If you haven't had a chance to meet all of the 2019 full-time faculty hires, here's an opportunity to learn a little bit about your newest colleagues! Below are some things they were excited to share with you.
"Tell us how you came to MiraCosta!"
Veronica Bloss, Counselor for EOPS/CARE
I am a former MiraCosta and EOPS student. I started working as an associate counselor at MiraCosta College in 2007 for the EOPS program, but in 2010 I joined Peace Corps-Peru for two years. Upon my return from Peace Corps, I was hired at MiraCosta and Mt. San Jacinto College to work for EOPS and General Counseling department as an associate counselor. MiraCosta is my home, and after spending eight years as an associate counselor, I am truly honored to be working as a full time counselor with the people and the college that I love and respect.
Rich Dicker, Medical Assisting and Medical Administrative Professionals
My name is Rich and I am excited to be here at MiraCosta College. I have been teaching for more than 15 years, the last three as full-time faculty at Long Beach City College and previous to that at two colleges in both an adjunct position and lead faculty role in Denver, CO. Professionally I worked for 14 years as a medical assistant, x-ray technician, back office supervisor and administrative supervisor primarily in family practice medicine. Educationally I have earned an AA in x-ray technology/medical assisting, a BA in healthcare administration, and an MA in healthcare administration/education. I am currently enrolled and pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership at Central Michigan University. Personally, I grew up in Detroit, Michigan and spent 34 years in Aurora, Colorado. I have been married to my beautiful wife Leilani for 12 years and I have two children, both in college, one pursuing a law degree and one a degree in education.
Robert Falero, Physical Sciences
For nearly decade I worked as a professional geologist for an environmental consultant in San Diego, traveling the US and Canada working on a wide variety of interesting projects. But, as it turns out, consulting wasn’t for me. So I left consulting to pursue the career I always wanted: teaching geology at the college level. Last spring, after five years as an adjunct professor, I got a full-time position at MiraCosta and I couldn’t be happier. I look forward to a long career, working with fantastic colleagues.
Jeff Higginbotham, DSPS Faculty Director
Hello, my name is Jeff Higginbotham and I’m extremely fortunate to be the new(er) DSPS Faculty Director here at MiraCosta College. I’ve spent the vast majority of my worklife working within non-profit, private and postsecondary institutions serving individuals and students with disabilities. My most recent position was as the Director for Disability Support Programs and Services at the San Diego Community College District where I served for 3 years. I applied to MiraCosta due to the reputation of the college and MiraCosta’s DSPS department. I’m a native of San Diego having grown up in Poway, close to where I live today with my wife Erika (Mesa College’s DSPS coordinator) and my two active boys. I look forward to working with everyone further in support of the District’s Mission.
Kris Peck, Counselor - LD Specialist in DSPS
After 17 years working in special education at a public secondary school, I completed a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and certification as a Learning Disabilities Specialist. These efforts supported my desire to expand and further develop my work with students with disabilities, allowing me to focus on helping students with disabilities realize and pursue their full potential in the world of work and higher education. As someone who has spent their entire career in education supporting students who have been historically marginalized and who face numerous barriers to progress, it was important for me to find a campus that is accessible to all and where differences are valued, respected, encouraged, and honored, such as MiraCosta College.
JahB Prescott, English
I moved to San Diego three years ago with my wife to escape Old Man Winter. I worked in the secondary school system for 7 years teaching students from 6th-12th grade, but it was always my dream to work my way toward becoming a college professor. Through the encouragement of my wonderful wife and my mentors at San Diego City College, I found a home at MiraCosta.
Aaron Roberts, English
I came to MiraCosta from Moreno Valley College where I worked part-time for the past two years and UC Riverside where I was working towards my PhD in English. I think, though, that my journey to MiraCosta began when I was a community college student. Going to a school much like our own and learning from passionate educators changed my life. I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for that experience.
Krystle Taylor, LD Specialist DSPS Counselor
After spending six and a half years at the District Office with the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD), I became actively engaged in equity work and desired to focus efforts on a campus to become engrained in the campus culture. Within Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) at SDCCD, I was afforded opportunities to create course outlines, develop course curriculum, coordinate outreach efforts, and support CalWORKs programs with learning disability testing. I am excited to have opportunities to support students within DSPS at MiraCosta!
Lynnie Trzoss, Chemistry
Before coming to MiraCosta, I was a faculty member at University of Rhode Island, and then worked as a researcher at a La Jolla-based biotechnology firm on immuno-oncology drug discovery. I taught part-time at MiraCosta previously and truly enjoyed my experiences. It is such a welcoming environment with dedicated colleagues who always put our students first!
Catherine Walker, Computer Science
I earned a B.A. in Mathematics from Rutgers University, an M.S.Ed in Secondary Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.A. from the University of Hawaii. I have had eleven years of experience teaching at Leeward Community College in Hawaii before moving to California in 2018. I was associate faculty in the MiraCosta mathematics department before joining the CS faculty full-time. I am excited about project-based learning and contextualizing instruction in Computer Science.