Thursday, April 28, 2016

Chandler-Gilbert Community College to Recognize Teal & Silver Recipients

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) will honor the 13th Annual Teal & Silver award recipients on Tuesday, May 10 during a breakfast event in Agave Hall at the Pecos Campus. Nine winners will be recognized for their efforts and support of CGCC students, employees, programs, services and the college community. The 2016 Teal & Silver Award recipients are:

  • Donna Carrier, Highland High School
  • Gilbert Public Schools Special Education Teachers: Barb Acherman, Madeline Dana, Mary Fisk, Dawn Harvey, Jennifer Kjar, Olga Lange, Kathryne O’Hara, Diane Smith, Eileen Sotak,
  • Heather Patterson, Cindy Pino, Perry High School
  • Herb Zinn, Former member of Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force
  • Miguel Arciniega, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University
  • Patrick DeLeon, Boys and Girls Club Chandler Compadre Branch
  • Rose Hartley, Goodmans Interior Structures
  • San Tan Historical Society Governing Board
  • Taylor Pineda, Si Se Puede Foundation
  • Tel Tech Networks

The Chandler-Gilbert Community College Teal & Silver Awards Program was created by former president, Dr. Maria Hesse, to recognize the contributions of individuals who support Chandler-Gilbert Community College through various efforts. This year's 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 the in the community.

Monday, April 18, 2016

CGCC Lends HELPing Hand to Habitat for Humanity

On Saturday, April 2nd Habitat for Humanity dedicated a brand new 2-story, 4-bedroom Chandler home that was built by Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) students, advisors and other volunteers over the previous four months.  This enriching student experience was made possible by the CGCC HELP (Hands Enriching Lives Project) club and its partnership with the Southeast Valley Lutheran Coalition (SVLC) to provide student volunteers for their Habitat for Humanity house builds.  This most recent home, located in downtown Chandler, is the sixth one that HELP has assisted the SVLC and Habitat for Humanity build since 2010.
“We do one home per year,” explained Tom Pearson, CGCC faculty member and HELP club advisor.  “We start out with a cement slab and help build the house until it is complete.  This was the first two-story house we have ever built, it took 16 weeks to construct and we were four weeks ahead of schedule,” he boasted proudly.
The dedication ceremony celebrated not only the completion of the house but the much-deserving family who will call it their home.  Representing CGCC and the HELP club at the event were seven students: Tristian Garcia, Diamond Alvarado, Caleb McCance, Nadia Duckett, Rebecca Rivers, Rachel Torne, and Anthony Cicalese; three advisors: Diane Travers Shipman, Alexandra Cannell, and Tom Pearson. The chair of Business and Computing Studies Tom Foster and his wife also attended.

“The HELP club is very proud of its partnership with Southeast Valley Lutheran Coalition,” reflected Pearson. “It is a privilege to build houses for deserving families through Habitat for Humanity. This program is just one of many that the HELP club offers and we encourage students to get involved!” 
Students get involved in the project first by joining the CGCC HELP club, then by joining the house build.  For this build, 25 different CGCC students and three advisors participated on a weekly basis, following a construction schedule which assigns genuine house-building tasks from framing to roofing to drywall to paint. 

For students who would like more information on the HELP club, they can attend one of the HELP club meetings which are held on Mondays from 2:00-3:00PM in SC 103-113. We also have a Facebook page: CGCC HELP Club.

Link to the CGCC Clubs & Organizations web page that provides a little information on the HELP Club:

Saturday, April 16, 2016

CGCC Computer Science Students Win 1st Place at Avnet Tech Games Competition

Two computer science students from Chandler-Gilbert Community College won first place at the 11th Annual Avnet Tech games on Saturday, April 2nd at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe. Alec Everson and Lining Lin each received a $1,000 scholarship for their “Java Bliz” competition entry. Both students developed an IT application using Java code, the dominant software development language in the market.

“On behalf of all CGCC faculty, we couldn’t be more pleased to see our students work so hard on their applications and come home a winner,” shared Rameen Khaliqi, Computer Science Adjunct Faculty and Faculty Coach for winning team.  “Alec and Lin formed a focused and capable team which represented CGCC and our commitment to STEM education.”

Everson and Lin worked diligently to create an application code using Java 7 to successfully pass the competition with a perfect score. As far as our CGCC winners are concerned, it was all in a day’s work.  “Alec and I have a very effective partnership, the Java language and we solve problems well together,” answered Lin when asked to what they would credit their win.  “Also, we have an awesome coach in Professor Khaliqi.  He was always there for us, giving us the confidence and help that we needed to succeed,” beamed Iverson.  “It was a great experience!”

The Avnet Tech Games is an annual technology competition that provides college students with an opportunity to win scholarships by applying what they learn in school to real-world IT business scenarios. This year students competed for $34,000 in scholarships. Students also connected with IT professionals and learned more about what it takes to succeed in today’s highly competitive business market.

Careers in STEM fields are full of opportunities.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8.65 billion jobs will be needed in STEM-related fields in the U.S. by 2016.  In addition, STEM workers receive 26% higher earnings than their non-STEM counterparts.

“The statistics are compelling,” said Patricia Baker, Computer Science lead faculty member at CGCC. “This is why CGCC is committed to preparing students for a world that is in high demand for STEM skills. Our performance at this year’s Avnet Tech Games is a promising sign that we are making progress in the right direction.”

In total, 27 students from 12 Arizona colleges and universities were awarded scholarships and nine faculty advisors received $2,700 in honorariums for leading the winning teams to victory.  The participating schools included: Arizona State University, Chandler/Gilbert Community College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Estrella Mountain Community College, Glendale Community College, Grand Canyon University, ITT Technical Institute, Mesa Community College, Northern Arizona University, Scottsdale Community College, South Mountain Community College and The University of Advancing Technology.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Holocaust-era Rail Car Exhibit Uses Past to Promote Acceptance

Students and members of the community gathered at Chandler-Gilbert Community College's Pecos Campus on March 30 to commemorate the Holocaust and learn more about issues of tolerance, forgiveness and survival. Attendees were able to view a Holocaust-era rail car and listen to first-hand accounts of survivors in an exhibit provided by the East Valley Jewish Community Center and the City of Chandler.

The 11-ton, 33-foot-long rail car on display was the type and kind that Nazi Germany used to transport Holocaust victims to labor and death camps during World War II. Holocaust survivor George Kalman was also present at the event to share his personal story of survival with students and visitors. Mr. Kalman was only 9-years-old when his family received orders from the Nazis to leave their Hungarian village on a rail car in 1944.

The event drew hundreds of students, members of the community, city officials and many of the Valley's television stations who covered the event for their evening newscasts. Click a link below to view the television segments.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Three CGCC Students Named to All-Arizona Academic Team

Three CGCC students have been named to the All Arizona Academic team, an honor that places them among the top community college students in the state of Arizona and the country.  Alexis Powers, Tristan Garcia and Jared Brimhall were three of nine high-achieving East Valley students to receive the same honor during an awards ceremony on March 3rd.  A total of seventy-five community college scholars from across the state participated in the ceremony, which celebrates their outstanding academic achievements and distinguished leadership.

“We are very proud of these students’ individual success as well as CGCC’s strong presence on the 2016 All-Arizona Academic Team,” explained Chris Schnick,  Dean of Arts & Sciences “Applicants who are chosen for this team endure a rigorous evaluation and elimination process and to have three from CGCC is a significant achievement indeed.”

Judging to select the recipients consisted of three rounds. In the first round, a group of local business, civic, education and government leaders reviewed applications and chose the recipients of the award. Only two are selected from each college campus. The selected recipients’ applications were then forwarded to Washington, D.C., for second and third rounds of judging and scoring by representatives from various federal agencies and national education associations. Those scores were used to rank the students for first, second or third state teams. First Team members receive a $1,000 scholarship, Second Team members a $750 scholarship, and Third Team members a $500 scholarship to one of Arizona’s state universities.

•    2016 All-Arizona Academic Team – CGCC, Pecos Campus
  • Name: Alexis Power
        • College: Chandler-Gilbert Community College
        • Campus: Pecos Campus
        • GPA: 3.89
        • Transferring To: ASU
        • Major (4 year): Civil Engineering
        • Career Goal: Plans on earning a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and also a Master’s. “I would like to spend time working in countries who do not have a solid infrastructure. Also, pursue project management,” shared Alexis.
        • College/Community Activities: Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society, Women Rising, Engineering Club, and serving as a middle school youth leader.
        • College Honors:  Presidents’ Honors Scholarship, President’s Honor List, MCCCD Foundation, Ingebritson, Steven G. Mihaylo, and Champagne, Choc & all that Jaz Scholarships
        • Personal Quote: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
  • Name: Tristan Garcia 
      • College: Chandler-Gilbert Community College
      • Campus: Pecos 
      • GPA: 4.0 
      • Transferring to: ASU
      • Major (4 year): Sustainability
      • Career Goal: Garcia plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in Sustainability and become an Environmental Restoration Planner while continuing to volunteer for organizations such as Chandler/Gilbert ARC and Habitat for Humanity.
      • College/Community Activities: Phi Theta Kappa, CGCC Student Ambassador, CGCC Career Services Ambassador, Hands Enriching Lives Projects Club, Inter-cultural Exchange Club, Hispanic Student Organization, Women Rising, volunteer work at church
      • College Honors: Presidential Scholarship, Presidents’ Honors List, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society 
      • Personal Quote: “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” –Mother Teresa
•    2016 All-Arizona Academic Team – CGCC, Pecos Campus
  • Name: Jared Brimhall
      • College: Chandler Gilbert Community College
      • Campus: Williams Campus
      • GPA: 4.0
      • Transferring To: ASU
      • Major (4 year): Nursing
      • Career Goal: Jared plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from ASU and go on to become a nurse anesthetist. He also wants to provide nursing and anesthesia care as a medical missionary.
      • College/Community Activities: Student Nurses in Action and volunteer work at church.
      • College Honors: Phi Theta Kappa honor society member of the Alpha Sigma Nu chapter.
      • Personal Quote: “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.” –Unknown
Top state team members face even greater opportunities for recognition and rewards. Twenty students will be named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team from the total pool of state first teams. All-USA Team members are the nation’s top community college students. They will be featured in a spring global edition of USA TODAY and each receive a $2,500 stipend, medallion, obelisk and certificate. These recognitions are presented to students at a ceremony at the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Annual Convention.

In addition, the Coca-Cola Foundation, along with the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, recognizes the New Century Scholars. Fifty students from all state teams will be named Gold Scholars, receiving $1,500; 50 students will be named Silver Scholars, receiving $1,250; and 50 students will be named Bronze Scholars, receiving $1,000. A state may have multiple Gold, Silver and Bronze Scholars. All scholars also receive special medallions. The top scoring student in each of the 50 states will be named a New Century Scholar and will receive a $2,000 stipend. New Century Scholars will also be recognized at the AACC Convention.

Behind the Scenes with CGCC Alumni Turned Children’s Author Kathy Peach

Kathy Peach and President Bill Guerriero
We sat down with Kathy Peach former Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) student and successful children’s author for a brief Q&A to chat about her recent visit to CGCC’s Children’s Literature class, her new children’s book The Tiniest Tumbleweed and the inspiration behind her pages.

Connections (CX): You recently visited Chandler-Gilbert Community College to talk about your first children’s book The Tiniest Tumbleweed. Tell us more about the event and what it meant for you as former student to come back and share your book with the CGCC community.

Peach: The purpose of my visit to Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) was twofold. First, it was my desire to dedicate a copy of The Tiniest Tumbleweed to the CGCC library. It was my privilege and pleasure to meet and present a copy to CGCC interim president Dr. William Guerriero.

CX: In addition to your book reading, event attendees were able to learn more about your relationship with CGCC. Can you explain your book’s connection to your time as a student at CGCC?

Peach: During my visit to CGCC, I had the good fortune to spend time with the future teachers attending Professor Sharon Fagan’s Children’s Literature class. It was when I was attending professor Fagan’s Children’s Lit class that I learned of the components of literature that define a piece of children’s literature as quality. In writing The Tiniest Tumbleweed, I referred to the handout we were given in class where each component was explained. I literally compared my manuscript to the handout, over and over again to ensure I was incorporating as many of the concepts as was possible.

CX: In addition to your book reading, event attendees had the opportunity to hear from your book’s publisher and author. Tell us more about their involvement.

Peach: The students in attendance had the opportunity to meet the publisher of the book, Mrs. Linda Radke. Mrs. Radke is owner and president of Five Star Publications, Inc. a local and award winning publishing company located in Chandler. The Tiniest Tumbleweed is published through Little Five Start, the children’s division of Five Star Publications, Inc.

As an additional treat, Alex Lopez, the illustrator, joined the class via Skype. The students heard how Mr. Lopez envisioned and drew the artwork for the book. Mr. Lopez stated that he enjoyed the story and easily formed an emotional connection with the characters, the tumbleweed and sparrow parents wishing the best for their children, as his own triplet daughters, too, were small at birth.       

CX: What influence did CGCC have on your desire to become a children’s author?

Peach: I moved to Chandler, AZ in March of 2009 and enrolled at CGCC as a first time college student in May of 2009. Three life changing events happened while I was in attendance. The first occurred in Sharon Fagan’s Children’s Literature class. I had always wanted to write a children’s book. Based on the information in Fagan’s class, the goal changed. No longer did I want to write a children’s book. I wanted to produce a piece of quality children’s literature. There is a difference. Time will tell whether or not I will have fulfilled my goal.

Second, I was introduced to Dr. Albert Bandura’s work in the concepts of self-efficacy during Dr. Karen Hardin’s Psychology 101 class. The Tiniest Tumbleweed rests on the foundation of Dr. Bandura’s work. His work also served as the basis for the scientific research required to complete my thesis at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University. Third, I received an invitation to apply to Barrett Honors College during my final semester at CGCC.  The rest is history.

When I enrolled at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, my oldest daughter, Tiffany, said, “Mom, the world is going to open up to you in ways you will have never thought possible. That’s what college does for people.” Little did I realize how prophetic her words would become and my “world opening up” experience all started at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. I am delighted to be able to give back a small portion of what the institution has given to me. 

Book info
The Tiniest Tumbleweed released on January 8, 2016 and is already in its second printing. It became an award winning book two times in March 2016 recognized as honor awardees at both the 2016 Southwest Book Festival contest and the Los Angeles Book Fest contest. Through Eileen Bailey and KidsReadUSA, a copy of the book was placed into the hands of every third grader in the Balsz School District. The Washington School District recently bought copies for their Special Education Department and their Head Start teachers. There have been several sold out author signings at Sibley’s West, The Chandler and Arizona Gift Shop located in downtown Chandler, AZ. You can purchase the book the Chandler-Gilbert Community College bookstore, Chandler, AZ and through,, and Barnes and I am also available for school visits. Please contact Little Five Star Publications at 480.940.8182 for details.     

Friday, March 18, 2016

Therapeutic Massage Program Announces New Evening Cohort

A new flexible option is now available for students looking to pursue a certificate in massage therapy. Chandler-Gilbert Community College’s (CGCC) Therapeutic Massage Program is offering a new evening co-hort beginning this May for interested students. This expansion is the result of student demand and CGCC’s commitment to being a valley-leader in Therapeutic Massage education.

“It is our goal to make this field as accessible and affordable as possible for our students,” shared Trine Bourke, Program Coordinator, Therapeutic Massage. “We are proud to be approximately one-third the cost of private therapeutic massage schools around the Valley, and now we are even more accessible with the addition of evening classes.”

Program graduates are well-prepared with the skills to enter the field of massage therapy in a variety of settings, including: hospitals, physical therapy clinics, sports performance institutes, spas/resorts and private practice, among many others. The program focuses on enhancing healing and wellness through a variety of Therapeutic Massage techniques.

Upon completion of our program students can earn either an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree or Certificate of Completion. In addition, the AAS transfers directly to the Bachelor of Applied Science at ASU East Campus and Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies at all ASU locations.

Registration for the evening cohort is now open and classes will begin May 30th and conclude December 14th (massage core classes only). Classes will be Monday through Thursday 5:30-8:30pm.  For all of those interested in the Therapeutic Massage Program at CGCC contact Program Director Trine Bourke, AAS, LMT at or click here to visit the website for information about the program requirements and certificates. Becoming a massage therapist will allow you to make a difference in your own life and the lives of others every day. Enroll now!