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Online And On Board

Change is a constant factor at SRJC Petaluma, and the start of the spring semester has been no different. Student Services completed a management reorganization which brought a new staff member, Michelle Vidaurri, to the campus and moved two managers, Denise Cooper and Deb Ziccone, into new and expanded roles. Construction projects funded by Measure H moved close to completion, and the lab component of several courses were conducted in person with the help of front line staff and faculty enacting significant safety measures. And, of course, we continue to support the substantial instructional and support needs through online services. Enjoy reading all the campus updates!

Michelle Vidaurri: Director of Student Engagement and Student Support

Michelle entered the California Community College system both as a first generation student and classified employee in 2004. Columbia College’s small campus and a community who invested in her growth afforded her the ability to wear many hats in the eleven years of her employment. As a team member of just two different departments, she held the roles of Financial Aid Specialist, Scholarship Specialist, Veterans Coordinator, Curriculum Specialist, Instruction Office Manager, Basic Skills Initiative project leader, Academic Senate Administrative Specialist, and support to Yosemite Faculty Association.

Once she earned her MBA, she both taught as an adjunct instructor and promoted to Columbia’s sister college where she was the Interim Director of Retention, Access and Support Services. At Modesto Junior College, she implemented a program comprised of a team of classified professional Student Success Coaches. As the interim assignment came to a close, she and her daughter longed to return a location that served their adoration of the outdoors. She feels fortunate to have found a permanent home and start at Santa Rosa Junior College in the summer of 2016. Since that time, she has implemented a variety of policy and operational changes, technology platforms and programs. Most notably of that work was the coordination of AB705 and the opening of the SR Campus Welcome & Connect Center which closely mirrors the first year retention programming found within the work of the Petaluma Student Success Team. After the Welcome and Connect Centers first successful year, she began looking for new ways she can serve equity initiatives and the college community and was elated to find a place on the SRJC Petaluma Campus. Her daughter, Grace was just four months old when this adventure began and today, she is finishing 12th grade at Montgomery High. She will be attending SRJC next year and will be exploring the Anthropology and Sociology subject areas.

Denise Cooper: Manager of Enrollment & Student Services Centers

Denise Cooper graduated from University of San Francisco with her Masters in Counseling/Psychology in 2012. Prior to that she attended Sonoma State University, SRJC and Rancho Cotate High School.. Denise began her career at SRJC as an STNC in 2005 and became full time in the Admissions & Records Department on the Santa Rosa Campus in 2007. She transferred to the Petaluma Campus in 2013, as an Admissions & Records Coordinator and then became the manager of Admissions & Enrollment Services at SRJC Petaluma in 2016.

In her spare time Denise loves boating and spending time at the lake with family & friends. She passes time these days hanging out with her family and their 5-year-old yellow lab, Chester and the new addition to the family, Ellie Mae, is an 8-month-old Beagle/Terrier Mix.

Deb Ziccone: Manager, Student Support Services

In Deborah Ziccone's role as the Manager, Student Support Services, SRJC Petaluma, Deborah continues to support the operations of the Petaluma Student Center as well as supervising the Coordinator of the Intercultural Center, a role she has held since it opened in 2015. Additionally she will provide district leadership with off-campus housing, transportation and student photo IDs. Deb began her career with SRJC Foundation supporting the Bruce Sawyer Center for inventors and ITM, Ideas to Market community organization through the then SRJC sponsored SBDC, Small Business Development Center. Deborah enjoyed helping inventors protect their intellectual property and navigate through the steps of getting their products to market in many different industries. She established Sonoma County as a sub depository for the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Her career continued with SRJC with positions including: Scholarship Outreach, Manager of Resident Life, Activity Advisor and Manager of Petaluma Student Engagement. She provided volunteer leadership with SRJC Alumni Association and continues today as a member of the SRJC Foundation BCAT, Bear Cub Athletic Trust active with fund raising for SRJC athletic teams. She is from Sebastopol, CA where she was on the Analy High School gymnastics team. Deb enjoys spending time with her granddaughters, exploring Sonoma County and supporting the SRJC Bear Cub Basketball teams. Deborah was in the class of 2012 Petaluma Leadership with the Petaluma Chamber of Commerce. Her degrees include Bachelor of Arts in Management with an emphasis in Marketing from Sonoma State University and Master in Public Administration from University of San Francisco.

Welcome Kruti Darji, Mathematics Instructor

Kruti Darji (Full-Time Mathematics Faculty, Petaluma). Kruti is excited to start her career as a Math instructor at SRJC. Her Professional interest includes teaching Math and research in Applied Mathematics. Kruti has 10 years of teaching experience at the undergrad and graduate levels in India and in the USA. She started her journey as a Math instructor in 2007 in India. She taught Business Mathematics, Statistics, Calculus at Business College for 3 years. She taught Differential equations, Linear Algebra, Numerical Analysis, Complex analysis, and various Engineering math courses at Government Engineering College, India.

In the USA she worked for the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, where she completed her MS in Math Education. She worked for the University of Colorado, Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Kentucky State University, University of Silicon Valley, Community College of Denver, Iowa Central Community College, and Central Carolina Community College where she taught various courses Consumer Mathematics, Math for Liberal Arts, College Algebra, Precalculus, Calculus, Statistics, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and Transformations, etc. she has completed her Ph.D. research on Mathematical models of flow problems of Porous media and solved Partial and fractional Differential equations of flow problems. In her free time, Kruti enjoys cooking, music, and spending time with family and friends.

Our House Abides, Offering Virtual Cultural Events

Although everyone misses the comfy couches and “chill vibe” inside Our House Intercultural Center, the Center managed to translate its cultural programming to virtual space in the fall quite successfully. In fact, we attracted more students than ever to our Zoom events, which included a guest talk by Black Lives Matter leader Cat Brooks and a DJ demo-slash-poetry performance by NYC hip-hop legend Kuttin Kandi. (Being able to attend events in your pajamas from home has its benefits!) Community-building activities continue this spring with a whole slate of Black History Month and Women’s History Month gatherings, plus the

We the Future Social Justice Conference coming up on April 16. 2021. Visit

Petaluma Student Success Updates

Meet Stefanie Ritz, Radiologic Technology Major and Student Success Coach

This month the Student Success Team would like to highlight student success coach, Stefanie Ritz. Stefanie is a Radiologic Technologies major who has been working with the Student Success Team since 2019. Before working with the team, she worked on campus for three years with the Office of Student Life, and the Counseling Department for two semesters.

Stefanie says that the best part of being a coach is getting to work with her amazing team and having the ability to help and support students. In her time away from school and work, Stefanie likes to spend time with her family, play Xbox and PC games, and she manages a couple of Discord servers.

When asked what advice she would have given her freshman self, she said she would have told a younger Stefanie to “pace myself and relax, and try to enjoy my time on campus with my peers. I would also tell myself not to save all of my more difficult classes for last - in case of a global pandemic.”

Stefanie plans to graduate from SRJC with her degree in Radiologic Technologies and then move to Washington State to become a Radiologic Technician for Kaiser.

The Student Success Team is Here to Support Students!

The Petaluma Student Success Team of Peer Coaches are here to support students in reaching their academic, personal, and professional goals. This semester students can meet with a Peer Coach one-on-one through Zoom to receive help with time management, creating structure in an online environment, study skills, test taking methods, and getting connected to appropriate resources. The Team also holds monthly workshops designed to develop these same skills. Students can meet with a peer coach through our Zoom link:, or may text to 833-419-0362, or call 707-778-3616, or email

January is Preparedness Month

The Student Success theme for January is Preparedness here at the Student Success Team. The beginning of the semester is upon us and the coaches at the Students Success Team are ready to help students get the semester started off on the right foot. We invite all students to come by the Student Success Zoom room to ask questions, get connected to resources, or hang out with the Team. Please refer any students in need of assistance to the Student Success Team Zoom Room.

The Student Success Team Has Launched a YouTube Channel

The Petaluma Student Success Team is on YouTube! The Team created a YouTube channel to help students with the areas of practice that will help them be successful. Be sure to check out the Team's video on how to best utilize your spring '21 SRJC planner. If you know of any students that are looking for advice, please direct them to the Success Team YouTube channel using the link below. In the future we plan on adding more videos to diversify our catalog.

February is Study Skills Month

February is Study Skills month for the Student Success Team. As we move into the second month of the semester, midterms are on the horizon. To prepare for these exams, the Student Success Coaches can meet with students to craft individual study plans and connect them to tutoring resources as well as other appropriate campus resources. Additionally, the Team will be hosting a workshop entitled “How To Study For Success” on February 23rd from 1-2pm. Workshops are held in the Student Success Team Zoom Room at: Come join the team!

Back to the Semester- Get Set Up For Success!

On January 26th Student Success Team held a workshop entitled, “Back to the Semester! Get Set Up For Success!” Several students joined for a detailed discussion on Canvas, the new accessibility feature with the software called Ally, a review of how grades work in Canvas, the importance of referring to the syllabus the first week of the semester, and using a planner to chart out the semester's assignments. The session was discussion-based workshop where both the team and attendees shared tips and recommendations to get the semester off to a good start.

February Workshop Focus on Studying for Success

On Tuesday, February 23rd from 1-2pm the Petaluma Student Success Team will be hosting a workshop entitled “How to Study for Success." Many students are still adjusting to an online learning style, and join us to hear Success Team tips on notetaking methods, how to improve your focus, avoiding procrastination, and how to increase motivation while learning at home. The Zoom link is as follows:

CAREER EDUCATION Student Success Team Update

The Student Success Team is Here to Support Students!

Career Education students have a team! The Career Education (CE) Student Success Team is ready to support CE students in reaching their academic, personal, and professional goals. Much like the Petaluma Student Success Team, CE students can meet with a peer success coach one-on-one to get help with time management, creating structure in an online environment, study skills, test taking methods, and getting connected with SRJC Career Hub services. We are also holding monthly workshops designed to develop workplace soft skills. CE students can meet with a peer coach through our zoom link:, text us at 833-419-0362, call us at 707-778-3616, or email

February Workshop Highlights Communication and Collaboration

As part of the Success Skills Series of workshops, On Tuesday, February 23rd from 5pm to 6pm the Career Education Student Success Team is hosting a workshop titled “Communication and Collaboration”. to help students evaluate their own skill level and ensure greater success in the workplace as well as in the classroom. We will discuss steps in which a student can pursue students to make study groups or make connections in class, collaborative skills and what that may consist of, presentation skills and how to communicate with professors via online. Zoom:

Instructor Felicia Darling Publishes Ethnographic Study

Felicia Darling, an instructor in math in the College Skills/Tutorial Center Department, spent the last four years working to publish an article in Spanish about her six-month ethnographic study in a Yucatec Maya village in the Yucatán. Felicia and Mariana Barragán Torres of UCLA partnered to publish the article in January, 2021. The article, Estrategias comunitarias de resolución de problemas matemáticos en una comunidad maya en Yucatán, will be published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Universidad Iberoamericana. Felicia was determined to publish the research article in Spanish to give back to the community where she conducted her study, and to inform education policy to benefit math students of indigenous communities in México. Last week Mariana and Felicia were invited to present the paper in Spanish at an education policy conference run by the Universidad Iberoamericana on February 18 at 2:00pm. Please email Felicia at if you would like to watch the presentation in Spanish.

SRJC Petaluma Assessment assists with SWC Distribution

On Thursday, January 25, 2021, the Petaluma Assessment staff supported the Southwest Center on the drive-through distribution of equipment and food cards for non-credit ESL students. The Center distributed six laptops, nine hotspots, one calculator and 64 food cards.

SRJC Petaluma Serves as County Vaccination Site

The campus is honored to be of service to the County of Sonoma by offering the campus Fitness Center as one of Sonoma County’s COVID-19 Vaccination Centers. This center is by appointment only and the Department of Health is coordinating with primary care providers on plans for expanding immunizations, according to state and federal eligibility requirements. Please work with your health care provider to determine when the vaccine is available to you.

Transition to College Information Night on Virtual Platform

The DRD hosted a virtual Transition to College Information Night on December 9, 2020 for high school seniors with disabilities who are preparing to come to SRJC in the fall of 2021. Over 60 families throughout Sonoma County attended.

Transition to College Information Night on Virtual Night

DRD is excited to work with Our House in Petaluma and the Intercultural Center in Santa Rosa to welcome Leroy Moore and Krip Hop Nation to SRJC on Tuesday February 9th at 1:00 pm. The group will talk about racism as it intersects with ableism and share what Black disabled resistance looks & sounds like through time. They will also share the cultural work of Krip Hop artists from around the world. All are welcome! Event details and the zoom link can be found on the Our House website.

Keep Those Referrals Coming!

Please continue to send students to DRD who are interested in finding out if services are right for them. Our website has information about our Zoom Drop-In Appointment times, the “Ask a Specialist” text box and contact info for the front desk.

Equal Pay Days

Women’s Equal Pay Day marks the day into the year when a woman, on average, finally earns what a man did in 2020. That’s 15 months. Or, if you look at a typical 9:00-5:00 work day, women start working without pay at 2:40 p.m.

Asian-American Women March 9 $0.87 (cents)

All Women March 24 $0.82 (cents)

Black Women August 3 $0.63 (cents)

Native American Women September 8 $0.60 (cents)

Latina Women October 21 $0.55 (cents)

Economic Security for women is non-negotiable

Money is power, and women will never be equal to men until they achieve full parity in earnings and wealth. In recent decades, American women have made significant strides toward economic equality: They make up nearly half the U.S. workforce, and two-thirds of women are their family’s primary or co-breadwinner. Yet men continue to earn more money—and accumulate more wealth—than women do.

The median salary for women is just 82% of the median salary for men—a figure that has barely budged over the past generation. Median earnings for American women working full time are $45,097, while men are paid $55,291. Yet women make up close to 47% of the workforce, and as many as two-thirds are primary or co-breadwinners of their families.

This needs to change. And it’s not just women who will benefit: When women win, their families, communities and workplaces win. What’s more, breaking down barriers for women will open new opportunities for everyone, regardless of gender.

More than a paycheck

Women working full time in the U.S. are paid 82% of what men earn. At the current rate of change, we won’t achieve pay equality until 2093.

AAUW’s report, The Simple Truth About the Gender Wage Gap, shows that a gap exists at all levels of work in almost every occupation. There is a gender pay gap in every state. It cuts across all age groups and demographics, widening significantly for women of color. The gap greets a woman as soon as she gets out of college and grows wider throughout her lifetime.

Women's wealth

And it’s not just annual earnings: The pay gap also contributes to the wealth gap. It makes it difficult for women to amass savings, build wealth and achieve economic security. Overall, the average American woman has a net worth of $5,541, less than half of the $12,188 average net worth of a man. In terms of overall wealth, a single woman has only 32 cents for each dollar a single man has. And the wealth gap is even wider for women of color, who have just pennies for every dollar a white male has.

Deeper in...

The consequences of this gap  affect women throughout their lives. While women outpace men in earning bachelor’s, master’s and advanced degrees, they take on greater debt to pay for their education: Women hold nearly two-thirds of the outstanding student debt in the United States — almost $929 billion as of early-2019. Because of the gender pay gap, women have a harder time repaying loans, meaning women’s debt burden compounds as time goes on.

Saving less

The pay gap follows women into retirement: As a result of lower lifetime earnings, they receive less in Social Security and pensions. Women collect only 80% of what men collect in Social Security benefits, and just 76% in pensions. In terms of overall retirement income, women have only 70% of what men do. White men over 65 have an average annual income of $44,200, while white women over 65 must get by on $23,100, Black women on $21,900, and Latinas on $14,800.

What can we do?

Between 2014 and 2016, the executive branch took critical action to provide new tools to fight the pay gap. Because of these actions, federal contractors are now prohibited from retaliating against employees who talk about their salary with their coworkers. Other protections for workers, like a federal pay data collection designed to identify trends in pay discrimination based on gender, race, and ethnicity, were delayed by the previous administration. To continue to close the gender pay gap, protections must be advanced, not stopped or delayed, and the executive branch should take additional action to ensure adequate enforcement of all civil rights laws through sufficient funding and staffing of civil rights enforcement agencies.


AAUW Petaluma

SRJC Petaluma Student, Monica Cornejo, authors new children's book

Monica Cornejo, a former student on the Petaluma Campus, has written a children’s book. The Adventures of Juanito tells the story of Juanito—an undocumented child—who emigrates to the United States along with his mother, Lucerito, to reunite with his father. However, as Juanito and his mom are crossing into the United States, Juanito gets separated from his mom.

Juanito's story highlights the struggles immigrant children face as they make their way to the United States, such as family separation and the inability to understand the English language. Will Juanito be able to overcome these challenges? Buy the book, available at Amazon, to find out.

Clocktower Plaza receives replacement trees

What do you think about this stump grinder? It fits on a skid steer auger or post hole drive and rips up stumps. It will also take out the stumps in clocktower plaza to complete the replacement of diseased trees with white crape myrtle that you see below. Look for more pictures once the project is complete.

City of Petaluma Celebrates Black History Month with Portraits of Families

Petaluma Blacks for Community Development hosted a unique celebration of family for Black History Month. You can find portraits of the many varieties of families throughout city businesses in downtown Petaluma, and at their website.

Updates from SRJC Libraries

SRJC Libraries welcomes new Dean, Mary-Catherine Oxford

Mary-Catherine brings years of California Community College Library experience including work with multi-campus districts, statewide committees and capital projects. She is really excited to join the SRJC Community, committed to supporting all SRJC Campuses, and ready to hit the ground running on existing initiatives.

Get Support for your Instruction

Your librarians on the Petaluma campus —Loretta Esparza, Jessica Harris, and Phyllis Usina— are here to support you and your students. Contact your Liaison Librarian to discuss online research guides, course-integrated instruction, or other instructional needs.

Library Collection – What do you need?

The Library can purchase the book or streaming media titles you need to support your curriculum. The deadline for Spring 2021 orders is March 1. You can suggest resources for purchase two ways:

• Fill out the online Purchase Request Form.

• Contact your Liaison Librarian.

Course Reserves – Textbooks and more!

The Library can add a resource in the existing Library collection or purchase the item for your course.

• See what is already on reserve by visiting the Textbooks on Reserve.

• Use the online Course Reserves Form to add an item to your Reserves List.

• The Reserves Team keeps track, in real time, with the SRJC Bookstore to keep Reserve materials up-to-date.

• Visit the Textbooks on Reserve webpage for more information, or contact the Reserve Team at

A Message of Gratitude to Phyllis Usina

Phyllis, our Outgoing Dean of Library and Information Resources, navigated the unforeseen challenges of the pandemic, as well as the ongoing impact of local and regional fires, with persistence, kindness and a collaborative spirit. Integrity and innovation define her leadership style. We are grateful for the vision and stability she provided during these unprecedented times. We are excited she is rejoining her colleagues as librarian to continue supporting the SRJC Community.

SRJC Construction Center Update

TLCD Architecture has been hired to design the forthcoming SRJC Construction Center at SRJC Petaluma. TLCD is the architectural firm responsible for the large expansion of Petaluma campus funded by Measure A and completed in 2008. As such, they know the Petaluma campus well and have been a great partner in this newest endeavor. Faculty from the Adult Education Construction Certificate, from Renewable Energy, Water/Wastewater, and from the future HVAC program met with TLCD in January to identify instructional needs that will be supported by the two lab classrooms within the new facility. Construction will start in 2022 and be completed in 2023.