March Newsletter – Issue #3
Starting Over at MJC Changed My Life
By: Shari Craig – MJC Class of 2013
MJC changed my life. At the age of 40 I decided to go back to college to learn new skills to be able to support my family in a faltering economy. I was instantly struck by the friendliness of everyone involved in my education. From the person who offered powder so my face didn’t look shiny on my student ID, to the employee who jump started my car in the rain, to the instructors who let me into their classes after I camped out in the back of the room for a week; everyone seemed truly interested in my well-being and my education. I navigated through the nursing program and emerged with dear friends, wonderful memories and a 4.0 GPA.
As a graduate of the MJC nursing program I was well prepared to step into my new profession. By obtaining my degree I more than doubled my income. As the years have passed, I found that I wanted to continue my education. I re-enrolled at MJC to take pre-requisites for my next journey to gain my BSN. Again, everyone was so pleasant. It was truly a privilege to be associated with the staff and students of MJC.
What Do Football, Soccer and Political Science Have in Common? An MJC Legacy
By: Thomas Gang – MJC Class of 1987
While serving in the USMC (R), I attended MJC and played football during the fall of 1986. At the end of the season I was prepared to activate full-time into the Marine Corps. Head Football Coach Dick Loyd convinced me to stay for another season. With the help of Coach Loyd, I received a full football scholarship to Cal State Fullerton. But the best part of my MJC story is that while I was playing football I noticed a young woman on the soccer team. The next day in Mr. Siefkin’s political science class, she walked in and sat down next to me. We just celebrated our 25th anniversary, have raised six children and have both graduated with our bachelor’s degrees. I also hold a master’s degree in teaching.
Five of my six children have started their college careers in the California Community College system. My career path followed Dick Loyd’s and I began coaching football at MJC in 1997. I was an assistant coach and part-time faculty member until 2002. I was hired in 2003 as the Head Football Coach for Mendocino College where I served for 8 ½ years.
I am who I am because of MJC. The legacy of this family would not have happened were it not for great people like Dick Loyd and the MJC staff. My marriage, children, and grandchildren would not be here if I did not stick around and play football for another year. Thank you MJC.
MJC & Student team UP to go from GED to Mechanical Engineer
By: Teodoro Gallardo – MJC Class of 1999
MJC and Student Team UP to go from GED to Mechanical Engineer
I received my GED then enrolled in MJC for remedial work to earn enough credits so I could transfer to a four-year institution. That was a challenge starting from Pre-Algebra until I completed differential equations. I want to thank all of my professors, especially Daniel Alcantra, Darrell Top, Ken Miedl and Gretchen Webb for their encouragement and advice. Thanks to Lucy Casale for believing in me and helping me through the MESA program. I was fortunate that they still had it while I was attending MJC.
I transferred to San Jose State and majored in Mechanical Engineering and minored in Physics. I stayed in the Bay Area where I worked on real cutting edge technology projects, mostly in the thin film sector. My jobs have been related in the fields of memory storage and Solar Cells.
I take great pride in my accomplishments since I’m the first in my family to go to college and coming from a family that wasn’t academically oriented, this was a challenge in itself. Once again, thank you so much MJC. Together with your Science and Math departments, WE achieved!
Love, Marriage, Political Science…and Television? It All Started at MJC.
By: Jamie Lofgren – MJC Class of 1999
My life was paved by my experience at MJC. First, it started when I took both a radio and television class. I got an A in radio and a B in television, and I knew right then and there that I wanted to work in TV. The second and most important thing that happened to me was meeting a beautiful girl named Karen in a political science class. Thanks to Mr. Randy Siefkin we were in the same study group.
For the last six years I have been a TV editor for the top post production facilities in Los Angeles working on top of the line shows and loving my job every day. But going back to the most important thing about MJC was meeting Karen, marrying Karen and having three beautiful kids with Karen. That’s my MJC story.
From what we see in two of these stories, it seems that Mr. Siefkin’s political science class was quite the place to 1) learn about our political system and 2) meet a future life partner! Life changing moments. That’s what these stories offer. MJC continues to be a place where our students find their way in life. We’re proud of this fact!
Over the next several months, we’ll be sharing several e-mail blasts with more MJC stories. In addition, we’ll be inviting guest columnists to share their stories. Current and former faculty and staff, alumni and friends will fill this column with their insights. Until then, please take a moment to share your story if you haven’t already done so. Was there a life changing moment for you at MJC? Tell us more…
I invite you to join us as we build a deep and lasting foundation of alumni involvement at MJC. Call me at (209) 575-6714 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas.
George Boodrookas, Ed.D.