Archive for the ‘Russell Lindquist’ Category

Tech Mall provides free tutoring in English and Math, among other subjects

The Grossmont tutoring center, on the second floor of the tech-mall (Photo--Russ Lindquist)

The Grossmont tutoring center, on the second floor of the tech-mall (Photo: Russ Lindquist)

By Issac Jeitler

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–Is the subject matter in your class overwhelming you?  Are you afraid you’re falling behind? Inside the tech mall, there are three tutoring centers: English Writing Center, Math Tutoring Center and the Grossmont College Tutoring Center.  Each area has numerous tutors available for students of any skill level and educational aim.

The English Writing Center is available for students needing help with writing in any subject. The center offers 20-30 minute sessions, with students able to take lessons up to twice a day.  The center is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays.

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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

Student collapses in GC library

(From left) Karen McCoy, Campus Officer Kenneth Coleman and Christian Jimenez circle an unknown student who collapsed in Grossmont's library (Photo: Russ Lindquist))

(From left) Karen McCoy, Campus Officer Kenneth Coleman and Christian Jimenez circle an unknown student who collapsed in Grossmont's library.

Story and photo by Russ Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–Campus Officer Kenneth Coleman arrived within five minutes of receiving a call that an unidentified student collapsed on the second floor of the library.

Among the witnesses of the collapse was tech-mall tutor Mojdeh Badiei who saw the fall from a distance and told Coleman that the student “just fell out of her chair.” Roxane BenVau, a media librarian and assistant professor said, “I heard her yelling, from my office, before she fell.”

Many on the scene speculated that the student had an epileptic seizure, including Karen McCoy, a multi-media technician.  She and Christian Jimenez were first to come to the student’s aid.  “I just made sure she was on her side and that she was not biting her tongue or choking,” said Jimenez.

After firefighters and paramedics were on the scene, the student was conscious and seemed coherent. Still, the Health and Safety officials took the student to the hospital for evaluation.


Lindquist is editor-in-chief of the GCSummit; email him at

Hurdling Obstacles: the theme of Grossmont’s 2011 graduation ceremonies

Grossmont College commencement, Spring 2011 (Rick Deharo, Grossmont College Photo Major)

Story and Following Photos by Russ Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–Thousands cheered as newly graduated Grossmont Griffins received long-awaited acknowledgement of their achievements.  An estimated 1,500 students received degrees, certificates or in some cases both, at a ceremony June 1 in the Main Quad.

Student speaker Timothy Snowball shared his turbulent educational journey, with a crowd estimated at 4,000–a journey that now brings him to having been graduated from Grossmont with honors, with Associate’s Degrees in Political Science and University Studies.  Snowball indeed had a chance in hell, having weathered Depression and Anxiety Disorder and having dropped out of high school; thereafter, whenever he spoke to friends and co-workers about returning to school, they scoffed at him.

Undeterred, he spent three years at Grossmont, along the way having joined Phi Theta Kappa, an international academic honors society.  He said that his eventual aim is a degree in Law.  Between then and now, he said that he plans to gain a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.  For this leg of his life’s race, Snowball has won acceptance to UCSD, UCLA and UC Berkeley.  Now, he can take his pick.

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The calm before commencement

Maintenance puts the finishes touches on their commencement setup.

Dennis Sigler takes a break from setting up for commencement

Story and photos by Russ Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–Commencement will jump off today, starting at 5:30 p.m. As previously reported, attendance will be around 4,000, including an estimated 1,500 student who will receive either or both an Associate’s Degree and a Certificate of Achievement.

Today on campus, faculty and staff put finishing touches on the main quad which, by virtue of today’s good weather, will be the site of Grossmont College’s 50th Annual Commencement Ceremony. (Otherwise, the ceremonies would have been staged in the main parking structure.)

Among those preparing were Dennis Sigler of Maintenance;  Dean of Student Affairs Augustin Albarran, his administrative assistant, Maria Baeza; and Grossmont’s Director of Printing Holly Phan.

(from left) Maria Baeza, Holly Phan and Dean Augustin Albarran

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

Arabic Club hosts end-of-semester food and fun

Dr. Sonia Ghattas-Soliman (right), Grossmont instructor of Arabic, Arabic club advisor and Arabic, French and Italian Coordinator, serves Arabic food to event-goers.

Story and photo by Russ Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–The Arabic Club hosted an event focused on food, fun and education, in the main quad, May 18.

Of the event, Deana Hourani, the club’s chef and marketer–and one of the coordinators of the event–said the following: “Every semester the Arabic club of Grossmont College organizes and plans an event to increase student knowledge about Arab and Middle Eastern culture. This semester we decided to bring food from a couple Arab countries.

“We had a table for Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, and Lebanon. Every table incorporated certain food from that country. We also had Arabic music and an educational game show that asked students to answer questions about Arabic culture, ranging from geography, to history, to famous cities.

“The Arabic Club continues to be a bridge between the Arab culture and Western culture. The overall goal is to educate the non-Arab students about Arab culture and traditions. We feel this is an enriching experience for all people.”

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

Lindquist appointed editor-in-chief of the Summit

-Staff Report-

William Dudley

Russell Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–Russell Lindquist, currently managing editor of the GC Summit, has been named editor-in-chief for the summer and Fall 2011 semester, it was announced by Instructor Donald H. Harrison.

During the current semester, Lindquist was part of the campus newspaper’s leadership team that had been assembled under the editorship of William Dudley, who holds a bachelor’s degree and had worked as a textbook editor before coming to Grossmont to brush up on journalistic skills.  “Lindquist has shown himself to be an excellent reporter, who can spot and develop news and feature stories as they are happening,” Harrison said. “He has a way of getting right to the heart of a story–a skill that he will be able to pass to other students in his new role.”

Additionally, said Harrison, Lindquist has demonstrated a skill in copy editing, and in newspaper and web layout.”

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Slam poet enlivens arts festival

By Taylor Harris

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — Slam Poet Roger Bonair-Agard graced Grossmont Community College on Thursday, May 5, to wrap up the 15th Annual Literary Arts Festival.

Bonair-Agard wasn’t originally on the agenda for the Literary Arts Festival but at the last minute he was able to fill Patricia Smith’s spot and I don’t think anyone could have done a better job.

Twice National Poetry Slam Champion, Bonair-Agard opened his performance to a full Room 220 audience by reading Patricia Smith’s works from her book Blood Dazzler then he followed with his own works, some from his book Gully.

During his performance he was engaging with the audience, he was personable, and he had a terrific sense of humor. He wrapped up the night with a question and answer segment that led to insight and laughter. It was a great way to punctuate the events of the two-week celebration of words.

The following video includes clips from Bonair-Agard’s performance, an interview with Sydney Brown, an English professor and event organizer, and other highlights from the festival. Earnest Carter and Russ Lindquist collaborated with me on this video.

Commentary: In memory of Roberto Erquiaga

The late Professor Roberto Erquiaga (center) stands with two of his Spanish 120 students - Russ Lindquist and Nadia Malabad

By Russell Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–What is it that separates a good teacher from an exceptional one?  I suppose that can vary.  However, that which seemed to have set apart the late Spanish Professor Roberto Erquiaga as an exceptional teacher was his absolute and obvious love of teaching.

Before having patiently guided, in Fall 2008, yet another group of first-semester Spanish students–myself included–through the basics of the language, Erquiaga had already taught Spanish for the better part of four decades, at both Grossmont and Southwestern Colleges respectively.

Undoubtedly Erquiaga had plodded through the same, simple concepts hundreds of times before, with thousands of previous students; nevertheless, Erquiaga never once seemed, to me, to consider even a single lesson or rule in Spanish 120 to be tedious, even after all his years.

At one point during class, Professor Erquiaga confessed that, before beginning his mega career as a Spanish teacher–he always assumed that he could never teach a class in English: “My English was not so good,” he said with his trademark chuckle. Rather, Erquiaga had always assumed he would teach, to Spanish-speakers, his first academic love: History.

Instead, Erquiaga wove downright delightful historical contexts and facts into his excellently presented class. He certainly had class.

He was teaching at age 87 (and died one week before turning 88).  He was born in Lima, Peru on March 16, 1923 and died on March 9, 2011. Roberto Erquiaga is survived by his loving wife of nearly six decades and their children.

Lindquist is managing editor of the GC Summit.  He may be contacted at