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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 | W I N T E R 2 0 1 4

Strengthening Santa Fe’s Workforce Internships, partnerships and scholarships help SFCC students land good jobs


Supporting Santa Fe’s Workforce SFCC tackles workforce development “Empower students, strengthen community.” That’s the mission of Santa Fe Community College, but how does that mission take shape? How exactly does SFCC build and strengthen our community? One of the most important ways SFCC fulfills its mission is through providing workforce training programs. It’s a commitment that began at the college’s founding 30 years ago. The college partners with numerous local businesses and government agencies to prepare our students to meet tomorrow’s workplace needs. Traditionally, when people think of workforce training, they often think of trade school. It’s true that preparing tradespeople is a vital part of SFCC’s workforce training strategy. SFCC offers a number of trainings and certifications for green buiding and construction trades, including weatherization, sustainable building practices, OSHA standards, and more. However, the scope of SFCC’s mission goes beyond traditional concepts of workforce training. It includes advanced career development for people already working in the community, like local music teacher Kristina Jourdan-Korte. Jourdan-Korte has been a music teacher at Sweeney Elementary for nine years. Last fall, Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Joel Boyd approached SFCC for assistance in getting all SFPS teachers certified in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). In response, SFCC increased the number of available classes and helps recruit interested teachers for the program. When she heard about the training, Jourdan-Korte jumped at the opportunity. At Sweeney, roughly 77 percent of students are English language learners, and Jourdan-Korte was eager to find new ways to help them learn. “I don’t see one class of 27,” she said, explaining that, as a music teacher, she has contact with every single student in the school. She felt a responsibility to get her TESOL certification because, “we need to be prepared to support the educational needs of all students.”

Sweeney Elementary music teacher Kristina Jourdan-Korte credits her TESOL certification with improving her teaching skills for English learners and for English speaking students.

The school district’s increased focus on TESOL training is paying off, Jourdan-Korte said, noting that in Sweeney’s first year as a dual-language school, she’s already seen a difference. “I’ve noticed that [the students’] English comprehension is higher than it has been in years past. Parents seem to be happier, too. We’re valuing and honoring their language and their culture,” Jourdan-Korte said, “When students are valued for what they know, they are more willing to learn what they don’t [know].” Jourdan-Korte credits the certification for making her a better teacher: the techniques she learned are universal, so they are applicable to all students, not just the English learners. She fully endorses the program, saying “I would definitely recommend it to others — and I have!” SFCC’s commitment to workforce training isn’t limited to career training for current professionals. The college also offers 17 types of in-demand, “nested” or “ladder” degree paths. Ladder degree paths allow students to get a basic level of training so they can begin working in the field while they pursue a more advanced degree. They are considered “ladders” because the basic degree requirements fulfill the first year or two of the next degree level, so the student can continue to build their education each step of the way.

“ W E ’ R E VA LU I N G A N D H O N O R I N G T H E I R L A N G UA G E A N D T H E I R C U LT U R E . W H E N S T U D E N T S A R E VA LU E D F O R W H AT T H E Y K N O W, T H E Y A R E M O R E W I L L I N G T O L E A R N W H AT T H E Y D O N ’ T [ K N O W ] .” ~ Kristina Jourdan-Korte TESOL Certified Music Teacher, Sweeney Elementary School


FEATURE “A L L O F M Y [ S F CC ] T E A C H E R S H AV E BEEN VERY SUPPORTIVE. I’VE NEVER L ACKED ADVICE OR A PERSON TO T U R N T O.” ~ Charlene Rodriguez, CNA , OB & US For Charlene Rodriguez, a recent SFCC nursing graduate, the system is ideal. She took the first step toward her dream job when she was still in high school. “I always wanted to be a nurse, ever since I was a little girl,” she said. When she was a junior in high school she started working as a cashier at the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center cafeteria. She loved it from the start, and her senior year she began taking her Certified Nursing Assistant courses at SFCC. After she graduated from high school and passed her CNA certification, she began working at Christus St. Vincent in the medical surgical unit. “I loved the patient interactions, just being able to care for people and make a difference in our patient’s day,” Rodriguez said. She continued to pursue her education and with additional training, landed a position in labor and delivery where she works as unit secretary and scrub tech. Most recently, Rodriguez has been working toward her nursing degree with support from a scholarship from Christus St. Vincent. The scholarship, she says, helps her juggle the responsibilities of school, full-time work and family life, offering a living stipend to lift some financial pressure and a mentor to help her through tough times. It’s been difficult,

Interested in partnering with SFCC?

There are many ways the college can help you find, train, and develop skilled employees. Call or email to learn more. Director of Grants and Contract Training Ann Black 505-428-1811 | Director for Academic Transitions Piér Quintana 505-428-1234 | Career Placement Patty Armstrong 505-428-1406 |

Charlene Rodriguez has attended SFCC for years, ever since she was in high school. She first completed her Certified Nursing Assistant courses, then moved on to a nursing degree. Next, she will work towards a bachelor’s degree at the Higher Education Center.

she said, but worth it. “All of my [SFCC] teachers have been very supportive. I’ve never lacked advice or a person to turn to.” Her years of hard work have paid off, and Rodriguez was pinned at the Nurses Pinning Ceremony in December. This achievement is not the final destination but rather another stop in the road for Rodriguez, who plans to continue her education even further. She’s already got her next target in sight: a bachelor’s degree from New Mexico Highlands University. She will attend the college’s Santa Fe Higher Education Center this spring. Meanwhile, she’ll continue working at Christus St. Vincent and take her nursing board certification (the NCLEX) this month. Students like these exemplify the importance of SFCC’s community partnerships. The students gain new skills and better opportunities for advancement, while the employers have access to a trained and skilled workforce. The effects reverberate through the community: One teacher’s advanced training means a better education for hundreds of Santa Fe students. A nurse’s pursuit of her life’s calling means better care for Santa Feans. We all love a winwin situation. But for the students, their employers, and the community — that’s a win-win-win. 3


Fashion Design student’s business thriving It all started with one dress. When SFCC student Angelica Norwood screenprinted a black dress with the phrase “Stay Cute” she had no idea that Stay Cute would explode into a full product line and thriving online business. Norwood made the original dress for her brick and mortar store, Tokyo Hardcore in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill, where she sold premade garments she had printed or altered into original designs. The Stay Cute dress sold out in about a week, much faster than her usual product lines. Norwood could see she was on to something so she began putting the logo on more and more products and selling them online. Soon, her online sales outpaced her Nob Hill store, so she made the switch to selling exclusively online. As Stay Cute continued to grow, Norwood enrolled at SFCC so she could expand her practical skills and build her fashion design background. “Growing up I would just alter my own shirts, kind of make them into something that either fit me better or that I liked better, put a little twist on it.” In the past, she’s mainly done screenprints on existing American Apparel garments. However, using what she’s learned at SFCC, she has a cut and sew line planned for the spring. “I didn’t know how to make a pattern before. I would just get the patterns you can get at the store,” she

said, “But as far as making it myself, that’s what I learned. That has advanced it [Stay Cute] so much.” Her most exciting success to date is a recent contract with Nylon magazine. After seeing Stay Cute product shots on Instagram, a Nylon magazine representative reached out to Norwood to find out about carrying her products. They signed an agreement, and Nylon began carrying Stay Cute items in their online store last year. So what’s next for Norwood? She’ll graduate from SFCC in May, and she plans to continue to build Stay Cute for the foreseeable future. Next, she says she’d like to get the brand into retailers and mall stores like Urban Outfitters, and she also plans to attend the Magic Market Week trade show in Las Vegas, Nev., next August.

SFCC Fashion Design student Angelica Norwood is the force behind Stay Cute, an online clothing and accessories store. Studying at SFCC has helped Norwood expand her business and take her sewing to the next level.

STAY CUTE Visit Angelica Norwood’s online store and browse her collection at



Dr. James P. Miller, Sr. Serving SFCC for 30 Years Thirty years ago on a snowy February day, the people of Santa Fe were asked to vote on starting a new college in Santa Fe. Not a university, not a private college, not a branch campus, but a two-year community college of its own, financed and governed by the people of Santa Fe. Leading the charge to establish the proposed college was then Santa Fe Superintendent of Schools, Dr. James Miller. By the end of the day, the people of Santa Fe had agreed with Miller and the Santa Fe Board of Education, and later that year local college classes began in leased facilities around town. Today, more than 15,000 students per year participate in SFCC programs of all kinds. Miller didn’t stop in 1983. He went on to become a Trustee for Santa Fe Community College – as the institution came to be known. All these years, the Millers – Jim and his wife Millie [who also helped in the 1983 origins] - remained in touch with the college, following with continued interest in its remarkable growth. Although now retired from the education business and community volunteerism, the Millers still believe in SFCC. In 2011, they created a Presidential Scholarship - The Dr. James P. Miller, Sr. and Mrs. Mildred Miller Presidential Title V Endowed Scholarship for Hispanic and low-income students. Dr. Miller was again recognized recently at the SFCC 30th Anniversary Kick-Off Celebration Breakfast in August. Many of you may still remember or have heard of Jim and Millie. You knew them through church or in the community or through Santa Fe Public Schools. You now have an opportunity

to join them in helping students at SFCC. We are asking you to consider making a donation to the Dr. James P. Miller, Sr. and Mrs. Mildred Miller Presidential Title V Endowed Scholarship. At a time when State and Federal financial aid as well as the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship for college students are declining, the need for student support has never been greater. That’s why your gift is so important. This year, the Santa Fe Community College Foundation will receive added support from a matching grant program. For every dollar you give, the SFCC Foundation will receive an additional dollar in funding. With each donation, we can double the number of students we support. We hope you will join us in growing this special scholarship. One local Santa Fe student has already benefitted from the Miller scholarship. Many others could if you will join us. If all of us will give a little, none of us will have to give a lot. Please consider Santa Fe Community College Foundation in your giving. By giving $25, $50, $100, $1,000 — whatever amount you can — you help open the doors to education and opportunity for students in our community. Please send a check payable to: Santa Fe Community College Foundation and note that it is for the Dr. James P. Miller, Sr. and Mrs. Mildred Miller Presidential Title V Endowed Scholarship. The mailing address is 6401 Richards Avenue, Room 111, Santa Fe, NM 87508. If you have any questions, please call Deborah Boldt, Executive Director, SFCC Foundation, 505-428-1704. Please take a moment now to send your much-needed gift. Thank you in advance for your generous support.

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 Steve I. Schneider, Esq., planned giving adviser: 505-428-1838 or All gifts to the SFCC Foundation are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.


NOTEWORTHY Action! SFCC Film Students on the Set. SFCC students participated in paid apprenticeships on the local film “Taco Valley.” Written by Valerie Moore and Bradd Hopkins, the comedic short film is set in a hardscrabble small town in Northern New Mexico, where everybody wants to get out, but nobody wants to leave. A partnership with New Mexico Film Resource, Film Instructor Gene Mederos and director Bradd Hopkins, the film is in production. SFCC’s new Veterans Resource Center opened in Nov., followed by a communitywide Veterans Resource Day sponsored by SFCC, the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services and Listening Horse Therapeutic Riding. SFCC’s Veterans Resource Center offers services specifically geared toward student veterans such as VA benefits enrollment, computer access, tutoring, academic advising and peer-to-peer mentoring on campus in a location designed just for them. In Nov., the Santa Fe Higher Education Center and its partner institutions (SFCC, IAIA, NMHU, NMSU, UNM) hosted a reception in honor of SFCC’s Fall 2013 graduates. Congratulations to all! SFCC opened the Center for Academic Transitions this fall. The center assists students with graduation, transfer and career planning. Santa Fe Literary Review 2013. The School of Liberal Arts has published the 2013 Edition of the Santa Fe Literary Review with works by SFCC students and staff, local, regional, national and international writers as well as contributing artists. The Review is free. Pick it up at SFCC’s Liberal Arts Program Office, West Wing, Room 222, and other locations on campus as well as online at The Campus Cupboard distributed 7,300 pounds of food to 90 clients and 141 of their dependents this semester. The Culinary Arts Garden hosted Harvest Festival 2013, celebrating the campus’ new community garden. The event featured an array of food harvested from the Culinary Arts garden and prepared by Culinary Arts students, plus garden tours, composting demonstrations and a potato harvest.


Culinary Arts Instructor, Chef and Pâtissière Leslie Chavez won the New Mexico Restaurant Association Chef of the Year Award, which recognizes chefs who provide excellent cuisine as well as excellent service. Leslie has more than 20 years of professional culinary experience, having worked as a chef, pastry chef, baker and manager. Former SFCC Nursing Education Director Sue MacMillan was one of five women honored as “Legends of Nursing” at the New Mexico Nursing Excellence Awards earlier this month. Now retired, MacMillan had a 36-year career in nursing, including 25 years as a faculty member at CNM and at SFCC, where she was the director of SFCC’s Department of Nursing Education from 1988-2001 and implemented an LPN-to-RN transition program. She is an accomplished medical/surgical, public health, labor and delivery and school health nurse. Brandon McFatridge of New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union presented a $5,000 unrestricted gift to the SFCC Foundation. The gift will be matched by the Foundation. The funds come from the credit union’s program “Community Rewards.” McFatridge explained that as a nonprofit, the organization gives back any profits to the community. Randy Grissom and Deborah Boldt accepted the donation on behalf of the college. Thanks, New Mexico Educators Credit Union! The SFCC Teacher Education Department and SFCC Library sponsored a children’s book drive that collected more than 800 new and gently used children’s books for students at Ramirez Thomas Elementary School. The books were donated to the school’s library in December.

Climate Change Leadership Institute Honors Wilson The Climate Change Leadership Institute honored Renewable Energy Programs Coordinator Xubi Wilson with the 2013 Education Leadership Award and Seed Grant. Xubi received $1,000, which he chose to place into a fund with the SFCC Foundation to support interdisciplinary sustainability projects.


Baca Honored for Promoting Women in Science and Technology The New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering, in partnership with the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women, honored Director of STEM Initiatives Phyllis Baca with the Seventh Annual Impact Award. The award is given for extraordinary efforts in encouraging and helping women enter and succeed in STEM as well as promoting networking among women in these careers. The nomination noted, “through her teaching at SFCC and volunteering with numerous agencies such as Project Lead the Way and Expanding Your Horizons, Phyllis has touched the lives of many educators and students and dramatically increased the number of women and Hispanics obtaining STEM degrees in New Mexico. Phyllis is passionate about presenting STEM opportunities to low-income students, especially women and Hispanics, through dual credit and about retaining them as firstgeneration college students.” Congratulations, Phyllis!

Scholarships Announced Nursing student Oakley Blasdel is one of 13 who received $1,000 Returning Student/Regional College scholarships from the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation.

Amalia Thomas Nabs 2nd Place at National Competition Interior Design/Kitchen and Bath student Amalia Thomas took Second Place in the National Kitchen and Bath Student Bathroom Design Competition. Amalia competed against students from 37 other colleges and universities. She won a $1,500 scholarship and a trip to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas, Nev., this February.

New Mexico Highlands University business management senior and SFCC dual credit specialist Daniela Gurule was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from MANA del Norte (Mexican-American Women’s National Association). Daniela has earned a 4.0 GPA at the Highlands Santa Fe Center and is on track to complete a B.B.A. in May. Scholarship winner Daniela Gurule, left, and Thomasinia Ortiz-Gallegos, director of the Highlands University centers in Santa Fe and Española. 7

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CALENDAR Jan. 20: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, college closed Jan. 21: Spring Semester Begins Feb. 13: SFCC Day at the Legislature Mar. 17-23: Spring Break, college closed

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