Gift Legacy eNewsletter, January 13, 2021

Dear donors, supporters and friends,

Happy New Year to all of you! As we begin 2021 and I reflect upon what the previous year held for all of us, I can say that my heart is full of gratitude! When chaos threatened, you helped us meet the challenges head on and keep students learning. You are so special to us and our students know that even during adversity, they can count on YOU!

As we move on from the year 2020 we are filled with hope for a better tomorrow and that 2021 will finally see an end to the pandemic. We have not lost our focus on continuing to support our students, nor our desire to see our communities thrive. We are looking forward to seeing our students walk through the newly renovated plaza on our Main Campus and for them to have access to the new Soledad Education Center and the King City Education Center expansion.

One reason to celebrate at the start of this year is our amazing nursing program. You will read more below about how Hartnell nursing students are serving our community, but I am also pleased to share that Hartnell College’s nursing program ranked the No. 1 associate degree in nursing program for the entire western United States by the website, based on accreditation passing rates, academic quality, reputation and affordability. We are so proud of the nursing program and its students!

I would be remiss if I did not make special mention of two losses we suffered in our community in 2020. In our December eNewsletter, you read about our dear Andy Matsui and his legacy of philanthropy. Just a few weeks ago, another dear friend of Hartnell and of the community passed — Jeff Taylor. The Matsui and Taylor families are in our thoughts and prayers as we carry the memory of these two servant leaders in our hearts.

Beginning 2021, my hope for you continues to be health, joy, and prosperity. We value you and cannot wait to share all the plans for virtual engagement we have planned for you this year. Wishing you health and hope,

Jackie Cruz


Hartnell Nursing Students Give COVID-19 Vaccine to Salinas Valley First Responders

For Hartnell College nursing student Dexter, coronavirus-related limitations on clinical training have been frustrating because she knows medical staff could use extra help during the pandemic.

That has made being able to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to first responders all the more rewarding, said Dexter, who intends to graduate this spring with her associate degree in registered nursing.

“We feel so helpless that we can’t be there in the hospital helping and relieving some of the nurses,” she said during a break in giving shots to firefighters and EMTs on Jan. 9 at the Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas (CSVS) location in north Salinas.

Dexter, who plans to become an emergency room trauma nurse, was one of 18 Hartnell registered (RN) and vocational nursing (VN) students who volunteered to staff four CSVS vaccination clinics in Salinas, Castroville, Greenfield and King City, administering hundreds of doses. She and close to 30 other students also gave COVID-19 vaccinations to Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) employees right before Christmas.

Even though these opportunities are strictly voluntary and have come during Winter Break, students have been lining up to be of service and gain valuable experience, said Dr. Sonja Sheppard, associate director of Nursing and Allied Health.

“This is not a class assignment; this is not a requirement for graduation. This is out of your own time, taking half of a Saturday to serve the community, and they’re just falling over each other trying to get the opportunity.”


2020 Hartnell Grad is Now a Salinas City Council Member

Anthony Rocha, who graduated from Hartnell in May 2020, has advanced in his political career, being elected in November 2020 as the District 6 member of the Salinas City Council, previously held by the retiring Tony Villegas. In 2018, the year he began his studies at Hartnell, Rocha was elected to the Salinas Union High School District Board of Trustees. He said that one of his proudest accomplishments was the opportunity to take leadership on a vote to make ethnic studies a graduation requirement for district students.

Now pursuing a degree in legal studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Rocha works full time as special projects coordinator for Catalyst Family Inc., a statewide education and child care nonprofit. He said that he had “an amazing experience” at Hartnell, earning an Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies, with an emphasis in Social Sciences and Sociology. He is a 2018 graduate of Everett Alvarez High School.

“The staff there, the educators there, the support staff there – everyone is committed to the success of students at Hartnell. And what is so touching about Hartnell is its focus on our farmworker families and our first-generation students.”



Your impact with eyes on 2021



Gary Tanimura and his commitment to Hartnell

On the Central Coast, the Tanimura family is known for its generous philanthropy. A well-known family leader is Gary Tanimura, whose love for community is exemplified by his involvement in nearly all aspects of the agriculture programs at Hartnell College and his commitment to students’ success. Gary is one of Hartnell’s most beloved alums.



President’s State of the College Address

With Dr. Raúl Rodríguez, interim superintendent/president
Thursday, January 28, 2021
10:00 a.m. via Zoom