SYLMAR, CA – Residents of Sunland-Tujunga, Shadow Hills, Lake View Terrace, and surrounding communities will now have access to college-level courses in their own neighborhood thanks to a new Los Angeles Mission College satellite campus, officials announced today.
The new Sunland-Tujunga campus will be formally presented to the community next Tuesday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m. during a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, said college president, Monte Perez, PhD.
“It’s been a long time coming and our partners in the community have been asking for this campus,” Dr. Perez said. “Bringing credit and non-credit classes into this community helps us fulfill our mission of providing high-quality learning opportunities.”
The new campus will host its first semester when late spring 2017 classes begin on April 10, 2017. The initial schedule of classes includes art, music, computer applications, and English as a Second Language. The full schedule is available by visiting www.lamission.edu/sunland. The campus is located at 7200 Foothill Boulevard.
L.A. Mission College will operate a front office at the satellite campus, and will schedule student support services throughout the week, which means students will have access to Admissions, Counseling, Financial Aid and more.
Residents, along with city and state officials, the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council, the Sunland-Tujunga Chamber of Commerce, and students from nearby Verdugo Hills High School will all be in attendance for the ribbon-cutting next week.
“This new campus is a victory for the entire community,” said Nina Royal, chair of the Mission College Sunland-Tujunga Campus Committee, which began advocating for a local campus in 2007. “This is very exciting because I believe this site is just the beginning.”
Los Angeles Mission College is committed to the success of our students. The College provides accessible, affordable, high-quality learning opportunities in a culturally and intellectually supportive environment. Learn more at www.lamission.edu.
Don't Miss Children's Author Jose-Luis Orozco
Bring your children and get ready to dance, clap, and laugh during a special performance by bilingual educator, children’s author, and recording artist Jose-Luis Orozco. Together with your children and the community, discover the joys of a rich musical experience through song, music and Latin American culture.
Orozco’s music is featured in child development centers across the country!
When: Saturday, March 18, 10-11 a.m.
Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Los Angeles Mission College (Campus Center)
13356 Eldridge Avenue, Sylmar, CA 91342
Tickets are available for $5 each or $10 for a family of four.
Buy them today at the Child Development Center or in the Business Office.
For more information, call 818-364-7722.
Noche de Ciencias - Saturday, March 4
K-12 students are invited to attend the "Noche de Ciencias" event on Saturday, March 4 at Los Angeles Mission College. Noches de Ciencias (Science Night) is a national initiative to promote knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The goal of Noche de Ciencias is to inform K-12 students and their families about STEM education and college options through interactive workshops and activities.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Los Angeles Mission College (Campus Center)
13356 Eldridge Avenue
Sylmar, CA 91342
SYLMAR, CA – Following a campus forum on immigration that featured Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), Los Angeles Mission College officials are working to ease fear in the undocumented student community by assuring students that their information is safe and kept private.
In recent days, college officials have heard from local high schools regarding students who are afraid to enroll because of fear that the college might share information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). But college president, Monte Perez, PhD, says their information is protected.
“We want to make sure students know that their information is protected through the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA),” Dr. Perez said. “That means that legally, we can’t divulge that information without a judicial order or subpoena.”
During a Tuesday lunchtime forum for students, faculty and staff, Saenz addressed recent actions by the Trump administration, including memos by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, stating that the actions are mainly intended to create fear and confusion.
“Trump is not empowered to make many of these decisions on his own,” Saenz said. “They’re overstating what they can do to convince people that they don’t have rights, but all immigrants have rights.”
Saenz emphasized that undocumented students must know their rights, not waive their rights, and know that they will be supported if they assert their rights to seek grounds for relief from removal.
L.A. Mission College invites Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students to call 818-364-7766 or email email@example.com for resources and information. DACA students have access to matriculation, counseling, financial aid, and other services.
Los Angeles Mission College is committed to the success of our students. The College provides accessible, affordable, high-quality learning opportunities in a culturally and intellectually supportive environment.
Kadima String Quartet Set for Free Performance
The Kadima String Quartet, one of the leading performance groups in the San Fernando Valley, will once again perform at Los Angeles Mission College.
All students, staff, faculty, and community members are invited to attend the free concert, which will take place at the Campus Center Main on Wednesday, February 22 at 3 p.m.
The quartet is the official quartet of the Kadima Conservatory. Their repertoire varies from Mozart to Led Zeppelin and they are frequently invited to perform concerts, recitals, and events all over the Los Angeles area.
Twice the ensemble has received the Coleman Chamber Music Outreach Concert Award. This year the quartet received grants from both the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the City Department of Cultural Affairs for continued outreach concerts in the San Fernando Valley area.
The Culinary Arts Institute and its partner, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), hosted more than 40 local high school students on Friday during a training session designed to boost interest in the industry.
L.A. Mission College Instructor Chef Jesus Sanchez, CEC, welcomed students representing local high schools, including San Fernando, Sylmar and Discovery Charter Prep, and encouraged them to use the event to get comfortable in the kitchen and ask questions.
“This is an opportunity to build excitement and give these students a hands-on experience,” Chef Sanchez said. “C-CAP is instrumental in helping us reach these students and promoting Mission College with the local schools.”
Chef Sanchez said that Mission benefits from C-CAP because the nonprofit helps provide students with scholarships, and fundraises to support high school programs.
Lisa Fontanesi, director of C-CAP Los Angeles, said Mission is a key partner in getting students ready for the real world of culinary and hospitality.
“Not only are Mission’s facilities fabulous and state-of-the-art, but the support of the instructors is key to the success of our students,” Ms. Fontanesi said. “We also love that this is how we get kids to attend Mission … By seeing the school and meeting the chefs, they realize they have something wonderful right in their own backyard.”
She described C-CAP as a not-for-profit that promotes and provides foodservice career opportunities for underserved youth.
For Chef Tina Hartounian, a culinary instructor at San Fernando High School, the partnership allows her to expose her students to the realities of a culinary career.
“I can teach them the fundamentals,” Chef Hartounian said. “But this takes them out of their comfort zone and lets them operate in a real kitchen and participate in job shadowing, which allows them to experience what it’s like in the real world.”
She brought three seniors and one junior to the event in preparation for C-CAP’s annual cooking competition. Students must prepare classic French dishes to demonstrate culinary, safety and sanitation, and presentation skills in a timed format.
“The competition is overwhelming so I try to bring them as juniors so they can get used to the kitchen and experience.”
With more than 125 students in her program, Chef Hartounian said partnering with Mission and C-CAP is an important step.
“Some of these students get these ideas from this foodie generation and food network, and they don’t realize how much work it is,” she said. “It’s teaching them soft skills that are important for any of us that are working.”
“When we partner with Mission and C-CAP, it gets our students into the industry … We’re creating a bridge.”
Counselor Paves Way for Student Transfer
By Deborah Manning
Los Angeles Mission College Honor Student Victoria Lynn Palmer experienced a sense of belonging when she toured Tuskegee University in Alabama last June. The history of this university, established in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, resonated with her, as did the warm southern hospitality extended to her from faculty and staff. As she walked the campus grounds with its long-standing brick buildings and expansive green lawns, she realized she found the university where she hoped to transfer.
She attributed her newfound university to Mission’s Transfer Center Counselor and Coordinator Tashini Walker, who informed Ms. Palmer about university transfer options available in other parts of the country, and who guided her to an all-expense-paid tour of colleges and universities in the South.
“Every step of the way, Ms. Walker supported me,” Ms. Palmer said.
Early in May of 2016 at the Transfer Center, Ms. Palmer met with Ms. Walker and discussed her desire of transferring to a school that offered an environment where faculty and staff were especially supportive of students. With her student's preference in mind, Ms. Walker suggested that she consider transferring to one of the Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that are located in the South and on the East Coast.
“Historical Black Colleges and Universities have a reputation of being nurturing and supportive,” Ms. Walker said
Ms. Palmer said she was not even aware that HBCUs existed. She never thought of attending an out-of-state university let alone one that was 2,000 miles away from home. Prior to hearing about HBCUs, she had only considered applying to universities in Los Angeles.
“After Victoria disclosed information about her personal life regarding her adversities and heartaches, I knew then that the HBCU’s would provide a sense of home-away-from-home environment for her to flourish as she embarks upon her new journey,” Ms. Walker said.
Ms. Walker informed Ms. Palmer about an agreement between the California Community Colleges and the HBCUs.
“This agreement guarantees transfer to Historical Black Colleges and Universities when students complete certain courses,” Ms. Walker said.
Ms. Walker further explained to Ms. Palmer that HBCUs represent a diverse student body.
“They not only serve African Americans, but also students from other racial and ethnic groups,” Ms. Walker said.
Ms. Palmer, intrigued with this new opportunity, expressed her interest to Ms. Walker about the possibility of attending a HBCU.
Ms. Walker knew of colleges within the Los Angeles Community College District that arranged tours for students to visit HBCUs. She also knew that obtaining a reservation late in the spring semester was an obstacle. She immediately contacted one of her colleagues who had a tour coming up to see if Ms. Palmer could participate.
Ms. Walker’s colleague had one seat available on a bus scheduled to tour southern HBCUs.
Ms. Palmer excitedly joined the tour. She was on her way to a life-changing adventure. The trip, which was her first visit to the South, allowed her to experience new people, places, culture, and ultimately discover a university she hoped to attend in the fall of 2017.
“The trip got me out of my comfort zone,” Ms. Palmer said.
At the request of her English professor, Veronica Diaz-Cooper, Ms. Palmer enlightened students in their English 101/102 accelerated class about her visit to the Transfer Center and how it morphed into a tour of HBCUs. Her impromptu presentation evoked much discussion and questions from the students.
“Ms. Palmer learned there are a plethora of all-expenses-paid college tours available to all LACCD students,” Professor Diaz-Cooper said. “She selected the Historical Black Colleges and Universities tour, although she had no idea what to expect from the HBCU tour--this experience led her to her future.”
Professor Diaz-Cooper, pictured above, also used her student’s positive experience to recognize one of the college’s valuable resources. She wanted students to hear firsthand about Ms. Palmer’s visit to the Transfer Center and how the counseling session with Ms. Walker developed into a trip of a lifetime.
“The Transfer Center is one of LAMC’s most valuable on campus resources for students, all they have to do is walk through the door,” Professor Diaz-Cooper said. “Ms. Victoria Palmer exemplifies what occurs, simply by going to the Transfer Center.”
Ms. Palmer, and the other students who were slated for the tour, flew to New Orleans where their bus awaited them. During the seven-day tour, they traveled through several states and visited eight HBCUs.
As the busload of students traveled through New Orleans, Ms. Palmer said she noticed a building with a dark stain on it that had a haunting look about it. She learned that the empty building used to be a hospital and the stain that ran from the bottom of the building almost to the top of it resulted from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. People died inside the hospital when it filled with water from the hurricane. Ms. Palmer, who is a nursing major, also learned that since the hospital had not been rebuilt, people in the area traveled a longer distance for medical care. As the bus pressed on, Ms. Palmer realized that she could help the people in this area when she achieved her goal of becoming a nurse practitioner and that she could greatly serve the area by opening a health clinic.
Ms. Palmer’s career choice of nurse practitioner resulted from an important conversation she had with her critically ill mother about her college major and her life’s purpose.
“I majored in Administration of Justice,” Ms. Palmer said, “But I did not feel strongly enough about it to pursue a career with it.”
Ms. Palmer’s mother helped her daughter see that the answer to her life’s purpose was what she had already accomplished, which was her dedication to the care she lovingly provided her mother and her grandfather.
Ms. Palmer cared for her grandfather while caring for her mother, each of them faced terminal illness. She was at her mother’s side when she passed away in the hospital on November 9, 2014 at age 48 of multiple myeloma. Her grandfather died in May 2015.
Last summer, Ms. Palmer applied for an internship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Los Angeles with a desire to volunteer in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). After a successful interview with the director of the program at Cedars-Sinai, she volunteered 70 hours within a period of two months in the ICU. Additionally, she worked a job and completed nine summer school units, including a biology course at East Los Angeles College.
In the ICU at Cedars-Sinai, Ms. Palmer thrived working under the guidance of medical staff and interacting with patients. The internship proved significant for Ms. Palmer as it further sparked her passion of becoming a nurse. The experience also enhanced her resume, which makes her more competitive if she applies for other internships, and when she eventually applies for her first nursing position.
Last semester, Ms. Palmer earned the President’s Honor Award that is presented to her by College President Dr. Monte Perez at this spring’s Honor Ceremony.
In early December 2016, Ms. Palmer anxiously telephoned Admissions at Tuskegee University and asked if she was accepted as a transfer student for fall of 2017. The Admissions official checked the records and informed Ms. Palmer that the university accepted her and an acceptance letter was on its way to her.
Ms. Palmer was elated about her acceptance; but after she hung up the phone, she said she felt somehow that a mistake had been made. Her uncertainty ended once the post office delivered the eagerly awaited envelope with Victoria Lynn Palmer printed on it. She opened the envelope and noticed the striking gold Tuskegee University logo at the top of the letterhead. She read the words, Congratulations, you have been accepted.
In Ms. Walker’s office, Ms. Palmer spoke with excitement about the possibility of a road trip to Tuskegee University. The distance from Mission is 2,143 miles.
“My friends advised me to ship my car to Alabama,” Ms. Palmer said.
She contemplates a new adventure of driving her car across the southern United States early next August, and well before fall classes begin.
Former Student Wins Citywide Competition, Thanks Professors Bordbar and Dr. Dorsey
Former Los Angeles Mission College student Oscar Aguayo and his team at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), Small Business Strong, won first place for their idea of a traveling small business resource center, and $25,000 in the 2016 Mayor’s Cup.
More than 100 teams representing Los Angeles universities applied for the competition with the top five teams competing at the finals.
“The future of entrepreneurial innovation is right here in Los Angeles, and Small Business Strong and the other competitors show that our colleges and universities are full of creative people with ideas that can change lives,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “What’s special about the Mayor’s Cup is that we can harness their imagination and skill to achieve something we all believe in — making local government work better for all Angelenos.”
Mr. Aguayo, a 2015 transfer student to CSULA, acknowledged Mission for providing him with the “amazing” education and caring professors, whom he said played a huge role in his educational journey.
Mr. Aguayo reflected on two key people in his life, Professor Jason Bordbar and Norris Dorsey, EdD, who led him to be a part of The Mayor’s Cup:
“I remember being in Professor Jason's Business Law Class in front of the class speaking to students about my current event, most of the time it was about technology. I was very shy, but now I’m on stage pitching in front of the Mayor of Los Angeles, audience, and Tech judges and this is all because of professors that care about their students like Professor Bordbar and Dr. Dorsey. These are two great professors that care about Los Angeles Mission College and their students.”
Ludi Villegas-Vidal, Diana Bonilla Graduate from National Hispanic Leadership Program
By Deborah Manning
Los Angeles Mission College’s Ludi Villegas-Vidal, Dean of Student Services and Diana Bonilla, Professor of Counseling recently graduated from the National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC) 2016 Leadership Fellows Program. They are also participating in a yearlong mentorship that is a major component of the NCCHC program.
NCCHC President Maria Harper Marinick presented framed certificates to 22 Hispanic community college officials from around the nation including Ms.Villegas-Vidal and Ms. Bonilla at a brief ceremony that celebrated the completion of their intensive study program. After the ceremony, the graduates participated in the NCCHC Leadership Symposium. The ceremony and symposium were held in Costa Mesa, California.
The NCCHC Leadership Symposium is a captivating event that is attended nationwide by luminaries in the educational field and a huge number of NCCHC alumni. Los Angeles Community College Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez, PhD, spoke to the audience of over two hundred professionals in higher education about the significance of the NCCHC and expressed his heartfelt congratulations to the graduates.
Chancellor Rodriguez recognized Ms. Villegas-Vidal and Ms. Bonilla in the audience and praised them for their participation in the program, and also Dr. Christopher Villa, EdD, Vice President of Student Services for his attendance at the symposium. Chancellor Rodriguez stated his desire for the other LACCD colleges to apply to next year’s program.
Last March, Los Angeles Mission College President Monte Perez, PhD, and Vice President Villa, EdD, supported Ms. Villegas-Vidal’s and Ms. Bonilla’s applications to the NCCHC program. One of the application requirements for the NCCHS involved each candidate writing a paper about their educational philosophy. Notification e-mails from NCCHC arrived in early May; Ms. Villegas-Vidal and Ms. Bonilla were thrilled to be accepted into the acclaimed program.
Prior to the symposium, Ms. Villegas-Vidal and Ms. Bonilla attended workshops provided by the NCCHC 2016 Leadership Fellows Program. The program also included group project presentations that challenged the fellows to apply a different leadership theory to a hypothetical problem involving stakeholders and budget issues. The fellows, who were from various states in the country, collaborated on the projects during the summer and early fall by way of phone, e-mail, and Skype.
On the second day of the NCCHC program, the groups gave their presentations, some of which were highly creative with one group presenting a skit and others visual displays. The fellows learned from one another about the various methods that one could approach leadership and the subsequent outcomes.
Ms. Villegas-Vidal said that Dr. Ted Martinez, Executive Director of the NCCHC, volunteered his time and expertise to coordinate the leadership program that was hosted by the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences.
One of the outstanding highlights of the program is the mentorship provided by state chancellors, college presidents, and vice presidents. Dr. Martinez connected mentors to fellows early in the summer with the agreement of the mentors and fellows working together until June 2017.
Ms. Villegas-Vidal, who began her career as an academic counselor when Mission College was established on its permanent campus 25 years ago, is the senior-most dean at Mission College with eight years of experience. Ms. Villegas-Vidal believes the NCCHC program is the best staff development program she has ever experienced.
“The program is very structured,” Ms. Villegas-Vidal said. “We were asked to shut off our cellphones and completely concentrate our attention on the workshops. For eight hours a day, we were bombarded with inspiring information and always wanting to hear more as each new speaker entered the room.”
Ms. Villegas-Vidal was impressed by the high caliber of the speakers, many of whom have authored books on leadership. She said one common thread she noticed about the speakers was their humility. None had big egos. Moreover, she stressed that the highly sought after speakers, volunteered to participate in the NCCHC program.
“Many of the speakers expressed in their presentations that it is imperative to give back to your community as they acknowledged there were many people who supported them throughout their careers,” Ms. Villegas-Vidal said. “One of the workshop speakers told the fellows that no one can whistle a symphony, it takes a whole orchestra to play it.”
Ms. Villegas-Vidal recalled some of the main points in the workshop by Dr. Terry O’Banion: Always be interested in learning more. Be humble no matter what position you achieve in your career. In leadership positions, you will make mistakes. Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them. Involve people in the shared governance process and keep in mind that there will always be people who are not happy with your decisions. He emphasized that “Decisions should always be made in the interest of the students.”
After the first day of the workshops, Ms. Villegas-Vidal said that she and Ms. Bonilla happened to encounter and then decided to socialize with some of the other fellows and presenters, including Dr. Reyes Quezada who is a professor at the University of San Diego. During one of the conversations, Dr. Quezada and Ms. Villegas-Vidal discovered that each shared a rare experience last January 6, 2016. They each walked through the Holy Doors at the Vatican that lead to St. Peter’s Cathedral where they participated in the mass as the Pope led the service. In his workshop presentation the next day, Dr. Quezada told the fellows the value of enriching one another’s lives with the art of conversation and sharing one’s experiences as he had with Ms. Villegas-Vidal.
Diana Bonilla has been a counselor at Mission College for 10 years, including two years as a department chair for the Counseling Department. She is currently the Employee Assistant Program (EAP) representative for Mission, one of the California Community Colleges Success Network (3CSN) representatives for the Los Angeles area, and a mentor for the LACCD Project Match program. She has worked on the Achieving the Dream program including being one of the originators of Mission’s Fall Kickoff. During the NCCHC program and symposium, she said she enjoyed the camaraderie of meeting and engaging new colleagues.
Ms. Bonilla said, “The leadership program was an uplifting experience and especially having the opportunity of listening to and learning from the speakers who were brilliant in their presentations, so generous and dedicated to helping us.”
In particular, she recalled a book, The Four Agreements written by Don Miguel Ruiz that was discussed at one of the workshops. The four agreements are as follows: Be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best.
Ms. Bonilla said that she went to college with Dr. Ruiz’s son. She said she recalled that Dr. Ruiz wrote the book when his son and she were in college.
“Now my experience of being on the other side of education, I see the impact this book has made on humanity,” Ms. Bonilla stated.
One of the most poignant take-aways Ms. Bonilla said she experienced at the NCCHC program was the workshop on cultural proficiency by Dr. Reyes-Quezada.
“This is such a great moment in time to bring this to the forefront of education to become culturally proficient. It begins by having a willingness to learn about other people’s culture, belief systems, and values. But more importantly to be self-reflective which cultivates self-awareness about our own cultural biases so that we can reach proficiency as Dr. Reyes-Quezada explained at the workshop,” Ms. Bonilla stated.
Ms. Bonilla said she was deeply impacted by Dr. Reyes-Quezada’s presentation and inspired to get training on Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning (CRTL). She recently attended an introduction to CRTL workshop at Pierce College with ten other LAMC faculty and staff. Her goal is to become a trainer of CRTL and to bring this awareness to Mission.
High-Achieving Students Recognized During Honors Ceremony
More than 100 students attended the Honors Ceremony and received congratulations and honor awards for their outstanding academic achievement.
President Perez presented the President’s Award to recipients as Dean of Student Services Ludi Villegas-Vidal announced their names. Faculty members Janice Silver, Jesse Sanchez, Margie Long, and Thomas Folland, PhD presented and announced the Dean’s Award.
Associated Student Organization President Melissa Ramirez; Alpha Gamma Sigma President Jocelyn Rodriguez; and President Award recipient Cathrine Dalirian spoke at the ceremony. Academic Senate President Leslie Milke emceed the ceremony.
More than 200 students earned the President’s Award and more than 750 students earned the Dean’s Awards for the Spring 2016 semester.