GB News: From the Southwestern Community College District Governing Board

President's Message

Governing Board President Tim NaderThe new year truly means new beginnings for Southwestern College.

First, we will see the arrival of our new Superintendent/President, Dr. Melinda Nish.

Dr. Nish has already made her presence felt on campus in preliminary meetings with key staff members. When the campus staff and faculty return after Winter Break on Jan. 3 she will move into the office vacated by Interim Superintendent/President Denise Whittaker in a transition remarkable mainly for its smoothness.

New Board Officers

Governing Board President Norma L. HernandezBoard Vice President Humberto Peraza
The Board held its organizational meeting and elected its officers for 2012:
  • Norma L. Hernandez, Board President
  • Humberto Peraza, Board Vice President

The Board also approved its regular meeting schedule for 2012.

Construction Update: Corner Lot

Corner Lot renderingTo accomodate changing needs and construction challenges on the site, the Governing Board approved a revised construction cycle for the Corner Lot project. Designs previously envisioned six buildings and a parking structure at the southwestern corner of H Street and Otay Lakes Road. The Board deleted the parking structure, but moved to proceed with work on four of the six buildings:

  • A multi-purpose educational facility and culinary arts center (38,000 square feet).
  • A public safety station (4,500 square feet).
  • What had been designated as a new bookstore with retail space, which will now accomodate the art gallery/fitness center, economic development and community services. (25,000 square feet).
  • An administration and conference buildings with 99 underground parking spaces (41,000 square feet).

Board President Hernandez and Trustee Dr. Jean Roesch will represent the Board on a committee to review the need, scope and purpose of what had been Building D on the earlier plans.

In other construction developments:

Time Out Cafe Ribbon Cutting
  • The college's newest eatery, dubbed the Time Out Cafe, opened in December on the south side of campus.
  • Work is set to begin in January on the renovation of DeVore Stadium, including construction of the new Field House. (An alternate location is being sought for the May 18, 2012 Commencement ceremony.)
  • Planning is moving ahead on a new structure at the Higher Education Center at National City.

Employee of the Quarter: Sergio Soriano

Sergio Soriano and supervisor Nelson RileyStudent Employment Services Specialist Sergio Soriano (right, with supervisor Nelson Riley) was recognized at Wednesday's meeting as Employee of the Quarter for January-March 2012.

"Sergio keeps this program alive. He keeps it vibrant," said Beatrice Zamora-Aguilar, Dean of the School of Counseling & Personal Development.

In other employee-related action, the Board approved the employment of:

  • Chandulal M. Brahmbhatt as Interim Vice President for Business & Financial Affairs;
  • Joseph Quarles, Ed.D., for an additional six months as Interim Vice President for Human Resources;
  • John Rieder as Assistant Professor of English (General Comp);
  • Kevin Roof as Assistant Professor of Fire Science;
  • Dr. Sylvia Garcia-Navarrete as Assistant Professor of Reading;
  • Maria Ramirez as Food Service Worker;
  • Clifford Sharp as Network Systems Analyst.

The board also designated Director of Food Service Joe Fighera as Acting Director of Bookstore and promoting Professor of Communication Linda Hensley to Director of Institutional Research, Grants & Planning.

Also receiving promotions were Classified employees Rosalva Sandoval, Rachel Francois and Yleanna Fierro -- a 26-year College employee who has studied to make the jump from Food Service Worker to Student Services Assistant.

National City's View For the Future

Higher Education Center at National CityThe Board also heard about preliminary plans to expand the Higher Education Center at National City with a second building housing an additional 15,000 square feet of life sciences laboratories and other classrooms.

The additional lab facilities would help the campus address a countywide shortage of general science prerequisite courses and provide more specialized training in Medical Laboratory Technology and Medical Office Professional skills, Dean Christine M. Perri said.

"Our charge is to take Southwestern College's mission and extend that to the National City community," Perri said.

The project would require an estimated $11.5 million in Proposition R funds. Construction is tentatively planned to begin in late 2013.

Meeting Schedule

Meeting dates for 2012:

Date Location
January 11, 2012 Higher Education Center, Otay Mesa
February 8, 2012 Higher Education Center, San Ysidro
March 14, 2012 Chula Vista Campus
April 11, 2012 Coronado Unified School District (Tentative)
May 9, 2012 Chula Vista Campus
June 13, 2012 Higher Education Center, National City
July 11, 2012 Chula Vista Campus
August 8, 2012 Chula Vista Campus
September 12, 2012 Chula Vista Campus
October 10, 2012 Chula Vista Campus
November 14, 2012 Chula Vista Campus

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