March - May 2020 | Volume 1, Issue 10

College to Hold a Virtual Graduation

Commencement is a time-honored tradition where family and friends come together to celebrate your success. In 2020, commencement will have a different look and feel. At the same time, the College’s faculty and staff understand the importance of commencement. It holds special meaning for students, much like it does for faculty and staff.

As such, Moreno Valley College is holding an online celebration for 2020 graduates on Friday, June 12. Graduates, family and friends will hear from Robin Steinback, Ph.D., president; Angela Thomas, a Riverside City College graduate, who is currently an MVC adjunct faculty member; and student Crystal Williams, director, Inter-Club Council and director of Region IX Regional Affairs.

The virtual graduation will feature a personalized slide for each qualifying student. Graduates will also have the choice of returning in 2021 for an in-person ceremony. The graduation link will be posted on the College’s commencement website a few days prior to the event.

Angela Thomas

Thomas to Deliver Faculty Commencement Speech

Nineteen years ago, Angela Thomas was a student worker at Riverside City College. Today, she is a part-time faculty instructor, working for four different departments at Moreno Valley College and RCC in Library Information and Computer Information Sciences. She will be delivering the commencement speech on behalf of the faculty at MVC on June 12 during the virtual ceremony.

Student Commencement
Speaker Finds Her Voice,

Williams, 20, will graduate and transfer to California State University, Fullerton to study communications. But before she does, Williams, the 2020 student commencement speaker, will address the graduating class remotely when the College holds its first-ever campus-wide virtual graduation ceremony on June 12 at 5 pm due the state’s stay-at-home order.

Crystal Williams, Student
Ben Clark Training Center construction site

Platform Scenario Training Building
at Training Center Ahead of Schedule

Despite the College closure, work continues on the Ben Clark Training Center Platform Scenario Training Building. The 3,642-square-foot facility will provide experiential and interactive jail scenario training, giving recruits the opportunity to work through potential real-life situations and scenarios to shape their judgment and decision-making while developing specific skills needed to work within jail facilities. The project is in partnership with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The facility is funded by Measure C, a $350 million bond that voters approved in March of 2004; Strong Workforce funds; and a Title V grant from the Department of Education. The project, with an estimated cost of $3 million, is forecasted to be complete by August 6, 34 days ahead of schedule.


Drake, Namekata Awarded
Rank of Professor

Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees awarded nine instructors the Rank of Professor at its April 17 meeting. Two instructors – Sean Drake and James Namekata – are mathematics instructors at Moreno Valley College.


Committee Announces Winners of the
César E. Chávez Scholarships

Despite the cancellation of the César E. Chávez Scholarship Breakfast, the committee awarded scholarships to four high school students and three Moreno Valley College students. Each year, the College holds the César E. Chávez Scholarship Breakfast to raise funds for scholarships for students from the local high school districts as well holds an art competition for students at the College. While this year’s celebration was tabled due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the Cesar Chavez Committee awarded $500 scholarships to the four high school winners and $600 to the top three finishers in the art competition.


Moreno Valley College Reflections

MVC Reflection
by Cordell A. Briggs, Ph.D.

In spring 1988, I had not envisioned working at a community college. I had been a product mostly of historically black colleges and universities and recruited to teach at Loma Linda University (LLU), La Sierra campus (now La Sierra University), a denominational school. I accepted an invitation to meet with RCC’s vice president of Instruction and dean of Humanities and Social Sciences to learn about the College, but I was, in no way, interested in teaching at a two-year institution: I had other professional goals in mind. When I met with the two RCC leaders, I could not have imagined the strategic vision that the two outlined for the single college district: the first single college district to plan, build, and open two new campuses simultaneously, on March 13, 1991, to celebrate RCC’s birthday.

MVC Reflection
by Gregory P. Elder, Ph.D.

At the end of this month it will be 28 years since this author was hired by Charles Kane, Ph.D., then the sole president of the District. I joined the District just as what is now Moreno Valley College was opening. In all honesty, I had never heard of Moreno Valley in my life, and my first impressions were underwhelming.

I arrived at the College site the very next day after I had signed an epic number of papers. Standing in the parking lot, there was a great deal of nothing all around me - no houses, no shops, no gas stations, no sign of life except March Air Force Base a mile to the west. There were streets, vacant lots, and dry dusty winds blowing brush around.

Puente English Coordinator Emma Pacheco holding her favorite children’s book 'Erandi’s Braids' by Antonio Hernández Madrigal.

Puente Program Goes Virtual to Hold Day of the Child/Book

The Puente Program has found creative ways to celebrate, stay connected and provide essential services during the pandemic. In addition to assisting students, Emma Pacheco and Cynthia Ramirez, Puente Program coordinators, have been providing virtual mentoring activities during the campus closure.


Gonzalez Named Classified Employee
of the Year; Will Compete for State Award

Enrollment Services Assistant Evelyn Gonzalez has been selected the Classified Employee of the Year by Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees. With the selection, Gonzalez' name advances to the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office for consideration for the California Classified Employee of the Year award.

The Classified Employee of the Year awards honor community college classified employees who demonstrate the highest level of commitment to the Vision for Success, the mission of the California community college system, and their local district. Recipients are nominated by their colleagues and then need to be endorsed by their local board of trustees to move forward. Classified employees with a minimum of five years of service as a permanent employee within the nominating community college district (full time or part time) are eligible for the award.


Political Science Major Wins Election to Serve as RCCD Student Trustee

Ivan Hess, a student at Riverside City College, has been elected as Riverside Community College District 2020-21 Student Trustee. Hess, a Political Science major, earned 61 percent of the online votes. He will begin his term after the last day of this semester.

RCCD seal

Faculty, Staff Encouraged to Check District Website Regularly for Information

Moreno Valley College faculty and staff are encouraged to regularly check the Riverside Community College District COVID-19 website for updates from the District regarding the coronavirus. The District is also providing information through RCCD-All messaging and social media. Faculty and staff are encouraged to follow MVC and RCCD on social media platforms.

RCCD COVID-19 response website
Christopher Sweeten

Sweeten Hired as Vice President
of Student Services

Christopher T. Sweeten has been hired as Moreno Valley College's vice president of Student Services, replacing Dyrell Foster who became president at Las Positas College earlier this year. Sweeten comes to Moreno Valley College after 16 months as dean of Student Services at West Los Angeles College.

Rave Guardian logo REACH EAP Logo

Reminder to Subscribe/Update RAVE Account

The safety of students and employees of Riverside Community College District is of the upmost importance to its leadership. When an emergency strikes, being able to communicate is key to meeting the District's safety standards. The District uses RAVE, the leading mass notification system used by higher education institutions and government entities. The mobile safety portal is reserved for communication needs that reach the highest importance, such as COVID-19 messaging. Employees are automatically enrolled, however, oversights happen, so you are asked to ensure you are subscribed to RAVE and your information is accurate.

REACH Employee Assistance Program

REACH Employee Assistance & Work Life Services is available for employees and their immediate families. REACH offers counseling services, crisis assistance, financial planning and other valuable personal services. Services are confidential and there is no charge for initial services. Phone access is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To make an appointment, talk with a counselor by phone or inquire about services call (800) 273-5273. For non-emergency needs, call during regular business hours – 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, or email Assistance is also available through REACH's online self-assessment tools – log on to; select Members on top left tab; enter the password: reach; and then click on any of the areas for assistance.

Food pantry Alumnus of the Year

RCCD Foundation Accepting Donations for College Food Pantry

To assist food-insecure students, the Riverside Community College District Foundation is collecting funds for the Moreno Valley College Food Pantry. To donate, click here. Enter your donation amount in the "other" field with the designation (entry below) – MVC Food Pantry. Complete the billing information and submit. For additional information, contact the Foundation by email or call (951) 222-8626.

Students needing assistance can receive a grab-and-go bag each Thursday, from 10 am to 2 pm, at the front of the College. Over the course of the first couple weeks of the College closure, the Food Pantry served 150 students.

College Soliciting Nominations for Alumnus of the Year

Know an extraordinary alumnus of Moreno Valley College? If so, nominate him or her for MVC Alumnus of the Year Award. The award recognizes an individual who has achieved greatness in a field of work or who has made contributions to his or her community and/or the RCCD colleges.

The Alumnus of the Year is recognized at the annual President's Dinner in the fall. To nominate an individual, click here. For questions, contact the RCCD Foundation at (951) 222-8626 or by email at

The deadline to nominate is June 4.

Photo collage of UBMS students at the African-American History and Academi Bowl

Upward Bound Team Finishes Second
at African-American History
and Academic Bowl

A four-student team from Moreno Valley College's Upward Bound program took second place in the 17th Annual African-American History and Academic Bowl at UC Riverside last month. The four students – Jazmine Anderson, Chandler Baker, Madison Kottman and Da'Monte Thompson – attend Valley View High School.

After winning its first three rounds, the team was edged in the finals by Chaparral High School in Temecula. Teams were tested on their knowledge in 10 categories – Inland Empire Black History, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Black Women Inventors, Chemistry, Tuskegee Airman, Black Writers and Artists, African American Firsts, African Geography and African States, California Black Legislators, and Blacks in Sports.

BCTC grad stands for a photo

Modular Academy Graduation Becomes First
Graduation Event Solely Live Streamed

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Riverside County Sheriff's Office live streamed the graduation ceremonies for the Riverside County Sheriff's Office Modular Academy Class 20 on March 24, making it the first graduation ceremony live streamed with no audience. The YouTube live stream was watched by over 1,200 viewers. The ceremony, held in the Ben Clark Training Center's auditorium, celebrated the successful completion of three academy modules by 16 students. The students, who received over 900 hours of instruction and training, completed the three academy modules over the course of 13 months.

Mercedes Barba smiles at the camera in front of a computer displaying the Census website.

MVC Student Selected as a
Census Outreach Ambassador

Moreno Valley College student Mercedes Barba has been selected as a Census outreach ambassador by the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Barba, a 2016 graduate of Warren High School in Downey, was one of 50 selected from over 200 applicants across the state who applied to be an ambassador.

Moreno Valley College will be one of 32 California community colleges that will have a spring Census outreach ambassador. Each of the 32 ambassadors are from colleges in counties with hard-to-count indexes. Ambassadors will be doing outreach until May. The program is a joint effort between the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, and the California Census Office. Through the use of college ambassadors, the Census Office hopes to increase awareness of the 2020 Census.


Did you know...


mvc logo

Moreno Valley College

16130 Lasselle St., Moreno Valley, CA 92551
(951) 571-6100


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