top of page

Get To Know Your New Faculty Colleagues!

2018 Full Time Faculty Hires

For those of you who might not have had a chance to meet all of our new full-time faculty hires in 2018, the Faculty Assembly posed a question to them to help you get to know your new colleagues a little better. Below are the responses they were excited to share with you.


"Tell us how you came to MiraCosta!"

Mariana Silva, Non-Credit ESL My journey of working at MiraCosta started in 2009 when I took a Spanish course. Later, I attended a workshop at the CLC and immediately knew that I wanted to pursue my passion of working as an ESL instructor. So, I first volunteered in the noncredit ESL program, then became an ESL Aide and finally an associate faculty. This year, I had the immense honor and joy to become a full-time faculty member. Thank you for all the support, mentorship and guidance that everyone has given me.

Serena Mercado, Mathematics I have been associate faculty since 2010. After starting work at MiraCosta, I quickly realized that I wanted this to be my permanent home. Finally, my dreams have become reality.

Emiko Kiyochi, Japanese I love the culture at MiraCosta: the high standard for professionalism with compassion and sense of social responsibility that puts “student-first” in decision-making. I love the constant reflection, open-minded and forward-thinking, the diversity and inclusivity that are actually practiced and further striven toward, fiscal responsibility, great leadership and great reputation . . . to name a few.

Tina Johnson, Chemistry I have been full-time continuing at UCSD for 14 years with 900 students a quarter! I have been looking for ways to connect with students instead of feeling like a factory worker who is just trying to get as many students through the program as I could. MiraCosta, with smaller class sizes and their focus on students, gives me the ability to connect AND get to know every single one of my students.

Rachid Atmai, Mathematics I was a researcher in Mathematics and I wanted to find something more meaningful. So, I committed to working at a community college and that's how I came to join MiraCosta.

Rachel N. Hastings, Communication Studies The Department of Communication at MiraCosta posted a job call that was simply irresistible. As a tenured faculty member at another institution, I was not on the market, but after finishing a semester on maternity leave, I wanted to see if I was still marketable as a candidate. Thank goodness for that spark of inspiration because mama loves her new job!

Dominique Ingato, Biotechnology I moved to the West Coast in 2012 to begin a chemical engineering Ph.D. program at UC Irvine, where I discovered my passion for teaching as a TA. Seeking out more opportunities to teach, I became an adjunct chemistry instructor at Cypress College in January 2017. I defended my dissertation in August 2018, and I feel honored to get to teach MiraCosta's biotechnology students and biomanufacturing bachelor's degree cohorts.

Kaitlin Fisher, Chemistry

I started teaching as adjunct faculty not too long after I graduated from UCSD with my Chemistry PhD. I loved how MiraCosta reminded me of the amazing supportive experience I had as an undergraduate at Sonoma State (go State!) learning to excel as a woman in STEM. I couldn't wait to join the family here and keep the tradition going!

Don Love, Career Center Coordinator I came to MiraCosta in 2007 to coordinate the Summer Bridge Program, a high school to college transition program focused on African American students. I've enjoyed it so much that I never left.

Wally Perez, Biotechnology I came to MiraCosta in 2017 as a contractor to develop the class material for one of the upper-division classes in the Biomanufacturing bachelor degree. After that project, I got the opportunity to teach the class the first time it was offered!

Lauren Greenwald, Art - Digital Photography I was in my fourth year on the tenure track at the University of South Carolina, but neither the institution nor the culture were in line with my values—I wanted to concentrate on teaching and on my students. When I first heard about this position at MCC, it sounded like everything I wanted in a job, as well as an opportunity to return to the western US, which, as an artist working with landscape, is a place I find endless inspiration. I'm thrilled to be here!

Alison Phinney, Nursing/Allied Health A friend of mine was coping with a difficult diagnosis for her husband and asked if I would fill in for her over the summer. I was so impressed with the process and MiraCosta that I jumped on the opportunity to apply for a full time position in the Nursing department.

Pedro Morgado, Biology In line with my love of teaching, I had a postdoctoral teaching fellowship at Stanford University before joining MiraCosta College. In addition to research, I was teaching at San Jose State University.

Nate Scharff, Business Administration Dreams come true! MiraCosta's legendary resources, faculty, and a short drive to work... I am thrilled to be here. I taught full time at Grossmont College for 12 years prior to joining MiraCosta.

Russ Alizadeh, Computer Studies & Information Technology I started out as a CLC instructor teaching Cisco Networking Academy classes. I later on joined the CSIT department teaching Cyber Security. I heard about MiraCosta College from a friend whom was trying to join the college as well.

Rhonda Welch Scalco, Child Development Someone who I admired was full-time faculty at MiraCosta and I decided to apply for an adjunct position in the hopes of working with my colleague.

Michael Paulding, Computer Science I came to MiraCosta from the other side of the Pacific (teaching in the University of Hawai'i System), with a stop over in Orange County to be home near family here in North County San Diego. It gives me joy to serve the students here at MiraCosta College.

Angelito dela Cruz, Nursing/Allied Health I started at MiraCosta College as a student in the nursing program. Before I became a full-time faculty member at MiraCosta College, I worked part-time in the Nursing Department.

Laney Collins, Athletic Counselor

I was an Associate with MiraCosta College for several years working with their student-athletes, while serving as a faculty Transfer Counselor with Southwestern College. Previously I worked with the San Diego Chargers, San Diego State University and Pasadena City College. I love that I get to combine my love for athletics with the passion of being a counselor.

Featured Articles
Recent Articles
Search By Tags
bottom of page