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Focus on People


It’s not everyday that someone gets inducted into the hall of fame. But that was the case this spring for Terry Bommer, Mission College accounting professor. Bommer played defensive back on the 1965 UC Santa Barbara football team considered to be the greatest Gaucho grid squad ever. The team earned a trip to the Camellia Bowl and the NCAA College Division Championship. UCSB no longer fields a football team but the school recently inducted this winning team into its Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. Bommer, shown here as a 1965 squad member, attended the induction banquet and admits sheepishly, “I didn’t recognize any of the guys.”

On his way to Mesa, Arizona, Miguel Gonzalez stopped by to visit his alma mater recently. Gonzalez, ace of the 2004 Mission College baseball squad, signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) and is a member of the team’s rookie squad. If he plays well, Gonzalez hopes to move up to one of the team’s minor league squads within a year. “That’s my goal and, hopefully, I’ll make the big leagues in three years,” he said. Gonzalez, a San Fernando High graduate, said his parents support his baseball dream, but had some conditions. “They always told me that school had to be first, in case I didn’t make the pros,” he said. “Now I’m happy that I have my degree.”
Another of Mission College’s own has returned. Monica Moreno, the new Campus Child Development Center director, is a 1999 graduate of Mission, earning an Associate degree in child development. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena. Moreno was director of a YWCA of Greater Los Angeles child care center before beginning her duties at Mission College earlier this year. She also worked for 12 years as a Head Start teacher. Moreno is excited about the challenges of the job and said she can’t wait for the new Child Development Center to be built in north campus. “When the center is built, we’re going to be introducing a lot of exciting new children’s activities,” she said. “It’s an exciting time at Mission, and I’m happy to be part of it.”
Last fall, Mission College learned it had been awarded a five-year, $2.4-million grant to address the problem of poor math skills among college students. Now comes word that the college has hired an administrator to carry out the ambitious goals of that grant. Belinda Acuña begins her duties as assistant dean on June 27. She is currently director of the Maximizing Engineering Potential program at Cal Poly, Pomona, and is also a lecturer in that school’s college of engineering. “Her strong math/science background and experience with programs directed at underserved students make her an ideal fit for this job,” said specially funded programs dean Edgardo Zayas. Acuña, in fact, was on the advisory board of Mission College’s former LINKS program targeting science and engineering students. The Title V grant provides funding for instructional services designed to improve the math performance of students. The funds will allow Mission College to establish a state-of-the art math center, and to develop programming systems that will better track students who are not succeeding and to address their needs more immediately. Acuña holds a master’s degree from California State University, Northridge.
“Out of Line,” an exhibition at the Riverside Art Museum featuring the work of Barbara Kerwin and other artists will wrap up just before Kerwin travels to Canada. Kerwin, Mission College art instructor, will lecture and teach at a week-long workshop at the Vancouver Island School of Art. Kerwin also has been invited to lecture at Louisana Tech University later in the year about another multi-artist exhibition, “Los Angeles Abstraction.” The instructor’s talent is clearly rubbing off on her students. Robert Reyes, Mission College art student, has been honored by the Valley Watercolor Society for his work. Reyes was given awards worth $300.
It’s been a good spring for Mission College’s Culinary Arts Institute and its students. A team of nine Mission students attended the National International Food Service Executives conference in San Diego. Seven scholarships were awarded to competitors nationwide and three of those went to Mission College students. Frank Hernandez (photo, right) won a $1,500 scholarship; Rachel Korob won a $1,000 scholarship; and Miguel Perez won a $750 award. Meantime, 19 Mission College students and staff members took part in the International Hotel and Restaurant Show Culinary competition in Las Vegas in late April. The team captured three silver medals, seven bronze and six honorable mentions. The following month, student Stephen Bayles won the top prize at the Shelton’s Poultry Chicken Challenge after serving up herbed chicken-wrapped lamb.