Los Medanos College - Inside LMC
May 2009

In This Issue
  • New Developments
  • Awards and Acknowledgements
  • Staff Update
  • Upcoming Events
  • Students and Alumni of Note

  • Dear Cherry,

    2008/09 is almost over! The year has flown by - but so many lives have been enriched by everyone's hard work and dedication.

    We came through the accreditation process quite well, but have the COOR/SLO work in process with deadlines just in front of us. This summer, the "Camp" folks will be offering plenty of support for those who are still in the race to completion.

    We appreciate your effort and commitment to providing a quality education for our greater community. We hope to see you all at graduation on May 22 as we acknowledge our students and their accomplishments, and send them off to fulfill their educational and career dreams. You have made a difference. Bravo!

    New Developments

    Library Services Relocated for Summer

    The Library building will be closed and Library services will be temporarily re-located to the Old Science Area of the Main College Complex during the summer sessions, June 1st through July 23rd. Library services will be available Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. For detailed instructions on accessing library services during this time, click here.

    girl sneezingSwine Flu Update

    For the latest update on the Swine Flu, LMC and the district, we have created a special update webpage. Click here for more information. There is a special link on the LMC home page if you'd like to check this page out later.

    Update on SLOs and COORs

    Many LMC faculty have been diligently focusing on completing their COORs (Course Outline of Record). A new webpage focused on documenting success is now available. See how various departments are doing and how close we are to arriving at our goal. You can access the page on the COORs Update Gauge link on the LMC Intranet homepage.

    Camp Course Outline Scheduled for Summer

    Camp Course Outline will be offered all summer long on Tuesdays!

    Camp Course Outline is the perfect venue for your own COOR success. Our last spring semester date is on May 8th from 9:00-3:00. If you teach on Friday mornings come for the afternoon portion. AND during the summer, camp sessions will be held every Tuesday (from May 26-July 28, 9am-3pm).

    If you can't attend one of the scheduled sessions, consider contacting Nancy Ybarra or Janice Townsend for an individual coaching session. We will work with your schedule to find a time for the coaching session.

    You should have received a hard copy of the invitation. Please encourage your department's part-time faculty to attend. Reserve your space ahead of time and we'll provide lunch. For questions, contact Janice Townsend at or x 3240.

    Two Active Camp Participants Reap Rewards for Efforts

    Both Nancy Whitman (Chair, World Languages) and Lori Biles (Chair, Physical Education) have total COOR completion in their sights now that they have the skills and experience to develop COORs with relative ease.

    Nancy shares her story:
    "The curriculum writing process is getting easier as we complete more COORS. To date we have completed a total of 15. We have five in progress, and still need to get started on 11 others, plus any new courses."

    "Our adjunct instructors have collaborated on camp days to get started and complete COORS. The process is truly collaborative and has been extremely positive for our World Languages department. We are getting better at describing and explaining what we do in the classroom within the format provided on the COORS. Someone from World Languages has attended each COORS activity since the first one was offered as a FLEX activity in August 08."

    "The camp coaches help with clarity as we describe our craft in terms of what students will know at the end of the course. It's definitely a process that requires thoughtful reflection on what we want students to know. We're beginning to ponder how to assess the goals we're setting. Some faculty will be writing COORS during the summer break and we're attempting to complete all COORS by Sept 15th 2009 before Richard Livingston writes the report to the Accreditation team."

    Lori Biles feels relief and accomplishment as a result of her camp participation:
    "We had 30 course outlines to complete in Physical Education as of Fall 08'. I had just been assigned Chair of Physical Education and was overwhelmed with just that alone. Janice told me she would help walk me through the process of getting started. Once she helped me do one in September, I realized we could do this, a few at a time. Colleen Ralston then tackled her first one. And both of ours were approved in October. They used my PE 57 as a model - this helped us continue on."

    "I delegated COOR to appropriate faculty, leaving 12 for me ( I teach these classes, soooooo....I get them!) I was so baffled to do these - my first was hand-written, then typed and submitted by someone else assigned to help those of us baffled."

    "I went to Camp COOR and got help with Janice over Spring Flex. Wow!!!!!! Now I knew how to bring up the form on the computer, type directly, and submit it by e-mail plus how to use a flashdrive to save it. It was a 9-3 flex, and I stayed through lunch determined to finish. Well I didn't get through Content, and then went home and put in a few more hours to complete it. This was Beg. Jazz Dance and it opened the gates for me to work on and finish up Int. Jazz Dance and Advanced Jazz Dance at another Camp COOR. I got two done that time in one day from 9-3, and went to another and got another two done. I have now been tackling the rest with only two more to do!"

    "My goal is to be done by Fall 09, if not sooner. And other PE Faculty also have completed all of theirs except for about five still to finish. Pretty good huh!!!! Nice to have Janice, Nancy and Christina helping us. We couldn't have done this without them!!!! Thank You!!!!!!"

    Program Maintenance Project Funding Decisions Made

    Just in case you missed it, we've attached the spreadsheet outlining next year's Program Maintenance Projects which will receive funding. Click here!

    Awards and Acknowledgements

    teacher of the
year4CD Teacher of the Year - LMC's Durwynne Hsieh

    LMC biology professor Durwynne Hsieh was recently selected to be this year's Teacher of the Year for the district. He was selected by a group of his peers at LMC (the award rotates annually between the three district campuses). He will be formally recognized at a county-wide educator awards dinner this fall.

    Durwynne was highlighted in a recent article in the Contra Costa Times, which skillfully details Durwynne's career and his impact at LMC.

    Click here to read more.

    Outgoing Lieutenant Esther Skeen Receives State Award

    Lieutenant Esther Skeen, now retired as of April 30th, recently was honored by the California College and University Police Chiefs Association. She was the recipient of the Kirk Johnston Memorial Supervisor Award, recognizing her as a supervisor who has distinguished herself by providing exemplary service to the campus.

    Nancy Ybarra Wins Award for Excellence in Assessment from Research and Planning Group

    Each year, the Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges issues awards for outstanding research and planning work done in California community colleges. This year they expanded the categories to include excellent assessment projects. Nancy Ybarra won an award for recent assessment efforts.

    Nancy shared a part of her award-winning entry:
    As part of the SPECC grant, Los Medanos College has moved closer to its goal of becoming a prepared institution. We now understand that the college itself must be prepared to welcome our students and work with them as partners in clarifying and achieving their academic and career goals. This requires a coordinated program that takes an integrated approach to curriculum, support services and professional development in order to optimize student learning, both in and outside of the classroom.

    To that end, we have worked extensively on creating and sustaining a multifaceted program with an emphasis on collaborative inquiry. Believing that questions drive learning, we pose relevant and significant questions and investigate possible answers. One way we do this is through the work of teaching communities - faculty coming together to systematically study student work and listen carefully to what students are telling us, both by what they say, and what they do and produce.

    Over time, by documenting the work of these teaching communities, and representing it in accessible ways, such as web pages or electronic portfolios that allow others to see and sometimes hear the work of our students, we are able to draw on a body of evidence that allows us to make informed decisions that improve teaching and learning.

    The entire report can be accessed here

    Carnegie Foundation Completes Research Examining College Assessment

    LMC was recently a part of a research project led and supported by the Carnegie Foundation. A new report from The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching calls for community colleges to develop richer, more revealing measures of student learning-beyond the traditional indices of grades, retention, persistence and degree attainment.

    Toward Informative Assessment and a Culture of Evidence is the final publication from Strengthening Pre-collegiate Education in Community Colleges (SPECC), a three-year, action research project that explored the teaching and learning challenges in basic skills math and English at 11 California community colleges including LMC. A partnership of the Carnegie Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, SPECC asked participating faculty to use innovative forms of assessment, such as common exams and think aloud protocols (audio and video records of students verbalizing their thought process while trying to read texts or solve problems) to better track student learning and to improve instruction.

    Working with their campus's institutional research offices, the faculty also explored different approaches to data, including collecting it directly from students through interviews, focus groups, special surveys and diagnostic tests; and faculty considered actual growth over a course through "value added" or pre-post assessments.

    "While student improvement findings were not overwhelming," said former Carnegie Senior Scholar Lloyd Bond, "a more immediate and direct outcome of the project was increased individual, program and institutional sensitivity to data and evidence, which could inform practice. In fact, the campus coordinators report that it is the developmental instructors' new commitment to using data to illuminate problems and to regularly and consistently monitor the effects of what they do that is a lasting legacy of SPECC."

    Faculty shared approaches with one another within and among institutions, expanding the conversations about what works and what doesn't in their classrooms. For example, Pasadena City College and Los Medanos College collaborated to collect interviews with math instructors, tutors and students to be used to promote teaching and learning in the subject. College of the Desert also worked with Pasadena, sending their SPECC coordinator and vice president of instruction to Pasadena to learn about PCC's Teaching and Learning Center.

    In addition, the institutional research offices conducted in-depth analyses of assessment, grading and attrition data. Bond found that these offices-which historically have prepared reports on institutional "effectiveness" for purposes of accountability and public consumption-have been under-utilized. As a result, the report recommends that institutional research offices be expanded to focus more directly on the core issues of teaching and learning.

    "The need is not simply to rethink traditional indices, but to create a wider community of educators who value evidence, who ask good questions, are creative about identifying and gathering data that bear on those questions, and are willing to talk together about, and act on, what they see," said Bond. "And this in turn means putting in place new tools and processes for gathering evidence, all in an effort to improve teaching and student learning."

    A copy of the report is available here.

    Staff Update

    Thank You, Bravo, and Adieu!

    A number of our fellow compatriots will have retired by the end of this year. For those of you leaving: We hate to see you go, but wish you well in your new adventure. Thanks for many years of blood, sweat, tears, and unwavering dedication. Your legacy has and will continue to enhance the lives of Contra Costa County residents for decades to come. We thank you.

    Steven Addiego, Lab Equipment Technician II (started 2001)
    John Felix, Lead Custodian (started 1989)
    Regina Garza, Senior Account Clerk - Cashier (started 2005)
    Barry Goldstein, Professor, Business (started 1989)
    Daniel Henry, Vice President (started 1973)
    Judy Henry, Family Life Education Specialist (started 1989)
    John Maltester, Professor, Music (started 1973)
    Esther Skeen, Police Lieutenant (started 1978)
    Roy Sutton, Building Maintenance Worker (started 1976)

    Service Awards Presented at District-wide Event

    One remarkable trait for many LMC faculty, staff and administrators is longevity. A recent ceremony at DVC provided an opportunity for the district to acknowledge these employees who have reached pinnacle points in their LMC careers.

    20 years:
    Lorie Butler, Senior Assistant, Library
    Juan Cuara, Clerk, Inventory/Receiving
    Laurie Huffman, Faculty, World Language/Spanish
    Le Pham Le, Lab Coordinator, Computer-Aided Instruction
    Cynthia McGrath, Faculty, Journalism
    Gail Newman, Senior Dean, Student Services
    Teddy Terstegge, Officer, Police Services
    John Patrick Wagener, Faculty, Mathematics

    25 years:
    Joyce Pavich, Buyer, Bookstore

    35 years:
    Olga Arenivar, Faculty, Speech
    Estelle Davi, Faculty, Psychology
    Daniel Henry, Vice President
    John Maltester, Faculty, Music

    Part-time Faculty:
    Maria Luisa McGill, 20 years
    Patsy Sherman, 20 years
    Gary McAdam, 23 years
    Charles Bohakel, 26 years
    Diane Maltester, 29 years
    Pat Martucci, 33 years
    Jack Williams, 49 years

    Upcoming Events

    Upcoming Camp Course Outline Session on May 8th, Plus New Sessions for Summer !

    Don't miss out on the momentum! Expert assistance and camraderie will help you join the COORs Hall of Fame.

    Camp will be offered from 9:00-3:00 on Friday, May 8th. RSVP by the Tuesday before the session and the Foundation will provide a lunch for you.

    Summer camps are also set up: each Tuesday from May 26th through July 28th, in Business Lab CC2-235 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. Signups for summer are requested by May 15th for lunch planning, but you can add or change sessions during the course of the summer.

    Contact Janice Townsend for more info at or x3240.

    helicopterHelicopter Landing on Friday, May 8

    A medical helicopter (REACH) landing and air evacuation demonstration has been scheduled at LMC on Friday, May 8, 2009, from 11:00 am to 12 noon. The helicopter will be landing on the Practice Field. This is a training event for Nursing, EMT, and Paramedic students on behalf of the DVC Pre-Nursing Society, so please do not be alarmed by emergency response vehicles and related activity in the area.

    At this point, there is no anticipation of disrupted access to areas on the east side of campus during this training event. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Teddy at

LogoGourmet Coffee Now Available in Library Building

    Well, you might not call this an event, but coffee afficianados certainly are happy to finally see the day!. Fabulous coffee drinks made with Peets Coffee are now available in the hallway just outside the library entrance.

    Cheer on Our Mustang Football Team at Annual Spring Game

    You may not be thinking football yet, but some coaches and players have been busy at work on the new field. On Monday, May 18th from 6:15 to 8:00 p.m., you'll have a chance to see them play in the annual spring game. Free admission!

    Students and Alumni of Note

    Skye Miller Selected for Pepsi Scholar Athlete Honor Roll

    The California Community College Commission on Athletics and the Cal Community College Athletic Association have selected LMC student Skye Miller as one of the members of the 2008 COA/CCCAA Pepsi Scholar Athlete Honor Roll. Skye, one of our soccer stars, was honored at the 2009 COA/CCCAA Celebration of Student Athletes Luncheon, and received a plaque at the event in early April.

    Students Win Big in LMCAS Academic Competition

    Congratulations to the winners of this year's 4th annual LMCAS Academic Competition. 18 teams participate in the day-long event and scholarships were presented to the winners. Please help us in congratulating these talented students!

    1st Place: The Prodigies (Enock Teefe, Priyam Ahuja, Tsai-Yin Lin, Glen Ricker) - $3,000
    2nd Place: The RAWTS (Joshua Evenson, Josiah Barron, Becky Evenson, Angela Shoga) - $2,000
    3rd Place: Super Deluxe Nostalgia Factory From Space (Nathaniel Mikajozyk, Reiko Kubota, Heather Nichols, Dion Roa) - $1,000
    4th Place: The Eagles (Ramon Coria, Tomi Adams, Callid Banks, Cassandra Pratt) - $600
    5th Place: Road Scholars (Erin Johnson, Krish Ahuja, Saif-ur-Rehman, Christopher Pascual) - $400

    Additionally, thanks again to the many faculty who wrote test questions for the competition as well as the event sponsors: LMCAS, Kaiser Permanente, LMC Foundation, Chipotle, Mustang Bookstore and the Student Life Office.

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