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.
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.”
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.
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.
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,"
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.”
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.”
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
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:
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
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
As always, I want to thank you for your support and interest.
Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D.