Dawn Lindsay Named Superintendent/President

It’s official. Dr. Dawn Lindsay is now Superintendent/President of GCC after serving in the interim position since July 2009. On March 15, the Board of Trustees announced its selection of Dr. Lindsay from the final pool of three candidates.

“The morale and mood of the college improved palpably from the moment that Dr. Lindsay took on the interim position,” said Dr. Vahe Peroomian, Board president. “Having become a Glendale resident, she has also built numerous bridges to the community at large.”

The announcement culminated a process that began months ago when a search committee made up of community members and representatives from the college was created to screen applicants. Faculty and staff gave input through an online survey, public forums were conducted, and candidates were interviewed by the Board of Trustees.

“We felt it was important to have a rigorous, open process for this selection,” said Dr. Peroomian. “Of 19 applicants, the names of four finalists were forwarded to the Board and three took part in the final phase. Dr. Lindsay distinguished herself by showing that she’s not just a good fit, but a perfect fit for the college.”

A native of Maryland, Dr. Lindsay came to GCC as Vice President of Instructional Services in 2007 and was named Executive Vice President in 2009. Previously, she was Dean of Instruction at Riverside Community College—Norco, where she also served as Dean of Student Services and Dean of Academic and Student Affairs.

Dr. Lindsay holds an Ed.D. in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University and a M.Ed. in educational counseling and B.S. in social work from Western Maryland College.

With her first-rate credentials and experience, friendly and approachable manner and genuine interest in people, Dr. Lindsay brings all the right qualities to her post.

President’s Circle Offers New Giving Opportunities

Now in its inaugural year, the President’s Circle of Glendale College Foundation offers an opportunity to demonstrate your ongoing support for GCC by contributing a $1,000 unrestricted gift annually. By joining the Circle, you will enjoy the sense of personal fulfillment that comes from giving, along with these benefits:

  • your name on a President’s Circle banner displayed on campus;
  • attendance at a luncheon with the Superintendent/President;
  • invitations to special campus events;
  • a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the GCC campus.

According to Ellyn Semler, Foundation Board member who will become its president in July, “The President’s Circle is an exciting new way for supporters to show their commitment to GCC. The fact that these funds are unrestricted means that we can fund projects that wouldn’t happen otherwise.”

Money raised through the President’s Circle will be available for a variety of campus-wide projects in areas including arts and culture, science and technology, athletics and fitness, humanities and social sciences and more. GCC faculty and staff can apply for grants to fund projects that meet the Foundation criteria and fulfill its mission.

“This is an important step in the Foundation becoming more integrated into the master plan of GCC, by helping to meet critical campus needs and also by funding specific projects that wouldn’t be possible with current budget cuts and the uncertain economy,” says Semler.

President’s Circle membership is renewable each year for a $1,000 unrestricted gift. We invite you to join this dedicated group of GCC supporters who believe in education and have chosen to invest in the future of our community.

For more information, call Lisa Brooks, Executive Director of the Foundation, at  818-551-5196  or e-mail her at Lbrooks@glendale.edu.

Prof. Larry Byrd Honored; Scholarship Established

On February 27, the GCC Student Center was alive with praise for a man known to his students as “The Organic King”—that’s king of organic chemistry, a subject that is traditionally tough to grasp, let alone enjoy.

Prof. Larry Byrd, in his 35+ years teaching at Glendale College, motivated thousands of men and women with the humor and wit he infused into his classes. “He takes a course that many students dread—organic chemistry—and makes it come alive, makes you want to understand it and helps you believe you can do that,” says GCC Professor Sevada Chamras.

Although he officially retired in December 2008, Byrd still teaches one class each semester and now shares an office with Chamras, one of his former students. “I know firsthand what a dedicated teacher he is,” says Chamras. “He was my mentor, my inspiration and the reason I’m now teaching the same subject at the same college.”

Chamras is only one of many former students who credit Byrd with their success in careers such as teaching, medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. “I always noticed how Larry kept in touch with his students,” says Chamras. “Through phone calls, e-mails, Facebook and personal visits, so many students contacted him, so we decided we should gather people together to honor him.”

A committee headed by Chamras and made up of former students organized the dinner and tribute, which was attended by more than 75 people. The program included several good-natured roasts and the presentation of a plaque and a photo book signed by dozens of Byrd’s colleagues and pupils. The evening ended with a pleasant surprise for the guest of honor when Foundation Executive Director Lisa Brooks took the podium and announced the establishment of the Prof. Larry Byrd Scholarship.

“The whole thing was totally unexpected…the idea, the dinner, all the testimonials and gifts were overwhelming. Of all the honors I’ve received, this was the most meaningful because it came from the students and was done by them,” says Byrd, who received the GCC Distinguished Faculty Award in 1994 and 2001 and the Outstanding Faculty Award in 2005.

When asked how he manages to instill interest, even enthusiasm, in his students, Byrd has a quick and convincing response. “Organic chemistry is the study of the molecular basis of life. It’s the essence of our world and applies to everyone and everything,” he says.

Besides his use of humor in teaching, Byrd is remembered fondly for his friendliness and ability to put students at ease. One former student, 20-year-old Talin Golnazarian, credits him with helping her take a giant step forward, both personally and educationally.

“I’m a fairly new immigrant to this country, and when I graduated from high school I was unsure of myself but wanted to earn a degree,” says Golnazarian, who will soon transfer to a four-year university to major in biology. “GCC has helped me so much, and Dr. Byrd’s lab was one of the best classes I’ve had. Even at 7 a.m., he was smiling and encouraging. I feel fortunate that I could learn from him and be part of his special event.”

As a member of the dinner committee, Golnazarian worked closely with others who shared her sentiments about the cheerful professor who makes science fun and fascinating. “I was in charge of invitations, finding people through the Internet and other ways, and everyone I contacted was so excited to hear what we were planning for Dr. Byrd,” she says.

For his part, Larry Byrd is a happy man. “I’ve had a wonderful career, I’m still teaching and will probably never retire,” he says. “Besides the day-to-day interaction, the nurturing of students, I hear success stories all the time from those who have gone on to great careers. That’s the real satisfaction.”

Sid Kolpas Named Hayward Award Winner

GCC math professor Dr. Sid Kolpas was recently honored as one of four recipients of the prestigious Hayward Award for Excellence in Education given by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.

“I am honored and gratified to receive this award after 40 years of teaching, the last 20 at GCC,” said Kolpas. “There are so many equally deserving colleagues here and throughout the state, and I accept it on their behalf.”

Last updated: 3/31/2010 10:23:05 AM