Monday, August 31, 2015

CGCC Alumnus Ginny DeSanto

CGCC Alumni Ginny DeSanto was featured in last week's issue of the Phoenix Business Journal talking about her commitment to education and passion for soccer. Click here to read the full story!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

CGCC Faculty Members Recap Inspiring Trip to Mexico

Faculty members David Muñoz (Philosophy/Religious Studies) and Sue Steele (Math) recently returned from a two week long trip to Mexico City and Guanajuato as part of the 2015 Global Engagement Faculty Development Program  offered by the Office of International and Intercultural Education. Steele and Muñoz were two of six district faculty members chosen to represent CGCC, the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) and the state of Arizona to facilitate the internationalization of the MCCCD curriculum and colleges.
While in Mexico, they were fully immersed in the study of the country, and gained a first-hand understanding of its distinctive people and culture. They traveled to the University of Guanajuato where they interacted with students and faculty about academic research, curriculum development and other means to establish beneficial relationships between the Maricopa Community Colleges and the University of Guanajuato. They also had the opportunity to visit key cultural, archaeological, religious, and historical sites including: the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Museo Frida Khalo, Basilica de Guadalupe and Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia in Mexico City as well as the Museo Casa Diego Rivera, Teatro Juárez and Monumento el Pípila in Guanajuato. 
We had the opportunity to with chat with Steele and Muñoz about their recent experience. Here's what they had to say...
"The past three weeks spent in Mexico were a life changing experience for me and my outlook on Mexican culture. There were bonds created amongst Maricopa colleagues as well as educators and professionals of Mexico that will stay strong for a long time, if not forever.  The value that came from this cultural exchange is priceless,  not only to educate my students on Mexican culture but also to develop relationships with Mexican officials and share pedagogical and technological ideas. Our connection will allow the people of Guanajuato to be introduced to new advances in technology in hybrid classes in addition to exposing the students at Chandler-Gilbert Community college to the culture,  sites and structures in Mexico through math problems. I strongly suggest any educator to take advantage of the opportunity to experience the beauty and richness of Mexico through this unique program." -Sue Steele, Math Faculty 
"This trip has been amazing not only for the opportunity to participate with faculty members from different colleges and disciplines but also, the immense richness of information, academic dialogues, inspiration and plain friendship we were able to develop.  I do think all of us enriched not only our academic life but also, our personal experiences, these grew throughout the past 3 weeks full of activities, conferences, tourist sites, and conversations we had among ourselves.  I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to engage in diversity, culture, and academic advancement. -David Muñoz, Philosophy & Religious Studies Faculty              

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Prioritize Your Health This Semester, Enroll In a Group Fitness Class at The Coyote Center

With the everyday stresses of homework, work and family, finding time to work out may seem impossible for many students. One solution may be group fitness classes at the Coyote Center which are a convenient way for students to exercise without the hassle of leaving campus. From Yoga and Pilates to Zumba and Boot Camp, classes are available in a variety of workout styles and are offered Monday-Thursday from 7am to 5pm.  

"It is really important for students to find time to add movement into their day," said Cookie Potter, manager of the Coyote Center. "We offer a variety of classes throughout the day in order to make them convenient for students' schedules. Our classes are an opportunity for students to take a break from technology and the pressures of the classroom; to move around and have fun! "

The benefits of group exercise go beyond improved physical health. Group classes are a wonderful place to meet new people who have similar lifestyle goals as as well as a great way for students to feel motivated. When you're working out on your own it's easy to slow down when tired and give up. But in our group classes, instructors will work with students to push them to the next level through safe and effective workouts. Physical activity is also a great way to boost student performance. Research shows that students who take breaks from their class work to be physically active during the school day are often better able to concentrate and may do better on standardized tests. 

"Brain function is improved when we are doing physical activity, especially when it comes to academic performance. It is important for students to look at fitness as a way to help them stay strong both inside and outside the classroom," said Potter.

The William's Campus is now offering group fitness classes this semester in the areas of: Pilates, Yoga and Zumba. Classes begin on August 31st and go through December 10th. Each class is worth one academic credit and is taught by a degree-certified instructor. For more information on group classes visit the Coyote Center's website or contact a Coyote Center representative at 480.732.7000.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Chandler-Gilbert Community College Awarded National Latino Grant: Grant to educate students about the history and culture of Latinos in the U.S.

Chandler, Ariz.—August 5, 2015--

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) has been awarded a Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA).  As one of 203 grant recipients selected from across the country, CGCC will receive an award of $10,000 to produce public programming about Latino history and culture. CGCC’s participation in the Latino Americans grant affords a unique opportunity to provide a framework for students and community members to explore the history and cultural impact of Latinos in the United States. 

At the center of the programming is the six-part, NEH-supported documentary film “Latino Americans,” created for PBS in 2013 by the WETA public television station. The award-winning series chronicles the history of Latinos in the United States from the 16th century to present day. Learn more about the series at  Three episodes of the documentary will be screened between September and May with scholar-led discussions after the screenings.

Donna Thompson, Humanities and Woman Studies Faculty and grant co-director, emphasizes the importance of “using the arts and humanities to explore the challenges and opportunities present in our communities.” She explains that “An essential feature of CGCC’s grant events is the focus on creating space for conversation, debate among students, scholars, and community members around significant concerns and issues in our region like immigration, the Dream Act, migrant workers, cultural conflicts, and citizenship.” 

Program activities will engage students and community youth from the Si Se Puede Foundation in writing and sharing their stories; hearing the writing of Southwest and local writers, including Sandra Cisneros; with local playwrights, actors, and artists; and producing dramatic scenes in response to the migrant experience. 

Alexandra Cannell, CGCC Coordinator of Service-Learning, explains the positive outcomes of this work: “This grant provides the opportunity to deepen our relationship with Si Se Puede Foundation through programming that will serve its youth and educate our own students by giving them avenues to explore their own identities in connection with Latino history and current events. This is a critical component of their personal development that will positively impact their futures and the future of our community." 

Programming will also involve recording and sharing the histories of local Latino American artists to celebrate the artists’ lives and accomplishments, teach about local history and themes inherent in the artists’ life experiences, and inspire community members, especially the youth, to make art part of their life for identity exploration, enrichment, and expression. CGCC will be display the oral histories collected in their library as well at Chandler Public Library.

For more information, please call Dean of Arts and Sciences, Chris Schnick at 480-732-7274, or visit       

About Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Chandler-Gilbert Community College is one of ten Maricopa County Community Colleges, the largest community college system in the country. CGCC serves the higher education needs of over 19,000 students at four locations in the Southeast Valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area - the Pecos Campus in Chandler, the Williams Campus in Mesa, the Sun Lakes Center in Sun Lakes and at the Communiversity in Queen Creek. CGCC offers degrees and certificates in a variety of fields, university transfer, workforce development programs, and continuing education, along with nationally recognized programs in service learning, learning communities, and civic engagement. For more information, visit or call 480-732-7000.

About the National Endowment for Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at     

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

CCGC Awards Small Business Certificate to Five Gila River Entrepreneurs

Over the summer, Chandler-Gilbert Community College awarded five members from the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) small business certificates as part of a joint effort to educate tribal members on becoming successful entrepreneurs on the reservation.  The program is part of the GRIC's Career Pathways program, a tribal program that helps connect members to job training, education and employment.

David Johnson, 26, a computer programming student at CGCC and member of the GRIC, is one of the five members to receive a small business certificate. With hopes of someday running his own video game design company, Johnson initially enrolled in the program to find a job on the reservation. Ten months later, he has secured a job as a video and graphics trainee and is preparing to launch his video game business.

"The Career Pathways small business program taught me so much about running my own company and connected me to so many influential people who want to help me succeed," said Johnson. "Prior to this program, I had little to no knowledge about what it truly meant to be a business owner.  Now I feel confident talking to others in the business community about my own desire to run a video game company and have the foundation to get me started."

Career Pathways is a grant-based system funded by the U.S. Department of Labor that inspires and supports educational opportunities for adults on the reservation. The program is combined with on-the-job training to get participants into the workforce.  In 2012, the GRIC Employment & Training Department was awarded a $3.1 million federal grant to run Career Pathways and provide free tuition for student programs. Career Pathways operates five vocational sectors including medical, construction, business, hospitality and government.

Johnson, along with his classmates in the business sector took classes for 10 months in the areas of accounting, business, finance and marketing while learning how to develop their own business plan.
The program uses an accredited curriculum from CGCC's business school so students would finish with a nationally recognized small business certification; however, the coursework was tailored to fit the individual needs of its students.

Lynette Clark, the Career Pathways Business Sector Specialist at Gila River, worked closely with members of the GRIC and CGCC to develop a curriculum that was unique for students on the reservation.  As such, it emphasizes the value education, of learning essential life skills and the importance of reinvesting in one’s own community.  Ultimately the program hopes to see its students’ success also translate to tribal success through their efforts to give back. 

"This program is designed to motivate students and provide them with the necessary tools to succeed. Whether or not the students pursue their business of interest, they will go forward with the knowledge they learned in this program and can apply it to further their education and move up in the workforce," said Clark. "Chandler-Gilbert Community College has been a great partner and has been very accommodating to our tribal needs. We hope to continue this partnership and to help other interested entrepreneurs."

Johnson hopes that other tribal members take advantage of opportunities such as the Career Pathways Program.  "I have met so many wonderful people as a result of this program, and hope one day I can give back to those who helped pave the way for my dreams. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity."

Following the completion of his associate's degree at CGCC, Johnson plans to attend Arizona State University to pursue his bachelor's degree in computer programming and astronomy. For more information on the small business certificate program at CGCC visit