In this issue

What's New • College Governance Communications

Shout-outs! • In the News • Calendar

What's New 

Spring 2019 Opening Day

The Spring 2019 Opening Day will be held 1:30pm on Friday, January 18 at the Harold J. Miossi Cultural & Performing Arts Center. Superintendent / President Dr. Jill Stearns will provide a multi-faceted exploration of Chancellor Eloy Oakley’s Vision for Success along with panel discussions, highlight presentations, and a glimpse of what is next for Cuesta College as we unite with one intent, one goal, one vision. The 2019 recipients of the Elaine Holley Coats Service Excellence Award and Peter and M’May Diffley Award for Faculty Excellence will also be recognized.
A barbecue will follow at 4:00pm at the 5000 complex. Employees can RSVP here:

Champions of Higher Education "Innovator Award"

Cuesta College was awarded with “Excellence In Innovation” honors at the 2018 Higher Education Champions for Excellence in Transfer Awards held in Los Angeles. The award was accepted by Dr. Jill Stearns and Dr. Mark Sanchez (first photo). The college is recognized as one of the top community colleges in California for its early innovative strategies to ensure the ADT is the preferred transfer pathway for students. In the early stages of SB 1440 implementation, Cuesta College convened leaders across various departments to strategize ways to move towards 100% implementation of the ADT. The work of the campus’ self-described “Team ADT” (second photo from left to right: Peppe Rose, Alexandra Kahane, Cherie Moore, Thea Labrenz, and Blake Reed) to scale the ADT has led to more than 1,100 degrees awarded between 2014-2017. Today, Cuesta College offers 35 of the 40 available ADT pathways, with the 36th ADT currently waiting approval.

Paramedic Program Unveils Ambulance Simulator

Ambulance Simulator

The Cuesta College Paramedic Program recently introduced its upcoming class of paramedic students and unveiled its high-tech, state-of-the-art ambulance simulator. The mobile simulator is one of the first of its kind to be used in California funded through a grant by the state’s Strong Workforce Program. It will be used to provide a life-like course laboratory for students in the Paramedic, Emergency Medical Technician, and Allied Health programs. The Paramedic Class 13 is made up of twenty four students who will begin the program in January.
Check out the press release with full details.

New Signs On Campus

Have you seen the new signs on the SLO campus? The Charles & Leeta Dovica Learning Center, the Harold J. Miossi Cultural & Performing Arts Center, and the Dr. Gilbert H. Stork Gymnasium all recently received their brand new building signs.

In Case You Missed It: Faculty Lecture Series

Two lectures were held in November as part of the Faculty Lecture Series.

Inger Appanaitis and Ashley Allen, in partnership with the Wellness Committee, presented “New Face of Tobacco: Young Adults and Electronic Smoking Devices.”

The Fall 2018 Cuesta Library Poetry Event presented “Words That Inspire.” The poetry reading event invited Cuesta College faculty and staff to share inspiring poems, songs, or short prose selections that have influenced them greatly in their lives, careers, loves, and passions. 

Cuesta College "Home Away From Home" Event

Cuesta College hosted the annual “Home Away From Home” event on November 19 to provide Thanksgiving meals for our students. The free event was sponsored by ASCC and featured live music by Cuesta’s Jazz Band and a traditional Thanksgiving meal spread.

2018 Winter Gathering

Cuesta College’s annual Winter Gathering was held on Thursday, December 6th. Thank you to all who attended and donated towards the Cougar Food Pantry. Together, we raised a record $790 in funds along with 566 food items. We also donated 26 toys for local children through Toys for Tots.

 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.

December 2018 Trustee Swear-in 

Board of Trustees Meeting of November 7th

The Board of Trustees discussed items regarding the annual Financial and Budget report, State budget development, faculty sabbatical report, and Cuesta College Bookstore operations. For a full look at the Board's discussions and actions, visit the Board Docs website.

Board of Trustees Meeting of December 5th

Board of Trustees members Patrick Mullen and Pete Sysak (pictured above) were sworn in for the 2019 term. The Board elected Pete Sysak as President and Dr. Barbara George as Vice President. Other discussion items include a naming opportunity to honor the legacy of Dr. Frank Martinez and the Vision for Success College Goals. 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 November 27, 2018 College Council Meeting, the committee’s agenda included:

  • Beginning discussion to create an ad hoc group that will review and revise the mission statement and align the goals with the mission
  • Discussing the changes made to AP 7120, the Faculty Hiring Policy
  • Going over the updates to the make-up of the Guided Pathways Implementation Team
  • Editing the Faculty Prioritization Evaluation Process Survey. It will be sent to members of the Faculty Prioritization Subcommittee to get their feedback on how the process went this year.

Planning & Budget Committee

There is no report from the Planning & Budget Committee.

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 President's Service Award Luncheon 

Superintendent / President Dr. Jill Stearns hosted luncheons in October and November to recognize faculty and staff for their years of service at Cuesta College. Attendees received their service award pins.

Thank you all for your service to Cuesta College!

Alpha Gamma Sigma Teacher Appreciation Night

Alpha Gamma Sigma’s (AGS) Gamma Gamma chapter hosted the 8th Annual Teacher Appreciation Night on November 29th. The academic honor society and service organization nominated and selected ten instructors for going above and beyond expectations and influencing students’ academic success. Check out a full video of the event here.
This year’s honorees are Tanya Downing, Angela Neary, Jeff Gervasi, Gabriel Searcy, Tom Hollis, Erich Tucker, Chris Machado, Matt Vasques, Laure McConnico, and Joe Vasta.
Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition!

 Giving Tuesday

Thanks to your donations and support, the Cuesta College Foundation raised over $16,000 towards the Cougar Food Pantry on Giving Tuesday. Match supporters include the Associated Students of Cuesta College, Anneka Scranton, The Community Foundation of SLO County, and the City of San Luis Obispo.

To find out more on how you can continue to support the Cougar Food Pantry and student success, please click here.

Voce Invited to Perform at Jazz Conference


Cuesta Voce, the top choral ensemble at Cuesta College, has been invited to perform at the 2019 Jazz Education Network conference this January. This year’s conference will be held at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. Voce is one of six college vocal jazz ensembles to be invited based on an audition last spring. 6,000 - 8,000 educators, students, and professional musicians attend this conference every year. Voce will perform a 50-minute set, and represent Cuesta College to some of the most influential people in music education.

George Stone Selected to Conduct Nebraska All-State Jazz Honor Band 

George Stone, Recording Arts and Music Theory Instructor in the Music Department, was recently selected to be the conductor for the 2018 Nebraska All-State Jazz Honor Band. This is one of the highest honors bestowed upon a music teacher since the all-state conductor is voted on by the leaders of a state education board. 

In the Recording Arts area, George Stone's Audio Technology Advanced Recording Class traveled to Capitol Studios in Hollywood to tour the world famous facilities and attend a panel discussion of industry professionals, including the legendary 22 grammy award winning engineer, Al Schmitt. This was an incredible opportunity for students to be immersed in the industry for which we they are preparing, opening the door to possible future internships.

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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:

  • December 10-14: Finals Week
  • December 12: Chamber Music Concert
  • December 13: Career Lab
  • December 13: Compass Group - Men & Masculinity
  • December 14, 21: Prospective Student Workshops
  • Dec 24 - Jan 1: SLO County Community College District Closed

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Email questions and comments to Ritchie Bermudez at