FaST News

FaST News - Weeks of March 16 - April 3, 2015

2015 FACULTY LECTURE.  Dr. Sonia Zúñiga-Lomelí, Professor of Spanish, will present the 36th annual SBCC Faculty Lecture on Wed., April 15 beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the Garvin Theatre.  Dr. Lomelí, who joined the college in 1990, will speak about “From Rabbits to Spanglish: Journey of a Language.”

ASPEN EXCELLENCE GRANT RECIPIENT.  On March 9 President Lori Gaskin announced the campus recipient for the inaugural $20,000 grant funded through SBCC co-winning the 2013 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.  Eight applications were received, and the 2015-2016 winning proposal was submitted by Matthew Kay (Biology), Jens-Uwe Kuhn (Chemistry) and Blake Barron (Biology) to create STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Student Success Learning Communities. SBCC received a $400,000 monetary award as part of co-winning of the Aspen prize.  The funds, together with targeted donations in support of the college being recognized with this honor, have been placed into a quasi-endowment with the SBCC Foundation. Annually the endowment will provide a $20,000 grant in support of a campus project or initiative which embodies excellence, student success, and innovation, all characteristics of why SBCC co-won the Aspen Prize.

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.  SBCC, the American Ethnic Studies Department, and the Student Equity Committee will sponsor “Inspiration or Marginalization? Cultural Appropriation and Its Impact” on Tues., April 7 from 12:45 – 2:15 p.m. in the Garvin Theatre. The presentation, which will be followed by discussion, will be given by Assistant Professor Craig Cook and other faculty colleagues.

SCIENCE DISCOVERY DAY.  The STEM Transfer Program will sponsor Science Discovery Day on Sat., April 25 from 1 – 5 p.m. on East Campus.  The free event is geared for the entire family and guests can visit interactive displays showcasing the wonders of our world.  Features include live sea and land critters; video game and programming demonstrations; fun, interactive chemistry experiments; biotechnology and glowing bacteria; hands-on earthquake demonstrations; and solar telescopes.  We extend a special invitation to our campus community to bring family members, children and friends to this afternoon of fun and discovery.

Julie Smith, Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education, joined SBCC in 1999.  She received her B.A. degree from Westmont College; her M.S. degree from California State University, Northridge; and her M.A.T. (Masters of Art in Teaching) degree from Miami University, Oxford (Ohio).  She earned her A.S.D.  (Autism Spectrum Disorders) Certificate from Brandman University. 

What teaching tip or counseling advice do you have for other faculty?
If working with students does not “fill up your bucket” or give you satisfaction, choose another career.  Over the years a salary and a nice view won’t keep you excited about your job.  After 23 years with the college I still am thrilled to work with the students at SBCC.

What careers or jobs did you have before working at SBCC?
I have had a wide range of positions including elevator operator (before self-service elevators), childbirth educator, income tax preparer, preschool teacher, toddler teacher, parenting and pregnant teen program coordinator, and while attending SBCC, I cleaned houses.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?
There was not one particular teacher who was the most influential but rather a type of teacher who impacted me the most.  Almost every semester in undergraduate and graduate school the instructors who influenced me the most were the ones who shared of themselves and built relationships with students. I still see the value in relationships with students whether in face-to-face classes or online.

What is your favorite student line or excuse?
Oh, there are so many, but my favorite was the student who stated she needed an excused absence for missing class because it was not her fault.  She actually gave me her arrest form for drunk and disorderly conduct in Isla Vista on Halloween.  “See,” she said, “it was not my fault!”

What do you love about your job?
Just about everything – I love the students I get to work with, my colleagues in ECE and ED, SBCC faculty and staff overall, the location and beauty of the campus, and being part of the #1 community college in the U.S.

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?
I think an accomplishment and challenge have been raising a combination of seven children (birth and adopted).  They are now 17 to 37.  I was married, widowed, a single parent and a co-parent over those years.  My life experiences have enriched my teaching experiences.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I would guess that most don’t know I have been a general contractor for my own home additions and I have personally completed roofing more than one home!

What is your personal motto?
Get enough sleep, because when you don’t, you are no good for anything!

RICE DIVERSITY AWARD. The SBCC Academic Senate and the SBCC Faculty Recognition Committee are pleased to announce that the California Community College Board of Governors is again sponsoring the Rice Diversity & Equity Award. SBCC faculty members (full-or part-time) staff or administrators may nominate the college, a SBCC program or SBCC faculty members (full-or part-time) for this award. Previous nominees who did not receive the award are also eligible.

The Faculty Recognition Committee will recommend to the Academic Senate, the college, one SBCC program and one faculty member to be nominated.  The Academic Senate will make the final decision as to which nominations will be sent to the California College Board of Governors. The California Community College Board of Governors will then select one college, one program and one faculty member to receive these prestigious honors.

Nominations may not be more than a total of two pages, include responses to the prompts in the application, and submitted via e-mail to the Faculty Recognition Committee Chair no later than Fri., April 10 at 5 p.m. If you would like the Faculty Recognition Committee to read the nomination ahead of time and make suggestions for strengthening it, you must email it to the Faculty Recognition Chair Sheila Wiley no later than Wed., April 1 at 5 p.m. For questions, please e-mail Sheila Wiley at

NSF GRANT.  The SBCC Foundation received a grant for $598,808 from the National Science Foundation to provide scholarships to undergraduate students enrolled full-time as either STEM or CIS majors. The primary goal of the project is to retain students in the STEM or CIS disciplines to ensure that they are prepared to transfer to four-year institutions and to continue their education. Qualifying students will be supported for up to three years of study with a scholarship of up to $7,000 each.

On display at the ATKINSON GALLERY through March 27 is Missing Rib: Maria Rendón, Maria Rendón’s first solo exhibition since receiving her M.F.A. degree from UC Santa Barbara in 2014. In an ambitious series of new paintings, the artist uses controlled improvisation to examine the space between the concrete and the ephemeral. Ms. Rendón lives and works in Santa Barbara. Her previous solo exhibitions include shows at the Universidad Anahuac in Mexico and at Mount St. Mary’s College and Random Gallery, both in Los Angeles.  Her work was featured in Crave, an art, food and social experience, and at the Contemporary Arts Forum, now the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, in 2012. She has also been in many group exhibitions at venues including the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, Lotusland, Gallery Nucleus and Santa Monica College. The Atkinson Gallery is located on East Campus in Room 202 of the Humanities Building. Gallery hours are: Monday- Thursday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. All gallery exhibits and lectures are free and open to the public.

ATKINSON ANNEX. From Beginning to An Enda student art exhibition, will be on display at the John Dunn Gourmet Dining Room through March 20. The exhibit thematically explores the passage of time, from the start of something new to the end of something old, or any of the fleeting moments in between.  SBCC student artists Claire Connors, Yanely Delgado, Anke Gladnick, Natalie Millan, Kathi Scarminach, and Amanda Staples work in multiple media including sculpture, ceramics, drawing, painting, and photography to showcase their skills and interpret their ideas of the passage of time.   The exhibit is run by the ANNEX, a student program of the Atkinson Gallery, and located within the Gourmet Dining Room. 

JOB & INTERNSHIP FAIR.  The Career Center is sponsoring the first of three spring semester job and internship fairs on Wed., March 18 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Campus Center Walkway.   The other dates will be March 25 and April 22.  Students are welcome to drop in to the Career Center for help with resume and interview practice prior to the fairs.  For more information, go to

The Global and International Studies program will present Dr. Philip McCarty, UCSB Department of Global Studies lecturer, on Wed., March 18, from 12:45 – 2 p.m. in A-211.  Dr. McCarty will discuss various aspects of cultural globalization.  For more information, please contact Andrea Haupt at ext. 3735.

The American Ethnic Studies Department will host the Amazing Race lecture series on Wed., March 18, at 6 p.m. with Dr. George Lipsitz.  The program will be held in A-211.  For more information, please contact Thomas Carrasco at ext. 4350.

Poets Vail Dinkins and Christina Pages will read from their latest collections on Mon., March 23 at 7 p.m. in the Atkinson Gallery For more information, please contact Chella Courington at ext. 2415.   

LIGHT UP THE SKY.  The Theatre Group at SBCC’s presentation of Light Up the Sky by Moss Hart, directed by R. Michael Gros, will continue at the Garvin Theatre through March 21.  Light up the Sky is a comedy about show performers caught in the midst of a new production. The play takes place in a hotel room prior to the opening of a new show and follows a truck-driver-turned-playwright watching his first play being produced in Boston. As the opening approaches, tempers mount and only a miracle seems likely to save a play that seems destined to flop spectacularly. For ticket information, please call the Garvin Theatre Box Office at 965-5935.

SBCC New World Jazz Ensemble at Soho
Mon., March 23, 7 p.m.
Soho Music Club, 1221 State St., Santa Barbara
$10 cover charge
Tribute to Oliver Nelson, directed by Tony Ybarra

Legends of Jazz Concert
Mon., April 13, 7 p.m.
Garvin Theatre, SBCC West Campus
$15 general admission

Chamber Singers
Sat., April 18, 7 p.m.
First United Methodist Church, Santa Barbara
$15 general admission, $10 students/seniors

Music Now!
Fri., April 24, 7 p.m.
Garvin Theatre, SBCC West Campus
$15 general admission, $10 students/seniors

Big Band Blowout!
Mon., April 27, 7 p.m.
Garvin Theatre, SBCC West Campus
$15 general admission, $10 students/seniors

For tickets, please call the Garvin Theatre Box Office at 965-5935.

DANCE CONCERT.  The Dance Department will host its annual spring dance concert Collective on April 17- 18 at the Center Stage Theatre in Santa Barbara.  Call 963-0408 or go to  for ticket information.  The department also is selling advertising space in the concert program and students selling See’s Candy to raise funds for their dance concert costumes.  All orders will arrive before Easter on April 5.  For information about advertising or to order See’s Candy, please contact Tracy Kofford at

INTERNATIONAL WEEK.  The International Education Committee is seeking collaboration or ideas for potential events from the campus community for SBCC’s annual International Week scheduled for April 20-26.  The Hoors Program will hosting its annual conference and several other programs and departments are planning events during the same week, exploring different cultures through music, crafts, traditional costumes, film screenings, food fairs, and other activities. The topic of the Honors Colloquium will be Shifting Boundaries, which will also be the overarching theme for this year’s International Week.  Please send any suggestions to Michael Ayres, International Student Support Program Activities Coordinator, at

CELEBRATE SHAKESPEARE. Tales of Woo and Woe: A Journey of the Heart comes to the Faulkner Gallery on Sat., April 25 at 3 p.m. This compilation of Shakespeare's words and songs will be performed in celebration of his birthday week, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Public Library. The event is free and open to the public. Written by SBCC Professor Emerita Jinny Webber and co-directed by E. Bonnie Lewis, P.E. Department, Tales of Woo and Woe features a group of talented actors who bring to life the many sides of love. No knowledge of Shakespeare is required to enjoy this show.  The Faulkner Gallery is located across the hall from the Central Library in downtown Santa Barbara at 40 East Anapamu Street. Seating is limited. 

A FEW GOOD CARS.  SBCC’s Automotive Department is seeking car donations for its permanent fleet.  Vehicles should be running, have no major technical issues and no cosmetic damage and preferred choices would be Hondas, Toyotas and Volkswagens between 1996 and 2008.  Automotive donations through the SBCC Foundation would qualify for tax deductions.  For more information, please e-mail Bob Stockero at

BIKE SHOP.  Bici Centro, a nonprofit organization devoted to cycling, has opened a new shop on SBCC’s East Campus next to the pedestrian bridge.  The campus community is invited to stop by Monday through Thursdays from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. for assistance with bike repairs, maintenance and tune ups, and questions about cycling around Santa Barbara.  SBCC partnered with the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, which is Bici Centro’s parent organization, as part of the college’s alternative transportation program.

MORE BUSES TO CAMPUS.  MTD has acquired three new articulated buses, which are 40 percent larger than the standard ones, for the 15X route from Isla Vista to SBCC.  At a recent news conference, Associated Students President Colette Brown and SBCC Student Trustee Nicholas Steil thanked MTD and praised the new buses as an additional way to ensure no students miss classes due to overcrowded buses.

(Faculty, Administrators and Staff)
BLACK HISTORY MONTH RECOGNITIONDr. Michael Downey, Theatre Arts, and Issac Jenkins, Music Department, were among a select group of African American artists honored at the March 2 Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting.  In conjunction with Black History Month, the artists, who also included Dr. Downey’s sister Michelle Lawyer, received certificates of recognitions for their significant cultural contributions to the community.

WHO’S WHO.  President Lori Gaskin and Dean of Educational Programs Melissa Moreno were named to Pacific Coast Business Times’ (February 13-19 issue) special section on Who’s Who in Business Leadership.

LONGEVITY.  The following employees reached benchmark years of service in February.  Congratulations to:  Angie  Esqueda, President’s Office, 15 years; Erika Blos, Allied Health, 10 years; Candee Gyll, Admissions and Records, 10 years; Rich Shultz, IT, 10 years; and Donna Waggoner, Learning Research Center, 10 years

FOOD PAIRING.  Professor Emeritus Bob Cummings participated as a presenter at the annual World of Pinot Noir event on March 6-7 at the Bacara Resort.  Dr. Cummings, a noted fungi authority, was joined by two other authorities – one with expertise in wine and the other in uni -- for a Food Frenzy Seminar Pairing.

GEOLOGY MAJORS. Professor Emeritus Dr. Bob Gray was interviewed in the February 2015 edition of the American Association of Petroleum Engineers’ Explorer on the value of community college instructors in teaching students majoring in geology.“We have time to counsel them more thoroughly (than four-year college and university faculty) and to push them out to the university of their choice.”

WORLD TRAVELS.  Professor Emeritus Elwood Schapansky traveled to Northern Vietnam earlier this year and spent 10 days with a family in a village in BacNin Province.  While there, he had the opportunity to speak through an interpreter about physics education at the local school of the host family’s daughter.  The principal awarded him a plaque in thanks for his efforts.

GRAMMY WINNER. Congratulations to former SBCC Lunch Break band member Kevin Garren for his Grammy win on February 8.  Kevin is a member of Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band which won for the best Large Jazz Ensemble category.  He played both alto and tenor saxophones and was featured as a soloist on the album.   

GREAT BOOKS CURRICULUM.  Six SBCC students were among the 21 winners of this year’s Great Books Curriculum awards.  Building on the success of the last three years, invitations were extended to students at SBCC, Carpinteria High School, Santa Barbara High School, and Alta Vista Middle College. The assignment was to interpret the epic Greek poem Odyssey by Homer in two categories: expository and creative. SBCC winners included:  Selden Cummings, Mathew Daily, Gabriel Mickey, Kathryn Rucker, Taliesin Tyndall, and Charlie Villa-Lovos.

HACKATHON.  A team of computer students from SBCC took the top award at SBHacks, a 36-hour technology innovation “hackathon” held recently at UC Santa Barbara.  The SBCC team WiPi was named “Best Overall Hack” team. Team members included Colin Allen, John Michael Bachmann, Tyler Hall and Jon Steelsmith. Their project Eco Node is an environmentally aware mesh network with sensors and software designed to improve soil, water and power resource efficiency. SBCC’s Event Hype team won “Best iOS Hack App” at the hackathon. Team members included Ashley Cortez, Zack Feinn, Russ Fenenga and Nidhal Selmi. Their project EventHype is an iPhone application that connects attendees at local public events. Events are created and updated in real time with user comments and an integrated voting system which offers a better way to organize data.

MESA SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS.  Three SBCC students Katarina Hamrin, (computer engineering), Stephen Guiterrez (computer engineering) and Olujimi Ajayi (civil engineering), each received $1000 engineering scholarships at the February 19 National Engineers Week Awards Banquet in Simi Valley.  On February 4, the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers’ representative Armando Veloz presented scholarship checks to students Robert Williams, Daniel Gonzalez, and Jorge Pantaleon.

PAINTED CAVE, the online student-run, faculty-guided literary journal of SBCC recently published its fall semester’s second issue.  The work represents 20 community college student writers in seven states. Submissions are currently being accepted for the third issue which will publish in May 2015. Congratulations to Chella Courington, literary adviser, and the student editors.  For more information, please go to: 

Contributor – Dave Loveton
500th WIN.  Coach Chuck Melendez reached his 500th WSC victory of coaching men’s golf on February 16 at the Alisal Ranch in Solvang.  In his 15-year career. Chuck led the 2006 squad to a State runner-up finish and the 2009 team to a WSC title and eighth in the State. In addition, he coached three state championship teams in women’s golf (2006, 2008, and 2013) and has had three individual women’s state champions.  Congratulations!

SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEARKit Larson was chosen as SBCC’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2014-15. The Vaqueros’ All-American relief pitcher received his award on March 2 during the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon.  Kit, a 6-4 right-hander from Mill Valley, Calif., was named first-team All-WSC North, All-Southern Cal and All-American last year after helping SBCC to a fifth-place State finish, its highest ever. He was 4-2 with six saves and broke a 35-year-old school record with his 0.94 earned-run average. Kit earned a spot on the 2014 Academic All-State baseball team and he currently has a 3.7 GPA. He received a scholarship to play baseball at North Carolina State and said he is interested in Documentary Film studies and plans to major in Communications at North Carolina State University with a focus in New Media.

ACADEMIC ALL-STATE TEAM.  SBCC basketball players Mizhrua Bautista and Charlotte Knegt have been named to the 2013-14 Academic All-State team.
Mizhrua, a sophomore from East L.A., had a 3.57 GPA. She played the last two seasons for the Vaqueros, averaging 4.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals. Charlotte, a forward from Holland, had a perfect 4.0 GPA during the 2013-14 season when she played in 15 games. Twenty-six players made the Academic All-State team. To qualify, a student-athlete has to have played at least one season and completed at least 24 units with a minimum GPA of 3.5.

SBART ATHLETE OF THE WEEKJessica Escalante was named female Athlete of the Week by the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table on February 23.  The award is given to the top performer in Santa Barbara for all high school and college sports. The sophomore from Dos Pueblos High was a four-time winner in the WSC Relays on February 20 at Ventura. She ran on three winning relay teams and captured the javelin with a heave of 31.95 meters.

SUPPORTING A GOOD CAUSE.  Approximately 20 student-athletes from the SBCC men’s and women’s track teams volunteered on February 20 for the Special Olympics Polar Plunge at Leadbetter Beach.  The Polar Plunge is a unique opportunity for the community to support people with intellectual disabilities by running (or pretending to jump) into the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean.  The Vaqueros helped with breakfast/check-in and tear-down after the event.




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