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 4
Natural Sparks Interim President Randy Grissom brings new ideas and fresh energy to SFCC
New Leader Powered by Natural Sparks By Janet Wise
Randy Grissom has traveled a long and winding road to get to his latest assignment at Santa Fe Community College. As Interim President through July 2015, this is the sixth and highest position he’s held at the college, where he started in 1983. Like a great number of today’s college presidents, Grissom’s route to the top job has followed a zigzag pattern, mostly focusing on the business side of academia. However, his MBA from Texas Christian University also made him attractive to private industry, and he has held several positions well outside the campus boundaries. On campus, Grissom is known as the spark plug that’s ignited many of the college’s best ideas. Jokingly, he boasts of his first SFCC job. “I taught the very first class ever at the college,” Grissom laughs. “It was an accounting class that started at 7:30 a.m. All the others started at 8, so I had a half-hour head start.” Shortly into his tenure as an instructor, his boss, the head of the Business and Occupations Division, moved away. Grissom was quickly promoted into the slot, which at the time was equivalent to a Dean’s position. Soon thereafter, he wrote the successful proposal to create the statewide New Mexico Small Business Development Center. Today, that program thrives, continuing to help local businesses get started and be successful. Ten years later in 1994, greener pastures called to the ambitious administrator, and he left SFCC for a job outside academia. But somehow the charm of New Mexico’s capital calls certain people back again and again. This would happen for Randy Grissom not once but twice more in his career. Bouncing back to the campus in 2003, Grissom accepted a year-long appointment as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Administrative Services before once again skipping
The Center of Excellence in Biofuels is a popular stop for dignitaries such as U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, shown here with Center Director Luke Spangenburg and Randy Grissom.
town, this time to become a vice president for the Maui Land & Pineapple Company. Finally, in 2008, SFCC hooked the entrepreneurial Grissom for good. A new $7.5 million Trades and Advanced Technologies facility was slated to be built on the south side of campus, and someone with experience in higher education start-ups was needed to get curricula going. The challenge fit Grissom to a “T.” “I’ve always been attracted to new ideas, new ways of doing things. Here was an opportunity to get some basic trades programs going, but with a focus on the new green jobs and emerging green technologies. I was really excited about it.” Before long, Grissom seeded classes in biofuels, green building, solar energy, plumbing, HVAC and welding. The college began getting noticed for its leadership in sustainability education. Skillfully managing the sizable building and its many programs under the title of Dean of Economic and Workforce
“ I ’ V E A LWAY S B E E N AT T R A C T E D T O N E W I D E A S , N E W WAY S O F D O I N G T H I N G S . H E R E WA S A N O P P O R T U N I T Y T O G E T S O M E B A S I C T R A D E S P R O G R A M S GOING, BUT WITH A FOCUS ON THE NEW GREEN JOBS AND EMERGING GREEN T E C H N O LO G I E S . I WA S R E A L LY E XC I T E D A B O U T I T.” ~ Randy Grissom, SFCC Interim President 2
FEATURE Development/Director of the Sustainable Technologies Center, Grissom continued to spark new ideas, attract funding and form partnerships with various industries. But in July 2013, the industrious Dean was asked to fill the post of Vice President for Academic Affairs. And just as a sudden vacancy had catapulted the young Grissom into his first SFCC management job back in ’83, yet another opportunity was on the horizon.
“ I T H I N K YO U H AV E T O L E A D BY E X A M P L E A N D YO U H AV E T O A G R E E T O TA K E S O M E R I S K . YO U N E E D T O D E M O N S T R AT E T H AT YO U C A N FA I L AT S O M E P O I N T I N T I M E , G E T PA S T I T A N D L E A R N F R O M M I S TA K E S .”
“Right now, I think what we need most is a stabilizing force, to look back at some of the things that have worked well for the college. I think we need to bring the campus together to work on policy issues. I’ve always felt that the success of shared governance, no matter how you define it, is having open, two-way communications. We need that participatory approach.”
“I think you have to lead by example and you have to agree to take some risk. You need to demonstrate that you can fail at some point in time, get past it and learn from mistakes,” he says.
~ Randy Grissom, SFCC Interim President
Last November, the college’s Governing Board placed its president on administrative leave. Randy Grissom was again asked to step up to the plate and into a position where challenge and opportunity would be the rule. Again, he feels right at home. “I embrace change instead of being afraid of it. A quote often attributed to Robert F. Kennedy has always inspired me: “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” And what exciting new things is the new Interim President most likely to dream up?
Under Grissom, budgeting decisions will closely align with the college’s strategic plan, and student success initiatives will get considerable attention. He’s in the president’s office now, but don’t expect the amiable Grissom to stray too far from students. “As Dean, I enjoyed advising students. I saw many who were suddenly unemployed, then came to the college, into the trades and green jobs programs. For these students, and others, SFCC is hope, a pathway to a job or to starting a business. It’s gratifying to me to talk to people who had the courage to come back to school. I love sitting down and talking to them about what they really want to do, and helping them to lay out a sequence so they can see a game plan. And then to see the completion – it’s the icing on the cake.” “I also love seeing SFCC grow from a college that delivers educational programs and training to one where students are involved, more than ever, in applied research,” he continued. “In the old days people said ‘you don’t do research at a community college.’ But that’s not true. Students are in the real world, doing scientific research tied to their curriculum, right here at SFCC. I’m real excited about these opportunities.” Someday, Grissom will slow down and get back to another of his passions: cooking. But for the foreseeable future, he wants to put every ounce of his energy into steering the city’s foremost learning incubator forward. “We must remember we are Santa Fe Community College,” he stressed. Campus insiders know that Grissom’s student-centered philosophy is nothing new. But those who know him are a little surprised to encounter one unfamiliar aspect of the entrepreneur’s new identity. “I’ve always had a bit of a cluttered desk. But this is the president’s office, so I’m making an effort to keep things neatly in drawers and cabinets,” he admitted. Inquiring minds can be reassured, however: for Randy Grissom, the spark of new ideas will continue to run free.
When Grissom was Dean of Economic and Workforce Development and head of the Sustainable Technologies Center, he showed off the college’s biomass system to visiting leaders from North Korea.
Carmen Angel realizes a lifelong dream It wasn’t an easy path for Carmen Angel, MSN, RN to become SFCC’s Director of Nursing Education and Allied Health. It wasn’t a direct path either. But it was a rewarding one.
Born in Las Vegas, NM, the second oldest of eight children, Carmen’s family moved to Santa Fe when she was young. She went to Santa Fe High School, but she wasn’t Carmen Angel, Director allowed to finish. “It was the era,” says Carmen. “Education was not a big of Nursing Education and deal for my parents; survival was more Allied Health important.” She and her older sister left high school to work to support the family. Over time, Carmen realized how much finishing high school meant to her. She earned a GED, but family considerations prevented any thought of going to college. Marriage and a family of her own further postponed hope of continuing her education until later in life. At 19, her mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer. The radium treatments fascinated Carmen, and provided the first seeds of inspiration to a calling as a nurse. “I wanted to know more. I thought, if I was a nurse I could do that,” she recalls. However, her future as a nurse educator would still have to wait.
Waiting tables at Denny’s and selling furniture, Carmen’s hours were dedicated to supporting her son and herself. Finally, a good friend who was working in the Small Business Development Office offered a spark of inspiration. “She literally took me by the hand and walked me in the door,” says Carmen. “The Women in Transition program was my first introduction to SFCC. It changed my life, and I knew I could do the things I always wanted to do. It put me on track to become a nurse educator.” To achieve her goal, Carmen went to school full time while working as a nursing assistant at St. Vincent Hospital. “I was a single mother working nonstop. Out of sheer need I made it,” she says. “I tell my students, ‘I know it’s hard. I know it feels you will never get through it. But the outcome will benefit you, your family and the community. And will be totally worth it!’” When Carmen earned her master’s she became a full-time SFCC faculty member. Most recently, Carmen was named director of Nursing Education and Allied Health. “One of the things that people don’t understand is why you choose to be a nurse educator when you could earn a much higher salary working as a clinical nurse,” notes Carmen. “I took a big pay cut, but I have never been happier. It’s not about the money; it’s about making a difference, being happy.” What motivates Carmen is personal: She sees a deficit in the number of Hispanic women in the nursing field. “I always get a response from students when I tell them I am an SFCC graduate. I think it is so important for them to know that diversity is a huge part of SFCC. I can be a role model,” she says. “I can tell them, ‘I know what you are going through. I have to write papers and work and study and I feel your pain. I am living it.’ I think that makes a difference and reassures them.” “My husband says I have been in fifth gear for 10 years,” she jokes. The unstoppable nurse educator continues to share her joy of teaching with the challenges of being a student. And SFCC’s aspiring nurses, and the college itself, come out the winners.
EARN A NURSING BSN AT SFCC SFCC and New Mexico State University have teamed up to train nursing students to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree at SFCC - without leaving Santa Fe. The program begins this summer at SFCC. Students will still be able to choose to earn an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing; however, by taking one extra semester of nursing courses they can earn both an AAS from SFCC and a BSN from NMSU.
Training nurses is about making a difference, according to Carmen Angel. Now nursing students at SFCC can earn both an associate degree and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing through New Mexico State University – without leaving Santa Fe.
Recently reaccredited until 2022, SFCC’s nursing program upholds rigorous quality standards, and its graduates are highly desirable candidates in a variety of health care settings. For information, contact Carmen Angel, MSN, RN, Director of Nursing Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supporting Santa Fe’s Remarkable Resource Bob Nurock has helped many people become wealthy, either as a financial adviser, through his appearances on Wall Street Week, or as a lecturer at a number of prestigious universities. He now is supporting Santa Fe Community College’s financial future by including the college in his estate plans. He made a bequest of funds to the college for general support, as well as a generous gift of his book collections on financial investment, art and Santa Fe to support the SFCC Library. Items from this donation will be identified as the “Bob Nurock Gift.” Bob was drawn from Philadelphia to Santa Fe 19 years ago by its art culture. It’s a classic story. “I came here for three days and fell in love with it and bought a piece of land, where I built a house,” he said. An avid collector most of his adult life, Bob has retired from that pursuit. “My walls are now filled with art,” he said. “There’s not room for more.” But that was the point. Bob pursued art “purely from the heart,” he said. “I never thought of art as an investment. Some people buy art hoping for the best. The best, for me, was to look at it and enjoy it.” Bob also volunteered for the Museum of New Mexico Foundation (serving as the chair of the investment committee for 10 years) and for the Santa Fe Farmers Market. Rather than volunteering, he is expressing his support of SFCC through his estate plans.
“I wanted an appropriate depository for my collections to make them available for future generations,” he said. “I encourage others to consider making similar donations to support our community resource.”
Contract for a Better Tomorrow SFCC Foundation President Richard A. Abeles, Domanica Foundation representative Linda Anderson and Interim President Randy Grissom presented more than 30 certificates to Contract for a Better Tomorrow students. Coordinated by the Office of Student Success, CBT is a performance-based scholarship that supports firstgeneration, low-income students complete and graduate from one of SFCC’s certificate or associate degree programs. Funds from Domanica are matched by the SFCC Foundation.
GIVING TO SFCC FOUNDATION For details on these and other ways planned gifts make a difference for SFCC students contact Deborah Boldt, executive director: 505-428-1704 or email@example.com Steve I. Schneider, Esq., planned giving adviser: 505-428-1838 or firstname.lastname@example.org. CBT awardee Adriana Martinez tells scholarship supporters “This money really makes a difference, so I don’t have to work full time and I can focus on school.”
All gifts to the SFCC Foundation are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
NOTEWORTHY The new Chef-Manager at the East Wing Eatery is Culinary Arts Instructor Patrick Mares. Patrick got his start with an AAS in Culinary Arts at SFCC and now has more than 10 years in the food industry and fine dining. He has been teaching at the college since 2013. KSFR 101.1 FM has added award-winning reporters to its news directing team: Dave Marash and Zélie Pollon. Marash is the winner of 11 Emmy awards, among others. Pollon is an independent journalist who has covered New Mexico for nearly two decades for such outlets as Reuters, Dallas Morning News and People Magazine. Anne Zemek de Dominguez has joined SFCC as Executive Director of Human Resources. She has nearly 30 years of higher education experience, half of which has been spent working in a community college setting. She holds a B.A. in Romance Languages from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from DePaul University. She is admitted to the Bar in Illinois, Missouri and Nevada and is licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. Tilapia arrive at the aquaponics greenhouse, completing SFCC’s aquaponics system in the Greenhouse Management Program. The tilapia are the critical part of the emerging area of study focusing on soil-less, indoor production of both plants and food. The sustainable system features a production cycle in which the fish waste feeds the plants in the greenhouse and both fish and greens thrive, providing a continuous supply of fresh, organic food that can be grown in minimal space with almost no impact on the environment. SFCC has been named one of 12 community colleges nationwide – and the only one in New Mexico – to participate in AARP Foundation’s Back to Work 50+. The Center for Academic Transitions manages the new program, targeted to help Northern New Mexico women age 50+ get back into the workforce. SFCC is providing scholarships, job coaching, academic training and career retooling for credentialing opportunities in Medical Assisting, Post-Baccalaureate Elementary and Secondary Teaching and Accounting as part of the program. The Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association hosted the 2nd Annual SFCC Student Design Competition at the 24th annual Santa Fe Home Show in April. Congratulations to the winners: Architectural Design First place Design Team: Shyla Curry, Adam Frank, Judith Romero, Matt Sherman, Dominic Sherwood and John Viers; Second Place: Antonio Rael; Third Place: Richard Podmore Interior Design: First Place: Roksanda Nikovic; Second Place: Judith Romero; Third Place: Levia O’Neill Kitchen & Bath Design: First Place Judith Romero; Second Place: Levia O’Neill; Third Place: April Park Fine Woodworking: Tie: First Place: Maureen Scott; First Place: James Speer III; Third Place Marie Meyer; People’s Choice: Leslie Rich 6
Pablo Sedillo is the newest member of the college’s Governing Board. Pablo is a government relations liaison for Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, and was previously a field representative for former U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman. Former Governing Board Member Carole Brito has joined the SFCC Foundation Board. Carole is president of a consulting company focused on educational leadership and excellence. She is a well-known and active volunteer, both with the college and the local community. Dr. Bernadette Jacobs has been tapped to serve as the Interim Dean for the School of Arts, Design, and Media Arts and the School of Liberal Arts. She previously worked at Santa Monica City College and at El Camino College in California. Bernadette joined SFCC in 1992 and has served as Chair of the Social and Behavioral Science and Humanities Department. She holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is also an experienced licensed professional clinical counselor. Margaret Peters is the college’s Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. She has been teaching at SFCC since 1996, and previously was Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and the School of Arts, Design, and Media Arts. Prior to joining SFCC, she taught at Blinn College in Texas and Harvey Mudd College and University of LaVerne in California. She holds a B.A. in English from Texas A&M University and an M.A. in English from the Claremont Graduate University. Assistant Professor of History Steve Martinez has been appointed Chair of Liberal Arts. Dr. Martinez has a background in the Spanish Borderlands and New Mexico history. He has been teaching at the college since 1999. Dr. Martinez holds a B.A. from the University of New Mexico, an M.A. in Southwest Studies from New Mexico Highlands University and a Ph.D. in American Studies, also from UNM.
Phi Theta Kappa Academic All-Stars Students Leo Martinez (left) and Eric Chamberlain stand with Interim President Randy Grissom outside the State Capitol after being recognized as Phi Theta Kappa “Academic All-Stars” during this year’s legislative session. Each student earned a full tuition scholarship to a state university. Leo is attending UNM’s Anderson School of Management. Eric plans to graduate from SFCC this spring and attend Highlands University to pursue a Master’s in Social Work. Each year, the New Mexico Association of Independent Community Colleges partners with the Phi Theta Kappa honor society to recognize top students with scholarships to the New Mexico public university of their choice.
Student Solar Array Unveiled In April, Interim President Randy Grissom introduced a new student demonstration solar array as another step toward SFCC’s commitment to leadership in education and training for the renewable energy sector. The 11.8kW array will help SFCC create a solar-powered campus, and its equipment allows students, faculty and staff to study and monitor the system in real time. It will serve as hands-on instruction for students pursuing the Solar Energy Certificate, allowing quick transitions for students into the green energy and green building industries. This summer, the college and Positive Energy Solar will break ground on a second project, a much larger 1.5 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic array that will produce 40 percent of the college’s energy immediately after installation, eventually saving the college approximately $200,000 per year in utility costs.
Local high school students came out in force to participate in the dedication of the solar array.
“Sol Man” Sculpture Dedicated The official dedication of “Sol Man” took place April 25. The sculpture was created by artist Nancy Judd and 6th graders from Ortiz Middle School with recycled materials from SFCC’s Energy$mart Academy classes. Santa Fe Public Schools, PNM and the City of Santa Fe Sustainability Program provided support. The project was funded by a Toyota TogetherGreen fellowship through the National Audubon Society. The artist, who has taken classes and collaborated with instructors and departments at SFCC for more than 15 years, is donating “Sol Man” to SFCC. It is valued at more than $20,000.
Success is Sweet for SFCC Culinary Arts Garden The SFCC Culinary Arts Garden won the 2014 Sustainable Santa Fe Award. Garden Consultant Erin O’Neill and raised bed creator Ken Kuhn were recognized for the design and implementation of the garden at a gala in April. The vision for the garden was nurtured by Culinary Arts Lead Instructor Michelle Roetzer, who saw the transformation of the courtyard between Fine Arts and the East Wing as an educational opportunity for students to grow, harvest and cook their food as well as compost what they can – a lesson in sustainability. The garden is abuzz with activity this time of year. Each week, students and community volunteers work in the garden and the food harvested goes to the Culinary Arts Program, where students prepare fresh menu items for sale in the East Wing 7 Eatery, SFCC’s student-run restaurant.
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Inside SFCC Published by Santa Fe Community College President and Governing Board Randy W. Grissom Interim President Linda Siegle Chair Dr. Martha Gandert Romero Vice Chair Kathy Keith Secretary J. Chris Abeyta Member Pablo Sedillo Member Sean Mickey Ex-officio Student Member Produced by SFCC’s Marketing and Public Relations Department. Janet Wise, Executive Director Writing and editing: Kay Bird, Jennifer Bleyle, Laura J. Mulry, Janet Wise Design & Layout: Melyssa Holik
What’s new for kids this summer at SFCC? Kids Camps Summer 2014! See what Continuing Education is offering for your kid’s summer fun! Register now.
Photos: Dorothy Perez y Piriz, Meg Lenzer
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