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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 U M M E R 2 0 1 6

In this issue

On the Frontier of Science and Design Disability Services Fashion, and more ...


On the Frontier of Science and Design Students Get Hooked on STEM

While their peers are enjoying a summer break, Adriel Martinez Alvarez, Victoria Hypes and Willie Lopez are working as paid interns at Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL). It’s an experience they’ll never forget. “I am working in a lab conducting research on developing gelderived microbeads in microfluidics systems,” Martinez Alvarez, 19, said. “I like that I can get the true working experience. I am treated like a contributing member of my team. The mentors are very helpful. If I run into a problem, I come to them and they are sure to help me. We all know we are here to work together to reach a single goal. So it is imperative that we work as a team.” Hypes, 19, said her internship is gratifying and interesting. “My work involves developing miniaturized human organs to understand human disease conditions. I’m working toward finding the best materials for the membrane contained in the tissue-engineered lung chip. I’ll be performing experiments to determine which materials are most compatible with biological substrates. The best thing about my internship is the opportunity to work on such a unique project.” Lopez, 27, also appreciates gaining new knowledge. “The technologies I’m learning are how to go about designing pumps Above: Adriel Martinez Alvarez and mentor Pulak Nath. Left: Willie Lopez. Below: Victoria Hypes with Ayesha Arefin Tampa. Photos courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The internships were made possible by a National Science Foundation grant held by New Mexico Tech with the purpose of bringing more community college students into STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Willie Lopez graduated from SFCC with Associate of Science degrees in General Engineering and Physical Science and will major in electrical engineering at New Mexico Tech this fall. Hypes earned her A.S. in Biological Science, General Engineering and Physical Science and will continue at NM Tech with further studies in biology and biochemistry. Martinez Alvarez already has for microfluidics and what they are needed for. Also, there is a ton of biological applications from microfluidics that I’m learning about.” The interns’ primary mentor, Pulak Nath, Ph.D., said, “Not only is this program giving the students the opportunity to work in our laboratories, but it is also giving us the opportunity to work with them. Working with students is always refreshing! I am already impressed with their academic training, enthusiasm to learn and the ability to contribute.” Nath leads the Magnetics, Microfluidics and Miniaturization Lab in the Applied Modern Physics Group at LANL. The focus of his research is to develop and utilize magnetics, microfluidics and miniaturization tools for a range of applications that support LANL’s mission in public health and global security. 2

HALF OF ALL STEM JOBS DON’T REQUIRE A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE AND PAY AN AVERAGE OF $53,000. STUDENTS WHO EARN A BACHELOR’S DEGREE CAN EARN $70,000 TO $90,000. an A.S. in Biological Sciences, but will return to SFCC this fall to complete his associate in computer science. The LANL-based program is just one of several initiatives that placed students with mentors this summer. A steadily growing number of SFCC students are exploring potential careers in STEM-related fields. Getting hands-on STEM experience is what both SFCC’s Director of STEM Phyllis Baca and Chair of Sustainable Trades and Technologies Stephen Gómez, Ph.D., advocate for engaging students in STEM. Baca says she never asks students, ‘Do you like math?’ Instead she asks, ‘Do you like to solve problems?’ And if the answer is yes, she tells them they would make a good engineer.

In Baca’s engineering classes, students get hands-on experience on engineering design projects right away. “I find that students embrace the problems and enjoy working on a solution. We use a 3-D printer to produce our design solutions so the students see results.” Gómez said it’s the lab work that draws students into what he calls Stealth-STEM. “Most students re-entering the community college do not want an ‘education.’ What they want is a goodpaying stable job,” he says. “A first semester biofuels student might say, ‘I don’t need biology to learn how to make biofuel’ or a hydroponics student might ask, ‘Why do I need chemistry? I just want to grow plants.’ But once they start working in the lab, they see what’s needed and ask about math and science classes.” STEM jobs are good-paying jobs. According to the national STEM Education Coalition, half of all STEM jobs don’t require a four-year degree and pay an average of $53,000. Students who earn a bachelor’s degree can earn $70,000 to $90,000. No wonder more SFCC students look toward STEM as the right path for a rewarding and productive career.


From “Setback to Setup”: Disability Services Supports Success Many on campus know George Esquibel, 48, a popular volunteer tutor for both TRiO services and the YouthBuild program. But what some don’t know is that he’s legally blind and is pursuing associate degrees in both Human Services and Business Administration. Esquibel loves his studies at the college. But he said it would never have been possible without the encouragement of his family, as well as all of the support that he receives from SFCC’s Disability Services. Esquibel had a good paying job at UPS in 2012 when at age 44 he lost his central vision as a result of Stargardt Disease, a type of macular degeneration. “I knew I wanted an education so I could find a way to serve my community. I have a saying, ‘My setback is simply a setup for me to come back strong. That’s the power of optimism.” “The first step was probably the hardest – that’s asking for help. So I like to share my story because so many others could benefit from Disability Services,” Esquibel said. In addition to advising, here are some of the ways that Esquibel says Disability Services has assisted him in pursuing his dreams: • A digital voice recorder • A stipend for a note taker for classes. (He receives a copy of everything written on the board.) • Access to a CCTV/video magnifier (materials can be placed under the camera and an enlarged text image is displayed

on the monitor. The user can adjust the zoom as well as other features such as change colors to highlight text or bring out the background. The technology is essential for him to take his exams. • In addition to the CCTV magnifier, a reading appliance allows him to put any textbook under the camera and then, through digital technology, that page can then be read aloud to him. “I could have never accomplished so much at the college without the assistance of Disability Services,” Esquibel said. He added with a smile, “Of course, even with the technology I wouldn’t have succeeded without putting in the work.” Like many incoming students he said he first “feared math.” But with hard work, he’s not only conquered his fear but also has been able to tutor others. “I love school and can now say I love math. I tell other students, ‘If I can do this, I know you can, too.’ ” Disability Services offers a variety of resources and adaptive technology. For more information, visit services or call 505-428-1711. 3


Ezra Estes

Assistant Professor, Fashion Design Program Head, and Co-Chair of the Arts and Design Department A conversation with Ezra Estes is infused with his love of fashion as well as his drive to motivate his students to work hard and be their best. Here are highlights of a recent interview.


What brought you to teaching at the college? A: I was participating as a designer in Santa Fe Fashion Week when I met this vibrant redhead wearing a red riding coat [Mechele Hesbrooke, former head of SFCC’s Fashion Program] who said, “I want you to be a part of our program at the college.” So I soon signed up for classes. When I ran into her, she smiled and said, “I don’t think there’s much that we can teach you. I want you to come out and teach here.” But I did complete the portfolio class, advanced draping and pattern making. It was a good experience to see what’s expected of students. Then she insisted I become a member of the faculty in 2006. From there I went on to be the Fashion Program Head in 2011 and then Program Head for Performing Arts in 2012.


What were you doing before you came to the college? A: I learned how to be a tailor when I apprenticed with my grandmother as a teen. When I was 17, I was working as an independent tailor while still in school. I finished a design degree [at Eastern New Mexico University]. I worked a lot with production, pattern making, fashion illustration and sales. On the national scene, I worked for GAP and Sherman Williams. Locally, I worked as a tailor for Robert Bailey before I opened my own fashion/design business in 1990. I still have a studio.


How do you prepare students for the industry? A: Besides offering the skills, I’ve got to make sure they always design and deliver their best work. This is a very tough business. If you miss a deadline in the real world, you’re out. You’ve got to be


able to deliver your work on time. Also, fabrics are expensive and can’t be wasted. I always tell my students while there are millions to be made in the fashion business, there are also millions that can be lost.


Where do your students come from and what kind of jobs do they land?

A: People hear about our program through word-of-mouth and exposure through events such as Santa Fe Fashion Week. I’ve had many students come from out of state to study here. Recent graduate Richard Blake moved here from Atlanta and Ebbie [Elsbeth] Edmonston came from Phoenix. Last semester we had a student who is originally from

Ethiopia named Etaqu Wondimu, and she introduced her cultural influences and textiles. We’ve had a student, Paola Palacias, from Chihuahua, Mexico, who is attending FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York). And the last time I checked Facebook she was working as a brand manager in the Fashion District of Manhattan. Last spring, fashion designer Orlando Dugi (Diné/Navajo) started taking classes. Orlando and I have shown together at several Santa Fe Fashion Weeks. I think he saw the work I was personally producing, and the work SFCC students were producing. It was an aha! moment. He’s always been self-taught. He is very talented, and will certainly cause current students to step

SFCC Foundation Establishes College’s First Endowed Chair “Early childhood education is so important because you are preparing future generations for higher education and giving students the tools they need, not just to get a job but the tools for life,” said Cabinet Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Barbara Damron. “Santa Fe Community College understands that.” Secretary Damron was the keynote speaker at a recent SFCC Foundation luncheon to celebrate the achievement of a $1.5 million endowment. The SFCC Foundation established the fund to permanently support the director position of the Early Childhood Center of Excellence, guaranteeing the longevity needed to influence real change. ECCOE is the college’s statewide initiative to transform New Mexico’s workforce through quality early childhood education. Dr. Jennifer Duran Sallee currently serves as the director. The new endowment is comprised of significant donations from several sources including Brindle Foundation, Thornburg Foundation and the New Mexico Higher Education Endowment Fund, which provided 2 to 1 matching funds.

up their game. I’m already prepping him to go on to FIT, and then Paris, for further fashion education. [Dugi’s fashions are part of the Native Fashion Now exhibition at the Portland Art Museum through Sept. 24. See his designs at] We’ve also had many students from the region go on to work or study in fashion. Destini Duran is working locally with her designs. Santiago Ulibarri, a student who was concurrently enrolled at St. Mike’s [high school] received associate degrees in Business and in Fashion. He went to Paris where he interned with Louis Vuitton. Hanna Anderson of Albuquerque is now working in merchandising for Anthropologies.

“For too long our state has struggled to address issues of early childhood education as well as workforce preparedness,” said SFCC President Randy W. Grissom. “With this endowed chair – rare for a community college – the ECCOE partner colleges, its supporters, the State and SFCC are demonstrating that we are committed to a long-term investment in our children to prepare them for a secure future. This will have far-reaching, secure ramifications throughout New Mexico.” In her remarks, Secretary Damron noted the importance and impact of early childhood education on the success of future college students. She also emphasized the crucial role community colleges play in educating the state’s early childhood teachers.

Pictured (L to R): Cabinet Secretary Dr. Barbara Damron, ECCOE Director Dr. Jennifer Duran-Sallee and SFCC President Randy Grissom.

Last year, Governor Susana Martinez signed the Higher Education Endowment Act, which enables public college and universities in New Mexico to apply for matching funds to support programs that improve higher education and job training in New Mexico. “(ECCOE) is a perfect example of what we want to be doing in higher education,” said Damron. “This truly is a model for improving early childhood education in our state.” The Early Childhood Center of Excellence is dedicated to enhancing all aspects of early childhood through a five-fold approach: • Provide affordable high-quality education and professional development through multiple tracks and opportunities; • Demonstrate and replicate highquality early childhood services through Kids Campus; • Support new and existing early childhood businesses to function at the highest quality with sustainable business models; • Advocate for policies and funding to support the sector and invest in children and early childhood development. For more information on ECCOE, contact Dr. Duran-Sallee at 505-428-1321 or 5



Heidi Weingart, director of Advising and First Year Experience, was recently elected to the board of directors for Musical Theatre Southwest, which supports and educates the community through artistic collaboration. SFCC Associate Professor of Psychology Bruno Gagnon, Ph.D., was named University of New Mexico’s 2015-2016 Online Teacher of the Year. The award acknowledges excellence in the challenging teaching and learning arena of online distance education. Adjunct faculty member Annette M. Rodriguez won the Catherine Prelinger Award from the Coordinating Council for Women in History. The award, named for Catherine Prelinger, is intended to enhance the work of a contemporary scholar whose academic path has not followed a traditional path. Ms. Rodriguez dropped out of her New Mexican high school her junior year, later obtained a GED and in her 30s returned to school to complete a B.A. and an M.A. She is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Brown University.

SFCC helped celebrate Santa Fe Pride this year with a float sponsored by the Center for Diversity and Integrated Learning. The float proved to be a crowd favorite with dance music streaming from the SFCC truck. Thanks to Emily Stern, Coordinator of SFCC’s Center for Diversity and Integrated Learning for organizing our participation!

Class of 2016 Commencement Congratulations to SFCC’s Class of 2016! This year, 745 graduates earned 892 degrees and certificates. Of those, 119 received more than one degree. The youngest graduate is 17, while the oldest is 76. Popular cartoonist Ricardo Caté (Kewa/Santo Domingo) provided the keynote at the commencement ceremony on May 14. The only Native American cartoonist in daily publication, his cartoons are known for their wry, poignant humor. Graduate Kyle Pacheco (Kewa/Santo Domingo), who received an Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts, provided the student remarks. In addition, Antonieta Portillo, 17, also spoke. She graduated with a Certificate of Academic Transfer from SFCC one week before her graduation from The MASTERS Program, a high school located on the SFCC campus. See more photos at


Art and About More than 25 community partners offered information to veterans seeking housing options from emergency housing to permanent residency at the Veterans Housing Forum last spring. “It’s time for all of us to give our compassion, show our cariño (love) for all veterans,” Mayor Javier Gonzales said. Pictured: Mayor Javier Gonzales, SFCC Board Member Jack Sullivan, SFCC President Randy W. Grissom, SFCC Foundation Board Member Kenneth Dettelbach (Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 996), members of the VVA Chapter 996 who participated in the Color Guard presentation and SFCC Veterans Resource Specialist Gregory Scargall.

Photography Head Will Wilson’s work is currently showing at the Portland Art Museum in the exhibit Contemporary Native Photographers and the Edward Curtis Legacy. His student Kali Spitzer has her own show at the Portland Art Museum. When the curator came out last year to discuss the show with Wilson, he invited her to the college’s student-run Red Dot Gallery where she saw Kali’s work and invited her to show in PAM’s new Center for Contemporary Native Art.

The SFCC Governing Board has elected new officers. Pictured, from left, Linda Siegle, Member; Kathleen Keith, Chair; Jack Sullivan, Secretary; Dr. Martha G. Romero, Member; Pablo Sedillo, Vice Chair; and President Rancy W. Grissom. Mark Konda will serve as Student Ex-Officio Member.

Matthew Bunkowski, Financial Adviser, Morgan Stanley and Board Member of the Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance, presented a check in the amount of $17,400 to President Randy Grissom for the Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance LGBTQ Title V Presidential Endowed Scholarship. SFHRA’s contribution brings the total to $59,600—one of the larger endowed scholarships at the SFCC Foundation. For information about this and other scholarships at SFCC, contact Scholarship Coordinator Meghan McGarrity at 505-428-1281 or Dr. Bernadette Jacobs has been appointed Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and of the School of Arts, Design, and Media Arts. Dr. Camilla Bustamante has been appointed Dean of the School of Trades, Technology, Sustainability and Professional Studies and of the School of Business and Education. Jeremy Lovato has been named Chief Information Officer.

Kalli Spitzer (Kaska Dena/Jewish; Canadian, b. 1987), Sasha LaPoint II, 2014, image courtesy of artist

The Visual Arts Gallery currently features more than 120 pieces from students in Architectural Design, Book Arts, Ceramics, Drawing, Fashion Design, Fine Woodworking, Glass, Jewelry, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Santero Carving and Sculpture. The exhibit continues through Aug. 17.

Alumna Cindy Nava’s article After 15 Internships, I Can Finally be Hired for Wages was recently featured on the Huffington Post Blog. Nava is finishing a master’s degree at the University of New Mexico. 7

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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.

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Published by Santa Fe Community College President and Governing Board Kathleen Keith Chair Pablo Sedillo Vice Chair Jack Sullivan Secretary Dr. Martha G. Romero Member Linda Siegle Member Mark Konda Student Ex-officio Produced by SFCC’s Marketing and Public Relations Department Executive Director: Janet Wise Writing & Editing: Jennifer Bleyle, Emily Drabanski, Todd Eric Lovato, Laura J. Mulry, Janet Wise Design & Layout: Fabian West

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Inside SFCC Summer 2016  
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