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2008 Fall VI Volume

Are Textbooks a Barrier to Education?

Motivate Learning:

Get Out of the Classroom Excellence Achieved:

Bill Foran

Inspiring future scientists

Mir a Co s ta Co l l eg e Fo u ndat i o n 2 0 0 8 –2 0 0 9 B o a r d o f D i r e c t o r s

Dear MiraCosta Friend


Building has been the watchword at the MiraCosta College Foundation these past three, almost four years. We’ve been building relationships in the community, transparent and accountable administrative structures, and most recently a communications system that will help us do a better job of telling the MiraCosta story. While all of these endeavors are important—none is more critical to our future success than building a strong board of directors. We have 25 dedicated volunteers serving as guardians of the foundation. They provide oversight of fiscal and business operations, make policy decisions, and plan for the foundation’s direction and growth. Represented among the group is a wide range of professional backgrounds including accounting, law, business, health care and education. What these diverse individuals share is a commitment to providing students opportunities to reach for and achieve their educational goals. The reasons behind their passion for education are found in their own life stories. Andy Williams was able to start school close to home at California’s remote College of the Siskiyous Community College and then transferred to UC Davis. For local Ron Mitchell, MiraCosta is part of the family history; not only

Linda Fogerson

did he and his wife and children attend, so did

Executive Director, Development and Foundation, MiraCosta College

his parents. Marty Weiss retired from a career in retail and marketing and is now finding creative outlet in taking acting classes—at MiraCosta.

Whenever recounting his experiences as a MiraCosta College student in the early 1960s, Larry Hatter’s loyalty is obvious. Larry’s pursuits were both scholarly and romantic; thus he credits his time at MiraCosta as the foundation for his 40-year career as owner of an Oceanside insurance agency and his long, happy marriage to his “bride,” Cathie. Knowing of the positive life-long impact that community college attendance can have on a person’s life is what motivates Larry and his fellow board members’ service. Getting to know these individuals and the many, many people—donors, friends, volunteers—who constitute the MiraCosta College Foundation is the most gratifying and enriching part of this job. I am in awe of the generosity, the humanity and the humility of our MiraCosta friends, and honored to feature some of their stories in this issue of Transforming Lives. Thank you, MiraCosta friends, for sharing yourself with the college. All the Best,

Dr. David Broad, Vice President Retired, General Manager Genentech Bruce Bandemer, Treasurer Bruce Bandemer, CPA Linda Fogerson,* Secretary Executive Director, Development and Foundation MiraCosta College

Members James Austin* Vice President Business Services, MiraCosta College Loretta Burke Retired, MiraCosta College Steven Cade Founder, Seawind International Inc. Allen Coleman Vice President Strategic Services, Tri-City Medical Center Dr. Susan A. Cota* Interim Superintendent/President, MiraCosta College Warren B. Diven, Esq. Best Best & Krieger LLP Edward Eginton Architect Martha P. Gresham Retired Bio-Analyst and Alumna Gary S. Hill Gemological Institute of America Dr. Hugh La Bounty President Emeritus, Cal Poly Pomona Robert J. Macfarlane Attorney-Mediator Tyrone Matthews, Esq. Manning & Marder, Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez LLP Tom McGurn Retired, General Manager BMW of North America, LLC Ron Mitchell AKT Certified Public Accountants Ken Noonan Retired, Superintendent Oceanside Unified School District Gregory M. Post, Esq. MiraCosta College Trustee Elizabeth A. Principi Attorney and Retired, U.S. Navy

On the Cover

James Sweeney Retired, Founder Standard Manufacturing Marty Weiss Retired, Founder FM Retailer Inc.

Gracing the cover and clearly excited about learning is STEM Camp graduate and Tri-City

Andy Williams Senior Director Manufacturing and Technology Operations, Genentech

student Maria Mendell. Originally from upstate New York, Maria’s move to Southern

Knox Williams Retired, Owner Rayne Water Systems

Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, in the scene when she steps from black and white into a world

Bill Williamson North County Times

enjoys the colors of her world through her photography hobby. She enrolled

Martha Witz Cardiff Community Member

several classes later, she is now expecting to embark on a new career in

Merlene York Retired, Executive Director Lower Columbia College Foundation

proud to feature her talent in Transforming Lives.

*Non-voting, ex-officio members

Christian School student Kayla Montano. The image was produced by MiraCosta College

California was the result of a vacation that made a vivid impression. Says Maria, “I felt like

of color.” Maria made a home here, works in the emergency room at Scripps Encinitas, and in a Photoshop class expecting to build on her skills, and a few semesters and Web site design and development. We appreciate her contributions and are


Larry Hatter, President Retired, Hatter and Associates

Maria Mendell






t’s a dilemma not uncommon for community college students—life events that make higher education a necessity also make it a financial impossibility.

This is the dilemma young mother Natasha Navarro faced. Natasha was enjoying being at home raising her daughters, when a change in circumstances caused her to make the difficult decision to spend time away from her children in order to gain an education and ensure a stable financial future for her family. With hope and trepidation, Natasha ventured into the foreign territory of a college campus and enrolled at MiraCosta, where her enlightenment began

“I feel like my eyes have been opened.” —Natasha Navarro MiraCosta student

Natasha Navarro a baby and a toddler became a routine in stress as wants to provide a Natasha worried about her family’s future and their secure future for daughters ability to be financially independent. Natasha knew Jazmin (left) what she wanted: “To be able to take care of my kids and Samantha. and support them.” “My friends who have gone to college kept telling me to go enroll in school. My mother said, Prices for required textbooks range from $25 for a music ‘Go now, while we can help class book to $187 for the human anatomy book. you.’” While out running immediately—the price for her biology textbook was an errand one day, Natasha met a young woman and a disheartening $156. However, through the college’s while chatting, mentioned she Textbook Assistance Program, Natasha was thrilled was considering enrolling in to discover she could borrow the biology book. “I was college classes at MiraCosta. We invite you to join us in amazed to learn that people donate money and used “She said, ‘I work at MiraCosta helping students like Natasha books to help others,” says Natasha, who admits that in the Career Center and take by making a gift to the without the assistance, “I wouldn’t have been able to classes, and have children,’” MiraCosta College Foundation. afford to start school this year.” recalls Natasha. “She told me You have an opportunity to Natasha grew up in Vista with a loving, supportive that I could do it.” With the sponsor one book, $100, a semester’s worth, family and a mother who never stopped repeating, same message coming from $500, or a year’s worth, $1,000. Please use “Do something with your life. Go to school.” Those every direction, Natasha felt the enclosed envelope to make your gift. words faded to the background of Natasha’s life as she confident that enrolling in fell in love, married and had two daughters—Jazmin, college was the right decision. three and Samantha, 22 months. Then her husband Adding college course unexpectedly lost his job. The daily joy of caring for work to her life of nurturing toddlers has not been easy, but Natasha has enjoyed the change, thanks in part to the welcoming environment

see Natasha Navarro page 7


Always caring and encouraging, Bill Foran addressed the winners and guests at the 2005 Medal of Honor Award ceremony.


very once in a while someone comes along who is incredibly special, someone who not only has a passion to help but also finds a way to make things happen. That was Bill Foran.

Inspiring Excellence This photo captures the generosity and friendliness for which Bill is remembered.

Bill was the vice president of Student Services at MiraCosta College for more than 20 years, retiring in 1986. His legacy includes the college’s most prestigious academic award program, the Medal of Honor. It was Bill’s idea to start the program by asking the region’s civic organizations such as the Rotary, Kiwanis and Soroptomist clubs to help fund the Medal of Honor — an award given to the college’s highest academic achievers. Since the first ceremony in 1966, more than 200 MiraCosta students have received the Medal of Honor and a scholarship for their continued studies. When Bill passed away on May 2, 2008, from complications due to congestive

In only six months, Bill’s friends and family have made contributions totaling nearly $10,500. The fundraising effort is continuing among Bill’s former associates and students and your participation is welcome. To help them reach the $15,000 goal, please send your contribution to the MiraCosta College Foundation in the attached pre-addressed envelope.

heart failure, those who knew him were galvanized to honor him. “For so many of us, Bill was a father figure who continued to inspire us long after he retired from the college,” says Jan Moberly, who teamed up with former MiraCostans Diane Baum and Ron Baker to create an endowed scholarship in Bill’s name. The $15,000 endowment will be invested, and interest earned will fund an annual William Foran Medal of

see Bill Foran page 7

2008 Medal of Honor Winners Front row, left to right: Maryna Chumakova, Dimitri Egorov, MyLinh Tran, Joseph Mullen, Rachel Liu, Ian Dorsey. Back row, left to right: Alex Mattingly, Cathy Robin, Logan Lossing, Rebecca Jenkinson, Tim Stockwell. Not pictured: Andrew Pinkard.


Wanted Problem S olv



ath, engineering, science and technology are the foundation of our high-tech workforce today,

says Paul Clarke, a MiraCosta College drafting and engineering instructor who is so passionate about recruiting students into the sciences that he gave up his summer to coordinate a week-long STEM Camp (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for local high school students. During four action-packed days, students took a whirlwind tour of professions many were unaware existed. The camp, free to the students and funded in part with a federal grant and the philanthropic support of several local corporations and individuals, is part of a national effort to encourage more students to pursue the study of science and math. While attending 15 different classes that ranged from astronomy to exploring microbes to structural engineering, 9th and 10th graders were engaged in projects that connected academic concepts to real-world use. Activities included building rockets, performing archeological investigation, making models of the nervous system, using video editing software, and suturing a wound. “I got a feel for the types of things I’ll do in these fields and a great idea of what I could do for my

ers & Thinkers

TOP LEFT, from left: Otto Herman of Vista High School, Kenneth Volk of El Camino High School and Stephanie Gonzalez of Oceanside High School. CENTER: Instructor and camp organizer Paul Clarke RIGHT: The class learned of creative and challenging careers: the perfect fit for their own inventive minds.

career,” said David Hernandez of Oceanside High School. Paul recruited students from area high schools and brought together a group of instructors and industry professionals to lead hands-on, lab-oriented class sessions. The lessons were illuminating in many ways. Paul recalls, “They were especially impressed with the amount of income they could earn in occupations that use skills and knowledge based in science and math.” “So many students have no incentive and no motivation to take more math or science classes because they just don’t understand the linkage see STEM Camp page 7

A special thanks to our STEM Camp 2008 sponsors: David Broad Genentech Mansour Architecture Corp. Structural Engineers Association of San Diego Robert P. Vilker


Mark, Jane and Jerry Vargo together for Christmas 1981.

Sandy feet , sticky salt water and a

marine biology textbook— it was this combination that helped Mark Vargo, a life-long resident of Encinitas, decide that going to college was for him.

Mark is pictured (top row, sixth from left) with his classmates during their field study in Baja, California.

Like a lot of restless young men, Mark had difficulty finding the motivation he needed to attend college. It wasn’t until Mark took a marine biology field study class offered by MiraCosta College that he began to believe that, yes, he would find his future through education. Just as the only son of Jane and Terry Vargo began to pull his life together, Mark, 26, was in a fatal car accident on San Diego’s Interstate 5. When Mark’s life was cut short in 1982, fellow students, faculty members and parents established a memorial fund to remember Mark and the many contributions he made while a student at MiraCosta. In 1998, when Terry passed away, Jane decided to make provisions in her estate plans to benefit MiraCosta College’s marine biology and oceanography programs so that students like Mark would have the opportunity to be inspired by the real-life application of their academic studies.

“Terry and I felt very strongly that this is what we want to do to honor Mark,” says Jane, remembering the time and consideration she and her husband put into making this decision. “What Mr. and Mrs. Vargo have done in honor of their son, Mark, will leave an amazing legacy. Their current and planned gifts have assisted us in continuing to inspire students through our innovative field study programs in marine biology and oceanography,” says Ric Matthews, dean of math and sciences at MiraCosta College. Mark’s legacy and theirs will reflect the single most important educational experience of their son’s life — the study of marine biology and oceanography coupled with experiential study. n

Hope & Transformation Today’s students continue to benefit from oceanic field study.

The background photo is one taken by Mark.


Natasha Navarro


Bill Foran

continued from page 3

on campus. She has made use of the services designed specifically to meet the needs of students like her, including assistance in applying for financial aid and tutoring. “I’m so grateful for the support here at MiraCosta,” says Natasha. “It’s awesome.” Natasha is finding the biology class challenging, but she loves learning and is determined to stick with it and keep up her grades. Taking this courageous first step toward a professional career has given Natasha hope for the future and confidence in herself. “Now I wake up in the morning feeling positive and motivated. I’m happier with my children and am enjoying teaching them new things. I feel like my eyes have been opened.” n

Transforming Lives is published by the MiraCosta College Office of Development and Foundation in collaboration with the Public Information Office. We greatly appreciate the participation of those who allowed us to tell their stories.


continued from page 4

Honor scholarship in perpetuity. “Bill had a passion for the power of education to change lives,” explains Jan. “He was absolutely dedicated to removing the financial barriers that too often prevent students from going to college and discovering their potential.” Bill’s passing leaves a void in his family. He is survived by Nancy, his wife of 50 years; their three daughters; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Despite retirement, Bill remained involved in MiraCosta campus life, returning regularly to volunteer at student and alumni events. His presence will also be missed by his MiraCosta family. n

Transforming Lives Contributors Linda Fogerson Executive Director

Betsy Lelja Magazine Editor

Scott Herrin Development Officer

Gabe Waite Graphic Design

Phone: 760-795-6777




continued from page 5

between their course work and the jobs they could be preparing for. STEM Camp is designed to make that link very real,” Paul says. “High school students may have heard of professions such as being an engineer or a microbiologist, but they don’t know what that person does every day. More importantly they don’t know that it might be something they would like to do. Now they understand how their high school math and science classes will prepare them for fulfilling, interesting careers,” Paul adds. Preparations are underway for next year, and one of the goals is to increase the number of students who benefit from STEM Camp. Paul saw this year’s participants gain far more than what they learned in class; they had the opportunity to become familiar with and comfortable in a college environment. As a result, Paul believes, these teenagers now have a world view that includes seeing themselves, in just a couple of years, as college students. n

What Kind of a Legacy Will You Leave?


e all have a desire for significance. For many of us, significance comes through creating a legacy during our lives—something for which we will be remembered in the future. A bequest is perhaps the easiest and most tangible way to leave a lasting legacy to the people and charitable organizations that mean the most to us. A bequest is a gift made through your will or trust. There are several ways to make a bequest:

Specific dollar amount • Percentage of your estate • Specific asset • Residual of your estate For more information on how to create a lasting legacy through a bequest, please contact us or log on to our Web site at We look forward to helping you! 7

Winter Garden Care

MiraCosta student Ken Trout was the recipient of a summer internship sponsored by Mission Hills Garden Club, which allowed him to gain valuable hands-on experience working with the irrigation systems in the landscape and orchard areas of the horticulture compound.

Timely Tips:

Re-set your irrigation time clock to reduce the amount of water your plants will receive in these shorter, cooler days. In the case of a good soaking rain, turn it off altogether for a week or more. Plants like the Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha), pictured left of Ken, will grow back much stronger in the spring if you treat them to a winter haircut; they can be cut all the way back to the ground.

.VTJDBM)JHIMJHIUT Expert advice on landscaping and gardening is one of the perks of shopping for plants at MiraCosta’s Horticulture Department.

Nursery Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday

(closed on school holidays). For additional information: 760-757-2121 ext. 6994.

Now is the Time!

Musical Highlights

Like many of us, you are probably thinking about the charitable gifts you would like to make before year’s end. In this publication you have seen the impact of charitable gifts in our students’ lives. Whether it’s giving our students the financial wherewithal they need to stay in school or inspiring them on their educational journey through innovative academic programs, your gift makes a difference.

Latin Jazz Orchestra 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday December 11 and 12 MiraCosta College Theatre 1 Barnard Drive, Oceanside

Help change a life today by making a gift to the MiraCosta College Foundation. Use the enclosed return envelope, and let us know how you want to be a part of helping others succeed through education.


Christmas by Candlelight Chamber Chorale and Camerata Singers 7:30 p.m. on Saturday December 20 MiraCosta College Student Center 1 Barnard Drive, Oceanside

For a complete list of upcoming events and to purchase tickets, go online to:, or call the Box Office: 760-795-6815.

MiraCosta College Development and Foundation Office 1 Barnard Drive Oceanside, CA 92056

Time spent with family or friends listening to beautiful music— that’s a gift for you!

Transforming Lives Newsletter - 2008 Fall  

MiraCosta, Transforming Lives is published by the MiraCosta College Office of Development and Foundation in collaboration with the Public In...