Moreno Valley College President's Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 8

January 2020

MVC administrators accept award and pose side by side for a photo

Workforce Development Board
Honors Ben Clark Training Center

Moreno Valley College Ben Clark Training Center was honored as the Education Partner of the Year by the Riverside County Workforce Development Board at its end-of-year meeting on December 18 at the March Air Museum. The Ben Clark Training Center one of the largest public safety training centers Southern California. Ben Clark Training Center offers subject area and general education courses that lead to certificates and degrees in public safety and emergency medical services.

"Receiving the Riverside County Workforce Excellence Award as the 2019 Educational Partner of the Year from the Riverside County Workforce Development Board shows that the College and Board share a goal of ensuring that the citizens we serve are able to be well educated and trained," Art Turnier, dean of Instruction, Public Safety Education & Training. "This allows them to successfully compete and enter into a well-paying and meaningful career."

"Three years ago, College leadership had a vision to create a space that would allow for collaboration, innovation and problem solving," Melody Graveen, Ed.D., dean of Instruction, Career & Technical Education, said. "These are the skills that businesses will be competing for in the 21st century. A space such as this will have a significant impact on student learning and development.

As a regional training site, Ben Clark Training Center provides basic and advanced training to public safety personnel. The college prepares hundreds of students to work as law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, correctional officers, dispatchers, probation officers, and juvenile correctional counselors each year.

"We are proud of the innovative work and the partnerships that MVC is creating at the Ben Clark Training Center. These are great pathways to family supporting, very coveted careers, not just jobs, in Public Safely," said Jamil Dada, chairman, Riverside County Workforce Development Board. "It's a great opportunity for our youth, our future workforce."

Ben Clark Training Center is done in partnership with the College, Riverside County Sheriff's Department, California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, Riverside County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol and Riverside County Probation Department.

Field Research Takes Students to Joshua Tree;
Associate Professors Launch Longitudinal Study

Associate professors Anya Marquis, geology, and Felipe Galicia, biology, launched a longitudinal study with STEM and geology students at Joshua Tree National Park last November.

"The idea was to expand learning beyond the classroom (and) create a real and meaningful research opportunity with STEM based field excursions," Galicia said.

The 20 students worked with a ranger from the US Forest Service to measure the effect of climate change on primary and secondary growth of Joshua trees as well as the reproductive potential. The trees serve as an important part of the Mojave Desert ecosystem, providing habitat for birds, mammals, insects and lizards. Joshua trees are slow growing, but because of this, they live for a long time. Joshua trees don't have annual growth rings like actual trees, so accurately determining their age is difficult. They tend to grow from 15 to 40 feet tall with a diameter of one to three feet. As slow growers, Joshua trees usually only add two to three inches a year. It will take around half a century for a Joshua Tree to reach full size. Research has shown that the trees are being negatively impacted by climate change, making their protection even more important.

"It was a great opportunity for the students to learn how to document and record measurements on special tags," Marquis said. "This is an on-going study, so our students weren't the first to measure these trees and they won't be the last. Our hope is that we can continue to take students, semester-after-semester to continue work on collecting data which reflects the effect of climate change in the park."

The instructors said the inspiration came from the Partners in the Park Program an outdoor experiential learning program coordinated by the National Collegiate Honors Council. Partners in the Park Program offer unique opportunities at national parks for college honor students and faculty.

Experts say, losing Joshua trees would produce a ripple effect across the national park for the native species who rely on the trees. For instance, small rodents use its leaves for nesting material as well as shelter from the summer sun. Joshua trees look like trees but are related to yuccas. They have a fibrous interior as opposed to true trees which have a woody interior. The Joshua tree provides birds with place to nest. Its seeds are a food source for several insects such as its pollinator, the Yucca Moth. To date Joshua trees, experts use rough dating via old photographs.

Through this project, Marquis and Galicia hope to build a relationship with the national park as well as develop a meaningful research experience for students which might extend to other disciplines. Currently, there are plans to return to the park in the spring in order to measure new growth and explore further whether seed production is an indicator of reproductive potential. For many of the students, who received a free pass to visit the park in the future, it was the first time they visited a national park.

"Many of students had never been to a national park, so it was a fantastic opportunity not to just get them learning outside the classroom but to a national park and a location where I believe we will be hearing more about in the coming years," Marquis said. "There is significant concern about the impact of climate change on Joshua trees."

The students spent the day measuring trees at the base and measuring the limbs and recording the data. For many of the students it was the first time in using scientific equipment.

"This is typical of the opportunities that the faculty at Moreno Valley College create for their students," Robin Steinback, Ph.D., president, said. "Our faculty take the initiative to create field experiences so their students can learn, not only from them, but other professionals in the field. In this case, biologists. Such special partnerships as this longitudinal study, truly transform the learning experiences for students as well as own faculty teaching experiences."

Students Successfully Launch and Recover Weather Balloon

Students from the physics classes of Dipen Bhattacharya, Ph.D., professor, successfully launched and recovered two weather balloons last month. MVC physics students have been conducting the project since 2013. The latest balloons were carrying Geiger counters to measure cosmic rays. The peak radiation was measured at the 60,000-foot level (11 miles high), as expected. The balloons reached a height of 93,000 feet (17.6 miles). Students used Arduino boards to interface with the Geiger counter. In addition, the payload carried air pressure and temperature monitors. The balloons were launched from the MVC campus, tracked with a satellite GPS system, and the payloads were recovered from the high desert. The weather balloon program is a part of the MVC physics program that helps student to become familiar with electronic data collection procedures, the radiation environment, atmospheric pressure, temperature and other physical parameters.

View the weather balloon preparation and launch footage on YouTube.

New mission statement

Board Approves New Mission, Vision, Values Statements

At its December 10 board meeting, the RCCD Board of Trustees approved the College's new Mission, Vision and Values statement. The project was spearheaded by Evelyn Gonzalez, assistant, Enrollment Services & Assessment, Deanna Murrell, visiting assistant professor, Counseling and Jennifer Floerke, associate professor, Communication Studies.

During the Board's December 3 meeting, Gonzalez shared with the board the process on creating the new Mission, Vision and Values statement. The committee began the revision process in June of 2019. Ideas were solicited from students as well as staff, faculty and administrators. After the feting by the Academic Senate, Standard I Committee, ASMVC and the Strategic Planning Council, the College President's Cabinet officially approved the new statements on November 6.

Murrell, who serves as the faculty co-chair of the Institutional Missions and Effectiveness Subcommittee, presented the revised Mission, Vision and Values statements to the Board of Trustees at their meeting on December 3. She spoke of the College's process on transforming the statements while trying to capture the College's education progression through the years.

Throughout the process, Murrell said, the committee relied on surveys to measure if the Mission, Vision and Values statements "spoke to who we really are."

"We wanted to take our mission statement and make it memorable," she said. "Through the review process we found that the old statement to be wordy and that even some students struggled with identifying with certain words. So, we wanted to simplify it.

"We wanted to create something that truly represented who are, but also highlight who we serve."

Dr. Robin Steinback, Ph.D., president, called the process "joyful" with faculty, staff, students and the management team being actively involved in the analysis and reconstruction of statements. She also commented how technology was used to gather information in order to develop meaningful statements that reflected the College's commitment to education, job creation and its communities. The committee used the technology to gather information, but also to pull out common themes.

"It was nothing short of impressive," Steinback said.

Lion statue

The new Mission reads as:

Moreno Valley College is committed to education and empowering our students, providing equitable access to education, and serving our communities. Moreno Valley College's core mission can be expressed in a few words: Education, Empowerment, Equity, (and) Service.

The Vision statement reads as:

Moreno Valley College will be recognized as a leading institution in transforming and enriching our students' lives through timely completion, transfer, and workforce development.

The College's Values statement entails:

Learner-centeredness: We provide a student-centered environment in order to foster academic and student success. We strive to create a passion for lifelong learning and to remain flexible in designing a learning experience to meet the needs of each student.

Inclusivity: We value diversity, inclusivity, transparency, and equitable treatment for all. We foster an inclusive environment that promotes progress toward achieving our College goals while helping students succeed.

Openness and Equity: We support access and opportunity to high-quality educational pathways and equitable resources. We encourage personal and professional development of our students through the timely attainment of degrees, certificates, transfer, and employment opportunities.

Neighborliness and Community Focus: We embrace our diverse communities and our responsibility as an integral part of the social and economic development of the region. Through collaborative partnerships, we are dedicated to the preparation of our students and providing service-learning activities to enhance our communities while being mindful of the communities' physical and emotional well-being.

Sustainability: We commit to a sustainable and measurable integrated strategic planning process, through local and regional collaboration, that addresses the current economic, environmental, social and educational needs of our communities while considering the impact on future generations.

College Unveils iMAKE Innovation Center & Makerspace

Moreno Valley College unveiled STEM Innovation Center & Makerspace in December. Located in the Science and Technology Building, Room 101, the center was designed as an educational training facility and an inclusive makerspace community, which could provide internship opportunities and develop curriculum to prepare students with innovation and entrepreneurial skills to thrive in the regional economy. The College was one of 24 institutions to receive a California Community College Maker Implementation Grant from the California Community College Chancellor's Office, but the majority of the funds for the center came from the Title III HSI STEM grant, the Strong Workforce Regional Makerspace Project, Melody Graveen, Ed.D., dean, Instruction for Career and Technical Education, said.

"College leadership and center staff are continuing to brainstorm ideas and develop plans for the STEM Innovation Center & Makerspace that will allow it to grow into an academic center where students can earn a manufacturing certification and partner with the City of Moreno Valley so local citizens can develop ideas quickly, ensuring growth and a successful launches for startups and early stage companies," Graveen said.

The STEM Innovation Center & Makerspace staff is working on creating events, such as hackathons, game jams and an entrepreneurship marketplace. An entrepreneurship marketplace would provide students and community members with a location to sell their creations. The College is also looking to develop a variety of summer programs, such as the one coming this summer where teams of students will design and build an unmanned vehicle, Graveen added.

US Census for 2020

Be Heard, Be Counted

Each decade, the United States holds a population census count. The data collected by the census determines a number of things which can affect California and its residents. Through the census, billions of dollars are distributed by the federal government to local communities, universities, community colleges districts such as Riverside Community College District and municipalities. This year's census will take place on April 1. The process is immense as some 330 million people in more than 140 million housing units will need to be accounted for on April 1. You can help by ensuring your household participates in the California Census. For more on the census, view the 2020 Census website.

Measure A Bond Measure

The Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to place a $715 million bond measure on the March 3 ballot. Measure A would provide funds, through property taxes, that would allow RCCD colleges to grow as well as provide upkeep for current facilities. Nearly 40 percent of the community's high school graduates rely on RCCD colleges for their higher education needs. The improvement bond needs a 55 percent approval by voters within the District boundaries. For more information on Measure A and the needs of the colleges, view the Measure A website.

Judy White, Ed.D., gives a keynote presentation

County Superintendent of Schools Receives ML King, Jr. Legacy Award

Judy White, Ed.D., county superintendent of schools, was honored at Moreno Valley College's annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast on January 17. White, who also delivered the keynote speech, was honored for forging strong collaboration relations with students, teachers, parents and members of the community.

Mariachi band plays at 2019 Cesar Chavez Scholarship Breakfast

Upcoming Events

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

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