Page 1

INSIDE SFCC S A N TA F E C O M M U N I T Y C O L L E G E | S P R I N G 2 0 1 5

Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Career


Biofuels Turns Energy into a Sustainable Career By Anthony Eagan, I-Best Coordinator

Luke Spangenburg, Assistant Director, Center of Excellence, Biofuels, inspects the photobioreactor for growing algae with students Mike Regensberg and Isaac Garcia. On the cover: Professional Engineer and Lab Consultant, Frank Currie, monitors an algae harvesting unit as the algae is dewatered for harvest.

Wanting to have a greater understanding of SFCC’s Biofuels Lab, I asked student August Honnell to take me on a tour. As I know very little about the science of renewable energy, I wondered whether my lack of knowledge would be problematic. “The beauty of this lab is that it makes the science come alive. I’ll show you,” August says.

We start with the Biodiesel Processor, where students and instructors make roughly 3,000 gallons of usable, quality fuel every year. This biodiesel, which powers several vehicles in SFCC’s fleet, is also available to employees and students for use in diesel cars. It burns 80 percent cleaner than gasoline made from fossil fuels. To create the biodiesel, students take used vegetable oil from the SFCC cafeteria, filter out the all the little chunks of French fries and onion rings and other food bits, and then pour the oil into a reservoir. Mixing the oil with methanol and potassium hydroxide causes a reaction that divides the vegetable fat into

“You can see that we’re learning how to close the energy loop,” August says with a smile. “People don’t think of waste as something valuable, but it is.” In fact, in the hands of students like August, waste is not even waste. Every gallon of converted oil is one more gallon that is kept out of our landfills where it could contaminate the Earth and its waterways. While students and faculty in the SFCC Biofuels Lab might not solve all of New Mexico’s environmental issues next week or next year, they are making progress and contributing daily to ecological improvement and sustainable energy cycles. To my surprise, there are no prerequisites to enter SFCC’s worldclass Biofuels Program. Students with little or no experience in biology or chemistry are as welcome as experts in the field. Everyone works and researches together — using the same tools. The hands-on experience creates a comfortable space for education in a way that textbooks and old-fashioned classrooms could never achieve. As I walk around the lab and hear about the different student and faculty projects, I can see that August is right, and that the lab is a place where nothing goes to waste — especially not knowledge. That is because the experience the students gain is applied to real-world solutions, and those solutions produce new learning experiences in an endless, productive loop. Speaking with August, admiring the water treatment tubes and complex machinery, I have the sudden urge to stop everything

“ I T D O E S N ’ T TA K E M U C H T O B E E N V I R O N M E N TA L LY F R I E N D LY. E V E R Y S I N G L E D AY, W E C A N A L L M A K E M O R E CO N S C I O U S C H O I C E S .” ~ August Honnell, SFCC Biofuels graduate glycerin and biodiesel. Like oil and water, the mixture separates slowly: The biodiesel rises to the top, and the glycerin sinks to the bottom. The pure diesel is then ready for use in engines, and the glycerin can be used to produce fertilizers or other convenient products. 2

Dobby Schmidt, Plant Operations and Maintenance, fills a vehicle with biofuel from the SFCC lab.

FEATURE and join the team of apprentices and professionals who are creating a better, cleaner future right before my eyes. It doesn’t take much to be environmentally friendly,” August says. “Every single day, we can all make more conscious choices. We can do one thing to be more carbon-neutral, like visit a farmer’s market instead of a supermarket, or take a bike to work instead of a car, or walk the 10 extra steps to a recycling bin.” For more information or to schedule a tour of the Biofuels Lab, email

SFCC RECYCLING FACTS • From July 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015, the campus collected more than 61,530 pounds of materials for recycling, including: • Plastics: 3,816 pounds • Aluminum: 726 pounds • Steel: 8,094 pounds • Paper: 9,910 pounds • Glass: 1,500 pounds • Cardboard: 38,986 pounds • All proceeds from campus recycling go directly to the SFCC Recycling Program Scholarship, benefiting students in the Sustainable Technology Program. • To date, the Recycling Program has raised $4,000, which was matched through the Title V Program for a total of $8,000. • In addition to paper, glass, aluminum and plastics 1 & 2, SFCC recycles plastics 3 through 7, steel and coffee cup lids, along with e-waste • SFCC also recycles cardboard and other materials from our partners at Bicycle Technologies International and other local businesses. • Non-meat kitchen scraps are recycled two ways: By worm composting and using an Ecovim, an environmental machine that dehydrates food waste. Vegetable peelings, eggshells and other scraps can be reduced by up to 90% in volume in hours, delivering a highly concentrated organic soil amendment that enriches the landscape and garden. For more information or to contribute your business’ recycling to the college, contact Recycling Clerk Patrick McCoy at 505-428-1670 or or Manager Emanuel Arnold at 505-428-1003 or

Pictured, (L-R) are Luke Spangenberg, head of SFCC’s Biofuels Center of Excellence, Congressman Ben Ray Luján, August Honnell, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, greenhouse management student Cheney Peak, Dean of Trades, Technology, Sustainability and Professional Studies Camilla Bustamante and President Randy Grissom. The group convened March 20 when Congressman Luján hosted a tour of the TATC for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who was visiting Santa Fe.

MEET AUGUST HONNELL Concurrent SFCC and High School Graduate August Honnell, one of nine recipients of the Santa Fe Institute’s 2015 Prize for Scientific Excellence, will graduate from college exactly five days before he graduates from high school. A seventeen-year-old student in the Biofuels Program at Santa Fe Community College, August is also a senior in The MASTERS Program, the charter high school on SFCC’s campus. On May 16 he will receive an Associate in Sustainable Technologies degree and a Certificate in Biofuels. On May 21 he will receive his high school diploma. As strange as this may sound, August does not think he is extraordinary. Instead, he attributes his recent personal and academic achievements to SFCC’s state-of-the-art Trades and Advanced Technologies Center, as well as to his engaging and considerate teachers and the flexible scheduling made available to him by the structure of dual-credit learning. “Without The MASTERS Program and the Trades and Advanced Technology Center, I would have dropped out of high school,” he says. 3

STUDENT VETERANS Veteran Carl J. Sutter loves his new job, which uses his SFCC business education to serve veterans. In January, he was promoted to Fiduciary Program Manager for the New Mexico Department of Veteran’s Services. Carl’s ambitions soared when he joined the Air Force in 2001, as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan escalated. He served as an avionics technician for six years. But he faced challenges when he returned to civilian life. “I was down and out, literally homeless with 90 bucks in my pocket, sleeping on couches and relying on friends,” Carl says. Not long after arriving in Santa Fe for a new start, he came to SFCC to study business, while working in the food industry. “At SFCC, so many people helped me out – even the president. They gave me encouragement and helped me connect to benefits,” Carl says.

VETERANS RESOURCE CENTER Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. West Wing, Lower Level, Room 302 505-428-1305 SFCC was ranked #1 “Best for Vets” Career and Technical College by Military Times and a “2015 Military Friendly School.” Come see for yourself what sets the center apart from the rest. Services provided include: • Information about Veterans Service Organizations • Assistance with VA Educational Benefit Enrollment • DD214 document retrieval • Advocacy for increasing veterans’ benefits • Computer workstations and Wi-Fi access • Work-study placement • Veteran-to-veteran mentoring and support • Community outreach • Scholarship information • Student Veterans of America organization.

After graduating with an A.A. in Business Administration in May 2014, Carl applied for the Governor’s Internship Program and worked for the Veteran’s Business Outreach Center, which prepared him for his next job as Executive Assistant to New Mexico Cabinet Secretary of Veteran’s Services. That job led to his current position. Carl encourages fellow veterans not to give up. “It can be hard, but keep your head up, no matter what happens. There are different organizations that can help, and people you can talk to. Don’t ever think you’re alone, because you’re not. There are a lot of us out there.” Right: Mayor Javier Gonzales (center) visited the Veterans Resource Center in April, with SFCC President Randy Grissom and Veterans Resource Specialist Greg Scargall.

SUN PATH Addresses Student and Employer Needs SUN PATH is not a new hiking trail in New Mexico. Believe it or not, the acronym stands for Skill Up Network: Pathways Acceleration in Technology and Healthcare. And more importantly, it is redesigning the way community colleges deliver healthcare education. SFCC is New Mexico’s lead institution on a nearly $15 million U.S. Department of Labor grant aimed at putting more New Mexicans to work in healthcare careers. Known as a TAACCCT grant, for Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training, the funds will provide education and training directly to the state’s unemployed or under-employed workers. SUN PATH is also strengthening the connection between education and the workforce, expanding career opportunities for veterans and low4

skilled adults, and better preparing students for success in the ever-growing healthcare industry. How does it work? Leaders of the SUN PATH consortium listen to employers and businesses to better identify areas where skills are needed. Armed with that information, community colleges develop academic programs and certificates to bridge the gap between what businesses want and how we educate our students. Another feature of SUN PATH is direct assistance to those students who need a boost improving basic academic skills so they can move more quickly through a degree or certificate program and on to college and career success.


Thanks to many individuals, businesses and organizations, the Santa Fe Community College Foundation continues to make strides in raising funds for student scholarships and special projects.

• SFCC Loves to Cook for Company The Culinary Arts Valentine’s Day fundraiser was a huge success. The Valentine’s-themed sumptuous fourcourse dinner raised more than $18,000, including a matching grant from the SFCC Foundation to support the Culinary Arts Study Abroad Program.

• There was much buzz on campus this spring created by the tasty gourmet lunch items served by SFCC culinary arts students out of the Street Food Institute food truck parked on campus. Thanks to the Simon Charitable Foundation, SFCC’s Culinary Arts department is now partnering with SFI, an entrepreneur-focused culinary program dedicated to inspiring the success of small, local businesses in New Mexico. Check SFI’s Facebook page and follow them at Twitter@Streetfood_NM to see when the truck will visit and to peruse exotic menu choices.

The SFCC Foundation Board of Directors and numerous volunteers invite you to help maintain the momentum. With that in mind, here are some highlights and some thoughts to consider: Double your dollars, now! It’s easy. But don’t wait. Now through September 30, 2015 individuals and groups have the opportunity to contribute to a Title V Endowed scholarship for Hispanic and lowincome students. This offers individuals and groups a real opportunity to help students reach their educational goals. That means an individual or group that can contribute $4,000 will have those dollars matched for an $8,000 named scholarship that will award funds to students in perpetuity. Don’t let this summer slip away without finding out how easy it is to establish a Title V Endowed scholarship. A good cross-section of our community has seized the opportunity to develop these special scholarships that benefit many first-generation college students. A group of Spanish Language continuing education students stepped up to create the ¡Adelante! Scholarship in honor of one of their teachers. Another group from the Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Community endowed a Title V scholarship. Families have pooled funds to endow a scholarship as a memorial to a loved one. It’s important to remember that nearly 800 students apply each year for only 300 available scholarships, so please consider making a special gift of a scholarship.

donated their Canyon Road gallery space to SFCC for several years. The space houses the Red Dot Gallery, a student-run gallery featuring SFCC student, faculty and staff members’ art. The Red Dot Gallery, 826 Canyon Road, is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday and is also available for fundraisers and other events. For more information, call 505-820-7338 or visit

Chef Michelle Chavez, Lead Instructor in the Culinary Arts program, gets ready for SFCC’s Valentine’s Day fundraiser.

Thanks to generous support by the Simon Charitable Foundation, student chefs (Cheflings) toured Italy with visits to cooking schools, olive and cheese producers and opportunities to meet with world-class chefs. The student-prepared menu, student servers and all the Cheflings created a romantic night to remember while showcasing their education and talents. • In-kind donations of equipment, artwork and even rental properties also support students through the SFCC Foundation. We’d like to thank Sandy Zane and Ned Bennett of Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, who have

• The McCune Foundation has donated $20,000 in support of Start Excellence: How to Open a Quality Early Childhood Center. This important grant will continue the strong momentum of the Brindle Foundation’s $500,000 challenge grant for an endowment to help initiate an Early Childhood Center of Excellence.

The SFCC Community mourns the passing of founding member Dr. James P. Miller. Since it was established in October 2010, more than $38,000 has been raised and matched for a total of nearly $77,000 for the Dr. James P. and Mrs. Mildred Miller, Sr. Title V Presidential Scholarship. 5

NOTEWORTHY Native American Week April 13-17 featured films, food, an arts and crafts market and dances. Here, the Hauku Buffalo Dance Group from Acoma Pueblo performs in the courtyard. Photo Clyde Mueller/ The New Mexican©

Film Crew students have been working on several TV series being shot in the Santa Fe area. Colleen Valentine is with “Longmire” and “Nightshift”; Karen Billard is working on“Gunslingers”; Sarah Elkins is a member of the “Gunslingers”crew; Maya Rose Tweten is also on “Gunslingers” and Brandyn Brady is with “Manhattan.” All of the students are getting valuable hands-on training as they practice their craft with the various film professionals in and around Santa Fe. Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Student Writing Competitions: Poetry: Winner: Marlana Bolger, Runners-Up: Holly Baldwin, Lorraine E. Leslie. Honorable Mentions: Noah Caswell-Levy, Lorraine E. Leslie; Hilary Craig, Kirstiann Bushman. Fiction: Winner: Carrie Morgan Cannella, Runner-Up: Rebecca Freeman, Honorable Mentions: Holly Baldwin, Hilary Craig. Personal Essay: Winner: Tyra Sandoval, Runner-Up: Jamie Graber, Honorable Mentions: Carrie Morgan Cannella, Cedric Griego. Academic Essay: Winner: Aida Wester, Runner-Up: Aida Wester, Honorable Mentions: Jennifer Grogg, Jennifer Grogg. Students in the Paramedic Program experienced hands-on extraction training thanks to the Santa Fe and Los Alamos Fire Departments. They practiced using the “Jaws of Life” and other sophisticated state-of-the-art tools to learn how to remove patients from vehicles that have been in serious accidents.

GOVERNING BOARD ELECTIONS Santa Fe Community College’s Governing Board installed new members and elected officers at its regular monthly meeting on April 21. The meeting began with the swearingin of new members Pablo Sedillo and Jack Sullivan and re-elected member Linda Siegle. The officers were elected as follows: Martha Romero, Chair; Kathy Keith, Vice Chair; Pablo Sedillo, Secretary; Linda Siegle and Jack Sullivan, members.


Interim Director of Teacher Education Dawn Wink’s article “Freedom Within Structure: Practices for Teacher Sustainability, Efficacy, and Emergent Bilingual Student Success.” was recently published in Research on Preparing Inservice Teachers to Work Effectively with Emergent Bilinguals (Advances in Research on Teaching, Volume 24) edited by David and Yvonne Freeman, (Emerald Press). Leadership from 11 area tribes came to the college to sign a new agreement for financial aid for Native students. SFCC is the first and only two-year college to offer these special tribal scholarships, which allows for one full-time tuition waiver or two-part-time tuition waivers for each participating pueblo, tribe or nation. 6

From left: SFCC Governing Board Linda Siegle, Kathy Keith, Jack Sullivan, Dr. Martha Romero, Pablo Sedillo and SFCC President Randy W. Grissom.

Frances Rodriguez, Ph.D. from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor Bernadette Jacobs, Ph.D., LPCC from Associate Professor to Professor Kathleen Finn-Brown from Associate Professor to Professor

RETIREMENTS Congratulations to Donald Kerr Paul Jacobs Helen Bransford

WERS Team Wins Sustainability Award


Director of the Center of Excellence, New Mexico Energy$mart Academy Amanda Hatherly was part of the Water Efficiency Rating Score’s Development Team, which won a Sustainable Santa Fe Award for developing an accurate and flexible tool to drive water conservation in measurable ways. The award was given on April 8.

Design Competition Winners The innovative design work of SFCC students was showcased at the 2015 Santa Fe Home Show Student Design Competition at the Santa Fe Convention Center. Winners received cash prizes from the Public Service Company of New Mexico. Congratulations to the award recipients: Interior Design: First, Roksanda Nikolic; Second, Arjun Bhakta; Third, Lynn Loya Architecture: First, Charlotte McKeman; Second, Ronald E. James Jr.; Third, Design Team: Arjun Bhakta, Clara Khalsa, Rachel Patty, Antonio A. Rael, Danny Valdez, Chris Vigil Wood Carving/Wood Turning: First, Alex Meyer; Second, Norma Evans; Third, Alex Reinhardt Fine Woodworking: First, Viola Lechner; Second, Michael Klosterman, Third; Anastasia Docherty Sculpture: First, Colin Barker; Second, Michael Hoffer; Third, Doug Hall People’s Choice Award: Michael Klosterman (Fine Woodworking Project). Special thanks goes to the Santa Fe Area Homebuilders Association, the sponsor of the show.

Destini Duran, center, with models wearing designs from her clothing line.

New Mexico Fashion Week Alumna Destini Duran debuted her Tower of Blue Collection at New Mexico Fashion Week in March. Destini graduated in May 2014 with an Associate of Applied Arts in Fashion Design. She continues to design for her clothing line Destinista Fashions, while also studying exercise science. Destini says, “Ezra Estes (program head of Fashion Design) has been a major influence on my designs and in my life. He continues to support me and give me feedback.” The 22-year-old adds, “I can’t believe that when I started I could not even sew and now I’ve produced a 25-piece collection. I’m proud of what I accomplished.” Albuquerque’s Weekly Alibi wrote, “The Santa Fe Community College student designs SFCC students Lucas “edgy, sophisticated” ready-to-wear Buck and Yuri Findlay were and high-fashion evening looks for named to the 2015 New Mexico her clothing line Destinista Fashions, All-State Academic Team. Phi in her hometown of Española.” Theta Kappa and the New Mexico Independent Community College Fashion Design student Melissa Association sponsors the recognition, Dulanto also had her designs which includes a full tuition showcased during Fashion Week as scholarship to one of the state’s the featured student designer. public universities. Both Lucas and Yuri plan to pursue bachelor’s degrees at the University of SFCC’s YouthBuild students (left) built New Mexico . a 1260-square foot, three-bedroom home that was transported in March to its permanent home in the city. YouthBuild@SFCC is funded through the U.S. Department of Labor to provide at-risk youth, ages 16 to 24, free classes and training in a yearlong, comprehensive program. Students work toward a GED and earn certification in construction technologies at the same time. 7

Nonprofit Organization US Postage PAID Santa Fe Community College

6401 Richards Ave. Santa Fe, NM 87508-4887


S A N TA F E CO M M U N I T Y CO L L E G E Empower Students, Strengthen Community. Empoderar a los estudiantes, Fortalecer a la comunidad.

GRADUATION for the Class of 2015 is Saturday, May 16 at 2 p.m. at the Santa Fe Indian School Pueblo Pavilion.

Success that works for


Inside SFCC

Published by Santa Fe Community College President and Governing Board Randy W. Grissom President Dr. Martha G. Romero Chair Kathleen Keith Vice Chair Pablo Sedillo Secretary Linda Siegle Member Jack Sullivan Member Willie Torres Longo Ex-officio Student Member Produced by SFCC’s Marketing and Public Relations Department. Janet Wise, Executive Director

Be ready for success with a certificate or degree from SFCC!


Writing & Editing: Janet Wise, Jennifer Bleyle, Emily Drabanski, Tony Eagan, Meg Lenzer, Devon Hawks Ludlow, Laura J. Mulry


Design & Layout: Fabian West, Jeffrey Atwell

Tuition is just $44.50 per credit, and over 70 high-quality programs are available. Plus, with the new Higher Education Center, you can continue your education all the way through to a bachelor’s degree or higher!

Go to or visit the campus to see an adviser.

Photos: Jane Phillips, Dorothy Perez y Piriz, Mac Read

Opt in to receive Inside SFCC electronically at

Inside SFCC: Spring 2015  

News and information about Santa Fe Community College students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Inside SFCC: Spring 2015  

News and information about Santa Fe Community College students, faculty, staff and alumni.