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Success Stories

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Success Stories - Gregory Magaril, Technology Executive

After attending Miramar College and conquering his new language, Russian immigrant Gregory Magaril continued to advance in his technology education, earning Software Engineering Management and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications from UCSD Extension and Project Management Institute. In addition to his role as CIO and Vice President of Technology for Ceatus Media Group, he teaches Web Technologies at UCSD Extension and is vice president of the board of directors for the Association of IT Professionals San Diego, member of the San Diego CIO Roundtable, director of the Organizing Committee of the annual San Diego Cloud Computing Conference, and a member of the Project Managment Institute. In 2012, Gregory Magaril was named 2012 Top Tech Exec of the Year by San Diego Magazine and IT Executive of the Year by the San Diego Business Journal.


Success Stories - Dr. Adolfo Gonzales, San Diego County District Attorney

Adolfo Gonzales was born in Tijuana in a home with no running water. His father was killed by a drunk driver when Gonzales was two, and at five, his mother sent him to live with her sister in San Diego. By the time he was a teenager, he was labeled a "trouble maker" and frequently pulled over in his "low rider car by the cops for no apparent reason." Gonzales wanted to change the system and make a difference.

He spent 26 years in the San Diego PD, then served as National City Police Department Chief for nine years prior to becoming Chief of the Bureau of Investigation for the San Diego County District Attorney, where he currently oversees 116 investigators, 47 public assistance fraud investigators, 13 process servers and others.

During his career, Gonzales has been recognized with many awards and honors, including the 2006 National Latino Peace Officers Association Leadership Award, the 2009 Excellence in Public Service Award from the UCSD Hispanic Scholarship Council, the USD Arthur B. Hughes Career Achievement Award, the National University and the San Diego Miramar College Distinguished Alumni awards.


Success Stories — Yanina Gabinskaya, Paralegal Professional

For Yanina Gabinskaya, political turmoil in her home country of Ukraine led her to America and a career utilizing her immigrant roots. Yanina, her husband, daughter and parents arrived in the United States in 1992 as political refugees. Today, Yanina dedicates her life to helping other immigrants as a paralegal, specializing in immigration law.

Multilingual and educated in Ukraine as a mechanical engineer, Yanina knew she needed to master English and turned to a community college. She graduated from Miramar in 1996 and went on to complete her law degree through Saratoga School of Law in 2004.

Yanina’s education and career paths have come full circle – from an immigrant enrolled in ESL classes to Miramar’s paralegal program to law school and now to serving the needs of immigrants as a paralegal and teaching Immigration Law in the college’s legal assistant program.


Success Stories — Dynamic Duo Comes Home to Lead: Sean Bowers & Rebecca Bowers-Gentry

The Bowers siblings were born and raised in a local neighborhood, Miramar College, and universities 2,000 miles apart. They pursued very different careers, married and started families. Little did they know that one day they’d both return “home” to work side-by-side at their community college alma mater.

In 2006, professional soccer super star Sean Bowers joined the Miramar College physical education and exercise science faculty and helped launch the first women’s soccer program in college history and has led the lady Jets to undefeated seasons, four straight Pacific Coast Athletics Conference (PCAC) championships, and the program to a #6 ranking nationwide.

An all-star defender, Bowers, who earned his bachelor's degree from Quincy College in Illinois, went on to compete professionally and was named to the U.S. Futsal National Team as captain – the only player on the 14-man roster with previous experience in a FIFA Futsal World Championship. Coaching experience includes stints with the Detroit Rockers of the NPSL, the Michigan Hawks, an under-23 women’s select team that won the 2001 U.S. Open Cup, and with the Women’s Premiere Soccer League (WPSL) San Diego Sea Lions.

Younger sister, Rancho Penasquitos resident Dr. Rebecca Bowers-Gentry also joined the Miramar contract faculty in 2006 and established her own successful record with other college programs – biotechnology and later, medical lab technology. After receiving her PhD in cellular/molecular biology from the University of Colorado, Bowers joined the research team at UCSD, where she realized she preferred the student contact that teaching provided.

Led by Bowers-Gentry, Miramar expanded the applied biotechnology program to address the critical shortage of medical lab technicians nationwide and launched the Medical Laboratory Technician Training (MLTT) instructional program, accredited by the California Department of Public Health. The associate professor of chemistry and biology organizes the science department’s popular “Science Fun for Kids 9 to 99” activity every March as part of San Diego Science Month and is Director of the S2 Summer Science Enrichment Program for middle-schoolers, sponsored by the Southern California Biotechnology Center (SCBC).

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