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.