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RCC Newsletter


For 103 years, graduates of Riverside City College have participated in a live commencement, until now. Due to COVID-19, the College hosted its first ever virtual celebration to recognize the achievements of the class of 2020. On Friday, June 12, nearly 600 students participated in the ceremony, representing the 3,395 graduates earning degrees or certificates. The class was also invited to participate in the 2021 ceremony when it is again safe to gather.

College staff worked with graduating students to craft the virtual event, which celebrated the end of the academic year and the conferral of degrees. The program included remarks by RCCD Board of Trustees President Mary Figueroa, RCCD Chancellor Wolde-Ab Isaac, RCC President Gregory Anderson, ASRCC President Angel Contreras, the class of 2020 Student Speaker Roryana Bowman, and photos and quotes provided by the graduates.

“This year we all have experienced unprecedented challenges. None of us expected the school year to end the way it did, but you persevered,” President Anderson said in his address to the graduates. “No matter what path you take after leaving RCC, be certain that your degree or certificate is foundational to your success.” 

“Nothing could stop us from achieving our dream,” class speaker Bowman said. “If we can conquer this world, we can conquer anything.” 

Even with the challenges the class of 2020 faced, more students earned a higher number of degrees and certificates than in 2019. A total of 5,199 awards were conferred upon this year’s graduates.

The 2020 Commencement can be viewed on RCC’s website at and click on the Commencement link.

2019-20 Graduation Statistics:
  • RCC class of 2020 consists of 3,395 students
  • 587 students participated in the virtual commencement
  • 4,528 associate degrees were awarded
  • 671 state approved certificates were earned
  • Age of the oldest graduate: 73 years young
  • Age of the youngest graduate: 17 years old
  • 39 graduates earned a 4.0 grade point average
  • 506 RCC Promise students graduated earning 797 degrees and 95 certificates
  • The class includes 73 graduates who are Veterans of the armed services
  • 18 former foster youth earned 28 degrees and 1 certificate


The first town hall, President’s Panel #1: Reflections on race and a call to action, was held the evening of June 10. Assistant Professor, English Wendy Silva and Associate Professor, Sociology Eddie Perez, along with Dean, Languages, Humanities, and Social Sciences Kristi Woods joined President Gregory Anderson in a dialogue on issues of race, racism, equity and social justice. Panelists engaged in an open discussion on the broad experiences that led to the murder of George Floyd as well as subsequent reactions to that tragedy. Over 100 faculty and staff joined the robust discussion.

A recording of Panel #1 has been posted on the Office of the President page.

The town hall discussion series is designed to provide a forum where students, faculty and staff can speak openly with the panelists on specific themes. Each panel will include a mix of subject matter experts, leaders in participatory governance, community members, and President Anderson. If you have a suggestion for a discussion topic, you are encouraged to share it with President Anderson or Heidi Gonsier.


RCC’s School of Nursing’s simulation laboratory received accreditation by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) Accreditation Committee. The College’s simulation laboratory becomes the first community college facility in California to earn this accreditation. Nationally, eight community colleges have attained this recognition. Gaining accreditation from the SSH is a rigorous process, according to RCC’s Professor of Nursing Amy Vermillion.

Earning SSH accreditation for the simulation laboratory strengthens patient safety efforts and provides the School of Nursing with national and international recognition for its expertise in simulation. 

“Obtaining SSH accreditation was a long-held dream of the RCC School of Nursing, as it designates the excellence and quality of the simulation program we have developed over the last 10 years,” Dean of Nursing Sandy Baker said.

Leading up to the accreditation site review, the School of Nursing formed a task force to review simulation literature and best practices. From the task force’s research a simulation program was developed, using national and international best practices, sound pedagogical principles, and accreditation standards. Nursing faculty and staff spent months preparing the self-study report and preparing for the site review which, due to COVID-19, was conducted virtually last month.

Nursing faculty, led by Amy Vermillion and Angie Fawson, engaged in extensive professional development, eventually allowing them to earn national certification as certified healthcare simulation educators through the SSH. In addition, Isaac Dannelley, simulation lab specialist, became certified as a certified healthcare simulation operation specialist.

The School of Nursing will be recognized for earning SSH accreditation at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare in New Orleans in January 2021.


The Riverside City College Music Department received a $10,000 grant from the Colburn Foundation. This renewal gift will help support the Centennial Plaza Concert Series. Last year, the Colburn Foundation was a generous supporter of the Centennial Plaza Concert Series. During the 2019-20 season, RCC’s award-winning Music Department presented Bach’s Masterpiece Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 with David Washburn of the LA Chamber Orchestra; Rong-Huey Liu from the Long Beach Symphony; Los Angeles Flutist Eileen Holt; and Violinist Agnes Schwarz. They also presented three Chamber music concerts featuring international performing artists.

In addition to bringing these amazing artists to Riverside, the Music Department has used the Centennial Plaza Concert Series to enhance its classroom music instruction. Each of the guest artists visited RCC’s campus and met and worked with students in master classes. Performances include interactions with the artists as well as the chance to score concert tickets, and attend workshops and other engagement activities coordinated by the RCC Music Department in collaboration with regional art organizations. None of these efforts would have been possible without the generous support of the Colburn Foundation.

The Colburn Foundation was established as an independent foundation in 1999 and endowed by Richard D. Colburn, who was a businessman and philanthropist. Colburn passed away in 2004, but the Foundation continues to be governed by a board of directors. The Foundation’s mission is to promote a healthy and vibrant classical music community, primarily in Southern California, and make grants to artistically excellent organizations for the performance and presentation of classical music, as well as for music education and training of musicians.


RCCD colleges are experiencing a dramatic increase in student enrollment for the summer session. As of June 26, RCC’s enrollment is nearly 20 percent higher than summer 2019. Moreno Valley is experiencing a 16 percent increase and Norco College is serving 18.9 percent more students than last year. The colleges combined are educating an additional 500-plus full-time students from summer 2019.

COVID-19 and online instruction might be factors in the spike. The increase could also be attributed to the fact that community colleges historically see enrollment growth in times of high unemployment and economic uncertainty.

Registration for the Fall semester begins July 6, therefore it is too early to predict fall enrollment figures

The increase in enrollment may be attributed to the District’s virtual marketing efforts which focused on promoting summer classes, industry approved certificates, and academic pathways using the taglines “Opportunity is Knocking” and “Imagine What You Can Become.” 


This June, 47 RCC faculty, classified professionals and managers are retiring. These individuals have made a difference in the lives of so many students, faculty, staff and members of the community. As they move ahead into retirement, they leave behind a legacy of achievement, encouragement, and strong work ethic. Most importantly, they demonstrated that it doesn't take much to make a big impact.

These individuals combined have served RCC/RCCD for 1,050 years, averaging 22.3 years of service. We will all miss their commitment, contributions, and positive energy; their contributions to our College are deeply appreciated. Please stop by and visit RCC when you have the time!

The retirees were highlighted in a virtual retirement reception which can be viewed online. Special thanks to Natalie Halsell, Stephen Ashby, Jennifer Bielman, Lamar Neil, Tony Rizo and Chip West for coordinating the celebration event.

Thanks to each and every individual who has or will be retiring this academic year for great memories. Enjoy doing all the things you wanted to do but never had time for.

Marisela Alcarez, Sandy Baker, Guy Bird, Henry Bravo, Steven Brewster, Lynn Brookens, Adolfo Canchola, Armando Castro,  Cindy Cave, Greta Cohen, Monica Delgadillo, Sherrie DiSalvio, Claudette Ellis, Paula Farish, Angie Fawson, Nancy Gall, Dorothy Gaylor, Danny Gomez Jr, Jana Gray, Edgar Ivan Gutierrez, Monica Hayes-Trainer, John Hopkins, Kathryn Kelly, Stephen Kennedy, Ellen Kime, Kathy Krysta, John Latham, Angela Lee, Juliana Leung, Mark Longway, Rebecca Loomis, Allan Lovelace, Rebecca Moon Stone, Jesus Morales, Terrence O'Neill, Frank Pearson, Joseph Reynolds, Clarence Romero, Rogelio Ruiz, Ward Schinke, Gustavo Segura, Jolanta Siemieniewska, Ralph Velasquez, Debbie Whitaker-Meneses, Elaine Wilson, Jim Wooldridge, Elizabeth Yglecias


The RCC academic engagement centers are hosting a series of virtual Summer Engagement Open House events to introduce new and incoming students to their pathway success teams and resources available. Please encourage new and returning students to attend at least one open house. Students are also being notified of the open houses through email; please help get the word out.

Visual, Performing and Creative Arts Engagement Center Open House
Art Summer 2020 Engagement

Monday, July 13, 1 PM

STEM Engagement Center Open House
Monday, July 13, 4 PM

Health Related Sciences Engagement Center Open House
Monday, July 13, 6 PM

CTE Engagement Center Open House
Tuesday, July 14, 9 AM

Visual, Performing and Creative Arts 
Dance Summer 2020 Engagement
Monday, August 3, 10:30 AM

Visual, Performing and Creative Arts 
Music Summer 2020 Engagement
Monday, August 17, 10 AM

Visual, Performing and Creative Arts 
Theatre Summer 2020 Engagement

Wednesday, August 19, 10 AM

Get Counted!  Census 2020

The 2020 Census is happening now in cities, counties and states throughout the nation. As you may know, the Census is a count of every person living in the U.S. The population data that results from this count is used to determine things like how to align California’s congressional districts and how to distribute federal resources, such as funding for some student financial aid, healthcare, housing, transportation and other important student services. The outcomes resulting from this data last for a decade.

California community colleges are working to ensure all of our students, faculty, staff and their families are counted in the 2020 Census so that our communities reflect all who live here. One key factor is that our students are at risk of being undercounted. Many people fall within the hard-to-count (HTC) category, which means they are at risk of not hearing about the Census and/or not filling out the Census form.

It’s simple, just visit and answer nine simple questions about you and the people who live in your home, including your name, age, phone number, race, sex and whether you rent or own your home.

With your help, we can encourage even more Californians to complete the Census form and shape our state’s future for years to come! For more information about the 2020 Census, please visit or call 800-923-8282.
Riverside City College
4800 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92506

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Riverside Community College District · 3801 Market St · Riverside, CA 92501-3225 · USA