Focus on People

November 2003  

August 2003


Jorge Valles, Warren Furutani & Baltazar Martinez

Two Mission College students were among the thousands of activists nationwide who took part in the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride last month. Jorge Valles and Baltazar Martinez report that the two-week bus trip to Washington D.C. was an eye-opener. Valles was taken aback by the living and social conditions faced by immigrants in other states. "We're spoiled by the progress that's been made in California," he said. "We think it's like that everywhere but it's not." The trip through the south ended with a mass rally in support of immigrant rights. Valles and Martinez were honored by the Los Angeles Community College District's Board of Trustees for their efforts to raise student awareness about the immigration issue. Trustee Warren Furutani (seen in photo with Martinez and Valles) authored a resolution of praise.

Read the Board's Resolution

Lucy Griesbach
Multimedia instructor Lucy Griesbach is back from Spain, where an exhibition of her work ran for several weeks. The exhibit, called "The Life of Tiles," was a solo show complementing a larger exhibit on architecture in a Barcelona art center. "I took a common architectural element and obsessed over it," said Griesbach, explaining the focus of her work. "A tile is part of a whole, a piece of a labyrinth, a witness of daily life." Griesbach said her interest in tiling stems from her appreciation for the weathered tiles that wash up on the beaches of Barcelona, as well as for the famed tiled structures by Barcelona architect, Gaudi.
Dean Weilacher, Miguel Perez & Brandy McKay
Team teaching is alive and well at Mission College. It’s being practiced by Brandy McKay, restaurant management instructor, and Dean Weilacher, interior design instructor. Under the joint project, McKay’s students are developing a business plan for a restaurant. The task requires them to plan for purchasing food, developing inventory and cost controls, hiring employees, designing menus, and applying for appropriate licenses. Weilacher’s students, meanwhile, are working with the would-be managers in designing the interior of the proposed restaurant, including tiling, flooring, spacing and colors. "The goal is for the students to have a full portfolio to present to a lender to get a loan to start a restaurant," said McKay. In photo, McKay and Weilacher review proposed restaurant design with student Miguel Perez (center).
Patricia Johnson
Patricia Johnson has been awarded her doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology from Ryokan College. Dr. Johnson has taught psychology at Mission College since spring 2002. Prior to her full-time appointment at Mission, Johnson was an adjunct instructor in psychology with the Los Angeles Community College District, including three years at LAMC. She has also practiced privately as a marriage and family therapist.
Veterans office director Georgia Estrada has been accepted to the Master’s program in Educational Psychology at California State University, Northridge. As part of the two-year program, Estrada will be assigned to work in a San Fernando Valley rape crisis center next semester. Ultimately, she would like to counsel parents and family members of disabled persons. "I have 19 years of experience as a parent of a disabled person," she said. "I think I can help others in some way."
John James spends most of his time at Pierce College, and some of it at Mission College. Now, his experience is taking him to City Hall. James has been nominated to become a member of the Los Angeles City Commission on Disability. That panel advises and makes recommendations to the mayor and the Los Angeles City Council on actions affecting people with disabilities. James is a counselor of disabled students at Mission one day a week. The rest of the time, he is a counselor and assistant director of EOP&S at Pierce. Councilman Alex Padilla nominated James to the commission, describing him as "extraordinarily qualified" for the position.
Richard Messerly
Mission College student Richard Messerly has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship by the Southern California chapter of the Research Security Administrators (RSA). Messerly attends Mission part-time, pursuing a Security Management Specialist certificate while working full-time as a lieutenant with Advanced Tech Security Services, Inc. RSA is an organization of security experts who promote professional standards in their field. They award grants to deserving students in the profession. Instructor Phil Smith, a member of RSA, nominated Messerly for the grant.

Friends and colleagues have said farewell to Victoria Hansen, who lost her battle with cancer last month. For six years at Mission College, Ms. Hansen brightened the lives of her fellow employees while working as faculty cluster secretary. At a memorial service for Ms. Hansen, friends spoke of her gentleness, her smile, her friendliness and her determination to do all tasks well. She is survived by her son, Michael, and her daughter, Olivia.