The Insider: The Official Magazine of the Journalism Department at GCC

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What's inside?



Jacqueline Kamei covers the college's first graduation ceremony in two years, p. 13

Chelsea Corry interviews Division Chair Sarah McLemore, p. 19

Cover Photo by Sam Lee; Page 2 , 3, 4 and back page photos by Reut Cohen Schorr

WOMEN'S ATHLETICS Carly Pellot reports on 50 Years of Title IX and what it means to the college, p. 27

MAGAZINE STAFF PUBLISHER Reut Cohen Schorr (818) 240-1000 ext. 5214 DESIGNER Reut Cohen Schorr STAFF WRITERS Chelsea Corry Timothy Ferguson Hai Yoen Gu Jacqueline Kamei Ingrid Lohne Carly Pellot Dominique Rocha CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alex Leon Matthew Osherow Corinna Scott CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jacqueline Kamei Melanie Kasparian Sam Lee Matthew Osherow Reut Cohen Schorr Michelle Stonis

El Vaquero is a proud member of Journalism Association of Community Colleges California News Publishers Association

Publisher's Note

In 2017, I re-launched The Insider after finding it had fallen dormant before I had been hired full-time to work at the college. Since then, the Journalism department has produced five issues, and I intend to grow the publication in new ways in the years to come. Indeed, we managed to publish two magazines during the course of the pandemic (one of them being released right before I gave birth to my daughter!). To be clear, this magazine initiative is an independent project derived from student classwork within the campus' Journalism curriculum, which sits under the banner of the Language Arts division. Yet despite being a product of the Journalism department, the magazine's purpose is to celebrate our institution, various departments and initiatives, and its people. This Summer/Fall 2022 issue of The Insider focuses on some of the biggest achievements over the last two semesters. In this issue, you will read about our new incoming president, learn about special on-campus and remote programming, celebrate some of the latest incredible feats of Athletics, and see inspiring examples of what Glendale Community College staff and faculty collaboration can do. I am excited for you to read about how Women’s History Month, which has grown into a multi-disciplinary initiative at GCC, got started by Dr. Marguerite “Peggy” Renner in the 1980s. I would also like to celebrate our first GCC Pulitzer Center Consortium fellow, Ms. Jacqueline Kamei, who has been selected to represent our college in this exciting partnership for the 2022 academic year. Journalism sits under the umbrella of Language Arts, enjoying support from our esteemed division and colleagues. This is an independent and voluntary project, one that I deeply believe in and recognize would not be possible without support. As always, I invite you to submit photos, columns and story ideas. While this magazine can't cover everyone, the goal is always to touch on as many facets of campus life as possible. Thank you for your continued support and for reading this publication.

Dr. Reut Cohen Schorr Journalism Professor & Publisher


Photo by Darrell Kunitomi

A Journalism Department Showcase | Volume XIII


CAMPUS NEWS GCC CalFresh Ambassadors Continue the Fight Against Food Insecurity, Jacqueline Kamei, p. 5 Outgoing GCC President Honored as New Superintendent Takes the Helm, Carly Pellot, Hai Yoen Gu, Jacqueline Kamei, & Reut Cohen Schorr, p. 8 GCC Eases Challenges of Online and Remote Learning For Students with Disabilities, Corinna Scott, p. 11 Vaqueros Take the Commencement Stage for the First Time in Two Years, Jacqueline Kamei, p. 13



CSU Drops SAT/ACT Testing Requirements, Ingrid Lohne, p. 22 Meet Peggy Renner, Reut Cohen Schorr, p. 23 GCC's First Pulitzer Center Fellow, Ingrid Lohne, 25


GCC Women’s Athletics Celebrates 50 Years of Title IX, Carly Pellot, p. 27


Lady Vaqs Make History With Their Third Straight Western State Conference Southern Division Title, Jacqueline Kamei, p. 28

Dedicated Professor on a Mission to Cultivate Compassion, Jacqueline Kamei, p. 16

College Celebrates New Kinesiology and Vaquero Complex, Alex Leon, p. 29

Getting to Know GCC’s English Division, Chelsea Corry, p. 18

GCC Track & Field Shines, p. 31

GCC Student Parents Can Tap Into Resources, Timothy Ferguson, p. 20 Return To The Stage: GCC Puts On A Virtual Dance Showcase, Dominique Rocha, p. 21

Read more great content at:

Photo by Melanie Kasparian

GCC CalFresh Ambassadors Continue the Fight Against Food Insecurity By Jacqueline Kamei


rom March 14 to March 18, the college's CalFresh Ambassadors hosted their first in-person tabling event in order to inform their peers about the benefits of using CalFresh in the ongoing fight against food insecurity. “It was exciting to see them share their knowledge on the CalFresh application process all throughout the week,” said Melanie Kasparian, the on-campus advisor for the California Community College Student Ambassador Program. “It was also great to see so many students approach the table with questions about CalFresh and the application process since it was information they hadn’t been exposed to before.” CalFresh Ambassador Katherine Juarez, a fourth-year business administration major, expressed similar sentiments. “The thing I loved about tabling was being able to connect [to] students and help them further their application,” Juarez said. She added, “What [I] have enjoyed most about being a CalFresh Student Ambassador is being able to spread this information to

students and being able to help students because about where your next meal is coming from should not be a worry while … trying to pursue your educational goal.” In informing students about CalFresh, Kasparian noted that there is often a misconception that CalFresh’s application process is difficult and stress-inducing when in actuality it is a straightforward process. “GCC has worked to eliminate that barrier and offers assistance with completing CalFresh applications,” she explained. She added that “if a student is interested in CalFresh but feels overwhelmed in regards to starting that process," they can email to make an appointment with someone who can help them with applying. Juarez affirms that the application process should not take long. “It took only 10 minutes to apply. Not to mention it’s all through online, and if you need assistance, the service number on the application is very helpful.” In efforts to debunk misconceptions around using CalFresh and similar programs, Juarez emphasized many people incorrectly believe that they have to repay money that was given GCC Insider 5

to them. Another misconception is the idea that “when service providers cannot culturally and linguistically support you, it’s difficult to ask for help with enrollment,” said Juarez. Additionally, she pointed out that while some are under the impression that earning an income would cause one to not be eligible for CalFresh benefits, this is actually not true. “You may still qualify because there are income eligibility guidelines,” said Juarez. “Most people don’t know that CalFresh has different eligibility requirements for students versus non-students,” Kasparian said. “As a student who wishes to apply, you don’t need to share your parents’ tax-return information to apply. You don’t need to worry about CalFresh benefits negatively impacting your financial aid, either.” Kasparian added that “if you are an EOP student, part-time worker, CalGrant recipient, or eligible for work-study, you might be eligible for CalFresh as well. Students can receive up to 250 dollars in monthly benefits, so it’s definitely worth going through the application and assessment process.”

Additionally, she pointed out that while some are under the impression that earning an income would cause one to not be eligible for CalFresh benefits, this is actually not true. Beyond CalFresh, the Ambassadors also promote other resources that could help those who are food insecure. Kasparian describes other food insecurity programs and resources available to students such as the Food Pantry and the Fresh Success Program. Students may book appointments to pick up free food from the Food Pantry, which is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday through Thursday.

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The Fresh Success Program “provides assistance to students who receive CalFresh and are taking eligible courses, which includes career, technical, vocational, and English acquisition courses,” said Kasparian. While the fight against food insecurity is far from over, the ambassadors will continue to work toward helping students attain muchneeded benefits. “Students can anticipate virtual classroom visits and more tabling events around campus to spread information on CalFresh,” Kasparian noted.

To make an appointment for help with completing the CalFresh application, email: To learn more about CalFresh and to complete an online application, visit: To learn more about GCC’s Food Pantry and to schedule an appointment, visit: To apply to the Fresh Success Program, visit:


Photo Courtesy of the GCC Office of Communications and Community Relations

In this May 25 photo, Dr. David Viar speaks at a campus BBQ held in his honor. The incoming GCC President, Dr. Ryan Cornner, took over July 1.

Outgoing GCC President Honored as New Superintendent Takes the Helm By Carly Pellot, Hai Yoen Gu, Jacqueline Kamei & Reut Cohen Schorr After nine years of service, Dr. David Viar retired as Superintendent and President of GCC in June, with a Spring 2022 BBQ held in his honor. Sponsored by the ASGCC, the Guild, California School Employees Association, Academic Senate, and the GCC Foundation, the BBQ was attended by administrators, staff, faculty, and students. Under Dr. Viar’s leadership, GCC was able to set a new record for degrees and certificates, maintaining the highest level of accreditation.

In a statement regarding his retirement, Dr. Viar took the opportunity thank the Illustration byto Anahit Sahakyan Glendale community for what he referred to as the many accomplishments made during his time at GCC. “The highlight of my 45-year career as a chief executive officer has been being a part of the Glendale Community College’s significant accomplishments and advancements as we worked together to serve Glendale and the Greater Los Angeles Region,” said Dr. Viar in the official statement. Dr. Viar listed many accomplishments made at GCC within his tenure as president. Most notably, he said, Measure GC, granted the school $325 million toward facility improvements. Also, the hiring of 120 new faculty members and 18 administrators. Along with the staff improvement, recordreaching levels of degrees have been awarded to students, he said.

When asked in Spring 2022 about Dr. Viar’s impact on the community, Dean of Athletics, Chris Cicuto, shared his viewpoint. “Dr. Viar brought back the stability, security, and student-centered approach that was so needed when he became President in 2013. Our community and college [were] gifted a wonderful leader with an inclusive vision for [the] success and growth of GCC,” said Cicuto.

On April 4, 2022, GCC’s Board of Trustees announced that after five months of working to find a new president for the college, Dr. Ryan Cornner was selected to be the new superintendent starting in July. In a press release, Dr. Armine Hacopian, the Board President, noted some of the qualities that made Dr. Cornner the select candidate.

Photo Courtesy of the GCC Office of Communications and Community Relations

Students, staff, and faculty line in the Vaquero Plaza at GCC to pick up food during the May 25 BBQ honoring Dr. David Viar. The event was catered by the Culinary Arts Department, which is overseen by Professor Andrew Feldman, the department chair.

Cicuto added that Dr. Viar's leadership was especially crucial during the pandemic, which stretched the last two years of the outgoing leader's tenure. “He has led us through arguably one of the most challenging times in U.S. history with the Covid-19 pandemic and has left his legacy not only with physical infrastructure with the buildings constructed in his tenure but most importantly, he fostered a campus with our student’s experience at the forefront while making decisions based on policies and values. Dr. Viar has been a great leader and mentor to [me] and droves of administrators, faculty, and staff on our campus."

“Dr. Cornner was a remarkable candidate who demonstrated a deep understanding of the challenges facing community colleges with a proven record at both the campus and multidistrict level,” said Dr. Hacopian. “Even more inspiring was his commitment to ensuring all people have equitable access to education and his willingness to work with others to set and achieve the goals that are the foundation of the community college system.” Dr. Cornner attended the University of Southern California where he earned a Doctor of Education and Master of Social Work. He also earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of California San Diego.

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According to the press release, Dr. Cornner began his career in social work and worked as an adjunct professor at a community college. “I was able to witness the individual impact on students in the classroom and recognize the broader impact of the institution,” said Dr. Cornner. “It was clear that community colleges are the best means to combat generational poverty and to have a socioeconomic impact on the community. So, I shifted to a career focused on improving the lives of students and creating institutional change to best serve the needs of the community.” He has taught for more than 12 years and has worked in an administrative setting for over 10 years. Previously, Dr. Cornner was Dean of Institutional Effectiveness at East Los Angeles College and the Associate Vice President of Strategic Planning and Innovation at Pasadena City College. “Over the last six years at the nine-college district, Dr. Cornner has worked on several initiatives to increase student access to college and ensure their success,” according to the press release. The initiatives being referred to are the LA College Promise Program, which provides free college tuition, Dual Enrollment agreements, and other equity-minded programs.

Dr. David Viar also expressed his sentiments about the decision. “There was an exceptional group of candidates vying for this coveted spot to lead one of the most prestigious community colleges in the state,” said Dr. Viar. “It is a testament to Dr. Cornner and his abilities that the board selected him to continue GCC’s nearly one-hundred-year legacy. I wish him great success.” “I am humbled and honored to be chosen to lead this institution,” said Dr. Cornner in a statement. “I was well aware of GCC’s proud tradition of excellence and service to the community before I began this process and my respect has grown even deeper as I interacted with so many impressive people who I now get to call colleagues. My core leadership philosophy focuses on building a sense of shared community and values, which is essential to building an institutional culture that promotes collegiality, inclusion, innovation, and success.” Dr. Cornner participated in a public forum in the Spring that can be viewed by visiting:

Photo Courtesy of the GCC Office of Communications and Community Relations

GCC staff stand outside of the Administration Building to welcome incoming President Dr. Ryan Cornner, left, to the college on July 1.

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GCC Eases Challenges of Online and Remote Learning For Students with Disabilities

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By Corinna Scott Students with disabilities have a wide variety of services available to them through Glendale Community College’s website, including employment support, technology resources such as loaner iPads, and help with studies and academic counseling.

The Center for Students with Disabilities connects with the Accommodations Resource Center (formerly known as HTC and IAC) and the Disabled Students Programs and Services or DSPS office in their combined effort to serve the student body. If a student is eligible for DSPS, then the ARC can assess individual technology needs. Working with GCC and DSPS has been easy and accessible, said Cecilia Whitney, a sophomore majoring in Media and Communications, in an interview. GCC Insider 11

“The faculty I’ve worked with have also had a positive and ready-to-work attitude. Diana Carillo is my counselor, and she has assisted me with my student education plan and with choosing the accommodations that I need.” The staff also does a great job of getting information back to students quickly, according to Whitney. “My message to new GCC students is to never be afraid to ask for help. I would also like to add that it’s better to reserve appointments earlier than later. Especially if the appointments concern accommodations. It’s better to start class with the accommodations than to have to wait for them to be applied,” Whitney said. When Caroline De La Rocha, a student majoring in social work, first decided to enroll at GCC, she said she felt reluctant, thinking she would have “too many learning difficulties to pass my classes, and I probably wasn’t going to be able to manage the classes I had enrolled in.” However, the Center for Students with Disabilities staff was “supportive and accommodating to me and my individual learning needs through this whole process,” De La Rocha said. “Additionally, Ellen Oppenberg (professor and DSPS specialist) has helped to provide me with a lot of great tools to help me retain study materials and understand what it is that I am doing. She has also helped me to acquire accommodations such as note-taking and longer test time, and has met with me over phone conference and Zoom to discuss any issue that I might be having,” De La Rocha said. “Overall, I can say that I feel much more confident in my classes and very well taken care of. I really feel that any student who has learning disabilities should definitely take advantage of the wonderful disabilities department that GCC provides,” De La Rocha said. Jasmine Matthews, a sophomore studying Creative Writing, reached out to ARC and the DSPS office.

"The staff also does a great job of getting information back to students quickly, according to Whitney." In an interview she mentioned how “both [offices] were able to accommodate [Matthews] adequately by reaching out to instructors, applying for services [she] needed, and helping [her] set up a Student Education Plan (SEP).” The staff at DSPS “helped me get the best accommodations and accommodation plan I needed. Even when there are occasional hiccups, they are easy to contact for quick solutions,” Matthews said. Currently, due to learning being largely remote, the offices are unable to administer the Learning Disability assessment to incoming students with disabilities or ones looking to see if they qualify for DSPS services, according to an email sent by Oppenberg. The reason for this is because it is a standardized test that is not intended to be given other than in person. The part that we were able to administer is the intake portion of the assessment. “Temporary accommodations are being given while we are remote if, in my professional opinion, the student will most likely qualify for DSPS services once we are back in person and I can administer the full LD assessment,” Oppenberg said in an email. If you’d like an appointment to discuss which of DSPS resources could work for your needs, make an appointment via or 818240-1000 ext. 5905. Ellen Oppenberg can be reached by phone at 818240-1000 ext. 5529 or by email at:

Vaqueros Take the Commencement Stage for the First Time in Two Years The graduating classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 celebrate their academic accomplishments despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic By Jacqueline Kamei Glendale Community College’s campus was bustling with excitement on June 15 as GCC hosted its first in-person graduation since the pandemic in celebration of the accomplishments of students in the graduating classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022. Among those in attendance for this celebration were participating graduating students, their families and friends, faculty and staff, administrators, and the Board of Trustees.

“The 2022 graduating class includes 1,269 individuals who have earned 1,784 degrees and certificates of completion. That’s a record number here at Glendale Community College,” outgoing president of the college Dr. David Viar said when addressing the audience. During the event, graduates walked across the commencement stage waving their temporary diplomas in the air proudly. In addition to being a memorable graduation with three graduating classes walking across the stage during a single event, this commencement ceremony marked Dr. David Viar’s final graduation ceremony as the president of the college. Dr. Viar was awarded the Honorary Glendale Community College Degree for his dedication to the college and his achievements throughout nine years of service.

A student exits the stage after participating in the graduation ceremony on June 15.

Photo by Jacqueline Kamei

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“The 2022 graduating class includes 1,269 individuals who have earned 1,784 degrees and certificates of completion. That’s a record number here at Glendale Community College,” outgoing president of the college Dr. David Viar said when addressing the audience. During the event, graduates walked across the commencement stage waving their temporary diplomas in the air proudly. In addition to being a memorable graduation with three graduating classes walking across the stage during a single event, this commencement ceremony marked Dr. David Viar’s final graduation ceremony as the president of the college. Dr. Viar was awarded the Honorary Glendale Community College Degree for his dedication to the college and his achievements throughout nine years of service. “Glendale Community College is committed to excellence and to fostering the best in teaching and learning,” Dr. Viar said. “We aspire, through our vision, to be the Greater Los Angeles region’s premier learning community where all students achieve their informed educational goals through our outstanding instructional and student services, a comprehensive community college curriculum, and educational opportunities found in few community colleges. That’s what you’ve been a part of.”

Photo Courtesy of the GCC Office of Communications and Community Relations

Graduating RN student Melisa Avila paid homage to the late Kobe Bryant with her decorated graduation cap.

During the graduation, numerous speeches were given to honor students’ accomplishments and provide inspiration for future aspirations and academic endeavors. One such speaker was president of the Academic Senate, Roger Dickes, who gave the graduating classes one last ongoing assignment. He called on them, “to continue to avidly learn, to fall in love with things that interest you, and to apply what you learn in your daily life.” President of the Associated Students of Glendale Community College Diana Morales addressed the graduating class one more time and noted the resilience of all of the students, faculty, administrators, staff, and families in helping students achieve their educational goals during such a challenging time. “[GCC] helps us connect to amazing people and provides us opportunities that we never imagined possible,” Morales said to her peers.

Photo Courtesy of the GCC Office of Communications and Community Relations

Dr. David Viar, now retired, congratulates a student at his last graduation ceremony during his nine-year tenure as superintendent.

Dr. Viar recognized the faculty members whose devotion and commitment helped students achieve their goals. “Those who have helped you get to this place tonight include dedicated faculty members, caring and giving people who have shared their wisdom and expertise with you, encouraged and guided you, who are pleased to see you ready to take your next step on your educational career path,” he said.

Outgoing GCC President Dr. David Viar addresses 2020, 2021, and 2022 graduates.

“They represent our excellence.” During his speech, Dr. Viar recognized the Leonard DeGrassi Distinguished Faculty Award recipient, culinary arts professor Andrew Feldman. He also recognized the Dr. William L. Parker Exceptional Service Award recipient, English professor Sarah McLemore, and the Exceptional Adjunct Faculty Award recipient, English professor Tanya Baronian. Dr. Armine Hacopian, Board of Trustees President, applauded the graduates for their perseverance during such a trying time and expressed her belief in their bright futures. “Wherever you go, you will take part of GCC with you. Memories of a favorite professor or a coach, a great counselor or a very helpful staff member, and perhaps memories of those very special moments when you first discovered a new approach or learned something very valuable which has already impacted your life for the better,” Dr. Hacopian said. The Student Commencement Address was given by 2021-2022 GCC Student of Distinction and parenting student Knarik Gevorgyan, who provided encouragement and inspiration for the graduating classes. Gevorgyan described how she found the motivation to keep fighting for her education during the pandemic, and she also recognized the importance of appreciating those who have supported the graduating classes in achieving their academic goals.

Photo by Jacqueline Kamei

“Remember this day and all that you have accomplished when so much was unknown, and you can get through anything. Remember to say yes to opportunities and experiences because this will continue to facilitate our growth,” said Gevorgyan. “And always remember, if you believe it and dream it, you can be it.” “These are very challenging times that call for each of us to lead ourselves to be our best, to eliminate hate, racism, and discrimination from our beliefs and actions, to develop within ourselves a shared sense of humanity, to gather accurate information upon which to make informed decisions, to treat others with respect and dignity even when you do not agree with them, to see problems and step forward to help solve them, to speak out when you see wrong,” Dr. Viar said. “Never forget, you are a leader.”

Scan the QR code to view more graduation photos from the Photo Courtesy of the Office of Communications and Community Relations or visit: View the ceremony at:

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Dedicated Professor on a Mission to Cultivate Compassion Dr. Michael Harnett, Director of the Scholars Program, sits down for a Q/A

By Jacqueline Kamei With the challenges of the pandemic and a news cycle that demonstrate the inhumanity people are capable of, many are experiencing an extremely difficult time finding hope and the motivation to remain positive and inspired. People are encountering and coping with numerous losses and hardships in different forms. To provide hope and inspire others to be the best versions of themselves during these challenging times, the “Compassion Column” was designed by this author to highlight faculty, staff, students, programs, organizations, and events on campus and in the surrounding communities that demonstrate compassionate behavior. Articles will be published in this series intermittently for at least the duration of one year. The first article of this new series features Dr. Michael Harnett, a dedicated professor of English, humanities, and educational psychology and the GCC Scholars Program Director, who has been on an ongoing mission to help bring out the best in others and build a kinder world by acting with compassion. Dr. Harnett incorporates compassion into not only his teaching methodologies but also within the Scholars Program, which works to create benevolent members of society.

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In an in-person interview with Dr. Harnett, he explained how compassion has become a part of his life and how he does his best to cultivate compassion in his students. Q: As the Director of the Scholars Program, how do you incorporate compassion into the Program’s values and work? A: Scholars is about the development of the wellrounded person, not just an honors program with honors classes and that’s it. So the first thing that often comes up in any honors program is they’ll often have a community service component. Community Service really is about helping people in the community, serving others, extending yourself to others, and thinking about others needs, seeing as college is honestly so often a very selfcentered enterprise. We’re thinking of choosing our own major, we’re thinking of our transfer, our success, what will help me be successful, what will help me build my résumé. And so the starting point is, well, how about thinking about other people, so serving the community, serving the campus community is a part of it. The social events are about interacting and just having a fun time with other people, again to support them and include them. We see that one person off to the side; we ask them to join us as we’re playing a game or we’re doing some activity. And it’s not about the rewards, it’s not about the credits, the requirements, the GPA, it’s just about being a complete person. So it’s a lot more work than a lot of honors programs do, but I think it’s worth it. Q: What events in the Program demonstrate the value of giving to or helping others?

Courtesy Photo

Dr. Michael Harnett described the various facets of the Scholars Program in a recent interview.

A: Well, certainly Community Service is all about that. We have the Love Our Elders event coming up, and just writing a simple note to somebody that’s lonesome and could use some encouragement, that’s part of it. But really any of the meetings and events is what that’s all about. Getting together, not just being an individualist “take take take” but instead, giving and sharing and contributing for that greater good and maybe encouraging people by just being present and smiling and listening and being willing to contribute to that person’s well-being is what all the events are about. And I would say Fundraising, Outreach, the Arts and Culture, the Social Events, the Community Service, all of them are in that vein of “we’re not alone in this; we’re in this all together.” Especially these days with remote instruction and having to be so separated all the time; this is a time to get together. Q: When you refer to the Scholars, you say, “Hello, Good People!” What was the inspiration behind this greeting?

A: I would say the inspiration of this is my dad. My dad is a very outgoing person, just a fun loving person, made the most out of every occasion. He would go up to people that he didn’t know, he would go up to people that he did know, and it would be this big husky “Hello!” And he’d say, “How are you happy people?” And I adapted it for my own. I think we should do our own personality. And so I changed it to “Hello, Good People.” And there’s like a little offer there to be a good person because I just called you one. I just assume of course you’re a good person; you’re here. We’re all brothers and sisters and all for the good. Q: How do you incorporate compassion into your own teaching methodology? A: To answer the question further about how I at least attempted to develop compassion in my teaching, I had to go back to remembering how I have always been very shy and was really terrified about speaking in public. But when I got in front of a class and realized that they were

depending on me and that nothing happens if I don’t make things happen. I changed my focus from my shyness, which I think is inherently selfish, to thinking about the needs of the group, the students, how I can help them, how I can encourage them, how I can challenge them, how the whole dynamic can be altered for the better. And just make it clear that I value everybody’s input; that they make the class, that it’s not my class, it’s your class, and I’m just here to help facilitate things and maybe to inspire people by maybe showing some example like “See, this is what other people did, now you can do it. And of course you can do it.” And that goes into feedback on essays. The feedback shouldn’t be, “This is my harsh evaluation, and this is terrible or even this is good.” It should be, “You’re doing it. Here’s the thesis. Here’s the support. Here’s the organization. Here’s the expression. Here’s what you could do next in improving.” But there’s something to validate here, and I value everybody as a person. The guiding assumption in all of the work I’ve done on motivation, it’s all about, of course, you can do it! I just have to find a way to tell you that so that you do it, and then you know you can do it.

war on Sunday evenings for dinner. … Teachers were like that, too. Many of my elementary school teachers especially, some through high school, [and] some in college, were just really giving people, And I saw that and … really value that. And church, I grew up with a strong religious background. I read stories that were parables and teachings about “Your goal is to be a good person.” So that was a heavy, heavy influence. And then as I started teaching, I realized it’s not about me and my little kingdom of the classroom; it’s about this chance to really hopefully do some good for people. That’s the ongoing quest. I’ve been doing it since 1986, and hopefully I can learn eventually. There was a professor, the late, great Leonard DeGrassi, and I taught with him for eight years in this Humanities 120 class, which was literature and the cultural arts. […] Wonderful, brilliant person, but, better than that, kind person. I was working on my dissertation and he gave me a little card.

And it had Saint Anthony of Padua on it, a little prayer I could do that said just remember you are on your way, you’re going to do this. And he had many funny things he would say that would just make me realize how to keep things in perspective. So he was somebody that I admired and was really lucky to have as a friend…. I’m hoping to live up to [that] kind of kindness. He could read and write Egyptian hieroglyphics. He could tell you about any work of art that has ever been produced in the Western tradition and, at the same time, had this great kindness and

Q: Who and/or what were your sources of inspiration to treat others with compassion? A: Certainly my parents. My dad’s mom and dad would frequently take in people at their house and rent rooms and sometimes just have people stay for free. Always somebody in the neighborhood would come by for dinner. My other grandparents, my mom’s parents, would always have a soldier over during the

enthusiasm for people. He taught with me well into his 80s and just an amazing person. Q: Why do you think practices of compassion, altruism, and kindness are important to society as a whole? A: I think the simple reason is because that’s when society as a whole and individuals in particular can rise to their best. That’s when people are at their best. In Maslow’s hierarchy, self-actualization is the highest level, but what Maslow meant by selfactualization was then being in a position to help others. So that is the highest we can be. It is really important, especially these days with wars going on and disease and things separating us, we need something that bands us together, and that is what it is. Love is stronger than hate. … That kind of compassion and altruism is what can save us. To learn more about the Scholars Program, scan the QR code below or visit:

Courtesy Photo

Photo Courtesy of the GCC Office of Communications and Community Relations

In this June 15 photo, English Division Chair Dr. Sarah McLemore cheers on GCC graduates, and gives a special acknowledgment to graduates with a sign that reads, "Congrats from the English Division! You are on the 'Write' Path!"

Getting to Know GCC’s English Division Department chair Dr. Sarah McLemore talks about her work on campus By Chelsea Corry An event hosted by GCC’s English department called “English Major Tea” was held on April 28. The in-person and remote event was organized to focus on the potential job opportunities an English major could have access to and connect students with recent GCC English alumni. The Insider interviewed the English division chair, Dr, Sarah McLemore, to understand some of the initiatives and resources in her department. Q: Can you tell us about how you got your start at GCC and your current role? A. I started at GCC as a full-time faculty member about 17 years ago. I was in the process of finishing my Ph.D. at UCSB (go Gauchos!). I realized I was much more interested in teaching than in pursuing a more research-oriented position. I was very lucky to be hired at GCC 18 GCC Insider

which was a much better fit for me in terms of my interests in helping students and helping to make institutional changes. I was elected by my colleagues to be the English Division chair in Spring 2018. Prior to that, I’ve held several positions on campus including serving as the college’s Curriculum Coordinator, SLO Coordinator, and Writing Across the Curriculum Co-Coordinator. I’ve also collaborated on college efforts around program review and accreditation. I also collaborate on the development of the Faculty Diversity Mentorship program. Within our division, I’ve served as the division’s senator, SLO representative, and assistant division chair. Q: What are a few of the career pathways someone majoring in English can choose from?

A. There are so many pathways that someone majoring in English can choose! We have [a lot] of info about major pathways on our website which can be a good resource too. Besides being a teacher or a professor, we have recent graduates who have pursued successful careers as lawyers, professional writers/content creators, journalists, and academic counselors. An English major is a great major for anyone who likes to write and think critically about the world around them. Q: What do you believe are skills students are provided with from the English division? A. Our division provides students with skills in communication and critical thinking. The structure of our classes also emphasizes group collaboration and teamwork. Professors work hard to include readings and materials that help students learn about other perspectives than their own. I think our division has faculty who encourage students to think beyond a single story about literature and life in general.

Q: How diverse is the English department and how does the department try to promote diversity in the department itself and its courses? A. In my time as chair, I have tried really hard to hire faculty who have really diverse backgrounds and experiences. I often work with students who email or call asking for instructor recommendations and information about the kinds of readings or approaches faculty use and it’s always exciting to be able to match students up with an instructor who I think they’ll connect with. Maybe a student is more interested in creative writing or in reading full length novels or is looking for an instructor who will really push them to go beyond in terms of academic research. I like that our instructors have so many approaches to teaching writing and literature. We also work hard as a division to share ideas about what texts we are teaching and how we are teaching so that we can continue to make our courses more

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diverse in terms of materials and approaches.

for GCC English majors to start a career?

In terms of diversity around gender and ethnicity, I would say that our division is growing more diverse. Our division has been leaders on campus in terms of pushing for action around making hiring more diverse.

A. The English Division has a wonderful academic counselor liaison, Nare Garibyan. Nare is also a GCC graduate and an accomplished writer herself. So within our academic counseling office students have a great ally and resource there.

Allyship and support for diversity isn’t just about what you teach or how you teach it. It’s about sustained action and efforts around making things at GCC more equitable and transparent. Q: What are some resources the English department has

Beyond that our website offers a lot of information about the degrees and certificates we offer as well as the Language and Communication Learning and Professional Pathway at GCC and related careers.

GCC Student Parents Can Tap Into Resources


By Timothy Ferguson

lendale Community College has many programs to support parents returning to school. Whether one is returning after a long absence or continuing after high school, GCC’s staff and faculty seek to accommodate the process, according to the institution’s website. Student parents and especially single student parents have many obstacles to overcome if they wish to attend college. According to an internet rating site, GCC is ranked number four out of a field of 45 community colleges in Los Angeles County and number six out of the top 20, according to When compared statewide for completion rates, it is ranked 42 out of 118, according to From one-on-one counseling to referrals for financial aid or mental health concerns, the administration and faculty present a positive and enriching learning environment. The aspect of attending a community college while being a single parent seems impossible, the following are a few of the counseling programs offered at GCC: CalWORKs: This program is designed to support students with children under 18 years old. The CalWORKs program students receive priority registration and grants two times a year. Also offered is a work study program, which is a paid position and does not count as income for CalWORKs requirements. Additionally, the CalWORKs program offers assistance with financial aid and access to the Food Pantry to help with basic needs. It also helps through emergency grants among other things Title IX registration, which can alleviate some of the stress of going to school by guaranteeing excused absences and opportunities to make up missed assignments. Parent Education: This program affords the parent and the child to attend classes together. The classes offered are music, dance, stories, and art activities. This gives parents the opportunity to help their children with social skills and meet other likeminded people. The program also offers time with professional parent educators that lead discussions on parenting issues.

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Photo Courtesy of the GCC Office of Communications and Community Relations

In this undated photo, the Smith Student Center on the main Verdugo campus is pictured.

Childcare at the Verdugo Campus: GCC has oncampus child care through the Glendale Community College Laboratory School, a model for teaching and learning. This is a blend of community needs and an educational curriculum. The school is a laboratory to facilitate those students looking for a career in Child Life Specialist, Occupational/Physical Therapy, Elementary Education, Nursing, and more. The teachers and directors are chosen for their strong background in the field of child education. Childcare at the Garfield Campus: The GCC Garfield Child Development Center teaches children to reach their full potential. This is achieved through a highquality curriculum and their commitment to families. The center is an inclusive environment that embraces and respects people of all backgrounds. This helps the children learn social, emotional, and academic skills and promotes confidence and responsibility. Child Care Resource Center (CCRC): This is a program that covers many aspects of childcare and early education. The program offers childcare scholarships, otherwise known as subsidized child care. Confidential Emotional and Mental Health: This is a counseling service provided to students of all types and can be conducted in person, on the phone, or through the Zoom platform. At the GCC Health Center, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist provides confidential mental health counseling. GCC offers information on county and state mental health resources as well. All resources are accessible through the GCC portal here:

Screenshot (Courtesy of GCC Dance)

Choreographed by Patt Paczynski and GCC dancers, the Dance Department performs "State of Being" in this Fall 2021 showcase. The full showcase was made available for viewing in the Spring of 2022.

Return To The Stage: A Virtual Dance Showcase Department puts on a performance after hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic By Dominique Rocha Despite the challenges of a COVID-19 pandemic, the GCC Dance Department sought to connect campus, albeit remotely, with a thorough showcase of their most recent choreography. In a series of playlists, all accessible through the GCC Dance Department’s Youtube, the college community can see some of the more recent work of the department and its ambitious students and staff. The concert offers a mix of dance pieces topped off with performative videography in order to illustrate the hardships and isolation of the pandemic. Each segment follows the contemporary style of dance. The concert features choreography from many of the dancers and faculty themselves, each creating a piece that highlights their own journeys. These specific compositions all begin with a short introduction from the choreographer, followed by their dance pieces. Aimee Wong, one of the dancers in the showcase, choreographed a moving piece entitled, “Hills and Valleys.” “This piece depicts the highs and lows that one may experience in life,” stated Wong.

A faculty member for the GCC Dance Department, Lisa Jay, also created her own dance sequence. Her video, titled “Strut” includes a group number that features the entire team of dancers. “The piece that I choreographed is really just a celebration of the fact that we all got to be together in person again,” said Jay. In the final video of the playlist, the directors of the showcase, Victor Robles and Patt Paczynski gave insight into the creative process behind the series of videos. “Victor wanted the students to think about how things were going to be filmed, what angle, to really approach it as making a video instead of just staging a dance,” Paczynski stated. “The virtual dance concert proved to be a collaborative effort between faculty and dancers, who came together to put on a show despite all of the recent obstacles.” To view the virtual dance concert, visit:

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CSU Drops SAT/ACT Testing Requirements 1,400 Glendale College transfer-hopefuls impacted

By Ingrid Lohne

As part of ongoing efforts to address student equity, on March 22 the Trustees of California State University permanently dropped the SAT and ACT standardized tests as admissions requirements. Instead, the CSU admission advisory council will refine their eligibility index formula, recommending a minimum required GPA, the Los Angeles Times reported March 23. GCC students looking to transfer to a California State University (CSU) no longer need to spend resources on SAT/ACT test preparation or performance. Factors likely to be considered for admission to CSU institutions are current coursework rigor, performance, GPA, and major-related extracurricular activities. “This decision aligns with the California State University’s continued efforts to level the playing field and provide greater access to a high-quality college degree for students from all backgrounds,” said Acting Chancellor Steve Relyea. “In essence, we are eliminating our reliance on a high-stress, high-stakes test that has shown negligible benefit and providing our applicants with greater opportunities to demonstrate their drive, talents and potential for college success.”

Creative Commons

On March 22, the Trustees of California State University permanently dropped the SAT and ACT standardized tests as admissions requirements

While some see the move to drop the SAT and ACT tests as admissions requirements as a positive step toward addressing equity concerns, others wonder whether it will solve any or even some of the equity gaps. “It is imperative that we address the equity gap in education. However, eliminating the SAT and ACT from the admissions process is an attempt to place a band-aid on a bigger problem of systemic inequality not only in education but in the larger society,” said GCC’s Assistant Chair of the Social Sciences Division, Chair of the Sociology Department, and Professor of Sociology, Richard T. Kamei, in an email. “In 1954, the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision provided the promise of integrated and equitable schools,” Kamei continued. “Unfortunately, sixty-eight years later, our nation still struggles to fulfill those promises. An enlightened society would ensure an environment both inside and outside the schools that. would allow all

students the opportunity to work towards achieving their academic potential.” A 2019 study found that high school GPA was a stronger predictor than the SAT of first-year grades and second-year retention for Cal State students. Last year, Cal State replicated that research with a different cohort of students and found the same results, the LA Times reported. Kamei said he remains wary. “Universities and colleges will still need to experiment with effective ways of measuring student preparedness for the rigors of academic life, such as the multi-factored admission criteria that the CSUs will be implementing. My hope is that any policy related to admissions will be based on the findings from empirical research.” SAT/ACT testing had been suspended for applicants to the Cal State system for the last two years in an effort to reduce applicant stress and address the lack of access to the

tests during the pandemic. According to the most recent data available from the CSU Data Center, in fall 2021, just over 1,400 GCC students applied for a transfer to Cal State colleges. CSUs admitted just over 1,250 students. Of those that were admitted, 829 enrolled. To learn more about the impact on your transfer plans, visit the transfer center drop-in counseling: To learn more about academic planning, visit:

What is National Average SAT Score?

According to the College Board, the national average SAT score for 2020 are ERW 528, Math 523, and Total 1051.

Screenshot (Courtesy of GCC History)

Dr. Peggy Renner gives a lecture on conservationist Rachel Carson in 2016 during Women's History Month at Glendale Community College.

Meet Dr. Peggy Renner The founder of Women's History Month at GCC describes her journey By Reut Cohen Schorr This Spring, GCC hosted a Women's History Month with an overarching theme of “Promoting Healing, Providing Hope.” After almost two years off-campus, the Women's History Month Committee provided events that were on-campus, remote, and hybrid. Committee members include Social Sciences professors Robyn Fishman, Maite Peterson, and Michelle Stonis, and Language Arts professor Karen Swett. The organizers work across disciplines on campus in order to touch on many facets of women's stories. Dr. Peggy Renner, Emeritus Professor of History, is credited with launching Women's History Month in the 1980s. She described her journey at GCC in a recent interview. Q. Can you tell us about how you came to GCC? A. I learned about a one-year position at GCC in 1989 while sitting at a professional conference

of the Western Association of Women Historians. Margaret Moody, a professor of history at the college planned to go to Italy to complete research on her doctoral dissertation and had asked for a one-year leave of unpaid absence The college had granted her request and created a one-year opening. I applied and had a wonderful interview. I was so excited when I left the interview I went shopping and spent far on my credit card more than I would be able to repay based on my earnings. I was adjunct faculty at California State University, Northridge. To my delight I was called by the president’s office three days later and asked to meet with the vice president, Art Rasmussen. That interview also went well and he offered me the job. When he quoted the proposed salary, I almost said “Are you kidding?” What he offered was more than double what I was earning at CSUN. And that year proved to be the most exciting year in my professional career. I learned that the work in the classroom helping students to learn was far more exciting that the pressures of publication at the four-year GCC Insider 23

schools. It was a one-year position, but my division chair convinced the president to create a tenuretrack position. I applied along with another 25 people, was interviewed and was hired. Q. How were you involved in Women's History Month (WHM) and what is your current involvement? A. When I came to GCC there was a Women’s History Month celebration that had been created by several faculty members. They asked me to join in their efforts and I was happy to say yes. My doctoral work was in the history of women and WHM fit right into what I wanted to see happen in exploring the history of women. The second year I was there, I was asked to take over the celebration and I was happy to say yes. In those days, we had no computer support. Everything in preparing for WHM was done by phone and paper notices. To organize the events I would send out a letter signed by the president, vice president, and me asking people to offer a session during WHM. And faculty replied. Most of the sessions were conducted in classrooms. Faculty would devote a class session to something relevant to WHM and invite others on campus to join the class. We always had a guest speaker to which everyone was invited. And at the end of the month we had a luncheon sponsored by the president. To the lunch came the campus choir who sang for us, many of the campus support staff who helped make it all happen, the faculty and students. If you would like to see some of this, there are files in the

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library that included the flyers, the month-long calendar I produced to publicize the events for the month. I remained in charge from 1991 until I retired in 2016, except for the years 2002-2003 when I was president of the Academic Senate and asked an adjunct colleague to cover the celebration. Q. Why is it important to host these kinds of events? When we first created WHM, we wanted to show students that women have always been part of building our society—they just were not recognized for the work they did. We also wanted students to understand that there had been rules that ignored women’s work in creating the United States, and that women were not allowed to serve in official positions. When I grew up, I was told women could be teachers, nurses, stewardesses on airlines, waitresses, or store clerks, or wives and mothers. No, women could not be college professors, doctors, CEOs, lawyers, or any other jobs that paid well and held power and prestige. We wanted students to explore beyond the barriers —as I and some of my colleagues had done. Over time our focus began to change. As women began to topple the barriers imposed on women up to the 1960s and 70s, we sought to share with students the accomplishments that women were making. We wanted our students to see the many doors that had opened and the ones that still needed to be pushed. We invited women who to speak at our special lecture to show women’s success in breaking barriers. And it was exciting to listen to students respond.

By the 2010s we began to recognize there were students among us who were accomplishing these goals. We had a students’ feminist organization who organized their own WHM sessions and invited us—the faculty—to see their work. What a wonderful feeling—to see the students become the leaders! What strides has GCC made and what still needs to be done to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women? I think that the campus has come a long way in the last several years. The COVID-19 crisis has posed a real challenge to all aspects of campus life including WHM. I was worried this celebration of women might be lost in all of the tension and confusion caused by the pandemic. To this I send my complements to all those on campus who worked hard to work virtually! It seems there is less WHM work going on in the classrooms. More of the work seems to be public campus events. This was necessary in a virtual world, but I hope that faculty will restore some of the classroom events. It is in this setting that discussions emerge that engage students in deeper ways. Q. What is your advice to GCC students? A this time we are faced with many questions, and we all need to think about how to

answer those questions to enable all of us—all genders, all ages, all ethnicities, all races to find and follow meaningful paths, ones that will be rewarding to each of us personally but will also serve to build a better society for all of us. We have all lived in a culture that tells us to look out for ourselves and this is important. But we also need to look out for each other. As I watch the horrors in Ukraine, at the poverty in our own country, at the threats to our democratic society, and the threats to our earth posed by climate change, I feel strongly that it is the job of each of us to consider what it means to look out for one another. As individuals we cannot solve these problems, but if we want to enjoy the liberties our country offers, the offers we hope it will make, we MUST begin to think beyond our individual boxes. We have lots of issues and situations from which we can learn. I think of the women who struggled to end the enslavement of people, who worked to gain voting rights for white women, who struggled to gain voting rights for people of color and now face of attempts to eliminate voting rights, who work to gain a living wage and safe working conditions, and so much more. There is so much more that remains to be done. We have a country which promises a lot, but those promises can be taken from us. We have a lot we must protect. And that means we need to join together.

Scan the QR Code on the left or visit the Women's History Month page at:

GCC's First Pulitzer Center Fellow Q&A with Jacqueline Kamei

By Ingrid Lohne Jacqueline Kamei was ecstatic when she opened the email from the Pulitzer Center on Feb. 18 informing her that she’d been selected to be Glendale Community College’s first Reporting Fellow, she said in a recent email interview. In her first year at GCC as a psychology major and the editor-in-chief of El Vaquero, Kamei is the first fellowship recipient of the GCC Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium. The GCC partnership with the Pulitzer Center was cofounded by co-directors Dr. Reut Cohen Schorr and Professor Michelle Stonis, GCC professors of Journalism and History, respectively. “The Journalism program and History department partnered in this collaboration to focus on reporting topics about gender,” said Dr. Cohen Schorr. “In doing so, students are able to be Pulitzer Center Consortium participants and one student has the opportunity to be selected as the campus fellow annually after careful evaluation of their proposed writing topic.” “Although there were several strong applicants for our inaugural Pulitzer Center reporting fellow position, the detailed reporting plan and engaging approach of Ms. Jacqueline Kamei made her the best candidate,” said Stonis. “She has a stellar combination of subjectmatter curiosity, meticulous

research, and strong writing skills. We are eager to see the reporting she’ll produce about gender and body image on social media as she represents Glendale Community College and the Pulitzer Center.” Kamei’s winning proposal focuses on the benefits and drawbacks of social media to the feminist movement, a topic she chose while completing History 111 and Journalism 103, requirements for the proposal. But what exactly is the GCC Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium, and what does being its first fellow look like? In an email interview this past Spring, Kamei explained.

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GCC Pulitzer Center Fellow Jacqueline Kamei is photographed in this undated picture.

Q. You’re the first fellow of the Pulitzer Center/GCC collaboration. How did that come about? A. GCC opened its Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium in Fall 2021 thanks to the hard work of our codirectors, Dr. Reut Cohen Schorr and Professor Michelle Stonis, as well as a $20,000 two-year grant from PIMCO. Twelve other students and I enrolled in both Journalism 103 and History 111 (Women’s History) to be a part of the Consortium. From Dr. Cohen and Professor Stonis, we learned how to conduct ethical, exemplary reporting in pursuit of the truth covering numerous key people, events, and movements involved in women’s history. This training aided us in developing our own written proposals to compete for becoming GCC’s first Reporting Fellow. With our Consortium’s specific focus on reporting on gender issues, we each created a written proposal for the Pulitzer Center in Washington D.C. that detailed a topic related to gender. After our proposals

were reviewed by Dr. Cohen, Professor Stonis, and the Pulitzer Center, one Reporting Fellow was selected. Q. What was the focus of your research proposal? A. The focus of my research proposal is to cover the benefits and drawbacks of social media to the feminist movement. As social media’s influence is immensely prevalent in our society, I wanted to investigate how people have been using social media to advance the movement. I plan on talking to experts about how social media could benefit the movement while also examining how it could be undermining it by continuing to objectify women and negatively impact self-esteem. To provide multiple perspectives, I will also be talking with women who have developed lower selfesteem, depression from social comparisons, and negative perceptions of their body image from social media use. These negative results seem like they would work against the goals of the

feminist movement, which is why I thought it would be beneficial to present both sides. While this is my plan, I know that sometimes interviews and research could take you in a direction you could have never expected. For this reason, I am prepared to adjust this plan as needed. Q. What comes with being a Pulitzer Center Fellow (travel, funds for research, etc.)? A. As a Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellow, I am provided with $3,000 to conduct interviews, travel, and fulfill any other components of my research that will help me successfully report on my topic. I am extremely grateful that I have Dr. Cohen and Professor Stonis as mentors who are guiding me through this process as well as an experienced Pulitzer Center grantee provided by the Center who will provide further insight in conducting my research. Once I complete my project, my work will be published on the official Pulitzer Center website, and I will be provided a space to continue

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writing articles that qualify as being part of my initial proposal. Reporting Fellows also attend a conference in Washington D.C. where we have the opportunity to network and learn about other Fellows’ projects. Being a Fellow further provides the incredible opportunity to learn from established journalists. Q. What drew you to research the benefits and drawbacks of social media to the feminist movement? A. As I have been observing general trends in the shift to greater use of technology and social media, I thought that it was important to understand how social media impacts the feminist movement. Seeing how incredibly influential women’s rights activists in the past, such as Lucretia Motts, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul, were able to rally countless women together without the use of social media prompted me to ask the following questions: How does social media produce change in the ways that people think and in individual treatment by social institutions? Does social media help create real, positive change for the feminist movement as the Seneca Falls Convention and numerous pickets did in the 19th century? How has social media enhanced the ability of women to advocate for their rights and to rise together? I thought that it was important to ask if and how social media creates change beyond an ideology.

society need to make sure that we are actively assessing whether social media is creating real positive change beyond a set of ideas. When discussing important issues, social media should be a platform that fosters critical thinking and thoughtful conversations. This could prompt people to analyze issues thoughtfully and then be prepared to actively work toward creating positive change in the real world. It is also important to investigate some of the potential negative effects social media could have on people so that it could be modified accordingly. Q. What excites you most about becoming the first Pulitzer Center Fellow? A. I am the most excited about learning from experts and interviewees about social media’s impact on the feminist movement. I always find it interesting to learn from people’s experiences and to see how a variety of perspectives could tell seemingly different stories or find some commonalities. I also look forward to

writing the article itself as I wish to share what I have learned with others. My hope is that my article will prompt thoughtful examination and consideration of where social media is successful and where it may need to be adjusted to contribute to the overall wellbeing of individuals and society. Q. For the GCC students reading this article, what encouragement can you offer regarding participation in the GCC Pulitzer Center Consortium? A. I would encourage anyone with a passion for writing, story telling, and learning to join GCC’s Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium. Even if you do not plan on becoming a journalist, you will develop valuable skills in communication and learn about the power of writing. You will also see the “behind the scenes” of how journalists work to keep our society informed. Dr. Cohen Schorr provided background about the program, “The partnership

Q. Why is social media and the feminist movement an important topic of research? A. This is an important topic because with the vast reach of social media, we as a

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Photo by Michelle Stonis

GCC Pulitzer Center Fellow Jacqueline Kamei poses with Amel Brahmi, who spoke about her writing on revolutionary female imams, at the college on March 22.

between GCC and the Pulitzer Center is a tremendous opportunity for students, staff, and faculty. It came about through a grant from the PIMCO Foundation and will have a duration of three years. To my knowledge, GCC is the first community college on the West Coast to be a part of the Pulitzer Center Consortium.” Jacqueline Kamei’s fellowship is just the beginning. “We hope to see this initiative grow,” Cohen Schorr said. “I am very thankful for the support we’ve received from our divisions, Language Arts and Social Sciences, and to GCC’s administrators for believing in this exciting project.” “This partnership provides our campus community with speaker events, workshops, and course curriculum that is geared toward a larger reporting project proposal for participating students,” said Dr. Cohen Schorr. The speaker events and workshops offer every student a chance to participate. One example occurred in March, when as part of a collaboration with the Humanities/Social Science Lecture Series & Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium, Pulitzer Reporting Fellow and PhD Candidate, Amel Brahmi spoke of her work in a hybrid event.

Scan the QR Code above or visit the GCC Pulitzer Center page at:

Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX Athletics marks a major milestone for women's sports By Carly Pellot

For the past 50 years, GCC has become a springboard for many notable female athletes. Women of GCC have been recognized for their athletic achievements since 1972, when Title IX was passed. Title IX changed the way society viewed athletics. The passage of this law meant that women could have their own organized teams, leagues, and other extracurricular activities. Programs such as women’s volleyball, softball, tennis, cross country, track and field, soccer, and beach volleyball were created to give the women of GCC an equal opportunity in sports. These opportunities were not always available to women. Karen Sartoris, an alumna and studentathlete from the early

Photo by Sam Lee

Women's basketball at GCC has dominated with a third straight Western State Conference Southern Division Title.

1970s, described the nature of women’s athletics prior to Title IX. According to Sartoris, GCC only had coed volleyball until the mid1970s. “I didn’t realize what was missing,” she said in an interview. “I was just happy to play.” At the time, Sartoris wasn’t aware of the many progressive changes in women’s sports that would be made over the next 50 years. The passing of Title IX brought numerous female athletes to GCC, and many left a legacy in the Hall of Fame, which was created in 2002. Most notably, 2002 inductee Cathy Ferguson,

Photo by Sam Lee

Zuhaley Villaverde, who plays infield for softball, is pictured in this undated 2021-22 photo.

who won two gold medals for swimming in the 1964 Olympics. Numerous improvements have also been made to GCC’s sports facilities. In late June, the Verdugo Gym was the scene of a ribbon cutting ceremony. According to the GCC Alumni News, this new gym facility consists of an auxiliary gym, both men and women’s locker rooms, new athletic offices, a weight room, an activity classroom, and a lecture hall. This upgrade provides both male and female student athletes with a well-rounded training environment. Presently, both women and men have their own sports programs in which they compete. One primary example being men and women’s cross country and track. Eddie Lopez, head coach of both men and women’s cross country and track, pointed out that GCC has been known for their endless support of studentathletes, regardless of gender. “We recruit as a family. I see Glendale College as a family. Working with both men and women, athletes are athletes,” Lopez said. Lopez

also gave credit to the women that inspired him throughout his years of coaching. Terry Coblentz, former women’s tennis coach and Athletic Director, as well as Dianne Spangler, former cross country and volleyball coach, were both sources of inspiration for Lopez. Coblentz and Spangler have also been inducted into the Hall of Fame for their contributions to women’s sports. After 50 years of Title IX, there has been an uphill progression toward student equity in sports. Many successful athletes have come out of GCC, all of whom are proud to be Vaqueros. To learn more about the impact of Title IX, scan the QR code below or visit:

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Photo by Sam Lee

The women's basketball celebrate their win against Citrus College on Feb. 18.

Lady Vaqs Make History With Their Third Straight Western State Conference Southern Division Title Women’s basketball team trails in the Southern California Regional second round By Jacqueline Kamei & Reut Cohen Schorr Feb. 18 marked a monumental day for Glendale Community College’s Women’s Basketball Team as the Lady Vaqs emerged victorious with a score of 71-45 in their game against the Citrus College Owls. The game was the team’s “third straight Western State Conference Southern Division Title and help[ed] earn Head Coach Joel Weiss his 100th career victory at Glendale in just five years,” according to Alex Leon, who serves as GCC's Sports Information Director. Beyond the importance of the victory for the team and Coach Joel Weiss, this game was especially significant for sophomore players Vicky Oganyan, Emily Sisson, and Polina Kovaleva as they “were honored before their final regular season game in the Verdugo Gym,” an email from Sports noted. The Lady Vaqs started strong with a score of 170 in the first quarter and continued the lead with a score of 42-21 by the end of halftime. Throughout the game, 10 players scored with 28 GCC Insider

freshman Kayla Wrobel taking the lead in points scored. Wrobel scored a total of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Alex Leon further expressed, “Megan Delgado added 14 points off the bench and hit four 3-pointers as Glendale hit on 13 of 31 from beyond the arc for 41.9% for the game. They shot 75% from the field in the first quarter to lead 30-9 after the first 10 minutes.” With the victory, the team had an overall game record of 19-5 and a Western State Conference Southern Division record of 10-2. At the Southern California Regional Playoffs, however, the second round of playoff games saw the Lady Vaqs trailing. “Jesni Cooper hit three free throws with one-tenth of a second on the clock to send Thursday's Southern California Regional second-round playoff game into overtime at 62 all, but GCC ultimately fell to visiting Cypress 70-68 to end [the] season with a 19-6 record,” GCC Athletics said in an online press release.

College Celebrates New Athletics Complex Outgoing President Dr. David Viar took his turn at the podium one last time By Alex Leon

Opening of Kinesiology and Vaquero Athletic Complex is a fitting send-off for retiring Superintendent/President Dr. David Viar The most important victory in the decades-long history of Glendale Community College Athletics came on the beautiful sun-drenched morning of June 24, with all the trappings of celebration in place and a beautiful prize waiting to be unwrapped. The crowd was in place much like at any other game for the Vaqueros but this time the outcome was predetermined and the drama was building in a different way as speaker after speaker set the tone until the man of the hour, Superintendent/President Dr. David Viar, took his turn at the podium one last time at GCC. Teamwork. Ask Dr. Viar and he would probably agree that it is the most important ingredient

to running a successful business, being in a leadership role at a community college or being the head coach of a sports team at any level. Most people know Dr. Viar as the now-retired Superintendent/President of Glendale Community College, the administrative leader of the 95-year-old institution, first established in 1927 as part of Glendale Union High School until it moved to its current location at Mountain Street and Verdugo Road in 1937. His retirement in June after nine years in his current role since he started in 2013, has helped GCC maintain and improve its status as one of the premier learning institutions in the state. But using a sports vernacular, Dr. Viar was also the head coach at GCC, which seems an appropriate term to use considering he grew up as a successful studentathlete in Illinois and was the son of a hall of fame high school football coach

Photo Courtesy of the GCC Office of Communications and Community Relations

The gym facility in the new complex is pictured.

Photo Courtesy of the GCC Office of Communications and Community Relations

On June 24, a ribbon cutting ceremony marked the opening of the Vaquero Athletic Complex. Dr. David Viar poses with faculty and staff from Athletics and Kinesiology.

who carefully guided his son away from the gridiron and instilled in him the values that have served him well to this day. “In high school, he wanted me to be happy and I don’t think either of us was happy with me trying to play football just because he was the head coach, and I was his son,” he said with a laugh. “We both agreed I was probably better suited to be a swimmer and water polo player because of my frame but the real lesson that I learned was to be patient and thoughtful [in] making decisions based on my future and I think that has worked out pretty well for me.”

The now-completed kinesiology and athletic complex, the new science building under construction, and a performing and media arts center that will bear his name, slated as the third pillar of growth facilitated by the passage of the GCC Bond Measure in 2016. Fast-forwarding ahead to the end of his tenure, the months and days have dropped off the calendar as business as usual has been conducted and he has responded like a proud father wishing his flock well. He was beaming with pride and joy at graduation on June 15 as the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 resplendent in caps and Sitting inside his office on a gowns of cardinal and gold recent spring day, the area walked across the stage had the trappings of an into futures that he helped administrator but also the provide a guided pathway memories of a career path for. that has spanned decades. Of course, he did not do it Most importantly to him is alone and like any what the future holds for successful coach in any GCC, namely the three sport, he defers to GCC’s projects on the horizon Board of Trustees, his that will be a boon for administrative team, the students, faculty, staff, and faculty and staff at the community as well. Glendale, and of course the

students as the reasons for the continued success of an institution that is almost 100 years old. Walk down the hallway from his office in the administration building and you see tile patterns that have been there for decades and all over campus to show that while the college proudly embraces its past, it also has a keen eye for future growth. That growth was beautifully displayed during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Kinesiology and Athletic Complex where the existing and reconfigured Verdugo Gym remains the centerpiece of the facility but with new additions that include an auxiliary gym, offices, team locker rooms, meeting rooms, and equipment rooms, disabled students area, and a training and weight room that has an outdoor area with a great view of Sartoris Field. A new concession stand with

restrooms is slated to open in the next few months.

GCC student-athletes and teams during construction.

“Friday, June 24th was a historic day for Glendale Community College and for our student-athletes and the faculty and staff that work so professionally with them,” said Board of Trustees President Ann Ransford.

But it was the comments from Dr. Viar before he and the members of the Board of Trustees cut the ribbon to officially open the facility that tied up the occasion in a neat bow of cardinal and gold. “I had come to Glendale from American River College in Sacramento and while I knew the college had a great athletic tradition with success on and off the field, the offices and other areas were old and in poor condition, and something needed to be done,” he said. “A project of this enormity takes a lot of internal stakeholders which we had and the community support came through the passage of the bond measure and now what stands before us is a facility that the college, coaches, staff, teams, student-athletes, and the community can be proud of.”

“It was the day we cut the ribbon and entered our “state of the art” Kinesiology and Athletic Complex and the future for those that utilize it looks promising. On behalf of the GCC Board of Trustees, thanks to all who worked so diligently to provide this facility for our community.” At the event deftly coordinated by Associate Dean of Athletics Chris Cicuto and division chair Jon Gold, the crowd was treated to a history of the project, the decades of having a master plan on the books with no clear path of completion, and the years of struggle dealing with the pandemic that displaced

After the ribbon was cut and the well-wishers

dispersed, Dr. Viar stood for one last photo with coaches, staff, and alumni on the steps leading up to the facility to put a fitting end to a day that appropriately ended with him annotated as a Vaquero for life. It is fitting that he was presented with a jersey with his name on the back with the number 9, appropriate for the number of years he served at GCC and signed by many colleagues who admired his work as an administrator and de facto coach of the campus who will be remembered fondly. Once a Vaq, always a Vaq indeed.

To view more photos from the ceremony, scan the QR code above or go to:

Photo Courtesy of the GCC Office of Communications and Community Relations

The new Kinesiology and Vaquero Athletic Complex is pictured in this June 24 photo.

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Photo by Matthew Osherow

From left to right: Shannon Turner, Luis Juarez, and Kevin Gomez, who won conference titles, pose for a photo.

GCC Track & Field Shines Shannon Turner, Luis Juarez and Kevin Gomez win conference titles; Men take fourth place and Women finish seventh in WSC Finals By Matthew Osherow The Track & Field teams finished up their Conference Championships April 29, with the men taking 4th place, scoring a total of 75 points. Luis Juarez began the day taking the conference title in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 9:37.52. In the 800m, Shannon Turner also captured the conference title with a time of 1:55.60. Julius Largaespada took 6th place with a time of 1:59.94. In the 1500m, Julius Largaespada took 5th in a time of 4:11.64, with Kevin Vasquez (4:17.34) taking 10th and Sheldon Watanabe (4:19.67) taking 11th. In the 5000m. Roberto Morales took 6th in a time of 15:42.20. Jorge Ramirez (16:09.06), Abdiel Quero (16:25.58), and Morgan Faunce (16:38.84) finished in 9th, 12th, and 15th place, respectively. The men’s 4x400 relay team took 5th place in a time of 3:29.86. In the field events, Joziah Hernandez took 8th place clearing 10’4” in the pole vault. In shot put, Gerardo Becerra took 5th place with a toss of 41’8.75” with Kevin Gomez taking 6th with a throw of 40’9”. John Westwood (36’11”), Julius

Dawwodtabar (29’11.25”), Lincoln Guerrero (29’4”), and Michael Bomar (27’11”) took 11th, 21st, 22nd, and 27th place, respectively. Gerardo Becerra also went on to take 3rd place in the discus with a throw of 132’10”. Others taking part in the discus competition were John Westwood (109’7”), Lincoln Guerrero (101’10”), Michael Bomar (96’5”), and Julius Dawoodtabar (85’2”). The women finished in 7th as a team scoring a total of 21 points. Karla Sanchez took 4th in the 800m with a time of 2:26.70. She also ran a PR in the 1500m with a time of 4:57.53 and a 5th place finish. Destiny Lopez took 5th in the 5000m with a time of 19:45.29. Aleksandra Martinez took 9th with a time of 20:00.05. In the field events, Xochilt Monfil took 13th in the discus with a throw of 78’2”. Learn more about Track & Field at GCC by scanning the QR code on the left or visit:

31 GCC Insider

With special thanks to: Associated Students of Glendale Community College The Journalism Program The Language Arts Division The Office of Communications and Community Relations at GCC GCC Athletics | 1500 N. Verudgo Road Sierra Vista 130 Glendale, CA 91208

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