Instructor brings NASA and RCC together

By Monique Larkin

´LEHRING´ AROUND (Andrea Grout)

By Monique Larkin

He came in on his day off.

He was dressed in jeans, tennis shoes and a casual striped shirt.

Seven years in the making, instructor in Computer Infromation Systems Mark Lehr remains dedicated and excited about his job here at Riverside Community College.

“I am not even supposed to be here today,” Lehr said. “I normally come in a dress shirt, tie and everything.”

Lehr teaches plenty of programming especially when it comes with dealing with robots, which happens to be his favorite class.

“I have taught programming for a lot of years,” Lehr said. “Programming is much more fun when you can actually see it and where you can get a physical feel for what you are learning.”

The students who come into his classroom are usually nervously excited, and that is why CIS 22A, Systems Technology, is a “good” introduction into computer programming.

“It’s just as demanding as your science class, but a lot more interactive,” Lehr said.

Just because Lehr can teach and “play” all day, he still feels that his favorite and most pleasing part of his job are his students.

“They make it enjoyable, and I love learning from them,” Lehr said. “We just sit around and talk about computers all day. We are all computer geeks.”

In fact, as the adviser of the Association for Computer Machinery here at RCC, which deals with applications or modern computing such as construction, design, development, languages and management, Lehr feels that students should check out the club if they are interested in computers.

“The computer club will expand people’s horizons in programming,” Lehr said. “My wife (RCC instructor Janet Lehr) is even involved she deals with the women’s section of the club.”

“I want more students to get involved with computers, so I encourage people to check out the club,” Lehr said.

The ACM club will be competing against 60 colleges from all over California building test models for the Jet Proposal Lab, which is in conjunction with NASA, Nov. 13.