Maricopa Matters | Spring 2016

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MARICOPA Matters News for the Community From the Maricopa Community Colleges

Issue Highlights

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Spring 2016

ASU Ambassadors Share Experiences to Promote Successful Transfers

Ambassadors C. J. Slater, Anna Bermudez, Carletta Miller, and J. C. Flores

A new Arizona State University (ASU) program is bringing former Maricopa Community Colleges (MCCCD) students back to their campuses to help other university-bound students transfer successfully.

The students are called Transfer Student Ambassadors, or TSAs, and their role is to take the lessons they learned while moving from their Maricopa college to ASU and applying them to current Maricopa students who may be struggling with the transfer process or overwhelmed by ASU’s size.

The advantage is the student connection, according to Kathy Yeager, ASU’s Senior Director of Community College Relations. “I think students are really interested in speaking to someone who came from the school where they are studying,” she explained. ASU started the program in the Fall 2015 semester with 11 Ambassadors and has expanded it to 16 for the Spring 2016 semester. “It exceeded my expectations for a first semester,” Yeager said, adding that the Ambassadors have appeared at more than 70 Maricopa and ASU events, including club activities and even some classes. The Ambassadors know what it’s like to walk onto the gigantic ASU campus for the first time. Just ask J. C. Flores, an ASU senior who studied at Phoenix College (PC) and Glendale Community College. “You go from a small college to a university that has 80,000 students,” Flores said. ASU continued on Page 7

Chancellor Glasper Announces Retirement Dr. Harper-Marinick Appointed Interim Dr. Rufus Glasper, who served the Maricopa Community Colleges as Chancellor for nearly 13 years, announced in January that he will retire, effective February 29, 2016. Dr. Glasper is leaving to become President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College. Maricopa’s Governing Board named Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, to serve as Interim Chancellor until a new Chancellor is on board. The Governing Board resolved to quickly begin a nationwide search for a new Chancellor, with an expectation that the new Chancellor would be on board well in advance of the start of the 2016–2017 academic year. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said, “For three decades, Dr. Rufus Glasper’s extraordinary leadership has set the bar and guided the growth for the best community college system in the nation. I’m proud of the work we embarked on together to increase Latino college completion rates and for his courageous decision to grant in-state tuition to Dream Act students.” The Greater Phoenix Economic Council issued a statement saying the Chancellor’s “dedication to preparing students for entering the workforce has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of residents and

has contributed to building the skilled labor force that makes the greater Phoenix region an attractive place for business attraction.” The Maricopa Community Colleges Faculty Association praised Dr. Glasper for “his continued and unwavering commitment to student success.” During his 12 years as Chancellor of MCCCD, Dr. Glasper has been instrumental in continuing the tradition of excellence for which Maricopa is nationally known. His forward thinking has led to success for faculty, staff, and students,” the faculty statement said. Dan Huston, head of the Management, Administrative, and Technical (MAT) employees, recalled that he had many opportunities to meet with Dr. Glasper and said, “I always appreciated his counsel. He has been able to draw on his experience, blended with his perspective of current events within the community, and overlay that onto issues being discussed within Maricopa.” Dr. Rufus Glasper



Looking Back on 29 Years, 10 Months, and 15 Days The Chancellor’s Perspective by Dr. Rufus Glasper, Chancellor By the time you read this edition of Maricopa Matters, I will have retired from the Maricopa Community Colleges; so, I thought I would take this opportunity to look back on my time at Maricopa, and look forward at what I see as the possibilities for our organization in the year ahead. The amount of change that has happened within Maricopa in my time here has been nothing short of remarkable. When I began in the District in April of 1986, we had seven colleges and three learning centers that now are fulfilling the dream of being comprehensive colleges. When I started we had about 125,000 students, and at our peak during the last recession, we were serving 275,000. It’s impossible to ignore the tremendous changes in the way our organization is financed. In 1980, before I arrived, 29% of our funding came from the State. By the time I arrived, that amount had dropped a little, to 26%. Over the years, it continued to decline until last year’s legislative and executive branches dropped it to zero. Our birthday present was, “Happy Birthday, Maricopa. You’re celebrating 50 years. Now, you have no more State funding.” And, of course, that money had to be replaced by other sources, and expenses had to be reduced; so, the percentage of our costs borne by the taxpayers has increased, as has the percentage paid by our students in the form of tuition. People often ask me whether we will ever get our state funding back. I think it will be a challenge. As Arizona comes out of the recession, it is still struggling to normalize its budget process, and I really don’t know if the State has determined if it can allocate money to the community colleges in a predictable way. We might receive some STEM funding related to technical education this year, but as for regular funding, I don’t believe Maricopa can look forward to that for at least five years or possibly ever. In spite of these challenges, there is much we can be proud of, not the least of which is the tremendous contribution we make to Maricopa County every year. We conducted a recent study of our economic contribution, and it stands at $7.3 billion dollars a year. I think every Maricopa employee should stop for a moment and reflect on just how important their work is in making that amount a reality. It is truly an amazing accomplishment, and you do it each and every year. Looking to the future, I believe a key to Maricopa’s continuing success will be finding new revenue sources. Partnerships with corporations and other organizations, such as those being cultivated by the Maricopa Corporate College, will be key. Another important factor will be getting the State legislature and governor to allow us to financially benefit from entrepreneurial partnerships, so we can replace the revenue that was taken away from us. Going forward, two initiatives that we have begun in recent years – ONE Maricopa and Maricopa Priorities – will pay great dividends to Maricopa. ONE Maricopa continues to be a way to look at our 10 colleges as part of one organization, which I’m convinced is the only way we will succeed in the challenging years to come. Maricopa Priorities will also help us meet those challenges because it will allow us to operate with greater efficiency and effectiveness while continuing to focus on student success. Finally, I’d like to say a few words about the employees at Maricopa whose dedication and vision have made it possible for this great organization to succeed. We became one of the nation’s largest educational institutions through their hard work and commitment to student success. I know that their continued devotion to Maricopa’s mission will ensure our success in the years to come.

About Maricopa’s Interim Chancellor, Dr. Harper-Marinick Dr. Maria HarperMarinick, Interim Chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges, has served as Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost since 2010. She previously was Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs and continued as the District’s chief academic officer when appointed Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. She has worked with the Chancellor to develop and implement the District’s strategic plan and lead initiatives to enhance access and increase student success. Dr. Harper-Marinick also has provided oversight for all areas within academic and student affairs; institutional effectiveness and research; university relations and transfer; grants development; international education; high-school-to-college pathways programs; and workforce and small business development. Dr. Harper-Marinick has received numerous awards. Most recently, in 2015, she was selected as the Woman of the Year by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; was featured in Diverse Issues in Higher Education as one of 25 women who have made a difference in the world; and was selected to join the 2015 class of the Aspen Institute’s Ascend Fellows. She was awarded the 2013 Arizona Diamondbacks Hispanic Community Leadership Award, the NCSPOD 2013 Chancellor Leadership Award, and the 2012 Victoria Foundation’s Alfredo G. de los Santos, Jr., Service in Higher Education Award. In 2014, Dr. Harper-Marinick was selected as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business by the AZ Business Magazine, highlighted by the Phoenix Business Journal in their Executive Profiles, and featured in International Educator as “Women Making Their Marks.” In 2013 she was selected as one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanic Business Leaders in Arizona by the AZ Business magazine and one of the Valley’s Most Admired Leaders by the Phoenix Business Journal. She has been the subject of articles in several magazines. A native of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Harper-Marinick came to Arizona State University as a Fulbright Scholar in 1982. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Technology and a Master’s Degree in Instructional Media from Arizona State University, as well as a licentiate in School Administration and Pedagogy from Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña in the Dominican Republic.

Focus on Faculty CGCC Instructors Bring Knowledge, Skills to Military Bases Abroad MCC Professor’s Two Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) mathematics faculty members have gotten an up-close look at how the families of members of the U.S. armed forces live overseas. Scott Adamson, Ph.D., and Linda Meng, traveled to U.S. military bases abroad, to train fellow educators on the latest college and career readiness standards in mathematics. Their journey was part of a program funded by the United States Department of Defense Education Agency (DoDEA), an agency responsible for educating children of military service members who are stationed overseas.

It is the DoDEA’s responsibility to educate these children at the same level as their peers receive within the United States. And, as the DoDEA transitions to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics it, in partnership with the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas, has sought out top U.S. teachers like Adamson and Meng to get educators serving abroad fully up to speed. As a former military wife with a son currently serving as a fourth-generation military man, this experience was a very personal one for Meng.

This experience allowed me to help other military families through education. Some military families stationed abroad may feel cut off from the U.S., and this program helps military parents ensure their children stay connected. . . —Linda Meng

And it was by pure coincidence that her assignment to the Daegu American School was on the same base as where her son is serving. “I got to see him and where he works! How awesome is that,” she beamed.

New Insurance Studies Program Helps Meet Industry Demands Three Maricopa Community Colleges have collaborated with the Maricopa County Community College District and 35 insurance professionals from 20 different insurance companies to develop a new Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Insurance Studies.

Otis White

The CCL, which is the first of its kind in Arizona and for community colleges, was created in direct response to industry need—to help local employees prepare for a career in the fast-growing insurance industry, while helping the industry fill current positions and projected employment shortfalls with qualified candidates. The three colleges are Glendale Community College (GCC), Mesa Community College (MCC), and Rio Salado College.

“There were no programs like this in Maricopa County to prepare graduates for jobs in the insurance industry, which has a significant presence in Arizona,” said Otis White, Rio Salado’s faculty chair for business programs, who played a key role in the development of the program. “So we consulted with local industry professionals to design a certificate that addresses those needs.” As a result, an 18-credit certificate was created that focuses on general knowledge of the insurance industry and touches on property and liability insurance, personal insurance, and commercial insurance. Students have the option of taking online classes at Rio Salado, which offers flexible Monday start dates, and in-person classes at GCC and MCC. Students who complete the certificate can transfer into a variety of business programs offered at the three public Arizona universities. This new certificate is designed to help create a work-ready, knowledgeable workforce to meet the demands of an industry that currently has unfilled jobs for qualified residents. Program requirements and additional details are available at: Information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attend is at:

Sabbatical Adds to Student Experience

Taking a sabbatical is sometimes just what the doctor (or professor) ordered. Mesa Community College’s Dr. Tim Minger, a member of the chemistry faculty, recently took a sabbatical to continue research that will benefit students when he returns to the classroom. He’s already seeing and feeling the benefits.

Scott Adamson and Linda Meng (2nd and 3rd from left) in class Adamson served teachers at the United States Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan, while Meng was assigned to the United States Army Base in Daegu, South Korea. “There is constant awareness of our U.S. troops serving on military bases abroad, but far less recognition of the thousands of American children who live on these same bases,” said Adamson. “They attend American schools where they are taught by American teachers.”


Dr. Minger, along with fellow chemistry professors Valentina Nedelkova and John Zikopoulos, was awarded a National Science Foundation grant in 2012 to study the chemical compounds of native Sonoran Desert plants. While the grant was a productive one, Minger used his recent sabbatical to develop additional lab experiments and to follow up with labs created as part of the grant. The sabbatical work allowed Dr. Minger to develop additional lessons and lectures about rien t Dawn O’B natural products Dr. Tim Minger and studen and present his findings at the American Chemical Society last year. “One of the things I worked on was an experiment that allows students to investigate the antioxidant properties of chia seed, which is really popular right now and draws student attention,” Dr. Minger said. “Our students are doing our new jojoba biodiesel and chia antioxidant experiments every semester now.” In addition, Dr. Minger and his colleagues are looking at ways to add more Sonoran native plants to future experiments, adding to the list of plants already in use. “It takes a long time to develop an experiment that’s suitable and practical for undergraduates because of all the different compounds it contains,” he explained. While on sabbatical, Dr. Minger reported learning a lot about teaching and the classroom environment. He credited the time away and his research with helping him to better relate to the students’ perspectives of learning. “When you’re trying to figure things out that you’ve never seen or done before and experiencing that frustration, you really remember what it’s like to learn something for the first time,” he laughed. Now back from sabbatical and back in the classroom, Dr. Minger feels refreshed and ready to tackle a new semester. His love for the desert and its foliage was the inspiration for the project, and now he’s ready to share that love with his students.


Student Success

SMCC Student Learns How Much the College Contributes

GCC Students Get Real-World Science, Math Lessons by Janet Traylor What do scavenger hunts, baseball games, raisins, and toothpaste have to do with learning? Students of Allison Boley, MS, might have an inkling.

Sometimes the best things in life happen by surprise. Joana Sotelo counts her college career as an example of that.

In her first year as an adjunct faculty member in the Glendale Community College (GCC) physics department, Boley mines everyday life to help bring academic concepts “to life.” Her fall semester Physics 101 students explored stations along the wall of their classroom. At one station, they found a pile of travel-sized hand sanitizer; at another, boxes of raisins; yet another had tubes of toothpaste. Each of the seven stations came with a question like, “When you brush your teeth, is the friction between your teeth and the toothbrush an example of static or kinetic friction?”

Allison Boley (right) uses real-life examples to teach GCC students Nicole Lummas, David Cruz and Joshua Burke

Students carefully filled gallon-sized plastic bags with one item from each station, answering questions along the way or taking photos of the questions to answer with textbooks at their seats. “They were so quiet I wasn’t sure how the activity had gone over,” said Boley. “ … until they started turning in their bags.”

A student previously vocal about her distaste for physics was the first to praise the activity; others chimed in enthusiastically. And GCC students weren’t the only ones who appreciated the hands-on exercise, as the contents of the collected bags were passed along to Arizonans in need. For these GCC physics students, learning continues outside the classroom; throughout the week, they take part in scavenger hunts, searching for real-life examples of what they’re learning. In one scavenger hunt, students were asked to capture a picture of a transverse wave. If they return with a picture of a television set, they’re hot on the trail, as a TV emits electromagnetic waves in the form of visible light. “Science and math concepts come alive when we interact with the beauty of the world around us,” said Boley. It’s not the first time Boley has harnessed everyday life as a pathway to learning. As a graduate student at ASU, she created an application for elementary school children, Fun Math at the Ball Park, which helps kids learn math as they watch a baseball game. Had Boley not received a full ride to Arizona State University as a National Merit Scholar, she would have attended GCC, as her two sisters did. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees there and is now pursuing her doctorate while working as a teaching assistant. “I like teaching a lot; my career goal is to be either a full-time community college teacher or to create educational products and seminars,” she said. Why her passion for teaching at the community college level? “The emphasis is on teaching, which I love,” she reflected. “I don’t want to focus on research to the point where teaching gets sidelined.” She is open with students about her own academic path. Though she loved math and was always very good at it, she pursued physics because it was a challenge. “I didn’t want to be bored,” she said. So she took up physics and struggled with it a lot.

But struggling isn’t bad; in the end, struggling and overcoming obstacles give you a great sense of accomplishment. What value is it to your character if you just sail through?

—Allison Boley

Relating learning to the world we know is essential, says Boley. “We all fear the unknown, so if we can relate concepts to what we already know, we become less fearful.” “We begin to recognize we’re already familiar with certain concepts, we just didn’t know what they were called.”

Joana Sotelo

Joana was a good student in high school – an honor student in the top 10% of her class. She was highly motivated to go to college and remembers that during her senior year she told herself, “I’m going to start at the top. I’ll never go to a community college.” Around that time, Joana’s boyfriend, a first-year South Mountain Community College (SMCC) student at the time, was talking up the atmosphere and possibilities there. And as it happened, Joana sent out scholarship applications to several universities and came up empty. So, armed with a Presidential Scholarship, Joana began at SMCC and now is glad she did. “I love the atmosphere,” she said. “I’ve met so many people there. Young people like myself and I’ve met older people in their 50s and 60s.” In the process, Joana said, “I’ve come to appreciate things more. I’m very grateful.” One of the things she appreciates is the role that SMCC plays in lifting up the entire South Phoenix neighborhood. “Now that I’m more open to how life really is and how to value things, I realize that we’re the only college on the South Side that offers diplomas and certificates.” She said the neighborhood responds with loyalty and affection for their local college. “Everyone loves SMCC,” she explained. Joana counts herself fortunate that both her father, who took college classes in his native Mexico, and her mother encouraged her to go to college. One brother among her five siblings also is attending college. She is now on track to graduate from SMCC and plans to transfer to Arizona State University, with an ultimate goal of becoming an immigration lawyer.

Old Building Becomes a Makerspace by Chris Lambrakis


I Am Human Campaign Takes Aim at Disparaging Comments

GateWay Community College (GWCC) often is seen as an innovator within the Maricopa Community Colleges system. So when the idea of repurposing idle space owned by the District hit Christine Mackay, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Phoenix, GateWay stepped up. GWCC has a new use for the old Stauffer Building

“While our city is home to several co-working spaces for those who can get by with just a computer and a desk, those who want to craft a physical product need a very different kind of shared office,” says Mackay. “They need the kind with tools and machines and expert staff who can help build or create an item.” GateWay is partnering with the City of Phoenix to provide students, entrepreneurs, and hobbyists that space. It’s referred to as Makerspace and will be located in the Stauffer Building, a former storage warehouse for the Maricopa District on Van Buren Street, opening in Fall 2017. “We have been talking about creating a cross disciplinary learning lab for students and faculty for a while,” says Kristin Gubser, Director of External Affairs for GateWay. “The space would encourage different disciplines in science technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with art — moving from STEM to STEaM — to come together in one space to create and make art or functional objects. It will further marry the theory and practical together for our students.” In an area of Phoenix that is undergoing a renaissance, the 22,550-square-foot Makerspace will offer a collection of equipment to help spur creations in whatever medium is needed, including welding, rapid prototyping, ceramics, sculpture, glassblowing, 3-D printing, woodworking, and more. “It will become a hub for the community of inventors, hobbyists, entrepreneurs, and others in the area,” says Gubser. “The modern makerspace movement brings together various disciplines, creative directions, and talent under one roof, pushing each other intellectually and aesthetically with startling results,” says Susan Mills, chair of the Humanities Division and art faculty at GateWay. “Details are still being worked out from occupants to memberships; once we know who will be using the space, the design process may begin,” says Gubser.

Rio Salado Receives $2.6 Million Grant from U.S. Department of Education Rio Salado College is one of 17 schools nationwide to be awarded a First in the World (FITW) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The $2.6 million grant will be dispersed over the next four years and will be used to support innovation and improve student outcomes. “I am excited about the opportunities this funding brings to the college and the support it will provide to our students,” said Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College. “This recognition validates our innovative practices and reflects our commitment to help underserved students achieve their educational goals.” Michael Medlock, interim dean of instructional technology Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante with graduates at Rio Salado, said the grant award will be used to design and implement an innovative model to improve teaching and learning for students at need. “The grant will allow Rio Salado College to pursue new research-supported initiatives that will help students by using three strategies: creating a clear course pathway, personalizing the learning, and providing a success coach to meet student needs along the way,” Medlock said.

k Michael Medloc


Shannon McCarty, dean of instruction and academic affairs at Rio Salado, said the target population will be new students pursuing an associate degree or transferring to a four-year institution.

“Rio Salado is known for being an innovator in higher education,” McCarty said. “We look forward to continuing that tradition and redesigning the college experience for our students.” The new model joins other notable student success initiatives at Rio Salado College: RioCompass, a completion portal that allows students to monitor progress toward degree completion, and RioPACE, a predictive analytics system that tracks student login frequency, site engagement, and course progress to increase student awareness and accountability.

by Karen Harbin Earlier this year, two derogatory comments were anonymously written on a public art project developed as part of Estrella Mountain Community College’s (EMCC) Student Success Fair. A student activist and campus leaders harnessed the experience and transformed it into an idea to create a campaign for learning and positive change. An I Will Graduate posting wall at the fair was designed to allow students to express academic and personal goals after graduation by completing the phrase When I graduate, I will _________________. Unfortunately, a platform for inspiration was turned into an opportunity for malice when offensive and degrading statements were written on this wall. One goal that was defaced was written by EMCC student Ri’Ann Holmes. In response, Holmes with the EMCC Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance student club, engaged with other clubs, college leadership, employees, and the EMCC Diversity Team to develop the I Am Human project to speak out against derogatory language. “I Am Human embodies the philosophy of Estrella Mountain, where diversity is one of its core values,” said Holmes. “By promoting awareness and acceptance, students know that this campus is a safe place to express their culture, thoughts, and aspirations.” EMCC sociology faculty Dr. Olga Tsoudis and Michael Bartley, EMCC Coordinator of Marketing, Alumni Relations and Communications, collaborated with the group to elevate the I Am Human project to a learning initiative that promotes social justice and EMCC’s core values of diversity, integrity, collaboration, sustainability, and innovation. “Derogatory language is quite common in society. It is a way for individuals to attempt to control other individuals by putting them down,” said Tsoudis. “This project demonstrates that EMCC is committed to putting an end to this language.” The I Am Human campaign features EMCC students, alumni, and employees sharing personal experiences and messages of awareness about derogatory language through a powerful video, a poster series, website, and workshops. Directly confronting the degrading statements that provoked the project, the campaign’s headline reads, “I am not a bitch. I am not a fag. I am human.” Learn more by viewing the video at:



Rio Salado Honored by White House for Commitment to Hispanic Students Rio Salado College has received two recognitions from the White House for its dedication to serving Hispanic students. Last fall, the college was named as one of the “Commitments Adult ACE stud ent, to Action” by the Brianna Koch White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The 100+ organizations participating in the commitment have pledged to increase educational opportunities, improve educational outcomes, and deliver a complete and competitive education for all students, including Hispanics. “We are honored to be recognized by the White House for our efforts to reach out to underserved populations,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College. As part of its action plan, Rio Salado is increasing efforts to reach local schools with large Hispanic populations, assessing their education needs and increasing awareness of college programs. The Initiative also named Rio Salado College’s Adults Achieving a College Education (Adult ACE) program as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education as part of its 25th Anniversary of Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Bright Spot organizations are recognized for using data-driven approaches, promising practices, and effective partnerships resulting in increased educational completion opportunities for the Hispanic community. “This nation has set a goal for citizens to achieve at least some postsecondary education to be competitive in the job market,” said Dr. Jo Jorgenson, dean of instruction and community development at Rio Salado. “Yet, more than 40 million Americans lack either a high school or equivalency diploma.” Adult ACE students are simultaneously enrolled in Rio Salado’s college classes and in classes to help them prepare for the GED® test. Students are also provided with personalized academic advising and support services to ease the transition.

Federally Funded Program Brings Students From Other Countries to SCC by Jonathan J. Higuera Each July for the last six years, Scottsdale Community College (SCC) has hosted international students participating in a U.S. Department of State program that provides educational opportunities to students from countries that are deemed underserved. The 10-month Community College Initiative Program (CCIP) helps those students to expand their education and skills and take those skills back home. SCC officials say the college community receives as many benefits from the students as the students gain from their experience in the U.S. Halfway through the 2015–2016 program, the 15 students at SCC had contributed 1,200 hours of volunteer service with community organizations. They also have joined campus clubs, have shared perspectives with classmates, and are serving internships. What’s more, they accomplished this while collectively maintaining a 3.5 grade point average. “These students have an incredible impact on our programs here at the college by enhancing and bringing diverse perspectives to classroom discussions,” said Megan Young, SCC’s program coordinator. “And they go on to become major difference makers when they return to their countries after the program.” This year’s students arrived in July and represent seven countries: Ivory Coast, Turkey, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Kenya, and Indonesia. CCIP was started by the U.S. Department of State in 2007. It gives the students, who are competitively selected, an opportunity to build technical skills, enhance their leadership capabilities, strengthen their English-language proficiency, and return to their homes with skills to create growth and development opportunities. This year’s participants are taking classes in business, international business, journalism, film, graphic design, accounting, and human resources. The students will return home in May. While here, they complete a minimum of 80 hours of internships or professional development experience and are required to complete a minimum of 100 hours of community service per student. They also bring in tuition dollars. By program’s end, SCC will have received $147,000 from the federal grant.

campus ther on the SCC CCIP students ga

“By having these international students on campus and in our classrooms, they help SCC embrace diversity and broaden the horizons of all our students,” Young noted. SCC is one of 17 campuses across 11 states to host exchange students participating in the 20152016 program. SCC’s Center for Civic & Global Engagement joined the program in 2010.

PVCC Student Inspired by Alice Cooper James Austin Murray has made a smooth transition from performing at Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Center (The Rock) to performing at Paradise Valley Community College, and now he’s becoming a local fan favorite. Murray, known as “JAM,” name word formed by his initials, got his start at The Rock, an after-school sanctuary for teens to explore the arts as an alternative to drugs, guns, and gangs. In December, his band, Analog Outlaws, won Alice’s 2015 Annual Proof Is In The Pudding musical talent search. JAM also placed second in the contest’s solo artist category and was selected to perform with the PVCC Faculty Rock Band in a recent concert. Proof Is In The Pudding is billed as the West Coast’s premiere free competition for bands and soloists of all genres age 25 and under. JAM has been playing music for most of his life. At age 10, he learned to play the guitar and joined a rock band in high school. “Then I started to go to Alice Cooper’s Teen Center,” he said. Alice Cooper is an inspiring icon to him, a star whose life has encouraged JAM to always believe in himself. tin Murray James Aus

The promising musician started taking lessons at the center in 2014. The Rock taught JAM to hone his songwriting skills and he took guitar, piano, and vocal lessons. “That really expanded my musical capabilities exponentially,” he said. JAM met PVCC Fine & Performing Arts Division Chair, Dr. Christopher Scinto at a fundraising concert. “I spoke with him at great length both during and after the show,” Dr. Scinto said. “He told me that he was going to attend PVCC in the fall.” Dr. Scinto invited JAM to tour PVCC and audition for a Music Department Talent Waiver that would give him a two-semester scholarship.

PVCC Opens Aquila Hall at Black Mountain Campus Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) recently celebrated the opening of Aquila Hall, the newest enhancement to its Black Mountain site.

PVCC’s new Aquila Hall

The January 29 ribbon cutting ceremony featured Dr. Paul Dale, PVCC president; MCCCD Chancellor Rufus Glasper; architectural and construction partners Dick & Fritsche Design Group and Austin Commercial; and college personnel. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed tours and class demonstrations in Aquila Hall classrooms and facilities.

Dr. Glasper noted that over the last 12 or 13 years, MCCCD has been able to add about 1.5 million additional square feet to campuses. “We are able to offer our students the best advantages to meet the workforce needs and to be on top of their game,” he said, adding that this campus benefits from its partnership with the Foothills Community Foundation (FCF) and Desert Foothills YMCA. Aquila Hall is the second instructional building on the PVCC at Black Mountain campus. The new building is a stunning, light-filled space nestled in the heart of the desert property. It includes three multipurpose classrooms, two science labs and a science classroom, computer lab, tutoring center, high-powered astronomy telescope and viewing deck, student study and collaboration areas, faculty offices, and classrooms. An outdoor amphitheater has also been added. The addition of laboratory science courses completes the Black Mountain campus transition to a comprehensive site where students can now earn their AA or AS degree in one location. The building is named Aquila Hall in reference to the clear night skies at Black Mountain and the regular star parties hosted by the campus. A constellation in the northern sky, Aquila is Latin for “eagle,” and it represents the bird that carried Zeus/Jupiter’s thunderbolts in Greco-Roman mythology. The brightest star in Aquila is Altair, a white star that is about 17 light-years from Earth. PVCC at Black Mountain, serving the north central Aquila and Northeast Valley communities, is situated on 10 developed acres of an 82-acre parcel of land at the foot of the iconic Black Mountain. The initial 10,000-square-foot facility, Orion Hall, opened in the fall of 2009, in a public/private/ non-profit partnership with the FCF and Desert Foothills YMCA. The Aquila Hall project was funded by the district’s 2004 General Obligation Bonds. ASU continued from front page

Carletta Miller, an ASU student who transferred from Chandler-Gilbert Community College, recalled, “It was my first academic advising appointment for my spring semester and I walked into chaos in front of the W. P. Carey Building,” which generally gets very busy around lunchtime. “I got lost and I was in tears,” she continued, adding that an ASU faculty member noticed her, asked where she needed to go, and got her pointed in the right direction. But for those few moments, ASU was a scary, frustrating place. Those are feelings she’d like to help others avoid.

7 Gutierrez, Haver Elected Community

Maricopa Governing Board Leaders for 2016 The Governing Board of the Maricopa Community Colleges has elected Alfredo Gutierrez to serve as its president for 2016.

Mr. Gutierrez represents Maricopa County District 4, Alfredo Gutierrez which is roughly the southwest quarter of the county. A native of Miami, AZ, he served as a community organizer and advocate for the poor in the Phoenix area for a number of years before being elected to the Arizona Senate in 1972. He was elected Majority Leader two years later and served as either Minority or Majority Leader of the Senate for 14 years. He later was a partner in an issues management and public relations firm for a number of years. Since 2002, he has primarily worked as a private consultant, speaker, and teacher. He was appointed and subsequently elected to the Board in 2014. During the organizational meeting, the Board also reelected Johanna Haver as its Secretary. The Board’s action came during its January election meeting. Ms. Johanna Haver Haver represents District 3, which runs from Central Phoenix north to Maricopa County’s northern boundary. Ms. Haver, a former teacher, was elected to the Board in 2014.

New Training Partnership in Surprise for GateWay Anna Bermudez

C. J. Slater, an ASU senior who studied at Rio Salado College, Phoenix College and South Mountain Community College, wasn’t intimidated by ASU when he arrived. But after trying to do too much in his first semester, “I realized I could not do the same things I did at a community college – take a crazy amount of credits and not balance my life.” “Connecting with community college students can be really rewarding,” J. C. said. “I connected with a group of students. It was a Spanish club. I wasn’t just talking about ASU. I was sharing my experiences as a Latino.” Anna Bermudez, a junior, agreed that shared experiences really matter. She recalls telling a young woman, “I was in your shoes. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do something more for my daughter. She said, ‘That’s what I wanted to hear,’ and we both started crying.” The whole experience to being a parent and a college student has gotten Bermudez thinking about the many people who have the same problem, so she plans to start a club called Fathers and Mothers Earning Degrees. “It’s just knowing that someone else is in the same shoes as you,” she said. “For instance, finding the time to be a student while you’re a parent.” The Ambassadors make themselves available to all students whether they are in the much-heralded MAPP (Maricopa-to-ASU Pathway Program) or who are thinking of transferring in a more conventional way. But now, when a student commits to a MAPP – a specific pathway to ensure admission to the ASU program that he or she wants – an Ambassador will call to help.

GateWay Community College (GWCC) and the City of Surprise are partnering on a new facility that will offer training to City employees. The Surprise-GateWay Training Center will provide training in water/wastewater operations and treatment, occupational safety and health, and other areas. The City is constructing a 13,100-square-foot training facility that will have collaborative learning spaces, mission critical lab, and assembly facilities. “Partnerships like these are more meaningful than ever for the students who will better themselves through a quality education and for the local economy that reaps the benefits of an educated workforce,” said Dr. Steven Gonzales, President of GWCC, at the February 11 groundbreaking for the new training center. The center is expected to be operational by Fall 2016.



New MCC Degree Program Prepares Students for Careers in Sustainable Agriculture by Dawn Zimmer

rden ts work on ga riculture studen Sustainable ag

This semester, Mesa Community College (MCC) is offering, for the first time, an Associate of Applied Science degree in Sustainable Agriculture. The program is the first of its kind in Arizona.

GCC Opens Dr. Phillip D. Randolph Automotive Technology Center Opening Spring 2016 Semester Glendale Community College (GCC) opened the doors of the Dr. Phillip D. Randolph Automotive Technology Center (ATC) on Friday, January 15. The building was named in honor of the college’s fifth president, Dr. Phillip D. Randolph, who was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony. The 40,000-square-foot building, designed by Holly Street Studio and built by Adolfson and Peterson Construction, features dedicated instructional space; vehicle and tool storage bays; a library; open learning spaces; and work bays specific to HVAC, brakes, suspension, steering, and engine performance techniques. With three certificate programs and four associate degrees, including factory-sponsored programs with Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors, the new Automotive Technology Center will be equipped to expand the college’s student capacity.

The Sustainable Agriculture degree will provide students with both the technical and small business skills needed to manage or develop a small farm or agricultural business. It focuses on small-scale and urban agriculture, with an emphasis on natural practices and sustainability. Courses include Field Crop Production, Livestock Production, Aquaponics, Integrated Pest Management, and Agricultural Marketing. This degree is different from the certificate and degree programs in Sustainable Food Systems in that students gain hands-on experience in sustainable agricultural practices in the classroom and a working urban farm at the Center for Urban Agriculture. Produce is sold at the MCC Farmer’s Market, and the excess is given to local food banks. “In response to an explosion in consumer demand for locally grown food, many existing local farms are expanding and new ones are cropping up around the Valley,” said Peter Conden, Director of MCC’s Urban Horticulture and Sustainable Agriculture programs. “Our goal is to prepare a highly skilled, trained workforce and new entrepreneurs for this growing field.” Conden is passionate about his work at the college and reports concerns about the origins of his own food, sustainability, managing resources, and pollution of the soil and groundwater. “Our program is based on organic and natural production methods,” he adds. Seed money for the program came from a 2014 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) education grant of $108,000, which included a 25% match from MCC. “With assistance from the EPA grant, we were able to write new courses, rewrite old courses, purchase equipment, and put this new program together,” noted Conden. At the MCC Center for Urban Agriculture, students are able to take classes and receive hands-on, real-life experience working on the college’s urban farm and in the greenhouse.

Chancellor Rufus Glasper, GCC President Irene Kovala and Dr. Phillip D. Randolph (2nd, 3rd, and 4th from left) at ribbon cutting

Dr. Randolph was a prominent and influential leader in the West Valley throughout his 35-year career at the Maricopa County Community College District. A Glendale native, Randolph was named GCC Interim President in 2002, and in 2003, he became the fifth President of Glendale Community College. In that position, he was instrumental in creating extensive community partnerships; developing signature programs like Automotive Technology; and revitalizing the campus, an initiative that continues today. “We are thrilled to dedicate this brand new building to Dr. Phil Randolph, who has been a driving force behind so many innovations at Glendale,” said GCC President Dr. Irene Kovala. “He recognized early the impact an Automotive Technology program could have on West Valley students and was instrumental not only as an instructor in that program but as the leader of this campus.” The college’s original 11,000-square-foot Automotive Technology building, constructed in 1969, was outfitted in 1972 to serve a new degree program at Glendale Community College. Dr. Randolph was hired to oversee the program, which had 60 students during its inaugural year. “Then for quite a number of years when Phil was running the automotive program at GCC, he would come over here every summer and work as a technician,” recalled Buzz Sands, owner of Sands Chevrolet of Glendale. “That helped keep him up-to-date on new technology, and we were very happy to have him because, during the summer, our service demands increased.” Sands Chevrolet gave the college $100,000 to name the Sands Chevrolet Conference Room in the ATC.

EMCC Opens New Performing Arts Center Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) opened its new Performing Arts Center (PAC) with a celebration and numerous performances. The center opened with a weekend of activities that highlighted the new Center’s amenities. The two days of festivities offered the community, potential donors, and dignitaries the chance to explore and celebrate this new state-of-the-art facility for the West Valley.

SCC Student Combines Love of Math With Biology


by Jonathan J. Higuera Marina Hernandez believes there is a mathematical equation for just about everything in life. In the future she’s hoping she can find one that accurately predicts the sustainable outcome of products such as cell phones or plastic water bottles. end celebration at opening week Dancers perform

The grand opening weekend events included an interactive tour of the facility that highlights the architecture and usability of its classrooms and the 297-seat main stage and 90-seat black box theater. The interactive nature of the weekend’s event emphasized some of the educational and entertainment options available through the center, including screen printing, ballroom dancing, drumming, photo editing, acting activities, and makeup tutorials. During the official grand opening and ribbon cutting EMCC President Dr. Ernie Lara paid tribute to Dr. Bryan K. Tippett, the EMC’s former Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, who passed away suddenly in February 2015. Dr. Tippett was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic proponents for the new center. Maricopa County Community College District Dr. Maria HarperMarinick, Interim Vice Chancellor also spoke during the ceremony. The community celebration took the form of a festival that brought original student works to the stage and hosted performances from local high schools, community performers, and professional performers on the main stage and an outdoor stage. Artistic works included dance, music, storytelling, art, and theater. The PAC is the last of EMCC’s projects funded by the Maricopa Community Colleges’ 2004 bond referendum.

CGCC Alum Pazos Pitches for Yankees Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) baseball program has honored alumnus and current New York Yankees pitcher James Pazos during a pregame recognition ceremony on the college’s baseball field. A sign with Pazos’s name was hung on the outfield fence to recognize his major league debut and professional accomplishments. Pazos, a 2009 graduate of Highland High School in Gilbert, pitched one season for CGCC in 2010 before transferring to the University of San Diego, where he pitched for an additional two seasons. He was drafted in the 13th round of the Major League Baseball (MLB) Amateur Prospect League draft in 2012 by the New York Yankees.

News in the District

James Pazos, a Yankee with a future

While at CGCC, Pazos posted a 9-4 record with a 1.94 ERA, helping the team earn runner-up honors in the Region I playoffs. A highlight of his year was the no-hitter he threw against Salt Lake Community College, walking three and striking out nine players during a 2-0 win. Pazos made his MLB debut in 2015 with the New York Yankees against the Tampa Bay Rays. “James had an immediate impact on our program as a freshman,” recalled Russell Luce, CGCC’s Head Baseball Coach. “From day one he had a foundational belief in himself and an unending willingness to work. He was an amazing teammate and leader in his time at CGCC, and we are proud of his accomplishments. We are excited about his MLB future.” Pazos was described by as one of the Yankee’s top young prospects. The article quoted Yankees Manager Joe Girardi as saying that Pazos is “definitely in the mix” for a major league position with the team in 2016. “A power arm,” Girardi said. “You know, he finally threw his good slider, right at the end. A young man that didn’t seem to scare. So I definitely think he’s in the mix.”

“As a society we’re pretty gung ho about making things better, but sometimes we overlook the impact,” she said. “I have this crazy long-term goal to find an equation Marina Hernandez that proportions everything in the economy with its environmental impact.” If she succeeds, she’ll be combining her love of the environment and biology with her passion for math. The math major expects to graduate from Scottsdale Community College (SCC) in May and then will decide on her next move. In the meantime, she is leaving a very positive footprint at her college. On any given day you can find her leading a tour of fourth graders as part of the Center for Native and Urban Wildlife (CNUW) biodiversity education program, cleaning the pond in Two Waters Circle, or working a table with members of the student Sonoran Desert Club, which she helped create. She’s also been known to form study groups and help the Robotics Club find more effective ways to work with young students at a nearby elementary school. She’s earned a reputation as a hard worker with an outgoing personality who truly cares about others and does what she can to help inspire them. In addition to maintaining a 3.8 grade point average while taking some difficult math classes, she’s figuring out where her path will lead. Pursuing a math degree at Arizona State University is one possibility that might lead to a career teaching math to young people. “I love the language of math because it’s so universal,” she said. “I’m shocked when I meet so many people who don’t want to do it. I like encouraging people and letting them know they have the power and the potential to do what they want.” Math instructor Aaron Jesse, who has taught several of Hernandez’s math courses, says he’s been amazed and impressed with her ability to empathize with others and encourage them.



Foundation Spotlight:

Kristy Hunt

Pruitt Is Honored as 2016 Maricopa Hero of Education J. Doug Pruitt, board chairman of the Sundt Companies, Inc., has been named the 2016 Hero of Education by the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation. Mr. Pruitt joined the Sundt family of companies in 1966 and, in 1992, assumed the position of President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1998, he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He also served as Executive Vice President and Manager of the Sundt Building Division, Vice President/Manager of Construction Management Services, and Chief Estimator. Each Spring, the Hero of Education is honored at a dinner. The award recognizes those who have a proven personal and professional commitment to supporting students and educational opportunities. Sponsored by the Maricopa Community Colleges and the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation since 2006, these events have raised over $1 million in scholarships for Maricopa Community Colleges students. Mr. Pruitt has been an outstanding advocate for workforce development and vocational education. His leadership of local, regional, and national organizations that advocate for training and workforce development has led to the advancement of many programs at Maricopa Community Colleges. Mr. Pruitt received an Associate’s Degree from Oklahoma State University–Oklahoma City and, after graduating, worked as a draftsman and on a surveying crew in Oklahoma City. Soon after, he transferred to a construction project in Arizona and shortly thereafter began working for Sundt. He is the author of several articles on concrete slipformed mechanical cores for high-rise buildings. He has chaired numerous committees for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), producing brochures and videos on Total Quality Management and Partnering and Workforce Development. He is an advocate for the development of better technology in estimating, scheduling, and construction methods. J. Doug Pruitt

Mr. Pruitt is a founding member of the Construction Industry Ethics and Compliance Initiative, was awarded the Valley’s Most Admired CEO’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and was inducted into the Ernst & Young Hall of Fame.

Kristy Hunt is a wife and mother who dreamed of a career in medicine. While working and caring for her three children, she received certificates in Nursing Assisting, Medical Assisting Kristy Hunt and an Associates Degree in Medical Diagnostic Sonography. The Maricopa Community Colleges and financial help through the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation made that possible. As a recipient of the Maricopa grant, Student Success scholarship, and E Follett Scholarship, Kristy received the financial support needed to attend Gateway, Rio Salado, Phoenix, and Paradise Valley Colleges to realize her dreams. Kristy said she chose the Maricopa Community Colleges “for the reduced costs, and more specifically GateWay, as it has the only accredited Sonography program in Arizona. I always wanted to help people. As a sonographer, I am part of a team of medical professionals who work together to help bring people to better health.” Kristy is motivated by caring for people and having a challenge. Her next challenge? She would like to specialize in Maternal Fetal Medicine and perform ultrasounds for mothers with high-risk pregnancies. She plans to continue her education by studying fetal echo and becoming certified in Nuchal Translucency exams, a procedure that helps screen for Down syndrome. “My advice to students would be to set goals to stay motivated,” Kristy said. “I’d also tell them to utilize their campus resources and to never be afraid to ask for help.”

Campaign for Student Success Reaches New Fundraising Record Thanks to the generosity of the business community, private foundations, friends of T H E C A M PA I G N F O R the Community Colleges, employees and STUDENT SUCCESS alumni, the Maricopa Community Colleges Endcating our Community, Ensuring our Future Foundation (MCCF) has received more than $35.5 million in campaign gifts through December 31, 2015.

the growing education needs of our community and to contribute to the economic development goals of our State,” said Chancellor Rufus Glasper. “However, donors continue to demonstrate their support for the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges, two Skill Centers, several satellite campuses, and Corporate College. These contributions will help transform our community, the State of Arizona and beyond.”

“We are ecstatic and extremely grateful for the support shown to the Community Colleges and the 240,000 students we serve annually,” said MCCF Interim CEO and President, Mary O’Connor. “This level of giving is unprecedented for the Maricopa Community Colleges and puts us even closer to reaching our goal of raising up to $50 million before the campaign ends.”

The Campaign for Student Success focuses on community partnerships, student support, and faculty and staff innovation. Major gifts received this year include:


Philanthropic gifts to the Maricopa Community Colleges support the mission of providing access to higher education for diverse students and communities.

• $575,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the planning of a completion and student success initiative • $1 million for STEM initiatives at Scottsdale Community College and Yavapai College by the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation • $1 million pledge for the naming rights of the main performance hall in the Performing Arts Center at Mesa Community College

“The withdrawal in State investment in community college education to Maricopa forces difficult conversations about our ability to serve

To help support the Campaign for Student Success or for more information about the Maricopa Community Colleges, visit

$450,000 Gift – A True Love Story by Jared Langkilde A donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, recently pledged $450,000 for student scholarships at Mesa Community College (MCC). So what motivates someone to make that level of commitment, you ask? In a word, love. Here is the short story. . . The donor, an 83-year-old retired doctor who lived and practiced out of Arizona his whole career, was reflecting on life. He had always wanted his wife to be remembered for the love and support she had shown him throughout their marriage. When they were a lot younger and had first been married, she had enrolled at MCC. However, before she ever attended her first class, she dropped out to support her husband, who had been accepted to medical school in another state. He had a phenomenal career and always felt moved by his wife’s sacrifice for him.

Past and Future


Ken Roberts Remembers the Way Colleges Were Started Dr. Ken Roberts joined Maricopa in 1972 as an instructional designer. He worked at Rio Salado College, served as Associate Dean of Instruction at South Mountain Community College and was part of the founding team at Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC). He completed his career as Vice President of Academic Affairs at South Mountain Community College. During a 2012 conversation, he recalled the origins of PVCC.

Although he had been courted by Harvard, Stanford, and other prestigious universities to make a major gift, he chose to make that commitment to MCC because of his wife’s dreams and the amount of good that the gift would accomplish for the college’s students. Christos Chronis, MCC’s major gift officer with the Office of Development, was instrumental in stewarding and cultivating the doctor through the gifting process.

Former Athlete Creates Legacy With PC Gift Stephen Timarac was a force on the football field. When he left West High School, he started his pursuit of higher education at Phoenix College (PC) on a football scholarship, where in 1964, he was named cocaptain of the football team. Timarac was the anchor of the Phoenix College Bears football team and helped lead the team to a national championship.

Stephen Timarac

After Phoenix College, he attended Arizona State University, also on a football scholarship. He was selected to the Western Athletic Conference All Star Team in 1966. He then went on to join to the United States Air Force and served in the Arizona National Guard.

His service to his country ended in 1973, but his service to his community continued. His work included administrator for a law firm, corporate trust office for Valley National Bank, as well as working for the Arizona Bar Association, Arizona Motor Vehicle Department, and Special Olympics. He also was deeply involved with The Humane Society AZ, as both a board member and active supporter. Timarac remained forever grateful for the opportunities that football offered him, as he demonstrated through the creation of the Steve Timarac Memorial Football Scholarship, designed to make sure those opportunities were still available to tomorrow’s football players. Timarac died on July 3, 2014. His donation of $250,000 will allow PC to offer scholarships to students who fit the criteria, including an involvement with the Phoenix College football team, a minimum GPA requirement, and the demonstration of financial need. Scholarship recipients will receive a $2,500 scholarship. Timarac, in the creation of this scholarship, described the important foundation that his time at Phoenix College built for him. His donation helps to lay that foundation for future Phoenix College Bears. “A commitment of this type is instrumental in the success of football student athletes at Phoenix College,” said Samantha Ezell, PC’s director of athletics. “Scholarship funding is a valuable contribution that translates to effective recruiting of quality student athletes. When a student is supported financially, it often translates to continued retention.” “Scholarships offer a lifeline of support in helping our students achieve their higher education,” said Chris Haines, Interim President of Phoenix College. “During times of increased costs, assistance from donors like Steve provides an invaluable service to our students.” Students attending Phoenix College, the flagship of the Maricopa Community Colleges, have the advantage of access to scholarships held at both the college and district levels. According to Mary O’Connor, Interim President and CEO of the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation, 2,335 scholarships and program grants totaling $2.74 million were awarded across the District during the 2014–2015 academic year.

ts Ken Rober

“Starting a new college was really a time of a lot of excitement. Doing Paradise Valley was really fun. We started from just a blank slate of 90 acres of dirt. It was a fast-track program; and in 18 months there was a college. “There were procedures, but not a lot of Maricopa rules. The first year, we were doing the ed specs and planning all of the buildings, but we were also charged with generating enrollment, so we offered classes during the day at a little Jewish temple off Tatum and used Paradise Valley High School at night for classes. So we’d have classes from about eight till noon, then work on ed specs all afternoon, and then have classes at the high school at night from six till ten. And people came to work at seven in the morning and left at ten at night. That is the way we did it for a year. “My green ’72 Chevelle was the bookstore. We just filled my car up with books, drove it to the temple, people would come and give me money, and I’d give them a book and I’d write down on a piece of paper what I got and then at the end of the day I’d turn in the money. “I mean, you can’t do that anymore, you just can’t fill your Chevelle up with books and go sell them to students and write things down on a notebook, but it was a different time then. . .”

2411 W. 14th Street Tempe, Arizona 85281


The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.

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Student Success

“I have close friends and nieces and nephews that I like to hang out with,” she says. “But I’m also good being by myself—sitting, reading and doing homework. I enjoy learning.”

Tiana, who also is a competitive ice skater, currently takes 19 credit hours at SCC. Homework and skating are taking up most of her free time, she says, but she still finds time to watch hockey games with her parents.

“The computer class was easy, so I decided to take an Interior Design course,” she said. “Then I took three classes and went full time.”

She started taking one computer class at SCC, with the goal of getting up to speed on computers before going to a public school. Instead, she remained at SCC, taking mostly college level courses.

Home schooled by her mother until she started attending SCC in 2013, Passante says her fellow students have treated her well, even if they are shocked to learn her age. “They are surprised when they find out how old I am, but they’ve been really nice and considerate.”

I’ve had. You don’t see that every day, and you definitely don’t see it at age 15.”

Young SCC Student Has Time to Sample Variety of Subjects by Jonathan J. Higuera For Tiana Passante, the luxury of time means exploring career options. Passante has been attending college classes at Scottsdale Community College since age 12, taking subjects that sounded Tiana Passante appealing. “I’m just keeping all my options open,” said Passante, who is currently on track to receive her Associate of Applied Sciences in Interior Design in May. “I may want to go to medical school. I’m not sure what my best option is right now. I just like doing everything, learning everything.” She currently takes six classes, including a science lab, and works a few hours a week as an intern at a local architectural firm. While she’s looking forward to wrapping up her Interior Design program, she’s not sold on Interior Design as a career. Currently she’s leaning toward something in a field related to medicine. The 15-year-old is doing quality work. “She’s on the mark with her assignments,” said Dr. Annaliese Harper, who teaches a communications course in which Passante is a student. “She’s clearly one of the brighter students

News For the Community From the Maricopa Community Colleges

Welcome to Maricopa Matters!

Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, Interim Chancellor

Maricopa Community Colleges Governing Board

Mr. Doyle Burke | Mr. Alfredo Gutierrez | Ms. Johanna Haver Mr. John Heep | Ms. Tracy Livingston | Ms. Jean McGrath Mr. Dana Saar

Maricopa Matters is published twice a year by the Marketing and Communications Department of the Maricopa Community Colleges.

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Tom Gariepy, Editor, Writer

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Content Contributors: Karen Harbin, Jonathan Higuera, Chris Lambrakis, Jared Langkilde, Janet Traylor, and Dawn Zimmer

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