In this issue

What's New | Shout-outs! | In the NewsHello/Goodbye | Calendar

What's New

Presidential Search is Underway

In August, I announced my intent to retire in June of 2018 and the search for a new superintendent/president is now underway. A presidential search website is online and fliers have been created. Human Resources is officially launching the search this week, and the deadline to apply is January 4, 2018. Please spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested in applying.

Cuesta Awarded $2.5M to Help Latino Students Looking to Become Teachers


In order to expand academic offerings and improve program quality for Latino/a students, Cuesta College has been awarded a five-year, $2.5M grant from the United States Department of Education. A designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) since August of 2016, Cuesta College will receive a Developing HSI grant. The award goal is to create an academic and corresponding support system for students intending to become K-12 teachers. The funding solidifies Cuesta’s identity and reputation as an HSI. Read more.

Forum Held to Support Undocumented Students & Families

Last month, the college held “Sharing the Dream,” a forum that provided information and resources to those affected by the Trump administration’s action to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Hosted by the Latino Leadership Network, the forum was attended by more than 100 community members, faculty, staff, and students. The audience response was positive and many were grateful to Cuesta College for hosting an informational forum.

Cuesta to Participate in Upcoming Equity Summit

On October 27, Cuesta College will co-host with Allan Hancock College the 2017 Equity Summit, an opportunity for community college instructors and educators from K-12 to learn about serving our students with a special emphasis on marginalized populations. Topics include serving men of color, students with disabilities, foster youth, first-generation and low income students. The event will be held from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Santa Maria. For more info or to RSVP, email

Hispanic Heritage Month Events

dia de los muertosThe Cuesta College Cultural Center and Student Life & Leadership Office are spending October celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Check out a Dia de los Muertos celebration on October 19 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Cultural Center, or a Latino Leadership Panel on October 23 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. in room 5401.

2017-2020 Strategic Plan Launch Events

The college held the first of two Strategic Plan 2017-2020 launch events on September 22 on the SLO campus. The purpose of the launch events is to introduce the new plan, keep staff and faculty informed about district planning, and keep the district engaged in the planning process. Responsible parties introduced Institutional Objectives and provided a brief on the plans and activities associated with attaining each objective. The second and final launch event is scheduled for October 27 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. on the SLO Campus in room 5401; to RSVP, email

2020 Institutional Self-Evaluation Report

As a part of the accreditation process, the college is starting its next cycle of developing its 2020 Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (ISER). This fall, the college is identifying standard co-chairs, timelines, educational support, supplemental materials, and more. As we begin this process of developing our next ISER, think about your work at Cuesta and/or what accreditation standards interest you. The ISER is our time to identify and highlight all the things Cuesta does well in achieving compliance with ACCJC policies, standards, and eligibility requirements. Your involvement in this process is valuable and you can make a difference in the programs and services Cuesta provides to its students.  Submit your interest, or how you would like to get involved, to either Accreditation Steering Committee Co-chair Kevin Bontenbal ( or Dr. Deb Wulff (

Fall 2017 Edition of CC News Hot off the Press

The Cuesta College Marketing Department recently released the Fall 2017 issue of CC News, the biannual Cuesta College magazine that features the stories of faculty, students, programs, and more. The current edition contains stories on the expanding agriculture program, successful alumni, Emeritus College, transfer successes, Fall Opening Day, the spring 2017 commencement, an update on bond projects, the 40th Football Program Reunion, athletics, and more. Click here to check it out – you may find yourself among the pages!

Marketing Needs YOU for Focus Groups

focus group

The Marketing Department needs your help. As a result of the college’s partnership with the Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative (IEPI) Partnership Resource Team (PRT), the department is hosting focus groups. Faculty and staff volunteers (from both the San Luis Obispo and North County campuses) are needed to provide feedback on how we can improve our marketing and outreach message and materials. Focus groups are being held on October 30 and November 1. They will be 90 minutes long and conducted by a professional facilitator. Refreshments will be provided. For further information and to sign up, call (805) 743-9751.

Submit a Nomination for the 2018 Honored Alumni Awards

The Honored Alumni Awards recognize the achievements of former students who have made outstanding professional achievements, served the community, and/or served Cuesta College. The Cuesta College Foundation is seeking nominations of individuals and are asking for your help in identifying former students for consideration of this prestigious recognition. Deadline for nominations is October 27. Email for details.

New Nutrition Education Action Team (NEAT) at Cuesta College

NEATThe Cuesta Student Health Services and Nutrition Department have teamed up to offer a new free program for students: NEAT, the Nutrition Education Action Team. Students can now go to the Health Center and meet with a peer educator to learn about nutrition, discuss their personalized diet analysis, and set positive lifestyle and nutritional goals. Each session is 30 minutes, confidential, fun, and free for enrolled Cuesta students. Fall 2017 NEAT hours are: Mondays 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., Tuesdays 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Fridays 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Please let students know that they can call (805) 546-3171 for more information.

The Great California Shake Out

On Thursday, October 19 at 10:19 a.m., Cuesta College will participate in the state-wide “Great California Shake Out” earthquake preparedness drill by conducting a campus-wide emergency message and evacuation drill. Everyone’s participation is highly encouraged. If participation is not possible due to other scheduled activities, please be aware that the Campus Emergency Lighting System, audible alarm signals, and the “My Alert” text messaging system will be used during the drill. Email or call 805-546-3205 with questions or concerns.

Promise Day Coming Up

Promise Day, an event for all local high school seniors, is taking place Friday, October 20, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on the SLO Campus. If you see masses of high schoolers around campus that day, be sure to give them a warm welcome!

Transfer Day & College Night Coming Up

On October 30, Cuesta College students will have the opportunity to meet with dozens of college and university representatives at Transfer Day from 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., while local high school students and their families are invited to meet with the college reps that evening at College Night from 5:00 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. It will all take place in the 5400 building.

Upcoming Drama Performance: Man of La Mancha

Cuesta College’s Department of Theatre will present the epic musical Man of La Mancha later this month. Based on the 17th-century novel, Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, the poignant and rousing musical is set during the Spanish Inquisition. The tale tells the romantic journey of a knight who sets out to right all wrongs and win the heart of the woman of his dreams.  Performances are set to begin on October 27 and run through November 5. For full details and to purchase tickets, visit

Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery Features Jim Dessicino


Artist Jim Dessicino is currently holding an exhibit in the Cuesta College Harold J. Miossi Art gallery titled Without Papers, October 5 - November 3. An opening reception will take place October 12, in room 6304, from 4:30pm-7:30pm, with an artist talk scheduled for 5:30pm. Click here for more information.

Halloween Dress-Up Contest

halloweenIt’s that time of year again! Gather your best Halloween costume ideas and enter into the 2017 Halloween dress-up contest on October 31! There are two categories this year: department versus department or individual. To participate, email by October 30.

In Case You Missed It…Video of Tibetan Monks and the Sand Mandala

Last month, a group of Tibetan monks visited the Cuesta College SLO Campus for four days, during which they created and then destroyed a sand mandala. The purpose was to demonstrate letting go of the attachment to physical and mental phenomena, which are impermanent by nature. Check out a video shot by retired German instructor Petra Clayton; it shows the entire mandala process, including the closing ceremony where the sand was washed away into a local creek.

In Case You Missed It…Videos from The Writers Conference


The 2017 Writers Conference at Cuesta College took place last month. Even if you were not able to attend, you can still check out videos of the keynote speaker Tom Schulman and Mary Loverde. 

Upcoming Event Reminders (the following events were mentioned in last month’s newsletter):

  • Faculty Lecture with Dennis Judd on the Hollister Adobe on October 11. Learn more.
  • Learning Disabilities Conference on October 20. Learn more.
  • Book of the Year Event with Author Brando Skyhorse on October 26. Learn more.


Paramedic Students Donate Blood to Victims of the Las Vegas Massacre

The current Paramedic Class 12 recently put their life-saving skills to good use. According to EMS Instructor Heather Tucker, in the wake of the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, the students wanted to ‘do something.’ So they decided as a class to go to the United Blood Services in SLO last week to donate blood. These are our future lifesavers doing what they can to save lives now!

Rodeo Team Gets High Marks in Early Competition Results

The Cuesta College Rodeo Club Team is off to a great start this year! According to Coach Clint Pearce, the Men’s Team won both of its first two competitions and have a commanding lead in the region. The Women’s Team had a strong performance as well. Competitions will resume in spring of 2018. Congrats to the Rodeo Team!

In the News

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

  • Check out news on the $2.5M grant awarded to Cuesta to help assist Latino students who wish to become teachers. | The Tribune
  • Cuesta College was a part of a recent cover story about the community’s desire to support DACA recipients. | New Times
  • The college’s recent “Sharing the Dream” forum for DACA recipients and their families was covered by multiple news outlets. | KSBY & KCBX
  • Cuesta students learn about the history behind the piñata. | KSBY
  • Listeners of a local radio program got some great information about the college’s SkillsUSA program. | KVEC
  • Check out the college’s expanding agriculture program, including details on the new plant science degree and agriculture mechanics courses. | New Times
  • The recent 2017 City to the Sea Marathon benefitted Cuesta College athletics programs. | The Tribune & KSBY
  • The Harold J. Miossi Art Gallery’s Inverse Performance Art Festival got a preview in print. | New Times
  • The 2017 Writers Conference received some quality media coverage. | New Times & KSBY & Paso Robles Daily News
  • Honored Alum Jay Asher was profiled about his New York Times bestseller and Netflix hit 13 Reasons Why. | The Tribune
  • Cuesta College was mentioned in a recent radio news story about free community college. | KCBX
  • Check out nursing program information sessions, which offer the public a free chance to learn about the college’s nursing programs. | The Tribune & Paso Robles Daily News
  • Helpful Information on Cuesta’s parking permits was included in a student-centered article. | New Times

Hello / Goodbye

As the Cuesta College family changes, I would like to acknowledge our new full-time employees and changes in assignments. At the October 4 meeting of the Board of Trustees, the following action took place:

Classified New Hires

  • Cody Winkelpleck, Fine Arts Ceramics Studio Technician

Promotions/Interim Appointments

  • Kristina Barckley, Enrollment Success Specialist
  • Ryan Cartnal, Dean of Academic Affairs – Institutional Research, Library, Learning Resources and Instructional Technology
  • Carina Love, Division Chair, Library, Learning Resources and Instructional Technology


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

  • October 11: Faculty Lecture Series
  • October 5-November 3: Miossi exhibit
  • October 14: Fall Festival of Choirs
  • October 17: Food Bank Distribution Site open
  • October 19: Great CA Shake Out
  • October 20: Learning Disability Conference
  • October 20: Promise Day
  • October 20: Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Orchestra
  • October 26: BOTY event
  • October 27: Equity Summit
  • October 27: Strategic Plan Launch Event #2
  • October 27-November 5: Man of La Mancha
  • October 30: Transfer Day/College Night
  • October 31: Halloween Dress-Up Contest
  • November 2: Faculty Lecture Series

Questions? Comments? Email