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Recent NEWS

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“Stocker Family Establishes Ricardo Stocker Scholarship for Former Mendocino College Professor”

“Stocker Family Establishes Ricardo Stocker Scholarship for Former Mendocino College Professor”

Ukiah…The Mendocino College Foundation is honored to announce the creation of the Ricardo Stocker Scholarship for students attending Mendocino College.

The Scholarship is made possible with a generous initial donation from the Stocker family.

Ricardo had a lasting effect on the community of Mendocino County. He worked as a counselor in drug and alcohol programs; provided bilingual counseling through Nuestra Casa, Anderson Valley School District, Project Sanctuary, the Youth Project and Neuesta Alianza; he was a storyteller at Juvenile Hall and in various elementary school classrooms. Ricardo is remembered fondly by students, faculty and the administration at Mendocino College where he taught for over 20 years. He is remembered as an inspirational mentor to many unconventional students.

“Dr. Stocker taught as a part-time faculty for Mendocino College for over twenty years as an Interpersonal Communications and Psychology of Personal Growth instructor. He was very popular among students with classes that consistently filled quickly,” said Debra Polak, Mendocino College Vice President of Academic Affairs. “He cared for our community beyond the Mendocino College classroom as a bilingual counselor who consistently made his services available to the Latino community through organizations such as Nuestra Alianza de Willits. 

I personally will remember Ricardo for the intelligence, care and humility he communicated in the many brief encounters I had with him. I did not know until I was preparing this note to you that he had recently published a book entitled Our Compassionate Kosmos: Awakening to the Presence of Celestial Love. I believe he taught and served his community with compassion. He will be missed.”

Stocker was born on September 11, 1947, in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Hector Stocker and Carlota Mujia Linares. He grew up in Buenos Aires, attending Catholic school. In 1970, he left Argentina to travel through Latin America and Europe. He studied Waldorf Education at Emerson College in England and at the Alanus University in Germany. His daughter Franziska was born in Germany to Gabriela Scholter in 1976. He met his wife, Deborah Mead, in England in 1978. They moved to Northern Ireland, where Ricardo taught at the only non-denominational school in the country and where his son Orion was born in 1979. They later moved to Colorado, where their son Morgan was born in 1981.

In 1984, Ricardo and his family moved to Northern California into a home on Greenfield Ranch, where his son Santiago was born. Ricardo was hired as a teacher at the Waldorf School in Calpella. Ricardo spent much time wandering through the beautiful hills and forests of Greenfield Ranch. Ricardo never stopped believing in the power of education. He received his bachelor’s degree from Prescott College in 1994, his master’s degree from Saybrook University in 1999, and his PhD in Psychology from CIIS in 2003.

Ricardo left an indelible mark on the lives of many people through his storytelling, counseling, music, philosophy, poetry, and teachings.

To donate to the Ricardo Stocker Scholarship or to learn more about the Mendocino College Foundation, please contact Eliza Fields, Administrative Assistant/Scholarship Coordinator at or call 707-467-1018.

To donate to the Ricardo Stocker Scholarship via the donate button, please select “scholarships” and in the comments selection include “Ricardo Stocker Scholarship” in order for it to be appropriately applied. To donate to the Ricardo Stocker Scholarship via check, please include in the memo line “Ricardo Stocker Scholarship”.

Mendocino College Announces Perpetual Scholarship to Honor “The Godfather of Grape Growing”

Mendocino College Announces Perpetual Scholarship to Honor “The Godfather of Grape Growing”

Ukiah…  The Mendocino College Foundation is honored to announce the creation of the Charlie Barra Perpetual Scholarship for a Mendocino College student who graduates from Ukiah High School and is an agriculture major at Mendocino College.

Barra is often referred to as Mendocino County’s “godfather of grape growing”. Charles L. Barra, was born in 1926, Calpella, California, to first-generation Italian immigrants Antonio Barra and Maria Rovera Barra.

His career in farming and grape growing would span over 70 years, and he never missed a grape harvest.   He was a passionate advocate for Mendocino County, the California North Coast Grape Growers Association, and spent more than 20 years in public service.

He was a founding member and president of the California North Coast Grape Growers Alliance, and was instrumental in lobbying for a variety of grower causes, including varietal percentage change in wines from 51% to 75%, the first appellation designation in the United States and for pricing regulations that said a grower and winery had to agree on prices before grapes were crushed. 

Charlie’s commitment and devotion to his community went beyond just agriculture. From the early 60’s to the late 70’s, he was involved in a variety of public service positions including being an active member of the Mendocino County Planning Commission, as well as being appointed to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors by then-Governor Ronald Reagan. The results of his work to create the St. Mary’s School Foundation, and his 21-year tenure as president are still visible today.

Barra was well-known for his quick wit, twinkling eyes and impish grin.  This perpetual scholarship will honor his legacy by providing an annual $1,000 scholarship in perpetuity to an agriculture major at Mendocino College.

For more information about the scholarship program at Mendocino College, please contact Eliza Fields at 707-467-1018.

“Walsh Family Establishes the Ned Walsh Memorial AODS Program Scholarship”

“Walsh Family Establishes the Ned Walsh Memorial AODS Program Scholarship”

The Mendocino College Foundation is proud to announce the creation of the Ned Walsh Memorial Scholarship for Mendocino College students enrolled in the Alcohol and Other Drug Studies (AODS) Program.

Ned worked as the Drug and Alcohol Administrator for the Mendocino County Public Health Department for 26 years, where he grew the program from a small staff of 3 to its large staff of 60 when he retired.  He was proud of his work and deeply committed to connecting with his clients and colleagues in meaningful ways. He believed in talk therapy; he really knew how to listen to others and understood the power of making people feel heard.

Ned’s daughter Sarah Walsh, a faculty member at Mendocino College explained, “My father was delighted when the AODS Program was created at Mendocino College back in the 1990. In fact, we recently found a letter he’d written to then Mendocino College President Lowery, voicing his support for the creation of the program. In the letter he states, The proposed program will serve to enhance the skills of employees in the field, will help to attract more qualified individuals to positions in the field and will help to enhance the quality of services.”

“My family knew that supporting the AODS Program at Mendocino College would be a wonderful way to honor my father’s legacy and the therapeutic work that he dedicated his life to,” stated Walsh.

Ned was born on March 31st, 1940 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from Classical High School in Springfield and went on to become the first person in his family to attend college. He completed his BS in Psychology at AIC (American International College) in Springfield, Massachusetts.

After college, he was accepted to serve in the Peace Corps. He had wanted to go to India, but instead, he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1963 during the Vietnam War. He was stationed at Fort Holabird in Baltimore, Maryland.

After his two years of service in the army, he learned about government grants being awarded to students for completing graduate level degrees in counseling. He applied and was awarded a grant to complete his MA in Rehabilitation Counseling at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.

In 1969, prompted by friends who said there was work in San Francisco, Ned left the East Coast and drove his Volvo across the country. He had recently watched “The Graduate”, and imagined himself driving across the Bay Bridge, though in the correct direction, unlike Dustin Hoffman in the film.

He often recalled San Francisco in those days as “feeling like a foreign country,” but was always very clear that he was not a hippie because “he always had a job.”

Ned and his beloved wife Suzanne (Suzy) met in San Francisco. In 1979, they decided to move to the country to raise their young family. They had discovered Ukiah on camping trips out on Pine Ridge Road in the late 60’s and moved to Ukiah when a job became available at the Department of Public Health.

“My father loved Ukiah and Mendocino County. He loved the land and the people. We are happy that this scholarship will support deserving students along their educational path, and help to train future professionals to address addiction and support recovery and prevention efforts in the community he loved.”

To donate to the Ned Walsh Scholarship or to learn more about the Mendocino College Foundation, please contact Katie Fairbairn, Executive Director at or call 707-468-3164.

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