Fullerton College held its 2016 Spring Convocation on Friday, Jan. 30 where faculty and staff came together for breakfast in the Campus Dining Room before heading over to the Campus Theatre for the main event. Titled “The Fullerton College Experience: Reflections from Our Students,” convocation focused on student success and the college journey.
Interim President Greg Schulz welcomed faculty and staff and introduced various members of the FC Administration and District including Interim Chancellor Fred Williams, Board of Trustee President Barbara Dunsheath, Faculty Senate President Dr. Pete Snyder and Classified Senate President Sharon Kelly.
After a brief summary of the college’s success during the previous semester, Schulz presented a video highlighting photos from different events during 2015. In following the program’s theme, Schulz invited five student speakers to share their experiences at Fullerton College and acknowledge a particular faculty member who greatly influenced their success.
Kimberly O’Campo was the first student to speak. She shared that after just a few weeks at Fullerton College, she knew she came to the right place.
“The accepting and positive environment inspires me to work towards the person I want to be,” said O’Campo, “someone who accepts challenges, risks failure, and stands for her beliefs.”
As part of that goal, O’Campo joined Club Ability, a club that raises awareness and supports various disabilities for students. O’Campo emphasized that her blindness was only part of her, but not something that completely defined her as a person. Her professor, Michael Mangan accepted her for who she was and never required an explanation. She added that in addition to having strong values, passion and dedication, Mangan challenged O’Campo and her classmates to rise above passive acceptance and to overcome any obstacles in their journey through college and life.
As a high school student, Steffanie Rodriguez had difficulties in her education and did not consider attending college. After urging from her mother, however, she ended up attending Fullerton College. Rodriguez kept herself motivated to finish college by setting a goal to transfer to a UC or Cal State.
Thanks to Professor Richard Ghidella, Rodriguez stayed motivated during her struggles as a freshman and improved steadily in her educational goals. Currently working with Ghidella as a supplemental instruction leader, she excels in her studies at Fullerton College.
Kimberly Lopez came to Fullerton College with her educational goal set as a chemistry student.
“’I am going to be a chemistry student, I will work in a lab one day, and I will excel in this,’ but saying it and actually doing it are two completely different things,” she explained.
As the first member of her family to attend college, Lopez experienced trouble transitioning to a college environment. She described her first year as ”a little messy.” Despite this, her love of chemistry was re-ignited after taking Chemistry 107 with Professor Guy Dadson. Dadson taught with humor and welcomed Lopez’s numerous questions between classes and during office hours. This easy interaction with her professor led Lopez to find new opportunities, including working as a supplemental instruction leader for Dadson.
Kalie Mozingo had plans to move away for college and explore the world, but after a tragedy during her senior year of high school the thought of moving out of state was overwhelming. She ended up attending Fullerton College where she felt at “home.” Helping along the way was Professor Daniel Hogan who challenged Mozingo to improve her writing and acted as her mentor. After attending Fullerton College, she now plans to travel again through the Study Abroad program and is a Supplemental Instruction Leader for Hogan.
In his youth, Alan Brantley attended 10 public schools, changing schools every year after finally dropping out after the ninth grade. Throughout his life he had a love for math and the sciences and loved to learn, but after so many changes, he never thought that he would return to school. As an adult he reached a point when he realized he needed a formal education to learn more. Soon after coming to Fullerton College he found himself seeking help at writing and met Professor Annie Liu in the Writing Center. Liu made a huge impact on Brantley by encouraging him and teaching him more writing skills. She also introduced him to Growth Mindset. Brantley has been at Fullerton College for three years and is the longest he has attended a single school and is earning degrees in math and physics. He plans to transfer to a four year university to earn degrees in math, physics and philosophy.
Listening to these five students, faculty and staff were able to witness what makes the Fullerton College experience exceptional. As the Spring 2016 Convocation ended, Schulz encouraged faculty and staff to help “students thrive, every day,” throughout 2016.
View the photos from Convocation at the Fullerton College Facebook page.