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Chaparral 2018-2019: 27.4 Milestones: Part 1

Christina Tangalakis

The Financial Aid Office has a couple of milestones to share. The office recently had a Standards of Excellence program review by the professional organization, NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators). Additionally, Christina Tangalakis was selected as one of 6 participants in NASFAA’s Diversity Leadership Program out of nearly 100 applicants nationwide. As a result, she has been able to participate in NASFAA’s Leadership and Legislative Conference which culminated in visits to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of higher education funding legislative priorities. Additionally, she will attend the NASFAA national Conference in June and participate in additional training opportunities online and through her assigned mentor, as part of the Diversity Leadership Program.

Wendy Fonarow

Wendy Fonarow (Anthropology) was interviewed by Noisey for an article on the names of bands and by a production company called Banger Films for a documentary on British Indie Music.

Additionally, her brother Gregg Fonarow has been selected as the 2019 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award Winner from the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Council.

Jeanette Farr-Harkins & Theater Arts Students

Jeanette Farr-Harkins (Theater Arts) was awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Gold Medallion for Region VIII during the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in February, 2019.

Each year, the eight KCACTF regions honor individuals or organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to the teaching and producing of theatre and who have significantly dedicated their time, artistry and enthusiasm to the development of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

As a recipient, Farr-Harkins has demonstrated a strong commitment to the values and goals of KCACTF and to excellence in educational theatre.

Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Theatre Arts Department, Farr-Harkins has taught at GCC since 2006, giving students rare opportunities by offering an Introduction to Playwriting course, as well as directing new plays in addition to established work.

“Working with living playwrights in our classrooms means that our students have access to these writers and they can ask questions they might only be able to guess with non-living writers. Not only gives an added respect for the collaborative art, but also, connects them to the possibilities of a network of artists.” Farr-Harkins said. Farr-Harkins is a playwright herself and a member of the Playwrights Union, Los Angeles, and a member of the Playwrights’ Panel with Antaeus Playwright’s Lab in Glendale.

Farr-Harkins has taught students in theatre arts who have excelled with the KCACTF organization, and two have received regional and national recognition since the playwriting class has been implemented.

Wendy Ewan, who returned to GCC to pursue a Theatre Degree, in preparation for entry into a low-residency writing program at Lesley University, is a regional finalist in both the ten-minute and one-act play categories in 2019 with her plays, Intervention and Mindgames. In previous years, Ewan’s 10-minute play, developed as a part of Farr-Harkins’ Introduction to Playwriting class, advanced as one of four national finalists and Ewan participated in workshops, master classes, and networking with Washington D.C. Theatres at the expense of the Kennedy Center. Ewan has worked with many students at GCC as an inspiration for her start-up theatre company, Scribe Stages, dedicated to developing and producing new works.

Theatre Major, Peter Von Sholly, who is no stranger to GCC stages as an actor and has received nominations for performance with KCACTF, has received an accolade this year by advancing to the national finals in playwriting. From approximately 800 plays from colleges and universities around the United States, Von Sholly’s 10-minute play, Whale will be presented in a staged-reading at the National Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in mid-April.

“As with any instructor who sees how hard their students work,” Farr says, “I am over the moon and proud to see Peter receive this honor and participate in the opportunity.” Farr-Harkins describes the play as a “surreal examination at current events” surrounding a family who notices a large figure in the sky that looks to be a whale. Some are fascinated, while others ignore it and go about their daily business. There is no denying that whatever it is (and it is never answered in the play) is big.

For additional information about Theatre Department offerings, visit or call 818-240-1000 ext. 5618.

Arianne MacBean

Arianne MacBean (Dance) was recently awarded the 2018-19 City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Trailblazer Award for her dance-theater work with diverse communities. MacBean and her troupe, The Big Show Co., will be in residence at the Ford Theatres in fall 2019 launching a new community performance initiative entitled She/Her: Memory Trace – dance-theater exploring femininity and the military experience. MacBean teaches Modern Dance Technique and Dance History at GCC.

Fatema Baldiwala

USASBE (United States Association of Small Business Entrepreneurship) Conference in Florida, St. Pete’s Bay, Jan 24th-27th, 2019

Fatema Baldiwala (English) represented GCC at USASBE conference, 2019. Not only did she have the highest points for being the most social media savvy attendee with 126,000 points, her English 101 class was one of two classes chosen and recognized for the Excellence in Pedagogy award. The class that got recognition was her “Rhetoric of Entrepreneurship” English 101 contextualized class and though she did not win the award, she is determined to submit for the award again.

Fatema also presented at the conference on: Session Title: Reading Toolkit that Embeds Entrepreneurship Session

Description: Most colleges focus on entrepreneurial skills in terms of business, but the term entrepreneurial mindset should be used as a learning mechanism that needs to be taught in any discipline. Once incorporated into a syllabus or general classroom instruction, it can foster much needed skills for academic success. It can lead to more retention of students and especially impact disproportionately impacted students. Therefore, by utilizing a reading tool kit that incorporates entrepreneurial thinking, we will have engaged students immersed in the discovery process where the skill of critical thinking, creativity, persistence, and empathy are needed to solve an issue.

Fatema’s interest in entrepreneurship is because she sees a natural connection between entrepreneurship teaching and rhetoric. To her, entrepreneurship training is an extension of Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset and a means by which community college students can find direction.  It is for this reason that she has embedded entrepreneurship teaching into her composition classes.

At USASBE conference Fatema met a mini group of liberal arts professors also leading the charge for entrepreneurship teaching in their colleges, namely Dr. Heidi Neck of Babson College who facilitates it in Babson’s FYE program, and Dr. James Heart, of Dallas Texas, who was her mentor.

Tangible outcomes of the conference were future collaboration with CSUN entrepreneurship division, and San Diego State University entrepreneurship divisions. In addition, because of the influence of Dr. David Hansen, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, a creation of a brand-new class was developed around the theme of social Entrepreneurship. This composition class is an English 104 and is titled: Social Entrepreneurship: Write to Fight.

The highlight of the conference was when the Keynote speaker, Steve Blank, said, “Entrepreneurship education is the new Liberal Arts” and Fatema was publicly recognized for her contribution and her attendance when it was mentioned that a liberal arts faculty member, Fatema, from California was present at the conference.

“Leveraging Your GIG to a Career” was the title of the workshop that Fatema Baldiwala along with Renah Wolzinger (a statewide leader in credentials and pathway education for students and professionals) presented at the Gig to Career event organized by Southwest Community College on March 1st at Convene LA located in Downtown LA. Their session was standing room only, and was attended by Ruth Amanuel, the Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade LA region, and by Charles Eason, Small Business Sector Navigator for CA Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program.

For more information about the event and to subscribe to their newsletter click on:

Lynne McGrath

Lynne McGrath (Library) is a member of the Caltech Play Readers. On February 5th, she appeared as Sue Bayliss in a reading of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons.

Stela Fejtek

Stela Fejtek (DSPS) will be receiving the 2019 YWCA Glendale Heart & Excellence Award on April 18th.  She is one of 6 women in the community who was chosen to be honored with this most prestigious award. Stela's contributions to the community are well known. She is a person to be thanked an admired for her giving spirit and unfaltering loyalty to helping others.

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