Inside Los Medanos College
Los Medanos College - Inside LMC
November 2009

In This Issue
  • New Developments
  • LMC and Our Community
  • Recent Accomplishments
  • Brentwood News
  • Employee Update
  • Alumni of Note

  • Wow, we're more than halfway through fall semester! Lots of things are being accomplished - completed SLOs have now reached the halfway point, the Art Department renovations are full-speed ahead, and we're received our first "Green Technology" grant.

    Some may think it is too early to celebrate, but those involved are doing a stellar job to ensure LMC's success.

    All the details are included in this enews. Check it out!

    New Developments

    LMC Construction Update

    We're moving forward with bond-supported construction projects on campus. Some you can see every day, and some are in the planning stages - waiting for their own time to come. We thought you might be curious about what's happening.

    Art Remodel
    temp spaceThe Art Department remodel project of the old Art/Computer Science area is moving forward and should be completed by early May 2010. New walls have gone up recently and faculty and staff have selected their furniture, equipment and fixtures.

    Nursing Remodel
    The Nursing and EMS faculty and staff will be moving into the Old Science area once a renovation has been completed there. They are in the midst of planning for new furniture, fixtures and equipment. Demolition and reconstruction of this area should begin late Spring 2010 and continue until Spring 2011.

    Parking Lot B Expansion
    Parking Lot B expansion has been delayed until mid-spring 10. This project will provide about 450 additional parking spaces for our students, occupying what was a soccer field.

    Business Services and Central Services
    Business Services will eventually be moving where the Assessment Center now is; Central Services will be moving to CC1-118/119. Construction of these areas will begin late 2010 and conclude by Spring 2011.

    Student Services Remodel
    The Student Services remodel of the east side of level three of the College Complex is scheduled to begin in Summer 2011 and conclude in early 2013. The college is currently developing a swing space plan for Student Services and Administration during the construction period.

    Eastside College Campus
    The college is currently developing projects to construct a Physical Education building, new locker rooms, new tennis courts, and a Student Union. This plan will be shared with the college community over the next few months.

    Green Technologies Grant Brings $1M to District

    green jobs
imageAs announced recently by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Contra Costa Community College District has been awarded one million dollars ($1,000,000) as part of the Clean Energy Workforce Training Program (CEWTP), one of the largest state-sponsored green jobs training program in the nation. Los Medanos College (LMC) has received a significant portion of that grant to develop workers for 21st century clean energy jobs.

    Los Medanos will build on its existing heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration program; significantly modifying existing curriculum to incorporate green energy concepts, tools, equipment, and practices; and develop new courses that address the building envelope and mechanical systems. New classes will initially include: green building technology, green mechanical systems, and weatherization, with green plumbing, energy auditing, energy efficient lighting, and other courses coming down the road. The new classes will initially be offered in a series of intense, sequential classes meeting four hours per day, three to four days per week for three to four weeks to unemployed or under-employed workers with a construction background. Some classes will be available as soon as Spring 2010.

    Upon course completion, program participants may be eligible for several industry recognized certificates such as: certified green building professional, home energy rater, water/energy auditor, and weatherization specialist/auditor.

    Over the next eighteen months, Los Medanos will work in collaboration with Diablo Valley College, Contra Costa College and the Contra Costa Community College District, along with the local Green Collar Jobs Council, the California Energy Commission, the Employment Development Department, the Employment Training Panel the California Workforce Investment Board, and several local agencies, organizations, and employers. Student recruiting will be coordinated through local EDD one-stop centers.

    Los Medanos is excited to be part of training workers for the low-carbon, clean-energy economy of tomorrow.

    If you would like more information about LMC's "green" classes, contact John Henry at A web page is currently under development.

    gaugeCOOR Update

    A great big thank you for the progress faculty are making on updating their Course Outlines of Record (COOR). Some programs have inactivated a few courses, which helps the numbers too.

    The mercury on the COOR update gauge is moving up! 327 of our 648 course outlines are now up-to-date and have CSLOs! We are more than 50% 'current' from 25% when the accreditation team visited us in October 2008. All are working hard to ensure that we're at 100% by our "due date" in January 2010. Take a look at the gauge: a-out/coors/default.asp

    Some areas have 100% of their COORs current and deserve a special mention: · Nursing - Allied Health · Welding · Sociology · Cooperative Education · Environmental Science · ETEC · Filipino · FOOD · Geography · Geology · Library Studies · RN · Nutrition · Philosophy · Process Technology · Real Estate

    We know there are lots of COORs in the pipeline at various stages - final stages of writing, technical review, content review, or ready to go to the Curriculum Committee for review and approval. Thank you all very much for the work you are doing. · Astronomy · Computer Science · Education · EMS · ESL · Fire Technology · French · Learning Skills · PE · Political Science · Psychology · Sign Language · Spanish · Travel

    Camp Course Outline Offered in November and December!

    Camp Course Outline continues to be successful in supporting faculty in COOR completion. The numbers prove it! Upcoming sessions will take place on Fridays: November 13 and December 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in CC2-235 (Business computer lab). If you teach on Friday mornings come for the afternoon portion. Be sure to RSVP and you'll get a free lunch - donated by the LMC Foundation.

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

    To RSVP and for questions, contact Janice Townsend at jtownsend or x 3240.

    New Parking Meters Enable Short-term Campus Visits

    As many of you are aware, we have recently completed the installation of parking meters in Lots A and B.  These meters will provide short-term parking to visitors and the LMC community alike.

      Eight meters have been installed, four in Parking Lot A and four in Lot B. The meters take nickles, dimes and quarters, and cost five cents for each six minutes. Be sure to feed the meter!

    Please note:  Campus Police are enforcing these metered parking spaces.  The use of a staff or student permit will not be accepted in a metered parking space.

      If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Chad Wehrmeister at x3122.

    LMC and Our Community

    Mitch Schweikert's organic chemistry students have been busy with outdoor field activities as of late. This floating classroom provided a unique docent experience for some of them. The following article was published in the Contra Costa Times.

    images from the trip

    Floating classroom takes maiden voyage By Paul Burgarino, Contra Costa Times

    PITTSBURG - Jim Goble's fifth-grade class at Willow Cove Elementary School traded their backpacks for life jackets as they embarked on a new learning experience last week. The 31 students strapped on flotation devices Thursday before taking to the waters of Suisun Bay to learn about the Delta watershed.

    "We're moving!" some kids shouted, while others joked of becoming seasick as the boat shoved off for the three-hour trip. When the horn of the Delta Discovery cruise ship pierced the air with a loud warning as it left the marina, most kids screamed with glee.

    The field trip was the maiden voyage for an education program about the Delta and Kirker Creek watersheds created by Partners of the Watershed,

    Slide show: Floating Classroom is a collaboration of the city of Pittsburg, Pittsburg school district, Los Medanos College, Dow Chemical Co., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Department of Fish and Game. The program is funded with grant money from Dow, Trans Bay Cable and material donations from other groups. Class began with a quick tutorial by Willow Cove science teacher Chris Coan about the evolution of the Delta area's ecology from Native American tribes to cattle land for Spanish settlers to a hub for industry and shipping.

    "Look out of the window and what do you see?" Coan asked. All the heads in the hull turned to the Pittsburg shoreline in the distance. Students Tyrell Burton and Fernando Acosta said they saw houses, smoke, factories and water towers in the distance.

    The program is beneficial as there is "hardly any science" in classrooms compared with the heavy emphasis on math and language arts, Goble said.

    "To be able to see the water and have this type of experience is just fantastic," he said, noting that many students had never been on a boat before.

    The class, which was divided into four groups, learned about the Delta's water quality, navigational safety, identifying plankton and other life-forms, and food chains and toxins from pollution in the water.

    Meena Espinoza and Philip Galin were among those listening intently and jotting notes in their workbooks with pencils as Los Medanos chemistry professor Mitch Schweickert walked the group through measuring the quality of a Delta water sample.

    The Delta water is 10 degrees Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit - very chilly, Schweickert said. The students also discovered that the water has more salinity here than when it travels from Mount Diablo, through Kirker Creek and into the Delta. The water also has a low turbidity, meaning it's fairly clear.

    One of the highlights came when kids scooped up samples of the plankton and other Delta life below the surface and looked at them on a flat-screen TV.

    "Whoa!" said Ricardo Amaya, looking at the enlarged image of a water penny and other tiny aquatic organisms. He and Llaila Garcia compared the enhanced images on the screen with glass jar samples taken from a creek, drawing what they saw.

    Seeing the plankton was the coolest part, though learning how to navigate the boat was fun as well, Samantha Cano and Alajah Copeland said while eating lunch on shore.

    MESA Hosts UC Berkeley Internship Presentation

    Sang LeeOn Sept. 21st, Dr. Sang Lee from UC Berkeley was invited by LMC's MESA program to speak about a great internship opportunity at UC Berkeley. The internship is called the Environmental Leadership Pathway Program and is a one-year paid internship at UC Berkeley.

    The internship spans Spring, Summer, and Fall 2010 semesters. It is intended for students majoring in science and transferring in Fall 2011 to a 4-year college. They are encouraging low-income and students with underserved/disadvantaged backgrounds to apply.

    The ELP program not only exposes students to a diverse population of professionals and research opportunities, but it also eases the transfer process for community college students by helping them apply to 4-year colleges in the fall.

    There is a link to the online ELP application on MESA's website under internships at

    Process Technology (PTEC) Summer Academy

    studentsLMC hosted a very successful summer academy for high school students during the week of June 22, 2009. The academy was built around the Process Technology (PTEC) Program which prepares women and men to become operators of refineries and chemical plants.

    Not only did the students learn about PTEC careers and technology, but they also received an orientation to the college and honed their job readiness skills. Students learned about PTEC technology through lectures, hands-on laboratory experiences, operating a computer based refinery simulator, and by attending a full day of field trips to industrial production sites. Job readiness skills included soft skill modules which focused on critical thinking, flexibility and adaptability, self-motivation, ethics and diversity as well as punctuality, attendance, and proper attire.

    43 students turned in applications for the academy, 38 showed up the first day, and 33 successfully completed the program. Five of our six "feeder" high schools were represented. Bottom line, five of the students registered in PTEC for the college fall semester. Six math/science teachers from the three East Contra Costa County High School Districts participated in the Academy. These instructors have become true ambassadors for the PTEC program - creating a sustainable pipeline of students from high school to LMC.

    ETEC and PTEC programs continue their strong relationship with local industry

    Both the ETEC and PTEC programs at LMC were created to solve a growing problem of replacement of retiring skilled workforce for local industry. These programs were designed and created by a team of local industry leaders and the Los Medanos faculty and staff.

    A strong relationship between these programs and industry is growing even stronger as evidenced by the latest cooperative program between Shell Oil Refinery in Martinez and Los Medanos which includes plans to strengthen the relationship between Alhambra High School in Martinez, Los Medanos College and Shell Oil Refinery.

    Plans are underway for an informational event for Alhambra High School juniors and seniors, along with school counselors and instructors. Shell will present what it is like to work at Shell and the careers found there. ETEC and PTEC will then present specific details about their programs. Shell has graciously offered two scholarships for each program (total of four) for Alhambra High School students.

    This is a real win-win for everyone. A big thank you to Shell for their gracious support of our programs and future students.

    Recent Accomplishments

    LMC Foundation Highlights

    The following was published in this month's Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce Newsletter:

    At the annual Los Medanos College Foundation Board of Directors meeting in June 2009, a decision was made to focus on students' economic needs this year. Board President Diana Mason stated that the LMC Foundation is pleased that they can help the students out during these difficult times. The LMC Foundation recently donated $5,000 to the Los Medanos College Library's Reserved Textbook program, after seeing a sample of books that could be required for a typical semester. "Unbelievable" was the exclamation of several Board members when LMC Foundation Executive Director Lindy Wille told them that four books totaled $536. Half of the donated $5,000 will be used to purchase textbooks for students to use at the LMC Brentwood Center.

    Because of recent governmental snafus, many of our enrolled Vets will not receive their G.I. Educational Bill funds for 6-8 weeks, even though the paperwork was processed in August. The LMC Admissions Office has given the LMC Foundation names of student veterans who may need special assistance to help them get through this difficult time.

    Since September, Executive Director Lindy Wille has met with a number of student veterans to assure them that LMC is concerned about them and if they need assistance, the LMC Foundation will be able to help them out. It is truly heartwarming to see and hear these students' expressions of gratitude that LMC cares about them. "It is really amazing to know that someone (LMC) really cares about us. Thank you for your help!" exclaimed more than one grateful student veteran.

    The LMC Foundation is able to help, these and other, students because of the generous donations from our corporate partners, community leaders and the many faculty, staff and managers who contribute through payroll deductions.

    Financial Aid Office Connects More Students With Support $$

    Many of you are well aware of the tremendous increase in the volume of students the Office of Financial Aid has served this fall. They also increased the number of FAFSA workshops and received record numbers of students attending Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) workshops.

    Throughout in-reach and outreach efforts, staff emphasized the importance of completing financial aid files on time. In view of the troubled economic times and the advance communication of categorical cuts, the Office of Financial Aid felt it particularly important to emphasize the extended filing deadline of September 2nd for the Cal Grant program.

    As a courtesy to our students the Office of Financial Aid in collaboration with the California Student Aid Commission, electronically uploaded and submit GPA verification information for all new students prior to the September deadline date. Upon submission, students were evaluated for potential eligibility through the California Student Aid Commission's methodology.

    As a result of the Office's efforts, LMC has received Cal Grant award notifications for an additional 150 of our new students bringing our total number of recipients for the 2009-2010 academic year to 527. The additional funding ranges from $576.00 - $1551.00 annually for each of our students. The news of the additional funding will definitely be a tremendous help to our students during these tough economic times.  

    Bravo to the Office of Financial Aid as they continue to develop campaigns and strategies to assist our students in maximizing their ability to access additional funding opportunities.

    Student Retention Focus of Armendirez/Moore Presentation

    A'kilah Moore and Rosa Armendirez gave a presentation in September at the National College Access Network (NCAN) in San Francisco. They co-presented with California Tomorrow, an LMC partner since 2006, on work together and the development of the Umoja Scholars Program.

    Below is a synopsis of their presentation:


    A 2005 study showed that for families whose household income falls below $25,000 the college graduation rate was 52.3%, while those with higher incomes fared significantly better; for students whose family income was $25,000-$49,999 the graduation rate was 62.1% and for those with incomes was $50,000-$74,999 the rate was 73% (Carroll & Chen, 2005).

    More alarming is that high achieving students from families with low socio-economic status (SES) graduate from college at nearly the same rate as low achieving students from families with high SES; both have about a 30% graduation rate (Roy, Allegretto, & Fungard, 2005).

    With this, American higher education currently faces difficult challenges while simultaneously approaches opportunities to be a leading force in shaping the future social, political, and economic direction for our country. Two areas that offer both challenge and opportunity to higher education include issues related to the retention of low-income students through engagement, and second, creating a sense of social justice and civic responsibility in our citizenry.

    This session will highlight innovative programs that serve low-income students, students of color, and other marginalized groups that traditionally have lower retention rates than majority students. These programs range from learning communities to community service scholarship programs to customer service programs.  The programs highlighted offer a holistic approach to student retention and engagement and are offered through social justice philosophical framework meant to inspire students to make real change in their lives as well as in the lives of others.

    Co-presenters: Rosa L. Armendariz, Activity Director, HSI Grant, Los Medanos College A'kilah Moore, Math Instructor & Umoja Scholars Program Coordinator, Los Medanos College Kica Gazmuri, Senior Associate, California Tomorrow Laurie Marks, Director, Ctr for Volunteerism & Student Leadership, University Wisconsin at Milwaukee

    Brentwood News

    General Anthropology Students Digging It!

    The following was published by the Brentwood Press:

    Most classes at Los Medanos College's Brentwood Center take place indoors, but if you're taking general anthropology with Liana Padilla-Wilson, you'd better be wearing good shoes.

    While most students are taking notes and listening to lectures, Padilla-Wilson's students are canvassing Marsh Creek, which flows behind the facility, conducting an archeological dig. They're searching for evidence to help identify the type of people who live and have lived in the area. No item is too small. Everything has significance.

    "The students are finding all kinds of things, from toys to shells," Padilla-Wilson said. "There is no such thing as trash during these digs. Everything plays a part in telling the story of what life is like in this area. Even the food wrapper from McDonald's helps give us clues about the people in the area. Wrappers illustrate the diet of the inhabitants, while toys help define what play means to this group of people."

    Most classes at Los Medanos College's Brentwood Center take place indoors, but if you're taking general anthropology with Liana Padilla-Wilson, you'd better be wearing good shoes.

    While most students are taking notes and listening to lectures, Padilla-Wilson's students are canvassing Marsh Creek, which flows behind the facility, conducting an archeological dig. They're searching for evidence to help identify the type of people who live and have lived in the area. No item is too small. Everything has significance.

    "The students are finding all kinds of things, from toys to shells," Padilla-Wilson said. "There is no such thing as trash during these digs. Everything plays a part in telling the story of what life is like in this area. Even the food wrapper from McDonald's helps give us clues about the people in the area. Wrappers illustrate the diet of the inhabitants, while toys help define what play means to this group of people."

    Like her students, Padilla-Wilson began her college education at LMC. She took anthropology as part of the general education curriculum and fell in love with it. She spent years in the field, but returned to LMC five years ago as a part-time instructor.

    Now a full-time faculty member, Padilla-Wilson is trying to inspire her students, introducing the archeological dig component to the class this semester to help students get a better understanding of what anthropology is all about.

    Crow plans to transfer St. Mary's College to complete her degree in anthropology just like Padilla-Wilson. Another one of Padilla-Wilson's students, Noah Hirsch, a sophomore from Antioch, said he took one of her anthropology classes last spring and enjoyed the class so much that changed his major to pursue the social science.

    "I was pre-med, but then I took the class, and I really liked this side of science," Hirsch said. "Anthropology isn't about finding out what things are made of. It's more abstract. Like when you find something during a dig, you don't want to just know what it is, but you want to know how it got there and why people used it. You want to know who used it. It's like solving a mystery."

    Padilla-Wilson said based on the reaction of her students these first weeks of class, she'll bring the archeological dig exercise back next semester. She also hopes the increase in student enrollment in her classes results in more class offerings for the anthropology department, as the college currently only offers three types of anthropology courses.

    Employee Update

    Welcome and Bravo!

    A few new faces have joined us as of late. When you have a moment, stop by and introduce yourselves.

    Interim Management Assignments

    • Sandy Smith, Interim Director of Business Services

    New Classified Employees

    • Faidra Rodriguez, Financial Aid Assistant II, lateral transfer from DVC
    • Carol Love, Math Lab Coordinator, lateral transfer to Brentwood Center
    • Clinton Robinson, Sr., Lead Custodian
    • John Schall, Media Design Specialist

    Temporary Out-of-Class Assignments

    • Linda Maniscalco, Senior Account Clerk, Cashier

    Alumni of Note

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