Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Chandler-Gilbert Community College Celebrates Groundbreaking Ceremony for Cooper Hall

Members of the Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) administration and faculty joined Interim President Guerriero and Gabor Lorant Architects Inc. on February 4th for the groundbreaking ceremony of Cooper Hall at CGCC’s Williams Campus.  This latest addition to the constantly evolving college grounds is a multi-use facility that will boast 11,820 square feet for general classrooms, engineering and applied technology labs, faculty offices and meeting spaces.
Cooper Hall’s emphasis on engineering, science and technology is only appropriate given its namesake’s legacy.  United States Air Force Colonel Leroy Gordon “Gordo” Cooper Jr. (March 6, 1927 – October 4, 2004), better known as Gordon Cooper was an American aerospace engineer, test pilot, United States Air Force pilot and one of seven original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned space program of the United States.
“CGCC is thrilled to help preserve the accomplishments of Gordon Cooper to engineering, science and to our country through Cooper Hall while drawing inspiration and motivation from Col. Cooper’s relentless pursuit of the next horizon,” remarked William Guerriero, Interim President CGCC. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hermanas Conference Promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to Latina High School Students

Chandler-Gilbert Community College, in partnership with Intel Corporation and Arizona Public Service, will host more than 200 Latina high school students for the Hermanas: Disena Tu Futuro (Design Your Future) conference on Friday, February 19th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Pecos Campus, Community Room in Chandler. Students from Arizona College Prep, Basha, Casteel, Hamilton, Higley, Perry and Williams Field high schools will participate in the one-day conference which promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to underrepresented Latina middle school students.

The Hermanas Conference provides a supportive environment in which young women can interact with successful Latinas in STEM careers, explore technological careers, receive encouragement to finish school, attend college and to pursue their goals.  "Many young Latinas are not aware of the opportunities available in technology, or what it takes to be an engineer, scientist or a technical professional," said Maria Reyes, Dean Career and Technical Education at CGCC. "All too often, there is the perception that these professions are not considered “traditional careers” for Latinas. The Hermanas conference is aimed to educate young Latinas about careers in STEM, as well as to prepare these women to be successful in education and the workforce."
The one-day conference introduces students to various engineering disciplines, provides hands-on experiences to build their problems-solving and teaming skills, and includes informational sessions on preparing for academic and professional success in an interactive environment.  Participants engage in hands-on activities in chemistry, math, physics and bioengineering hosted by CGCC STEM faculty.

About Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Chandler-Gilbert Community College is one of ten Maricopa County Community Colleges, the largest community college system in the country. CGCC serves the higher education needs of over 19,000 students at four locations in the Southeast Valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area - the Pecos Campus in Chandler, the Williams Campus in Mesa, the Sun Lakes Center in Sun Lakes and at the Communiversity in Queen Creek. CGCC offers degrees and certificates in a variety of fields, university transfer, workforce development programs, and continuing education, along with nationally recognized programs in service learning, learning communities, and civic engagement. For more information, visit or call 480-732-7000.

Friday, February 5, 2016

CGCC Students Rise Up To End Violence Against Women

2016 ‘One Billion Rising’ events continue the revolution for systematic change

Students at Chandler Gilbert Community College (CGCC) are once again joining the global One Billion Rising campaign through campus events designed to raise awareness of and put an end to violence against women.  Events will take place at the Williams and Pecos campuses and will offer a forum for self-expression, spirited dialogue and solidarity in achieving a new consciousness – where violence against women is resisted until it is unthinkable.  

One Billion Rising, a global campaign, is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history.  The campaign began as a call to action in 2012 based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. The 2016 campaign will escalate the call for revolution, the 2015 mantra.  This escalation will focus on the most marginalized women and girls in order to achieve long-lasting change. 

The event at Williams Campus will take place on Wednesday February 10th and will have a survivor story, a speaker from Streetlight (anti-sex trafficking organization), a spoken word poet (Roanna Shebala) and then students will lead others in the dance Break the Chain. The event at Pecos Campus on Thursday, February 11th will include Kawambe Omowale, (African drumming and dance) survivor story, a speaker from Streetlight, spoken word poetry and the same student-led dance.  Both events will include valentines making and videotaped statements from students about a revolution to stop violence against women and girls. There will also be area agency tables/booths with information and resources.

Dance and the arts are an integral part of the One Billion Rising campaign.  Dancing in particular is a common thread through all events due to its collective, connective power to bring people together and how it effectively amplifies the urgency and complexity of this important issue.  When the campaign was first created in 2012, choreographer Debbie Allen gifted her choreography for “Break The Chain” to One Billion Rising. Since then, activists have been doing the original dance and interpreting it; making it their own. Others have created their own new choreography and incorporated into their events.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

CGCC Honors Alumnus for Major League Debut

Last Friday, January 29th Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) baseball program honored alumnus and current New York Yankees pitcher James Pazos for his Major League Baseball debut and CGCC athletic accomplishments. A sign with Pazos’ name was hung on the on outfield fence during a pre-game recognition ceremony attended by the local community.

Pazos, a 2009 graduate of Highland High School in Gilbert, pitched one season for the Coyotes in 2010 before transferring to University of San Diego where he pitched for an addition two seasons. He was drafted in the 13th round of the Amateur Major League Baseball® (MLB) draft in 2012 by the New York Yankees.

"James had an immediate impact on our program as a freshman.  From day one he had foundational belief in himself and an unending willingness to work," said Russell Luce, Head Baseball Coach at CGCC. "He was an amazing teammate and leader in his time with CGCC, and we are proud of him and his accomplishments. We are excited about his baseball MLB future."

While at CGCC, Pazos posted a 9-4 record with a 1.94 ERA helping the team earn runner-up honors in the Region I playoffs. He also threw a no-hitter against Salt Lake Community College on February 17, 2010 walking three and striking out nine players in a 2-0 win. Pazos made his MLB® debut in 2015 with the New York Yankees against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Faculty Members Gordon & Sally Jesse Receive Emeritus Distinction

Sally and Gordon Jesse, Performing Arts Faculty at CGCC
On January 26th, The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) governing board awarded Emeritus Distinction to two CGCC Performing Arts faculty members and power-couple, Gordon and Sally Jesse, for their distinguished service to the college. Having served Chandler-Gilbert Community College for a combined 58 years, the Jesses’ accomplishments both individually and together make them most deserving of this distinction. 

Gordon Jesse began his career at CGCC in 1986 and began working toward his first milestone here, founding the Performing Arts department.  He was instrumental in developing four performance spaces at the Pecos Campus, the largest of which is the Arnette Scott Ward Performing Arts Center.  Gordon’s “chair-ity” work includes chair of the MCCCD Fine Arts Development Committee, chair of the CGCC Communication and Fine Arts division, division chair council and Faculty Association.  Over three decades, Gordon earned many accolades that underscore why he has now earned emeritus distinction, but chief among them is his unwavering advocacy for the Performing Arts and for CGCC.  In fact, so ardently did Gordon lobby for the Performing Arts and CGCC, that he jokingly says feels lucky to have kept his job for 31 years in view of how many board members, chancellors, vice-chancellors and presidents he annoyed over the years!

Sally, perhaps the more graceful of the pair, joined CGCC as our first residential dance faculty in
1988.  And if Gordon founded the Performing Arts Center, Sally certainly filled it with performances, directing and choreographing over 40 musical theater productions and directing more than 50 dance concerts in her 27-year career at CGCC.  Weaving such rich experiences into the fabric of CGCC was made possible by Sally’s effort to revise the MCCCD dance curriculum in 1991 moving it from a physical education activity to a performing art.  Not only did Sally bring the art of dance and musical theatre to CGCC, she exported CGCC to the world by establishing the original CGCC dance company which toured dancers to the American College Dance Festival for over two decades.  Sally, like Gordon, was a great promoter of the performing arts during her time at CGCC, serving as chair of CGCC’s Communication and Fine Arts division and as president and secretary of the CGCC Faculty Association, not to mention contributing to statewide committees including Arizona Dance Standards, Dance Arts Alliance, Dance Educators Association, and Arizona Dance Coalition. 

Considering all that Gordon and Sally have achieved individually, it is no wonder that they have also done outstanding things together.  This is exemplified by their co-direction of the San Tan Arts Festival, a three-day community arts festival that ran for 13 years at the college, for which they received CGCC’s prestigious Innovation of the Year Award.

Friday, January 22, 2016

CGCC Inducts Former Athletic Director into ACCAC Hall of Fame

Jeff Mason, CGCC Athletic Dept Founder
CGCC Athletic Department founder and former Athletic Director, Jeff Mason, has been named CGCC’s inaugural inductee to the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) Hall of Fame.  Mason will be recognized for his induction as well as his tremendous contribution to CGCC Athletics on Wednesday, January 27th during halftime of the women’s basketball game.  

“We could not think of a more appropriate individual to make our inaugural inductee into the ACCAC Hall of Fame,” shared Ed Yeager CGCC current Athletic Director. “Beyond Jeff being the most deserving of this recognition, this created an opportunity for us to honor all that he has done and everything that he means to CGCC athletics.  Our fine athletic facilities including our fields, gymnasium and most recently the Coyote Center are due in large part to Jeff’s leadership and commitment over the years.”

In 1998, Mason was named founding Athletic Director at CGCC and brought with him a rich background in athletics that set his standards of excellence at the highest levels.  After competing as a pro ball player for the Yankees, Cardinals and Giants from 1967 – 1974, Mason poured the same passion and performance into the world of high school athletics as a coach, teacher and eventually athletic director.  Between the years 1975 and 1997 Mason led Apache Junction varsity baseball team to back to back state championships and was named the Arizona Republic Baseball Coach of the Year both years. From 1983-1993, he was the varsity baseball coach at Chandler High School. In 2007, Jeff was named to the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Russ Luce, current Head Baseball Coach at CGCC and long-time associate and friend of Mason, is another beneficiary of his efforts at CGCC and in the community.  “We are all so fortunate that Jeff chose to bring his wealth of experience, knowledge and personality to CGCC.  He was handed a tremendous task in building this department and he attacked it with both determination and grace,” reflected Luce.  “It is rare that we have the opportunity to express our gratitude to the people on whose shoulders we stand today, and that is why it is with such enthusiasm that we nominate Jeff for the ACCAC Hall of Fame.”

As the founding CGCC Athletic Director Mason was charged with bricks, mortar and everything else that goes into building a collegiate-level program.  Specifically, Mason had to work with the community to determine which sports to offer and find and negotiate facility agreements for off-campus competition.   Later, he oversaw the design and construction of facilities on campus, he brought CGCC into the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference and the National Junior College Athletic Association.  He hired coaches and staff, assisted with recruiting, assured that student athletes and coaches conformed to standards, and led fundraising efforts.  

When asked his inspiration to get up and go to work every day, Mason’s response is fitting of our first hall of famer.  “The best part of my job was by far the student athletes, getting to know each one, watching them compete as Coyotes and creating memories to last a lifetime.”


The CGCC athletic department will recognize Mr. Jeff Mason on his induction into the ACCAC Hall of Fame Class of 2015 Wednesday January 27th at 7pm at the Coyote Center. The ceremony will take place between the women’s basketball game and the men's game. Our opponent will be Cochise College.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

CGCC Teachers Serve Military Families Abroad Through Education

Scott Adamson, Ph.D and Linda Meng
Last semester, two Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) mathematics faculty members, Scott Adamson, Ph.D and Linda Meng, had the distinct honor of traveling to U.S. military bases abroad to train fellow educators on the latest college and career readiness standards in mathematics.  Their journey was part of a program funded by the United States Department of Defense Education Agency (DoDEA), an agency responsible for educating children of military service members who are stationed overseas. Adamson was selected to serve teachers at the United States Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan while Meng was assigned to the United States Army Base in Daegu, South Korea.

“There is constant awareness of our U.S. troops serving on military bases abroad but far less recognition of the thousands of American children who live on these same bases.  They attend American schools where they are taught by American teachers,” said Adamson. “This program was an opportunity to serve my country by serving those teachers who educate our children and are often overlooked because of their location.” 

It is the DoDEA’s responsibility to educate these children at the same level as their peers receive state side.  And as the DoDEA transitions to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics it, in partnership with the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas, has sought out top U.S. teachers like Adamson and Meng to get our educators serving abroad fully up to speed.    

For Meng, this too was the chance to serve her country through education, but as a former military wife with a son currently serving as a 4th generation military man, it was very personal. 
“This experience allowed me to help other military families through education,” she expressed.  “Some military families stationed abroad may feel cut off from the U.S. and this program helps military parents ensure their children stay connected through the same quality education as they would receive back home.” 

And it was by pure coincidence that her assignment to the Daegu American School was on the same base as where her son, a 4th generation military man, is serving. “I got to see him and where he works! How awesome is that?!” beamed Meng.

This program was also the opportunity for both Adamson and Meng to visit a new country and experience a different culture, something they both enjoy. "This program allowed me to travel to Japan for the first time and connect with the Japanese culture," said Adamson. "It also allowed me the chance to see what military families endure while overseas, and the important role they play in the lives of the men and women serving our country."
The CGCC esteemed faculty underwent an intensive 4-day training provided by the Dana Center to prepare for providing professional development to DoDEA teachers and leaders.  The focus of their curriculum was new math strategies. 

"Our job was to help train teachers to encourage their students to apply math to real life situations through new innovative methods. We want students to understand that math applies beyond the classroom walls, said Meng."The best part of the program was seeing how excited and grateful the teachers were about the training and their eagerness to implement with their classrooms."

Additional Info:

Adamson and Meng were selected from a pool of hundreds of applicants to be Charles A. Dana Center Facilitation Fellows by the Charles A. Dana Center International Facilitation Fellows. The Dana Center is under a $12M contract with the DoDEA to equip American teachers and leaders with new tools to support the implementation of the new standards in mathematics at U.S. military bases in 13 countries.  Selection was based on each Fellow’s depth of understanding of college and career readiness standards in mathematics and experience supporting teachers in learning and improving their practice.