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SRJC Forms Partnership With Pepperwood Preserve

To expand the conservation-oriented educational and research opportunities offered at the Pepperwood Preserve, a beautiful nature sanctuary just north of Santa Rosa, a partnership was recently forged between the Pepperwood Foundation and SRJC. “This partnership will allow local students of all ages to learn from this diverse and unique natural resource,” emphasizes SRJC President/Superintendent Robert F. Agrella.

The beautiful 3,117-acre Pepperwood Preserve located in Sonoma County’s Bald Hills is full of redwood canyons, Douglas fir forests, grassland prairies, wetlands and ponds with endangered wildlife, oak woodlands, and stunning landscapes. The property was a gift to the California Academy of Sciences in 1979 by Kenneth and Nancy Bechtel who wished to maintain the land in its natural state and make it available for educational and research uses. Former CEO of Optical Coating Laboratory Herb Dwight and his wife Jane, both environmental enthusiasts, purchased Pepperwood in 2005, and approached SRJC about becoming educational partners of the preserve.

Like Mr. Dwight, SRJC is committed to protecting the preserve to ensure that it will not be overused and that its natural beauty will be maintained. “The College is fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with Mr. Dwight and the Pepperwood Foundation in the development of an outstanding educational resource that will benefit our college and community for generations to come,” says SRJC Life Sciences Instructor Steve Barnhart, who also serves as Director of Educational for the Pepperwood Preserve.

The Pepperwood Foundation and SRJC will cooperatively manage the educational program and public access to the preserve. Instructor Barnhart and Dean of SRJC’s Educational Programs and Services Steve Olson are currently developing a long-range education plan to guide the preserve’s use in the next several years.

The Pepperwood educational program will include broad courses, workshops, field trips, and related learning activities by SRJC and other colleges, universities, and nonprofit agencies. SRJC will utilize the preserve for college-level credit field classes in life sciences, agriculture, natural resources, and earth and space sciences, and will encourage other academic programs, such as anthropology, to use the preserve to enrich student learning.

In addition, SRJC will continue developing not-for-credit, fee-based short courses through the college’s Community Education Program. This spring three courses open to the community will be offered through Community Education, including wild flowers, field photography, and natural history. For more information, call (707) 527-4372.

Study Abroad Program Doubles Student Participation

SRJC has seen a 50 percent increase in the number of SRJC students studying abroad in the last three years. Steve Olsen, Dean of Educational Programs and Services, attributes the growing student interest and participation in the program to increased awareness and available financial aid assistance. While students are well aware of the expenses associated with international study, they also recognize the many benefits that studying abroad offers, including studying and learning in a foreign nation, viewing magnificent historic culture and art firsthand, living in another nation and comparing the U.S. and their community to other cultures, discovering outstanding curricular opportunities that are tailored for study in particular nations, and having the opportunity to explore other parts of the globe. For information about study abroad opportunities, call (707) 527-4441.

SRJC Initiates China Study Abroad Program

For the first time, SRJC students can participate in a China Study Abroad Program. Established and sponsored by the Northern California Study Abroad Consortium, students will study in two Chinese cities, Beijing and Shanghai. SRJC Instructor Rich Cheek will accompany the students when they leave for China on June 1.

The curriculum will focus on business and cultural anthropology. In Beijing, students will explore the unique political and cultural aspects of the region through tours of the Great Wall, Summer Palace, and museums. In Shanghai, they will study international business at banks, financial institutions, international industry, and commerce.

SRJC students can now apply for this outstanding five-week program. Ten SRJC students are guaranteed space among 30 student slots. Student applications are due February 24. For an informational brochure, call (707) 527-4441.

Students Can Now Spend A Semester In Spain

In addition to SRJC’s popular London Study Abroad Program, SRJC students can now study for a full semester in Spain starting in fall 2006. Modeled after the China Summer 2006 Abroad Program’s dual city approach, each student participant will live with two different families in the cities of Granada and Madrid. In addition to a curriculum that includes history and communication, SRJC Instructor Susana Ackerman will teach four levels of Spanish.

There’s room for 80 students to participate in this exciting program in Spain. Call (707) 527-4441 for a brochure.

Puente Project Continues To Expand

Student recruitment in SRJC’s Puente Project has been so successful - with 56 students enrolled in fall 2005, twice the number of students that enrolled the year before – it is anticipated that the Puente Project will expand to the Petaluma Campus in fall 2006.

Puente - Spanish for “bridge” - helps prepare students for success in university studies, particularly educationally underserved students who wish to transfer to four-year institutions to earn college degrees. Puente students take accelerated English classes, meet regularly with counselors, and are supported by professional and academic mentors from the community. Field trips to four-year universities and other relevant activities are planned throughout the year to help ensure the success of SRJC’s Puente students. Explore the Puente Project at

Frank P. Doyle Library Construction Moving Forward

Frank P. Doyle Library

With the construction of centerpiece library on the Santa Rosa Campus rapidly progressing, new paving and pathways are being laid, work on the roof and roofing structure continues, and broad interior work has been initiated. It is projected that the completed Frank P. Doyle Library will be “turned over” to the College in early May 2006. At that time furniture and equipment will be moved in and installed between May and August. Just look at how this spectacular facility is developing!

Click here to see the monthly views from Pioneer Hall and Emeritus Hall.

English Learner High School Outreach Pilot

As a part of its broad outreach to the Latino community and to Latino high school students in particular to prepare them to enter college and participate in job training, SRJC spearheaded the English Learner Outreach Pilot Program. Targeting students at Petaluma, Casa Grande, and San Antonio high schools, members of SRJC’s outreach team continue to provide resources, information, support, and motivation to urge students to pursue higher education after high school. The pilot is now in its second year, and includes a dynamic outreach team: Petaluma Counselor Norberto Quiroz, who initiated the projected; Tony Vasquez, Puente; Rafael Vasquez, EOPS; Hector Delgado, Financial Aid; and Luz Navarrette, Counseling.

The group not only meets with Latino high school students, but also with Latino parents about the multiple resources and programs that are geared specifically to ensure students success while enrolled at SRJC. Norberto estimates that the outreach team makes "Approxmately 10 visits each semester to the three high schools for a total of 60 visits annually. "

“The pilot program has been extremely successful and beneficial to Latino students and their parents,” Norberto emphasizes. “We hope to expand this successful model countywide to all high schools because it is such as win-win opportunity for SRJC, Latino students, and the Latino community alike.”

Grant Awarded For Correctional Officer Training Demonstration Project

Dean of SRJC’s Public Safety Training Center Norman Cleaver and Curriculum Specialist Debra Sands-Miller wrote and were awarded a 16-month grant by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to develop a locally presented Basic Correctional Officer Academy for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

CDCR was seeking innovative ways to increase the number of fully trained correctional officers, SRJC’s long, successful reputation of training top public safety professionals in law enforcement, corrections, fire, and EMC made the college an excellent choice for the academy.

The proposed Basic Correctional Officer Academy will be conducted at SRJC’s new Windsor Public Safety Training Center, and recruiting will begin in the spring semester with a projected start date to offer the first of the 660-hour curricula July 31, 2006. The academy will be presented in three modules. Modules I and II consist of 270 hours each, and will expose students to contemporary legal issues, diversity, arrest and control requirements, lifelong physical fitness, ethics, and professionalism. Module III includes 120 hours of internship administered in one or more state penal institutions.

When the pilot program is complete, CDRC will determine whether to replicate the concept at community colleges throughout California. Contact Program Manager Ginnodo at (707) 836-2922 about the program.

Petaluma Campus Holds First Latino Awareness Day

To encourage Latino students to pursue higher education, SRJC’s English Learner Outreach Program in partnership with the Latino Educational and Cultural Foundation of Marin, hosted the first Latino College Awareness day on November 22 on the Petaluma Campus.

Drawing over a hundred students from Casa Grande, Petaluma, and San Antonio high schools, plus students from the South County Migrant Education program, the event was also attended by dozens of high school and SRJC staff and administrators who guided visiting students as they observed instructional classes underway, participated in a student panel discussion, toured the campus, talked with instructors and Latino college students, and learned all about registration and other services to students from presentations made by SRJC Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, Educational Opportunity Program & Services (EOPS), and Puente staff members. Lunch for all, musical entertainment, and a visit by the popular Exitos radio stations topped out a highly successful day.

Parking Structure Under Construction

The second major concrete foundation pour for SRJC’s multilevel parking structure on the Santa Rosa Campus was accomplished December 10. While the project periodically causes traffic congestion, overall the construction underway continues to be well managed. Contractors, engineers, and college staff are in agreement that there’s been broad and positive interest shown by the college community and public for this dramatic and interesting project, with many observers on site to observe firsthand excavation work and foundation pours. “The project is a real team effort,” emphasizes Curt Groninga, Vice President for Administrative Services, “We are quite pleased by the performance of our contractor, Wright Contracting, Inc. and their subcontractors.” The completion of the project is anticipated in early fall 2006.

Swedish Students Visit SRJC March 2-April 7

Dr. Ofelia ArellanoIn early March, the fourth group of Swedish students from Boras, Sweden will arrive at SRJC to study for five weeks during the spring semester. Arriving March 2, 18 students will stay with local families through April 7, including the homes of SRJC employees. All English speaking, the students will take special short courses in Flash programming and International Business, classes developed with the students’ secondary school in Sweden, Sven Eriksonsgymnasiet. The college community welcomes this outstanding group of Swedish students to SRJC!

Puente Alums

Enrolled at SRJC from 2000 to 2001, Christina Barrett transferred to and graduated from Sacramento State University in December having earned a B.S. criminal justice. Currently working as an investigative intern for the homicide unit in the District Attorney’s Office in Sacramento, Christina recalls how vital Puente’s assistance to her was: “Puente staff members made a big impact on my life. I don’t think I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for them. Puente, don’t stop your important work to help us become successful and educated Latinos.”

A Puente student at SRJC from 1999 to 2000, Maria Avina transferred from SRJC to Sonoma State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree from the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies, plus a Bilingual Teaching Credential. Now working at SRJC as a Health Outreach Coordinator, Maria plans to teach in the fall next year.

“The Puente Program offered helpful guidance to me when I was enrolled. I was very fortunate to find support from Puente when exploring my career.”

JC Offers Phlebotomy Certificate

Phlebotomy coursework has been available mostly through private schools until now. SRJC is the first Sonoma County public institution to offer a 6.5 unit phlebotomy certificate starting in the Spring 2006 Semester. The new program will not only cost students much less than other phlebotomy courses, but students can complete the state’s classroom and lab requirements for certification at SRJC in only eight weeks. Once students complete the coursework required to earn a SRJC certificate, they can pursue the official California Phlebotomy State Certificate, as well as many employment opportunities in the field. Contact Ezbon Jen (707) 524-1591.

MESA Program Ranks Second In State

SRJC's MESA Program is ranked second in the state for transferring the highest number of students to four-year institutions in 2004-05. In addition, a very high percentage - 92% - of the MESA transfer students persisted with math, engineering, and science majors. Of California's 109 community colleges, 34 offer MESA programs. MESA - or Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement - is a rigorous academic support program dedicated to increasing the number of educationally disadvantaged students who transfer to four-year institutions and earn a math, science, engineering, or computer science focused degree. Call MESA at (707) 521-7909.

Instructor Susan Wilson NISOD Award Recipient

SRJC Life Sciences Instructor and Department Chair Susan Wilson has been selected to receive the 2006 National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award for SRJC. She and other awardees from across the nation will be honored at NISOD’s International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence May 28–31 in Austin, Texas.

SRJC Alum Pipes Emmy Award Makeup Artist

Ron Pipes graduated from SRJC in 1999 and has since made his way in the television industry as a Makeup Artist for TV’s (TNT) popular “Babylon 5” show. “The experience and training I received at Summer Reperatory Theatre at SRJC helped me greatly in molding my professional career with discipline and artistic insight. Without it I feel my road toward achieving my goals would have been a much harder journey.”

Well Attended Agri Expo Held November 9

SRJC’s Agriculture Ambassadors and the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department held an annual Agri Expo on the Santa Rosa Campus, “Keeping Ag Alive in 2005.” Approximately 200 high school juniors and seniors from across the North Coast region attended informative workshops about the many educational and job training options offered by SRJC’s Agriculture Department, including Animal Science, Agribusiness, Environmental Horticulture, Equine Science, Natural Resources, and Career Counseling. A spotlight workshop on welding was also offered to participants. The event was well supported by all Agriculture instructors and numerous local businesses, including sponsors American Ag Credit and SRJC’s Ag Trust.

SRJC Alum Schmacher President Disney Animation

Former SRJC student Tom Schumacher attributes his successful career to his “extraordinary experience” in SRJC’s Summer Repertory Theatre. “The pace, the level of commitment, the panic, and sweet summer air, and the sense of company all added up to a great learning experience.” After transferring from SRJC to UCLA and earning a degree in theatre arts, Tom built a career on performing arts, first as a producer for the Walt Disney Company, producing “The Rescuers Down Under” in 1990, and eventually assuming his current position as President of Disney Animation and producing the Broadway productions of “The Lion King” and “Aida.”

“I ended up where I hoped to be on the fateful day at SRJC when I gave my last performance in “Pippin,” and can now say ‘thank you’ SRT for giving me a chance to find myself,” Tom says.


For free copies of SRJC’s new publications, contact: or call (707) 527-1504.

Santa Rosa Junior College is officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges