow directions. There is no cost to sign up for this service. Standard text message rates may apply.

Evening Administration Information

Evening administrators are available on both campuses Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. If you need assistance, please contact an administrator at the number listed below:
Kentfield Campus (415) 747-0699
Indian Valley Campus (415) 747-0658
If you would like a campus police officer to contact you, call dispatch at ext. 7696 or (415) 485-9696. For life- or property-threatening emergencies, call 911.

Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden Is Hiring Students

Students are invited to learn principles and practices of organic farming through a hands-on work-study program at the Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden. Students will learn cultivation, propagation and marketing as part of a unique experience that is created through the College of Marin and Conservation Corps North Bay. Eligible students must be enrolled in at least six units, qualify for financial aid and be able to work about 22.5 to 25 hours per week. For more information contact Aurea Tanchoco at (415) 454-4554, ext.142 or apply online.

Accreditation Progress Report Available for Your Review

You are invited to read our accreditation progress report and provide feedback through your respective senate presidents. The draft report, available online, responds to nine recommendations made earlier this year by a visiting accreditation team as well as 26 planning agenda items included in the Institutional Self Study Report 2010. I think you will be impressed with what the College has accomplished in recent years. The final draft is due in mid-October.

Midweek and Weekend Hours for IVC Farm & Garden

Buy fresh organic produce at the Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden. To learn more about what’s growing on the Farm, sign up for the Farm Bulletin.

Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Indian Valley Campus

New Food Truck Cooking Up Organic Meals at IVC

Drop-in food service by M Woodward Catering via a mobile restaurant – The Retro Wagon Gastro Grub Express – is now available at the Indian Valley Campus. The menu includes delicious comfort food and weekly specials with a modern twist. All food items are locally sourced and organic. Gluten-free bread choices are available on request.

Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fridays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Building 27, near the bus loading area
Indian Valley Campus

ESCOM Sponsors Petaluma Artists Exhibit

The Emeritus Students of the College of Marin are sponsoring an exhibit of Petaluma artists Muriel Sutcher Knapp and Medley McClary. Knapp studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and received a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois. She worked as an elementary school teacher for 21 years, devoting herself to art upon her retirement. She paints still lifes and portraits in oils and acrylics and works in textiles as well. Her work has been shown regionally and in the Midwest. She is a founding member of the Petaluma Arts Council and a member of the Sebastopol Center of the Arts and the Petaluma Arts Association where she chaired the program committee for seven years. McClary, who spent most of her childhood in Asia, works in various mediums, creating acrylic landscapes on canvas, commissioned portraits in pencil, and clothing design in leather as well as jewelry, and photography. “When I draw a portrait, I search for that particular look or gesture that will give me a glimpse into the subject’s personality and which expresses their unique beauty and grace,” she says. Her portraits have been featured at the Petaluma Gallery One, Apple Box Café, and Copperfield’s Books.

Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Through September 26
Emeritus Center Gallery
Student Services Building, room 146
Kentfield Campus
The show is open to the public free of charge.

For more information, contact ESCOM at (415) 485-9652.


Women’s Soccer vs. Skyline
Friday, September 13, 2 p.m. in Kentfield
Women’s Soccer vs. Hartnell
Tuesday, September 17, 1:30 p.m. in Salinas
Women’s Soccer vs. Folsom
Tuesday, September 24, 2 p.m. in Kentfield
Women’s Soccer vs. Los Medanos
Friday, September 27, 3:30 p.m. in Pittsburg
Men’s Soccer vs. Skyline
Friday, September 13, 4 p.m. in Kentfield
Men’s Soccer vs. Ohlone
Tuesday, September 17, 4 p.m. in Freemont
Men’s Soccer vs. TBA
Friday, September 20, 4 p.m. at TBA
Men’s Soccer vs. Merritt
Tuesday, September 24, 4 p.m. in Kentfield
Men’s Soccer vs. Shasta
Friday, September 27, 4 p.m. in Kentfield

Women's Volleyball vs. Solano
Friday, September 20, 6 p.m. in Fairfield
Women's Volleyball vs. Contra Costa
Wednesday, September 25, 6 p.m. in Kentfield
Women's Volleyball vs. Consumes River
Thursday, September 26, 6 p.m. in Kentfield

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