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April 2016

De Anza is the first community college to be certified as a Bay Area Green Business. The program distinguishes organizations that protect, sustain and preserve the environment. The city of Cupertino has also awarded the college with a GreenBiz certification, an offshoot of the Bay Area Green Business program.

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"It was a lot of hard work by my staff and the students," said Manny DaSilva, custodial operations manager. "We're excited our efforts will conserve our natural resources for the future." 

The college has been working toward certification for two years. The process began when Environmental Studies student Sujata Ali and four others took on a sustainability project with the City of Cupertino for Kristin Sullivan's ES 56 class. Ali, the team lead, worked with city officials to conduct staff interviews and visual assessments to get GreenBiz certification for the Kirsch Center and Auto Tech building. The Auto Tech program has been certified since early 2014.

"In Kristin's class, I was introduced to the idea of sustainability and the concrete application of sustainability projects," said Ali. "More than anything else I was challenging myself. I discovered a passion and really stuck with it for the next two years." 

Ali proposed making an effort to get the whole campus certified instead of approaching the project building by building. The college administration was immediately on board. 

"De Anza was already committed to environmental justice and sustainability," said Donna Jones-Dulin, associate vice president of College Operations. "This was an opportunity to build on what we were already doing and to have a lasting impact on the college, the city and the environment."

Ali, new team lead Elizabeth Flores-Lathan and a group of ES 56 students began assessing every building on campus. Ali compiled all the data and photos into spreadsheets, and last June, the city issued the college an assessment report summarizing all the findings and recommended actions. In December, representatives from Santa Clara County toured the campus -- a necessary step in the certification. 

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"There was an enormous amount of data for each building," Ali added. "But I could see an end goal and I was excited about that end goal." 

Cupertino mayor Barry Chang presented Ali, DaSillva and Dulin with a business proclamation recognizing the school's environmental achievements at a City Council meeting Tuesday. Cupertino looked to De Anza for best practices when forming its Sustainability Office seven years ago.

"De Anza College has a legacy of environmental leadership that compels students, staff and its broader community to continuously aspire towards new opportunities to achieve greater gains for our shared environment," said Erin Cooke, the city's environmental affairs coordinator. "By embedding sustainable practices across the operational portfolio of the campus, in partnership with De Anza's esteemed and progressive Office of College Operations and enabled through the GreenBiz checklist Jones-Dulin measures, the campus is assured that it is not just recognized as an environmental leader, but embeds sustainability into the way it does business." 

The Bay Area Green Business Program is a partnership of local environmental agencies and utilities. They verify that participating businesses conserve energy and water, minimize waste, prevent pollution and shrink their carbon footprints. At an interactive sustainability workshop last month, Jones-Dulin and Joe Cooke, grounds supervisor, presented several notable steps the campus has taken toward sustainability and green business certification. 

  • Campus Center uses biodegradable paper products and organic food from local sources.
  • Campus Center has switched from open dumpsters requiring daily pickup to a composting compactor picked up once a week. 
  • The composted material is used on the athletics fields in place of chemical fertilizers.
  • Approximately 90 percent of the campus is on a computerized network connected to the on-campus weather station. 
  • The weather station adjusts the rate of irrigation daily based on temperature, humidity and solar radiation.
  • Grounds staff is able to use that information to use the correct amount of water for the various native, drought-tolerant plants on campus.
  • Water bottle filling stations are in various locations across campus to discourage the use of plastic. 
  • Low-flow showers are installed in the PE area.

LopezJuan Lopez never thought he could help other students learn. When he first started at De Anza, he needed help himself.

After his family emigrated from Mexico, Lopez began learning English by reading comic books at his local library. He graduated from Independence High in 2010 and immediately started working. After a couple years, he realized he wanted to go back to school. 

"I needed my brain to focus on more than just working. I wanted to learn more and to expand my knowledge," Lopez added. "My first choice was a community college because university was way off for me back then." 

De Anza was part of the family tradition for Lopez. His uncle works at the college and several cousins graduated from here. He enrolled and started taking ESL classes. Through ESL, he discovered the SSC. 

"It's a struggle when you move from another country -- you don't know the language, you don't know the culture and everything's so different," he said. "The Listening and Speaking Center and the Writing and Reading Center helped me tremendously on my journey in English classes." 

Because of the help he received with English, Lopez felt comfortable returning to the Center when he struggled in math. He not only successfully completed his required math courses -- he began tutoring other students in math and statistics. 

"When I first started taking math classes I was really frustrated because I couldn't even understand how to do fractions," said Lopez. "One reason I love being a tutor is because I realized you can make a student feel confident just by telling them your own experiences. Math is for everyone, and I make people feel welcome and confident every time they come to the tutoring center."

Tutoring also helped Lopez feel more connected to the campus.

"It's not just about working," Lopez added. "It's about making connections and friends and helping other students."

Lopez will graduate in June and plans to attend UC Berkeley or UCLA. His time in the SSC has inspired him to earn a master's degree in communications and become a college professor. 

The Student Success Center offers tutoring in five areas: Academic Skills, General Subject, Listening and Speaking, Math and Science, and Writing and Reading. Individual, drop-in and group tutoring are available. All tutoring is free for students.


Marykay Englen, senior program coordinator in Staff & Organizational Development, has received the 4CSD award for her work providing classified professionals with meaningful opportunities for development. 

The California Community College Council for Staff & Organizational Development is the state's organization providing training and networking opportunities for classified professionals at community colleges. 

Congratulations, Marykay! 

Athletics Staff Receive Accolades

Congrats to Kulwant Singh and Cheryl Owiesny in Athletics on their recent awards!

SinghSingh has been named a Community College Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). He is currently the president of the National Alliance of Two Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA). He will head to Dallas in June to preside over the NATYCAA convention and receive his award at the NACDA convention.

OwiesnyOwiesny, an instructor and head coach of the women's soccer team, is one of two recipients of the California Community College Coaches Association's Coaching Achievement Award. This award is given to coaches who have demonstrated exemplary participation, deidcation and contributions to their chosen sport. Recipients exhibit leadership and are outstanding role models for their student-athletes. 

Thank you for your outstanding service to our students.  

Students Receive Scholarships at APASA Lunar New Year Luncheon

Michael Pay and Aura Wright each received a $1,000 scholarship at this year's APASA Lunar New Year Luncheon. 

PayPay studies business administration. He served four years in the Marine Corps and founded the De Anza Network to help students connect with each other. He hopes to transfer to Cal Poly or Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and become an entrepreneur. 

Wright is a film/TV student. While at De Anza, she completed a short documentary about Next Door, a non-profit that helps victims of domestic violence. Wright hopes to transfer to NYU, Columbia or Stanford, and submit her film to several festivals. 

ICYMI: Library Reopening Celebration

Missed the library reopening event? Watch some highlights of the celebration. 

Additional Automated External Defibrillators have been installed in various areas across campus. See the campus map for AED locations. 

If you are interested in taking an AED class, contact Mary Donahue.             

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