From the desk of the Executive Director
At the eve of the college’s 85th Anniversary year, this Foundation is poised to raise a quarter of a million dollars to help our students succeed. The good news, as stated so succinctly in a recent News-Press article, is that we are “outstripping statewide averages, as well as many regional peers” . . . in student progress, achievement rates and vocational course completions. The Foundation’s goal in raising funds for the college is to set up a Student Success Fund that will help fund computer labs, essential equipment for teaching, upgrades to aging facilities such as music, dance and athletics. Glendale College Foundation is looking forward to helping the college’s 85th year be one of great achievement.
President of GCC’s Board of Trustees, ANITA QUINONEZ GABRIELIAN, brings her own community-wide experience as Regional Vice President, AT&T External Affairs-Los Angeles in helping the Foundation reach its goal. She believes that companies that invest in student success at Glendale College will reap so many benefits in return. “Not only will they have visibility with over 40,000 students, 1,000 staff and faculty and the many others who visit our beautiful campus, but they will have the satisfaction of helping our students succeed. What a win-win that is.” She, along with the other Trustees will help the Foundation achieve its goals.
FOUNDATION PRESIDENT ELLYN SEMLER is looking forward to building upon a successful history of raising funds. “We are planning a very special evening that will celebrate GCC’s excellent educational opportunities and programs. The Gala is scheduled for the evening of October 20, 2012 on campus and will be festive, fun and beautiful,” she says. “Like all public education in California, the College has had to make many budget cuts which has affected its ability to provide classes, update classrooms and equipment, etc. so we hope to raise at least $250,000 to help support campus needs. It’s ambitious but with the community behind us, especially those that benefit from hiring our students, we are optimistic that we can achieve our goal.”
The October celebration promises
to be a “magical evening,” says PAT CROUCH, the CHAIR OF THE FOUNDATION’S 85TH
ANNIVERSARY GALA. “This is an absolutely first-class event to showcase the
college to the community. We are thrilled that Dr. and Mrs. John Davitt have
accepted the position of Honorary Chairs, and Mr. and Mrs. Bhupesh Parikh will
receive the Outstanding Philanthropist Award.”
An Alumn of Distinction will also be honored that evening. Crouch says
that the campus will be involved in every aspect of the event from catering by
the culinary arts department to entertainment from its exceptional visual and
performing arts. “I believe that to understand an environment, you need to
feel, experience and touch it. The college is a diamond in this city, but until
you’ve actually visited the campus, you may not be aware of the many
outstanding classes and programs that are available.” She welcomes business and
members of the community to attend the Gala. A GCC alumna herself, Crouch’s
husband and daughters are also Glendale grads. “I’ve been on the board for
almost 15 years, and I’m still discovering new things about the campus,” she
says. “Glendale is a wonderful school, and it’s been wonderful watching it grow
and develop. I love the fact that there are state-of-the-art facilities like
the planetarium right next to the historic administration building. This is
such a progressive and go-forward campus.”
The Foundation offers many opportunities for members of the community to ensure continued student success. Let’s make 2012 our most successful year in Glendale Community College’s 85-year history. GCC: Then and Now slideshow
Registered Nursing Program Graduates 38 Students
With a warm smile and soft eyes, MYLA PERKINS is the ideal nurse pictured in hospital brochures attending to patients, checking charts and administering the most advanced treatments. She is also a recent graduate of the Glendale Community College Registered Nursing Program.
“Glendale has an excellent reputation – as a student you hear about the great experiences people have had with [previous] classes through all the clinical rotations,” says Perkins. “There are a lot too. GCC students go to Glendale Adventist, Verdugo Hills, Glendale Memorial, L.A. County, Kaiser and Children’s Hospital and even do a final semester through home care and hospice. The instructors really care – they really want you to succeed,” she says.
According to EMELYN JUDGE, Division Chair for Health Sciences and Nursing, Perkins is exceptional. “All of the instructors nominated her as an outstanding student,” said Judge. “And that’s saying something because it was an outstanding class.”
On December 17, Perkins and 38 members of the class of Fall 2011 celebrated their pinning at Lanterman Auditorium in La Cañada along with a couple hundred friends and family members. The celebrants included Myla’s parents and her two children, who were glowing with pride. “My son is 16 and my daughter is 12,” says Perkins, who is a single parent. “It hasn’t been an easy two years, but they really did their best to help me. I wasn’t the only mom though; there were seven of us [mothers] in this class and some had very young children.” She chose her children to fasten her nursing pin – a badge of commitment to the nursing profession and symbol of her years of study – at the ceremony.
Perkins received her bachelor's degree in education from Northridge in 2007. “I always wanted to be a nurse, but when I was in my 20s and my kids were little, even doing the prerequisite courses seemed impossible. Now that I’m older I’m more disciplined. I can focus.”
Advice for moms and others who have always dreamed of a job in nursing? “Stop talking yourself out of it and just do it!” she says.
Chief Gary Montecuollo Has Big Plans for 2012
GARY MONTECUOLLO has been a familiar face around campus for the 16 years that he has served as an adjunct faculty member, in addition to his responsibilities as a Lieutenant with the Glendale Police Department. Last year, he made Glendale Community College his permanent home when he was appointed Chief of Police. It should come as no surprise that he has chosen GCC. Glendale is his home and he is a firm believer in community involvement.
“I’m humbled and honored to be able to serve,” Montecuollo says. Somehow, he finds the time to volunteer with a number of organizations including Glendale Kiwanis, the Glendale Latino Association, GAR Services (formerly The Glendale Association for the Retarded), the Armenian American Chamber of Commerce, and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.
“One opportunity I like to give my students is earning class credit through charitable activities. Many of them have always had a desire to volunteer, but really never knew where to start.” Through blood drives, pancake breakfasts and other civic events, these students are exposed to the satisfaction that only comes from helping others.
Montecuollo has big plans for Glendale’s 85th Anniversary year. He has already invested in the Glendale College Foundation, joining its President’s Circle and setting up a special fund—the Chief Scholarship for Public Safety. This scholarship would be awarded to students in the Verdugo Fire Academy, the Glendale Community College Registered Nursing Program, and the Administration of Justice Department. “Wouldn’t it be great if for Glendale’s 85th year, we could raise $8,500 for future firefighters, nurses and police? There aren’t any scholarships for public safety majors right now; more general ones exist, of course, but not any that specifically go to students who will one day be the first line of defense in an emergency,” he says. Besides funds contributed by Montecuollo himself, other local businesses and civic groups have promised matching funds. Glendale’s own police cadets took up a collection towards this worthy goal. “Challenges are opportunities,” says Montecuollo.
Montecuollo also has plans to help the campus. “2012 is going to be about emergency preparedness.Our department is working with all of the different entities on campus – the board, the guild, ASGCC [Associated Students of Glendale Community College], facilities, and others – as well as local police, fire and other institutions that we would need to call on in case of a disaster.” It’s not just earthquake drills. “We’re developing a template for every what-if scenario whether that’s an earthquake, a fire, high winds damaging buildings while classes are in session, hazardous waste spills, school shooter, traffic accidents… we need to have plans and procedures in place that are consistent with industry standards.” This also includes bringing back an automatic cell phone texting service to notify the campus community of a disaster.
We welcome Montecuollo in his new role and look forward to his energy, creativity and generosity infusing our 85th Anniversary.
GCC's Robotics Encourages Student Success
What, you may ask, does robotics have to do with education? The GCC robotics club is at the forefront of some exciting new opportunities and is inspiring students to explore interdisciplinary approaches to technology in new ways that are both fun and very challenging.
“Robotics helps us unify all the knowledge we get from classes, and see how it works together to be put to a practical purpose,” says ANTONELLA WILBY, a vivacious student who started her career in robotics at Clark Magnet High School. “I personally (and I know a lot of other people do too) get bored with the repetition of classwork. Having a practical project in which I can create, invent, and build real-life things keeps me motivated.”
The word “robot” evokes the image of futuristic humanoid machines, but real-world robotics technology is far more diverse and practical. Students are currently using the campus’ state-of-the-art computer assisted manufacturing lab to create smart cars, three-dimensional models, and industrial-grade machine parts.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Education awarded two Title V STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) grants to GCC. Over five years, the college will receive approximately $10.3 million to implement proposed projects. The Title V grants serve a three-fold purpose; to improve the academic performance of Hispanic students, to expand and enhance the programs and course offerings for those students, and to help low-income individuals complete their college education. The Title V STEM grants are additionally targeted to help Hispanic and low-income students achieve in science-related fields, to improve their learning outcomes and develop better partnerships between community colleges and transfer institutions.
TOM VODEN, Math Instructor and Co-Leader of the GAUSS Grant with CATHY DURHAM, is excited about the potential for robotics training in the academic environment. “It captivates the student’s attention through exploratory learning,” he says. “This is the first connection that many of them have with actual engineering – that what you have in your head is something that you can hold in your hand.”
Although robotics is commonly taught at universities, community colleges do not often have equivalent programs. On campus, robotics began as a club, co-founded by Wilby, which is evolving into a program. During the winter intersession, 16 students signed up for an independent study program with Voden, who will soon be offering robotics as one component of a model science curriculum. “I believe that the talent is here to sustain a program like this,” he says. “We can leverage the motivation to create an instructional learning experience.” It is hoped that by using robotics as a teaching tool to demonstrate the practical applications of science, more students will be attracted to the critical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.
It seems to be working. “This robotics experience has definitely influenced my life. I began college studying mechanical engineering, but because of this robotics team I became fascinated with artificial intelligence -- I find the idea of creating a robot that can "see" and "think" enthralling,” says Wilby. “Now I have switched my major to computer science with the goal of attending graduate school, so I can eventually do research in artificial intelligence. Robotics gave me the chance to discover this passion, which I might not have otherwise.”