Moreno Valley College President's Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 9

February 2020

MVC students and staff display mental health awareness signs at Active Minds conference

Club Presents at Active Minds
National Conference in Washington, DC

Moreno Valley College's Active Minds Club accepted an invitation to showcase its program, What's Your Story, at the Active Minds National Conference in Washington, DC.

Carlos Carrio, health education specialist, and three peer health educators – Yesenia Nelson, MVC president of Active Minds, Yesenia Melendez and Jessica Lopez – attended the Active Minds conference where colleges and universities were honored for excellence in student health and wellness as well as recognized for prioritizing student health.

Active Minds was founded by Alison Malmon when she was a junior at the University of Pennsylvania following the suicide of her brother and only sibling, Brian. A national office was established in Washington, DC. The nonprofit organization and affiliated campus chapters were renamed Active Minds to reflect the organization's focus on action and student advocacy in mental health. Active Minds was incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization in late 2003. Active Minds has become the premier organization when it comes to mental health issues for college students. More than 700 campuses offer awareness campaigns, events, advocacy and outreach, reaching upwards of 600,000 students a year.

"Active Minds organization heard how successful our (What's Your Story) program had been, so they asked us to showcase it at an exhibition during the national conference," Carrio said. "It is an honor to be asked especially at the national level."

Carrio and his staff have been asked to present again later this spring. The College's club has also been invited to be one of 14 colleges to pilot Validate, Appreciate, Refer (VAR). VAR is an everyday guide for everyday challenges. The program is based on showing up for one another in everyday struggles.

The national office suggests an approach that includes three V-A-R steps. A conversation that includes Validate-Appreciate-Refer is one "that allows you to actively listen to someone you care about and help them cope. A conversation with you could make all the difference and prevent a crisis from developing later. With V-A-R, Active Minds lets everyone know that someone doesn't need to be in a crisis to seek help; you don't have to be an expert to provide help; and help can come in many different forms. Being there for someone in a moment of need is what it's all about."

The College's Active Minds Club is active in providing students with information about mental health in order to increase awareness among students, faculty and staff about issues surrounding mental health, the symptoms related to mental health disorders, and available mental health resources.

MVC Fire Technology Program Receives Grant
from Edison International

Moreno Valley College's Fire Technology at Ben Clark Training Center received a $25,000 grant from Edison International. The funds will be used to install four forcible entry doors, allowing students to train to gain entry in emergency fire situations. Forcible entry doors will replace the current use of 2X4s and provide for much more realistic training scenarios.

"I always feel a sense of admiration when I see the willingness of our community to ensure our men and women who are entering into the firefighting service have the equipment that will enable them to better protect our citizens," says Art Turnier, dean, Instruction, Public Safety Education and Training.

The forcible entry doors will be installed in the new live burn building which is being done in collaboration with CALFIRE. When completed, the building will enhance the program by enabling real-time burn scenarios for training purposes.

Emergency Medical Services-Paramedic Program
Receives Continued Accreditation

Moreno Valley College's Emergency Medical Services-Paramedic program was notified on January 16 by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) that it has received continued accreditation. CAAHEP board of directors recognized the program's substantial compliance with the nationally established accreditation standards. The next comprehensive evaluation of the program, including an on-site review, is scheduled to occur no later than 2025.

"The CAAHEP site visit was stressful, but rewarding as well," Bob Fontaine, professor, PSET department chair and EMS program director, said. "It is nice to hear that our program is meeting, and in many areas exceeding, the standards. Accreditation ensures that the public is getting qualified paramedics and EMTs and providing the most up-to-date care and treatment to the community they serve."

The Emergency Medical Services-Paramedic program is designed for students who are interested in providing prehospital emergency care to acutely ill or injured patients.

STEM Innovation Center & Makerspace
Recognized as Member of the Month

Moreno Valley College's STEM Innovation Center & Makerspace was honored by the Moreno Valley Chamber of Commerce as its Member of the Month. The Center was honored at the Chambers' Wake-Up Moreno Valley on February 26.

Chamber secretary Beverly Dulany said, the award was "just a small way the Chamber can show appreciation for the College's involvement in the community."

Moreno Valley College's STEM Innovation Center & Makerspace, a 4,150-square-foot room located in the Science and Technology Building, serves as a hub for innovation and creativity that College officials believe will lend itself to fostering enthusiasm for learning.

New mission statement

Annual Chavez Scholarship Breakfast
Scheduled for April 3

Moreno Valley College will hold its annual Cesar Chavez Scholarship Breakfast on Friday, April 3, at 7:30 am, in the Student Academic Services Building. Individual tickets are $30 and are available from Admission & Records. Proceeds provide student scholarships. Two students from each of the feeder high school districts will receive a scholarship based on their community involvement and educational standing. MVC students compete for scholarships through an art competition.

Assemblymember Jose Medina, 61st District, will be honored with the Cesar Chavez Legacy Award. A UC Riverside graduate, a former high school educator, former RCCD Board of Directors trustee, and chair of the Higher Education Committee, he knows the value of an education. During his time in office, Medina has impacted the region in several ways – from the $15 million in on-going funds for the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine; to the $9.7 million in support of the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry of the Riverside Art Museum; to championing policies that make an education a reality.

For more information on the art competition, please refer students to

National TRIO Day Celebrated

On February 22, TRIO programs across the nation hosted a day of action in honor of National TRIO Day, which was established by Congress in 1986 as "a day of celebration, reflection and action." In honor of National TRIO Day, Moreno Valley College's office of TRIO partnered with Moreno Valley Unified School District, the United Way of the Inland Valleys, Riverside University Health Systems, and other community organizations to host a Wellness Conference and Resource Fair. The theme of the event was You Matter, You're Valuable, and You Count.

The purpose of the event was to leverage partnerships for support of students and families in the community; promote mental health awareness and its impact on individuals and communities; and inform and connect families to resources. Mental health can affect how one thinks, feels, acts, handles stress, relates to others and makes choices.

Rev. Charles Lee-Johnson, Ph.D., assistant professor/program director, Master of Social Work, California Baptist University, and pastor, Corona Community Church, provided a keynote address. There were also breakout sessions and a community resource fair for the over 200 individuals in attendance. Attendees received information about community resources, a journal, and hygiene kits from Kaiser through the United Way of the Inland Valley.

Diversity Summit

Diversity Summit Coming in March

Update (March 13, 2020): Please note that in consideration of travel recommendations and safety precautions related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Diversity Summit and Equity Week activities are postponed to a later, still yet to be determined, date.

The 2020 MVC Diversity Summit will be held on Friday, March 20, 8 am to 2 pm. This year's theme is Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy and Practice, with a focus on building and sustaining cultural responsiveness on the campus community. Darrick Smith, Ed.D, assistant professor, Educational Leadership at the University of San Francisco and co-director of the School of Education's new Transformative School Leadership (TSL) program, will deliver the keynote.

His research interests are culturally responsive discipline practices; critical pedagogy; transformative school leadership; and social justice schooling. Smith is also the founder and former director of the TryUMF (pronounced "triumph") program in Oakland, and formerly served as the co-director/principal of the June Jordan School for Equity in San Francisco. Smith has served as a trainer and administrative coach in local school districts as well a center director under the Foundation for California Community Colleges, where he continues to consult for the statewide Professional Learning Network. Nationally, Smith serves as a national consultant for the Now is the Time Technical Assistance (NITT-TA) Center which is funded through the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). He was also an advisor to The Centre of Reflexive Education and Intrapersonal Development project in Warsaw, Poland.

Participants will be encouraged to speak about their work challenges as well as be open minded on concepts, challenges and implementation strategies regarding culturally relevant pedagogy. There will be small group discussions and time for addressing questions that emerge from the envisioning and strategizing process.

The goal of the interactive session will be to create common ground through activity and discussion, while exploring the College's diverse background and privilege, and how they impact the academic setting on campus. Participants will increase cultural competencies, gain insight on intersectionality, and learn how to use these tools for community building. Flex Credit will be available for faculty in attendance.

Tentative Schedule:

  • 7:30 - 8 am – Breakfast
  • 8 - 8:25 am – Opening Ceremony
  • 8:25 - 8:30 am – Introduction of Darrick Smith
  • 8:30 - 9:20 am – Keynote Speech
  • 9:20 - 9:30 am – Break
  • 9:30 - 10:50 am – Breakout Session #1
  • 10:50 - 11 am – Break
  • 11 am - 12:15 pm – Breakout Session #2
  • 12:15 - 1 pm – Lunch with Musical Performance
  • 1 - 1:30 pm – Closing Remarks, Presentation of Diversity Award

Currently the Diversity Summit Committee is seeking nominations for the College's annual Diversity Award. Full-time and part-time faculty, staff and administrators can be nominated. This year's recipient will join the prestigious ranks of Adviye Tolunay, Frankie Moore, Ann Pfeifle, Michael Schwartz, James Banks, Cordell Briggs, Valarie Zapata and Kathryn Stevenson who previously were honored. Past award recipients are not eligible for the award. To nominate a coworker, click this link: Nominations will be accepted until the end of the day on Monday, March 2.

For additional information, contact Michael Schwartz at or Tracy Kazsuk at

To reserve a seat for the Diversity Summit, RSVP online.

Local Bond Measure Would Address Facility Needs,
Increase Educational Opportunities

Measure A is a local bond measure that will allow the College to continue to provide affordable, high-quality education and enhanced learning opportunities for students. The RCCD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to place Measure A, a $715 million local college bond measure, on the March 3 ballot. The funding would allow the College to become a comprehensive institution by expanding the range of classes, increase degree offerings and increase career-training courses. The typical homeowner the services area of the District would see an increase of 2 cents, per $100,000 assessed value per year while the bonds are outstanding. The funds raised from the bond measure would remain in the District.

To learn more, visit the Measure A website or view additional information and facts about RCCD.

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

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