In this issue

What's New • College Governance • Shout-outs! • In the News • Calendar

What's New 

Spring 2019 Opening Day

Faculty and staff packed the Harold J. Miossi CPAC to kick off the spring semester on Opening Day. The full agenda included panel discussions on AB705 and Guided Pathways as well as presentations on the new Student-Centered Funding Formula and taskforce recommendations in response to the Student Equity Focus Groups report. Awards (see Shout-Outs!) were also presented for service and faculty excellence. Superintendent / President Dr. Jill Stearns highlighted the College’s Vision for Success with one intent, one goal, and one vision. The event concluded with a BBQ.

The video of the event will soon be available on the homepage and on the Cuesta College YouTube page.

100% Smoke & Tobacco-Free District


Cuesta College is officially a 100% smoke and tobacco-free District. It joins more than 50 other California colleges and universities in this milestone for health and wellness.

In December 2018, Cuesta College received a grant in the amount of $86,999 from the California Department of Justice to implement and enforce the new smoke and tobacco free campus policy effective January 1, 2019. The funds will pay for new permanent signs and annual training for faculty, staff and students on tobacco-related issues. It will also support students pursuing a public health degree at Cuesta College, who will be hired as peer educators to connect other students to tobacco cessation resources on campus and in the community. The project is led by Cuesta College Police Chief Bryan Millard in collaboration with Facilities, Student Health Services, Public Health faculty, and the college’s Tobacco-Free Campus Task Force. 

For questions and additional information on how to quit smoking, please email the task force at SLO County also offers free quit tobacco classes. Find out more at

Cuesta Drama's Ghost Ship to Compete for National Awards

Ghost Ship

Cuesta College Drama's Ghost Ship has been selected, among hundreds of colleges, to compete at the prestigious 2019 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 8 (KCACTF) in Los Angeles, February 12-16! It is the fourth Cuesta College production chosen to compete at the KCACTF since 2014.

The cast and crew will remount the production at the Harold J. Miossi CPAC's Experimental Theater prior to the competition. Please visit to purchase tickets ($25) and for show dates and times. All proceeds will support student travel expenses to the KCACTF.

Ghost Ship is an immersive, multi-sensory excursion for adult audiences ages 18+. Each passage will be 45 minutes and limited to sixteen seats.

New Cafeteria Furniture

Thanks to funds from the Associated Students of Cuesta College, new furniture was installed in the SLO campus cafeteria over winter break.

Groundbreaking Ceremony: R & B Shultz ECE Center


Join Cuesta College in celebrating the groundbreaking of the R & B Shultz Early Childhood Education Center at the North County Campus on Friday, February 1st at 3:00pm.

The center will provide two levels of childcare (toddler and preschool) and include faculty offices, parking, and dedicated teaching spaces related to early childhood education. For more details on Measure L-funded projects, please visit

Naming Recognition: Dr. Gilbert H. Stork Gymnasium

Stork Gym

You're invited to attend a special naming recognition of the Dr. Gilbert H. Stork Gymnasium on Saturday, February 2nd. Come cheer on your Cuesta Cougars at both the men’s and women’s basketball games against Allan Hancock College. Following the men’s basketball game, please enjoy light refreshments in the gym lobby before the program begins. See the schedule below.

5:00pm – Men’s Game
6:15pm – Light refreshments available in the gymnasium lobby
6:45pm – Recognition of Dr. Gilbert H. Stork
7:00pm – Women’s Game 

 College Governance Communications

Each month, the Cuesta Newsletter serves as a communication conduit for College Council, Planning & Budget Committee, Academic Senate Council, and the Board of Trustees. 

Board of Trustees Meeting of January 9th

Check Presentation

The Board of Trustees discussed items regarding Budget Development & College Planning, the Audit Reports for the District and for the Measure L Fund, and Student Success Metrics. Dr. Jill Stearns presented a plaque to Trustee Dr. Barbara George for her service as board president. A check for $5,000 was also presented by Wilshire Health and Community Services in support of the College’s nursing program. For a full look at the Board's discussions and actions, visit the Board Docs website.

Academic Senate Council

There is no report from the Academic Senate Council. 

 College Council

 At the January 22, 2019 College Council Meeting, the committee’s agenda included:

  • Reviewing the recent Student Services reorganization
  • Discussing taskforce recommendations based on the results of the RP Focus Group survey
  • Developing the committee’s mid-year report that will be submitted to the president

Planning & Budget Committee

The committee approved equipping new statistics classrooms as top priority for use of instructional equipment funds. This will help with the implementation of AB705.

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Elaine Holley Coats Service Excellence Award 

Magnolia Stork

Magnolia Stork was presented with the Elaine Holley Coats Service Excellence Award at the Spring 2019 Opening Day. The award is named in honor of Elaine Holley Coats, the first classified employee of Cuesta College, who represents the epitome of service excellence. A cash gift recognizes distinguished performance and excellence in service at Cuesta College.

Peter & M'May Diffley Award for Faculty Excellence

Jim West

Jim West, professor of English, was presented with the Peter & M'May Diffley Award for Faculty Excellence at the Spring 2019 Opening Day. The award recognizes faculty excellence and includes a cash award. The memorial endowment was established by Peter Diffley in the name of his wife M’May Diffley who passed away in January 1987. 

 National Recognition for Student Affairs

Anthony Gutierrez

Dr. Anthony Gutierrez was recently selected as the recipient of the Community Colleges Professional Award by NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. This national recognition is presented to an individual who has demonstrated continued leadership and a commitment to the student affairs profession.

Dr. Gutierrez is the faculty coordinator for the Cuesta College Office of Student Life and Leadership, and was previously honored with the regional version of the Community Colleges Professional Award last fall.

Cuesta Police Awards & Appreciation Ceremony 

Cuesta Police

The Cuesta College Police Department held its annual Annual Awards and Appreciation ceremony on January 10. Officer Eric George was honored as the Police Officer of the Year and Fatma Shihadeh was named Public Safety Employee of the Year. Officers Guadalupe Lopez, Scott Severn, and Senior Officer Jason Stinson were recognized with Chief’s Commendation for their assistance with the Montecito Debris Flow and the Woolsey and Hill Fires. Student Public Safety Officers Zach Green and Amber Sheely were also given Chief's Commendation for their service. The Arroyo Grande Police Department, Cuesta College Human Resources, Cuesta College Information Technology were all recognized as partner organizations helping to accomplish the department's mission to provide a safe learning environment.

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In the News

Over the past few weeks, the following information was included in media segments:

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Here’s a look at some of the events going on around campus. For the full calendar, visit the Cuesta College Events Calendar:

  • January 22: Spring semester classes start
  • January 24: Ghost Ship remount begins
  • January 25: 2019 Baseball Opening Day! (vs. Riverside)
  • January 26: Men's and Women's Basketball host SBCC
  • January 28: Drop-in studios and weaving workshop for Topologies of Excess
  • January 29: Reading program and weaving workshop for Topologies of Excess
  • January 30: Cal Poly Supplemental Workshop
  • January 30: Honoring MLK - Screening of Selma
  • January 30: Community Resource & Civic Engagement Fair, SLO Campus
  • January 31: Community Resource & Civic Engagement Fair, North County
  • January 31: Art Gallery Opening - Topologies of Excess
  • January 31: Cash for College
  • February 1: Groundbreaking Ceremony for R & B Shultz ECE Center, North County Campus 
  • February 2: Naming Recognition for Dr. Gilbert H. Stork Gymnasium
  • February 3: Deadline to add full-term spring class

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Email questions and comments to Ritchie Bermudez at