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Chaparral 2017-2018: 26.6 Milestones

Ellen Oppenberg

Ellen Oppenberg’s (Student Services) daughter, Ashley, got married on 2/18/18 and has landed her first full time job as an MSW. Ellen’s other daughter, Alyssa, is graduating on 5/21 from CSUN with her Bachelor's in Health Administration. And finally, her husband, Andy, is completing his doctorate in Bio-Ethics this month.

Laura Matsumoto

Laura Matsumoto (Kinesiology) is proud to share that she has been selected for the Glendale Character & Ethics Project's Athletes with Character & Ethics (ACE) Awards as one of the Coaches of the Year. Here's the website: This is quite an honor. Laura had one of her players recognized last year and was very happy for him to be recognized.

Valentin Babakhanian

Journey of an ESL student to reach her dream career (an expansion of last month’s milestone!)

It was Spring of 2003 when Ms. Babakhanian (Student Services), a mother of a newborn and a toddler, started to attend GCC as a level one ESL student. Back then, she did not have any educational goal and she could not see how high she can fly. After learning some basic English, Ms. Babakhanian was hired at GCC's Admissions and Records office as a student worker, later promoted to Registration Worker. Year after, she was offered a Student Services Technician position at GCC. Ms. Babakhanian believes that her success is a fruit of the seed that GCC's counselors, teachers, her leaders and co-workers sow in her life; she always felt loved and encouraged at GCC. Despite life's challenges, while working more than one job, Valentin was able to continue her education to graduate from GCC with AA degree in Health Science, earned her BA in Sociology/Psychology from Cal State LA and two Master's Degrees in Sociology and Educational Counseling from Cal State Dominguez Hills and National University. Today, Ms. Babakhanian has pursued her dream career and is a counselor at Los Angeles Trade Technical College's EOPS program. As a counselor, Ms. Babakhanian's goal is to empower and guide students to believe in themselves and focus in their abilities.

Nonah Maffit

On May 5, 2018 there was a member recognition event for Area I, CSEA at Santa Barbara City College. Our CSEA member, past Chapter Secretary, Classified Staff Development Coordinator Nonah Maffit (Instructional Services) was recognized as an Unsung Hero. She was nominated by our Chapter.

Sona Donayan

This semester marks the end of Sona Donayan’s (Culinary Arts) 15th year here at GCC. During this time, she served 13 ½ years as an adjunct, 1 year as a contracted full timer, and just got hired as a full timer on tenure track on Feb 20th, 2018. She feels privileged to be working on this wonderful campus for so long.

Craig Attebery

Craig Attebery’s (Visual Arts) book is being released here in the US on May 19. It has been available in the UK for a little over a month. The book is titled The Complete Guide to Perspective Drawing from One-Point to Six-Point. The publisher is Routledge Press. It is rated as the #1 New Release in Drawing on Amazon.

Dennis Doyle

As mentioned in the March Milestones, Dennis Doyle’s (English) brother Tim Doyle (GCC alum and son of emeritus professor Mark Doyle - Sociology) is a television producer working for ABC. Recently he produced a comedy pilot loosely based on Dennis’s family in the 1970's, growing up in Glendale, CA, an Irish-Catholic family with 8 sons. At the time, Dennis was a student at St. John's Seminary in the archdiocese of Los Angeles and he is portrayed in the teleplay along with his father, Mark Doyle and his mother and seven siblings. The bosses at ABC bought the pilot last week and ordered an entire season. The show is called The Kids Are Alright and will be part of ABC’s Fall schedule on Tuesdays at 8:30 on channel 7 after Roseanne. The name of the family has been changed from the “Doyle Family” to the “Cleary Family” but most of the incidents come from their lives growing up in south Glendale near Maple Park and going to Holy Family Church.

See the trailer on Youtube at this link:

Roberta Wolin-Tupas

Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19 Roberta Wolin-Tupas’ (Social Sciences) dance, Rising Above was performed at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. CA.

Howard Ibach

Howard Ibach (English) has a new book coming out this month on his own imprint, JuJu Books. It’s called How To Write A Single-Minded Proposition: Five insights on advertising’s most difficult sentence. Plus two new approaches.

He also has a newly redesigned website:

Here’s a brief summary of the book and some blurbs from reviewers:

The creative brief is the most important part of the advertising creative process. Everyone struggles with it. Even harder is the Single-Minded Proposition. It asks: What’s the one most important thing to say about the product? Howard Ibach, author of the critically acclaimed How To Write An Inspired Creative Brief, highlights five elements on every brief, and demonstrates how they produce the thinking behind this sentence. Then you’ll meet two innovators who can unlock better, more memorable creative.


Ibach’s book should be required reading for all account people, strategists, and creatives.
It’s the best, and briefest, book on briefs I’ve read.

 — Luke Sullivan, author, Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Advertising

Every junior account executive, and for that matter chief marketing officer, should be issued this book day 1, before the HR paperwork.
— Reid Holmes, Group Creative DirectorOgilvy/The Lacek Group, Minneapolis

Read this book and you never have to read another word about SMPs. Ever. It’s all here. And it’s inspired.

— Claire Hassid, Principal, Claire Hassid Brand Planning, Forest Hills, NY

A whole book on one sentence? One short sentence in most cases. Is this necessary? Yes.
Is it overkill? Not in the slightest.
— Paul Suggett, Creative Director Starz Entertainment

Ann Simon

Congratulations to Ann Simon (Office of Communications) on winning the 2018 John A. Davitt Award for Outstanding Service for classified employee.

Also, cheers to Ann for her outstanding work that earned GCC a Community College Public Relations Organization (CCPRO) 1st place award for 2017 Commencement program (the best of all 114 California community colleges)! CCPRO also recognized GCC with 2nd Place for Promotional Video and 3rd Place for College Catalog.

Joanna Parypinski

Joanna Parypinski (English) will be performing at the very first recital of GCC’s new cello choir on Friday, June 1 at 7:30 in AU 211. The cello choir is a chamber group of six cellists, who will perform alongside other chamber groups that evening.

She would also like to share that her short story, fittingly called “Commencement” (hey, that’s the theme of this issue!), will be published in VASTARIEN: A Literary Journal, which is “[a] source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti as well as associated authors and ideas.” Look for issue 2, which commences with her story, in June!


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