News Release

Santa Ana College Alumnus Receives 2013 California Community College Distinguished Alumni Award

​(Santa Ana) –Eminent Santa Ana College (SAC) graduate, urban planner, architect and engineer Engin Artemel was recently honored as a recipient of the prestigious 2013 California Community College Distinguished Alumni Award, sponsored by the Community College League of California. The award was presented at the League’s Annual Convention, November 21-23, in Burlingame.

When Artemel relocated from Istanbul, Turkey to Santa Ana, CA in 1958, he had $20 in his pocket and virtually no English in his vocabulary. He credits Santa Ana College to putting him on the path to what ultimately became an influential career in public works and administration.

“In addition to offering me a good education, SAC helped me with my orientation to the United States; found me a home to stay in and a part-time job in my field. When I earned my A.A. three years later, I felt ready to face the world. I would not be where I am today if it were not for Santa Ana College,” Artemel said.

After receiving his A.A. at Santa Ana College in 1960, Artemel earned a B.S. in Architecture at California State Polytechnic College, followed by a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from University of Kansas. He also completed post-graduate studies in public administration. He relocated to Alexandria, Virginia, where he is acclaimed for his many achievements as the city’s director of planning and community development. Today, he serves as president of Artemel International, Inc., planning consultants in Alexandria, Virginia, and as a lecturer in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Virginia and in the School of Architecture at Catholic University.

Artemel has previously been honored with the Alexandria’s Living Legend award for his consensus-building in the hotly-contested revitalization of a mile-long waterfront. The decaying industrial waterfront was marred by a rendering plant, arsenic factory, coal depot, and rocket testing facility, and festered with a long, simmering feud over who actually had ownership and responsibility for the area: the federal government or the city. He was instrumental in resolving the Waterfront Title Suit, thereby clearing the way for the development of Waterfront Park, a vibrant mixed-use space of beautifully maintained parks, charming townhouses, and successful businesses.

After leaving public sector employment, he formed Artemel & Associates and began assisting the U.S. Agency for International Development as a planning consultant. Soon he found himself helping Russia, the newly independent former Soviet republics Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, and Bulgaria and Romania in the Balkans transition to a more Western way of governing. He has successfully planned and implemented environmental, energy and infrastructure projects in North Africa and the Middle East. Most recently, he has assisted the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Djibouti by assembling design and construction teams to plan and build U.S. bases against terrorist activities.

Artemel was inducted into the Santa Ana College Alumni Hall of Fame in 2013 for his outstanding achievement in his chosen career and his service to the community.

The 2013 California Community College Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes and honors outstanding men and women whose attendance at a California community college helped them achieve their educational and professional goals and serve their communities. The League has recognized the distinguished alumni of California’s community colleges since 1964.

The Community College League of California is a nonprofit public benefit corporation whose voluntary membership consists of the 72 community college districts in California.

About Santa Ana College
Part of Rancho Santiago Community College District, Santa Ana College serves nearly 35,000 credit and non-credit students each semester and offers 136 certificate and associate degree programs. This mission of the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) is to respond to the educational needs of an ever-changing community and to provide programs and services that reflect academic excellence. Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College are public community colleges of RSCCD, which serves the residents of Anaheim Hills, East Garden Grove, Irvine, Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin and Villa Park. Both colleges provide education for academic transfer and careers, courses for personal and professional development, customized training for business and industry, and programs to train nurses, firefighters and law enforcement personnel.

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Contact: Judy Iannaccone

Phone: (714) 480-7503