From Computer Science to Childhood Development, the new full-time faculty are bringing fresh ideas and diverse experiences to Palomar College.
SAN MARCOS — Palomar College began the fall semester this year with 17 new educators, a diverse group of full-time faculty who offer students a variety of career experience, pioneering skills and innovative ideas.
“There’s been an infusion of new energy and new ideas,” said Margie Fritch, Dean of Career Technical and Extended Education at Palomar. “That’s super exciting for me, as a dean. We’re on the cutting edge of things.”
Among the personnel expansions this fall are new library positions created by two new Palomar College libraries—one each at the new North and South Education Centers.
“It’s really exciting to get two new libraries and get new folks on board,” said Pearl Ly, Dean of Social & Behavioral Sciences. “I think they’re really going to add to the programs and be able to serve different student needs.”
Five of the new faculty members arrived in the Counseling Department, where Department Chair Patrick O’Brien said he was thrilled with the “talented and diverse counseling faculty hired to fill open positions due to retirements.”
O’Brien said the new counselors are capable of delivering counseling services and instruction in innovative and collaborative ways, and are experienced in working with disproportionately impacted students, including veterans, African American and Latino males, students with disabilities, and foster youth.
“We look forward to each of them not only having a positive impact on our department, but at our institution as well,” he said.
New faculty at Palomar College in 2018
Efrem (Charles) Alexander, Counseling
Cynthia Cordova, Counseling
Ladylyn Dominguez, Counseling
Jessica Hernandez, Nursing
Elisa Lindgren, Biology
Joseph Lucido, Architecture
Timothy Martin, Library
Rebecca Matteson, Nursing
David Meske, Computer Science Information Technology
Karmi Minor-Flores, Counseling
Andrew Page, Emergency Medical Education
Lakshmi Paranthaman, Business Administration
Hossna Sadat, Counseling
Lindsay Sperling, Chemistry
Marie Templo-Capule, Library
Gina Wilson, Child Development
Ashley Wolters, Trade & Industry
Professor of Computer Science Information Technology (CSIT)
B.S. in Criminal Justice from California State University, Bakersfield; Doctor of Public Administration from University of La Verne.
Meske was hired in the spring to a full-time faculty position after three years as an adjunct professor at Palomar, but more than 12 years of his career was spent as the Information Security Officer at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
At Palomar, Meske has been tasked with developing a new associate degree in Cybersecurity, for which he is currently assembling the curriculum to submit for State approval.
“What I’m most passionate about is the opportunity to create a degree program to train our next generation of cybersecurity professionals—that’s really what brought me to Palomar College,” he said. “I love getting students excited about cybersecurity and seeing their interest in this field.”
Outside of the classroom, Meske spends his time caring for his seven children—six of whom are siblings that Meske and his wife recently adopted out of the foster care system.
Professor of Chemistry
B.S. in Chemistry from State University of New York at Geneseo; PhD from the University of Illinois.
On her way to becoming Palomar’s newest Chemistry professor, Sperling has been blazing her own path in a traditionally male-dominated field—perhaps not out of character for a part-time daredevil who once went bungee-jumping in the extreme sports capital of New Zealand.
At her last professional position, at Santa Clara University, she spearheaded a project to redevelop the general chemistry labs with a “green-chemistry feel and approach”—and she’s still passionate about environmental responsibility in the lab.
“It could be the types of reagents that we use, it could be waste management, it could just be trying to use less,” she said. “Those are easy wins. Then there is the opportunity to do experiments that have more real-world applications—focusing on things like biofuels and the use of polymers.”
In graduate school, Sperling spent two and a half weeks road-tripping through New Zealand in a trip that culminated with a tethered jump in Queenstown: “We rented a car and drove, basically, from Auckland south and took the ferry across and then drove down to the bottom of the South Island, stopping in lots of different places,” she recalled.
Assistant Professor and Librarian
B.S. in Business Management from De La Salle University in the Philippines; Masters of Law from New York University; JD from Cooley Law School; Masters of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University.
Of all the librarians in San Diego County, Templo-Capule may know the most about law, having spent years in law school and working as an attorney before pivoting to library technology.
Before embarking on her career as a librarian, Templo-Capule took the California bar exam, became a licensed attorney, and ran her own immigration and tax law practice.
Then, in law school, she discovered that she could perhaps indulge her passion for research more fully as a librarian.
“My love of learning and research evolved, from being in law school and then working closely with the library,” she recalled. “I’ve been working in libraries from Michigan to San Diego, and got involved not just with the public services, but with the technical services, as well. That’s mostly what I’m doing now here at Palomar—the electronic resource collection and the print periodicals.”
In addition to those duties at Palomar, Templo-Capule will be teaching in the Library Information Technology program and helping students learn how to connect with the resources they need in the library.
“I am still getting to know the institution, but the people here at the library are great, and the faculty and staff I’ve met so far are warm and friendly and helpful,” she said.
Professor of Child Development
B.S. in Child and Family Development from San Diego State University; M.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College.
From her earliest classes at San Diego State, Wilson knew she wanted to become a teacher.
“I wanted to make an impact in the lives of children, and I realized that I could make an impact in more lives if I was teaching their future parents and teachers,” she said. “I could reach more children by teaching adults about children.”
When she graduated in 2002, she was the university’s Child Development Student of the Year, and she went on to become an adjunct teacher at Palomar—a position she held for 14 years until transitioning into full-time teaching this year.
When she’s not teaching Child Development at Palomar, Wilson can often be found at Trapeze High in Escondido, the only flying trapeze school in San Diego County.
“I saw a Groupon for trapeze eight years ago. I’d never been to the circus, never seen it before, I just thought it looked fun,” she recalled. “I went to an introductory class and loved it and have gone ever since. In the last few years, I’ve started to help teach the classes, as well.”
Without taking an official poll of the campus, it’s safe to say that Wilson is the only trapeze artist teaching any subject at Palomar College.
“When you’re 30 feet in the air, all of your earthly problems are gone,” she said. “It’s a great way to get away and be challenged, mentally and physically.”