Legend Magazine - Fall 2019

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Story and photography by Lacey Stefano

Audubon Club at Cit y aims t o save our wor ld Eco-conscious students show how to help the environment and its inhabitants

Lisa Chaddock has been working and volunteering with Audubon for over 25 years.


rofessor Lisa Chaddock teaches geography at San Diego City College, but w hen she is not in the classroom, she spends her time as an adviser for the Audubon Society on campus. The Audubon Society is an or ganization that focuses on the protection of bir ds and other w ildlife, w hile also advocating for a cleaner environment. Chaddock joined the Audubon Society dur ing her time at San Diego State Univer sity, w here she majored in environmental geography and minored in ecology and Native A mer ican studies. San Diego City College LEGEND | Page 6

?I?ve got to study the ear th,? she said. ?That?s just in me. It has alw ays been in me.?

The school?s branch has since been recognized tw ice by the National Audubon Society for the w or k it has done in and around San Diego. ?That w as a pretty huge thing to get both of those aw ar ds,? Chaddock said. ?I w as kind of blow n aw ay by that.? The club received tw o aw ar ds in 2017 at the National Audubon Convention, w hich the students travel to ever y other year. One of the aw ar ds w as for the club, and the other w as for Chaddock. The convention itself is environmentally conscious as w ell. It only takes place ever y tw o year s. That w ay there are less people w ho have to travel a long distance, w hich w ould increase emissions.

She brought the club to City College af ter she w as hired as a contracted professor in 2014, w ith a plan to give her students the same oppor tunities she had.

Chaddock also ser ves as the boar d?s vice president for the San Diego Audubon Society.

?W e have planted the native plant gar dens around the campus,? she explained. ?W e have done things w ith U.S. Fish and W ildlife Ser vice, w ith Otay Valley Regional Par k and M ission Bay.?

?I?ve stuck w ith Audubon for now almost 25-30 year s,? Chaddock said. ?Some of those kids (in the Audubon Club) might become professor s and do the same thing.?

Prof wor

Seeing her students follow in her footsteps dr ives Chaddock to continue leading the Audubon Club.

Chaddock teaches her geography students about the turkey vultures flying above.

?I had tw o students up there speaking and I felt like, huh, I have closed the loop because I?ve passed this on and somebody else is taking it up,? Chaddock said of recent speeches by her students in f ront of the M ission Bay City Council. Chaddock's impact on her students has not gone unnoticed. ?She?s an amazing professor,? said Kar ina Or nelas, vice president of the Audubon Club at City College. ?She really cares about her students. She is the greatest professor I have ever seen.? Or nelas spoke of all the oppor tunities that the Audubon Society and Chaddock have given her, like being able to travel to M ilw aukee for the National Audubon Convention, w hich is one of her favor ite memor ies. ?The professor is a per son you can come to because she is alw ays available to you,?Or nelas said. Outside of the club, students in her classes also see her passion for environmental refor m. ?Being in her class has opened my mind up to w hat?s happening around the w or ld, climate-w ise,? said Kathr yn Green, a geography student of Chaddock?s. ?She is a super interesting teacher that is heavily educated on w hat she?s teaching.? Chaddock and the Audubon Club have big plans for the f uture at City College, as w ell as around San Diego, such as star ting community gar dens in Otay M esa.

They w ant to create a space w here children and their families can spend quality time together by planting native gar dens that w ill foster butter f ly and bir d habitats. ?You get to w atch your bir ds and butter f lies in your mini-gar den, (w hich) might be the only gar den you have as a per son w ith an apar tment,?she said. Chaddock is most draw n to the club?s goal of restor ing the planet rather than sustaining it, a key trait in the mission of Audubon. They also value the idea of humans shar ing the planet w ith the animals on it. ?W e have to defend other species because w e share the planet,? she said. She explained how ecosystems are inter mingled, and if one thing changes, it could throw off the equilibr ium of the planet. Her goal is to not only prevent that f rom happening, but to help those ecosystems thr ive. Chaddock?s passion for society and climate in general has led her to some life-changing oppor tunities. She has been able to travel to several different states, par ticipating in advocacy w or k for the climate through the Audubon Society. Chaddock hopes to continue inspir ing incoming Audubon member s through their acts of char ity and environmental refor m in or der to rebuild the ecosystem. The Audubon Society meets ever y other Fr iday at noon in room S-108 at City College. A nyone w ho is interested in advocacy for the planet is alw ays w elcome.

Professor Lisa Chaddock has been recognized by the National Audubon Society for her work around San Diego.

San Diego City College LEGEND | Page 8

San Diego City College LEGEND | Page 12

Written by Sonny Garibay

Giving Back Against t he Odds Humberto Gurmilan focuses on giving back after a fulfilling career as a sportscaster

San Diego City College LEGEND | Page 14

For mer Telemundo spor t scast er Humber t o Gur milan is now a communications professor at San Diego City College. Cour t esy phot o


k s




an ck er er ver y grow n-up w as once a kid w ho w anted to be something w hen they grew up. Finding a per son w ho lived out their f ir st dream is rare for var ious reasons.


he resigned tw o year s ago.

Communications professor Humber to Gur milan did for almost 15 year s.

A t the age of 15, w hile sur f ing near his old home in M exico, Gur milan suffered a spinal injur y that lef t him paralyzed f rom the chest dow n.

?I knew I w anted to be a spor tscaster ver y ear ly,? Gur milan said. ?A round 10 or 11-year s-old I knew that ? if I could w or k for a magazine or a radio station, or a TV station, and cover spor ts, that w as my dream job.? Bor n in Chula Vista and raised in Tijuana, a young Gur milan w ould invite his f r iends over to w atch the Padres play on TV. They w ould tur n the volume all the w ay dow n and do their ow n play-by-play. ?W e w ere hor r ible,? Gur milan said. ?W e w ere really bad at it but it w as f un.? W hen it came time for him to attend college, he retur ned to Chula Vista and enrolled in the Southw ester n College jour nalism program. He then transfer red to and graduated f rom SDSU. A s a bilingual jour nalist, Gur milan w as offered a position as a spor ts anchor w ith Telemundo, a position he held until

Sandw iched betw een this stor y of success, how ever, is a life-alter ing accident.

Initially, it appeared that he w ould not sur vive. ?W hen I got to the Red Cross, they told my parents, ?You better take him to the United States. He?s not gonna make it here,??Gur milan said. He w as taken to Scr ipps M er cy Hospital in Hillcrest. W hile there, his parents w ere told by doctor s that if he sur vived, he w ould be conf ined to his bed, a detail his parents hid until he w as an adult. A side f rom his love of sur f ing, Gur milan w as a baseball player and w as physically active as a teenager. The injur y meant huge lifestyle changes for him. Yet, despite some initial depression, he remained optimistic. ?I w as blessed w ith a really strong family w ith faith (so) w hen it happened, I knew I w as gonna do cool things and have a good life,?Gur milan said.

?If w e can help somebody accomplish their dr eam, ? w hat ever it is they w ant t o do, that?s the w hole soul behind w hat w e?r e doing.? - H umberto Gurmilan Gur milan r etur ned t o sur fing aft er 18

San Diego City College LEGEND | Page 16

The suppor t that he received f rom f r iends, family, teacher s and cow or ker s led to an unlikely career in spor tscasting.

?Sometimes I w ould use my credential just to w atch batting practice. That?s how much I loved it,?he said.

?Having a disability and being on camera for so long ? w as an accomplishment itself," Gur milan said. ?People w ith disabilities don?t get a lot of oppor tunities to be in f ront of the camera. It w as a per sonal accomplishment, but also, show ing people that you can do it if you w or k har d enough and you?re passionate enough.?

The f ur ther he got into his career, the more time he realized that he loved something else as w ell: giving back. Soon, more of his time w as being spent helping other s w ith disabilities, leading to him star ting his char ity.

Gur milan?s career has put him behind the microphone at Char ger s preseason games, on TV in Spanish-speaking households across the San Diego area and face-to-face w ith local athletes, Olympians and per sonal heroes.

W hen Telemundo w as pur chased by NBC in 2017, he decided that the time w as r ight to leave the station he helped build and w atched grow.

Betw een his demanding job and his desire to give more, something had to give.

?I w as for tunate to be able to do it for 14 year s,? he said. ?I w as really for tunate to be able to meet and to inter view some of the people I looked up to.?

?You have to be 100% in it,? Gur milan said. ?It?s almost like athletes. If you?re an athlete in a spor t, you have to be 100% invested in it. A t this point that?s the one thing I don?t think I could give because I have too many passions.?

Gur milan remember s his time cover ing the Padres fondly.

Gur milan is accustomed to having a strong suppor t system. W henever he has

year s, w ith adapting sur fing gear. Cour t esy phot o

needed help he has found it, even in unlikely places, such as w hen repor ter s f rom competing stations w ould help him w ith his equipment w hen on assignment. He is gratef ul for the help he w as given, w hile under standing that he has been for tunate in the amount of aid he has received. Gur milan know s w hat w as available to him may not be for other s. ?W hat w e?re tr ying to do is provide those oppor tunities to other people,? Gur milan said. ?If w e can help somebody accomplish their dream, ? w hatever it is they w ant to do, that?s the w hole soul behind w hat w e?re doing.? His char ity is his focus now. The Gur milan Foundation aims to assist people living w ith disabilities in accomplishing their goals through scholar ships and grants. Grants can be used for a w ide range of things, including retrof itting a vehicle to make it dr ivable for someone w ith a disability and cover ing the cost of travel for athletes w ith disabilities. M uch of Gur milan?s time is spent helping other s do w hat they don?t believe is possible, but for 18 year s af ter his accident there w as one thing he still didn?t believe he could do. ?W hen I retur ned to my ever yday life, I never even really thought about sur f ing again,? Gur milan said. ?I didn?t think, physically, it w as possible.? He w ould sometimes catch himself daydreaming about w aves he once rode. W hile w or king on a documentar y about the accident, his f r iends got the idea for him to retur n to the spot that he w as injured and r ide, once again, through adaptive sur f ing. Gur milan said he w as ter r if ied at f ir st, not of injur ing himself or drow ning, but ter r if ied that he w ould not enjoy the exper ience.

Humber t o Gur milan pr esent s scholar ships and grant s on behalf of his foundation. Cour t esy phot o

A t f ir st he did not, but af ter seeing it w as possible, he found a group to go w ith and recommitted himself to the spor t, buying new gear and w or king out until he found joy again. He now goes sur f ing ever y tw o w eeks. In September, he competed in the adaptive sur f ing por tion of the U.S. Open. In 2020, Gur milan hopes that the foundation can gain more volunteer s and raise even more f unds to increase the number of scholar ships and grants it aw ar ds. He also plans to hold multiple adaptive sur f camps. ?I don?t know w hen I?ll stop going for w ar d and doing w hat I?m doing, w ith ever ything I?m tr ying to accomplish,? he said. ?But it?s not anytime soon.?

Humber t o Gur milan sk ydiv ing. Cour t esy phot o

City FX artist Levar Johnson wanted to capture the essence of nature with his costume.

Cit y's Got Talent City College special effects artists showcased their talent in downtown San Diego Written by Angel Cazares Photography by Sonny Garibay


an Diego City College is home to a unique curriculum called City FX, w hich is a special effects makeup program created to offer students an affordable w ay to study and learn how to create prosthetics. San Diego City College LEGEND | Page 18

City FX w as created by professor A ndrea Singer back in 2016. She w as sent to Hollyw ood by the acting dean to learn about special effects and create an exclusive opportunity for City College. ?W e are the only community college in the United States that offers a certification in special effects,?Singer said.

The program has been involved w ith several events to show case all of the creative w ork from the students, such as Fantasy Fusion and The Roaring Tw enties. On Nov. 2 the City College Special Effects Program collaborated w ith Vanguard Culture in BREA KTHROUGH: The Future, w here City FX prov ided costumes and makeup for an outdoor fashion show at Idea1 in dow ntow n San Diego. For students, the day started in the special effects lab, w here they prepared designs and costumes. The lab fell into a chaotic symphony as each artist dove into their ow n creative process.

F s p

s Gordon ea Si nger help Prof essor Andr hi s mak eup for ith w . Ghostw ay GH: The Future BREAKTHROU

For students, the day started in the special effects lab, where they prepared designs and costumes.

odel her m epares r p a r Made I sabel e show . f or t h

The lab fell into a chaotic symphony as each artist dove into their own creative process.

Clair e St ew ar t w alk s in M adera's design. Gor don Ghostw ay as a human-manat ee hy br id.

Levar Johnson found his inspiration for the future from nature. This is w hat Johnson took advantage of w hen thinking of an animal that called out to him, something that represents w hat nature is and w ill evolve into in the future. This lead to his ambitious elk design. Part of the inspiration came from the fae, a classic fantasy species in the genre.

San Diego City College LEGEND | Page 20

This idea gave w ay to combine nature w ith technology through the design of the w ings and a very minimalist fashion style. ?(I w as) trying to tie in how , like since the fae left our w orld (to) leave it to us to take care of, how they could come back and actually not lose their pow er or get w eakened by the technology in our w orld,?Johnson said. ?That lead me to cybernetics, w ith them blending interspecies w ith animals in order to be able to acclimate w ith the human w orld."

?Claire Stew art displays M adera?s design. Photo by Sonny Garibay ? Lev ar Johnson pr epar es his design for BREA KTHROUGH: The Futur e..

Johnson is no stranger to fashion show s. He started w ith a background in fashion before coming to City FX and w anted to add special effects skills to his talents. Fellow artist, Isabel M adera, looked to the past to see into the future. She thought of the classic look of the future w ith a technological society, like in the science fiction film ?Tron.?

time around she enlisted the help of Claire Stew art to serve as her model. City FX student Gordon Ghostw ay took the event as an opportunity to create something that w ould provoke the v iew er into being aw estruck, yet feel pity for his character, w hich w as based on a scenario in w hich a scientist experiments on humans and animals to create a new species.

How ever, she w anted to create a distinct spin on it. ?I heard future w as the theme and I immediately thought of ?Tron?, just because that?s w hat everyone kind of imagines: the flying cars, the lights,? M adera said. ?I w anted something elegant and futuristic at the same time. So, I pictured the Egyptian goddesses, how they w ere kind of a little bit seductive and really empow ered in the culture.? She knew the style of her costume had to represent both w orlds, so she created lights on the front and back of the torso so it w ould have a futuristic aesthetic w hile using the mask and hairstyle to be more Egyptian. M adera has been w ith the program from early on and has even modeled her design on earlier runw ays. How ever, she prefers to w ork on other people, so this

Ghostw ay said he is a performer at heart w hen it comes to getting into a character. Throughout the event he w anted to embody his creation, w hich took inspiration from curious apes that act like children, and manatees. He w anted his creature to be human, yet animalistic. ?I w anted to do something that w as highly interactive, because I?m really more of a performer, so that?s w hy I w ore it. I had a buddy of mine w ho w as a performer come, and I really w anted it to be interactive, tell a story,?Ghostw ay said. Students from City FX found this to be an exciting event that helped them truly understand time management, deepening bonds and giv ing them an outlet for their creativ ity.