Petaluma Updates September 2020


Introduction by Executive Dean Matthew Long

Recently a colleague sent me a video of Earth, Wind & Fire's September to celebrate our new month. In the grasp of the LNU complex fire, with high heat and dry winds on their way, I could only think of how appropriate this was. However, besides being a great song, September has us remember that this month of the fall equinox is also a beautiful month full of clear skies and love for each other that is realized throughout the rest of the year. This newsletter shares a lot of love for our campus and community, even as we remain in our respective shelters.

Regina Guerra, Interim Dean of Instruction and Enrollment Services, begins new role.

An internal SRJC search process has completed with the selection of Regina Guerra as Interim Dean of Instruction and Enrollment Management for the SRJC Petaluma campus. Regina is a graduate of Mills College (B.A. in Math/Physics) and East Tennessee State University (M.A. in Secondary Math Education). Prior to her appointment, Regina was tenured faculty and department chair in SRJC’s College Skills/Tutorial Department.
Regina has worked for the college since 2014 and served as a College Skills Math instructor in Santa Rosa and in the IGNITE Program in the Sonoma County Jails. As Department Chair, she has been responsible for faculty, classified and student employees in College Skills credit, non-credit GED, and IGNITE Jail classes, and Tutorial Centers on both SR and Petaluma campuses and off-site locations. Prior to coming to SRJC, Regina worked two years as the Math Program Director of the Prison University Project (an on-site AA degree program) at San Quentin Prison. She also taught high school Math for five years at the University School of East Tennessee State University. Regina reads and writes Spanish, and is becoming fluent in the language as part of her professional development goals.
Regina describes herself as self-reflective and equity-minded educator who has a love for teaching and a passion for working with some of our most vulnerable community college students. She began the transition into the challenging role of Petaluma's instructional Dean as of Monday, August 24, 2020. Her physical office is located in the Petaluma campus Administration Office, Room 625 in the Richard W. Call Classroom and Administration Building. Her office phone number is 707-778-3628. Her email address is

Welcome New Faculty of SRJC Petaluma

Loretta Esparza: Library
Loretta has fulfilled a wide variety of instruction, outreach, and library-related activities at Santa Rosa Junior College, College of Marin, and most recently at Sonoma State University. Through her professional work and community service, she has interacted with diverse groups of people, and she is comfortable building rapport and relationships with different groups. She is experienced with instruction and reference services for the diverse population at community colleges, and she has worked extensively with first-year students and programs. Loretta focuses on active learning, and builds upon students' prior experiences and knowledge. She is passionate about integrating the arts and primary sources into the curriculum in face-to-face and digital scenarios. She enjoys building partnerships across communities and collaborating with colleagues. Loretta is an active person, and especially enjoys swimming, practicing yoga, and cycling. She is a fan of theater productions, art museums, and graphic novels. Loretta will begin at the start of the Fall 2020 semester.

Albert Yu: Business Administration
I have taught at Santa Rosa Junior College since Fall 2013 in the Business Administration department. I have also been the Hospitality Management Program Coordinator. I have taught BAD 10 American Business in A Global Context, BMK 50 Marketing, HOSP 80 Intro to Hospitality, HOSP 63 - Intro to the Hotel Industry, and HOSP 68 - Hospitality. I have also taught part time at Mission College, Le Cordon Bleu, and the International Culinary Center. Prior to 2013, I worked in the hospitality industry, most recently as a Director at Horawath Hospitality Tourism and Leisure consulting and have also served in various sales and operational management roles at the Four Seasons, Starwood, Fairmont, and Hyatt Hotels.
My main teaching experience has been at City College of San Francisco, where I was on the faculty from 2001 through Spring 2016. I have primarily taught Introduction to Microbiology (for pre-Allied Health students), Human Biology, Genetics, and Bioethics. Prior to 2005, I also taught various Biology courses at Laney College, Cañada College, and San Francisco State University. I have also had the privilege of working as a visiting fellow with the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues during the Spring of 2015. At the Commission, I initiated the development of educational materials that integrate ethical issues into basic biology courses.

Riva Bruenn: Biological Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA BA/Biology Oberlin College Oberlin, Ohio Eight (8) years of part-time and full-time instructional and vocational experience at: Laney College, Oakland CA; Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill, CA; University of California, Berkeley, CA; Berkeley City College, Berkeley, CA; IXL Learning. Inc., San Mateo, CA; and Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.
I'm from Buffalo, NY. Despite my origins, I am not a huge fan of chicken wings. Hopefully my love of sponge candy, blue cheese, and mint-ting-a-ling ice cream still qualifies me to be a Buffalonian. I also enjoy science fiction, fostering kittens and old dogs, backpacking, and baking challah.

Johannes van Gorp: Social Sciences
Johan has always been interested in both the study of politics and history. Besides a Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston University, he holds an M.A. in European Studies from New York University and a B.A. in History and International Affairs from Lafayette College. Johan also studied U.S. foreign policy for a semester at the American University in the spring of 2003. He has taught both history and political science as an Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Department of International Studies at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) from 2014 to 2020. Before moving to the UAE, he also taught politics at UC, Riverside and Occidental College from 2013 to 2014. As far as hobbies go, Johan loves to travel. He has been to more than 30 countries and has lived in the Netherlands, Taiwan, Poland, Malaysia, the Czech Republic, and the UAE. However, nowadays he calls California "home” – he likes it here so much that he became U.S. citizen in San Diego in 2014.

Matthew Fontana: Chemistry & Physics
Matthew is a proud Sonoma County native and grew up in Rohnert Park, where he attended Rancho Cotate High School. He then attended Sonoma State University and graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry and B.A. in Physics. After graduating from SSU, Matthew attended UCLA where he enjoyed teaching, researching organic solar cells, and playing his trumpet in an orchestra that played only video game music. After graduating with a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, he started teaching chemistry classes at Santa Rosa Junior College. He is ecstatic to be teaching students and serving his home county!! In his spare time Matthew enjoys bird watching, hiking, playing the trumpet in SRJC’s fantastic orchestra, and all things Star Wars.

Catherine Williams: Behavioral Sciences
Catherine is thrilled to return to full-time instruction in her original discipline – Psychology.  She earned her Doctorate of Philosophy and Master’s in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Dominican University – after attending both UC Santa Cruz and College of Marin.  She has more than 25 years of instructional experience, teaching at Dominican University, Sonoma State University, and SRJC in the Behavioral Sciences, Counseling, and Disability Resources departments.  Her research and clinical experience spans federally and state funded research projects, public sector mental health and juvenile probation centers, educational settings, as well as inpatient, crisis stabilization, residential, and private practice.  She most recently served as Dean of Instruction and Enrollment Management for the Petaluma campus.

And Welcome to our new EOPS Adjunct Faculty

Eloisa Colin
Eloisa Colin is a returning Adjunct Counselor at the Santa Rosa Junior College.  Eloisa received her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish at UC Davis and her Master’s Degree in School Counseling at Sonoma State University. Before working at SRJC as a Counselor, Eloisa worked at the college with the College Assistance Migrant Program and Migrant Education’s Summer Adelante program. Her first School Counseling position was with Santa Rosa City Schools.  Eloisa also worked as an EOP Advisor at Sonoma State University. Eloisa has worked as a Counselor with General Counseling, EOPS, Gateway to College, and the Southwest Center. Eloisa always loved working with students as they work towards achieving their academic and career goals. This is a special community and an exemplary school, and I am happy to be back.

Petaluma Student Success Team Launches Semester Support

As part of Welcome Week programming, the Petaluma Student Success Team held a workshop called “Virtual Success: Finding Your Way Through the SRJC” on Wednesday, August 19th, 20 students attended and shared their excitement for the start of the semester. The workshop went over how students can utilize and take advantage of the online resources that we offer during this semester remote learning, including Zoom, Canvas, MyCubby, tutorial center, school departments, and exploring SRJC webpage. Additionally the Student Success Team covered what we are doing to help students in this remote environment this semester.


August is Preparedness month for the Student Success Team. As we start the semester, the team of Peer Success Coaches is ready to meet with students and help them get the semester started on the right track by creating a plan for ideal school, work, and life balance, as well as make sure that students have the resources to be successful in a virtual online environment. Please refer any students in need of assistance to the Student Success Team Zoom Room at


September is Study Skills month for the Student Success Team. As we move into the 2nd month of the semester, midterms will be here before we know it. The Student Success Coaches can meet with students to craft individual study plans and connect them to tutoring resources. Additionally, the team will be hosting 2 workshops this month, “Ensuring Success in an Online Environment” on September 2nd and “Classroom to Workplace - How to Find an Internship” on September 23rd. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Petaluma Student Success Team of Peer Coaches are here to support students in

reaching their academic, personal, and professional goals. In this remote environment, students can meet with a coach one-on-one to get help with time management, creating structure in an online environment, study skills, test taking methods, and getting connected to appropriate resources. We are also holding monthly workshops designed to develop these same skills.

Students can meet with a peer coach through the following methods:


Text: 833-419-0362,

Phone: 707-778-3616,


Student Success Teams Provide Specialized Services to Career Education Students

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.

The Team also holds 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

SST and the Welcome & Connect Center host 2020's Welcome Day

The Petaluma Student Success Team and Santa Rosa’s Welcome & Connect center hosted the first ever Virtual Welcome Day Kickoff on August 13, 2020 over Zoom with 125 new students in attendance. Participants learned about the services that each Student Success program provides such as one on one coaching, goal setting and developing student success skills and academic soft skills. Participants also had the opportunity to share what they were most excited about as we start the fall semester. The Success teams also highlighted the support services that the SRJC provides in the online environment including tutoring, counseling and more.

SRJC Launches New Off Campus Housing Website

As we enter the 2020-2021 school year, SRJC has moved from an outdated platform for students to find off campus housing options, to The Housing Registry, a new 3rd party software used by U.C. Santa Cruz and other colleges. The Housing Registry will provide an upgraded housing-location experience where students (using a Bearcub email address) can search for roommates or browse housing listings that include photos. This service is offered at no cost to the college, students, or property owners in the community. Feel free to refer your students in need of housing to the website. Just search for "Housing Registry" on the SRJC website.

SRJC Petaluma website, now powered by Drupal 8

Thanks to SRJC Petaluma's very own Maria Banachowicz and Toni Bacigalupa, SRJC Petaluma has moved on to the Drupal 8 platform for our website. Several pages have a new look and an updated feel. Find the Petaluma pages by searching for "SRJC Petaluma" or pulling down the Locations menu on the SRJC homepage to find Petaluma.

Petaluma Assessment Services: Updated Offerings for an Online World

The Petaluma Assessment office is currently providing services remotely. English and Math Guided-Self Placement can be done online as well as the Credit English as a Second Language Placement Test. Non-Credit ESL student can contact us at 707-527-4229 to get assistance with placement and enrollment services.

GED/HiSET testing is currently unavailable in person and until further notice. To meet the needs of test takers who cannot test at a test center because of public health concerns, GED and HiSET are offering online testing. Test Takers can contact GED at 877-392-6433 or HiSET at 800-257-5123 or visit their websites to get more information. The SRJC Testing Center is not part of the online testing, but instead is a resource to provide the information we have from GED and HiSET.

GED ONLY: Homeless and Foster Youth Waivers are an option for the student to have testing fees waived if they can verify they are (or were) foster youth or currently homeless. The waiver recipient must be 25 years of age or younger. Forms and instructions are on the HSE Administrative Documents web page at

Download a Free SRJC Academic Planner

The SRJC Petaluma Academic Planner has gone District-wide for Fall 2020! For the first time the planner will be available online for all students! Search for "SRJC Academic Planner" on the SRJC Website. The Academic Planner was mailed to new Petaluma students as a way of connecting new students to something physical at SRJC.  The Student Success Team contacts each student individually to work on student success worksheets within the planner. The planner also includes a section on "Using Canvas 101" and tips on how to dissect your course syllabus. Check out all the great new additions to the planner.

Highlighting SRJC Petaluma Students Walter Isaac

LoFi and Electronic artist Walter “AwaBeats” Isaac was raised first in Georgia and later California, after moving to the state in his teens with his family. Walter has always enjoyed listening to music. Influenced by his parents, he grew up listening to Motown, 80’s funk, and Gospel. His time in Georgia introduced him to hip hop, which quickly became a favorite genre of his, leading to the making of beats as a particular area of interest. From middle school until college he would run audio for his family church, and in high school, he picked up DJing as a side hobby.
In coming to California, his friends introduced him to Electronic Music. He earned the nickname “Awa” during this time, and found one of his favorite artist duos, Daft Punk. They became an inspiration for him and he slowly found ways to make music just like them. Getting his hands on whatever free audio software he could find, he began to make beats in his bedroom. He found himself wanting more and wound up in front of a real soundboard.
At SRJC, Walter studied Digital Audio and occasionally DJ'ed for the campus. His time studying at the JC allowed him to learn the more professional Audio Editing Software and to become a better producer. He is now studying Broadcasting Electronics and Communication Arts at San Francisco State University.
Walter is now on his 5th album release entitled The Quarantine Tape, the majority of which was put together during the Covid-19 outbreak. With more time on his hands than usual, he dedicated his time to making another album. This beat tape is made for those looking to study and relax. Like many of his other albums The Quarantine Tape is perfect for those looking to unwind after a long Covid kind-of-day.

NO POWER? NO PROBLEM! by Whitney Schultz

My family and I live in an area where we are the first to lose power and the last to get it back! I have made my own personal power outage plan that has worked well for the last three power outages. Disclaimer: this is my own personal experience and not a reflection of any District requirements.

Keep Laptop Charged:

I make sure to keep my laptop plugged into power when it’s on so that it has the full 6-8 hour charge when the power goes out.

Charging Bricks:

I have 3 charging bricks (including the official Backstreet Boys Fan Club charging brick) that I make sure to charge whenever the power is on. These charging bricks keep my cell phone charged. I use my cell phone as a mobile hot spot.

Mobile Hot Spot on Cell Phone:

My phone has a mobile hot spot feature that allows me to hook my laptop up to my cell phone data.

Ta-Da: With all of the above, I have my work laptop

that lasts for 6-8  hours, charging bricks to make sure my cell phone stays charged and a mobile hot spot which allows me to access internet data on my laptop. This gives me access to zoom, email, district files, programs such as Escape and SIS and more! I can even work outside if it is cooler outdoors than it is inside my house.

Jo Ann Gaglione's grandaughter, Riley, makes the Comic-con daily newsletter. See right.


Got ZOOM Fatigue?



Library Details Service Options for Fall 2020

Online Fall Hours @ SRJC Libraries

Librarians are available online, August 17th – December 18th (holidays excepted)

• Mon – Thurs, 8am–10pm • Fridays, 9am-5pm

• Saturdays, 9am-3pm

At this time, our physical locations are still closed.

Fall 2020: Textbooks on Reserve, Calculators & Laptops: Curbside Pick-Up by Appointment

The Library Access Services team has been hard at work to ensure a safe, no-contact Curbside Pickup experience for students this Fall.

Students may place online requests and pick-up appointments for Reserve items, including textbooks, calculators and laptops. Reserve item check-outs to students will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and students will keep Reserve items for the entire semester.