In this issue

What's New  • College Governance Communications

Shout-outs!  • In the News  • Hello/Goodbye  • Calendar

What's New

Transfer, Financial Aid Discussed with UC President Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California, wants to see more community college students transferring to UC schools, she said in a discussion last week at Cuesta. Her visit addressed topics including access to higher education, immigrant students, graduation rates and free speech on college campuses. The former Homeland Security Secretary envisions a UC system that, over the next five to 10 years, has a more diverse student body and faculty, and additional online education.

While at Cuesta, President Napolitano held a forum with students and staff, met with faculty, toured the campus, and stopped by the new Cougar Food Pantry.

Check out the "In the News" section below for news reports on her visit, and this press release for more details.

Time for Students to Enroll in Early Summer, Summer & Fall Semesters

cuesta campus

General registration is now open for Early Summer Session, Summer Session and Fall 2018 semester! For the first time ever, the college is offering an Early Summer session, which includes 10 online courses running six-weeks in length and beginning May 21. Also new this year is the opportunity for students to register for their summer and fall courses all at once, making it easier for them to plan out their academic futures. For questions, please call Admissions & Records at (805) 546-3140.

Commencement is Coming


Just a reminder that the 53rd Commencement Ceremony if set for May 18, at 3:00 p.m. in the SLO Campus gym. This year, 946 students will graduate, with 1,249 degrees being awarded. Of those graduating, 155 are Promise Scholarship recipients.

Following commencement, you are invited to the President’s Reception in the Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery Courtyard. I do hope to see you all at the graduation and reception.

Celebrating 50 Years of RN Graduates!

eli ruth

The Registered Nursing class of 2018 is the 50th cohort to graduate from Cuesta's RN program! The graduates of the program's first class earned their pins in 1969, and since then the Nursing Program has educated and graduated more than 1,800 exceptional nurses. Congrats to the class of 2018 and to the program for 50 years of success!

This year's Nursing Pinning Ceremony will graduate 46 RN's and take place May 18th at 11:00 a.m. in the SLO Campus gym.

 Mark Your Calendar: Dr. Stork Farewell Event


As you know by now, I will be retiring as of June 30th. But before I go, I would like to invite you all to the "Goodbye to the Tie" event - a family-friendly open house on June 2nd from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in room 5401. The event is complimentary and will include appetizers, a photo booth, an ice cream truck, and fun for all. I do hope to see you all there!


Success! Cougar Welcome Days Serve Hundreds of Students

The inaugural Cougar Welcome Days were a success! In total:

  • 272 students attended the North County Campus event on April 21st
  • 499 students attended the SLO Campus event on April 28
  • In total, 733 students enrolled at Cuesta either for the Summer session, Fall semester, or both

This is an incredible accomplishment and great service to our students, future students, and their families. Thank you to the many volunteers who put in hours ensuring an enjoyable experience for all those who attended.

Community Takes Last Dip in the Pool

Cuesta College has officially closed its pool, but not before 135 folks came out to the pool to enjoy Community & Family Fun Day at the Pool. Held on April 28th, the afternoon consisted of an update on the scheduled bond renovation project, and then a few hours of free swim and shaved ice treats. 

The pool and aquatic center complex are scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2019. For details on the project, visit the Measure L bond website.

 It Can't Happen Here on Stage at Cuesta


The college's award-winning Drama Department hit the stage last weekend with Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here, and the cast and crew are headed back into the spotlight this weekend! Set in 1935, the play tells the story of a divided United States under the control of a native-born dictator. Showings take place May 11th - 13th; tickets can be purchased at

Cuesta Student Choirs to Represent USA at Festivals in France

Cuesta College’s top student choirs, the Chamber Singers and Vocé, will represent the United States at two festivals in France this summer. The groups are the only choirs from the United States invited to attend the 23rd Annual Festival International en Provence and Festival Choral en Aveyron, and Cuesta College is the only college performing at both. The festivals will also feature choirs from Canada, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Italy, Indonesia, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Belgium, Sweden, Argentina, and the Netherlands. The choir groups qualified to perform 10 concerts at the festivals after submitting audio and video performance samples to the festival organizers.

On May 11th, the Chamber Singers and Vocé will hold a Europe Send-Off Concert from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at St. Timothy’s Church in Morro Bay. All proceeds will go to fund student travel expenses. Tickets are available at

For more information, check out this press release.

In Case You Missed It: Faculty Lecture Series Featuring Michelle Craig

In April, Art History Instructor Michelle Craig hosted a faculty lecture series titled "The View from the Mellah: Imagining the Former Jewish quarter of Fez, Morocco." The presentation explored how mellah’s present form celebrates its Jewish past, reflects the failed experiments of French colonization, and partially meets the needs of its current Muslim inhabitants. 

College Governance Communications

Each month, the President's 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 May 2nd, 2018

Retired Faculty Emeritus Status Approved

At the May 2nd meeting of the Board of Trustees, the following 19 faculty members were approved for Emeritus Faculty Status:

  • Dennis Baeyen, English, 30 years
  • June Beck, English, 18 years
  • Ruth Biering, Business Education, 30 years
  • Edward Conklin, English, 28 years
  • John Fetcho, Mathematics, 30 years
  • Jeffrey Grover, Physical Sciences, 30 years
  • Linda Harris, Nursing & Allied Health, 20 years
  • Katherine Jimison, Physical Sciences, 22 years
  • Madeleine LaMon, College Success Studies, 12 years
  • Marie Larsen, Mathematics, 20 years
  • Susan Lloyd, Languages & Communication, 26 years
  • Nancy Mann, Biological Sciences, 37 years
  • Michele McAustin, Business Education, 28 years
  • Barbara Miller, Mathematics, 24 years
  • Stephan Mueller, Biological Sciences, 27 years
  • Donald Norton, Applied Behavioral Sciences, 41 years
  • Marilyn Rossa, English, 34 years
  • Antonia Torrey, Nursing & Allied Health, 18 years
  • Regina Vriend, Counseling, 17 years

Emeritus recipients receive a variety of benefits, including a library card, reduced price for admission to college events, a permanent parking permit, and more.

Thank you to all 19 instructors for your many years of service and dedication to academic and service excellence at Cuesta College!

Collectively, you have served thousands of students over a total of 488 years! You have each mentored many of your colleagues within your divisions and have contributed to the excellence in teaching and learning for which Cuesta College is known for. I can certainly identify with some of the emotions that are being felt - letting go, and looking forward! Thank you for creating your own legacy!

Follow-up to the Separation Incentive Program (SIP) Results

In April, it was announced that the SIP would be offered to members of the faculty who meet the qualifying criteria. Fifteen faculty committed to the SIP and a financial impact analysis revealed that the District would save significant dollars if only selected positions were replaced for 2018-19. The remaining positions would be filled with part-time faculty, full and part-time overloads, and, in some cases, full-time temporary faculty if student demand was sufficient. 

After receiving an analysis from the dean of academic affairs and the vice president of academic affairs, I determined it was necessary to immediately fill the following positions:

  • Two Registered Nursing faculty (two retirees and regulatory mandates)
  • One mathematics faculty (three retirees)
  • One English faculty (three retirees)

Recruitment for these positions is currently taking place.

ASCC President Jordan Jantzen Recognized 


Each academic year, the Board of Trustees takes time during its May meeting to recognize the contributions made by the Student Trustee to the processes of the Board. The Board acknowledges the efforts made by the Student Trustee to provide the student perspective on the many actions taken by the Board. At the May 2nd, Board of Trustees meeting, Trustee Jantzen was presented with a resolution and plaque commemorating the past year he spent as student trustee and ASCC president.

Academic Senate Council

In April, the Academic Senate Council heard from the Faculty Prioritization Task Force about how to more equitably prioritize faculty positions needed at the college. The Academic Senate Council also addressed issues related to textbook affordability and approved changes to the field trip policy and procedure. The Senate President Stacy Millich attended the Academic Senate Plenary as a delegate for Cuesta College and made Cuesta College faculty voices heard on important statewide issues, like the creation of an online college and implementation of AB 705.  

 College Council

During the month of April, College Council approved the following changes to Board Policies and Administrative Procedures:

  • Retired BP & AP 7130.6
  • Approved BP & AP 7160
  • Retired BP 7131

Planning & Budget Committee

The Planning and Budget Committee heard presentations from District budget managers at the April 17th meeting regarding funding requests for the upcoming fiscal year. Committee members were then asked to rank the top 40 priorities of the items proposed. These results will be tabulated in early May and presented to the committee at the May 15th meeting. 

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Marketing & Communications Department Receives State Awards


Cuesta College’s Marketing and Communications Department was recently honored with four awards from the Community College Public Relations Organization (CCPRO), the statewide professional development and service organization that promotes excellence in California’s community college public relations and related professionals. Each year, CCPRO recognizes the outstanding marketing efforts of the 114 California community colleges with the PRO Awards.

The Marketing & Communications Department received 2018 PRO Awards in the following categories:

  • 1st Place, Website
  • 1st Place, Brochure
  • 3rd Place, Magazine
  • 3rd Place, Logo Redesign

For details on the awards, check out this press release.

Congratulations to the Marketing & Communications Department and thank you for continuously promoting all things awesome about Cuesta College!

 Dr. Stork Receives Award for Supporting Cuesta's Marketing Department


This year, the CCPRO organization launched a brand-new award - the PROmoter. The award is given to a community college administrator – chancellor, president, vice chancellor or vice president - who has demonstrated leadership in supporting public relations and marketing at their college and throughout California. 

After being nominated, I was chosen as this year's recipient. The award was presented to me at the recent Board of Trustees meeting. I am honored to receive this inaugural award, and to have always supported the efforts of our outstanding Marketing & Communications Department, whether it be by doing media interviews, participating in advertising campaigns, or attending community events where I'm always sharing the Cuesta story.

SkillsUSA Students are Best in State, Headed to Nationals

Congratulations are in order for many of our Career and Technical Education students and faculty! This year, 10 Cuesta students are eligible to participate in the 54th Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skill Conference, set to take place in June in Louisville, KY. This marks the 12th year in a row the college has qualified for the SkillsUSA national conference.

The 10 qualifying students earned gold medals the SkillsUSA California 51st Annual State Leadership and Skill Conference, which was held in April. The 10 students are currently ranked best in the State!

The 2018 Cuesta College SkillsUSA California medalists are:

  • Gold: Alexandra Newsom | Criminal Justice
  • Gold: Milan Tolani | Early Childhood Education
  • Gold: Daniel Gowdy | Electrical Construction Wiring
  • Gold: Ben Braun | Information Technology Services
  • Gold: Mason Steiner | Plumbing
  • Gold: Jonathan Righetti | Welding
  • Gold: Barden Abatti | Welding Fabrication (team of three)
  • Gold: Michael Dye | Welding Fabrication (team of three)
  • Gold: Nicholas Hasch | Welding Fabrication (team of three)
  • Gold: Mikayla Stone | Welding Sculpture
  • Silver: Jeremy Fleming | Related Technical Math
  • Bronze: Edith Salgado | Early Childhood Education
  • Bronze: Nathan Heaston | Welding Oxy-Acetylene

The following Cuesta College students also competed at the State level:

  • Richard Lock | Automotive Service Technology
  • Eric Smith | Electrical Construction Wiring
  • Salome Fonseca | Welding
  • Alfredo Saucedo | Welding, Shielded Metal Arc
  • Andrew Winfrey | Welding, Shielded Metal Arc

Donations can be made to support the students heading to nationals by visiting the Cuesta College Foundation web page and choosing ‘SkillsUSA’ from the gift designation drop down menu. For more details, check out this press release.

Congratulations to all the students who competed and the faculty advisors as well!

Men's Rodeo Team Headed to National Competition

The Cuesta cowboys will be headed to the national championships! The team won Reserve Champion Men’s Team, and Will Centoni won the Men’s All Around over the past weekend. The student athletes headed to Casper, WY, for the National Finals Rodeo competition in June are Will Centoni, Cayden Cox, Blaize Twisselman, Jake Peterson, Taite Stickler, and Lefty Holman.

Congratulations to the student athletes and their coaches!


Jazz Combo Ranked Best in Nation

jazz combo

Cuesta College’s jazz combo group IATA has been named the Best Community College Small Jazz Combo in the nation by DownBeat, an American magazine devoted to the jazz and blues culture. The honor is a part of the publication’s 41st Annual Student Music Awards.

The members of IATA - Ian Skinner (trumpet), Adam Nash (guitar), Tyler Dukes (bass), and Alex Nash (drums) - will perform in an upcoming jazz combo performance at Cuesta College. Taking place May 15th, Cuesta Combos concert titled “Combopalooza” is set to hit the main stage of the CPAC. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $15 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, visit Check out this press release for more information about this news.

 Cuesta Receives Rebate for Energy Efficiency & Award for Bond Project Safety

At the May 2nd Board of Trustees meeting, the District received two recognitions.

One was from Southern California Gas Company, which presented a check to Cuesta College for $34,150 in rebates for new energy-efficient equipment to the college’s San Luis Obispo and North County campuses. The rebates covered part of the cost of seven new boilers and pipe insulation installed at the two campuses.  


The other recognition was from Keenan, an insurance and financial solutions provider. The organization presented the District with an award for Outstanding Safety Performance on the SLO Campus Instructional Building project.


 Architecture Students Participate in Design Village Competition

Recently, four Cuesta College architecture students participated in the Design Village competition at Cal Poly, where teams designed and built shelters that they then inhabited for an entire weekend. The Cuesta students - Anna Russ, Gabriela Makita, Josh Knight, and Elizabeth Reed - named their project Piramide with the goal of creating a simple integration of contrasting elements. Their design was a hit – they received the People’s Choice Award and 2nd place in the Best Overall category! Congrats to our awesome architecture students!

Cougar Food Pantry Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

On May 2nd, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the opening of the Cougar Food Pantry, the college's latest effort to fight student hunger. The ceremony was attended by members of the Board of Trustees and other college officials. The pantry has been a huge success - more than 600 students have stopped by and picked up food items since it opened in April.

 Students Participate in Poetry Reading

student poetry

On May 3rd, Cuesta's SLO Campus Library presented Thinking Out Loud: A Student Poetry Reading. The afternoon featured original works read aloud by nine students. Approximately 20 people attended and enjoyed the student poetry reading.

AGS Bake Sale & Rummage Sale Raise Money for Good Causes

The Alpha Gamma students have been very busy recently raising money for various good causes!

In April, the student members and officers of AGS held a Bake Sale on the Cuesta's SLO Campus. They raised $150, which was donated to the Prado Day Center and to the People’s Kitchen of SLO ($75 to each). 

AGS then hosted a Rummage Sale on May 5th at Hospice of SLO County and raised $515.78, all of which went directly to Hospice.

Thank you, AGS, for your dedication to selfless service!

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In the News

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

  • UC President Janet Napolitano’s visit to Cuesta preview| Tribune
  • Coverage of President Napolitano’s visit to Cuesta | Tribune | KSBY | KCOY
  • Cuesta's Culinary arts program teaches CMC inmates skills for post-prison life | KSBY
  • 2018 Cuesta College Athletes of the Year | KSBY
  • Cuesta College choirs to represent the US at French festival | KSBY
  • Community and Family Fun Day at the Cuesta pool | KSBY
  • It Can't Happen Here on stage at Cuesta | New Times
  • Cuesta students participate in emergency drill at SLO Airport | KSBY
  • Shout-out to how well Cuesta informed the public of its facility needs preceding the 2014 Measure L vote | Tribune
  • Cuesta celebrates its agriculture program with first-ever plant sale | Tribune
  • Cougar Food Pantry opens on SLO Campus | KSBY | Paso Robles Daily News
  • Special Olympics athletes compete at Cuesta | KSBY
  • Cougar Welcome Days promotion | Tribune
  • Marketing & Communications Department receives State recognition | Paso Robles Daily News
  • Cuesta takes part in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event | KSBY | Tribune
  • Cuesta students celebrate Earth Day with Cigarette Butt Clean-Up | KSBY
  • Recognition for the four 2018 Honored Alumni and Volunteer Award recipients | Tribune
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Hello / Goodbye

As the Cuesta College family changes, I would like to acknowledge our new full-time employees, changes in assignments, and retirements. At the April 11th meeting of the Board of Trustees, the following action took place:

Full-Time Faculty New Hire

  • Eric Novitsky, Chemistry

Management New Hires

  • Jennifer Donaldson, Director of Disabled Students Programs and Services

Changes in Assignments

  • Sharaya Olmeda, Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services (formerly the Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Academic Affairs)

Classified Retirements

  • Joe Miller, Student Success Coach (effective 5/17/18)
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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:

  • May 11-13: Drama production It Can’t Happen Here
  • Now through May 18: Annual Student Art Exhibition
  • May 15: Cuesta Combos concert: Combopalooza
  • May 16: Cuesta Wind Ensemble
  • May 17: Cuesta Jazz Ensembles concert
  • May 18: 53rd Annual Commencement Ceremony & Nursing Pinning Ceremony
  • May 28: District closed in observance of Memorial Day
  • June 6: Board of Trustees meeting – Board Budget Workshop

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