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Campus community Updates Fall 2023
Petaluma launches Blue Zones
The City of Petaluma is joining a global movement to improve the health and well-being of communities. Blue Zones has a successful track record of improving the well-being of large populations in cities, counties, and states across America. Petaluma is completing the assessment phase of the project, with the results to be published in the spring. Executive Dean Matthew Long is serving on the Blue Zones Steering committee.
Student Health Services adds additional day
Starting in November, Petaluma Student Health Services
will be open
Monday from 9 am – 12 noon
Wednesday from 9 am – 4 pm
SHS sees students with many needs, including health & wellness, reproductive health, and mental health support. SHS is also available to support employees with first aid and TB risk assessments. Stop by Petaluma Student Health Services Office in PC 610 when they are on campus. Feel free to make an appointment by calling (707) 527-4445.
Empowering Journeys: Personal Essays by ESL Students
In the heart of Petaluma's vibrant ESL programs, stories of growth and achievement continue to inspire us of the challenges faced by many of our learners. Among these narratives, I would like to introduce two of my ESL 781/371 Transitional Reading/Writing/Grammar for NC ESL Students, Berta Lozano and Ana Elisa Damaceno. Their personal essays have earned a well-deserved spotlight in The Change Agent, an adult education magazine for social justice. They were selected and won a $50 gift card for their story submissions. These essays not only shed light on the individual paths of these students but also underscore the invaluable role of ESL education in fostering personal and professional development.
Berta Lozano, a dedicated student of our SRJC Petaluma ESL community, demonstrates the impact of determination and education. Enrolled in ESL classes with the aim of enhancing her business communication skills, Berta's journey reflects a remarkable synergy between her career aspirations and her desire to connect more deeply with her community. Working as an Oligonucleotide Production Specialist in a Genomics company, Berta's commitment to her work is complemented by her devotion to her family, having enjoyed 23 years of marital bliss and recently celebrated her daughter's graduation from SJSU. Her essay is a reflection of a life well-lived, filled with family and friends, and a genuine zest for every moment as she overcomes issues with language, food, and stress.
Similarly, Ana Elisa Damaceno's journey exemplifies the transformative power of ESL education. Having arrived in the United States from Brazil with minimal English proficiency, Ana Elisa embarked on a path of growth and self-discovery. Her commitment to acquiring the language shines through her decision to immerse herself in ESL classes here on our Petaluma campus, empowering her to work toward her dreams of becoming a nutritionist. Ana Elisa's essay captures the importance of inspiration from those who support and use that inspiration to adapt to a new culture and language while pursuing personal and professional goals.
The Publication of Berta Lozano's and Ana Elisa Damaceno's essays in The Change Agent magazine symbolizes the broader impact of ESL education, transcending linguistic barriers to cultivate confident individuals ready to make meaningful contributions to their fields and communities.
As educators, we take immense pride in our students’ accomplishments, reflecting the broader ethos of nurturing potential and fostering growth among all our students and their individual achievements on a campus where diversity is celebrated, and barriers are transformed into stepping stones through education. -- Bentley Cavazzi, SRJC Petaluma ESL Instructor
Visual Merchandising Students Showcase Their Collections
Fashion Studies proudly presents two display cases adorned by the creative collections of our talented Visual Merchandising students. Catch a glimpse of these stunning cases – one located inside the Student Success Center right beside the sliding doors, and the other inside Call Hall by the stairs leading to the second floor.
JumpStart Student Comes Full Circle
In partnership with EOPS, Dalya Amador Arango is assisting the South County Outreach Team. Dayla came to SRJC as a Casa Grande High School JumpStart student in the fall of 2015. After graduating high school in 2016, she was hired as an Outreach Ambassador (Student Employee) to assist the Petaluma Outreach Coordinator. This was a great opportunity for Dalya to learn as much as she could to support students while continuing her studies at SRJC. She has always had a positive attitude and is passionate about meeting students where they are and helping them navigate the difficult systems that come with a college education. She has a heart of gold and it shows in everything she does.
In Spring 2019, Dayla graduated from SRJC with three Associate Degrees and two certificates. She transferred to San Jose State in Fall 2019 and continued to do great work as a Student Employee in the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Dayla graduated from SJSU in Dec. 2021 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Adolescence Development and a minor in Sociology. We are so excited that Dalya found her way back to SRJC as an STNC in October 2022. Growing up in Petaluma, the Petaluma Campus and community has a special place in her heart. She steps up to plate to assist wherever she can and is not afraid to tackle any challenge set for her.
This last week, Dalya represented SRJC at the Casa Grande HS JumpStart Student Kick-Off Presentation, the place where it all began for her. With close to 200 high school seniors in the room, she shared her personal success story in an effort to inspire students just like herself. This was a full circle moment for Dalya and all of the Casa Grande HS staff members who have watched her grow into the woman she is today. SRJC is so proud of Dalya and know that she will continue to make a difference at SRJC and with students throughout her community. Keep an eye on Dalya-- she is going places.
Petaluma Student Success team Updates
From Coaches to Classified Professionals
As the Petaluma Student Success Team has grown, so have the Peer Success Coaches. Starting in 2016, the Petaluma Student Success Team has had over 50 coaches welcome, guide, and engage our Petaluma campus first year students. These coaches have gone on to use their penchant for helping others to find work in their areas of study. Three of the former coaches, Emmanuel Lopez Ortiz, Erick Fernandez Bonilla, and Leticia Garcia Arango have come back to SRJC to start their professional careers and have secured full time classified professional positions.
Emmanuel Lopez Ortiz has worked as a Student Success Specialist I with the SRJC Health Occupation Preparation & Education (HOPE) program since April 2023. Prior to this he was a Petaluma Campus Peer Success Coach from 2018-2021, as well as a STNC in 2022. Emmanuel provides case management support to a cohort of students and does outreach for the HOPE program. He says that his favorite part of the job is the daily relationship building. He currently holds a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley and plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration in the future.
Erick Fernandez Bonilla has worked as a Student Success Specialist I with the SRJC Counseling office since August of 2023. Prior to this he was a Petaluma Campus Peer Success Coach from 2021-2022, as well as an STNC in 2023. Erick provides in-reach and outreach for the counseling department, including developing promotional and marketing materials to connect with students. Like Emmanuel, he says his favorite part of the job is the relationship building with students. Erick will graduate this fall semester from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Sociology and plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Counseling in the future.
Leticia Garcia Arango has worked as a Cal Works Coordinator since September of 2023. Prior to this she was a Petaluma Campus Peer Success Coach from 2018-2019, and a STNC from 2020-2023. Leticia provides support to eligible students to close equity gaps for disadvantaged parenting students. Leticia says that her favorite part of the job is working 1 on 1 with students and connecting them to SRJC resources. She currently holds a B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Chicano Studies from UCLA and plans to pursue a Master’s of Social Work in the future.
These three classified professionals have both have continued their holistic approach to supporting SRJC students and are shining examples of the impact that SRJC student employees can have in the present moment, as well as in the future.
Baby Harlow is here
Congratulations to Outreach Coordinator, Elias Carreno, and his partner, Rochelle Schulze, who welcomed their baby boy, Harlow, on September 29th.
We can’t wait to meet Baby Harlow.
SRJC Petaluma Students make the show with Carpa student talent
Petaluma Campus English as a Second Language (ESL) 715/716 students and their instructor, Dr. Aylin Atilgan Relyea, participated in the Latinx Carpa Student Talent Show on October 13, 2023, at the Santa Rosa campus Luther Burbank Auditorium. The goal: have fun by participating in SRJC community life, support the Latinx Faculty and Association, and support a classmate who appeared on the SRJC Facebook and was looking forward to performing. The final judgment: this was the greatest extracurricular event ever!
Maria Fernanda Rondon Valero, an ESL student from Petaluma Campus, joined the Latinx CARPA Student Talent Show and put on a truly amazing dance show. Rondon Valero reported that it was a wonderful experience to join a talent show organized by SRJC and to meet other students, staff, and administrators backstage!
Rondon Valero was thrilled to receive a trophy for her performance. The performer has her own dance school in Ecuador, and reported this was the first time she has danced since arriving in the U.S., just a few months ago.
She says she's grateful to SRJC and her instructor for this special opportunity that helped her feel at home in the U.S. and her new school!
ESL 715/716 Latinx students brought a wonderful spirit to the night. They cheered up Rondon Valero and all the other talented students in the show.
Fancy women riding bikes in Petaluma
The Fancy Women Bike Ride is a worldwide grassroots bike movement. In 2023, bikers pedaled in 35 countries and 200 cities. The Berlin Senatorial for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection selected the tour as "Green Transport Movement of the Year" in 2021. In 2022, the event received the UN World Bicycle Day Award by Leszek Sibilski.
Our very own ESL Faculty, Dr. Aylin Baris Atilgan Relyea, organized 115 people of all genders, as well as children and including Vice Mayor Cader Thompson, to join the fun bike ride in Petaluma for Sonoma County’s own incarnation of the Global Fancy Women Bike Ride. The vibrant and invigorating bike ride was followed by great jazz music and celebration along the Petaluma River.
The event celebrated safe spaces for our community to cycle and walk and raised awareness on women's important role in society and climate crisis.
Sad you missed it? Fear not! It happens on the 3rd week of September, every year.
Video of our fun bike ride & event at https://fb.watch/nb3aPRtNUW/
You can find more info at the following
Adopt a textbook.... and a puppy?
The SRJC Petaluma Vet Tech program has free textbooks to loan out to our students thanks to a generous grant from the Strong Workforce program. Free textbooks put more money in students' pockets, and lead to more students completing programs, getting employed, and improving their earnings in high-demand, high-wage jobs.
Our puppy helper, Luna Moonbeam, is currently available for adoption, too! SLIA Angelica Tercero is fostering Luna, and she is growing by leaps and bounds! #belgianmalinois? #puppiesofinstagram