Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Inaugural donor reception pairs students with benefactors

CGCC President Linda Lujan with recipients of the
Florence A. Walsh Memorial Scholarship.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) held its inaugural scholarship donor reception on Dec. 4. More than 40 students were recognized as recipients of scholarships established by individuals, organizations and corporations, whose representatives were also present. This fall, CGCC awarded $883,000 in scholarships to more than 2,842 students.

CGCC President Linda Lujan spoke at the event, noting “Donors understand that investments made in education are compounded dramatically in their return and their impact on the lives of students and their current and future families as well as on society.”

According to the College Board’s 2013 Education Pays, students who earn degrees are not only more likely to have a higher salary but they are also more likely to be employed, to receive health benefits and pension programs from their employers, to be more active citizens, to lead healthier lifestyles, to move up the socioeconomic ladder, and to spend more time with their children.

Lujan went on to note that scholarships are only one way the college works to help it’s nearly 20,000 students reach their individual education goals, mentioning dedicated staff and faculty; innovative programs designed by faculty either at the college or in conjunction with other colleges; support of the community through service-learning projects, internships and partnerships; as well as district-wide initiatives from the Maricopa County Community College District.

“CGCC’s vision is to help every student succeed,” said Lujan. “Awarding nearly one million dollars to deserving students wouldn’t be possible without our donors. It’s important that we take the time to recognize and honor them and give them the opportunity to meet the students who are benefitting from their generosity.”
CGCC Aviation and Applied Technology Division Chair
Mike Hutto (left) and Bill Kipper from Boeing with aviation
and engineering student recipients of the Boeing Scholarship and
the SRP Get Into Energy Scholarship for Engineering.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New web design certificate will save money for small businesses

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) announces the availability of a new certificate program in web design. The program includes six classes (18 units) and is intended for those interested in designing and maintaining web pages for personal or small business use.

“This certificate addresses a business need for entrepreneurs and small business owners to develop the right skill set that will allow them to build and maintain a viable website that can support transactions and sales,” said Patricia Baker, computing studies faculty at CGCC. “Not only will the program save them valuable resources by not having to rely on external consultants, but many of the classes are online, allowing individuals to complete the classes based on personal availability.”

Students will learn basic skills in web development using HTML5 and CSS, creating and manipulating photos and artwork, and coding in JavaScript. The final capstone class in e-commerce pulls together the skills learned in earlier classes.

Classes begin spring 2015. Register today at

CGCC named eighth time to President's Community Service Honor Roll

Dec. 16 – Two Maricopa Community Colleges have been named to the 2014 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Chandler-Gilbert (CGCC) and Mesa Community College (MCC) were selected among only 766 higher education institutions nationwide, and among only four in the State of Arizona. The recognition highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community challenges, and helps students pursue a lifelong path of civic engagement.

“Chandler-Gilbert Community College was built on a foundation of service to the community,” said CGCC President Linda Lujan. “Because of our outstanding service-learning faculty and staff, more than 3,800 students last year provided countless hours of service and have been enriched by their service-learning experiences. It is indeed an honor to continue to be recognized nationally for our dedication to this important work.”

“We are proud to continue to receive this designation since its inception," said Shouan Pan, MCC President. "MCC has a long-held tradition of promoting service-learning, civic engagement, and
innovative teaching. We are committed to preparing students to be engaged and informed citizens through real life experiences.”

College students make a significant contribution to their communities through volunteering and service, according to the most recent Volunteering and Civic Life in America report. In 2012, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country — a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service, has administered the award since 2006 in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the American Council on
Education, Campus Compact, and the Interfaith Youth Core.

“Service and higher education go hand in hand,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in a news release. “These schools are inspiring young leaders to roll up their sleeves and work alongside community members to solve problems. By recognizing the institutions who are leading the way to achieve meaningful, measurable results for the communities they serve, we also highlight the vital role all colleges and universities play in addressing community challenges and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement.”

More information on eligibility and the full list of Honor Roll awardees may be found at


The Maricopa Community Colleges system includes 10 colleges – Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise\ Valley, Phoenix, Rio Salado, Scottsdale and South Mountain, two skill centers, and several satellite campuses and business/ industry, technical and customized training institutes. It also includes the Maricopa Corporate College, which delivers market-relevant, customized workforce solutions and education for students and employees in
virtually every industry sector. Through a strategic business partnership model, MCOR assesses workforce training needs and develops and delivers customized and integrated solutions to meet those needs throughout all levels of an organization.

The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Monday, December 15, 2014

CGCC welcomes new vice president of IT and Media Services

Dr. Charles Nwankwo
December 12, 2014 – Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) announces the addition of Charles Nwankwo as vice president of Information Technology and Media Services to its executive leadership team. In his position, Nwankwo will provide leadership to ensure that the technological services of the college meet the present and future needs of all students, faculty and staff.

"Chandler-Gilbert Community College relies heavily on technology to achieve our vision of ensuring every student succeeds,” said Linda Lujan, president of CGCC. “Dr. Nwankwo brings a depth and breadth of knowledge, particularly in a higher education setting, that will help the department maintain current systems as well as implement those technologies that will benefit students and employees.”

Nwankwo formerly served as the chief information resources and technology officer at SOWELA Technical Community College in the Louisiana Community College System. Prior to that position, he worked in the district information technology office of Houston Community College System in Houston, Texas. In addition to his leadership roles, Nwankwo has continued to teach as adjunct faculty in the classroom and online. His courses include biology, general biology, environmental science, earth science, oceanography and historical geology. Nwankwo earned his doctoral degree in education administration with emphasis on community college leadership from the University of Texas, a master's degree in environmental science and a bachelor's degree in environmental biology from the University of Houston.

“I am thrilled to join the Chandler-Gilbert family and the dedicated team of faculty, staff and administrators,” said Nwankwo. “I am looking forward to leading the division of Information Technology and Media Services and being able to contribute to the student success mission of the college.

Born in Nigeria, Africa, Nwankwo came to the United States as a young adult to pursue higher education. He attended a community college in Houston, Texas where he developed a love for technology and science and a passion for helping others through education. After earning his associate degree, he became a peer mentor to other community college students supporting their academic and social adjustment to the school. In doing this, he realized the importance of on-campus cultural diversity; an awareness that he is committed to sharing with his students to this day.

"I want to help students to learn, understand and to appreciate that we live in a global community and to embrace each other’s differences and commonalities as well as cultures," said Nwankwo. "I want to inspire and mentor CGCC students from different cultural backgrounds through my own personal experiences."

Friday, December 12, 2014

24-hour event teaches game-design skills

Fifty-five students spent 24 hours on campus to create games for grade-school children at the Intel Code for Good Hackathon on Nov. 21-22.

Students broke into 10 teams and created the proof-of-concept demos of games that teach impressionable kids about healthy lifestyle choices and as well as fitness and wellness. Volunteers from Intel, faculty from CGCC, hackathon veteran student mentors and subject matter experts guided the creative students – most having little to no previous experience with JavaScript – through the self-driven learning process, with many of them getting their games to work on mobile devices.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

CGCC launches paramedicine program

Chandler-Gilbert Community College is introducing an Emergency Response and Operations – Paramedicine education program in partnership with Phoenix College. Applications are now being accepted for the nine-month program which holds classes two days a week (Tuesday and Friday) for eight hours a day and was designed to have minimal impact on most East Valley firefighter schedules.

Completion of general education requirements along with the paramedicine specialized
education and curriculum will give students the courses needed for a degree in Emergency Response Operations (ERO). Additionally, the program will prepare students for certification testing with the National Registry of Emergency technicians at the level of paramedic. Any EMT B wanting to be a paramedic is encouraged to apply.

Deadline for submission is Dec. 29. Learn more at

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Nursing students bring health fair to senior centers

Jared Brimhall and fellow nursing students with their poster
at the Chandler Senior Center.
Nursing students visited the Chandler and Gilbert Senior Centers on Nov. 12 presenting posters and handouts on age-appropriate health topics. The service-learning event gives students the opportunity to interact with seniors, discuss health issues and hear their concerns.

“We do our clinicals in long-term care facilities and so the senior center health fair gives us an opportunity to see seniors who are, for the most part, healthy and strong,” said Jared Brimhall, nursing student. “These seniors — some who are in their 80s and 90s and living independently — are examples of the things we read about in the textbooks. It’s nice to get out in the community and talk with some of the patient population we’ll be taking care of after we graduate about health issues, what’s working well and how they stay healthy.“

The fairs have been a collaboration with the senior centers for the past three years.

“This event is good in many aspects for seniors,” said Eliza Haws, recreation coordinator at the Chandler Senior Center. “From a social perspective, the seniors love having youth come to the center. From an educational perspective, they are interested in the research on the health topics that the students present. It’s also beneficial to the students by providing them with an opportunity to speak with seniors on health topics. So it’s good for everyone.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Psychology conference brings profession to life for students

Zoila Tovar-Blank with the four students attending the
Arizona Psychologial Association conference in Tucson.
Four Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) students attended the Arizona Psychological Association convention in Tucson in October. Katharin Kubista, James Reagan, Patrick Sanborn and Jessica Von Hoff attended the conference after winning an essay contest asking interested students why they wanted to attend. Though, initially only two students were selected to attend, club fundraising and generous donations from psychology faculty Belinda Ramos and Scott Silberman and CGCC President Linda Lujan enabled the contest runners up to attend as well. CGCC was the only community college with students attending the conference.

“Attending the conference has a number of benefits for the students,” said Zoila Tovar-Blank, psychology club advisor and psychology faculty. “It exposes them to the field and to the ‘real-world’ of psychology. They also see that psychologists are people like themselves interested in helping others, which dispels the idea that they have to be brilliant or accomplished in some way to contribute to the profession. Finally, they get exposure to current research and its application.”

CGCC Psychology Club President Patrick Sanborn agrees.

“Attending the conference brought the profession of psychology to life,” said Sanborn. “The sessions introduced me to topics I might come across as a counselor and, as I met practicing psychologists, I realized they are down-to-earth and have troubles just like others. Eleven years of schooling to become a psychologist seems daunting, but I was able to see how others did it and it gave me confidence. I’m so grateful for the donations that allowed me and my fellow students to go. It was incredibly beneficial and I encourage any interested student to apply next year.”

The students also make some great connections and plan to invite many of them to present for the Psychology Club’s Brown Bag Lecture Series next semester and the coming year.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Employee commitment to service extends into the community

CGCC employees serving dinner at Paz de Christo on Dec. 2.
Members of the Professional Staff Association volunteering
at United Food Bank
As public employees, staff at Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) are already committed to public service, but one group has made it part of their mission to also conduct service in the community as well. Each month, members of the Professional Staff Association (PSA) work with local organizations on a selected community service project.

“As a long-time member of PSA, I know that many of our members volunteer individually in the community,” said Julie Wright, fiscal technician and PSA president of the CGCC chapter. “When I became president, I wanted to combine our individual efforts because we can do greater things with greater numbers of participants.”

On Dec 2, the group prepared and served dinner for hungry families along with other CGCC employees at Paz de Cristo community center in Mesa. They gathered and donated school supplies in September in collaboration with Humphrey Elementary School for Concordia Charter School which teaches children in disadvantaged communities. They also put together food boxes for United Food Bank in October. In support of the holiday season, they will work with Student Life to collect gifts and food for struggling student families.

“Initially, I thought the projects would just attract the same people who volunteer individually,” said Wright. “Instead, each event is getting larger and we are beginning to work with other groups like student clubs and other employee groups, which is exciting and rewarding. It’s validation that we are more than just a title or person behind a desk; that, individually and collectively, we truly care about our college and local community.”

New fire truck takes fire science program to next level

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) fire science students are receiving a new classroom experience due to a new fire truck purchased earlier this fall. The new CGCC truck allows students to receive critical hands-on field training while learning the ins and outs of operating a fire truck.

“The addition of the truck has allowed our program to be taken to the next level,” said Jason D’Eliso, health sciences lab coordinator and CGCC adjunct faculty member in the fire sciences program. “Our students are able to physically apply the concepts taught in the classroom and to participate in on-site drills crucial to preparing them for the everyday situations they will face as fire fighters.”

Purchased from the Tempe Fire Department, the 2005 fire truck is fully equipped with key fire-fighting components, including ladders, pike poles, axes and cutting equipment, hoses and various other tools. Prior to purchasing the truck, the fire science program relied heavily on the partnership of local fire departments to lend their trucks for hands-on training.

“Having full time access to our own truck vastly improves how effectively we can teach our students,” added D’Eliso.

The fire science program at CGCC is designed for students who need (1) advanced training as professional firefighters, (2) basic preparation courses for a career in fire services and/or (3) more comprehensive information about the fire hazard and prevention. Students interested in learning more about the program should visit