Connect the Dots Logo

Columbia College's

Academic Wellness Educators    

Keeping Us Connected

Making the connection image


Keeping Us Connected                 

Volume 3, Issue 2, October '09


AWEStar of the Month


The AWEStar of the month is our newest addition to the AWE eNewsletter. Each month we will feature someone new who is shining brightly among us, and in many cases leading the way.


This month our AWEStar is Raelene Juarez Columbia College's Head Volleyball Coach who also teaches Weight Training, Body Sculpting, and Backpacking.


Raelene using the recycling bins


Raelene also spear heads the Recycling Sustainability Committee and the Project Green project, which is grant funded through the Department of Conservation. The Committee’s goal is to have recyclable beverage containers located on campus and be a Styrofoam free campus. Another focus this school year is to continue promoting the mini bin system and having the IMC as the hub of recycling on campus where the Facilities department can help streamline the process of sorting and pick up.  


Raelene believes it is important for everyone to be aware of sustainability and good stewardship, which ties into our Columbia College mission statement.


As part of her volleyball team training Raelene uses SMART goals.

·         Specific

·         Measurable

·         Attainable

·         Realistic

·         Time  Frame

Her team starts with weekly goals, then mid-semester goals, moves into end of the semester goals, then a year and as far out as 5 & 10 year goals. The goals are based on Volleyball, Academics, Family and Friends and Health. This month the volleyball team helped celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month by participating in fundraisers.


One of her favorite classes is the Backpacking because it helps others appreciate nature and come to the realization they don’t need a lot to survive. Raelene says it is a transformational experience when students learn how to package food and gear to minimize the impact on the environment. The 3 days and 2 night trips are out of Point Reyes and Relief Reservoir outside Kennedy Meadows.


Raelene embeds health and nutrition concepts and activities as a thread throughout all her classes to help students sustain both mind and body.


Tutor's Corner






Zachary Priest in an online CCCConfer Session

Zachary Priest, SI Leader & AAC Tutor with Mr. Chemical Mole


Zachary Priest, tutor and SI for Chemistry, Math, Statistics, and Biology started attending MJC but transferred to Columbia to experience a new environment and major in Chemistry. His favorite science is neuroscience, study of the brain and hopes to go to Berkeley in fall 2010 to major in Chemistry.


Zachary is piloting online tutoring sessions for Chemistry 10 using CCCConfer (a virtual conferencing tool), Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 2:30-3:30 in Redbud 8. When using CCCConfer he tries creative ways with audio and visual aids to explain things, check for understanding and enlist questions. He is glad to be providing the opportunity for online students to have access to tutoring. The CCCConfer tutoring session is geared toward online students, though all Chemistry students are welcome.


Zachary incorporates techniques that help the student understand concepts and key vocabulary words over memorization. He believes to have a handle on chemistry it is important to have a full understanding of what actually is taking place. He goes beyond the basics and helps students to use analytic and critical thinking skills to solve problems.


Zach would like to encourage all of us to ask our students for feedback during our lessons and activities, to find out what students are getting stuck on and then passing the information on to the tutors.


Update on Strengthening

Student Success Conference


On October 9th, Anne Cavagnaro, Patricia Harrelson, and Adrienne Seegers presented a workshop titled Academic Wellness Educators: More than Just Basic Skills at the RP Group’s Strengthening Student Success Conference.   The workshop was well received and prompted a request that AWE present to the Academic Senate Area A meeting being held at Columbia College on 10/30.   



Chicken Soup & Flu Kits


On October 27th & 28th chicken soup was served to 273 students and 195 flu kits were given away!



Columbia College's "New" Web Site to be Launched!


The new Columbia College Web Site


Thank you to Wendy Link, Gail Segerstrom and Brian DeMoss for all your hard work!