Wednesday, May 20, 2015

24th annual commencement recognizes more than 1,300 graduates

CGCC's Class of 2015 at Sloan Park
More than 1,300 students graduated from Chandler-Gilbert Community College, 300 of them braving a spring storm to participate in the 24th annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 15. The event was held for the first time at Sloan Park, spring training home of the Chicago Cubs, in Tempe, Ariz.  Graduates and their families arrived for the 7 p.m. ceremony, which featured student speaker Cassandra Roose and keynote address Felicia Ganther, associate vice chancellor for student affairs for the Maricopa County Community College District.

"The tassle's worth the hassle"
Among those graduating include 79 veterans, 443 students with a 3.5 GPA or higher, 118 honors program graduates with a 3.25-4.0 GPA and 138 members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. (Some students received multiple honors). 

The week prior, 75 students were recognized for their academic accomplishments at the 11th annual Evening of Excellence award ceremony, many receiving scholarships. 
Students receive honors at Evening of Excellence

Communication faculty wins second distinguished speaking award

Diane Travers Shipman with her second
Distinguished Toastmasters Award
Communication and Fine Arts Division chair and faculty Diane Travers Shipman was awarded her second Distinguished Toastmasters Award (DTM) on May 15, 2015, the highest accomplishment possible in Toastmasters. Travers achieved her first DTM in June 2010.

To achieve a DTM, one has to complete approximately 50 speeches and multiple leadership opportunities, including district leadership. Travers Shipman joined Toastmasters in 2007 and for her first DTM, she was an area governor mentoring seven clubs and serving as a liaison to the district. In 2015, she served a one-year term as the District 3 (Arizona State) secretary.

Travers Shipman's home club is the Power Play Toastmasters, which started in 2006. In September 2012, she secured approval to allow the club to meet on campus every Thursday evening (6:30-9 p.m.). The group has open meetings allowing students who are interested or required to attend by a faculty member to participate. To date, more than 700 student visits have been recorded at Power Play Toastmasters and multiple other students have attended additional Toastmaster clubs. The vast majority of our membership comes from the community.

"I equate welcoming students to Power Play Toastmasters as to that of being a gardener," said Travers Shipman. "The students have a brief, positive exposure to this friendly and welcoming non-profit organization and thus a seed is planted. So many current members joined Toastmasters to develop communication and leadership skills for the workplace. It is my hope that our students will know they can continue developing their skills as a supplement to their academic coursework, as well as once they are in the workplace."

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. The organization started in 1924. The mission of Toastmasters is to provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

CGCC recognizes Dignity Health as hero of education

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) recognized Dignity Health at the Maricopa Community Colleges and Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation’s Heroes of Education 2015 Recognition Dinner in April. The award recognizes individuals, organizations or companies who have distinguished themselves by providing exceptional support and/or service to one of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges

Dignity Health has supported CGCC in a variety of ways. In 2007, they provided $500,000 in funding to help complete the construction of the health sciences building (Engel Hall) on the Williams Campus. Among many classrooms and faculty office space, the building houses a 10-bed nursing laboratory and a two-bed simulation lab. The beds and thousands of dollars in supplies for the laboratories were donated by Dignity Health, making them a realistic work environment for nursing students.

Dignity Health’s support of CGCC extends beyond donations to the college. Strong working relationships have been developed between CGCC faculty and Dignity Health professionals. For example, CGCC’s dietetic technology program requires 167 hours of internship under the supervision of a clinical nutrition manager and staff of registered dietitians and dietetic technicians.  Dignity Health (Mercy Gilbert Medical Center) has provided this rigorous medical nutrition therapy (clinical) experience for a number of CGCC students. Mercy Gilbert Medical Center has also employed CGCC alumnus in their Food and Nutrition Department.

Dignity Health also supports students through a number of long-standing scholarships for those pursuing nursing and health-related certificates and degrees.

This multi-faceted partnership with Dignity Health makes them a Hero of Education to Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Disaster Day gives mass casualty experience to fire science, EMT and nursing students

Fire science, emergency medical technician (EMT) and nursing students combined skills in April for the inaugural Disaster Day held in front of Engel Hall on Chandler-Gilbert Community College's Williams Campus. Volunteer students were assigned roles of victims involved in a multi-vehicle accident who were assessed by fire sciences and EMT students. They were then taken by stretcher, if appropriate, to the “hospital” inside Engel Hall where they were triaged by nursing students and treated according to their injuries. A debrief and discussion period followed the exercise where participants including faculty shared their observations.

“This event gives students a better understanding of the interactions between pre-hospital and hospital staff in the event of a mass casualty incident,” said Maria Reyes, dean of career and technical education at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.  “Participants gain experience in triage, treatment and transportation of simulated victims in an exercise designed to be a positive learning environment that will assist students in expanding their skills and preparing them for real-life scenarios like these.”

Hoop of Learning students earn associate degree before diploma

Chandler-Gilbert Community College Hoop of Learning students Tia Gramzinski and Monica Sekaquaptewa were featured on last night's 4, 5 and 6 p.m. broadcast of the NBC Channel 12 news for graduating from college before high school. The girls have taken participated in the Hoop of Learning program as well as participating in dual enrollment in their high schools enabling them to earn enough credits to receive their associate degrees before their high school diplomas,  Gramzinski will attend Northern Arizona University in the fall and Sekaquaptewa will attend Columbia in New York City. View the segment.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nine community leaders recognized for their contributions to CGCC

From left: Greg Lewis, Felicia Ganther, Ross Salerno, Rhonda Curtis,
 Luke Hickey, Travis Miller, Scott Veach, Jay Tibshraeny and Olivia Lara.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) recognized nine community leaders for their dedication and support of CGCC students, employees, programs and services at the 11th annual Teal & Silver award event at the Williams Campus.

The 2015 Teal & Silver award recipients are:

  • Officers Travis Miller and Glen Robinson, Chandler Police Department Motorcycle Patrol, Community Organization Partner 
  • Luke Hickey, CTA Humphrey Elementary School, K-12 School Colleague 
  • Felicia Ganther, Maricopa Community Colleges, Community College Colleague
  • Greg Lewis, Si Se Puede Volunteer, Intel Corporation, Business and Industry Partner
  • Olivia M. Lara, Adjunct Faculty, Maricopa Community Colleges, Scholarship Donor 
  • Ross Salerno, Salerno’s Restaurant and Catering, Vendor Partner
  • Rhonda Curtis, Wells Fargo Bank, President’s Community Advisory Council Chair, Community Leader 
  • Jay Tibshraeny, Mayor of the City of Chandler, Community Leader 

“The community leaders and businesses honored today with a Teal & Silver award provide Chandler-Gilbert Community College and its students with vital support that improves their experience and contributes to their success.” said Linda Lujan, Chandler-Gilbert Community College president “Whether through direct interaction, funding for scholarships, or support for the college and its’ programs, we are truly grateful for their involvement and dedication.”

The Chandler-Gilbert Community College Teal & Silver Awards program was created to recognize the contributions of individuals who support Chandler-Gilbert Community College through various efforts. Recipients positively impact the college by assisting with the program or service improvements, supporting creative and innovative ideas, improving the quality of the college experience, support the delivery of instruction, providing resources or assisting with cost-saving measures and advocating for the college in media, with elected officials and in the community.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Earning an associate degree before a high school diploma

Jessica Solis speaking with Erika Flores from AzFamily3
Three recent news items have featured the accomplishment of Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) and Hamilton High School student Jessica Solis who will be awarded her associate degree in CGCC's commencement ceremony this Friday before receiving her high school diploma the following week. Solis is a participant in the Achieving a College Education (ACE) program as well as dual enrollment, enabling her to earn 62 credits while attending high school -- essentially being a full-time student at two locations. Read her story featured in the East Valley Tribune's First degrees: Students get college degrees before diplomas and the accompanying story about the benefits of dual enrollment in Teens earning associate's and diplomas. Television stations AzFamily3 and CBS5 also ran the story,

Friday, May 8, 2015

Honors project depicts visions of 'home'

Depictions of 'home' by volunteers ages 3 to 70.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society students completed and posted their Honors in Action project for the spring semester. The exhibit, titled “Home,” is based on the honor society’s theme Quests of Human Expression. The focus of the exhibit is to show the similarities and differences in genders and generations by the expression of art, with emphasis on what the idea of home means to different individuals.

The exhibit is comprised of diverse drawings by volunteers, both student and public, ages 3 to 70, that depict home. The exhibit can be viewed on the first floor of the library.

Participating students collaborated with art faculty Ted Wolter, who provided insight on what medium of art to use, and recruited the efforts of Zoila Tovar-Blank and the Psychology Club, who analyzed the artwork. They also received support from Phi Theta Kappa Co-Advisor Noel Morelos.

Submitted by Chris Schnick, Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Leadership, innovation and service describe woman of distinction

Dawn Gruichich was selected as the 2015 Woman of Distinction for Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC). Gruichich, who is the director of Student Support and Transition Services, was nominated by her peers for her leadership, innovation, service and contribution to women.

Gruichich has long-standing service to the college and the district not only in her position where she has worked for 12 years but in serving on more than 20 college- and district-wide committees and councils. Prior to her permanent position, she was a consultant to the college as well as Chandler Early College  on CGCC’s Pecos Campus for seven years.

Among her many contributions is her development and implementation of an early alert system for CGCC, which received an Innovation of the Year award in 2006-2007 and was then integrated throughout the district. She worked collaboratively with faculty to develop, deliver and evaluate the online and in-person early intervention program that allows faculty and staff to notify crisis management team of students in need of help in order to retain them in school and/or keep them from harm. More than 2,000 CGCC students have received assistance through this program.

She was also instrumental in initiating and developing a re-entry program for students. She regularly conducts new student orientation sessions designed for re-entry students to help them adjust to college. Additionally, she collaborates and works in unison with Public Safety with any crisis on campus.

Dawn was honored at the 17th annual Women of Distinction Luncheon on April 30.

Training faculty to better serve veterans leads to district award

Miguel Fernandez
The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation recognized English faculty Miguel Fernadez with the 2015 Employee Recognition Award for his outstanding contributions to the District's mission.

Fernandez, who is a faculty liaison for veterans as well as a co-sponosor of the Chandler-Gilbert Community College chapter of the Student Veterans Organization (SVO), spent his sabbatical semester (Fall 2014) researching and developing an online training program to assist faculty members in understanding and dealing with student veterans. Working closely with the SVO, the result was "Toolkit for Training Faculty to Best Serve Student Veterans."

The training program is available free of charge through a creative commons license and consists of PDFs organized into 10 chapters. It can be used as a self-paced training for individual instructors, or its modules can be used by others to conduct in-person training at individual campuses.

Since veterans awareness training for faculty is one of the required components of Veterans Supportive Campus designation by the State of Arizona, Fernandez's toolkit directly benefits all of the Maricopa County Community Colleges in advancing them one step closer to that very important designation.

Fernandez also has plans to introduce the toolkit to colleges across the country, including several major universities. The program has the potential to benefit student veterans and those who instruct them nationwide.

"Concise, accurate, worthwhile training for faculty and staff in dealing with student veterans has been hard to find for many years," said Reda Chambers, coordinator of veterans services, who nominated Fernandez for the award. "For-profit groups have stepped in to fill this need, but at several thousand dollars per unit, these programs have proven cost-prohibitive for many schools. Miguel's toolkit contains a wealth of information, yet its format is extremely readable and undaunting."

In recognition of his accomplishment, Fernandez will receive a $1,000 scholarship to designate to a student at any college or center within the Maricopa County Community College District.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Paired classes lead to increased student engagement and success

The CGCC learning communities team receives
recognition as Innovation of the Year from Chancellor
Rufus Glasper
A team of CGCC staff and faculty were honored at the Maricopa Community College District Innovation of the Year event for their work to renovate Chandler-Gilbert Community College's learning communities for developmental education classes.

Developmental education classes are those classes do not yet meet college-level education requirements. Students may need to take developmental education classes based on placement tests when entering college.

Learning communities integrate two or more courses in ways that meaningfully connect the knowledge of each course.

The proposal "Reinventing Developmental Education Learning Communities" notes that the team renovated the CGCC developmental education learning community offerings in reading, mathematics and English which were implemented in fall 2013. The renovated offerings were integrated with student success courses as well as classes in psychology, sociology, English and humanities.

Data gathered since that time demonstrates that students in the learning community classes had the same or higher success rates as well as retention rates than students in stand-alone classes.

More notably, evaluation of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) results indicate students in developmental learning communities have statistically significant higher student engagement than students in stand-alone classes in five areas: active and collaborative learning, student effort, academic challenge, student-faculty interaction and support for learners.

CGCC faculty have presented this data at the last two National Conferences on Learning Communities and have been fielding questions from various institutions around the country, particularly in regards to reading and writing learning communities which had success rates that were 7.1 percent and 5.4 percent higher semester-over-semester and 8.1 percent and 6.9 percent higher year-to-year than stand alone classes respectively.

The project comes with the rapid expansion of developmental learning communities which tripled in 2013-2014 in an effort to teach nearly all reading classes in the learning community format to foster increased student success, retention and engagement.

Monday, May 4, 2015

ACCAC announces two Coyotes earned honors during the 2015 season

James Ziegler, a sophomore outfielder/first baseman from Basha High School, earned All-Conference honors as well as First Team All-Region Honors for his outstanding play during the season. Ziegler led the Chandler-Gilbert Community College Coyotes in multiple offensive categories and finished with the ninth highest batting average in Coyote history. Ziegler hit .400 and finished with 43 RBI’s, 44 runs scored, and 7 home runs. Ziegler will continue his baseball career at Texas Wesleyan University.

Jose Pereyda, a sophomore third baseman from North High School, earned Second Team All-Region for his play during the 2015 season. Pareyda finished the season with a .320 batting average with 31 RBI’s. Pareyda led the Coyotes with 13 doubles during the season. Pareyda is undecided on where he will continue his baseball career.