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RCC Newsletter
APRIL 2020


Riverside City College ranked one of the 50 Best Community Colleges in the nation, according to a report released on April 23 by College Consensus, a unique college rating website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews:

College Consensus ranked colleges according to their success in providing a return on investment. RCC displayed the best combination of the three factors: reputation, educational quality, and rewarding income. These three factors support students and their families to determine whether the community college they are considering will have a real, qualitative impact on their careers and lives.


Colleges and universities in Riverside County received more than $54 million in emergency funding as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed by Congress on March 27. RCC received $10,831,532, an allocation based on full-time enrollment.

Students have been sheltering in place, often far from loved ones, without financial security. They need relief and assistance from the federal government to support them in these uncertain times. CARES Act funds are being distributed to students in the form of emergency cash assistance grants to help pay for housing, food, and other basic essentials.

Students who submit an application and demonstrate a COVID-19 related need are eligible for support from the CARES Act. An RCCD task force, in consultation with student representatives, determined how monies will be distributed based on US Department of Education CARES Act Emergency Aid eligibility criteria and need resulting from the pandemic.

The application and additional information is available on the District website at Encourage students to apply as soon as possible, since funds are limited.


Cassie Mendoza reached out to her former instructor, Associate Professor of Biology Rebecca Loomis, to share how she has been assisting patients infected with the coronavirus. She is employed at Loma Linda Medical Center Murrieta as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) and has direct contact with these individuals.

“It is so nice to be there for patients to remind them they are loved and cared for since they are all alone fighting this virus and can’t have family there,” Mendoza said. “I love being a hand they can hold [with double gloves for protection] and someone to share their fears and heartache with.” She mentioned the challenge wearing masks and gowns all day, but understands the fundamental role personal protective equipment plays.

Mendoza transferred to Cal Baptist University and graduated (virtually) this week, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She is awaiting a date to take the National Council of State Boards of Nursing NCLEX exam. RCC is proud of the many students like Mendoza who are contributing to the well-being of those directly affected by the coronavirus.


As we all practice safer at home practices, RCC Music students are busy producing musical recordings. RCC’s Jazz Ensemble recorded Beyond the 2nd Line which can be viewed here, and the Guitar Ensemble students recorded Air by Johan Helmich Roman while practicing social distancing. Each individual part was recorded in the privacy of students' homes and were mixed by another student. Special recognition to Music Assistant Professor Jennifer Amaya for teaching these students valuable recording engineering skills.


Downbeat Magazine named RCC’s Jazz Ensemble 2020 Best Community College Large Jazz Ensemble.

Downbeat Magazine named RCC’s Jazz Ensemble as the winner for their 2020 contest for Large Jazz Ensemble in the Community College division. Everyone is looking forward to hearing these talented musicians once again perform in the Coil School for the Arts music hall.


The student newspaper, Viewpoints, continues to be produced during the shutdown. Journalism students have been producing publications through the night from their homes. “It is all worth it, the students are gaining confidence, getting experience and serving the public,” Alan Lovelace, professor of Journalism, said.

Their first issue produced remotely published on March 23 included a feature on the coronavirus.
Viewpoints Vol. 97: Issue 10

In addition to posting online,, and in social media, @viewpoints, Journalism students are using graphic design software to create a virtual print editions.  



Journalism students from Riverside City College received six awards from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges at the 2020 statewide competition.

Students competed by entering stories, photos and designs published in their student newspapers during the spring and fall 2019 semesters. Newspapers that excel in writing, coverage, photography, leadership, editing, design, content, multimedia, interface and organization receive the awards.

Viewpoints and students won the following awards:
  • General Excellence for November 14, and October 31 and 17 print editions. Stories included coverage of Guided Pathways, bounty hunters on campus, and City Council election campaigns.
  • Viewpoints also received a fourth place award for front page design.
  • News Editor Erik Galicia received an honorable mention for a news story.
  • Former Viewpoints writer Sayeda Ghazanfar received honorable mention for a feature story.
  • Editor-in-Chief Angel Pena received an Editor’s Honor Roll award.  
Information about Viewpoints and RCC’s Journalism program are available at and


Even COVID-19 couldn’t stop the RCCD Model United Nations team from its commitment to excellence. The program continued to be recognized with the latest team winning the top award for position papers. Traditionally, teams from colleges and universities across the globe attend the international Model United Nations Conference in New York. However, the 2020 conference was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the competition was not held in person, entries were electronically submitted by teams and evaluated by committee chairs. In the end, the RCCD team, representing Eritrea, won the top award for position papers in the General Assembly Committee One and the Human Rights Council.

RCC’s delegates participated in intense training for months and conducted in-depth research about the assigned topic to prepare for the conference. Position papers were submitted last February and are a critical part of delegate preparation. These papers require teams to illustrate their knowledge of agenda topics, affirm the positions their country takes on these topics, and recommend courses of action to effectively address contemporary global problems.

This year’s RCCD team was young with two of the members being 16 to 17 years old.

“Their spirit was high and they are determined to come back next year and sweep every award available in the 2021 conference,” MUN Advisor and Professor of Political Science Dariush Haghighat stated.


California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley discussed the future of higher education during a teleconference with student reporters on April 14.

“We don’t know how big of an impact the COVID-19 pandemic is going to have on higher education because we are not through this crisis yet; there will likely be cuts to our budgets,” Oakley said during the Zoom conference. “I assure you, we’re going to advocate heavily to protect funding for community colleges.”

President Trump recognized the need to support college students. On March 27 he signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law which provides $300 million in aid for California community college students.

Oakley recognized the struggles community college students are facing, including financial challenges and family demands, all while navigating online instruction. This new learning environment exposed California’s digital divide. To help bridge the technology gap and support students as they transition to online instruction, RCC issued more than 300 laptops.

The chancellor also stressed the importance of participating in the 2020 Census. California students need to be counted. “The impact of students not being counted in the Census really extends for a decade,” he said. “It’s critically important because that influences how much money the state of California receives for higher education.” He encouraged students to complete the survey and share information with their peers. Information on the 2020 California Census can be found at


Despite having to forego traditional spring commencement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey was sent to RCC students, who are eligible to graduate and participate in the 2020 Commencement, requesting input about the format of this year’s ceremony.

Survey results showed that approximately 40% of the students are in favor of a virtual commencement this year and 60% supported the option of returning to participate in the 2021 commencement ceremony.

Understanding the importance of hearing the students’ wishes, the commencement committee is developing plans for two commencement celebrations for the Class of 2020. A virtual commencement will be held in Spring 2020 and the 2020 graduates will also have the opportunity to participate in a ceremony with the 2021 graduating class.
Riverside City College
4800 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92506