Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Environmental Technology Center named District Innovation of the Year

The Environmental Technology Center (ETC) was selected as Maricopa County Community College District's 2013-14 Innovation of the Year. The ETC is a two-acre outdoor learning laboratory that gives students experiential learning opportunities to explore the importance of carrying capacities in relation to human population and local ecosystems. The ETC is available to all programs, individuals and the community for learning activities related to its mission.

The following individuals were honored at the MCCCD Innovation of the Year Award Ceremony on April 30 for their role in the creation and success of the ETC. Tom Foster, business and computing studies; Kelly Hiett, biology; Paul Petrequin, history, Milos Podmanik, mathematics; Yvonne Reineke, creative writing and literature; Chris Schnick, composition, creative writing, and literature; Roy Schiesser, science; Kendra Stanger, ETC student coordinator; Greg Swan, business and computing studies.

Related stories: ETC grand opening highlights college and community benefits

Conversations with Holocaust survivor leads to book

** Update 4/15/14: This story was also covered by the Arizona Republic in the article Gilbert teacher writes memoir of holocaust survivor.

Albion-Andalus Books recently published The Risk of Sorrow: Conversations with a Holocaust Survivor authored by education adjunct faculty Valerie Foster.

Listed on last week, the book is the culmination of a five-year journey with Helen Handler, a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz now in her eighties who, according to Foster, chooses her to preserve her final testament.

Handler has been a guest speaker in CGCC’s education program many times in recent years and is a prominent speaker in the Valley. She is also featured in a recent documentary produced by J2 Media for the Chandler Holocaust and Tolerance Museum project.

The documentary will be shown Tuesday, April 8 at the Chandler Center for the Arts as part of a fund- and awareness-raising event by the East Valley Jewish Community Center in recognition of the Holocaust Remembrance Month.

Both Foster and Handler will be signing books, which will be for sale, at the event.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Student selected as one of 10 to Cisco Live's Dream Team

Andy Gronan
Andy Gronen was chosen to be a member of the Cisco Live Dream Team. In its fourth year, the Dream Team is a vital element to the success of Cisco Live, an education and training conference for IT professionals worldwide. The team, which is comprised of national and local students and instructors, works hands-on alongside industry leaders to deploy and support the event's network operations center and to support Cisco customers at the help desk, helping to deliver a positive experience for over 20,000 conference attendees.

“Being part of the Cisco Dream Team for Cisco Live 2014 is a huge learning and networking opportunity for me,” said Gronen. “I know that the experience will be incredible both on an interpersonal and technical level, and I think I will learn hands-on skills like never before. This level and scale of network is certainly unprecedented for me and I plan on making the most of the experience by learning all I can and meeting numerous interesting people from different backgrounds to further expand my worldview.”

Gronen was selected from more than 80 applicants who had completed the Cisco Networking Academy based on technical and professional skills, instructor recommendations, activities outside the classroom, and geographical and individual diversity.

Andy is an international student from Italy with a bachelor's degree in economics and a master’s degree in game design. He has maintained a 4.0 grade point average in all of his IT courses and recently placed ninth nationally in the Cisco NetRiders competition. He is a Certified Cisco Network Associate and is enrolled in Cisco Certified Network Profession training. He worked for the University of Advancing Technology and GoDaddy before his visa expired and subsequently went back to college to earn Cisco certifications.

“I am trying to break into the industry and being a foreign student is not easy,” said Gronen. “I feel that my qualifications are good, but I still lack the edge to really make myself be noted. I think that being on the Dream Team could be that thing that will get me noticed and hopefully lands me a networking job with one of the really great companies like Cisco, Level 3, Google or others."

Monday, March 24, 2014

Nursing's concurrent enrollment program selected as Bellweather finalist

The Maricopa Nursing program was selected as a finalist for the 2014 Bellwether Award in the Workforce Development category. The submission,“Concurrent enrollment programs at Maricopa Nursing – Meeting Current and Future Nursing Needs Through Progression and Innovation” was selected by the Community College Futures Assembly (CCFA) from more than 400 applications.

“The concurrent enrollment program is an innovative way for MCCCD nursing programs to facilitate a cost-effective and timely way for students to simultaneously achieve their associate and bachelor’s degree in nursing,” said Jill Anderson, division chair of Nursing and Health Sciences at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. “It also serves national goals recommending 80% of registered nurses hold a bachelor degree. This educational opportunity has quickly become popular among our students.”

The Bellwether Awards showcase leading-edge programs with demonstrated results, worthy of replicating in any community college. The Workforce Development category recognizes programs that create public and/or private strategic alliances and partnerships that promote community and economic development. Annually between 100 and 500 applications are received from around the United States, Canada, and other countries for the Bellwether Awards in three categories.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dancers selected to perform at regional dance festival

The Chandler-Gilbert Community College dancers performed at the American College Dance Festival, West Region on March 15. The piece, choreographed by Crystal Lewis "Accumulate," was one of 12 chosen from nearly 48 dances from colleges and universities in Arizona, Nevada and California. The dancers who performed include Rachael Adams, Sarah Felix, Ashley Honick, Heather King, Chandler Leany, Hailey McCourt, Courtney Miles, Jessi Miles, Hannah Robinson and Paulina Silva.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

MEN volunteer at Chandler Men of Action banquet

Male Empowerment Network members with CGCC
Vice President of Student Affairs Bill Crawford (second from
left) and chapter advisor Tony Little (far right).
The Male Empowerment Network (MEN) chapter at Chandler-Gilbert Community College volunteered at the Chandler Men of Action’s African American Banquet in February. The event celebrated the accomplishments made during the year by African Americans as well as served to strengthen pride, spirit and character. Two scholarships were awarded and a Man of the Year selected.

Chapter members arrived early to help set up the event, assisted with the silent auction during the evening and stayed late to help break down and clean up. The group is part of the Minority Male Initiative at Maricopa County Community Colleges which is designed to improve the retention and degree-completion rates of minority male students.

The CGCC MEN chapter has nearly 30 members, according to Tony Little, chapter advisor. The group is open to everyone and has a strong support base of women who support three primary goals:

  • Increase the access, persistence, and graduation rate of minority male students
  • Connect minority male students with academic and professional support resources/services
  • Create a culture of success and empowerment among minority male students. 

Learn more about the CGCC MEN chapter on Facebook.

Award-winning author and faculty member reads from latest book

Chandler-Gilbert Community College English faculty and creative writing program founder Patrick Finn appeared at the Changing Hands bookstore on March 10 to read from his short story collection From the Darkness Right Under Our Feet. The book won the 2009 Hudson Prize and was selected by Donal Day Pollock, a GQ Magazine's 2011 Book of the Year author, as his favorite book published that year.

"I spent eight years writing it and all the stories are set in Joliet, Illinois, a Rustbelt city southwest of Chicago where I spent the first sixteen years of my life," said Finn. "I suppose my inspiration was making sense and shape of the wreckage of my childhood. My first book, the novella A Martyr for Suzy Kosasovich, is also set there."

Finn is currently at work on two new books, a novel called A Place for Snakes to Breed, and a collection of new stories called Superstitions, both of which are set in the American Southwestern deserts of California and Arizona, where he's lived since 1989.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Two faculty selected for Roueche teaching excellence awards

Jennifer Peterson and Miguel Fernandez
with their Roueche Excellence medallions.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College English faculty Miguel Fernandez and education faculty Jennifer Peterson were selected as recipients of the 2013 John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards presented March 3 during  the annual League for Innovation in the Community College Innovations conference.

The League for Innovation in Community College is a consortium of more than 750 community colleges and universities worldwide. John E. and Suanne D. Roueche, leaders in the community college field and early proponents of the idea that teachers have major responsibility for how students succeed in the classroom, have been partners and friends of the league for more than 35 years.

The awards celebrate excellence in teaching with the eligibility criteria, procedures, and election protocol customized by each member institution and dependent on their ideals and values of faculty and staff excellence.

As part of their award, recipients had to share their philosophy of teaching. View Fernandez's on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

CGCC expands to fourth location with the Communiversity at Queen Creek

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) has expanded its educational services and classes to a fourth location at the newly opened Communiversity at Queen Creek at Ellsworth and Ocotillo Roads. Students can enroll, receive advisement, register for classes at any of the CGCC locations as well as take classes taught at the downtown location.

“The Communiversity at Queen Creek is a wonderful way to expand the educational opportunities available at Chandler-Gilbert Community College to downtown Queen Creek,” said Linda Lujan, president of Chandler-Gilbert Community College. “Alongside our comprehensive Williams Campus at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, we’re looking forward to helping Queen Creek residents succeed in reaching their individual higher educational goals.”

The Communiversity at Queen Creek campus is a unique civil and educational partnership offering students a variety of academic services and programs in one convenient location.

Registration is now open and classes begin March 17-18. For more information and to register for classes visit or call 480-384-9333.

CSI 105 Survey of Computer Information System M,W 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 3 credits
ENG 101 First-Year Composition M,W 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 3 credits
SBS 220 Internet Marketing for Small Business Tu, Th 9 a.m.-10:40 a.m. 2 credits
MAT 121 Intermediate Algebra Tu, Th 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 4 credits
PSY 101 Intro to Psychology Tu, Th 9 a.m.-11:40 p.m. 3 credits

Community colleges nourish both students and society, report says

The Chronicle of Higher Education printed an article based on a report, "Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community College" noting that community-college graduates receive nearly $5 in benefits for every dollar they spend on their education, while the return to taxpayers is almost six to one. The report seeks to quantify what happens when community colleges provide employers with skilled workers, the economy with consumers, and graduates with jobs along with better health and well-being. Read the story.