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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

DVC’s A.C.E. club drafts a plan

“Mondrian Museum” concept model, designed by A.C.E. member Tasha Nobles and based off of the De Stijl movement. This model was designed to appreciate both nature and the artworks of Mondrian. (Travis Jenkins/The Inquirer)

The Architecture, Construction and Engineering club is getting a retrofit after a generation on campus.

The A.C.E. club has, in the past, provided students with an opportunity to participate in both social and educational events and meetings.

“Back in 1990 or 1989 I started a club,” club administrator Joe Valdez said. “We didn’t have one before.”

But current club president Marlon Cruz did not feel that the club was meeting its full potential.

“I kind of noticed certain things about the past A.C.E. club that could be improved,” Cruz said.

Typically, the summer between semesters results in fizzling of club activity. This puts a handicap on the club because they must work to build it up again with each new school year.

“So that transition between spring and fall usually is a really low time,” Valdez said.

But instead of allowing the club to deteriorate between semesters, Cruz stepped up and worked through the summer with the help of other club members.

“We pretty much changed everything,” Cruz said. “We came up with a new logo, a new website. We have a blog now, we have the student gallery. We changed almost every aspect of the A.C.E. club. We’re trying to make things better.”

With emphasis on education, A.C.E. has worked actively to improve its member’s chances of success. This year they introduced student workshops which are geared to aid students with programs relating to their classes, including an Adobe program workshop that provides members with instruction on Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

“I just wanted to improve the education they have at DVC,” Cruz said. “I noticed a lot of the times when people are doing projects they lack the knowledge of certain programs and it hinders them from getting good grades.”

Before Cruz became the club president there were no workshops like this, Valdez said.

“I think that’s a real big positive thing,” he said.

All of this improvement is a direct result of the hard work and time that club president, club officers and members have volunteered.

“If the president is really active, the club does a lot of things,” Valdez said. “So right now we’re going through a phase where, you know, we have a lot of students very interested in the club.”

Along with these lessons, Cruz has worked with the club’s vice president, Nick Naumann, to organize group field trips to offices and local universities and invite guest speakers to their club meetings. The club recently visited UC Berkeley and its architecture facility where they were given a private tour by DVC alumni who have transferred.

“We think it is important to maintain a proper balance between fun and work,” Naumann said in an e-mail interview. “So while we do have some fun activities planned, we greatly value growth and learning and the lectures and workshops foster both.”

The A.C.E. club also spends time giving back to the community, including volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, an international organization that enlists in volunteer help in order to “create homeownership opportunities for families with limited income by building sustainable housing and revitalizing neighborhoods,” Cruz said. 

The club volunteers with the organization together as a group, but members are also urged to find time to participate individually.

“Typically, each day we volunteer is about an eight-hour day and its grueling work, but it is very beneficial to both the community as well as our members,” Cruz said. “You learn a lot about construction, something that is difficult to really experience at DVC.”

Alexis Dongallo, club member and architecture major, said she has gotten a lot out of her experience volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.

“At the end of a long day of sweat dripping work and a head filled with construction knowledge, you have this inner energy and warmth from giving back to your community – a definite win-win situation,” Dongallo said in an e-mail interview.

The A.C.E. club meets every Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in ET 112 (the Engineering and Technology Auditorium). Contact the club at [email protected] or visit their website


Contact Christian Magdelano at [email protected] 

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DVC’s A.C.E. club drafts a plan