Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Becoming a police officer is dream for Haitian immigrant

The Arizona Republic published an article on Dec. 10 about Chandler-Gilbert Community College's Law Enforcement Training Academy graduate DuLance Morin, a Haitian immigrant whose dream was not only to become a U.S. citizen but to help others as an officer. Morin graduated with nine others in November. Read the full story.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Taking a chance: Exploring new paths

Diane Elarde
Psychology adjunct professor Diane Elarde never thought about becoming a writer when she was exploring careers in college. After graduation she taught for several years and then found a lasting career in the copier industry. After a 25-year career, finishing as a Xerox global leader, she looked for something different.

“I began writing in a journal about five years ago to explore and express my thoughts and emotions as I considered changes in my life,” said Elarde.  Slowly, bravely, she shared some of her journal entries with friends who encouraged her to share her work more broadly.

“It takes courage to let it out,” said Elarde. “The little validations I received encouraged me to expose more of my writing so my words wouldn’t remain silent.” In addition to her own journey, she writes about the transitions that people go through at pivotal points in their lives.

 “The Umbrella,” a short story based on a close friend’s interaction with a homeless man in Detroit, was published in the Michigan Women's Forum and Michigan Journal  in 2010.

On Monday, Nov. 25, she’ll be at Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe, signing copies as a contributing author of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven.

Elarde submitted “A Simple Answer” to Chicken Soup for the Soul last spring and was thrilled when she received notice that her story would be included in the book.

“It is such an honor having your work published in such a familiar title like Chicken Soup for the Soul,” said Elarde. “In so many of these stories, we find our own story. When we go through difficult times it helps to feel the connection to others and a story does that.

Read some of Elarde’s work on her blog: A Star In My Hand.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CGCC helps train 24 Taiwanese students as pilots

UND Aerospace Foundation announced an agreement with TransAsia Airways, based out of Taiwan, to provide an 11-month aviation education program to train pilots with no flight experience to be FAA-certified commercial pilots with instrument and multi-engine ratings.

The 24 Taiwanese students are enrolled as Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) students and taking the required academic class work while conducting flight training with CGCC’s flight training provider, UND Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF).

UND Aerospace and CGCC have had a partnership since 1995 offering a two-year degree program at CGCC with the option to continue flight training and receive a four-year aviation degree at the University of North Dakota.

“Along with our partners at Chandler Gilbert Community College, we are excited to be selected by TransAsia to deliver this aviation education,” said Don Dubuque, UNDAF director of extension programs. “Upon completion of their academic and flight requirements at CGCC and the UND Aerospace Flight Training Center, students will continue their training in Taiwan with TransAsia Airways, transitioning into large commercial passenger aircraft such as the Airbus and ATR.”

The students began in May and will complete their studies in April 2014. They are being housed in the CGCC student housing available at the Williams Campus

“It is a pleasure to have these exceptional students here at CCGC,” said William Crawford III, CGCC vice president of student affairs. “This is a further validation of the benefits of having strategic partnerships with other educational institutions and industry as we fulfill our mission at CGCC.”

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hermanas draws U.S. Department of State keynote speaker

More than 200 Latinas from East Valley high schools attended Chandler-Gilbert Community College's fourth annual Hermanas: Diseña Tu Futuro (Design Your Future) conference. The partnership with Intel Corporation is designed to increase the number of under-represented females in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The one-day conference provides a supportive environment in which young women interact with successful Latinas in STEM careers, explore technological careers, and receive encouragement to finish school, attend college, and pursue their goals.

Drs. Frances Colon and Maria Harper-
Marinick addressed the attendees.
This year's conference featured keynote speaker Deputy Science and Technology Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Frances Colón. She shared her personal journey from her interest in science and how that transitioned to policy. Colón encouraged attendees to be open to help from people of all backgrounds and to recognize opportunity and be prepared to seize it, noting that her volunteer role to collect monthly contributions for the water cooler allowed her to network with many individuals she might not have met otherwise. She also noted that failure is part of the journey, and to try again.

Univision Arizona and ABC5 covered the event. View the Univision news segment.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Zellman helps 8th-grade student speak out against cyberbullying recently ran a story about 8th-grade student Kyle Wong's presentation on cyberbullying to Arizona College Prep where he moderated a panel of community experts including CGCC student Jacob Zellman, a representative of Mothers Awareness on School-age Kids and a cyberbullying victim. At 15, Zellman had started a group to challenge cyberbullying, which unleashed a storm of insults and electronic bullying toward him. Read the story.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Veteran Jake Spencer pursuing an education to help soldiers with PTSD

Veteran and Chandler-Gilbert Community College student Jack Spencer was interviewed by ABC Channel 15 last week regarding his interest to help other vets who suffer from PTSD. View the clip.

CGCC was awarded military-friendly designation in the fall for its support for veterans returning to school.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Join us 5th annual Veterans Resource Expo

Make it a point to head to the Williams Campus across from the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa on Thursday, Nov. 7, to attend the 5th annual Veterans Resource Expo. The event, which features exhibit tables and a speaker program, will be held in the Higley Room in Bridget Hall from 1 to 4 p.m.

This free event offers a unique opportunity for veterans and their families to network and learn about resources and services offered by CGCC and the community. It is open to all CGCC students, as well as veterans from our surrounding communities. Free refreshments will be served.

The Expo is also an opportunity for non-veterans, in advance of Veterans Day, to honor those who have sacrificed so much in the service of this country.

The speaker program, beginning at 2 p.m., features John Sentz from the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society, and Casaundra Wallace, CGCC alum who is now attending ASU’s law school as a Tillman Military Scholar.

About 30 exhibitors from a variety of government and community groups, as well as businesses and organizations looking to hire veterans, will have tables at the Expo. Among these are the VA and VA Healthcare, VA Vet Centers, Arizona Department of Veterans Services, DAV, VFW, Fleet Reserve Association, Veterans Stand-Down, Department of Labor and employers such as Boeing, State Prison, Home Depot, Macayos and National Bank of Arizona. ASU and NAU will also have their military outreach specialists in attendance to speak with students intending to transfer.

For information about the event, contact Veterans Services at 480-726-4122.

Education for Sustainability Award presented to geology, history faculty

Roy Schiesser
Paul Petrequin
Geology faculty Roy Schiesser and history faculty Paul Petrequin received the Education for Sustainability Award from the North American Council for Staff, Program and Organizational Development (NCSPOD) for their Unnatural Disaster Day. The award, presented Oct. 24 at the NCSPOD conference, recognizes the innovations and successes of those who integrate sustainable development (environmental, economic, social and cultural) into education and learning.

Since its inception in fall 2007, Unnatural Disaster Day has used a single environmental disaster to call to attention how a lack of human planning intensified “natural” disasters and guides students to begin developing the knowledge essential to preparedness.

Each year, a cohort of instructors from different disciplines—including geology, biology, history, English, and economics—selects an environmental disaster to study, such as the BP oil spill, the Fukushima nuclear disaster or the depletion of the Ogallala aquifer. Each faculty member devotes 1-2 weeks of class time studying that disaster from their disciplinary perspective. On Unnatural Disaster Day, all classes meet for a two-and-a-half hour event. At tables organized to seat one student from each discipline, students share their understanding of the disaster from their disciplinary perspectives. 

On one sheet of butcher paper, students note commonalities between disciplines. On another, they categorize their knowledge as political, social, economic, or environmental. Like citizens coming together with specialized knowledge to create public policy, students then brainstorm to create an action plan for preventing or mitigating the effects of future similar disasters. After posting their action plans on the walls, students conduct a gallery walk. They discuss the commonalities and differences in their action plans and engage in a ten-minute written reflection about what they have learned. 

The event models a participatory democracy as participants practice informed public dialogue while forming a more complete understanding of the disaster. Many instructors ask students to write a letter to a national or local leader proposing their plan of action to address the issue in question. Ultimately, the project aims to equip students to make better decisions about the future of the world.

Last semester, Chandler-Gilbert Community College held three Unnatural Disaster Days, involving nearly 100 students in each event.

Friday, October 25, 2013

300 calories a day

Many of the poor around the world survive on 300 calories each day. This fact was unacceptable to the students in Greg Trone's Health Education class and Sam Hodges and Al Paces ceramics classes.

Many community members agreed with these students and showed up at the Pecos Campus on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the Empty Bowls event to buy hand-crafted bowls on World Hunger Day.

The ceramics students had been making the bowls since September. The day of the event, Health Education service-learning students helped set up, wrap up the unique bowls and serve the small bowl of soup that represented the minimal 300 calories the poor across the globe survive upon each day.

Southwestern corn chowder was provided by Chef Brian Dragos who works for Minor’s, a division of Nestle, and an autumn bisque was donated by Chef Wallis Berry from the Chandler Christian Community Center (CCCC).

Empty Bowls was a huge success, selling 480 handmade bowls and raising $5,170 to benefit the CCCC. The center partners with the college each semester through service-learning projects and will use the proceeds to fund their local food bank which provides 16,800 food boxes to those in need in Chandler and Gilbert, to support their Family Resource Center, and to prevent homelessness and help those who are homeless through programs like I-Help.

The CGCC Vocal Jazz Ensemble directed by Marcus Denton provided some of the musical  entertainment for the day along with several other CGCC student solo and duo performances.

Service learning employee Alex Cannell was essential in bringing the need to CGCC faculty and students. The successful event was an example of authentic teaching and learning that makes a difference in the community.

Written by Carrie Braaten and Michael Greene.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Educator and Staff Employee of the year selected for Gilbert Excellence Awards

Anthony Braaten and Greg Wojtovich were selected as the Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) Educator of the Year and CGCC Staff Employee of the Year for the 2013 Gilbert Community Excellence Awards. The awards will be presented during an awards ceremony on Friday, Nov. 8.

Anthony Braaten, CGCC Educator of the Year
CGCC communication faculty Anthony Braaten frequently talks about CGCC as a whole working for the benefit of students. He models this vision by passionately and consistently addressing the needs of students in and out of the classroom.

In the classroom, Anthony encourages innovation and excellence through his teaching style and active-learning instructional methods. One example is the Tunnel of Oppression, where students experience the hardships of racism in a very personal, dramatic way. “Anthony observes where students are struggling and creates activities around that,” said Kolton Orcutt, 2012-2013 student body president.

Out of the classroom, Anthony serves as a faculty advisor to students, facilitates orientation sessions and volunteers to assist students the first week of each semester. He participates in many college committees including faculty senate and the president’s executive council, and, as lead faculty for the communication department, hires and mentors adjunct faculty and schedules courses.

Anthony’s deep and meaningful engagement with the community also is connected back to the campus. Hundreds of students have participated in service-learning projects with the Chandler Gilbert YMCA, where Anthony is a long-term volunteer, most notably as a vibrant member of the YMCA board.

A door is opened for all students to be successful when they are exposed to Anthony's empathic, energetic and supportive teaching and personality.

Greg Wojtovich, CGCC Staff Employee of the Year
Greg Wojtovich is a program advisor in CGCC’s Career and Placement Services. In his role, Greg develops the future workforce by helping students determine their career goals and connecting them with college, university, industry or professional resources to help them realize their dreams.

However, Greg extends his responsibility much further. He stays informed about programs within the college and the Maricopa Country Community College District as well as workplace trends and employment community developments, willingly sharing the information with both employees and students. Greg serves as a club advisor, frequently volunteers for college initiatives and assists in making presentations to college and high school classes. If he sees a need or can help a student, he does not question whether or not it is his job but takes initiative to ensure the student gets what is needed to be successful.

Greg leads by example of hard work, dedication and a passion for students and the opportunities he can make available to them. He is a mentor, colleague and friend to many and, as he walks across campus, he hears numerous calls in greeting from staff, faculty and students. Truly Greg has the coyote spirit of CGCC.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

NAACP presents CGCC's Crawford with Education Award

The East Valley chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will present William H. Crawford, III with the Education Award at this year's East Valley NAACP annual Freedom Fund Gala on Oct. 4. Crawford is vice president of student affairs at Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) and was selected for his commitment to educational leadership and the academic success of his students inside and outside the classroom.

"Dr. Crawford exemplifies leadership in the educational community and beyond through his support, encouragement, and participation in activities and programs that promote educational equity which aligns with the mission and goals of the MCCCD and NAACP," said said Erica Alexander, representative of the East Valley NAACP.

Crawford began his employment at CGCC in July 2003 as an associate dean and was subsequently appointed to vice president of student affairs where he enhances the quality of campus life for students and extends the learning environment beyond the classroom. Prior to his career at CGCC, Crawford served as acting vice president for academic affairs and chair of Mesa Community College's (MCC) Administration of Justice Studies Department. He also served 10 years as a residential faculty member and seven years as adjunct faculty.

"Bill is an invaluable leader both at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and in the community. He is a consummate professional and a mentor to many at the college, ensuring that every action and activity taken at the college contributes to student success. The college is appreciative that he will be recognized with this honor,” said Linda Lujan, president of CGCC.

Before transitioning into education, Crawford was employed with the Phoenix Police Department for more than 23 years where he held numerous leadership positions and served with distinction. Currently, he serves as the president of the National Council on Black American Affairs’ (NCBAA) board of directors and is a member of the trustee board for the Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church.

Crawford holds both doctorate and master’s degrees in education from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University.

Psychology faculty published in industry-leading handbook

Psychology faculty Zoila G. Tovar-Blank, Ph.D. and Patricia Arredondo, president of the Chicago campus of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, wrote a book chapter in the second edition of the Handbook of Multicultural Psychology published this summer by the American Psychological Association.

The chapter titled, “Multicultural competencies: A dynamic paradigm for the 21st century,” appears in volume two of the two-volume set, which presents the best science and best practice within the cross-cutting perspective of psychology. (Volume one focuses on theory and research and volume two on applications and training.)

Arredondo, a highly respected Latina psychologist well-known for her work in multicultural counseling, was invited to write the chapter for the handbook which is updated only every 10 years. She subsequently invited Tovar-Blank to co-author the chapter. They have co-authored many articles after meeting at ASU where Tovar-Blank was studying and Arredondo was a faculty member.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Arizona Horizons features Jazzoperetry, a unique art form created by CGCC vocal faculty

Arizona Horizons on PBS station Channel 8 aired a segment on Sept. 25 featuring the work of two Arizona-based opera singers who have created a unique new art form. CGCC vocal instructor Alexis Davis and her husband Earl Hazell have melded jazz, opera and poetry to form "Jazzoperetry." View the segment for a demonstration of their invention or visit their website to hear more at

Monday, September 30, 2013

Empty Bowls fundraiser benefits thousands of local families in need

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) has teamed up with the Chandler Christian Community Center (CCCC) to fight hunger and raise money for families in need through its Empty Bowls fundraiser event.

Attendees can purchase their own hand-crafted ceramic bowls designed by various artists for $10 and enjoy live entertainment and a cup of soup donated by Minor's, a division of Nestle Professional. All proceeds benefit the CCCC to feed those in the community who might otherwise go without food.  

"Last year, through the generous support of the community, we provided more than16,800 food boxes to people in need. We are grateful to be partnering with CGCC to help us meet the need in our community this year," said Trinity Donovan, CEO, Chandler Community Christian Center.

The event takes place on World Hunger Day, an annual event which celebrates sustainable solutions to ending extreme hunger and poverty and encourages citizens around the world to take action in their local communities 

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013; 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Student Pavilion, Pecos Campus, 2626 E. Pecos Rd., Chandler, AZ 85225

INFO: For more information contact Service Learning at 480-857-5274 or by email at 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Women's volleyball takes San Diego City College Tournament championship

The women's volleyball team cooking up a meal for
residents of Bannister House at University of California,
San Diego.
This past weekend, the women’s volleyball team participated in the San Diego City College Tournament and made time for community service. The update below is from coach Vee Hiapo.

“On Thursday, the girls cooked a Hawaiian meal for the Bannister House, which houses families on the University of California, San Diego Medical Hospital at the Hillcrest location. We were able to meet many of the patients and their families. Most of them were heart and lung transplant patients. The girls shopped and cooked for 3 hours and were able to eat with the families. It was a wonderful and rewarding experience to serve the Bannister House and the families. The people were very appreciative.

Women's volleyball -- tournament champions.
On Friday, we played Cuyamaca College and defeated them in 3 sets. They were very gracious hosts and the coach was a former volleyball Olympian Karolyn Kirby.

On Saturday, we played in a 3-team pool with host San Diego City College and College of the Desert. It was a best of 5 series and we beat both of them in 3 sets (difficult to do in one day). We were seated first in a 6-team winner's bracket and Scottsdale was seated second. We waited for the number 3-6 teams to compete. Our first bracket play was Chaffey College of Rancho Cucamonga. The bracket play was only one set to 25 points. We beat them 25-15. Scottsdale beat Pima in their semi-final match 25-17. Our girls continued to play with a lot of aggressiveness and took a 7-1 lead before the coach called a time out. We lead the entire match and beat Scottsdale in the championship 25-22. Although the bracket games will not be recorded because it was only a 1-set match, we still won the championship and it feels really good.”

Monday, September 23, 2013

Campus Technology magazine highlights CGCC's genius bar

Help Desk Manager David Smith helps a user at
Chandler-Gilbert Community College's genius bar.
Campus Technology magazine featured Chandler-Gilbert Community College's genius bar in a Sept. 19 article titled, "Why Your Help Desk Should Be More Like Apple's Genius Bar." The article explains how the technology team used Apple's genius bar model to make the help desk experience more personable, promote walk-in traffic, and improve user satisfaction. Read the article.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Schroeder, Larson considered for emeritus distinction

The governing board of the Maricopa County Community College District will review two Chandler-Gilbert Community College employees for emeritus distinction. Recently retired education faculty member Brenda Larson and provost John Schroeder will be considered at the Oct. 22 meeting.

Vice President of Academic Affairs William Guerriero nominated Larson for the honor which allows them to retain their title after retirement. The nomination states, “Brenda Larson has been an integral part of CGCC’s growth and expansion since its inception as a college. Originally hired to reach Office Automation Systems, Business-Personal Computers, and Computer Information Systems, Brenda modeled the way for faculty professional growth by earning two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree.

“She helped pioneer a business and teacher education learning community at CGCC’s Williams Campus and was instrumental in launching the college’s successful teacher education curriculum. Throughout her more than 26 years of service to CGCC and the district, Brenda remained active in a wide range of college and community activities. she served on countless college committees and advisory boards and maintained partnerships with K-12 and higher education partners, including the colleges of education at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University.

“During her last year of service she was chair of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division. Brenda was known for her impeccable organization and presentation of course materials and served as an exemplar for thousands of future teachers.”

College President Linda Lujan submitted the nomination for Schroeder. “John first came to Chandler-Gilbert Community College in 1990 as an aviation maintenance technology faculty member and was instrumental in providing current, relevant curriculum and training to countless aviation graduates who now serve our Valley’s aviation and aerospace industry.

“In 1995, John accepted an opportunity to be involved in business process design and technology planning and support at the Maricopa Community Colleges District Office where he served for eight years as director of Strategic Information Technologies.

“In 2003, John returned to CGCC as the provost and chief operating officer for the Williams Campus at the former Williams Field Air Base in Mesa. In that final role, John left an indelible mark on the college and its communities as he worked to keep the rich history of Williams Field alive while leading the transformation of CGCC’s portion of the base into a thriving and vibrant campus.

“John not only oversaw the development of every CGCC building on the site but brokered partnerships and relationship among other entities, including the federal government; the cities and towns of Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek and Phoenix; ASU Polytechnic; East Valley Institute of Technology; and countless business and industry partners. In this cabinet-level leadership role, John contributed in countless ways to the college planning and development, governance and educational endeavors at all its locations.”

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Spotlight on the new Student Success Center

Reading class students utilize the new Student Success
Center resources.
Students have a new resource to turn to for help on the Pecos campus. The Student Success Center, located on the second floor of the library, will offer programs and services complementing the broad range of free tutoring and workshops offered by the Learning Center. Both centers are committed to providing exceptional educational experiences.

“Providing students with a variety of different support options is an important element of helping our students reach their individual goals,” said Vivian Miranda, director of Student Success. “Though we have a plan for the fall, we’re looking forward to holding some student-led focus groups this semester to help shape future programs.”

The Student Success Center will open Sept. 23 and offer open labs; access to computers; tutoring and assistance with MyLab products; and Student Success Workshops. Services will focus on supporting students in the following English, mathematics and reading classes:

  • MAT: 081, 082, 089, 091, 092, 108, 121, 122
  • ENG: 081, 091
  • RDG: 071, 081, 091, 095

Programming will expand to a focus on student success for all students starting in the spring 2014 semester.

Open Lab Schedule
Sep. 23 to Dec. 5
Monday: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 3:30-6:30 p.m.

CGCC awarded military friendly designation

Chandler-Gilbert Community College has been named to the 2014 Military Friendly Schools® list by Victory Media, publisher of GI Jobs magazine, a resource for military personnel transitioning into civilian life.

The 2014 Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

With the utmost respect for its student veterans, CGCC provides a variety of on-campus resources to assist with their college life transition. In addition to processing of their GI Bill benefits, resources include:

  • The Student Veterans Organization (SVO), which hosts on-going activities for veterans throughout the school year to help veterans build a strong social and support network on-campus. 
  • An annual Veterans Resource Expo, which showcases college and community veteran resources as well as thanks veterans for their service. This year's event will take place on November 7 at CGCC's Williams Campus. 
  • Two veteran student lounges which are in the works, one in the new Coyote Center on the Pecos campus, the other to open in the near future on the Williams campus.
  • Monthly veterans e-newsletters which are sent out to student veterans informing them about their VA benefits and alerting them to opportunities and resources available to them.

For more information about CGCC's resources for veterans, please contact the Veterans Services office at 480.726.4122.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Adjunct faculty's improv show captured by azcentral

Troupe director Shalynn Reynolds, 40, writes down audience
suggestions for the next skit as part of the Off the Cuff
Comedy Improv Show at Changing Hands Bookstore
in Tempe on Aug. 30, 2013.
Shalynn Reynolds, adjunct instructor and director of Off the Cuff Comedy Improv, was recently highlighted along with the troupe in a photo slideshow appearing on The non-profit performed at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe as one of the many free, family-friendly comedy improv shows it does around the Valley throughout the year.

"Off the Cuff provides a high-energy, interactive show designed to entertain audiences of all ages," said Reynolds. "Every show uses audience suggestions and is fast paced and fun. If you enjoy improv comedy in the style of the television show 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' you'll love Off the Cuff."

Reynolds teaches acting and modern drama at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and also directs some of the plays. She has been directing the troupe since it's beginning in 2000 as part of the Mesa Arts Center.  View the slideshow.

Performing arts announces 27 events for fall semester

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Faculty to give personal Educator of the Year plaque to the teacher who changed his life

Miguel Fernandez was "a directionless kid from a bad neighborhood with nothing to read at home beyond TV Guide."

Then he met Mr. Broderick, a veteran and sixth grade teacher in Harlem "who pounded in the message that educational curiosity could lead a person anywhere." Broderick forever changed Miguel's life for the better.

Last year, Miguel received the Gilbert Community Excellence Award as Educator of the Year from Chandler-Gilbert Community College, an award he will present to Broderick in Chicago later this month. Read Miguel's personal story on the TED blog titled, "Finding Mr. Broderick: How a TED Talk launched my search for the teacher who changed my life."

Friday, September 6, 2013

CGCC's Williams Air Force Base collection being digitized by Chandler Museum

A WWII Army Air Corp recruiting video titled Winning Your Wings starring Lieutenant Jimmy Stewart and produced in cooperation with Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. was recently digitized and made available to the public by the Chandler Museum.

The video is one of numerous items Chandler-Gilbert Community College loaned to the museum to digitize and make more widely accessible.

"Chandler-Gilbert Community College's collection of Williams Air Force Base memorabilia is the largest private collection we've digitized so far," said Nate Meyers, curator of collections at the Chandler Museum. "Digitizing the materials allows wider access to them by the public, researchers, historians and those who lived and worked on the base. It also allows us to make connections to other available materials and develop a broader picture to the life and times at Willie."

The collection, which fills two large filing cabinets, includes yearbooks, photos, news articles, correspondence, WAFB publications and postcards among other items. The museum has digitized only a portion of the collection and is continuing to work on it. Some of the pieces are on display in Bluford Hall on the Williams Campus of the college located near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Or you can go to ChandlerPedia and view the digitized collection to date.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

That's a wrap: CGCC alum scores big at film festival

From left to right, Jessalyn Carpino, Derek
Ellis and Alex Thomas work on their
short film, “Retrograde,” which was
featured in the Sedona Film Festival this
past February.
The Ahwatukee Foothills News featured resident and former CGCC student in an article titled "That’s a wrap: Ahwatukee Lumberjack scores big at film festival."

"It’s amazing how 73 hours of non-stop working in the end can be both satisfying and rewarding.

Ahwatukee Foothills native Alex Thomas, 23, knows this feeling all too well after having one of his short films win awards at Northern Arizona University (NAU), and be featured at the Sedona Film Festival in February.

As an NAU graduate, Thomas originally started his path to film making by studying music education at Chandler-Gilbert Community College." Read the full story.

Lujan appointed to national sustainability steering committee

Linda Lujan, president of Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC), was appointed to the steering committee of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment.

The group of approximately 30 presidents from colleges and universities across the nation, including Arizona State University President Michael Crow, sets the direction for the organization in its work to accelerate progress towards climate neutrality and sustainability by empowering the higher education sector to educate students, create solutions and provide leadership-by-example for the rest of society. Lujan will serve on the committee for two years.

CGCC was a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment in 2007. By signing the commitment, the college pledged to eliminate or offset all campus greenhouse gas emissions over time,and to promote the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.

"Through her example, Linda has been one of our key leaders, and we appreciate her work and the progress that has been made on the Chandler-Gilbert Community College campuses. We are grateful for her willingness to help lead our organization as well," noted Timothy White, chancellor of California State University and chair of the steering committee.

"It's an honor to be asked to serve. My service is not only on behalf of Chandler-Gilbert but on behalf of the Maricopa Community College District. All ten colleges and the district office are now ACUPCC signatories dedicated to leading by example, examining the environmental impacts associated with all that we do in order to continually improve our colleges, students, and communities, while minimizing our impact on the environment," said Lujan. "The Maricopa Community College District can serve as a model for others in Arizona and across the country by what we teach in our classrooms, demonstrate in our facilities, and share with our communities."

Learn more about CGCC's sustainability efforts.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

CGCC student Jay-Waves interviewed on upcoming album release

Arizona Informant recently interviewed student Jamal Mobley on his upcoming release Elevator Doors.

"Jamal  Mobley,  better  known  around Phoenix as 'Jay-Waves,' is not only making a name for himself, but he is leaving behind footsteps that will be pretty challenging to follow. Born and raised in Phoenix, Jamal is 21 years old and a student at Chandler-Gilbert Community College where he is studying business. Jamal is also working on a new project with his longtime friend and producer Jordan Mitchell “JMitch” that is set to release early in 2014."

Read the full story by Chanette Campbell.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Top 10 ways to make the most of CGCC

Research shows that the more students take advantage of college services and get involved in the college community, the more likely they are to succeed in reaching their goals.

Chandler-Gilbert Community College offers many ways to get involved as well as a number of services to help students along their path of success.

Below are 10 suggestions to get you started.

  1. Join a student club. We offer more than 20 clubs and organizations of all kinds to get involved with.
  2. View a performance. From dance to theatre, jazz to chorus, there are many performances to enjoy throughout the semester
  3. Attend an athletics game. With nine athletic teams, there are many opportunities to cheer on the Coyotes. 
  4. Take advantage of free tutoring. Whether it's math, writing or science, the Learning Center offers all kinds of help, including online tutoring.
  5. Eat on campus. Both the Roadrunner Cafe and Coyote Café revamped their menus for the fall and a salad bar has been added to the Pecos campus. 
  6. Check your Maricopa email. All college communications are sent to your student Maricopa email address including information about financial aid, fees and registration. Check it regularly.
  7. Determine your career path. Career Services offers personalized assistance to help you figure out your educational and career goals and connect you with your professional community.
  8. Tap into special services. We have a number of offices dedicated to certain groups including veterans, re-entry students and those requiring specific educational resources.
  9. Connect with faculty. Meet with your faculty during their office hours to get to know them outside the classroom. They are excellent resources.
  10. Volunteer in the community. Our service-learning program has received national awards for the past seven years. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Four get nominated for ariZoni Theatre Awards

The ariZoni Theater Awards of Excellence announced the nominations for 2012-3013, which included four from Chandler-Gilbert Community College. They include:

  • Joya Scott: Original Script for the theater production of "Romeo and Juliet"
  • Ron Keller: Scenic Design, Property Design, and Lighting Design (shared with Jeremi Preston) for the non-contracted theater production of "A Christmas Carol"
  • Jeremi Preston: Lighting Design (shared with Ron Keller) for the non-contracted theater production of "A Christmas Carol"
  • John Jackson: Sound Design for the non-contracted theater production of "A Christmas Carol"

 A Christmas Carol
The nominees were submitted by ariZoni adjudicators who attend valley-area performances (five per performance) and score the production in different categories. The ballots are  submitted and tabulated against ballots from all the performances across the valley that applied to be adjudicated.

A Christmas Carol set and performers
The winners will be announced at the 23rd Annual ariZoni Theater Awards of Excellence Awards Ceremony held on Monday, Sept.16, 2013 at the Tempe Center for the Arts.

See all the ariZoni awards nominees.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Congrats to the Aug. 1 graduating nursing class

Twenty-five students will participate in Chandler-Gilbert Community College's Nursing Pinning Ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 1. The long-held tradition signifies their graduation from student to board-eligible registered nurse. Congratulations!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CGCC's online art and literary journal, Gila River Review, publishes Spring 2013 issue

K. Rodriguez is one of many artists featured in the
Spring 2013 issue of The Gila River Review
The Spring 2013 issue of The Gila River Review, Chandler-Gilbert Community College’s online art and literary journal, edited entirely by CGCC students, including honors students and members of the CGCC Creative Writing Club. The journal features fiction, poetry, art and music.

Take a look.

M. Trinidad

Monday, July 22, 2013

Rounds played at CGCC help student qualify for tournament

The Bismark Tribune covers CGCC student Jacob Dehne during the North Dakota Golf Association (NDGA) tournament in a story posted July 19, titled "Extra rounds paying off."

Jacob Dehne had tried his luck in two NDGA Match Play tournaments before this year’s edition at Riverwood Golf Course.

“It was not good,” Dehne said with a laugh. “I didn’t even make the championship flight either time.”

But the extra rounds Dehne got to play this year while enrolled at Arizona’s Chandler-Gilbert Community College obviously have helped his game.

The 19-year-old Century High School graduate not only qualified for the championship flight on Friday, he won his first two matches, advancing to the quarterfinals. Read the full story.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

2013 CGCC grad Jennifer Smestad crowned Miss Arizona

CGCC graduate Jennifer Smestad is a Miss America
contestant after being crowned Miss Arizona in June.
Jennifer Smestad, a 2013 graduate of Chandler-Gilbert Community College, was crowned Miss Arizona according to an Arizona Republic article on June 27. She will represent Arizona at the Miss America pageant on Sept. 15.

Read the full story.

Monday, July 8, 2013

President Lujan featured in the Arizona Republic's Who's Who in Business for 2013

"Who's Who in Business 2013" lists Arizona's leading companies in 50 sectors and profiles of high-ranking women in each field. President Lujan is featured in the Education section.

"Linda Lujan, president and chief executive officer of Chandler-Gilbert Community College, often shares her life story at orientations for re-entering students.

She tells them how she became pregnant at 17 and married and dropped out of high school. She talks about the minimum-wage jobs she worked while raising four children. And she tells the story of how she drove into the parking lot of her Denver-area community college, drove out and then finally worked up her courage to go into the building, meet the advisers and start college at age 30.

“It’s amazing how many students say, ‘Me, too! I came, and I drove away. I was too frightened to go in,’” Lujan says.

Today Lujan oversees a college that has three campuses and more than 19,000 students."
Read the full article.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer engineering program delivers hands-on experience

From left: Jimi Aguirre and his teammates Ulkar Alakbarova,
Brandon Caffie,  Dominika Wilk and Dillon Clark-Oden
following their app presentation at the Intel Ultimate
Engineering Experience.
Jimi Aguirre and his four teammates stand before a panel of judges, pitching their idea for a mobile app to help get children active. They developed their idea after hearing a presentation by the Chandler/Gilbert Family YMCA. After three minutes, a timer sounds and the judges ask questions for the next two minutes.

Aguirre and his team then return to their seats to listen to the remaining teams present. At the end of the day, a different proposal wins first place, but Aguirre and his team spend the next two weeks learning HTML and JavaScript language to build the app they pitched. Following that project, new teams will form and build a flying robot.

Following that project, new teams will form and learn how a microcontroller works and program it to control a flying quadcopter, a multicopter that is lifted and propelled by four rotors.

These are the experiences of the students participating in the Intel Ultimate Engineering Experience, a six-week summer program for undergrads exploring engineering. The curriculum focuses on building the skills students need in the workplace such as collaboration and critical thinking as well as gaining hands-on engineering experience.

“The program is intended to inspire the next generation of engineers and help them realize that engineering is really boundary-less,” said Cynthia Del Frate, program manager for the Intel Ultimate Engineering Experience. “It also gives us an opportunity to identify and connect with the top local talent.”

Hosted on the Chandler-Gilbert Community College’s (CGCC) Pecos campus, the program is one of three occurring this summer. The other two are in Sacramento, Calif. and Portland, Ore. The students work with Intel engineers and volunteers as they create and develop solutions designed to improve people’s lives.

   Aguirre, a sophomore at CGCC, feels honored to have been selected. At age 16, he moved out of his home, never completing high school. He pursued his passion for music and struggled to make ends meet. In 2007, he attended the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Gilbert and began his own recording studio. Being self-employed was “not as stable as I envisioned.”

Aguirre enrolled at CGCC and, while exploring career options in a college success class, realized he wanted a life for himself and his family beyond what an associates degree would provide. A subsequent class with biology professor Pushpa Ramakrishna reawakened his love of science and math.

“When Professor Ramakrishna teaches, you can feel it; her passion is so tangible. Being in her class reminded me of when I was young and my childhood fascination for all things science. When kids were buying comic books with their allowance, I was buying a microscope,” said Aguirre.

These two experiences helped Aguirre decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering. He has since joined the honor society Phi Theta Kappa and earned two scholarships. He continues to take 12 credits each semester while working full-time at two jobs.

“It’s challenging right now, but I focus on the future,” said Aguirre. “This experience will help me get there by networking and learning from professionals in the field.”

Networking is another important skill the program encourages the students to develop. “A powerful network will get you everywhere,” said Del Frate. “Not only for finding a job but for career growth.”
The last week of the program will help students develop job search skills, resumes and interviewing skills.

“This program is more broad than I expected and has been valuable for gaining experiences and skills that will help me provide my family with the life that I envision for us,” said Aguirre.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Harvest Festival covered by Maricopa News

Maricopa News covered the Harvest Festival coordinated by the Humanitarian and Environmental Action Team at the Pecos Campus Environmental Technology Center at the close of the spring semester. The story is last in the segment and starts at time mark 1:52.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Graduation from academy fulfills law enforcement dream

Fetuao Fetuao (top left) stands with fellow June 5
graduates from CGCC’s Law Enforcement Training Academy.
In his mid-teens, Fetuao Fetuao was, in his own words, a troublemaker. Although he hadn’t joined any of the gangs in Riverside, Calif. where he grew up, an interaction with a police officer set his course for the future.

Fetuao was a defensive player on the local high school football team. After winning the night’s game, he peeled out of the parking lot in his car and was immediately pulled over by a local officer who berated and swore at Fetuao. During the incident, he remembers thinking that he could probably do a better job of representing law enforcement than this officer.

“I try to treat others with respect and always do the right thing, regardless of the situation,” said Fetuao. “I knew I could make a difference in the community doing something in law enforcement.”

After following a circuitous path that took more than a decade, Fetuao received his certificate of completion from Chandler-Gilbert Community College’s Law Enforcement Training Academy on June 5.

Fetuao came to the U.S. from Samoa at age 13 with his parents and six siblings.  With a strict mother and a father focused on excellence, Fetuao learned self-discipline and developed a competitive nature with himself to do his best. His size and skill landed him a spot on the football team.

After graduation, he was expected to go on a mission, but attended Riverside Community College for two years instead. He played football and was finishing up the last of his eligibility requirements to play at Cal Poly when he decided a mission was something he wanted to do. He was sent to Arizona for two years and fell in love with the land, the heat and, after completing his mission, a woman who would eventually become his wife.

His interest in serving the community led him to become a correctional officer for a private company working with the U.S. Marshalls. Three years in, he realized he wanted to try and influence individuals before they landed in the correctional system.  He learned about the program at CGCC and he enrolled.

“The program is not like other academies,” said Fetuao. “At first, I couldn’t believe that we were being taught by commanders, lieutenants and officers as the faculty. They take the time to teach us the information and apply it to real-life scenarios so we know how to use it when we need to. We learn a lot of things visually and experientially, not just in a class. I haven’t even started my career and I’ve had such great experiences.”

The 10-month, 800+ hour program meets two evenings a week for four hours and all day Saturday, allowing students to attend classes while remaining employed. The training meets Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (Az POST) standards. Upon successful completion of the program and the Az POST comprehensive exam, students are eligible to be certified police officers. Students also earn 30 college credits from CGCC.

Although he hasn’t yet been employed with any of the local police departments, Fetuao has plans for the future, including returning to Samoa periodically to share what he’s learned.
“I want to tell everyone to act on their dreams. When you feel it, find the courage and go for it. You never know until you try,” said Fetuao.

To learn more about CGCC’s law enforcement training academy, visit or contact Jon Terpay, academy director, at 480.988.8756 or

Thursday, June 13, 2013

140 sixth graders attend college-preparation program at Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Local students attending the Destination College program
listen to speakers in CGCC's Performing Arts Center.
Arizona's chain of Independent newspapers ran a story about the three-week Destination College program taking place on Chandler-Gilbert Community College's Pecos Campus.

Read the article.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

More Valley students opting for dual enrollment

A growing number of students are collecting more than their high-school diplomas when they cross the graduation stage this month according to an article appearing in the Arizona Republic on May 27 written by Kerry Fehr.

The article notes that Chandler-Gilbert Community College has the second largest dual enrollment in the Maricopa Community College district with more than 7,200 students.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Who wants to be millionaire? CGCC adjunct faculty member Allison O'Neal, that's who.

Allison O'Neal (photo courtesy Disney-ABC)
CGCC adjunct faculty member and Gilbert resident, Allison O'Neal, will appear on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire tomorrow, May 29 on AZTV 7, cable channel 13 (KAZT). Allison teaches psychology and anthropology at CGCC and has been an adjunct since 2003.

Tune in to watch whether she becomes a millionaire.

Scholarship paves path for 44-year-old student

Tammy Day holds her scholarship award
plaque presented by Kelle Bingham
from the Chandler Service Club. 
On May 14, Tammy Day experienced something she never imagined would happen to her — she received a $3,500 scholarship from the Chandler Service Club for her academic and personal achievements.

Day, a 44-year-old Chandler-Gilbert Community College student, was diagnosed in elementary school with a learning disability and placed in remedial classes. This, combined with being overweight, made her a target and she was teased and bullied throughout school. At age 15, she ran away from home. Life was overwhelming and she turned to drugs, losing any motivation to apply herself in classes.

“By then, getting a ‘D’ in a class was an accomplishment,” said Day. She quit high school in the ninth grade. At age 18, she decided to go back to school to earn her GED, taking night classes and passing with the lowest score possible.

“I really thought getting a GED was the top of education for me,” said Day. “College never even crossed my mind.”

Knowing she wanted to make a difference, she became an avid volunteer and found her passion in helping the elderly. She spent the next 13 years working with them and the disabled.

“One day I asked a co-worker who happened to be a social worker how I could do her job. She said I would need a college degree,” said Day. “I was hitting my late thirties and had completely lost all hope of returning to school, so I continued to volunteer.

At 40, Day made a life-changing decision and enrolled in community college when a friend suggested she return to school to pursue her dream of becoming a social worker. Her first semester was challenging and awkward, feeling uncomfortable among a much-younger student body. She had decided to withdraw when one of her professors, Patrick Williams, convinced her to attend an on-campus lecture by author, speaker and refugee Mawi Asgedom.

“I try to inspire each student to reach their fullest potential,” said Williams, English faculty. “Tammy was working hard to keep up and was making excellent use of the resources on campus. Having a good sense of her personality from class, I thought she might really benefit from the speaker.”

“I think there is something each individual wants or needs to hear, and when we do, it empowers us to move forward,” said Day. “This is what happened to me. Mawi Asgedom completely changed my life.”

Day stuck with her classes that semester and earned a 4.0, a grade point average she has maintained since.

“Tammy has a compelling story and we were impressed by her persistence and hard work,” said Kelle Bingham of the Chandler Service Club, which restructured and combined their scholarship programs this year and awarded Tammy with enough funding to pay tuition, books and related expenses for an entire year through the  Helen Pernell and Jewel Lewis Memorial Community Scholarship. “Although we have always awarded a scholarship to re-entry students, we changed the program this year to focus on providing enough funding for an entire year so students don’t have to worry about finding multiple sources of support.”

For Day, who works part-time as a private duty caregiver, it is another life-changing experience.         “Having the scholarship and knowing that I’m halfway to my associates degree makes me feel like I can do this,” Day said, who plans to go on to earn a master’s degree and write a book. “If I can do it, with my history, others can too. As Mawi Asgedom said, ‘Never, never, never give up.’”

To learn more about helping students succeed through scholarships, contact Cindy Barnes Pharr, dean of community affairs, at 480-732-7093.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cody the Coyote among other MCCCD mascots featured in MCTV news

Cody the Coyote, Chandler-Gilbert Community College's mascot, was featured in a short news segment on MCTV highlighting all of the Maricopa Community College District's mascots.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dual enrollment launches college journey

Read the story "Dual enrollment launches college journey" appearing in the Arizona Republic on the benefits students and parents experience by participating in dual enrollment.