Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Veterans Centers offer sanctuary to students

Veteran and student worker Antonio Felix helps fellow students in the
Williams Campus Veterans Center. 
Chandler-Gilbert Community College opened two new Veterans Centers this year – one each on the Pecos and Williams Campuses. Veterans make up three percent of the national college population and four percent of the CGCC student population. The Veterans Centers enable them to locate each other more easily and provide the resources they need to be successful in college. 

“Research shows that veterans do best when they can connect with other vets at college,” said Reda Chambers, coordinator of Veterans Services.  “Part of our being a military-friendly college means we design a way for them to easily do that as well as easily access the services they need.”

Both Veterans Centers offer furniture and a TV for relaxing as well as computers and spaces for studying. Veterans Administration work-study students are available to help with registering for classes, filing for veterans benefits and learning about college resources. The centers will also be headquarters for the Student Veterans Organization (SVO).

“Having a dedicated space not only demonstrates the commitment of the college to veterans but provides a little command center, if you will, for the SVO,” said Matt DePaul, SVO president. “I can bring in speakers or SVO presidents from the other Maricopa colleges and hold regular meetings to facilitate more opportunities for club members.” 

The center offers important intangible benefits as well.

“The centers give me a place to sit and interact with like-minded individuals, to share our stories and give each other support in a space physically designed for veterans. For example, there are no chairs with their backs to the door,” said DePaul. “It’s a sanctuary.”

The Veterans Centers are located in the new Coyote Center, CYT 2110, on the Pecos Campus and in the Bluford Building, BLUF 134, on the Williams Campus. For more information call 480-726-4094.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Chandler Chamber awards three scholarships to business students

Chandler Chamber of Commerce CEO Terri Kimble (left)
presented scholarships to three business students at the
Chandler Chamber Community Awards. 
The Chandler Chamber Community Foundation awarded scholarships to three business students from Chandler-Gilbert Community College on May 29 at the Chandler Chamber Community Awards dinner. Candace Dunn, Danny Ortiz and Aaron Tenorio each received $2,000 for the 2014-2015 academic year to be applied toward business classes.

Dunn is pursuing a business administration degree and plans to work in human resources. Ortiz is working toward his business management degree and wants to start his own business. Tenorio is an accounting major.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Silsby joins CGCC as men's basketball coach

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) hired Steve Silsby as its first full-time men’s basketball coach on July 21. Silsby joined CGCC after eight seasons as head men’s basketball coach for the University of Great Falls, where he built the program into a perennial Frontier Conference contender. Previous to UGF, he served three years as assistant men’s basketball coach and assistant athletic director for Scottsdale Community College.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to bring on a full-time basketball coach to this campus,” said Ed Yeager, director of athletics for CGCC. “Not only was Steve an exact right fit because of his familiarity with the Valley and previous experience, but his hiring brings a new beginning for the men’s basketball team.”

CGCC’s basketball program has had only part-time coaches since its inception 15 years ago and was based on the Williams Campus near the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport where the gym was located. A new gym was completed on the Pecos Campus in July with the construction of the 74,859-square-foot Coyote Center, which houses athletics as well as enrollment and student services.

“Having a full-time coach on the same campus with most of our athletes will make a significant positive impact,” said Yeager. “The athletes will receive more attention and have quicker access to a network of support if they experience any problems in academics or on the court. “
Silsby is looking forward to building a new culture for the team.

“I’m thrilled to be here and to be able to contribute to not only the success of the athletics department but also to the team members,” said Silsby. “I tell the students that the knowledge they gain here will set them up for the next 30-40 years, and that knowledge is more than just how to play well, it’s about striving for excellence in all aspects of their lives.”

Silsby joins three full-time coaches in baseball, volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer.