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Momentum ISSUE VIII - FALL 2015



Another school year has ended and I must say that this year’s commencement ceremony was truly our best ever. A torrential downpour one hour before our “outdoor” reception for graduates and their families did not dampen the spirits of our staff, who quickly went to Plan B and moved everything inside with minutes to spare before guests began arriving. The atmosphere is always spirited and lively and this year was no different. As luck would have it, the rain stopped and the sun came out just in time for the wonderful procession of faculty and students – all donning their academic regalia – into the gymnasium, where family and friends had gathered to watch with pride. The mood in the gym was electrifying and the program had the right mix of serious, sentimental and silly…after all, we are the Artichokes! This year, more than 2,200 students received degrees and/or certificates, and I swell with tremendous pride in our wonderful faculty, who engage our students in meaningful, rigorous and inspiring educational experiences that prepare them for their next adventure, whether that’s continuing on to a 4-year institution, entering the work world with valuable new skills, or advancing in their chosen career. All of our faculty are outstanding, and here are some recent accomplishments that stand out: • Peggy Deal, Bill Johnson and Catherine Wyman were honored as Outstanding Adjunct Faculty for 2015. • English Professor John Liffiton received the 2015 Shofar Zakhor Award from the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors Association. • Library and Information Sciences faculty member Danielle Carlock received a 2015-2016 Maricopa Institute for Learning Research Fellowship. • Theatre Arts adjunct faculty member Elaine “E.E.” Moe received the prestigious Kennedy Center Gold Medallion of Excellence from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), Region VIII. • English faculty members Matthew Bloom and Susan Moore received the 2015 Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD). • Scottsdale Charros named Psychology faculty member Eric Haas as SCC Teacher of the Year. Of course, that is by no means an exhaustive list of accomplishments, but it certainly gives you a flavor of the caliber of our esteemed faculty. We believe, and our students agree, that our faculty is what truly sets SCC apart from other academic institutions. ‘Engaged,’ ‘active,’ ‘interactive,’ ‘involved,’ ‘hands on’ – pick whatever words paint the picture in your mind of students actively learning by doing and that is what you’ll find at SCC…I could not be more proud. The spirit of the Artichoke is alive and well, and ever present.

Jan L. Gehler SCC President


Momentum is published by the Office of Institutional Advancement and Community Engagement at Scottsdale Community College.

_________________ E D I TO R /W R IT E R Nancy Neff C O N T R I B U T IN G W R IT E R S Kristine Burnett Jonathan Higuera GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kim Herbst P H O TOGR A P H Y Provided in part by: Mark Skalny Jonathan Higuera Nancy Neff Kim Herbst ON THE COVER Bob, Brett and Bonni Nachman, at home with the family dog, Jessie. Story on page 4. _________________

C O N TA C T Nancy Neff 480-423-6567 _________________


Making Dreams

Photo credit: Deanna Dent

Come True

Kristen Voegtly is an Arizona native and a third generation Artichoke. She was in the “Careers in Culinary Arts Program” at Perry High School, where she earned a college scholarship and then chose SCC to pursue her dream. In May, Voegtly was among the more than 2,200 students earning a degree and/or certificate from SCC. In Voegtly’s case, it was definitely AND. She earned an Arizona General Education Curriculum Certificate-A; an A.A.S. in Commercial Baking and Pastry Arts; an A.A.S. in Culinary Arts Fundamentals; an Associate in Arts; a Certificate of Completion in Commercial Baking and Pastry Arts, and a Certificate of Completion in Culinary Arts Fundamentals. All of us at SCC are very proud of her accomplishments.

I’ve always loved

baking ever since I was a little girl, and my dream is to open a bakery.

Bright future ahead, despite Asperger's “We had to teach him that sometimes things have more than one meaning,” Bonni explained. “Amazingly, he eventually grasped that and everything else.” SCC: An engaged education Brett took college level courses through SCC’s Dual Enrollment Program while being homeschooled. With some of his classes held on the SCC campus, his parents weren’t sure how he would adapt. “We dropped him off for his first class, came home and paced,” Bob shared. “To our great surprise, Brett absolutely loved it and he even participated in class. That was his first experience and it set the tone for his college career.” Brett completed high school at 18 with quite a few college credits under his belt. Next came the transition to full-time college student. SCC, with its small class sizes, close proximity to home and welcoming environment, proved to be the perfect place for Brett to branch out.

Brett Nachman has many talents, including being an accomplished pianist.


Brett was editor of SCC’s newspaper and president of the Psi Gamma chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Those experiences amplified classroom instruction from professors that he says made his time at SCC truly meaningful. Brett credits Jan Gehler, EdD, president of SCC, with fostering such a supportive campus.

The highest functioning form of autism, Asperger’s syndrome presents many challenges, including an inability to interpret nonverbal communication, difficulty reading emotions, and trouble navigating social settings. As if middle school and high school aren’t difficult enough, the diagnosis added hurdles. Thankfully, homeschooling was a viable option, with Brett’s mother serving as his primary teacher.

“Dr. Gehler built an environment where individuals feel like they can achieve whatever they have their heart set on.”

imply put, Brett Nachman is defying the odds. At the beginning of sixth grade, the Scottsdale native traded private school for homeschooling. With reasons ranging from struggles with reading comprehension, to social anxiety, the crux of the decision came down to a bigger issue: Asperger’s syndrome.

In addition to teaching core subjects like English and science, Bob and Bonni Nachman, dedicated themselves to helping their son overcome the myriad challenges of his condition. Bonni, formerly a psychiatric nurse who worked with children facing various challenges, was well equipped for her role as teacher. “We spent a lot of time learning emotions, what they look like and what they mean,” Bonni said. “We’d demonstrate emotions like happiness, sadness and surprise and then have Brett use a mirror to mimic those expressions. We also used illustrative classics with pictures to help with comprehension.” Since Brett was very literal in his understanding of things, his parents worked on grammar and idioms.


“I tried to integrate myself into the college atmosphere,” Brett said. “I got involved in things where I felt like I belonged but also felt challenged.”

Brett’s heart was set on pushing personal boundaries. Three years after enrolling at SCC, the once socially uncertain student was front and center as the 2012 graduation commencement speaker. Life after SCC With an associate degree in hand and a full tuition scholarship through the All-Arizona Academic Team, Brett became an Arizona State University Sun Devil in 2012. He enrolled in ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as well as Barrett, The Honors College. “The transition to ASU was a mixed bag,” he recalled. “I had such a good personal and academic high at SCC, and I didn’t know if I’d feel like I belonged.” But Brett quickly found his place. “Being at the Downtown Campus with fewer students, it was somewhat similar to SCC,” Bob explained. “The Tempe Campus may have been intimidating.”


According to Bonni, Brett was eager to get involved on campus, much like he had done at SCC. “I realized there weren’t any programs for transfer students,” Brett said. “The focus was always on the first-time freshman and transfer students like myself were unheard voices.” After speaking with his advisor, Brett co-founded the Barrett SWAT (Supporting, Welcoming and Assisting Transfers) Team during his first semester at ASU. Intended to give incoming transfer students a voice, SWAT was the first organization of its kind at ASU catering to students moving from a two-year college to a university. “It helped me meet people, and working to improve the transfer experience became a big part of my own transition,” Brett said. Beyond launching and leading SWAT, he worked as a teaching assistant and writing tutor, completed several internships and served on the editorial board for the ASU undergraduate magazine, Write On, Downtown. Brett graduated from ASU with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in psychology in May 2015. On Wisconsin: The next frontier Today, Brett continues to advocate for transfer students as a PhD student in the University of WisconsinMadison’s Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA) program. While a master’s degree or work experience typically precedes entrance to a PhD program, Brett Nachman's visit to the University of Brett’s passion, coursework and Wisconsin - Madison included his favorite prior research activities earned mascot, Artie the Artichoke. him the opportunity to go straight from earning a bachelor’s degree to pursuing a PhD. “One thing about Brett that we may never fully understand is his self-motivation,” Bob noted. “We’ve guided him, but we never pushed him. He is self-motivated to achieve.” Brett, who was accepted to numerous universities, including a number of Ivy League institutions, is the recipient of two prestigious fellowships. Having always been interested in academia, he will be joining a research team analyzing issues that two-year institutions like SCC face and seeking ways to support the transfer student population.


ike many Scottsdale Community College students, Awout Bagat has a personal story of overcoming long odds to pursue a college degree…but, then again, most students are not from war-torn South Sudan and weren’t kidnapped at age 10, only to escape four years later and flee the country. Even with this unimaginable background, Bagat considers herself fortunate to be where she is in life. At age 30, she is married and has six children – the sixth was born during the Spring 2015 semester – and is pursuing her dream of becoming a nurse. “When I came to America, I worked two to three jobs to take care of myself, my mom and my siblings,” Bagat said. “I moved to Arizona because the climate is good, but I didn’t speak English, so I worked jobs like hotel housekeeping while I learned the language. I met a South Sudanese man here and we married and made the decision to have our babies first, before I started school.” Bagat said she kept finding excuses for not going to school but, when she calculated all of the time she spent NOT in school, she was shocked that 11 years had gone by.

I said ‘no more.’ I want to be an educated mother and be an example for my children. It’s not easy for a mother working full time and going to school. Sometimes I don’t sleep, but I can’t tell my children to go to school if I don’t go.

Bagat is completing her nursing prerequisites and next semester will take the state exam required to enter the SCC/NAU RN to BSN program. “Awout is my hardest working student,” said English Faculty Matthew Healy. “She had her baby during the semester and still is getting an A in my class. She doesn’t make excuses, but it’s definitely not easy for her.” Healy could see her struggle, but he and other instructors encouraged her to keep going. “There was a time I thought it was too much, especially after I had the baby,” Bagat said. “But, Mr. Healy kept telling me how good I am in his class and told me not to give up. He said, ‘I’ll make sure you get your degree,’ and that motivated me the most. He wants me to get my education.” Bagat uses all of the academic support services available to her at SCC.

“When I was diagnosed with Asperger’s, there was little belief that I’d even be able to go to college,” Brett said. “To enter a PhD program of this scale and value is unthinkable and I feel so fortunate. It’s a dream.”

“I grab all of the tutoring opportunities I can,” she said. “If I have free time, I spend it on tutoring, especially during the day. Sometimes, I’m there at 6 a.m. waiting for the writing center to open. I’m always exhausted, but it won’t happen unless I put in the effort.”

Brett believes his time in Wisconsin will ultimately return him to his roots – working at or with community colleges.

Bagat doesn’t spend her valuable time regretting the past, but does encourage others to go to school while they're young.

But for now, he says he’ll be waving his Artichoke flag to show that community college students can make it.

“I think about the four years before I had children and how I could have gone to school then and had a better paying job so much sooner,” she said. “I encourage a lot of mothers to go to school and be an example for their children. You’ll never find the time unless you make time, I tell them.” 5


hat happens when a group of former football teammates gets together to rehash old times? When they're SCC alums, ideas and results happen. The “40-Year Club” was established when members of Scottsdale Community College’s first football team came together for a 40-year reunion at the College’s Hall of Fame induction in 2013. Since then, the reunion has become a tradition and the nonprofit Legacy Foundation USA was established as a fundraising entity to support children’s, youth, and athletic charities, including SCC student athletes. Rick Sowers, a member of the 40-Year Club and founder of the Legacy Foundation USA, is leading fund-raising 6

efforts, including the inaugural Celebrity Open Golf Tournament, held May 8 that was a huge success. “A very sincere thank you to each and every one of you for the time and resources you have invested in making the golf tournament a first-class event,” Sowers said in a message to the planning team. Sowers said 104 golfers participated and more than $90,000 was raised. The event was so successful, another golf tournament is being planned for the future. But, the Legacy Foundation needs support through sponsors, golfers, donations and in-kind gifts. Please contact Sowers at 480-694-3450. Visit the website for more information:

Contact Rick Sowers at


to be a part of this special event.

Caleb Michel brings As a student by day and a musician by night, Caleb Michel’s experience has broadened in many ways, including his musicianship and his outlook on life. “I’m such a better musician now than when I started here,” he said of his SCC experience. “Being able to work with people like Eric Rasmussen (SCC Music director) and Will Goble (SCC Music faculty member) has been unbelievable.” The 21-year-old drummer has been a mainstay in SCC’s Music department for the past two years. Michel has played with jazz trios, the orchestra and other student combos, while performing as the percussionist for Jaleo, a local Latin band with an active calendar of gigs, and another Latin band. When he arrived at SCC after graduating from Arizona School for the Arts in downtown Phoenix, his main musical experience was Latin music, such as salsa, cumbia and merengue. His father played in salsa bands in New York City and pushed his son to learn percussion at an early age. By 14, Michel was playing in gigs around the city. “I fell in love with jazz and I want to continue to study it,” said Michel. “My goal is to become as comfortable with jazz as I am with Latin music.” Attending SCC has opened new windows for him and pushed him to develop a new appreciation for jazz. “There’s no drummer that is successful that only knows one rhythm,” he points out. “I pay my rent with my Latin music gigs,” he said, but to complete his education, he’ll concentrate on jazz. Michel will continue his education at Arizona State University next fall, with the goal of earning a bachelor’s degree in music. “Getting a legitimate musical background is my goal,” he said. “I can say I’m self taught, but if I graduate from college in music, it’s more credibility.”

It would also give him a chance to teach if he were to choose that path. Rick Sowers (left) and SCC football coach Doug Madoski.


With its annual "The IN Thing" event, Scottsdale Community College is helping to ensure equal civil rights for all, and to unequivocally oppose bullying, harassment, hatred, and prejudice toward any group or individual. The IN Thing is held each April as part of Inclusiveness Month and is led by SCC’s Inclusiveness Council, the Student Inclusiveness Leadership Team and the Center for Civic and Global Engagement. “The IN Thing is an opportunity to bring our collective efforts together in meaningful and fun ways so students and the community can learn about different experiences people share -- or may not share -- to foster greater understanding and acceptance,” said Bobra Crockett-Hoggard, business faculty and chair of the event planning committee.

The event has grown each year since 2012, when SCC launched its Not On Our Campus Proclamation, which rejects any form of prejudice, harassment, bullying, waste, etc. In 2015, The IN Thing was broadened to include related events, such as student club activities, sustainability, Earth Day, and World Languages Day. The concept derives from the Triple Bottom Line: Economic Viability, Environmental Responsibility/Sustainability and Social Justice.

Join the IN Crowd


“In a global society, our ability to thrive and work together is largely dependent on these inter-dependent concepts,” said Crockett-Hoggard. Student clubs are encouraged to participate and share the varied opportunities for students to be connected and engaged on campus. There are many activities, dialogues, and learning opportunities to attend during the event. This year’s highlights included panel discussions, film screenings, student club information and demonstrations, a Native American blessing and performance, salsa dancing instruction and performance, and an all-IN flash mob. The film screenings included a documentary examining the battle over ethnic studies in the Tucson Unified School District, and “Girl Rising,” a film that follows girls in third-world countries and their struggles to gain an education and stop the cycle of poverty, rape and forced marriage.

d – INformed, INvolved, and INclusive


Karen Biglin (l) meets Esmeralda Arriaga, a recipient of Biglin's scholarship.

Having put herself through college, Biglin says receiving a scholarship was the shot in the arm she once needed to keep going. Forever grateful for that gift, she’s hoping to give others the same boost. “This scholarship is my way of paying it forward,” she said. “I wanted to leave something good behind and the college was willing to work with me to make it happen.” In addition to her own contributions, Biglin has received support for her scholarship in the form of personal donations and matching gifts to help build up the fund, which has already surpassed the $10,000 minimum required for an endowed scholarship. “My nephew, Kyle Martinez, and I had previously set up a scholarship at San Diego State University in 2012, in memory of my sister,” she said. “Kyle also wanted to help out with my reading scholarship at SCC. With his donation, as well as a matching gift from his employer, Raytheon, the scholarship is already fully endowed and growing.”


Read, Learn & Travel Scholarship “R

eading changes lives,” said Karen Biglin, who has seen and experienced firsthand the many rewards of reading. Biglin, a faculty librarian at Scottsdale Community College, turned a lifelong love of books into a 37-year career as an academic librarian. “Reading expands one’s horizons and fosters a curiosity to discover the world – it is a gateway to travel and exploration,” she said.

To help foster a renewed appreciation for reading, books, and travel, and to support students in their quest for knowledge, she launched the Karen Biglin Read, Learn and Travel Scholarship for students at SCC.

Biglin worked with Charles Silver, director of Development at SCC, to create the scholarship, which is being administered by the college. The first three recipients of Biglin’s scholarship were named, with each student receiving $1,000.

Eligibility requirements for the Karen Biglin Read, Learn and Travel Scholarship include being enrolled at SCC with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. The application process entails submitting an essay describing a meaningful piece of writing – either a book or an article. Preferred candidates include current or former student library workers, not limited to the SCC library, and ESL students. A committee of SCC librarians will review applications and collectively choose the future scholarship recipients.

“I always thought that if I ever had the opportunity, I’d love to help,” said Biglin, who retired at the end of the Spring 2015 semester after 30 years at SCC. “I’ve worked with college kids my entire career. I see how hard some of these students work, sometimes holding down two jobs while going to school. This is my way of supporting them.”


Following the application review process, three Scottsdale Community College students have been awarded $1,000 from the ‘Karen Biglin Read, Learn and Travel’ Scholarship for the 15/16 academic year, so there are three students that are each to be awarded $1,000 ($500 for the fall semester of 2015 and $500 for the spring semester of 2016). The recipients are:

Esmeralda Arriaga | Vy Le | Alyssa French 10

If you would like to support student success at SCC, call Development Director Charles Silver at 480-423-6424.

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record-breaking 2,000-plus people, including students, faculty, staff and members of the community, attended this year’s presentations, exhibits, films and ceremonies during Genocide Awareness Week.

genocides. The monument, located on the east side of campus, includes the forget-me-not flower and the simple inscription “Not On Our Watch” that acknowledges victims as well as the need to prevent future genocides.


This year’s lineup had the usual moving and thought provoking presentations, as well as several special exhibits and events, including a somber remembrance and monument dedication on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24.

Also new this year was a two-month installation of the “Helene Berr, A Stolen Life” exhibit, which chronicles the short life of Berr, who is often referred to as the “French Anne Frank.” The exhibit was designed, created, and distributed by the Memorial de la Shoah in Paris, France. Berr was 21 “Every year is different,” when she began writing a said Professor John journal, which is published Liffiton, who coordinates as a book chronicling the Genocide Awareness Week turmoil and tragedy that at SCC each year. “This befell her and her family. year there was more focus She and her parents were on Armenia, because it’s eventually deported to Genocide Awareness monument timely with it being the Auschwitz in 1944, where 100-year anniversary of the dedication. they died in concentration Armenian Genocide.” camps. Berr died just days before British soldiers liberated her camp. To mark the anniversary, the Armenian community donated to SCC a On Day 1 of Genocide Awareness Week, permanent memorial monument the East Valley Jewish Community dedicated to the victims of all Center generously shared its WWII Rail Car, which has been preserved, not refurbished, and is an actual cattle car used to transport Jews to concentration camps. The rail car was accompanied by a pictorial exhibit with audio accounts from Holocaust survivors.

Holocaust survivor He

len Handler (r), with

author Valerie Foste


spent the entire morning talking to visitors about his rail car experience.

“I was nine years old when I was put into the cattle car with another 80 people,” Kalman said. “Imagine a hot summer day like this being shoved into the car, the door is locked, and there is no water, no toilet, no food no air. The air was the hardest because it was absolutely suffocating.”

Arme armenia Holodomor Holodom menia Liffiton said, “It’s important to have survivors to give first-hand information… first-person testimony, but, sadly, they’re not going to be around forever.”


“Hundreds of people went through the exhibit and it was very emotional,” said Liffiton.“A lot of people had tears in their eyes and were at a loss for words.”

A preserved rail car that transported Jews to Auschwitz.

Eighty-year-old George Kalman, a Hungarian who survived the Holocaust,

Armenian and other community members gathered on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide to dedicate the monument.


To inquire about sponsorship opportunies for Genocide Awareness Week 2016, please call Charles Silver at 480-423-6424.

Gehler honored by Scottsdale Chamber SCC President Jan Gehler received the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Segner Award at the 2015 Business Volunteer Awards breakfast in June. The annual event recognizes those who have gone above and beyond for Scottsdale and the Scottsdale Chamber. The Segner Award is named after the Chamber’s first board chairman, Wesley Segner, and honors the recipient’s contributions to and impacts on the Chamber’s success.

Congratulations Dr. Gehler!

design student wins rug contest

Seeing her winning design as a hand-tufted rug

for the first time brought joy and amazement to Joan Sleeth’s face – a moment shared with her 11-year-old daughter Hannah. Sleeth is the winner of the SCC Design School Rug Challenge, sponsored by Scottsdale-based Underfoot Luxury Showroom and the Feizy Rug Company. Sleeth’s design inspiration came while walking her dog when she noticed a wrought iron decorative sphere hanging from a neighbor’s tree. Hannah named the design “Evergreen.” Students in It's a great program SCC’s first~Joan Sleeth, about year Color SCC Interior Design. and Design class enter the contest each semester and about 800 local interior designers vote for the winning design, which is then hand-tufted at the Feizy manufacturing plant in India. “It’s such a great program,” said Sleeth, who plans to continue her education in Interior Design at SCC. “The instructors are more than qualified and the course content is right on, giving you everything you’ll need when you set out into the workforce.” Underfoot owner Gary Lester said the partnership with SCC is good business. “We like to interact with the students, introduce ourselves to them and hope they want to work with us in the future.”

with Dr. Jan Gehler


cottsdale Community College is on a ‘Quest for Success’ for reaffirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) that will culminate in a site visit by the HLC in January 2017. SCC President Jan Gehler answers questions about the process and the importance of accreditation to the college.


What does Reaffirmation of Accreditation mean?

A. SCC is currently accredited by the HLC, but accreditation is not a one-time stamp of approval. It is an ongoing quality review to ensure institutions of higher learning are fulfilling their mission. The HLC requires accredited higher education institutions to demonstrate, at regular intervals, through a formal process, that it is meeting – or exceeding – all of the criterion for accreditation.


What does the process entail?

A. The process has changed fairly recently and, we believe, the change is for the better. In the past, in preparation for the HLC site visit, the college would spend countless hours writing an exhaustive report and filling notebook after notebook with reams of paper documenting evidence of meeting the accreditation criterion. We still must prepare a report (limited to 35,000 words) – called the assurance argument – and provide evidence online to support our argument. The report is our opportunity to tell the SCC story and we look forward to it, as well as providing evidence of our commitment to student learning outcomes.


Why is accreditation important?

A. Accreditation is our seal of approval. It tells students that they are going to get a quality education from top instructors in an environment conducive to learning.

But, more than that, it ensures our students can qualify for financial aid. Only those institutions that are accredited by a US Department of Education-recognized accrediting organization are eligible to receive federal financial assistance for their students. Accreditation also: • Allows for credits earned at our institution to be transferred to another institution. • Confirms the rigor and quality of our courses to ensure that students are receiving a quality education. • Demonstrates to our community that their community college of the highest quality


What will be happening over the next two years on the journey to reaccreditation?

A. A committee, consisting of faculty, staff and administrators, has been meeting for several months already to begin the process of gathering evidence to support our assurance argument. There are five criterion that must be satisfied, and they are: Mission, Integrity, Quality, Evaluation and Planning. Each is made up of Core Components and Sub-Components, and SCC will be reaffirmed for accreditation if we are found to meet the Core Components, which we are confident we will. Throughout the process, we are keeping our campus community informed of the importance of reaccreditation and the process through a series of fun and informative events and activities, with a Raiders of the Lost Arc theme. When members of the HLC come for our site visit in January 2017, they will expect the campus community to be aware of and knowledgeable about reaccreditation.


What can the community do to support this process?

A. For now, I encourage you to visit our accreditation website, by going to our main homepage at and clicking the “Quest for Success” box. This will take you to the accreditation website, which is not only fun, but also loaded with much more detailed information about accreditation. Sometime next year, when our draft assurance argument is ready, we will be asking for the community to read the report and provide feedback.


with an income of $53,000 or less per year who will file electronically.


Scottsdale Community College and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) have partnered to establish a Tribal Court Advocacy Certificate Program beginning this fall. The program will provide a pipeline of persons trained to represent people in tribal courts. It will prepare students to become legal advocates with an understanding of how tribal courts operate, a broad knowledge of American Indian laws and code, and the tools to responsibly represent clients. Virgil Wade, a 20-year veteran in the SRPMIC Defense Advocate Office, was selected as the program’s director. Those interested in the program should contact Virgil Wade at 480-242-7843 or

TAX PREP ASSISTANCE PROGRAM GENERATES REFUNDS The first year for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at Scottsdale Community College was a rousing success, with SCC Accounting students filing more than 133 state and federal tax returns, and generating more than $127,253 in refunds for qualified taxpayers needing free tax preparation assistance. Faculty member Jim Simpson coordinated the effort to staff a VITA program on campus. The service is a partnership between SCC, the Valley of the Sun United Way and the IRS. It is open to all community members



“This touches on every part of the mission of SCC,” said Simpson. “It also gives our accounting students an opportunity to get real-world experience.”

A three-member team of Computer Information Systems students from Scottsdale Community College won the Green Data Center Challenge during the 2015 Avnet Tech Games.


The winning team members were Alba López Nájera, Matt O’Donnell and Cris Romero. Each received a $1,000 scholarship for their winning performance. Their faculty coaches were Ron Monroig and Dr. Sheila Brandt.

Blake Smith, aka DJ Ascension, did a fist pump as he crossed the stage during SCC’s 2015 Commencement Ceremony, celebrating his distinction as the first recipient of an Associate of Applied Science in Live Performance Disc Jockey Techniques. It’s a path he had not envisioned for himself 10 years ago, when he was poised to become a firefighter for the Show Low Fire Department in the northeast part of the state. Two weeks before he was set to receive his certificate in Fire Science from Northland Pioneer College he was a passenger in a car that crashed into a telephone pole after the driver lost control on ice, resulting in severe injuries and a long recovery process that changed his career path. Throwing himself into the DJ business, Smith learned about the DJ program at SCC while browsing the internet. In the fall of 2010 he began taking a class in turntablism from DJ Ruthless Ramsay, driving three and a half hours one way from his home in Show Low, AZ, to attend the class once a week. After that semester, he moved to Scottsdale and began taking more classes. In 2014, Smith became the first to earn the DJ Certificate. Now, he’s taken it a step further with his AAS degree. He also teaches a Digital DJ Techniques class at SCC with DJ Tranzit, a popular local DJ.

In the Green Data Center Challenge, teams presented their plans to design a green data center. The SCC team’s presentation included eco-friendly solutions, virtualization and location preference. There were four SCC teams among the 70 from Arizona community colleges and universities competing in various categories during the April 11 event at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, AZ.


Scottsdale Community College’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program has reached a transfer agreement with Grand Canyon University’s (GCU) Colangelo College of Business that will allow SCC students to transfer up to 71 credits to GCU’s Hospitality Management curriculum. GCU is launching its Hospitality Management degree this fall and SCC students entering the program will be among the first cohort to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management from the private, four-year school. “Our role is to provide our students with options,” said Larry Williams, director of SCC’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program. “Now we have another option to offer them.”


By the Numbers





25.6% Full-time



52.8% Female

74.4 % Part-time

• Culinary Arts • Film Production • Nurse Assisting • Editing

Top Occupational Degrees: • Nursing • Motion Picture/Television Production • Culinary Arts • Hospitality and Tourism/Hotel Management • Interior Design


13.0% online classes 71.4% day classes 15.6% evening classes


Top Occupational Certificates:

47.2% Male

79.1% of SCC students come from Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe. 91 international students from 35 countries




* Students may take more than one type of class

67% Faculty have master’s degrees 28% Faculty have doctorate degrees


PLANS Unknown 0.8%

Meet University Requirements 2.7%

Transfer Without Degree 9.3%

Learn or Improve Career Skills without Degree or Certificate 6.5% Enter or Advance in Job Market 18.7%

High School Dual Enrollment/Concurrent HS 12.3%

Transfer to Four-Year-College 34.8%

Personal Interest 14.8%


SCOTTSDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 9000 E. Chaparral Road Scottsdale, AZ 85256

The Maricopa Community Colleges are EEO/AA Institutions.

Save the date for these

upcoming events:





Aug. 28-Oct. 8 16th Annual Drawing Exhibition Sept. 12 4:00-7:00 p.m. Reception Oct. 11 3:30 p.m.

Saturday 10/10/15

Hall of Fame Induction Reception 4:00pm-5:00pm Turquoise Room

Tailgate Party 5:00pm-6:30pm Mercado

R.S.V.P. required. For more information call 480-423-6308

Sponsor: Pepsi

Pre-Game Ceremony 6:30pm Stadium

Artichokes vs Pima CC 7:00pm Kickoff Stadium

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Sponsorships available: Charles Silver, 480-423-6424

Art Building

Scottsdale Concert Band Saguaro High Portraits of America School Auditorium

Oct. 12-Dec. 11 Experimental Chinese Painting Show Oct. 17 4:00-7:00 p.m. Reception

Art Building

Kill Will: Fast & Furious Fight Scenes from Shakespeare

Oct. 16,17, 23 October 17,24

7:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m.

Nov. 14

4:00-7:00 p.m. Iron Pour Koji XI

PAC Art Building

Nov. 13,14,19,20 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14,21 2:00 p.m.

Addams Family – A New Musical


Dec. 4-5 8:00 p.m.

Images in Motion Fall Dance Concert


Dec. 7

7:30 p.m.

Jazz Showcase


Dec. 8

7:30 p.m.

Guitar Ensemble / Trombone Choir


Dec. 11

7:30 p.m.



Dec. 11,12 Dec. 12

2:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek

For all events at SCC visit:

Black Box at PAC

SCC Momentum Fall 2015  

Welcome to Scottsdale Community College's Fall 2015 issue of Momentum. Momentum is a community publication geared towards Scottsdale Communi...

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