Full-time hires add to diverse atmosphere

Classified staff fills majority of positions

By Roxana Amparo, Associate Editor

Contra Costa College welcomed 30 individuals with new and improved positions this semester to provide students and the college with valuable opportunities for semesters to come.

“This is the largest team of individuals we’ve brought in to CCC,” Interim President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh said.

Some of the new positions include professors, classified staff, one confidential employment position, two deans and an interim vice president.

Professor positions include: assistant fine and media arts professor Anthony Gordon; assistant English as a second language professor Shelley Ruby; assistant English professor Robin Brooke Eubanks; assistant English professor Dickson Lam; assistant automotive technology professor Bobby Sturgeon; and assistant speech professor Joseph Carver.

Classified staff positions include: senior administrative assistant to the vice president Lorena Cortez; tutoring coordinator Brandy Gibson; learning disability specialist Lisa Marsalek; counselor assistant Leticia Mendoza; program Manager for EOPS, CARE and CalWORKs and men’s locker room attendant Jerol Hodges; athletic trainer Mikel Jackson; senior admissions and records assistant Alma Cardenas; financial aid assistant II Raheema Islam; financial aid specialist John Vehikite; student services and instructional support coordinator financial aid Charles Ramirez; minority students retention specialist Kelly Ramos; minority student retention specialist student services Ashley Patterson; senior academic student services manager workforce development Kelly Schelin; special student programs and services assistant Jillian Jison; DSPS scheduling specialist Elizabeth Vega; chemistry laboratory coordinator Eileen Beil; Gateway to College instructional assistant Kerry Bledsoe; and Gateway instructional assistant Ana Chouon.

The college has one confidential employment position, which is the senior executive assistant to the president, held by Michael Peterson.

Administrative positions include: Dean of enrollment services Dennis Franco; Natural Social and Applied Sciences (NSAS) Division Dean Ghada Al-Masri; and Interim Vice President Jane Harmon.

Some of the positions were left vacant after staff retirements retired, but they needed to be filled.

Mehdizadeh said full-time faculty positions are required to be occupied due to the 50 Percent Law, which states that all community colleges spend half of their expenses on the salaries of instructors.

Required to abide by the 50 Percent Law, the college will also be hiring more counselors that will focus on identifying with students and making sure they are aware of services available to them, such as tutoring, Mehdizadeh said.

Dean of Students Vicki Ferguson said each time someone’s title changes it is because of their growth during the time in their previous position that they are ready to take the next step.

Although that is the case, some positions were recently created to get students in college and help ease the transition, Mehdizadeh said.

Focusing on a new initiative allows for the newly created positions to form a student equity plan, which focuses on increasing student retention by targeting certain population factors.