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Focus on People


In a play on the old saying, "Those who can, do…and they teach." That will soon apply to two professionals who will spend the fall semester as teaching interns under the tutelage of Mission College instructors David Jordan and Myriam Mekelburg. It’s made possible by Project MATCH, a Los Angeles Community College District program designed to train interns interested in teaching at the community college level. Jordan’s intern is Jonathan Jackman (at right, in photo with Jordan), a private attorney specializing in intellectual property law. As part of his legal duties, Jackman has conducted seminars about certain aspects of the law for the employees of corporate clients. "I really enjoy doing that, particularly the interaction with people who are trying to understand the law," he said. Those experiences got Jackman to thinking about a career that would combine the practice of law with the teaching of it. When he heard about the MATCH program, he signed up right away. Jackman will assist in Jordan’s Introduction to Law class. Jordan knows that the MATCH program works. A previous intern of his now heads the paralegal program at West Los Angeles College and a second former intern now teaches one of Mission College’s on-line paralegal classes…
…Mekelburg's intern, Joy Lewis, is a licensed clinical social worker who coordinates a program for children with special health care needs for Kaiser Hospital in Hollywood. Lewis said she felt a pull to expand her career and return to her roots in sociology. “My mother was a teacher, so the value of education has been embedded in me since childhood,” she said. “When I thought about how I could best utilize my talents, the classroom seemed like a natural fit.” Preferring to teach adult learners, Lewis signed on with the MATCH program. She will assist in Mekelburg's Introduction to Sociology class.
U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige has appointed Dr. Adriana Barrera to the Department of Education/Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Leadership Group. In addition, Dr. Barrera was named co-chair of a sub group representing Hispanic-serving institutions. In her role, Dr. Barrera will be among those leading efforts to carry out provisions of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the U.S. Department of Education and HACU. This partnership is designed to provide greater postsecondary educational opportunities for Hispanics. "We’ll be looking at programs and legislation that support this goal," said Dr. Barrera. In appointing the Mission College president to the Leadership Group, Secretary Paige described her as a "…leader who is committed to excellence in Hispanic higher education."
Dr. Martha Soto, dean of academic affairs, is profiled in the spring/summer 2004 issue of Urban Ed, the alumni magazine of USC’s Rossier School of Education. Soto is a 2001 graduate of the school’s doctoral program. In the profile, Soto describes her challenges as an administrator and tells how her doctoral and related experiences at Rossier helped prepare her to become an academic dean. "The life of a senior administrator is one in which the unexpected is the norm," Soto told the magazine. To be successful, a dean needs "…to stay calm, cool and collected…and to be fair and upfront with everyone."
Dr. Richard Arvizu, associate vice president for administrative services, has been appointed to serve on a panel concerned with the public’s transit needs. Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn appointed Arvizu to the Metro San Fernando Valley Service Sector Governance Council. This panel makes recommendations to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on transit issues affecting the Valley. "Over the next year, we’re going to be busy with several major issues," said Arvizu. Those issues include providing more affordable bus and rail transportation for students and seniors; construction by August 2005 of the Metro Orange Line, a 14-mile bus way between Warner Center and the Metro Red Line North Hollywood Station; and the purchase of 75 compressed natural gas buses needed to fulfill a federal Consent Decree on MTA improvements. "One of the council’s main objectives is to maximize our transit investments," said Arvizu. "In other words, we want to put the services where they’re needed most, to eliminate duplication of services, and to use the right type and size of vehicle to meet those needs."
Athletics director John Klitsner expects a smooth transition this spring when two new coaches take over the reins in the dugout. Both Kent Cote (left), the new Eagles’ baseball coach, and Sandra Durazo (below), who will lead the women’s softball squad, served as assistant coaches last year. Cote, an outstanding high school (Chaminade) and college (Chico State University) player, replaces Dave Mallas as baseball coach. In addition to serving as assistant coach at Mission, Cote held similar positions with Gavilan and Moorpark colleges.
Durazo, a local hero for her pitching feats as an All City Player at Kennedy High School, takes over for Kelly Lovato as women’s softball coach. Durazo, who also had a stellar career at San Diego State University, played for an Italian team in 2002 and was voted the best foreign pitcher in that European league. Klitsner said Durazo’s local ties should help recruitment efforts.
A poem written by Linda Snellenbarger, family services specialist with the Family and Child Care Network program, has been honored by the International Society of Poets. Snellenbarger was praised for outstanding achievement in poetry for her ode, "Wings of Love." The poem was presented at the recent conference of the society held in Philadelphia. Snellenbarger said she has been writing poetry off and on since she was a child and has learned to express herself poetically from previous involvement with music and dance.
Eight Mission College students have been selected to receive the prestigious TELACU scholarship. Each student will receive $500, as well as counseling, leadership training, classes in time management and other subjects designed to help the scholars succeed in college. The scholarship is jointly funded by TELACU (The East Los Angeles Community Union) and the Mission College Foundation. Scholarship winners are Una Distad and Tina Moreno, both from Arleta; Zarina Gallardo, Martha Lopez, Altagracia Nava, and Sergio Rodriguez, all from Sylmar; and Ana Tobo and Martha Regalado, both of Panorama City. Gallardo, Moreno and Nava are repeat TELACU scholars from 2003.