Foundation News & Events
Alum Named Tops in State
Miramar College alumnus Dr. Adolfo Gonzales, Chief, Bureau of Investigation, San Diego County District Attorney, has been selected as one of only five 2013 Distinguished Alumni statewide to be recognized by the Community College League of California (CCLC).
Gonzales spent 26 years in the San Diego PD, and then served as National City Police Department Chief for nine years prior to becoming Chief of the Bureau of Investigation for the San Diego County District Attorney. Dr. Gonzales is in great company. In 2006, then San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, also a Miramar College alumnus, received the state award. In the history of the awards, two of the three SDCCD alumni who have been named CCLC Distinguished Alumni hail from Miramar College.
Dynamic Duo Comes Home to Lead
In a unique spin of the annual Distinguished Alumni program, the Miramar College Foundation is pleased to announce two recipients for 2014 honors – Miramar faculty Sean Bowers and Dr. Rebecca Bowers-Gentry. The Bowers siblings were born and raised in the Mira Mesa community, graduated from Mira Mesa High School, Miramar College, and universities 2,000 miles apart. They pursued very different careers, married and started families. Little did they know that one day they’d both return “home” to work side-by-side at their community college alma mater.
In 2006, professional soccer super star Sean Bowers joined the Miramar College faculty and helped launch the first women’s soccer program in college history. In the last seven years, head coach Bowers has led the lady Jets to undefeated seasons, four straight Pacific Coast Athletics Conference (PCAC) championships, and the program to a #6 ranking nationwide.
Baby sister Rebecca Bowers-Gentry also joined the Miramar contract faculty in 2006 and established her own successful record in biotechnology. After receiving her PhD in cellular/molecular biology from the University of Colorado, Dr. Bowers joined the research team at UCSD, where she realized she preferred the student contact that teaching provided. She organizes the Miramar Science Department’s Science popular “Fun for Kids 9 to 99” community activity every March as part of San Diego Science Month and coordinates multiple, week-long S2 Summer Science Enrichment Camps for middle-schoolers, sponsored by the Southern California Biotechnology Center (SCBC) at Miramar College.
Miramar’s dynamic duo will be presented with 2014 Distinguished Alum awards by Miramar College Foundation President Marty Hight at graduation on Friday, May 16, where they will also serve as Commencement speakers.
Foundation Welcomes New Board Member and Donation
At its January meeting, the Miramar College Foundation board of directors voted to welcome René McKee as its newest community director.
With over 30 years experience in the financial industry, McKee serves California Coast Credit Union in San Diego as Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations. The oldest financial institution in the San Diego region, California Coast was founded by local educators in 1929 and currently serves more than 120,000 members. She joined the credit union in August of 1995, after serving for 12 years as the Vice President of Marketing at San Diego County Credit Union.
The La Mesa resident, a native of St. Louis, graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Marketing. She was awarded the Credit Union National Association Marketing and Business Development Council’s 1994 “Marketing Professional of the Year.”
Former board experience includes two 3-year terms on the Executive Committee of the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council, the Financial Institution Marketing Association’s Board of Directors, the Credit Union Alliance of San Diego Public Relations Board and the Partnership Advisory Board for San Diego Unified School District.
As the newest Miramar College Foundation board member, McKee joined fellow board members to accept a $3,000 donation from California Coast Credit Union to support the Foundation's mission to serve students of San Diego Miramar College through the scholarship program.
New Book Grants Make College More Affordable
Wells Fargo Bank donated $6,250 to the Miramar College Foundation to support 25 new $250 book grants for continuing students registered in six units or more in spring semester 2014 classes. The annual average cost of books for a community college full-time student is $820, according to Teresa Vilaboy, Financial Aid Director. Mary de Leon, branch manager for Wells Fargo Bank in Mira Mesa, pitched book grant funding to Wells Fargo corporate to support their mission to help out local neighborhoods.