May 2, 2016

Office Hours on Friday

I will hold my last Open Hours of the semester on Friday, May 6 from 9:30 – 11 a.m. These one-on-one, confidential meetings are open to faculty, staff, administrators and students.  Click on the link to schedule a time to meet with me on any topic of your choosing.

Jaguars Across the Country

Professors Henry Aronson and Abdulmalik Buul recently traveled with eight students from The Exponential Learning Academy (TELA) to visit Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Our students were joined by 81 students from other community colleges throughout California as part of the new Transfer Admission Guarantee program with Historically Black Colleges and Universities through the Chancellor’s Office.

It was a transforming experience for many of the students, our professors said. It was the first time several of the students had flown on an airplane, and they opened their eyes to many opportunities available to them. The students visited universities in four states, including Tuskegee University, Morehouse, Spellman, Fisk University and Alabama State University—where all eight students were automatically accepted!

The trip was funded in part by Student Equity funds and the Southwestern College Foundation. What a wonderful way of putting students first!

SWC TELA Students standing in front of the gates of Fisk University

SWC TELA Students standing in front of Alabama State University

Champion for our Dreamer Students

We wished a heartfelt farewell last week to Remedios Gómez Arnau, Mexican Consul General in San Diego. In one of her last official duties before transferring to North Carolina, Gómez Arnau spoke to our AB 540 students to encourage them to continue their studies.

Since 2013, Counsel General Gómez Arnau has helped facilitate $50,000 in IME Becas for our AB 540 students in the Adelante Estudiante program.  Each of the 25 students attending the Adelante Estudiante program this year will receive an $800 scholarship.

The scholarship, funded by the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, is an investment in the students to increase their opportunities and be the change in their small corner of the world, Gómez Arnau said.

Channel 8 and the San Diego Union-Tribune highlighted the program in their reports.

We presented a small token of our appreciation to the Counsel General, and thanked her for being a champion of Southwestern College students.

(L-R) Dr. Angelica Suarez, Consul General Remedios Gómez Arnau and I share a few words
(L-R) Dr. Angelica Suarez, Consul General Remedios Gómez Arnau and I share a few words

Consul General Remedios Gómez Arnau and EOPS Director Omar Orihuela listen to student stories.
Consul General Remedios Gómez Arnau and EOPS Director Omar Orihuela listen to student stories.

Future Jaguars on Campus

More than 600 seniors from high schools in the Sweetwater Union High School District learned about all the wonderful classes and co-curricular activities we offer at Southwestern College when they visited the Chula Vista campus April 19.

The day began with a rally in DeVore Stadium where students from each high school tried outcheering each other. For the rest of the morning, the students toured the campus, visited the Majors Pavilion to speak with faculty and attended classes. Other students attended the Festival of Nations, sponsored by the ASO, to see the many clubs and activities they can join once they arrive.

Several media outlets were on campus speaking to students about their experience, including La Prensa of San Diego. Thank you to Vice President Kathy Tyner, the deans, faculty, our students and classified professionals who made the day a great success and helped these future students feel welcome. 

Dr. Nish greets SUHSD Students at College Preview Day pep ralley

Every Southwestern College program was on display during College Preview Day. Sweetwater District students visited booths that interested them and talked to faculty who teach the courses.

Dancing into Southwestern College Classes

In a follow up recruiting effort, Dance Professors Dana Maue and Mary Jo Horvath hosted 90 dance students from Castle Park, Olympian and Bonita Vista high schools for a day of dance on April 25. The high school students were exposed to several forms of dance as they performed ballet with Professor Horvath and hip hop with Professor Maue. Then the students were treated to lunch and eight more dances from the spring Dance Expressions concert performed by our current students. This was great advertising for their program. Great job!

Students dancing in the SWC dance studio

Positive Income Tax Experiences

South County residents are $2 million richer, thanks to our students who helped them prepare their state and federal income tax returns. Through the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program and a partnership with South Bay Community Services, our students were specially trained to help qualifying residents file their taxes. This year 24 students accepted walk ins on six Fridays beginning in February and ending April 15. They filed 1,002 returns where residents received a total of $2,075,599 in returns and Earned Income Tax Credit.

The students’ work was highlighted in a Union-Tribune story. Thank you to Professor Maria E. Martinez-Sanabria, who has nurtured this program since last year. We are hoping to make it even bigger next year by opening sessions at our Higher Education Centers.

Last updated: 5/3/2016 9:23:11 AM