Moreno Valley College President's Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 5

September 2019

President's Dinner

Seats Remain Available for President's Dinner

Seats remain available for the annual President's Dinner on October 3 at 5:30 pm. The dinner, which raises money to expand the College's ability to advance education opportunities for future Valley leaders, is being held at March Field Air Museum. The evening begins at 5:30 pm with a reception and then dinner at 6:30 pm. Individual tickets are $100 and sponsorship opportunities are available. Information can be found at

Jamil Dada who has worked for Provident Bank since 1996 and has dedicated his life to workforce development and supporting the military will be honored with the President's Award. He has served on the California Workforce Development Board since 2005 and held leadership positions with the National Association of Workforce Boards, the California Green Collar Jobs Council, City of Riverside's Workforce Advisory Panel, and the Riverside County Workforce Investment Board. He is often called upon to testify before Congress and state committees on workforce development within Southern California, the state and nation. He also serves as president of the March Field Air Museum board.

Jamil Dada

Dada has been walking hand-in-hand with the College since the day John Coudures, Jr. and his family deeded the property to the District. He was also on hand the day when dignitaries turned the first shovel of dirt to begin building the campus.

Jennifer Escobar

Educational Leaders Work to Keep the Communities' Voice Heard

Moreno Valley College's Jennifer Escobar, assistant professor, English, received a $18,480 grant from the California Teachers Association Institute of Teaching. The grant's aim is to research communities through oral history.

Escobar, in conjunction with Karyn Thomas and Kimberly Thomas at Val Verde Unified School District and Angelena Tavares and Kenneth Miralles at Moreno Valley Unified School District, is working with 30 secondary and postsecondary educators and their students to conduct oral history projects with Inland Empire residents.

“The students will have the opportunity to share their projects at two community events in the spring. Classroom educators will participate in a year-long community of practice centered on the topics of oral history and meaningful classroom conversations and will share what they have learned with their colleagues,” Escobar said.

Each instructor, along with their students, will design the focus of their class project. The teams will meet on April 24 at 5 pm in the Val Verde Teachers Association Union Office in Perris, to share their projects. The event will be open to student participants and their narrators, friends and families, participating teachers and school community members.

Escobar said, one teacher is focusing on commuters, while another group is focusing on people who break barriers. Another faculty member is planning to have students interview LGBTQ educators.

“The purpose is to provide culturally responsive and sustaining research opportunities with students from middle school, high school, and college,” she said. “Students will have the opportunity to learn more about their narrators (interviewees), go through steps of oral history methodology and share their finished narrative.”

The grant application process is open to individual CTA members, small teams of educators and affiliated local chapters. Applications can be submitted online from December 1 through March 31. The awards are announced in June. For more information, log on to

More MVC Students Voting

More MVC Students Taking an Interest in Election Voting

Moreno Valley College registered an increase in students voting by 21.2 percent, according to a National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement report which is sponsored by the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University. The College also saw an uptick in registered voters as 831 additional students were registered voters from 2014.

In the 2018 election, MVC had a voting rate of 33 percent. Meanwhile, the Average Institutional Voting Rate (AIVR) among campuses in the study was 39.1 percent, nearly 20 percentage points higher than 2014's turnout rate of 19.7 percent. Turnout increases were widespread, with virtually all campuses seeing an increase over 2014.

In the 2014 election, just 11.9 percent of MVC students voted.

Between 2014 and 2018, MVC saw the biggest jump in voter participation from students 18 to 24 years of age. In 2014, 20 percent of students aged 18 to 24 voted. In 2018, 63 percent went to the polls. Overall, the College saw an increase in each of the registered age categories. More part-time students voted, by less than a 4 percent margin over full-time students. There was little difference in female (34 percent) and male (32.9 percent) voters.

Hispanic voters saw a significant increase with 1,068 voting in 2018 compared to 334 in 2014. Students who were studying English, a foreign language, or communications/journalism were most likely to cast votes as opposed to students studying family sciences, health, and social sciences, according to the report.

For MVC students, mail in ballots were the most common means of voting. In-person voting fell by the smallest of margins 41.2 percent in 2014 to 40.3 percent last year.

Report is based on the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), conducted by IDHE, which is the only national study of college-student voting. It is based on the voting records of more than 10 million students at more than 1,000 colleges and universities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia; IDHE does not receive any information that could individually identify students or how they voted.

Part of Tufts University's Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) is an applied research center focused on college and university student political learning and engagement in democracy. IDHE researchers study student voting, equity, campus conditions for student political learning, discourse, participation, and agency for underrepresented and marginalized students. IDHE's signature initiative, the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, or NSLVE, ( is a service to colleges and universities that provides participating institutions with tailored reports of their students' voting rates. Launched in 2013 with 250 campuses, the study now serves more than 1,000 institutions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

New Chief of Police

Gates Sworn In as RCCD's Chief of Police

Shauna Gates was sworn in as chief of police at Riverside Community College District's Board of Trustees meeting last Tuesday. Gates, who has been with the San Bernardino Police Department since 1999, replaces Robert Gunzel who resigned to become an assistant sheriff under Chad Bianco who became the county's 14th sheriff in January.

Gates began her career in law enforcement in 1993 as an officer with the Pomona Police Department. She served as a patrol officer and helicopter flight officer. In 1999, she accepted a position with the San Bernardino Police Department as a patrol officer. She worked a number of assignments for San Bernardino Police Department, including patrol, problem-oriented policing, investigative liaison and vice/narcotics.

She earned an associate's degree in Administration of Justice, a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice Administration and master's degree in Emergency Management from California State University, Long Beach. Her husband, Robert, is a sergeant with the Cal Poly Pomona Police Department. They have been married for nine years and reside in the High Desert.

Wellness Central

Health Services Provides Wellness Center Access for Students, Staff

The College's Health Services and Psychological Services has joined the California Community Colleges Wellness Central, a free online health and wellness resource for staff and students. The Wellness Central is available 24 hours a day/seven days a week. Studies have shown students who are aware of their health needs are more likely to complete classes, receive higher grades and progress to graduation. Success is driven by good health, among other things. The Wellness Central is not intended to replace professional medical advice regarding a specific medical condition or question. The available resources and health information is intended to provide guidance and connect individuals with local services. The Wellness Central can be accessed at Local and more immediate services are available here,

“The Wellness Central currently has 28 modules with an interactive Wellness Wheel formatted to feature physical, social, emotional, spiritual, financial and academic health-related resources readily available through Canvas for students and staff to access,” Sue Tarcon, director, Health Services, said. “The interactive platform is a great addition to the services provided through Student Health and Psychological Services and is designed to provide support aimed at furthering student success.”

Culturally Responsive Teaching

Culturally Responsive Teaching,
Student-Ready Classrooms Program

Addressing the needs of students from diverse backgrounds is one of the major challenges facing public education. Moreno Valley College has been at the forefront with its Culturally Responsive Teaching and Student-Ready Classrooms, a professional development program. Each month, a faculty member is invited through the Academic Senate to present on teaching and programs from the classroom that distinguish Riverside Community College District, its faculty and colleges.

Recently, Melanie James, assistant professor, and Kathryn Stevenson, associate professor, of the English discipline outlined the impact of the program within the Communications department. Through a series of Intersession Institutes and cohorts of communities of practice, the program has identified three elements that lead to the deepest impact for student success — placement, support and classroom redesign.

Placement leads to the breakdown of placement practices, such as abolishing the remedial standards and therefore opening access to transfer-level courses in English. Support provides students with a higher level of support inside and outside the classroom, and classroom redesign addresses the need to change instruction practices in order to become more engaging, active and culturally relevant.

Since 2018-19, 42 part-time English faculty have attended 1,277 hours of professional learning focused on classroom redesign and nine full-time English faculty have amassed 468 hours in the program, while another 19 math, three English as a Second Language, two communication/library and two reading faculty have participated.

“The professional learning workshops have covered topics related to collaborative and interactive classroom redesign, anti-racist and equitable grading and assessment, non-punitive syllabi and policies, and overall, making classrooms culturally relevant and engaging,” James said.

Veterans Breakfast Speaker

City Councilmember, Veteran to Speak
at Veterans Scholarship Breakfast

Carla Thornton, Ph.D., a city of Moreno Valley councilmember and an assistant professor at California Baptist University, will speak at Moreno Valley College's fifth annual Veterans Scholarship Breakfast. Proceeds from the breakfast, which is scheduled for Friday, November 1, at 7:30 am in the Student Academic Services Building, benefit the Veterans scholarship fund. Tickets for the breakfast are $30 and can be purchased by visiting the Admissions & Records office during regular college hours.

A 20-year Veteran of the United States Air Force, Thornton retired with a rank of master sergeant. During her military service, she was a logistician and a sexual assault victim advocate. Twice she was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Born in Culver City, she graduated from the University of Maryland University College with a bachelor's degree in Social Science. She earned a master's degree in Management from the University of Redlands and a master's in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Thornton went on to earn a doctorate in Social Work from the University of Southern California. She focused her research on women Veterans and the economic development in the Inland Empire.

At CBU, Thornton teaches graduate students in topics that focus on social management and leadership and social work policy. Prior to accepting a position with CBU, she served as the Veterans coordinator/counselor at Crafton Hills College, working directly with Veterans as they transitioned from the military to their academic studies.

She has dedicated her time to giving back to the community. At one time, she served as a Governor appointee and chair of the California Department of Veterans Affairs Board and as chairwoman of both the Moreno Valley Traffic Commission and the Environmental and Historical Preservation Board. Currently, she is a board member for the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center and serves on the Athletics Board at UC Riverside.

Pop-Up Art Gallery

Starting this fall, the College will begin holding a Pop-Up Art Exhibition. Students are encouraged to enter their work for consideration in the Art and Politics exhibit. Final selection of pieces will be handled by students from the Art 6 Art Appreciation Honors class. The exhibition, which will be in the Student Academic Services Building, Room 121, will open on November 5. At 12:50 pm there will be a catered reception to kick off the exhibition. The work of the artists will be displayed until November 14.

Dental Hygiene Program

Dental Hygiene Program Earns Recertification

Moreno Valley College's Dental Hygiene Program received recertification from the Commission on Dental. The program received accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements.” The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.

Moreno Valley College
16130 Lasselle Street
Moreno Valley, CA 92551
(951) 571-6100

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