Archive for the ‘Staff’ Category

Grossmont profiles: Ricks, McCoy and Lego

By Barbara Boyd

GROSSMONT COLLEGE –Walking around the campus can bring you into contact with many interesting people. Recently, I had a chance to learn a little about three of them.

A volunteer with a cause

Joshua Ricks

Joshua Ricks

Joshua Ricks, who is taking a critical thinking class on campus, has been working on a drive to help the Boys and Girls Club.

He seeks old clothes, canned food, shoes, toys, and anything else that can be used to help kids from impoverished families. He’ll be out on the Main Quad on Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m in the quad collecting donations for the boys and girls at the Boys and Girls Club.

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District plans forum Sept. 22 on master plan

CUYAMACA COLLEGE (Press Release) –The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District is in the midst of a yearlong effort to craft its educational master plan and wants to hear from the public it serves.

A community forum is set for7:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, in room I-207 of the Cuyamaca College Student Center to provide the public an opportunity to contribute to the long-range blueprint for the future of Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, which together
serve almost 30,000 students each year. The topics and ideas that crop up during the discussion will help shape the future of higher education in the East County in the next 15 to 20 years.

“The educational master plan will help set priorities and will guide decisions about growth, development and the allocation of resources,” said Cindy L. Miles, district chancellor. “We are especially eager to hear from the business community — learning what jobs and skills employers anticipate needing is critical to our meeting community needs. What are the workforce needs and emerging occupations that we should be training people for?”

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Norris named Summit business manager

Chris Norris-Linton

Staff Report

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — Chris Norris-Linton, a double major in music industry studies and media communications, has been appointed business manager of the campus newspaper GC Summit, it was announced by Donald H. Harrison, faculty advisor.

Norris will sell advertisements for the monthly Summit magazine, with a particular emphasis on coupons from neighboring restaurants and businesses.

He may be contacted at

‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ toys showcased by Grossmont mother of the designer

'Pirates' toys designed by Adam Ostegard

By Sharyce Bailey

GROSSMONT COLLEGE – Staff member Karen Ostegard  of the student assessment department has reason for being “darn proud” about her son, Adam.  He  is the designer of toys and action figures for the second and third sequels of  the Disney movie,  Pirates of the Caribbean.

When Adam was in 5th grade a teacher inspired him to pursue something that could show his already amazing talent of drawing. In 1995, when Adam was 21, he attended Cuyamaca College and later moved to Burbank to fulfill his dream of working for Disney.  The studio, having seen his work, invited him to become involved with Disney product lines.

Ostegard’s office on the second floor of Grossmont’s Tech Mall is filled with her son’s handiwork.  On the tops of two sets of shelves are many different action figures and plush toys – all designed by Adam.  Additionally, she has adorned her office with a full-sized Jack Sparrow cutout and numerous picture from the Pirates of the Caribbean 3 set.

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Muslims seek an area on campus for prayer

Mohammad Sabir Abbassi stands in front of a hallway of the tech-mall where Muslims have been asked not to pray for the sake of public safety

Mohammad Sabir Abbassi stands in front of a hallway of the tech-mall where Muslims have been asked not to pray for the sake of public safety. (Photo: Russ Lindquist)

By Russ Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–Mohammad Sabir Abbassi, a Grossmont student aimed at a career in Public Health and Social Work, is advocating for his fellow Muslim students on campus to have a comfortable place to pray throughout the day.  Abbassi is petitioning with flyers, promoting the cause.

Previously, complaints had arisen about Muslims praying in the corridors of the tech-mall. To be clear, no one, including Abbassi, finds the complaints to be directed towards Muslims for their being Muslims but rather the issue was one of public safety: The area where they currently pray leads to an emergency fire exit, the blocking of which is considered a fire hazard, school officials who received the complaint told Abbassi.

Arabic Instructor Dr. Sonia Ghattas-Soliman suggested that Muslims consider finding many separate areas as options for their daily prayer.  Agustin Albarran, associate dean of Student Affairs, suggested that Muslims perhaps hold a fundraiser to build a (non-denominational, religiously open) peace garden for the Muslims to pray in.

Muslims pray five times a day; typically each prayer lasts from five to ten minutes.  Dyari Qadir said she feels it is unfair for Muslims to be prohibited from praying in that hallway.

Qadir,  a member of the Muslim Student Association at Grossmont, stated that if an emergency were to arise that she would stop praying and vacate the building.

In response to suggestions that Muslims simply pray outside, Abbassi stated that some Muslims report having been harassed when they prayed outdoors.  Specifically, Abbassi told of a time when a Muslim woman was praying and approached by a woman who presumably was not Muslim, and the non-Muslim woman reportedly insisted, “You cannot pray here.”

When told of this incident, Dean Albarran assured: “Students–Muslim and otherwise–can pray anywhere on the campus that they want,” as long as it does not directly and adversely affect the learning of other students.  Students who feel they are being treated unfairly–in religious matters or otherwise–may call Dean Albarran at Grossmont’s Office of Student Affairs at 619-644-7600, or email the Dean at


Arce is a student in MediaComm 132; contact her at

WOW showcases clubs and special programs

Tables and booths covered mainquad during Week of Welcome

By Kellen Brauer

GROSSMONT COLLEGE- As part of Grossmont College’s WOW–Week of Welcome–many clubs and programs were recently on display to enable incoming students to get a little taste of life on campus beyond the classroom.

Such programs as the International Club, the Visual Arts and Humanities program, and the Associated Students of Grossmont College were among the organizations that took their messages to tables and booths at the Main Quad and other campus locations.

The International Club  “is for both American students and International students,” said International Club adviser Barbara Clark. “About 30 or so different nationalities are represented in the club.”

“We have barbeques and bus trips as well as game nights and sports day,” Clark explained. “The club tries to do a number of activities on and off the campus to provide an opportunity for the American and International students to meet each other and get to know each other.”

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Textbook sellers compete for your dollars, loyalty

By Barbara Boyd

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — The semester begins, you find yourself feeling lucky that you have your classes… then you look up the books you will need. That smile you had is gone, and the first thought that comes to mind is, “how am I going to pay for these?”

It would be safe to say that second or third year students know some tricks for buying books–where to go and where not to go.  As a first year student, all I knew, before researching for this article, was that I needed those books.

I assumed that the only place I could get my books was from the campus bookstore. However, I learned that there are stores and Internet sites that specialize in selling and even renting college textbooks. These stores and sites in some cases offer books at cheaper prices than the campus bookstore.  But, I found, there are pitfalls.  For example, buying books from different bookstores can be time consuming. You have to locate a store, then spend time to determine if  your book  is even there.

Purchasing  books through the internet can present problems too.  Although said to be  “just a click away,” they may take a long time to get to your house.  Waiting for your books to come, and knowing that there is a possibility that your books might get lost in shipping–such tension can make buying textbooks through the internet unacceptable to some people.

Although potentially more expensive, buying textbooks from the campus bookstore can be rewarding. Upper classman Jeff Barnes said that even though he spent close to $300 on his books for this semester he feels he made a better choice buying at the campus bookstore  than elsewhere.

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Staff profile: Holly Phan, printing supervisor

Holly Phan (Photo by Russ Lindquist)

By Russell Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is a long way from Grossmont’s printing department.  Yet Holly Phan’s life-journey has taken her from one to the other.

Born in Saigon as Holly Doan, Phan immigrated  to the United States as a 17-year-old with her father, mother and brother in 1992, was graduated from Hoover High School in San Diego, then went to Grossmont and thereafter to SDSU.

Her  father, a former captain in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, was among many Vietnamese allies who accepted an offer from the U.S. government to come live in the United States.

In 2000, Phan received her B.S. in Computer Science and then, in 2001, accepted a job in Grossmont’s printing department.  She was promoted in 2006, and then was made acting supervisor in 2007. This year, she was officially named supervisor of the printing department.

She married her husband, Isaiah Phan, in 2001, and they have two daughters, 7-year-old Desiree and 17-month-old Daisey.

Among the challenges that Phan sees in her role as printing supervisor is to navigate the budget-cuts: “With current and potential future, this will be the biggest challenge for me [and] I believe that, together as a team, we can manage to work with the college, faculty and staff to maintain excellent services and keep in sync with the vision of the college.”

Lindquist is Managing Editor of the GC Summit; email him at

5K campus walk for OPT set for April 30

GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release)–The Office Professional Training (OPT) program is hosting its Annual 5K Walk-for-OPT on Saturday, April 30, at 9 a.m. on the Grossmont College Track. Pre-registration costs $20 per adult (13+) and $3 per child (12 and under). Race-day registration will be $25.  Spaces are limited. E

ach participant will receive a 5K Walk-for-OPT T-shirt or water bottle and will be entered into a drawing for fabulous prizes. Additional tickets for the drawing will be on sale. Please come and support the OPT program, which provides free job training to our local community. For more information or to register, please contact Mary Leslie at (619) 644-7533 or or Re-al Lewis at (619) 644-7247 or 

Preceding provided by the Office Professional Training program of Grossmont College

Karen McCoy is employee of the quarter

GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release) – The latest winner of Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s quarterly employee award has her own tale of success about how community college changed her life.

Karen McCoy, who’s in charge of the media desk at Grossmont College’s Learning Resource Center, was a high- school dropout who worked for years in low-skill jobs until she went to Cuyamaca College to get an associate degree. A work-study job at Cuyamaca led first to a part-time job and then to her position as a full-time employee at the Learning Resource Center.

McCoy, an intermediate multimedia technician at the college library since 2004, was recently honored with the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Chancellor/Classified Senate Award, a commendation presented quarterly to outstanding non-instructional staff. McCoy was presented with an engraved trophy at the Jan. 18 governing board meeting, along with a $250 gift certificate from Barnes & Noble and a lunch with Chancellor Cindy L. Miles and Governing Board President Bill Garrett.

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