Delta College leader selected for prestigious fellowship

Dr. Lisa Cooper Wilkins

Dr. Lisa Cooper Wilkins of San Joaquin Delta College has been awarded the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a leadership program aimed at preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions across the nation to help students be more successful both in college and in the workforce.

The fellowship is awarded by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. that aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes.

Cooper Wilkins said she is grateful for Delta Superintendent/President Kathy Hart’s nomination for such a unique professional development experience.

“What is most exciting is the opportunity I will have to bring back what I learn to our district so that we can continue our collective efforts to advance student success here at Delta for all students,” said Cooper Wilkins, who serves as Delta’s assistant superintendent and vice president for student services.

Hart said she was honored to nominate Cooper Wilkins. “I’m very delighted that she has been selected for this prestigious fellowship and all of the fantastic experiences that go along with it,” Hart said.

Cooper Wilkins and the 39 other Aspen Presidential Fellows will embark on a 10-month fellowship beginning in July 2018. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the fellows will be mentored by community college leaders who have had outstanding results for their students, learn from national experts about ways to use data to make their students more successful, and learn how to create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, and employers in their community.

The Aspen Fellowship responds to a growing need for a new generation of leaders who are well-equipped to meet the challenges facing community colleges. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade, and women and people of color have traditionally been excluded from such positions.

Cooper Wilkins arrived at Delta in December 2014 after serving at the University of the Pacific as associate vice president for student life. Her selection as an Aspen fellow came after a rigorous process that considered her abilities to take strategic risks, lead strong teams and cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements in student success and access.

To date, 22 Aspen presidential fellows are now sitting community college presidents, including Delta’s former vice president of instruction, Matt Wetstein, who is now at Cabrillo College.

Award bestowed on Gallo

E. & J. Gallo Winery is proud to announce that they are the 2018 recipient of the Vinitaly International Award.

Since its inception in 1996 by Veronafiere, the prestigious International Award has been presented to companies and outstanding personalities who are distinguished for their work in the international wine world. While Gallo of Sonomahas received the Premio Gran Vinitaly Award three times (1998, 2001, and 2002), this is the first time E. & J. Gallo Winery has received the International Award.

Third-generation family winemaker Gina Gallo accepted the award on behalf of her family at the Vinitaly gala dinner on April 14th at the Galerie Mercatali in Verona. Speaking after receiving the award, Gallo shared, “I am humbled and honored to accept this award on behalf of our family company. Our family origins began in Northern Italy, so it is perfect to accept such an important award for our industry here in Verona.” She added, “Our family is honored to join the list of past winners whom we greatly respect and admire.”

“Gallo has a long-standing reputation of valuing relationships with their employees, customers, and suppliers around the globe. We congratulate the Gallo Family on this award, and appreciate their strong commitment to innovation and leadership in the wine industry,” said Giovanni Mantovani, CEO of Veronafiere.

Over the past 85 years, E. & J. Gallo Winery has grown to become the largest family-owned winery in the world. In recent years, Gallo has focused on growing its premium portfolio with acquisitions of highly-acclaimed wineries and prestigious vineyards from various regions throughout California and Washington state. Gallo also partners with producers in Italy, France, Spain, Argentina, and New Zealand to import and market their wines in the U.S.

Emanuel Medical Center names Antonio Garcia Chief Nursing Officer

Antonio Garcia

Emanuel Medical Center has appointed Antonio “Tony” Garcia as its new Chief Nursing Officer.

Effective April 30, 2018, Garcia will assume responsibility for all nursing and designated patient care functions within Emanuel. He will oversee and coordinate the nursing units and their daily operations. Garcia joins Emanuel Medical Center from sister hospital, Doctors Hospital of Manteca, where he previously served as Chief Nursing Officer.

“Tony is a champion for the patient experience, working to provide patients with safe, high-quality care,” said Lani Dickinson, Interim CEO of Emanuel Medical Center. “We are thrilled to have him join our executive team and continue to implement best practices here at Emanuel.”
Prior to his role in Manteca, Garcia served as the Service Director for the Emergency Department and Urgent Care, as well as Clinical Adult Services Director at Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center in San Jose, Calif.

Garcia also served in leadership roles at Harris County Health, L.B.J. General Hospital in Houston, Texas, OakBend Medical Center in Richmond, Texas, and River Oaks Hospital in Houston, Texas.

Garcia earned his B.S. in Nursing and M.S. in Nursing Administration from the University of Houston. He is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and Sigma Theta Tau International (Nurses Honor Society).

Homes for Heroes now available to Modesto area Heroes

Inspired by the tragic events of 9/11, Homes for Heroes was started in Minneapolis, MN at the beginning of 2002. In 2009 it grew to become a national organization that has since helped over 20,000 heroes and given back over $32,000,000.

Homes for Heroes’ mission is to provide extraordinary savings to heroes who provide extraordinary services to our nation and its communities every day. Heroes include: firefighters, law enforcement, military (active, reserves and veterans), healthcare workers, EMS and teachers.

Homes for Heroes is comprised of affiliate real estate and lending specialists across the country along with local and national businesses committed to providing Hero Rewards, which are easy ways for heroes to save significant money on a home. When working with Homes for Heroes real estate and lending specialists specifically, heroes are able to receive significant savings when they buy, sell or refinance a home. Hero Rewards is our way to say “Thank You.”

“We’re committed to giving back, serving and saying thank you to our local community heroes because they do so much to make our great community what it is today. They tirelessly serve and sacrifice for us so we feel it’s the right thing to do, and we’re excited to be able to give back and say Thank You in such a meaningful and positive way,” says Irma Capas, local Homes for Heroes realtor at Keller Williams Realty in Salida.

MJC student receives $5,000 scholarship from SR Education Group

Emily Skinner

Emily Skinner, a student at Modesto Junior College since 2014, is the recipient of a $5,000 scholarship from the SR Education Group, a leading education research publisher founded in 2004.

Skinner is graduating with two associates degrees this month and is applying to MJC’s Associate Degree Nursing program in May 2018. She hopes to eventually earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, with the career goal of becoming a nurse midwife or nurse practitioner and opening a clinic for lower socioeconomic women.

The SR Education Group is giving away $260,000 in 2018 to help lower income students get the education they need in order to succeed. Their scholarship panel has just selected the winners of the first round of 2018 scholarships totaling $55,000, which includes Skinner and three other community college recipients, as well as four undergraduates, a graduate student and two military scholarship recipients from across the country, each receiving $5,000.

SR Education Group envisions a world where everyone receives the education they need in order to be successful, and has implemented the scholarship program to help students reach their education and career goals. Their scholarships are ongoing and are awarded on a quarterly basis. Applications include short essay questions about the applicant’s education and career goals, as well as circumstances that have impacted the individual’s need for financial assistance.

The organization is currently accepting applications for the next round of each scholarship, and will be selecting winners after the June 30th deadline. Additional details, an archive of winners, and all applications are available on SR Education Group’s website at

Terry Donovan named Stanislaus State Director of Athletics

Terry Donovan

Terry Donovan, who for the past three years has served as Fresno State’s Senior Associate Athletics Director for Business Operations, has been named Director of Athletics at Stanislaus State, a role he will assume on May 1.

Donovan brings 18 years of experience in college athletics administration to Stan State, including holding previous leadership positions at Syracuse University, Arizona State University and at his alma mater, the University of Nevada.

“Terry Donovan’s leadership and experience in athletic program administration, university and external Relations and financial affairs will strategically position the Stan State Athletics Department for fiscal sustainability and growth,” said University President Ellen Junn in a joint statement with Vice President for Student Affairs Suzanne Espinoza.

Donovan served in several roles within Fresno State athletics, including financial affairs, equipment operations and sport supervision. As the sport supervisor for football, Donovan helped bring Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year (and Fresno State alumnus) Jeff Tedford home to the Central Valley. In 2017, the Bulldogs became only the second team in Division I history to go from double-digit losses in one season to double-digit wins the next. Donovan was also the sport program administrator for men’s and women’s tennis as well as supervising the department’s $44 million annual budget.

“I am thrilled to have been selected as Director of Athletics at California State University, Stanislaus,” Donovan said. “I’d like to thank President Junn, Dr. Espinoza, and Dr. David Evans for their leadership during this search.”

“I was thoroughly impressed by the beautiful campus and athletics facilities, the positive culture and cohesiveness of the coaches and staff, as well as the University’s commitment to student-athlete success. My family and I are excited to join the Turlock community and make a positive difference in the lives of our region’s future leaders.”

Donovan’s wife Brandi is a native of the Central Valley, and they have two sons: Eli (9) and Colby (5).

Donovan has served on several conference and national committees and was selected to the NCAA Resource Allocation Working Group national committee in 2011. He has been a member of the Collegiate Athletic Business Management Association for 12 years and was a guest presenter at the 2006 N.A.C.W.A.A. Convention in Denver. Donovan has also served on several committees in the Big East and Atlantic Coast Conferences.

A committed life-long learner, Donovan has participated in several national leadership development programs, including the D1A Athletic Directors Institute in 2010 and 2014, as well as the Collegiate Athletics Leadership Symposium in 2017. Donovan earned two degrees at Nevada, including his undergraduate degree in finance in 1997 and his MBA in 2003.