Sunday, November 29, 2009

Manufacturing bulldozed; drafting classes reduced

Sharon Ho
Issue date : 11/9/09

The administration has recommended manufacturing and drafting programs for elimination or reduction in 2010-11, for an estimated savings of nearly $139,000.

Elimination of welding, manufacturing and machine tool technology programs will save the college an estimated $111,000 and reduction of drafting classes will save an estimated $28,000, according to the administration's recommended curriculum cuts.

Lilya Vorobey, an associate professor who teaches the affected classes, submitted a counter-proposal to the cuts on Oct. 30.

Vorobey proposed rebuilding the classes into an "arts of industry" program that would serve the industrial design manufacturing prevalent in Silicon Valley.

"We could create a program that would cater to the community and be able to build 'things' that help, such as playground equipment," wrote Vorobey in an e-mail to The San Matean.

Vorobey proposed the creation of a self-sufficient program, not unlike Petaluma High School's bench project which started in 2006.

"Their drafting and shop classes made over $100,000 in their first year, with the money put back into the programs," wrote Vorobey.

"The Petaluma High School project still supports the drafting and manufacturing classes. Materials can be donated and have been in the past."

"Garnering donations from industry to help with the formation of this community would be done concurrently," wrote Vorobey.

"The business department can help set up a not-for-profit business, and the digital media department can help create a website and produce fliers to promote and sell the products."

"People in the trade are constantly howling about their inability to find workers," wrote Vorobey.

"I get calls weekly looking for welders, machinists and drafters."

Baby Boomers are retiring from labs in this area, Vorobey explained. Only DeAnza College has a machine tool program that partially covers the skills required to work in the industry.

"In a 50-mile radius of the campus there are over 70 iron-working companies that require the skills taught in (Manufacturing 120)," Vorobey wrote.

The targeted classes serve CSM, CSU and Stanford students majoring in manufacturing, industrial design and engineering, wrote Vorobey.

They also serve re-trainees and engineers and architects from companies like HP, Intel, Adobe, Google and Apple.

"These are not people making bird houses or crafts," wrote Vorobey.

"These are people who design and build everyday things that we are surrounded by such as laptops, furniture, clothing, as well as machinery and buildings. We live in the West Coast hotbed of industrial design and no one on our campus knows this."

Vorobey refuted claims that the equipment is outdated and needs to be replaced.

"I have visited many prototype labs in the Bay Area," wrote Vorobey. "We have equipment that is equivalent or better than what most of them have. ... A designer from Google came to speak to my students and he was in awe of our labs."

Buildings 25 and 27, where manufacturing, welding and machine tool technology programs were held, do not meet current state earthquake regulation laws and have been scheduled for demolition, said Kathleen Ross, dean of business and technology.

There are no buildings that meet safety standards needed to house necessary machines and equipment, Ross said.

"We have a special situation," said Ross. "This is even worse than having no money. We don't even have a building to run these programs."

"The strategy is to keep the programs on hiatus in order to keep the equipment," wrote Vorobey. "We can store the equipment at the airport for $1 per year. City College has programs running at the airport, which would be a possible program relocation site."

"Drafting classes will be going through compression, like a sponge," said Ross. "Software licensing is expensive. Previously, we ran all classes each semester. From fall 2010 onwards, only DRAF 120, 121 and 122 classes will be held every semester while other classes are rotated."

"Drafting is a useful tool for students who want to major in engineering, architecture, horticulture and interior designing," said Ross.

Students who are aiming for an associate of science degree in drafting will still be able to get all their required classes in a typical four-semester college education plan, Ross said.

Glamming Up

Obama honors class of '70 grad for genome research

John Craig Venter. Photo courtesy of Heather Kowalski/John Craig Venter Institute

J. Craig Venter received the National Medal of Science on Oct. 7, 2009, from President Barack Obama at the White House. Credit: Ryan K Morris/National Science & Technology Medals Foundation

Sharon Ho and Dylan Slusser
Issue date: 10/26/09

A week before his 63rd birthday, CSM alumnus John Craig Venter received the 2009 National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama on Oct. 7.

Venter was one of nine recipients honored this year with the medal, the highest honor awarded annually to scientists.

The National Science Foundation organizes the award on behalf of the White House.
The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering.

Venter graduated from CSM in 1970, and then obtained a bachelor's degree in 1972 and a Ph.D. from UC San Diego in 1975.

Venter is being recognized "for his dedication to the advancement of the science of genomics, his contributions to the understanding of its implications for society, and his commitment to the clear communication of information to the scientific community, the public, and policymakers," according to the NSF.

"It was one of the highest honors of my life and it was even more special receiving it from our president," wrote Venter in an e-mail. "I have tremendous respect for President Obama for many reasons. One of the most important aspects for me as a scientist is that he understands the importance that science brings to society."

He described his experience at CSM as the first time that he was exposed to good teachers and people that took an interest in his education.

While there were many who helped him at CSM, two teachers in particular inspired him and transformed his career and life.

"Two teachers were especially important to me-Bruce Cameron, who was my English teacher and became a life long friend of mine and Kate Murashige who was my chemistry teacher then," wrote Venter.

Murashige, 74, is now a biotechnology patent lawyer and senior partner at Morrison & Foerster law firm in San Diego, and has represented Venter's biotechnology company Synthetic Genomics Inc.

SGI announced on Jul. 14. a $600 million, multi-year research and development agreement with Exxon Mobile Corp. to develop next generation biofuels using photosynthetic algae.

"Venter is clearly one of the most creative, intelligent and productive scientists around," said Murashige in a phone interview. "He is going to make real changes in our lifetimes and obviously deserves the award. More than being proud of him, I admire him."

After graduating from UC San Diego with a Ph.D., Venter first taught at the University of New York in Buffalo before moving to the National Institutes of Health in the early 1980s.

At NIH, he became interested in studying genes and genomes before people were even beginning to talk about sequencing the human genome.

His lab researched and developed new tools and techniques, most notably the use of "expressed sequence tags" which they used to rapidly discover human genes.

"From that moment on we were excited by the notion of sequencing the entire human genome and the genomes of many microbes, plants and mammals because having the full genome of organisms is the only way to fully understand their biology," wrote Venter.

Along with SGI, Venter also founded the J. Craig Venter Institute, a not-for-profit research center in Rockville, Md. and San Diego, Calif.

"I have been fortunate to have teams of hundreds of scientists over the years who have helped me make important discoveries and advances in genomics," wrote Venter. "My field truly is a multidisciplinary team of scientists and computer/computing experts who work together to understand life."

A team led by Venter published the first complete genome of an individual human using Venter's own DNA sequence on May 10, 2007.

Venter is one of two men credited with mapping the human genome, and was listed on Time Magazine's 2007 and 2008 Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

His invention of the first synthetic organism, a bacterium assembled from 582,000 base pairs, was also listed third in Time Magazine's Top 10 Scientific Discoveries of 2008.

Venter has also won this year's Economist Innovation Award for Bioscience. He is due to receive the award at a ceremony at London's Science Museum on Oct. 29.

Hairstylist places second in competition

Posing after placing second for hair. From Left: Nail Technician Raquel Toledo, 2nd-placed Hairstylist Irma Ramirez, Model Allison Naff, Makeup Artist Magdalena Molina. Photo Courtesy of Magdalena Molina. Posing after placing second for hair. From Left: Nail Technician Raquel Toledo, 2nd-placed Hairstylist Irma Ramirez, Model Allison Naff, Makeup Artist Magdalena Molina. Photo Courtesy of Magdalena Molina.

Sharon Ho
Issue date: 10/26/09

Just a day after celebrating her 21st birthday, Irma Ramirez won second place as hairstylist out of 32 teams in the 15th annual Nino Faggiano Student Team Competition.

"I'm tired but excited," said Ramirez a day after the meet.

"We were so happy we almost cried when Irma was announced second-placed winner for hair," said Raquel Toledo, 38, the team's nail technician.

The statewide competition on Oct. 11 was part of The Hair Design and Beauty Expo Trade Show, "Beauty at the Beach."

The competition is sponsored by the California Cosmetology Association and held each year at the Cocoanut Grove ballroom at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Ramirez and teammate Magdalena Molina had to juggle work, school and preparations for the competition.

"Having Irma place second made us feel that all our hard work paid off," said Molina, the team's makeup artist.

With a $250 budget, they bought recyclable material from Dollar Tree and Goodwill to create a buttefly look for model Allison Naff, in line with the Mardi Gras fantasy theme.

All three agreed that while the competition was tiring, they had a lot of fun.

"I was kneeling for 90 minutes working on Allison's nails and I was like, 'Oh, my back!,' " said Toledo. "But I guess if you love what you do, you don't really mind all that much."

Ramirez decided on the final updo after two weeks of practice and showed it to cosmetology instructor Suzanne Russell on Oct. 9, just two days before the competition.

Ramirez often brought her mannequin home and continued to experiment on hairdos after a practice session, Molina said.

Ramirez's final updo was inspired by a hairdo that Molina showed her online.

Making the outfit was a team effort, with Toledo making the necklace entirely out of recycled soda can tabs.

The week of the competition, Naff received facials to exfoliate her skin and hair treatments to minimize the damage to her hair.

Naff's hair was lengthened with hair extensions, dyed dark brown and parts of it were bleached in a three-day process designed to protect her hair.

"Hair is like fabric," said Molina. "You could bleach it only so much."

Ramirez used a whole can of hairspray, pipe cleaners, hair rollers, feathers and about 100 pins to create the hairdo the day of the competition, topping it off with a yellow cloth flower.

Naff, a freshman, spent two weeks learning how to walk, pose and smile in the high heels that she crafted herself.

"The judges take the models' postures into account when they judge," said Molina.

Toledo graduated from the cosmetology program five weeks ago. Ramirez graduates this Friday when she clocks her 1,600th hour of course work.

Toledo has applied for her cosmetology license and wants to work at a salon where she "can do a bit of everything."

Ramirez plans to apply for her cosmetology license and wants to work as a hairdresser. She hopes to open her own salon one day.

"I got interested in professional makeup artistry after participating in the competition, so most likely after getting an associate degree I'll work to save up money to study at a professional makeup artistry school," said Molina.

Molina hopes to one day work as a makeup artist for actors and actresses.

Russell and cosmetology instructor Becky Boosalis-Oler coached the two CSM teams and accompanied them to the competition.

"We are so proud of our students," said Boosalis-Oler.

"Both teams turned out great models," said Russell, who has been coaching students for this competition for the last 10 years.

"Winning second place for hair out of 32 teams was an honor," she said. "We faced the best and stiffest competition this year."

Transfer Angst

Media Credit: Daniel Marroquin / The San Matean
Leo Alcala, 21, discusses his future education with Doris Fendt, student outreach services representative from San Francisco State University at Transfer Day on Monday, Oct. 5.

Mintoy Tillman and Sharon Ho
Issue date: 10/12/09

Budget cuts have forced state universities to close the door to new students for spring 2010.

"I can't start classes at San Jose State University this January because I couldn't get in due to the budget cuts," said Emily Tuipulotu, 20, an administration of justice major who will graduate this fall.

Budget cuts have caused UCs and CSUs to decrease the number of students admitted.

"It is very competitive for students to transfer right now because of the budget cuts," said Transfer Services Coordinator Mike Mitchell.

"We will be taking in 33,900 students for fall 2010, down 100 from 34,000 students last year," said Jo Volkert, associate vice president of enrollment planning and management for San Francisco State University.

"It is pretty disheartening," said English major Kajah C. Ram, 23, who will transfer next year.

Students should apply during the priority period from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30 for UC applicants, and from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30 for CSU applicants for fall 2010, Mitchell said.

It is important for transfer students to make sure to apply before the Nov. 30 deadline, because they will be automatically disqualified if they miss it, Volkert said.

Social work, interior design, fashion design, psychology, nutrition and journalism programs have been impacted by budget cuts and are particularly competitive, said Volkert.

"Students who are interested in these majors will need to file an extra application," she said. "They should also be constantly keeping a look-out for updates sent via e-mail."

CSM Transfer Services helped students face these transfer challenges by inviting representatives from 40 schools to CSM on Oct. 5 for their annual Transfer Day.

A non-stop stream of 700 students attended Transfer Day, said Mitchell, and more than 50 students turned up for the UC application workshop afterward.

Instructor retires, remembers kindness

Media Credit: photo courtesy of CSM Cosmetology
Robert Ratto

Sharon Ho
Issue date: 9/28/09

CSM cosmetology instructor Robert Benjamin Ratto retired last May after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2008.

Although Ratto is "greatly enjoying retired life at the moment," he still vividly recalls the outpouring of kindness he received from the people of CSM.

Born in Oakland in 1945, Ratto, an alumni of California State University, decided to study barbering and cosmetology at a beauty school with a friend.

After working many years "behind the chair," he decided to lay down his scissors and teach.

Ratto's career as an instructor lasted more than 30 years. He first taught cosmetology at public schools in Oakland, moving to Skyline College in 1999. A year later, he transferred to CSM and stayed for 10 years.

"I wasn't really happy where I worked before," he said. "My best years of teaching were most definitely at CSM and Skyline."

Ratto was unable to teach for six months because of the cancer. Suzanne Russell, CSM's cosmetology coordinator, worked with the American Federation of Teachers, the teachers' union, to ensure Ratto suffered no financial loss for not teaching a full year.

"Dan Kaplan, executive secretary for AFT at CSM, was superb," said Ratto. "He sent me personalized (get-well-soon) cards and even before (my cancer), sent birthday cards every year," said Ratto.

"(Ratto) has been my colleague for many years now," said Russell. "While it was unfortunate cancer happened to him, it is wonderful to see him successfully overcoming it."

Ratto was touched by the care and concern shown him by CSM personnel, including former CSM President Dr. Shirley J. Kelley, former CSM Vice President Patricia Griffin, cosmetology colleagues and staff.They visited him in the hospital with flowers and plants and often phoned him to make sure he was doing well.

"Many of them donated hours of their time to help me out," Ratto said. "They were great people, just simply marvelous and the nicest people I know."

Ratto is remembered fondly by his students.

"He was a very nice and great teacher who made sure clients respected the students," said Noemi Anaya, a cosmetology student who took Ratto's classes.

"CSM felt like home to me," said Ratto. "It gave me a sense of fulfillment to see graduates come back to tell me that they couldn't have done it if I had not been there for them."

"It is even more emotionally moving for me how the people at CSM showed they truly cared," Ratto said.

"I cannot tell you enough how good they were to me," he said. "I only have the nicest things to say [about them]."

Cosmetology Students Seek Trophies

Media Credit: Photo courtesy of Noemi Anaya
Model :Hayley Byrne Hair: Alanna Abott. Makeup: Noemi Anaya.

Sharon Ho
Issue date: 9/28/09

Armed with their faithful brushers and blushers, two teams from the CSM cosmetology department will be competing Oct. 11 in this year's 15th annual Nino Faggiano Student Team Competition.

More than 40 teams from across California will vie for 15 trophies and cash prizes totaling $1,000, with an additional $100 for the school that travels farthest.

"The last time CSM won the Mardi Gras fantasy-themed competition was in 2005, with the winning team creating a feline look for their model," said Suzanne Russell, cosmetology coordinator and instructor.

Russell, who was responsible for coaching the 2005 CSM team to success, is training this year's teams.

"We blew [the judges] away, sweeping up the two most prestigious awards - the best team trophy and also the best hairstyle award," said cosmetology coordinator Becky Boosalis-Oler.

"The ongoing Mardi Gras fantasy theme will give our cosmetology competitors an opportunity to use their imagination and demonstrate their skills," said cosmetology coordinator and adviser Andria Nalls.

The competition is open only to student barbers, cosmetologists, cosmeticians and manicurists. Each team consists of two or three students who will each create fantasy-themed makeup, nails and hair on their models.

"We are given 90 minutes to do everything, so basically we have about 30 minutes to work on each aspect because it's too difficult for us to work on our model all at once," said student competitor Raquel Toledo, nail technician for her team.

The Mardi Gras fantasy theme allows for more flexibility and a greater scope for creativity, although there are some rules that may cause restrictions. Student competitor Noemi Anaya, the makeup artist in her team, said that the hairstylists are not allowed to use hair pieces that take up more than one third of the skull area of their models and that hair ornamentation should not consist of more than one quarter of the completed hairstyle. Also, only female models are allowed.

"I'm doing makeup, so I don't really have many restrictions for my segment, except if like I'm using feathers and I need to make sure they stay on my model's face," said student competitor Magdalena Molina.

Teams began practicing on their models two weeks ago, giving them about a month to prepare for the competition.

Molina's team starts working on their model around 5 p.m. on weekdays as she and her teammates often have classes and clients that keep them busy between 8 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.

"I joined this competition to have fun. I'll still go all-out but I am not really going to be too competitive about it," said Molina.

"We've worked really hard and we're really excited about [the competition]," said student competitor Marisa Saucedo, nail technician for her team.

The competition, sponsored by the California Cosmetology Association's central district, is part of the yearly "Beauty at the Beach" event held at the Coconut Grove ballroom on Santa Cruz's beach boardwalk.

The competition's namesake, Nino Faggiano was founder of the local cosmetology association. He was inducted into the California Cosmetology Association Hall of Fame in 1993.

"We named the competition after him because he used to donate a lot of his time to teaching classes at the various cosmetology schools and for the association as well," said competition President Ella Fay Cullen, a cosmetology coordinator at the Central County Occupational Center in San Jose.

Faggiano began his career as a barber's assistant in his father's salon in Italy at age 13. He opened his own salon in Santa Cruz in his 20s and continued to work there until he died in 2006 at age 91.