MiraCosta College Staff Dedicated to Leadership

Leadership and service are ever-present at MiraCosta College. A growing number of faculty and staff are serving on federal, state and regional boards, which is impacting policy and practice in a wide range of educational areas. The involvement of so many people not only helps MiraCosta College personnel learn and share new ideas, but it enables us to influence educational policy to better meet our mission of serving students. One would expect a college president to serve on several local, state and national boards, but I am hardly the only one.


Take Director of Human Resources Sheri Wright. She is a past president of the Association of Chief Human Resource Officers and now serves on the statewide Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee. “The number of people who serve on the various boards and commissions speaks to the quality of people we have here at MiraCosta College and it speaks to the dedication they have to their professions,” she said.

In fact, vice presidents of every division in the district have involved themselves in various leadership roles with their respective professional organizations. One of those vice presidents is Charlie Ng, who serves with the Association of California Community College Administrators, is an adviser to the Government Finance Officers Association and is the southern state representative to the Schools Excess Liability Fund. Charlie said serving on such groups “brings access to information about programs and policies that are in the development stage and it allows you to participate and influence the process in some way.”


Vice President Dick Robertson, meanwhile, is the past president of the state’s Chief Student Services Officers group and Vice President Mary Benard (pictured on right) serves on the executive committee of the state’s Chief Instructional Officers for California Community Colleges.


Charlie concurs with Sheri that having so many faculty and staff in leadership positions on state and federal advisory boards underscores MiraCosta College’s excellence and commitment to the community. “It says a lot about the engagement of our team here that we interact with some of the movers and shakers in our industry.”


Herschel Stern’s efforts epitomize the impact we are having. The Social Sciences Department chair, who heads the geography program at MiraCosta College, also leads the national Geography Education Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), which promotes research and best practices in teaching and learning geography. And, he is vice chair of the AAG Community College Affinity Group, which focuses on teaching, learning and institutional issues that relate specifically to geography programs at community colleges.


Herschel says that working with a large national organization allows him to stay abreast of trends and issues in geographic education and perhaps even have some influence on their direction. Having so many MiraCostans involved in statewide and national organizations "shows that the faculty here are concerned with the bigger educational picture as we aim for constant improvement of our programs, and that can only make us better," he said.


Lise Flocken, our Transfer Center counselor/coordinator, has leadership positions with several state and regional groups. “You can’t join these committees unless you have a substantial knowledge base. And that goes to the type of people we have working at MiraCosta College.”


“It’s a tremendous responsibility and it's extremely beneficial,” she said of her work with professional organizations. “You get to be on the cutting edge of changes–or potential changes–in your field at the state level, and you also could help prevent changes from happening that may negatively impact the college.”


One example she gave is her role as representative for transfer center directors in a region covering all of San Diego and Imperial counties. At a meeting in Sacramento, she shared information about a new online system that San Diego State University uses to confirm a student’s ADT (associate degree for transfer) for admission purposes. “Because I shared this information, the CSU Chancellor’s Office is taking a look at it and perhaps modeling a statewide program based on the work SDSU has already implemented.”


Said Cheryl Broom, MiraCosta’s director of public and governmental relations, who is the District 6 director for the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations:


“MiraCosta College values the growth and personal development of its faculty and staff. The campus climate is one of learning—and that climate extends from the classroom to the administrative offices. Employees are encouraged to fine-tune their skills, grow in their professional disciplines and make bold, innovative advancements to improve the quality of the institution. MiraCosta's culture is permissive of employees learning from and with their peers from institutions around the state, nation and world. So many on campus are involved with professional organizations and play a leadership role because they are dedicated to improving the way MiraCosta College operates. It's through this knowledge-sharing that new ideas are formed and best practices are shared.”


I’m very proud that we are extending our reach and lending our expertise to so many professional organizations. It underscores the quality of our institution and shows we care about our profession as educators. It also enables faculty and staff to bring back ideas from other institutions. That helps the college, and ultimately that translates to more student success.
As always, I want to thank you for your support and interest.



Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D.


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Categories: Community College | Oceanside History | Leadership

March 2014 07:30


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