José Nuñez Receives Leadership Achievement Award from California College Facility Coalition

At its annual conference in November, the California College Facility Coalition (CCFC) presented its Paul Holmes Facilities Leadership Achievement Award to Jose Nuñez, Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning, Maintenance & Operations. The award is given each year to a state community college facilities leader who demonstrates a commitment and dedication to the organization’s mission and vision of enhancing facilities for the students of California’s community colleges.

In the awards presentation, Nuñez was recognized by his peers for his accomplishments at the District as well as his impact across the state. They cited his mentorship of many successful community college facilities professionals, his support of talent within his own organization, and for creating networks for sharing and problem-solving across districts. According to CCFC, Nuñez was the first to utilize the design-build project delivery method in Northern California and has been a leader in sustainability and the COVID-19 response. 

The District’s Facilities Planning, Maintenance and Operations team operates under a “Facilities Excellence” philosophy, and colleagues across the District are familiar with his “Team Work  =  One Team!” mantra.

Nuñez served 22 years with the U.S. Army, retiring as a major.  During his military career, Major Nuñez served in numerous infantry and foreign assignments around the world.

Cañada College and Skyline College Vice Presidents Earn Top State Award

The Carter Doran Leadership Award is given annually to honor leaders in community college instruction

California Community Colleges Chief Instructional Officers (CCCCIO) has bestowed its top award on two vice presidents from the San Mateo County Community College District. Dr. Tammy Robinson, Vice President of Instruction at Cañada College in Redwood City, and Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, Vice President of Instruction at Skyline College in San Bruno, were honored with the statewide Carter Dolan Chief Instructional Officer Leadership Award at CCCCIO’s virtual conference last week.  The award recognizes an active instructional administrator who exemplifies leadership by showing qualities that Carter Doran embodied in his role as teacher/dean at Mt. San Antonio and Vice President of Instruction at Santa Ana and College of the Canyons.

“Dr. Robinson and Dr. Taylor-Mendoza have exemplified courageous leadership and embody the spirit of the Carter Doran Leadership award,” said CCCCIO President Dr. Jennifer Vega La Serna. “They have led with heart, demonstrated creativity, shown sustained commitment to addressing instructional challenges, and together have made a profound impact on their colleges and the entire California Community College System.”

Also honored with the award was Dr. Stacy Thompson, Vice President of Academic Services at Chabot College in Hayward. The three vice presidents worked together in 2020 to lead an examination of equity gaps and structural racism in the California community college system.

 “Dr. Robinson and Dr. Taylor-Mendoza are truly exceptional leaders, with vision and strength that have not only facilitated transformation at Cañada College and Skyline College but have also sparked action across the state community college system,” said San Mateo County Community College District Chancellor Michael Claire. “I am so proud of them and their  colleagues statewide for their swift action on behalf of our students.”

Dr. Robinson was cited for rallying her statewide chief instructional officer colleagues to action after the murder of George Floyd earlier this year. She helped to organize state instructional leaders’ Call to Action town halls, and she has been a strong voice for institutional change. She has spoken at a number of statewide events on campus climate, equity and workforce development.

Dr. Tammy Robinson, Vice President of Instruction, Cañada College

Dr. Robinson, along with Dr. Thompson, created, planned, facilitated and presented at the inaugural African American Leadership Institute. She is past president of the Western Regional Council on Black American Affairs and currently serves as the organization’s Vice President of Development.


Dr. Taylor-Mendoza serves as the chief instructional officers’ representative to the State Chancellor’s Office Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) implementation workgroup. She is also the chair of the newly created CCCCIO DEI Steering Committee, bringing together seven chief instructional officers to serve as strategy leads.

Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, Vice President of Instruction, Skyline College

Dr. Taylor-Mendoza is also a co-author of the book “Minding the Obligation Gap in Community Colleges: Theory and Practice in Achieving Educational Equity.” The book has been shared nationally and locally and has become a resource for colleges in addressing the equity gaps that have become even more evident during the current pandemic.

SMCCCD International Education Program Honored with Prestigious National Award from U.S. Department of Commerce

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the San Mateo County Community College District’s International Education program – San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley – has been awarded the U.S. government’s highest honor for export success.  Secretary Ross conferred on the program The President’s “E” Award, which was first established by President Kennedy in 1961, for contributions to American export growth.  The SMCCCD program is the only educational institution among the 28 companies and businesses nationwide honored with this year’s prestigious award.

“It is an honor to receive The President’s “E” Award and be recognized for the tremendous work our team has done to grow and support our international educational program,” said SMCCCD Chancellor Michael Claire.  “We believe that engaging international students to come and study at our colleges enriches the culture, education and diversity of our campuses and our community. This award is further validation of that belief.”

From 2015 to 2019, the SMCCCD’s International Education Program served more than 6,500 students from 135 countries.  In recent months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the international program has pivoted its offerings to increase access for international students from the convenience of their home country.  Through enhanced online classes, programs and support services, international students are able to enroll at the colleges of the SMCCCD – Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College – through the District’s Global Online Learning (GOL) initiative. 

“We are thrilled that our Global Online Learning program has been recognized for its reach from Silicon Valley to parts across the globe, while emphasizing local connections and support for students,” said Dr. Jing Luan, Provost for International Education and leader of the District’s San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley.  “As we diversify our delivery methods and bring our classrooms to students’ homes across the world, we expect greater opportunities for learning and success for all students.”

For more information on the international education program, visit smccd.edu/international.

Online Teaching Resources from the State Chancellor’s Office

The CCC Chancellor’s Office has made available a number of resources to help make the adjustment to online/distance learning. Here are some recent additions:

Teaching online physical science labs: Physical Geography
Wednesday, April 29 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Online lab sciences leverage technology tools to meet traditional lab learning outcomes. In Allison Lenkeit Meezan’s physical geography class, the labs utilize a variety of online tools to give students hands-on experience observing and manipulating real-world data. Find more information here. Additionally, CVC-OEI has uploaded a recording of the featured session from last year’s Online Teaching Conference.

Online Course Development  Delivery: Science Labs, features four science teachers who share their approach to online lab instruction. It’s available at this link.

You can find all upcoming events on the CVC-OEI Events page. For online instruction support requests, please contact CVC-OEI.

Equity-Minded Online Teaching: Using Canvas as a Model
Thursday, April 30, 2020, 12:00 – 1:30 pm

Professor Jennifer Ortiz will illustrate how to use Canvas with an equity mindset. She will provide examples of techniques and strategies which can be easily applied in any course. For example, she will show participants the video message she uses to welcome students into her class. This session will also have a focus on the implementation of AB705. Register at this link.

This is the second part of a  six-part webinar series presented by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Center for Urban Education. The series provides strategies for faculty and administrators to exercise agency on behalf of the most vulnerable students. Webinars will be recorded and posted on the Vision Resource Center.

College practitioners can find COVID-19 resources, information, and community within the Vision Resource Center. Create an account or log in. Under the “Connect” menu, visit “All Communities” and look for the “CCC | COVID-19 Resources, Tools and Discussion” section. Click “Join Community” to access the content within.