March - May 2020 | Volume 1, Issue 10

College and District News

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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.

"In any profession, but particularly for frontline professionals, it is imperative that we develop these real-life training opportunities," Art Turner, dean of Instruction, Public Safety Education & Training, said. "I think this facility will empower individuals, knowing they have the knowledge and experience to successfully handle any situation during their careers."

When finished, it will be the first College permanent facility at the Ben Clark Training Center, a nearly 400 acre complex that was made possible by realignment of March Air Reserve Base. The vision of an integrated public safety training facility was realized in 1996 when the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (now CALFIRE)/Riverside County Fire Department entered into a formal alliance with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department at the time March Air Force Base was being realigned from an active military base to a reserve base.

Working in partnership with public safety agencies, Moreno Valley College educates frontline workers in a number of areas including law enforcement, fire and paramedic. Many of the men and women graduating from the academies remain in the surrounding communities to work. Chances are the first responders Inland Empire residents encounter when in need of assistance are graduates of the College and a program at BCTC.

A land grant agreement allows for other College projects in the future. There have been discussions on a 17,000-square-foot facility that would provide programs with general and EMT classrooms and labs, administrative offices, student services, a library, computer lab, and lockers and showers. And, another phase for a three-story, 70,000-square-foot facility.

Tilden Coil Constructors, Inc., a Riverside-based company, is the construction management firm for the Platform Scenario Training Building.

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.

Recently, the Puente Program held its Día de los Niños/Libros (Day of the Child/Book) virtually. The celebration is a collaboration between the Early Childhood Center and the Puente Program. This year's event was held virtually using the program's Instagram (@mvc_puente) and through activities in Professor Pacheco's English 1B and English 30 - Children's Literature courses.

Held since 1925, Day of the Child has grown into an annual celebration throughout Mexico. The Day recognizes children, pays homage to their importance in society and endorses their well-being.

"The goal of the celebration is to develop cognitive and literacy development in ways that honor and embrace children's home languages and cultures as well as recognize and respect culture, heritage and language as powerful tools for strengthening families and communities," Pacheco said.

Pat Mora, a Texas native and nationally recognized author of children's books, first heard of this Mexican tradition during a 1996 interview for a public radio program and she proposed linking Children's Day, the celebration of childhood and children, with literacy and bilingualism, creating a new holiday: El Día de los Niños/El Día de los Libros (Day of the Child/Book), Pacheco said.

The Puente Program created videos that were streamed live on Instagram on April 30, highlighting the history and purpose of the event. Followers were able to share and have their favorite multicultural children's stories featured virtually. In addition, a video of an Aztec dancing activity was shown from last year's event. Additionally, Puente developed a partnership with the College library to brainstorm ideas about multicultural literacy and stories from around the world.

"Puente is excited to continue with this new innovative practice and hopes to continue to enhance and highlight multicultural literacy on campus in collaboration with the ECE Center," Pacheco said.

Check out some of the highlights from this year's virtual celebration on MVC Puente's Instagram (@mvc_puente):

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.

Sweeten, who received his master's degree from UCLA in Education, oversaw a number of campus services at West Los Angeles including the Child Development Center, Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS), Student Health Center, Transfer Center and Transfer Honors Program. He also handled student conduct and the Behavioral Intervention Team.

Sweeten, who expects to complete his doctoral from the University of Southern California in Educational Leadership in the spring of 2021, began his career in education as a professional expert at Mt. San Antonio College in the Upward Bound Program. He went on to become the Program's project/program coordinator for over three years before transitioning to the student services supervisor role. He would later accept a position at UC Riverside's School of Medicine as its director of Student Affairs. For a year and a half, Sweeten was responsible for admissions, advising, student records, student life, and academic enrichment programs.

In January of 2017, Sweeten became Los Angeles Trade Tech's dean of Pathways and Student Affairs. He managed admission and records, counseling, served as the IX co-coordinator, and oversaw a number of specialized programs. He also led the College's counseling department's integration of the Guided Pathways. Two years later, he accepted the dean job at West Los Angeles.

Accepting the Moreno Valley College vice president job is a bit of a homecoming for Sweeten.

"I grew up in Montclair and my parents are proud residents of Moreno Valley since 2016, so MVC is a homecoming back to the Inland Empire," he said.

But it was the College's community commitment that swayed Sweeten.

"Moreno Valley College's vision is a testament to my values of being equity-minded of breaking down barriers for students," Sweeten said. "I believe in the transformative power of education and the need to support the development of the whole student. My core beliefs align with the College's Vision and Values, and to be part of a community that is equity-minded is an honor and privilege."

Robin Steinback, Ph.D., president of Moreno Valley College, said, "Christopher shares the College's mission of transforming lives through education. He is committed to providing services and programs that will lead the Valley's population to better work and living opportunities."

RAVE Guardian 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.

To access your RAVE Mobile Safety account, click here. Through your personalized account employees can add additional contact means, such as a cell phone number and a personal email account. The District also uses RAVE Guardian, a smartphone-based security application that allows users to call 911, RCCD police, set up a timed virtual escort, and notify specific people about your status and location. Students and employees are encouraged to download the app. If you need assistance, contact James Oh, safety & emergency planning coordinator, at (951) 571-6943 or Monica Esqueda, interim director, Risk Management, Safety & Police Services, at (951) 222-8566.


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.


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.

The Food Pantry reopened on April 16. Students needing assistance can receive a grab-and-go bag each Thursday, from 10 am to 2 pm, at the Parkside Complex, Portable 17. Over the course of the first couple weeks of the College closure, the Food Pantry served 150 students. Prior to the College closure, on average, the pantry served 25 students a month. Students can also access food services from Moreno Valley Unified School District and the Riverside County Office of Education. MVUSD is providing lunch with a breakfast option between the hours of 11 am and 1 pm, Monday through Friday, at each school, with the exception of Rainbow Springs Elementary. RCOE is offering meal service at six locations, click here for locations and hours of operation.


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.

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.

The Modular Academy is designed to allow working adults an opportunity to train as a peace officer in the evening and on alternating weekends. Upon completion of the Level I Modular Academy, individuals qualify as a pre-service applicant to law enforcement agencies across the state. Ben Clark Training Center offers one of the largest safety programs with more than 300 individuals graduating each year and advancing to careers with city, country and state agencies.

Captain Rick Young, academy commander, presided over the 50-minute ceremony. Moreno Valley College's Art Turnier, dean, Instruction, Public Safety Education & Training, presented diplomas to the graduates. Sheriff Chad Bianco was also in attendance to salute the graduates. Two of the 16 students graduated with jobs, while the other 14 were in various stages of the hiring process with agencies.

"The ability to live stream the graduation allowed the College and Sheriff's Office, and most of all friends and family of the students, to celebrate the students' completion of the program," Turnier said. "Maintaining a safe environment was as important as celebrating their achievement."


Did you know...

mvc logo

Moreno Valley College

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


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