Mendocino College Foundation Scholarship Winner Rosa Mendez
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 16:46
by Lynda Myers, Foundation Board Member
Rosa Mendez, winner of a Mendocino College Foundation Academic Excellence Scholarship, is proud that she is the first in her family of ten siblings to attend college.
Married, with three small children, Mendez is working on pre-requisites for the Mendocino College (MC) nursing program; she expects to apply for admission next year. She plans to earn an Associates Degree in Nursing (ASN), then a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from a four-year university, perhaps Sonoma State. She dreams of serving as a nurse for Veteran's Affairs in the future.
Mendez said her husband, Scott Wilson, inspired her to attend MC. He graduated from the MC nursing program in 2012, and will graduate from Sonoma State University with a BSN in May 2013. “He loves college, and he has done well. I was happily employed as a dental assistant while he attended MC, but I realized I would like to go to college, too. We agreed that I would support him through the MC nursing program, then he would support me while I get my degree.”
Mendez, who works at the MC financial aid office, admits that it is challenging to balance family, work, and school responsibilities. She is grateful for the assistance of the MC Foundation scholarship, as well as North Coast Opportunities (NCO) which provides child care, and her wonderful boss, Karen Cavanaugh, “who understands that I am a student and a mother, and lets me work on a flexible schedule.”
As both Mendez and Wilson currently attend college, Mendez says it is only possible for them to manage because of support from their extended family, and “this amazing community.” She says her grandmother Theresa Palato, her mother-in-law Carol Wilson, and her sister Theresa Mendez are key members of the family's support system. “We couldn't do it without them.”
Mendez is proud that two of her siblings have followed her lead, and are now attending MC. “They are very excited, but also nervous. They tell me they feel 'old' in classes of mostly young students. I think all returning students feel that way at first,” she said. “After a while, age doesn't matter at all.”
Mendez says her mom is thrilled to have three of her children attending college.
Born in Southern California, Mendez moved to Ukiah with her parents at age 13. She relocated to the Bay Area at age 18, then she and her husband moved back to Ukiah in 2004 to raise their children close to the extended family.
She decided to attend MC because it was local, and also because she had heard that the faculty at MC are dedicated to the students in ways not often found at other colleges. “For example,” she said, “if you have questions, they will arrange their schedules to help.” She was also attracted by the small class sizes, “where more interaction is possible.”
Even with her busy life, Mendez finds time to participate in the Parent Policy Council (PPC) at NCO, which she finds interesting and fun.
Her advice to aspiring students is: “Take it one day at a time. Seek help from NCO, Financial Aid, MESA, and faculty who are willing to spend time with you. Remember that there is lots of help available to achieve your goals.”
Mendez said she is grateful to the Mendocino College Foundation for helping students of all ages go to college so they can better themselves.
Gala to Feature Coro Wineries with Appetizer Pairings
Friday, 10 May 2013 14:17
The countdown is on and the menu is planned for this year’s Gala on the Green Vine & Dine, June 1 on the Ukiah campus of Mendocino College. Fine wines and delectable appetizers will be present in abundance prior to an extraordinary dinner. This year’s event is building on the success of last year’s Gala which set a record for financial support of student scholarships and programs at the college.
This year, the event has come “home” to the Mendocino College campus. The festivities will be held in the Student Plaza and the brand-new Library/Learning Center building, and a completely remodeled Student Center. Guests will appreciate the thoughtful design of this new area which takes advantage of the campus setting with scenic views of the western valley’s rolling hills.
Bringing back a very popular feature from last year, organizers have arranged a wine and appetizer hour, featuring top caterers and wineries from the area. Appetizers will include offerings from Assiagiare Mendocino, Mendocino College Instructors Leslie Banta & Vivian Varela, Bellissimo Wine Country Catering, Jim Stuart, and Mendocino Bridal & Tux. Rounding out the appetizer stations will be contributions from celebrated local dining establishments Oco Time, Patrona, Tallman Hotel/Blue Wing Saloon, and Uncorked Wine Bistro.
Every appetizer station will be paired with a wine station where one of the ten Coro group producers will be pouring their distinctive, locally-produced wines. Coro producers at the Gala will include Barra of Mendocino, Brutocao Cellars, Claudia Springs Winery, Fetzer Winery, Golden Vineyards, McFadden Vineyard, McNab Ridge Winery, Mendocino Vineyards, Parducci Wine Cellars, and Philo Ridge Vineyards.
After guests enjoy the wine and appetizer hour, previewed the live auction and placed their bids on silent auction items, dinner will be served by the Culinary Arts department of the college. Nicholas Petti, Culinary Arts instructor and proprietor of Mendo Bistro in Fort Bragg, has fashioned a menu featuring roasted asparagus and sherry vinaigrette, crab cakes with cabbage salad and tarragon aioli, avocado panzanella, zinfandel braised short ribs, potato cake and gremolata, strawberry semifreddo, and more. A vegetarian option will also be available.
The crab cakes, an especially popular item during the appetizer hour at last year’s Gala, will be back this year as part of the main meal thanks to a generous donation of crab from Caito Fisheries.
“Hosting the event on campus will allow the college to highlight instructional programs in a new way, featuring campus tours, student entertainment and speakers, as well as an opportunity to meet many of the MESA students who are serving as event volunteers,” noted Foundation Executive Director Katie Fairbairn.
Major sponsors include 94.5 Kwine, Max 93.5 Radio, Skunk Train, Mendo Lake Credit Union, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, Selzer Realty, TLCD Architecture, and Ukiah Valley Medical Center.
Registration for the Gala on the Green Vine & Dine is available online. Admission is $100 per person, with a table of eight for $700, or a premium table of four for $500. For more information about the event, or about the Mendocino College Foundation, visit the Gala’s website at galaonthegreen.org or call 707-467-1018.
Mendocino College Foundation Scholarship Winner: Caitlyn Hallman
Friday, 03 May 2013 20:22
by Lynda Myers, Foundation Board Member
Ukiah High graduate Caitlyn Hallman was one of 38 students to win a $1,500 Mendocino College Foundation Academic Excellence Scholarship last Spring. Hallman explained that she received $750 at the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester, and the other $750 at the beginning of the Spring 2013 semester. “The money has been so helpful,” she said. “I used it to pay for my units and also my textbooks, which are extremely expensive.”
Hallman, who is in her second year at Mendocino College (MC), has finished all the general education requirements for transfer to a four-year college. She is now working on the pre-requisites for entrance into a nursing program. While she would love to be accepted into the MC nursing program, she is also considering nursing programs at Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College.
To begin preparing for her future career, she plans to enroll in the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training, sponsored by the local chapter of the American Red Cross, during the summer of 2013. “With a CNA, I will be able to work in a doctor’s office or a hospital to help pay for my nursing education,” she said.
Hallman says that she loves the beautiful campus at MC, and she is delighted by the “awesome” professors. “The profs here actually spend one-on-one time with their students. I have a friend who goes to college in Arizona where there are 300 students in a class! She does not ever get individual time with her professors. We are so lucky here, where the professors are enthusiastic about their work and really care about their students. In my two years at MC, I have not had a bad prof yet!” she said.
Hallman's interest in the health field began while in high school when she took first aid and CPR classes offered by the City of Ukiah. Her training and quick thinking helped save a life while she was traveling with a group of Ukiah High Spanish language students in Portugal. “A man had fallen near the edge of a cliff and hit his head on a rock,” she explained. “He was taking blood thinners and was bleeding profusely. The teacher, Ezra Post, noticed and ran toward him. I grabbed the first aid kit out of the bus and followed. There was not much in the first aid kit except gauze, so another student and I used that to wrap and compress the wound to stop the bleeding. It took a full 40 minutes for the emergency personnel to arrive. We just used basic first aid, but he would have bled to death in that time without assistance.” She and her classmate received the American Red Cross Youth Good Samaritan Award in recognition of their courage and resourcefulness. “I still hear from that man,” she said, smiling.
Hallman believes most people would be surprised to learn that she was a national champion roller skater at age 14. “After that, I retired from skating,” she said.
Hallman volunteers at a local nursing home as a companion to a 95 year-old-lady “who was one of my favorite customers when I worked at BeBop's.” She also helps the Kiwanis Club with volunteer activities, such as serving at Plowshares and delivering gifts for the Christmas effort. Hallman says her mother, Jordis, the past-president of Kiwanis, has made it easy and fun for her to help out.
In her free time Hallman enjoys playing guitar and crocheting.
For more information about the Mendocino College Foundation or to donate towards any of their programs, call 707-467-1018
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SAVE THE DATE
Mendocino College Foundation, Inc.
with Mendocino College MESA
2013 Gala on the Green
Vine and Dine
Saturday, June 1
Carter, Momsen & Knight
Jay & Lisa Epstein/State Farm Insurance
Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital
Intercounty Mechanical & Electrical
Lake County Friends of Mendocino College
Gary & Edelgard Smith
Stan’s Maple Cafe
Sutter Lakeside Hospital
Wells Fargo Advisors John Goldsmith & Rand Rodgers
Diane Daubeneck Insurance
Katharine Elliott & George Husaruk