Archive for the ‘Faculty’ Category

Chairman of Assembly Higher Education Committee to hold news conference on campus

By Kellen Brauer

Marty Block
Marty Block

GROSSMONT COLLEGE- Marty Block, chairman of the Assembly committee on higher education, will be participating in a campus news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday ,  Sept. 27,.

“A  panel of questioners will include Russ Lindquist, editor of the GC Summit; Marc Arizmendez, news director of Griffin Radio; and Sue Gonda, the president of the Academic Senate,” said the organizer,  Journalism Instructor Donald H. Harrison.  “He will be welcomed to the campus by both the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Chancellor Cindy Miles and Grossmont President Sunita Cooke.”

The first half hour of Block’s presentation will be questions from the panel while the second half will open up questioning to the floor.

Block, a Democrat representing San Diego, chairs the committee in the Assembly to which all legislation concerning colleges and universities is initially referred.  Before his election to the Legislature, he served for eight years as the chairman of the San Diego City College Board.   Prior to that he was a member of the San Diego County Board of Education.

“I will be asking questions that either I came up with or that the Jounalism class (MCOM 132) crafted together and decided,” said Lindquist. “I figure that I will get a whole lot of information from him that is useful for me but also useful for our readers.”

“I am going to be asking basic general questions,” said Arizmendez. “Hopefully I am going to get together with Russ and Mr. Harrison and come up with some good hard hitting questions.”

“I am looking forward to it [the conference] because the economy is shaky in general, so I look forward to getting some real practical advice from this legislator for the sake of making the right choices upcoming as I move onto a University,” said Lindquist.

Gonda was not immediately available for comment.

Arizmendez said the press conference will be a good way to present Grossmont College’s problems to Block, whose role is key to higher education in the state.

“Hopefully we get the answers that people want to hear,” said Arizmendez.

Brauer is a student in Media Comm 132.  He may be contacted at

There’s a new dean on campus

By Barbara Boyd

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — There is a new Dean on campus, but  she is far from being new to the school. Debbie Yaddow who has devoted  21 years to the Grossmont College Nursing program, is now the Dean of  Allied Health and Nursing.

Yaddow related that she “fell” into her career, how she never planned to have it take her this far. She said that she started as a  respiratory therapist, and later on became a nurse once.  Still later she decided to become a teacher, where she could help others learn the nursing profession. “ I  love teaching, because you really make a difference in students’ lives,” she said.

As the Dean her responsibilities are still to students, but in addition she  is “working behind the scenes” on such tasks as securing “the best state-of-the-art equipment, facilities for the students, ” she said.

Even though Dean  Yaddow is not working with the students directly, she said she stills want them to feel  free to come and see her just to say “Hi. ”

She said she will maintain an open door policy for students, explaining:   “It keeps me in a loop of what’s going on in their lives.”

If there is a school-related problem, the students are encouraged to first see their teacher and then their  director of nursing, before coming to her, Yaddow said.  She added that  if she needs to get involved then she  will.

When asked where she will like to go from here, she responded “ I plan on  being here a lot longer.”
Boyd is a student in Media Comm 132.  She may be contacted at

Henrietta Lacks’ story and life go on…

By Chauntel Duren

GROSSMONT COLLEGE – There is a story that will probably go on for  years.  It is about Henrietta Lacks, who is still living 60 years after her death — through her cells.  How can that be?

Henrietta Lacks was born in the 1920’s into a poor,  southern African-American family.  She was diagnosed with terminal  cancer in 1951 and was treated at Johns Hopkins University.  She did not survive the cancer.

But while she was being treated the  doctor took cells from her cervix without her consent and those cells have been used in over 60,000 studies.  Her cells are so well-known, they  even have a nickname: He-La cells.  They have been used in research  on polio, cancer, AIDS and other diseases.

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Life of involuntary gene donor Henrietta Lacks probed in campus-wide study

GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release) —  A campuswide learning experience called “A  Multi-Disciplinary Celebration of ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is involving students in many different departments, ranging from history to nursing, science to English, and culinary arts to the dramatic arts.

The program is  based on Rebecca  Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

The bestselling book chronicles  how the cells of Lacks, a poor African-American woman from the South who died of cancer in 1951, were used to grow
human cells in the lab. The cells taken from Lacks were used without consent  from her and her family, raising numerous ethical questions about medical
research. Used in over 60,000 published studies, these cells have played a part  in research on cancer, AIDS, and gene mapping, and led to many discoveries
including the polio vaccine.

Today, as a lucrative industry  has arisen around the culturing and sale of “HeLa” cells, the Lacks family still  lives in poverty, still cannot afford adequate health care, and had only limited   knowledge of “HeLa” cells and their contributions to science and humanity, according to Tate Hurvitz, a Grossmont  College English professor overseeing the project.

Hurvitz said, “The book offers insight into questions of science, research ethics, social justice, race, class and gender in the 1950s and the present, and even the essence of human nature. In short, it is fertile ground for intellectual and cultural investigation across different areas of study, making our students’ educational experience
more meaningful and engaging.”

Hurvitz said 17 different departments at Grossmont are planning a variety of classroom assignments this fall ranging from essays and films for English students to culinary students preparing a Southern-style Henrietta Lacks menu. A Theatre Arts Department class has scheduled a book reading, and the college’s Speech and Debate team will hold a student debate on ethical issues. Art students are creating original artwork and chemistry students will learn about HeLa cells. Also, a campuswide essay contest
is underway. Assisting Hurvitz in the project are Sue Jensen and Joan Ahrens, both from the Grossmont College English Dep
artment. Details about the collaboration appears on the Grossmont College website homepage,

Preceding provided by Grossmont College’s public affairs office

Video telling 50 year history of Grossmont shows at 4 p.m. Wednesday, August 24

GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release) — Faculty and students in the Media Communications Department worked together to capsulize the colllege’s 50th anniversary wih a video.  It was compiled over the summer, integrating major events in the college’s history with historical events of the era. 

Now the Media Communications Department invites students , faculty, staff and administrators to view the work in Room 26-220 on Wednesday August 24th at 4pm.,  and to meet the production team.

The 15-minute program will screen again at 4:30pm the same day. The Media Comm students are “very proud of their work and are anxious for the entire  campus community to see the tribute to the school”, according to Media Comm Prof. William Snead.

He said the work includes interviews with faculty, staff and administrators who have served Grossmont  students over the years.

Preceding provided by the Media Communications Department

Creative Writing program sponsors lectures by authors

Media Comm team brought home the ribbons

Del Mar Fair prizewinners, from left, Jorge Serrano, Alexis Jacquett, William Snead, Nicolle Fedor and Chris Norris

-Staff Report–

DEL MAR, California — Over the summer, the Media Communications Department of Grossmont College won a pastle of awards at the San Diego County Fair at Del Mar in a competion for the best college-level mock television newscast. Broadcast student and producer Nicolle Fedor explained that the storyline of Grossmont’s broadcast followed an evening television newscast format with three anchors. The 10-minute live broadcast informed the Grossmont campus audience of such world news stories as it the death of Osama Bin Laden followed by news of the Royal honeymoon and the United States Navy’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy changes. In a high-tech business segment, the team covered news of Microsoft , Skype, AT&T and T-Mobile, Google, Apple, Facebook and Symantec. The three anchors then closed out the broadcast. Besides Fedor, team members included Alexis Jacquett, Chris Norris, and Jorge Serrano. Faculty member William Snead oversaw the project.

Other team members included Director, Vincenzo Ruffino; Technical Director, Christian Vega; Audio,  Joshua Jensma; VT Recorder, Ryan Mahan; Camera 2, Sakuna Thongramsy; Talent 3, Arianna Nevins and Announcer, Shawn Felix.