1, 2014 College of Marin
Financial aid
scam rocks
College of Marin
Page 2
Nancy Pelosi
visits Kentfeld
Page 2
Robin Williams
Actor, comedian,

College of Marin
Kentfeld, California
Phone: (415) 485-9690
Learning Resource Center
Room LC 32
Christoph Zachhuber
Managing Editor:
Lauren Behm
Assistant Managing Editor:
Stephanie Lee
Design Director:
Irina Zhelokhovtseva
Photo Editor:
Patrick Brown
Lauren Behm
Stephanie Lee
Christoph Zachhuber
Advertising Manager:
Irina Zhelokhovtseva
Offce Manager:
Irina Zhelokhovtseva
Media Editor:
Chelsea Dederick
Faculty Adviser:
Tom Graham
Email us
Marin Sun Printing prints the Echo Times
using 40 percent recycled paper
and 100 percent soy ink
2 College of marin Oct. 1, 2014
Cover photo: Robin Williams
studio portrait courtesy of
nder tight security, congressional
representatives Nancy Pelosi
and Jared Huffman spoke at a
town hall forum in the foyer of COM’s
Performing Arts Building last month.
One hundred and ffty people
crowded into the lobby of the James Dunn
Theatre to participate in the discussion,
which focused on college affordability
and early childhood education’s middle
class jumpstart program.
Participants in the event, which
was moderated by former CBS news
anchor Dana King, also included
Marin Community Colleges District
Superintendent and COM President David
Wain-Coon and San Rafael City Schools
Superintendent Michael Watenpaugh.
Congresswoman Pelosi (D-San
Francisco) shared her vision for middle
class education.
To jump start the middle class, she
told those in attendance that she wants
affordable education, better jobs and
economic equality for women.
“The education of the American people
is not an issue, it’s a value,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi emphasized the importance
of restructuring student loans to make
college education more affordable. Her
comments were particularly timely since
half of COM students are on fnancial aid.
President Wain-Coon pointed out that
21 percent of community college students
end up defaulting on their student loans.
Pelosi plans to introduce legislation to
improve childhood education opportunities
in order to close the achievement gap
throughout the United States.
Superintendent Michael Watenpaugh,
who supports Pelosi’s goal, said “the
importance of preschool cannot be
Congressman Huffman, who is
concerned about the inequities of the job-
market, said: “The U.S. is nowhere close
to a post-racial America,” the San Rafael
Democrat said, touching on the fact that
there are still plenty of racial inequalities
in the job world.
COM President David Wain-Coon
later told the Echo-Times he felt honored
that College of Marin was asked to host
Congressman Jared Huffman and House
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi at last
month’s town hall focusing on the Middle
Class Jumpstart campaign.
“One of the key components of the
Jumpstart effort is affordable education,
and it is critical for the voice of our
students here at home to be heard back in
Nancy Pelosi visits
Kentfeld Campus
Financial aid scam rocks College of Marin
ollege administrators are looking
into possible fnancial aid fraud
that may involve two dozen
students enrolled here in online courses.
Nearly $200,000 – mostly in Pell Grants
– are at stake.
The suspects involved in the scam are
believed to be posing as students.
Fraud cases like this are increasingly
seen in college fnancial aid offces around
the country. They cost the taxpayer up
to $1 billion a year, The San Francisco
Chronicle reported earlier this month.
The situation was brought to the
attention of COM’s administration by
a couple of instructors who noticed that
several of their online students were
sharing residential addresses and phone
numbers. The teachers became suspicious
when they discovered that the same
students were not participating in class
discussions and were dropping out after
fnancial aid disbursements.
“Given that this type of scam is a
problem many colleges are experiencing,
we are grateful for the vigilance of the
faculty who brought their concerns to the
administration,” COM President David
Wain-Coon told the Echo Times.
“With nearly 50 percent of our
students receiving some form of fnancial
aid, the need for fnancial assistance is
greater than ever,” he pointed out. “The
most unfortunate part of this situation is
that deserving students are affected by the
actions of a few.”
Jonathan Eldridge, COM’s vice
president of student learning and student
services, told the Marin Independent
Journal that the individuals under
investigation qualifed for a total of
$200,000 in fnancial aid, but he said it
is unclear how much of that they have
received. He explained that most of the
aid comes in the form of Pell grants,
which require no repayment.
“Whether they are posing as students
or are students is yet to be determined,”
he said.
Eldridge, who explained the
investigation has been underway for
several months, would not reveal if any
individuals have been formally charged
with a crime.
In a related case, three men pleaded
guilty to stealing more than $1 million
through fnancial aid scams between
2007 and 2011 from three other Bay Area
community colleges – including City
College of San Francisco.
In March, the U.S. Department
of Education’s Offce of the Inspector
General reported that 132 fraud rings
were under investigation.
Eldridge noted that College of Marin
has alerted the Inspector General about its
own ongoing investigation.
At this point, the U.S. Department of
Education is not involved.
According to the Inspector General’s
recent report on education fraud rings,
“Education programs that are delivered
solely through the Internet present unique
opportunities for fraud and challenges
for oversight, because Title IV programs
were designed primarily to deliver aid
to students who are physically present
in traditional classrooms, rather than
alternative online environments.”
This method of fraud – dubbed “Pell
running” – involves organized rings who
recruit willing students, who allow their
personal information and social security
numbers to be used in order to enroll in
classes. The fnancial compensation they
receive for their cooperation is considered
a federal offense.
(To report fraud, waste, misuse or
mismanagement of U.S. Department of
Education program funds contact the
Inspector General’s toll free hotline at
1-800-MIS-USED. Mon. and Wed. 9 a.m.
until 11 a.m., ET; Tues. and Thurs., 1
p.m. until 3 p.m., ET except for holidays.)
By Christoph Zachhuber
Photo by Michael Amsler
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was among the dignitaries who spoke at a COM forum last
month on the importance of community college education.
By Christoph Zachhuber
COM mourns loss of Robin Williams
3 ECHO TIMES Oct. 1, 2014
By Christoph Zachhuber and Lauren Behm
The Victorian house in San Francisco’s Pacifc Heights, which served as the exterior for the
“Mrs. Doubtfre” flm, was transformed into a shrine for Robin Williams after his death.
Photo by Stephanie Lee
he news of actor-comedian Robin
Williams’ death last month hit
Marin County particularly hard.
After all it’s where he grew up and lived.
The former College of Marin student
had deep ties to his community.
Williams, who graduated from
Redwood High School, attended College
of Marin from 1970-1973, performed
in 14 drama productions while a student
here, including “A Midsummer Night’s
Dream,” “Macbeth,” “Taming of the
Shrew” and “Oliver.”
Sandi V. Weldon, who teaches dance
at COM, frst met Robin Williams in
the early ’80s at the former World Gym,
located at the corner of Sir Francis Drake
Blvd. and College Ave.
“He was always very gracious to
everyone,” she recalls. “His comedy was
like a drug to people, that let them forget
their worries for a while.”
Robin McLaurin Williams, who
began his performing arts career here,
came to College of Marin after spending a
semester at Claremont College in southern
California, where he was a political
science major. He moved back to Tiburon
in 1970 and enrolled at COM, where he
changed his major to dramatic arts.
That year Williams auditioned for
the drama department’s production of “A
Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Since all
the lead roles were cast, director James
Dunn offered Williams a part as a spear-
carrier – without any lines.
Williams continued auditioning for
roles in other productions and got cast as
Malcolm in “Macbeth,” Tranio in “The
Taming of the Shrew” and Snoopy in
“You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown.”
Between 1970 and 1976, Williams
performed in a total of 15 productions
here at College of Marin.
Dunn recognized that Williams was
very talented on stage. But it wasn’t until
the frst dress rehearsal for the musical,
“Oliver,” where Williams showed his full
potential. The rehearsal was running late and
the cast had gotten only halfway through the
rehearsal by midnight. Dunn described the
situation as “very tense and uptight.”
Standing next to a piano on stage,
Williams started talking to a drum major’s
baton. Suddenly he was engaged in a
dialogue with the baton.
“This went on for about 15 to 20
minutes and he had everyone in that theatre
on the foor laughing,” Dunn recalls. “His
free-form improvisation broke all the
tension in the theatre that night.”
Dunn came home and woke his wife
at 2 in the morning.
“I have never seen anything like
this,” he told her.
“This kid is going
to be someone
But Williams
early comedy
routines didn’t
always work.
Dunn remembers
one time when
students booed Williams during a stand
up routine in the cafeteria.
After his stint at COM, Williams was
accepted at Juilliard Art School in New
York City. Dunn asked actor and Juilliard
founding director John Houseman to take
a look at his former student.
Christopher Reeves, who later
achieved fame as “Superman,” became
Williams roommate and best friend.
After a rough breakup with a
girlfriend, Williams left Juilliard and
moved back to the West Coast. Although
he never fnished school there, he later
was awarded an “honorary degree.”
He came back to COM in 1976 to
appear in one last performance here.
In later years, Williams continued
supporting the Drama Department by
doing benefts and donating money to
student scholarship funds.
Dunn recalls him as a hardworking
student who never forgot his roots.
Williams was “not very Hollywood-like,”
he said. When looking for locations to
shoot the movie “Jack,” Williams and
director Steven Spielberg asked children
from Williams’ friend Sandi V. Weldon’s
kids drama program to take them on a
bike tour around the area. The exterior
shots for the house in the movie ended up
being flmed in Ross.
Weldon’s three-decade long
friendship with Williams gave her insight
about the actor-comedian.
“For most people currency is money,”
said Weldon, who now teaches dance at
COM. “Robin’s currency was laughter.”
Williams never wanted anything from
his audience but their laughter. The more
energy he received from his audience the
more he could give them back.
Victoria Dorazi, a former student at
COM who now works at Murray Circle
Restaurant at Cavallo Point in Fort Baker,
was a friend of Williams. She says he was
regular and had dined at the restaurant
just four days before his death.
Dorazi remembers Willliams as a
Theater Arts student here.
“He was crazy as a monkey in a tree,”
she said. “Robin needed no training. He
was the same amazing talented man at
18... his gift lived in him already. He
had the same fast comic fare and deep
dramatic skills inside of him. He was
always spinning wild winds of creativity
and kindness everywhere he was. It was
always at a higher frequency.”
Dorazi and Williams performed
together COM’s “Midsummer Night’s
Dream” and the musical “You’re a Good
Man Charlie Brown.”
“I was Lucy and Robin was Snoopy.
We had so much fun on stage together.
Sometimes we could not look each other
in the eye, because we would crack up
and then the whole cast cracked up.”
Dorazi began her professional
career on stage in San Francisco in 1968
in “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown”
at the Little Fox Theater. COM’s drama
department asked her back to perform the
show again with Williams in ’71.
“We also performed together in an
original comedy burlesque show in San
Francisco at the Open Theater on Clement
Street. He did his improv and I performed a
character called “Willy May Gumwacker.”
When Dorazi moved to Hollywood
in 1980 to do a flm project, she ran into
her old friend.
“By then Robin, was the star of
(his TV show) ‘Mork & Mindy.’ He was
flming ‘Popeye.’ There were quite a few
COM actors in Hollywood at the time and
we all got together and had a lot of fun.
(We were) a unique family of sorts.”
Dorazi said that stardom in Hollywood
could be “a heavy and dangerous cloak to
wear for sensitive souls.
“To be honest, I was worried about
Robin at that time. He was dancing with
drugs.” In college, she said, he was a
“clean machine” – he ran fve to ten miles
almost everyday.
“Robin was amazing and a quite
complicated fellow. His waters ran deep
and high. (We) always had respect for
each other’s work. I feel privileged to
have shared the stage with Robin, but
treasure more the
friendship and
wonderful times
we both had with
our COM troop of
college pals.”
COM’s former
Theater Arts chair
James Dunn, who
has mentored
hundreds of drama
students here, remembers the kid who
used to pull weeds in his backyard.
“I believe in the years to come,
Robin Williams will be mentioned
alongside Charlie Chaplin as one of the
comedic geniuses of all times.”
College of Marin’s most recognizable
alumnus is fondly remembered by his
former teachers and classmates. And he
was a role model for students here.
“The sudden death of acclaimed
actor and comedian Robin Williams
was felt profoundly across the campus,”
said David Wain-Coon, president of the
college. “Not only was Robin one of
our most accomplished and celebrated
alums, he was a long-time supporter of
the College’s Drama Program through
his contributions to student scholarships.
Although we are saddened by this loss, his
star will always shine brightly at College
of Marin as we remember him and all the
laughter and joy that he brought us.”
Robin Williams starred as Tranio in COM’s
1971 production of “Taming of the Shrew.”
“He was crazy as a monkey in a tree. Robin
needed no training. He was the same amazing
talented man at 18... his gift lived in him already.”
– Victoria Dorazi, friend of Williams remembers COM days
4 College of marin Oct. 1, 2014
Robin Williams starred in 15 COM productions while he was a student here between 1970 and 1973. From left to right, he portrayed: William Randolph Hearst in ‘Bierce Takes on the Railroad’
(1972); Snoopy in ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’ (1971); Reverend Chasuble in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (1972); and Mulleady in ‘The Hostage’ (1973).
By Stephanie Lee and Lauren Behm
The many faces of Robin Williams
Williams appeared in more than 80 flms, including (from left to right): “Patch Adams” (1998); “Popeye” (1980); “Night at the Museum” (2006); and “Toys” (1992)...
efore his suicide last month,
Robin Williams wrapped
up several movies and a TV
series. With fve recent flms
– three in post-production and scheduled
for release later this year – we haven’t
seen or heard the last of him yet.
The prolifc actor-comedian, who
had starred in 44 flms, continues to be
remembered through his work and by
those who respected his talents.
Earlier this month, PBS did a
“Pioneers of Television” hour-long special
called “Robin Williams Remembered,”
which included several never-before-seen
interviews with him, clips of his comedic
and dramatic work, as well as tributes to
him by friends and colleagues.
Shrines were erected for him by
many of his fans who paid their respects
to the actor/comedian by dropping off
fowers, letters, and gifts to the front
door of his home in Tiburon, the house
he previously owned in San Francisco’s
exclusive Seacliff neighborhood, as well
as the Pacifc Heights Victorian that was
used for the exterior in “Mrs. Doubtfre.”
And a recent petition drive to rename
Marin’s rainbow-colored Waldo Tunnel
in his honor would remind commuters
every day of his colorful suspenders on
“Mork & Mindy.” (With almost 55,000
signatures, the online petition to change
the name of the tunnel reportedly requires
20,000 more to introduce legislation.)
“I want to remember and honor
this very important citizen here in our
community for the joy he brought to
the world,” said Marin resident Julie
Wainwright, who started the petition, “and
to bring awareness to [depression] the
silent illness that eventually took his life.”
In addition, a 5-mile memorial bike
ride was held in Tiburon on Sunday,
September 14th. Hundreds of cyclists
showed up to honor their hometown hero.
“It was a show of appreciation for
Robin, who would do a lot of things to
help people so generously, some of which
was through cycling,” Mark Comin of
San Rafael told the Marin Independent
Cyclists shared their thoughts about
Williams on a large pad of paper near
the start. A bust of the actor/comedian –
created by John McLeod of Mill Valley
for the movie “Mrs. Doubtfre” – sat
beside the memorial.
The story of his tragic death began
at 11:55 a.m. on August 11th, when a
worried assistant broke into the bedroom
of his Tiburon home. He found the
63-year-old actor unconscious with a belt
around his neck, suspended in a seated
position above the foor. The belt was
“wedged between the closed closet door
and the door frame,” investigators told the
Washington Post.
The autopsy report revealed that
the cause of Willams’ death was from
“asphyxia due to hanging.”
Williams’ body was cremated the
next day and his ashes were scattered in
San Francisco Bay off the coast of Marin
– the same location where his mother,
Laurie Williams, ashes were spread 13
years ago.
Born on July 21, 1951, in Chicago,
Illinois, Williams is survived by his wife,
Susan Schneider, and three children from
previous marriages – Zachary, 31, Zelda,
25, and Cody, 22.
“The world will never be the same
without him,” Cody recently told the San
Francisco Chronicle. “I will miss him and
take him with me everywhere I go for the
rest of my life.”
Williams’ only daughter, Zelda,
remembers her dad as the compassionate
comedian everyone loved.
“Dad was, is and always will be one
of the kindest, most generous, gentlest
souls I’ve ever known,” Zelda told the
Chronicle. “To those he touched who are
sending kind words, know that one of his
favorite things in the world was to make
you all laugh.”
Zachary, Williams’ oldest child, was
very close with his father.
“I lost my best friend and the world
got a little grayer,” he said. “I would ask
those that loved him to remember him by
being as gentle, kind and generous as he
would be. Seek to bring joy to the world
as he sought.”
Williams supported and contributed
to 28 charities, including the American
Foundation for AIDS Research, Amnesty
International, Comic Relief, Doctors
Without Borders, LIVESTRONG, St.
Jude Children’s Research Hospital and
The actor-comedian, who went on
six USO tours from 2002 to 2013, visited
troops in 12 foreign countries, including
several stops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In a statement to the press, his wife,
Susan Schneider, spoke candidly about
her husband’s health condition.
“Robin’s sobriety was intact,” she
said. “He was brave as he struggled with
Williams supported and contributed to 28
charities, including the American Foundation
for AIDS Research, Amnesty International,
Doctors Without Borders, and UNICEF.
5 ECHO TIMES Oct. 1, 2014
“Aladdin” (1992) “One Hour Photo” (2002) “Mrs. Doubtfre” (1993) “ The Birdcage” (1996)
“Good Morning Vietnam” (1987) “Hook” (1991) “Mork & Mindy” (1978-1982) “Good Will Hunting” (1997)
his own battles of depression, anxiety
as well as early stages of Parkinson’s
disease, which he was not yet ready to
share publicly.”
The Marin County Sheriff’s
Department told the San Francisco
Chronicle that Williams had struggled
with depression in the past along with an
addiction to cocaine and alcohol.
The academy-award winner
apparently was struggling with money
too, which may have contributed to his
stress. His most recent divorce in 2008
reportedly cost him $30 million.
Last year, Williams listed his estate
in Napa for $35 million. He lowered the
price to $29.9 million – about $5 million
less than he paid for it. The house is still
on the market.
Of course, the impact of Williams’
death was more pronounced because of
the amount of work he left behind.
The former COM student got his
frst big break as the alien Mork, on the
TV sitcom “Happy Days.” His comedic
character was so popular that ABC spun it
off into its own series.
“Mork & Mindy,” which aired from
1978 until 1982, was a hit and established
Williams as a comedic phenomenon.
He starred in his frst flm as the lead
in Robert Altman’s 1980 fantasy “Popeye,”
which bombed at the box offce.
In ’87, he portrayed a manic radio
DJ on Armed Forces Radio in “Good
Morning Vietnam.” His mad-cap
performance earned him his frst of four
Academy Award nominations.
The characters he portrayed in his
flms showed the range of his talent.
In 1989, he was an inspirational
college poetry professor in “Dead Poets
Society.” In 1991, he played a deranged
homeless person in “The Fisher King.”
That same year, Williams starred as Peter
Pan, in Steven Spielberg’s flm “Hook.”
The following year his indelible
performance as the voice of Genie in
the animated Disney hit, “Aladdin,”
demonstrated his voice over capabilities.
In 1993, he amazed everyone with
cross-dressing portrayal of the British
housekeeper “Mrs. Doubtfre,” which was
flmed in San Francisco, his home at the
In one of his signature roles, which
earned him a best supporting actor Oscar
in 1997, Williams portrayed a psychologist
opposite Matt Damon’s troubled character
in the flm, “Good Will Hunting.”
The former COM student was
nominated four times for Academy
Awards – for his rolls in “Good Morning
Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society,” “The
Fisher King,” and “Good Will Hunting.”
He received fve Golden Globe
Awards – for his performances in “Mrs.
Doubtfre,” “Aladdin,” “The Fisher
King,” “Good Morning Vietnam,” and
“Mork and Mindy.”
He had just fnished the frst season
of his CBS TV series, “The Crazy Ones.”
It would be his last.
At the end of the recent PBS special
on Williams, several comedians gave
tearful testimonials.
“He will be remembered as a gentle
soul, who travelled at the speed of light,”
said comedian Louie Anderson.
His “Mork & Mindy” co-star, Pam
Dawber emphasized the impact he had.
“If only he understood what happened
… when he decided to leave... The whole
world was in mourning.”
Williams’ latest flm releases continue to entertain
The following flms starring Robin
Williams were released in 2014.
Several others will be coming out
at a later date.
● “Boulevard” (April 2014). In a
marriage of convenience, Williams
portrays a devoted husband who is
forced to confront his secret life.
● “The Angriest Man in
Brooklyn” (May 2014). An aging,
cranky man, played by Williams,
is mistakenly told that he has 90
minutes to live by his doctor. The
flm co-stars Mila Kunis, Peter
Dinklage and James Earl Jones.
● “A Merry Friggin’ Christmas”
(November 2014). Williams co-
stars with Lauren Graham in this
flm about a man who must spend
Christmas with his estranged
family of misfts.
● “Night at the Museum: Secret
of the Tomb” (December 2014).
Williams reprises his role as Teddy
Roosevelt in this family comedy.
Starring Ben Stiller and co-starring
Owen Wilson, Ben Kingsley, Dick
Van Dyke, Ricky Gervais and
Mickey Rooney.
● “Absolutely Anything”
(February 2015). A teacher (Simon
Pegg) experiences a series of
mishaps after discovering he has
magical powers. In his fnal flm
release, Williams does the voice
over for Dennis the Dog. The cast
of Monty Python play supporting
roles in this mad-cap comedy.
ast summer I travelled to
Normandy, France with my family
to honor my grandfather, who had
fought there a life-time ago.
First Lt. Ray Philopena was one of
more than 100,000 American soldiers
who took part in the Battle of Normandy
in the summer of 1944.
June 6th marked the 70th anniversary
of D-Day – the beginning of “Operation
Overlord,” a three- month battle that
helped end World War II.
About 30,000 American servicemen
were killed – and more than 100,000 were
wounded – during the invasion, which
lasted from June 6 to August 30, 1944.
We were here to participate in the
commemoration of that event and to
honor my grandfather, who
died 14 years ago when I
was in second grade.
As I looked out over
Omaha Beach, it was hard
for me to imagine that
my maternal grandfather
fought here.
The largest multi-
national invasion army
ever assembled gathered here and began
the liberation of France. It’s here where
Allied Forces were able to penetrate
Hitler’s “fortress Europe.” It marked the
beginning of the end of Germany’s Third
President Barack Obama, Secretary
of State John Kerry, French President
François Hollande, Russia’s President
Vlaldimir Putin, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth
II, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel
and dozens of other world leaders were
present at the commemoration ceremonies
that I attended. Nearly 1,000 World War II
veterans and their families also attended.
In his speech, President Obama said
the Normandy invasion was the most
“powerful manifestation of America’s
commitment to human freedom.”
After Obama spoke, there were
several military fyovers and a 21-canon
salute that echoed over Omaha Beach.
My father, who became fascinated
with his father-in-law’s war history
after his death, thought it would be a
meaningful gesture for all of us fy to
France to experience the commemoration
frst hand.
The early morning fog on the day of
the ceremony reminded me of the Bay
Area. After it burned off, the temperature
reached 80 degrees.
The trip to the cemetery was long. We
drove an hour to the town of Lisieux, then
took a two-hour shuttle to Omaha Beach
along a winding, one-lane road.
As we walked to our seats along a
path overlooking Omaha Beach, I was
awestruck by the immense cliffs that the
allied troops had to scale.
The path, which was
shaded by trees and tall
hedges, formed a canopy
on both sides. As we
rounded a corner, the scene
opened to reveal thousands
of gravesites. Imagine
row upon row of white
headstones spread out over
10 football felds.
My parents, who are retired military
offcers, were moved by the experience.
They engaged in conversation with
enlisted or retired soldiers about their
service and my grandfather’s.
Listening to all their stories made me
proud to be an American.
During a three-hour delay – while
security transported President Obama and
French President Hollande back and forth
to event ceremonies – my parents talked
to one of the President’s Secret Service
offcers, who was an Operation Enduring
Freedom veteran.
He seemed to take a lot of interest in
my grandfather. Asked if her father ever
talked about the wars he served in, my
mother responded, “No, he never talked
about any of them – not World War II…
not Korea… not Vietnam.”
Suddenly, President Obama’s speech
began to make sense.
“Fewer of us have parents and
grandparents to tell us about what the
veterans of D-Day did here 70 years ago,”
he said. “So we have to tell their stories
for them.”
News Feature
6 College of marin Oct. 1, 2014
Nearly 1,000 World War II veterans and their families attended the 70th anniversary ceremony
of D-Day at the Normandy American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach.
Secret Service agents escort Secretary of State John Kerry to join President Barack Obama
on-stage for the June 6th D-Day anniversary opening ceremony.
By Patrick Brown
70 years after Allied
invasion of Normandy
Student pays tribute to his grandfather
First Lt. Ray Philopena fought in the
Battle of Normandy. But he never talked
about the wars he served in. Not World
War II. Not Korea. Not Vietnam.
News Feature
7 ECHO TIMES Oct. 1, 2014
Above: Secretary
of State John Kerry
arrived by helicopter
at the June 6th
D-Day ceremonies
on Omaha Beach.
Left: When soldiers
jumped from their
landing craft to
storm the beaches
of Normandy,
their average life
expectancy was 18
Above: War reporter
Ernie Pile described
Omaha Beach
the morning after
D-Day: “Bodies,
still sprawling
grotesquely in the
sand or half hidden
by the high grass
beyond the beach.”
Above right: Nearly
10,000 graves are
scattered over 170
acres on a cliff
overlooking Omaha
Right: Today, Omaha
Beach is a quiet
reminder of the
sacrifces that Allied
Forces made 70
years ago .
Color photos by Patrick Brown
8 College of marin Oct. 1, 2014
ormer College of Marin basketball
player Devougn Lamont, 30,
collapsed and died last month after
a training session with his club Beaujolais
Basket in Lyon, France.
The Trinidad & Tobago national went
into cardiac arrest on August 8 and could
not be revived.
Lamont attended College of Marin
from 2001 until 2004. He played for the
Mariners during the 2003-2004 season,
averaging 22 points and 11.3 rebounds per
Devougn, who was nicknamed
“Trini” after his home country, transferred
to play at CSU Monterey Bay, where he
played for a while. Before returning to
COM in spring 2011, Lemont played for
professional teams in Argentina, Mexico,
Japan, Venezuela and France, as well as
for the Trinidad & Tobago men’s national
basketball team.
“Trini (Lamont) was not diffcult
to fnd on campus as there were not an
abundance of people who are 6-foot-9
with a giant smile plastered on their face
at all times,” Alex Chapman posted on his
wordpress.com blog.
Friends and classmates remember
Devougn as an outgoing and friendly
person who was always eager to help and
support people around him.
“Beyond basketball, Devougn was
also a gentle and affable giant, who
instantly bonded with his teammates and
held a steady calm in times of adversity,”
Brian Manning, former president of the
National Basketball Federation of Trinidad
and Tobago, told the Trinidad Express.
“It is no surprise that Devougn
had a positive impact on all he came in
contact with,” COM’s men’s basketball
coach Dave Granucci wrote on the COM
Athletics facebook page.
“At 6-9 and 240 pounds he was an
imposing fgure on the basketball foor,
but off it he had a calm and peaceful
energy. He was truly a sweet man with a
tender heart,” Granucci writes.
A memorial service for Lamont was
held on September 1st at the Marin Art
and Garden Center in Ross.

$10 Students, Faculty/Staf
$20 Community
Flu shots available to anyone over 18 years of age
KENTFIELD CAMPUS, Health Services Portable
(next to Campus Police ofce parking lot on College Avenue)
Wed., Oct. 1 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 3 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 10 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

College of Marin, Health Center / 415-485-9458
(We do not bill insurance plans & are not a Medicare provider)
Former COM basketball
player dies unexpectedly
By Christoph Zachhuber
Devougn Lamont, 30, collapsed and died of a heart attack last month after training with his
French club team, Beaujolais Basket in Lyon, France.
Photo courtesy Diariosport.com
Tell us what you think.
Write a letter to the editor:
9 ECHO TIMES Oct. 1, 2014
Students getting younger as county ages
Completion of new Academic Center expected next spring
he average age of students at College of Marin
is a lot younger than the average age of county
The average age of COM students is 34 years old,
compared to Marin County residents, whose average age
is 45 years old.
About 26 percent of our student body is under 21
years of age, most of whom are planning to transfer to a
4-year university.
The number of students over the age of 35 has been
decreasing over the years and will continue to decrease,
according to COM’s registration records.
Because most elective classes prevent students from
signing up if they have taken the same class four times
before, a rule that started in fall 2014, older students are
discouraged from repeating classes.
In the past older students took classes in art, music,
drama and dance, as well as physical education, more
than four times. Now they can no longer do so. The new
rule, that was implemented earlier this year, opens up
space for new students, but also prevents students from
repeating the same class.
Multiple elective classes have seen a decrease in
enrollment because of this new regulation.
“[As a result], we have lost students who have been
here for a while taking classes,” David Snyder, College
of Marin’s dean of Arts and Humanities told the Marin
Independent Journal.
“Community College is not just for young people,
it’s for the whole community,” said Vivi Welczeck, a
19-year-old student who’s still searching for her major.
“If people have a passion for a certain class then they
should be able to take it.”
Ivy Pannepacker, a 19-year-old nursing major,
thinks that people who take the same class several times
are probably getting a lot of repetition.
“If someone who is interested in a course or topic,”
Pannepacker said, “maybe they can seek classes from
other community colleges, workshops or programs outside
of school where they can continue to pursue their interest.”
With a huge demand for classes here, many young
students who want to get their prerequisites out of the
way so they can transfer to a 4-year university are being
given priority.
”I chose to go to COM,” Pannepacker said, “because
I could get the same education here as I could the frst
two years at a university, but signifcantly cheaper.”
While many students may be taking their prerequisite
classes here, they are also searching for a major.
“Some people at College of Marin are trying to
fgure out what they want to do,” says Welczeck.
Students have to declare their major before they
transfer. Last year, 204 COM students transferred – 105
went to California state universities and nearly 100 went
to University of California schools.
Welczeck enrolled at College of Marin this fall and
plans to transfer to a 4-year university.
“I am at College of Marin because I’d like to transfer
to a UC,” she said. “I have better chances of getting into a
UC out of a community college than out of high school. I
feel like there are a lot of people on the same path as me.”
Many UC campuses – such as Davis, Irvine, Merced,
Riverside, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz – participate in
a Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) program.
The TAG program allows students to transfer to
these colleges if they meet certain GPA requirements and
have taken prerequisite classes.
The younger population at COM has grown
signifcantly, but is still a homogeneous student body.
arland Center, Olney Hall, the old Administrative
Center, and Taqueria Mexican Grill de Marin on
the corner of College Avenue and Sir Francis Drake
Boulevard are history.
The new $33 million Academic Center, which has
been under construction since January 2013, is expected
to be completed this spring.
The 43,000-square-foot building, which is in the
shadow of Mt. Tamalpais, will include 16 classrooms,
a large lecture hall, and offces for faculty and
The $249.5 million Measure C bond which passed
10 years ago, was set aside for facilities maintenance, job
training and safety to modernize science labs, classrooms,
and libraries.
The measure was designed to allow for modern
computer technology; upgrades in fre safety, campus
security, disabled access, and energy conservation
“The goal is meant to ft into the fabric of the
campus,” said TLCD Architecture’s Brian Wright, who
noted that his frm is trying to preserve the majority of the
mature heritage trees at the construction site.
The large valley oak tree, once located between
Harlan Center and Olney Hall, will be the center piece of
the new courtyard, he said.
“We placed the building in a very careful way, in
response to the campuses original master plan, dating
back to the 30’s,” said Laura McCarthy, College of Marin
Director of Modernization.
“The elevation of the building along College Ave
was really important to the community,” she said. Close
attention was paid to how the building met the street.
McCarthy said every effort was made to create an
inviting separation from the street where there would be
appropriate landscape and trees.
“We didn’t want to have any areas that would be an
attractive nuisance,” she said, “ but we did want a lot of
light into the building and use the same very attractive
materials to make the appearance soft and natural
There will be many state of the art technologies in
the new building’s classrooms, which will incorporate
geo-thermal, green energy.
“It will open the world to your classes in a way that
we haven’t had before,” said Academic Senate President
Sara McKinnon. “It will make the whole atmosphere
more conducive to learning and more conducive to
cooperate learning and shared discussion.”
In the meantime, students, faculty and staff have had
to put up with some minor inconveniences. The Learning
Center parking lot has been closed in recent weeks to
accommodate heavy equipment and construction of a
wheelchair ramp.
Another wheelchair ramp was recently completed
between the Learning Center and the Student Services
The $33 million Academic Center, under construction since last year, is expected to be completed this spring.
Photo by Patrick Brown
By Stephanie Lee
By Lauren Behm
10 College of marin Oct. 1, 2014
Photo by Alvaro Ponce
reaches for
the crown
COM student
Crystal Lee
frst runner-up
in Miss America
Page 4
Rachel Mouton:
Full-time mom,
full-time student
Wendy Lee:
On raising
Miss California
Page 9
Page 7
To all you aspiring writers, editors, photographers and designers:
If you want to improve your chances of getting a job or into a college of your choice,
you need to have something more than transcripts to show in your portfolio...
Get started by joining the staff of the Echo Times.
Get published and get ahead...
Enroll in:
qJour. 115 Reportng and Writng for Mainstream Media l MW 11:10 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. l 3 Units lKTD / LC36
qJour. 123 Newspaper and Media Producton II l MW 1:10 a.m. – 2:25 p.m. l 3 Units lKTD / LC32
Squeak Carnwath “Horizon on Fire” works
on paper (1979-2013), Art Exhibit
Carnwath’s paintings and prints are
recognizable through her lush use of color, text,
and pattern amongst identifable images; but
they resist art historical categorization.
When: October 1 through 16
Where: COM Fine Arts Gallery, Kentfeld
Student Success Speaker Series
Entrepreneurs! Legal Tips for Starting Your
Own Business
Entrepreneurs! The third presentation in
the Student Success Speaker Series is for
you. Staff Attorney Miya Chen works for the
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San
Francisco Bay Area. She will be sharing legal
tips on starting your own business.
When: October 1
Where: Student Services Building, Deedy Staff
Lounge, Kentfeld Campus
No Money for Groceries? Learn how to get
Presented by Alexandra Danino, CalFresh
Coordinator, SF-Marin Food Bank
When: October 8
Where: Student Services Building, Deedy Staff
Lounge, Kentfeld Campus
Little Women
This is classic story about the inspiring March
girls growing up in Civil War New England.
The play faithfully follows the humor and
tenderness of Louisa May Alcott’s novel,
interweaving the lives of Meg, Jo, Beth, and
Amy as they grow up happily together. This
story is a tribute to feminine strength and
independence as the March women discover
not only their individuality, but also the
importance of family and friendship.
When: October 3, 4, 10, 11 at 7:30 p.m.;
October 5, 12 at 2 p.m.
Where: James Dunn Theatre, Performing Arts
Building, Kentfeld Campus
Admission: $20 general, $15 seniors; $10
students/COM employees and alumni
The American Dream/The Zoo - Audition
Story By Edward Albee,
Directed by W. Allen Taylor
When: October 6, 7-10 p.m.
Where: Studio Theatre, PA 32, Performing Arts
Building, Kentfeld Campus
COM’s team vs. Mendocino
When: October 3, 4 p.m.
Where: Mendicino
COM’s team vs. Folsom
When: October 7, 4 p.m.
Where: Folsom
COM’s team vs. Santa Rosa
When: October 9, 4 p.m.
Where: Kentfeld
COM’s team vs. Los Medanos
When: October 1, 6 p.m.
Where: Kentfeld
COM’s team vs. Alameda
When: October 3, 6 p.m.
Where: Alameda
Woman’s Soccer
Men’s Soccer
Women’s Volleyball
Golf Tournament
COM’s team vs. Solano
When: October 3, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Fairfeld
COM’s team vs. Contra Costa
When: October 7, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Kentfeld
COM’s team vs. Mendocino
When: October 14, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Kentfeld
M A K I N G T H E WO R L D M O R E . . .
Oakland, CA
Mills offers talented women who want a personal
and exceptional education the ability to:
• Transfer in fall or spring.
• Get the classes you need to graduate on time.
• Complete your GE requirements at Mills.
• Earn merit scholarships of up to $15,000.
October 18 • 9:00 am–1:00 pm
Discover how we help you achieve your
goals—meet Mills students, explore our
curriculum, and tour our campus.
11 ECHO TIMES Oct. 1, 2014
College of Marin Athletics Tournament
When: October 24, 11 a.m., RSVP: October 8
Where: 5800 Sir Francis Drake, San Geronimo
Emeritus Center Features Art by Nancie
West Swanberg
Swanberg was born in California and raised
in Oregon by her Norwegian immigrant
grandparents. She studied at the Chouinard Art
Institute in Los Angeles, the Swedish School
of Arts, Crafts and Design, the San Francisco
Art Institute, and Sonoma State University.
Swanberg always considered herself frst
and foremost a painter, but became a jack-
of-all-trades artist, doing book and magazine
illustration, working for publishing companies in
San Francisco as a staff artist, and eventually
working with her partner Larry Evans doing
architectural art. Throughout all these years she
also continued to paint.
When: October 6, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Where: The Emeritus Center on the Kentfeld
Masterpieces and Rediscovered Gems of the
20th Century
Pianist Paul Smith is joined by fellow faculty
members Tara Flandreau and Anne Lerner-
Wright as well as guest artists Susannah Barley
and Nick Xelenis in a concert of works for piano,
strings, and clarinet.
When: October 18, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Lefort Recital Hall / PA72, Performing
Arts Building
COM’s team vs. Napa
When: October 8, 6 p.m.
Where: Napa
COM’s team vs. Solano
When: October 10, 6 p.m.
Where: Kentfeld
12 College of marin Oct. 1, 2014