Follow-up Story: Rio Hondo College anthropology professor Adam Wetsman is one of four faculty members from the 114-campus California Community Colleges system to receive the 2018 Hayward Award for excellence in teaching and professional activities. Wetsman has promoted study abroad opportunities, promoted understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, written low-cost textbooks and secured $50,000 in funding for a student anthropology lab.
California state Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon congratulated graduates at Rio Hondo College’s 55th annual Commencement Ceremony on May 24 and urged them to “make a difference.” The ceremony recognized 1,399 students who earned an estimated 2,001 academic degrees, including 653 degrees for transfer, which guarantee admission to the California State University system. Both figures top the College’s numbers for 2016-17. Also honored were three outstanding students who overcame challenges en route to earning their degrees – Brenda Coronel, Yarisma Rocha and Jason Hoang. All three have been accepted to UC Berkeley.
Rio Hondo College’s Forensics Speech and Debate Team placed third at the 2018 Phi Rho Pi National Competition, one of the program’s strongest showings in recent years. The team competed against 30 other schools in its division during the April 9-14 event in Daytona, Florida. More than 60 schools from 28 states took part in the program of competitions. Debate Coach Grant Tovmasian received the Collie-Taylor Coach Fellowship Award, which goes to the tournament’s most outstanding coaches.
Rio Hondo College Career and Technical Education Programs Honored for Boosting Wages, Employment for Graduates
Rio Hondo College is receiving acclaim for boosting earnings and employment in desired fields for career and technical education (CTE) students who earned certificates or degrees. The Strong Workforce Stars program awarded a Gold Star to the registered nursing program, Silver Star to the automotive technology program and seven Bronze Stars for programs ranging from fitness trainer to accounting.
Rio Hondo College to Host Hundreds of Area High School Students for Annual Preview Days Rio Hondo College will highlight faculty, programs and student support services for hundreds of area high school students during its annual Senior Preview Days at 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 7 and Thursday, March 8. Students will attend workshops on academic and career programs, and learn about such services as the College’s innovative Summer Bridge program, which prepares students for the demands of higher education, and as well as a multiple-measures placement system for basic skills classes, such as math. A College Club Rush, organized by Student Life and Leadership, will introduce students to campus life opportunities. The event will be held at Rio Hondo College’s Wray Theater, 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier. For information, call (562) 463-4693.
Professors at Rio Hondo College and UCLA are launching a partnership on Thursday, Feb. 22 that will allow six Rio Hondo College students to conduct research at the UCLA Center for Biological Physics this spring. Dubbed the UCLA-RHC Scientific Exchange Program, the partnership is the brainchild of Rio Hondo College physics Professor Christian Vaca and UCLA Professor Alex Levine. The duo mapped out a pact to allow students to conduct research at UCLA and present their findings at a conference in June. UCLA will help cover some of the students’ costs. The two professors are also seeking National Science Foundation support to expand the program, which is the first partnership of its kind between the two schools.
Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones to Explore the Impact of Natural Disasters during Rio Hondo College Talk
Dr. Lucy Jones, a noted seismologist for 33 years with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21 at Rio Hondo College’s Wray Theater on how earthquakes, floods and other disasters have both benefited and beset civilizations throughout recorded history. Jones, who developed the Great ShakeOut, an earthquake drill that has engaged 55 million participants, also will discuss what disasters reveal about mankind’s potential for humanitarian efforts. The theater is at 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier.
Rio Hondo College to Host Cash 4 College Workshop to Assist Students in Obtaining 2018-19 Financial Aid
Rio Hondo College will host a Cash 4 College financial aid overview and workshop on Saturday, Feb. 3 for students and their families, offering assistance with the 2018-19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act application. The overview will begin at 9 a.m.; the workshop will run from 9:30 to 1 p.m. Both will be held in the Rio Hondo College Rio Café, 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier.
Forty-six firefighters from across California are hewing their way through structures and carving up cars today through Friday, Feb. 2 during Rio Hondo College’s annual Regional Truck Academy at the Rio Hondo Fire Training Center, 11400 Greenstone Ave., Santa Fe Springs. The program runs for 88 hours over 11 days. Firefighters are training for forcible entry into burning structures, high-rise operations, elevator rescues, rope rescues, thermal imaging, auto extraction and rapid intervention tactics.
Rio Hondo College to Highlight Student Guidance, Academic Programs during 5th Annual Regional Counselor Breakfast
Rio Hondo College will host about 160 high school counselors from three area school districts as well as officials from other local high schools for its fifth annual Regional Counselor Breakfast at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 19. The event, which runs through 11:30 a.m., will be held in the Rio Café at the Rio Hondo College campus, 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier. This year’s breakfast focuses on the College’s effort to support student success, including an effort to guide students along the pathway from high school through college and into careers. Counselors will also receive an update on the Rio Promise, an initiative launched in spring 2017 that covers first-year tuition costs for local high school graduates, as well as presentations about the College’s transfer, honors and STEM programs.
IRS-certified students from Rio Hondo College will offer income tax return aid for people who earned $54,000 or less in 2017. The program runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 13 at the Rio Hondo Administration of Justice Building, 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier.
Follow-up Story: Rio Hondo College’s Board of Trustees named Madeline Shapiro as president for 2018, Vicky Santana as vice president and Mary Ann Pacheco as clerk during the group’s annual reorganization meeting on Dec. 13. Trustee Pacheco will also serve as the board representative for the L.A. County School District Organization and the L.A. County Schools Trustee Association. The board includes outgoing president Norma Edith Garcia and Gary Mendez.
Follow-up Story: Sixteen cadets from the Rio Hondo College Wildfire Academy are helping to battle the Creek Fire and 24 former graduates have joined efforts this week to quell the massive Thomas Fire burning near Santa Barbara. The firefighters were activated on Dec. 18. The 24 firefighters assigned to the Thomas Fire include Rio Hondo College Wildland Fire Academy graduates who worked the fire season in Oregon, California and Washington, and a group of firefighters who graduated from the Rio Hondo College Fire Academy in November.