Armond Phillips is the interim president at Napa Valley College The board of trustees met Sept. 29 to take the action following the unexpected death of Dr. Chris McCarthy, former president of the school. Sue Nelson, vice president of instruction, had been acting president.

[caption id="attachment_15931" align="alignright" width="108" caption="Armond Phillips"][/caption]

“The board’s choice of Armond Phillips, who lives in the community, is known in the community and known to the college community, adds strength as we move through this difficult time,” said JoAnn Busenbark, president of the NVC Board of Trustees.

Ms. Busenbark and board member Charles Meng served on a special subcommittee of the board to make the recommendation.

Mr. Phillips has been a member of the Napa Valley College Foundation and has a long history of service as an administrator in California community colleges, including service at Napa Valley College. He has experience in all areas of college administration from instruction to student services.

Most recently he served at College of Marin as dean of student development, supervising and coordinating student services with the instructional program. He was interim vice president of instruction at Napa Valley College in 2006 and also has served Napa Valley College as a consultant.

He is certified by the University of California, Davis, in public-sector labor and management relations and earned a Master of Arts degree in education and counseling psychology from San Diego State University. He has a credential in secondary education from California State University, Hayward.

“I feel honored that the board of Trustees has chosen me to assist the outstanding college community during this transition period. Chris McCarthy was a gem of a president, and he will be missed by all. He leaves a college that is focused on students and quality teaching and learning,” Mr. Phillips said.

A memorial for Dr. McCarthy will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 on the Napa Valley College campus.

Among the many accolades for Dr. McCarthy was this from the Campaign for College Opportunity:

“Chris was a real champion of his college and a dynamic advocate for education reform of community colleges across the state,” the campaign newsletter said. ”He had most recently worked with us on a new initiative the campaign is supporting, Accelerated Learning College, and had hoped that NVC would be one of the pilot sites for ALC. We will miss his calm demeanor, his steady leadership and his unflappable passion for education and students.”

The memorial will be held in the college gymnasium. Napa Valley College is located at 2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway. Watch for future announcements on the college Web site at www.napavalley.edu or call the Napa Valley College president’s office at 707-253-3360 for more information.


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On Oct. 26 and 27, San Rafael will have a two-day job fair with special guest speaker and career author Richard Bolles.

Mr. Bolles wrote the career guide "What Color is your Parachute?"

“The job market has changed dramatically in just the past two years," said Carol Ann Wentworth, executive director of the Tiburon-based Career ReBoot Camp, part of Steve Allen Media. “Anyone who hasn’t looked for a job in a while will be surprised at how complex the process has gotten. Now job seekers understand new tools like social Internet media, behavioral interviewing and personal branding. It’s not your father’s job market.”

Other speakers include Dr. Lynn Joseph, author of “Job-Loss Recovery Program: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Get Back to Work –Fast!” and Anat Baniel, author of the bestselling book “Move Into Life: The Nine Essentials for Lifelong Vitality.”

For information about the event, sponsored by a variety of businesses and nonprofits, and how to register, visit www.careerrebootcamp.com. Cost for two days is $249, and it will be held at the Embassy Suites in San Rafael.


College of Marin was honored for its statewide leadership in the green movement.

The Green California Community College Summit Pioneer Award was presented by Green Technology, a nonprofit educational initiative linking government officials with green technologies in the private sector. The Pioneer Award is given to a community college board of trustees that has shown support and forward thinking in helping implement green plans, strategies and programs in its district.

“The environment is a vital consideration in everything we do here at College of Marin,” said Dr. Frances White, superintendent and president. “Since the board of trustees recognized the need to contribute to a global reduction in greenhouse gases in 2004, we have integrated an unprecedented environmental imperative into construction, curriculum and the day-to-day administration at both campuses.”

College of Marin green projects currently underway include all six of the buildings under construction on the College of Marin campuses, which will be LEED certified; a Transportation Demand Management Program; an organic garden created to support an expanded sustainable agriculture curriculum; the establishment of a solar technician certificate program; a 210-kW photovoltaic system that powers half of the electric requirements in the PE center; and electric cars that will be used on campus by some college staff.

“All of these initiatives and more are being accomplished through the dedication of our small college with virtually no operating budget dedicated to sustainability,” Dr. White said.

“The whole reason for the awards is to honor the sustainability efforts at community colleges because community colleges are at the nexus of change in this country,” said Racquel Palmese of Green Technology.


The Marin Education Fund announced it received a $440,000 grant from College Access Foundation of California to support four-year college scholarships for 30 Marin County high school students.

The students, all of whom come from low-income households, are graduates of Marin Education Fund’s nationally recognized Summer Application Institute and yearlong mentoring program.

“This grant is opening up the world of opportunity for our students, who otherwise wouldn’t stand a chance,” said Marin Education Fund president, Kim Mazzuca.  “All of our students who attend the Summer Institute are the first in their family to go to college or are following a sibling’s footsteps.  All have significant financial need, and all are bright and committed young people.  We are proud of them, and we are proud to be part of College Access Foundation’s efforts to ensure college opportunity for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in higher education.”

Scholarships will be awarded to the 30 students who completed the Summer Institute at Dominican University in August 2009.

Marin Education Fund is a nonprofit organization that depends on contributions from individuals and foundations to help students in need get to and graduate from college.


Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jloceff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.