Wednesday, May 20, 2015

24th annual commencement recognizes more than 1,300 graduates

CGCC's Class of 2015 at Sloan Park
More than 1,300 students graduated from Chandler-Gilbert Community College, 300 of them braving a spring storm to participate in the 24th annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 15. The event was held for the first time at Sloan Park, spring training home of the Chicago Cubs, in Tempe, Ariz.  Graduates and their families arrived for the 7 p.m. ceremony, which featured student speaker Cassandra Roose and keynote address Felicia Ganther, associate vice chancellor for student affairs for the Maricopa County Community College District.

"The tassle's worth the hassle"
Among those graduating include 79 veterans, 443 students with a 3.5 GPA or higher, 118 honors program graduates with a 3.25-4.0 GPA and 138 members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. (Some students received multiple honors). 

The week prior, 75 students were recognized for their academic accomplishments at the 11th annual Evening of Excellence award ceremony, many receiving scholarships. 
Students receive honors at Evening of Excellence

Communication faculty wins second distinguished speaking award

Diane Travers Shipman with her second
Distinguished Toastmasters Award
Communication and Fine Arts Division chair and faculty Diane Travers Shipman was awarded her second Distinguished Toastmasters Award (DTM) on May 15, 2015, the highest accomplishment possible in Toastmasters. Travers achieved her first DTM in June 2010.

To achieve a DTM, one has to complete approximately 50 speeches and multiple leadership opportunities, including district leadership. Travers Shipman joined Toastmasters in 2007 and for her first DTM, she was an area governor mentoring seven clubs and serving as a liaison to the district. In 2015, she served a one-year term as the District 3 (Arizona State) secretary.

Travers Shipman's home club is the Power Play Toastmasters, which started in 2006. In September 2012, she secured approval to allow the club to meet on campus every Thursday evening (6:30-9 p.m.). The group has open meetings allowing students who are interested or required to attend by a faculty member to participate. To date, more than 700 student visits have been recorded at Power Play Toastmasters and multiple other students have attended additional Toastmaster clubs. The vast majority of our membership comes from the community.

"I equate welcoming students to Power Play Toastmasters as to that of being a gardener," said Travers Shipman. "The students have a brief, positive exposure to this friendly and welcoming non-profit organization and thus a seed is planted. So many current members joined Toastmasters to develop communication and leadership skills for the workplace. It is my hope that our students will know they can continue developing their skills as a supplement to their academic coursework, as well as once they are in the workplace."

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. The organization started in 1924. The mission of Toastmasters is to provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

CGCC recognizes Dignity Health as hero of education

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) recognized Dignity Health at the Maricopa Community Colleges and Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation’s Heroes of Education 2015 Recognition Dinner in April. The award recognizes individuals, organizations or companies who have distinguished themselves by providing exceptional support and/or service to one of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges

Dignity Health has supported CGCC in a variety of ways. In 2007, they provided $500,000 in funding to help complete the construction of the health sciences building (Engel Hall) on the Williams Campus. Among many classrooms and faculty office space, the building houses a 10-bed nursing laboratory and a two-bed simulation lab. The beds and thousands of dollars in supplies for the laboratories were donated by Dignity Health, making them a realistic work environment for nursing students.

Dignity Health’s support of CGCC extends beyond donations to the college. Strong working relationships have been developed between CGCC faculty and Dignity Health professionals. For example, CGCC’s dietetic technology program requires 167 hours of internship under the supervision of a clinical nutrition manager and staff of registered dietitians and dietetic technicians.  Dignity Health (Mercy Gilbert Medical Center) has provided this rigorous medical nutrition therapy (clinical) experience for a number of CGCC students. Mercy Gilbert Medical Center has also employed CGCC alumnus in their Food and Nutrition Department.

Dignity Health also supports students through a number of long-standing scholarships for those pursuing nursing and health-related certificates and degrees.

This multi-faceted partnership with Dignity Health makes them a Hero of Education to Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Disaster Day gives mass casualty experience to fire science, EMT and nursing students

Fire science, emergency medical technician (EMT) and nursing students combined skills in April for the inaugural Disaster Day held in front of Engel Hall on Chandler-Gilbert Community College's Williams Campus. Volunteer students were assigned roles of victims involved in a multi-vehicle accident who were assessed by fire sciences and EMT students. They were then taken by stretcher, if appropriate, to the “hospital” inside Engel Hall where they were triaged by nursing students and treated according to their injuries. A debrief and discussion period followed the exercise where participants including faculty shared their observations.


“This event gives students a better understanding of the interactions between pre-hospital and hospital staff in the event of a mass casualty incident,” said Maria Reyes, dean of career and technical education at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.  “Participants gain experience in triage, treatment and transportation of simulated victims in an exercise designed to be a positive learning environment that will assist students in expanding their skills and preparing them for real-life scenarios like these.”

Hoop of Learning students earn associate degree before diploma


Chandler-Gilbert Community College Hoop of Learning students Tia Gramzinski and Monica Sekaquaptewa were featured on last night's 4, 5 and 6 p.m. broadcast of the NBC Channel 12 news for graduating from college before high school. The girls have taken participated in the Hoop of Learning program as well as participating in dual enrollment in their high schools enabling them to earn enough credits to receive their associate degrees before their high school diplomas,  Gramzinski will attend Northern Arizona University in the fall and Sekaquaptewa will attend Columbia in New York City. View the segment.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nine community leaders recognized for their contributions to CGCC

From left: Greg Lewis, Felicia Ganther, Ross Salerno, Rhonda Curtis,
 Luke Hickey, Travis Miller, Scott Veach, Jay Tibshraeny and Olivia Lara.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) recognized nine community leaders for their dedication and support of CGCC students, employees, programs and services at the 11th annual Teal & Silver award event at the Williams Campus.

The 2015 Teal & Silver award recipients are:

  • Officers Travis Miller and Glen Robinson, Chandler Police Department Motorcycle Patrol, Community Organization Partner 
  • Luke Hickey, CTA Humphrey Elementary School, K-12 School Colleague 
  • Felicia Ganther, Maricopa Community Colleges, Community College Colleague
  • Greg Lewis, Si Se Puede Volunteer, Intel Corporation, Business and Industry Partner
  • Olivia M. Lara, Adjunct Faculty, Maricopa Community Colleges, Scholarship Donor 
  • Ross Salerno, Salerno’s Restaurant and Catering, Vendor Partner
  • Rhonda Curtis, Wells Fargo Bank, President’s Community Advisory Council Chair, Community Leader 
  • Jay Tibshraeny, Mayor of the City of Chandler, Community Leader 

“The community leaders and businesses honored today with a Teal & Silver award provide Chandler-Gilbert Community College and its students with vital support that improves their experience and contributes to their success.” said Linda Lujan, Chandler-Gilbert Community College president “Whether through direct interaction, funding for scholarships, or support for the college and its’ programs, we are truly grateful for their involvement and dedication.”

The Chandler-Gilbert Community College Teal & Silver Awards program was created to recognize the contributions of individuals who support Chandler-Gilbert Community College through various efforts. Recipients positively impact the college by assisting with the program or service improvements, supporting creative and innovative ideas, improving the quality of the college experience, support the delivery of instruction, providing resources or assisting with cost-saving measures and advocating for the college in media, with elected officials and in the community.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Earning an associate degree before a high school diploma

Jessica Solis speaking with Erika Flores from AzFamily3
Three recent news items have featured the accomplishment of Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) and Hamilton High School student Jessica Solis who will be awarded her associate degree in CGCC's commencement ceremony this Friday before receiving her high school diploma the following week. Solis is a participant in the Achieving a College Education (ACE) program as well as dual enrollment, enabling her to earn 62 credits while attending high school -- essentially being a full-time student at two locations. Read her story featured in the East Valley Tribune's First degrees: Students get college degrees before diplomas and the accompanying story about the benefits of dual enrollment in Teens earning associate's and diplomas. Television stations AzFamily3 and CBS5 also ran the story,