Monday, March 21, 2016

Three CGCC Students Named to All-Arizona Academic Team

Three CGCC students have been named to the All Arizona Academic team, an honor that places them among the top community college students in the state of Arizona and the country.  Alexis Powers, Tristan Garcia and Jared Brimhall were three of nine high-achieving East Valley students to receive the same honor during an awards ceremony on March 3rd.  A total of seventy-five community college scholars from across the state participated in the ceremony, which celebrates their outstanding academic achievements and distinguished leadership.

“We are very proud of these students’ individual success as well as CGCC’s strong presence on the 2016 All-Arizona Academic Team,” explained Chris Schnick,  Dean of Arts & Sciences “Applicants who are chosen for this team endure a rigorous evaluation and elimination process and to have three from CGCC is a significant achievement indeed.”

Judging to select the recipients consisted of three rounds. In the first round, a group of local business, civic, education and government leaders reviewed applications and chose the recipients of the award. Only two are selected from each college campus. The selected recipients’ applications were then forwarded to Washington, D.C., for second and third rounds of judging and scoring by representatives from various federal agencies and national education associations. Those scores were used to rank the students for first, second or third state teams. First Team members receive a $1,000 scholarship, Second Team members a $750 scholarship, and Third Team members a $500 scholarship to one of Arizona’s state universities.

•    2016 All-Arizona Academic Team – CGCC, Pecos Campus
  • Name: Alexis Power
        • College: Chandler-Gilbert Community College
        • Campus: Pecos Campus
        • GPA: 3.89
        • Transferring To: ASU
        • Major (4 year): Civil Engineering
        • Career Goal: Plans on earning a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and also a Master’s. “I would like to spend time working in countries who do not have a solid infrastructure. Also, pursue project management,” shared Alexis.
        • College/Community Activities: Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society, Women Rising, Engineering Club, and serving as a middle school youth leader.
        • College Honors:  Presidents’ Honors Scholarship, President’s Honor List, MCCCD Foundation, Ingebritson, Steven G. Mihaylo, and Champagne, Choc & all that Jaz Scholarships
        • Personal Quote: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
  • Name: Tristan Garcia 
      • College: Chandler-Gilbert Community College
      • Campus: Pecos 
      • GPA: 4.0 
      • Transferring to: ASU
      • Major (4 year): Sustainability
      • Career Goal: Garcia plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in Sustainability and become an Environmental Restoration Planner while continuing to volunteer for organizations such as Chandler/Gilbert ARC and Habitat for Humanity.
      • College/Community Activities: Phi Theta Kappa, CGCC Student Ambassador, CGCC Career Services Ambassador, Hands Enriching Lives Projects Club, Inter-cultural Exchange Club, Hispanic Student Organization, Women Rising, volunteer work at church
      • College Honors: Presidential Scholarship, Presidents’ Honors List, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society 
      • Personal Quote: “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” –Mother Teresa
•    2016 All-Arizona Academic Team – CGCC, Pecos Campus
  • Name: Jared Brimhall
      • College: Chandler Gilbert Community College
      • Campus: Williams Campus
      • GPA: 4.0
      • Transferring To: ASU
      • Major (4 year): Nursing
      • Career Goal: Jared plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from ASU and go on to become a nurse anesthetist. He also wants to provide nursing and anesthesia care as a medical missionary.
      • College/Community Activities: Student Nurses in Action and volunteer work at church.
      • College Honors: Phi Theta Kappa honor society member of the Alpha Sigma Nu chapter.
      • Personal Quote: “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.” –Unknown
Top state team members face even greater opportunities for recognition and rewards. Twenty students will be named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team from the total pool of state first teams. All-USA Team members are the nation’s top community college students. They will be featured in a spring global edition of USA TODAY and each receive a $2,500 stipend, medallion, obelisk and certificate. These recognitions are presented to students at a ceremony at the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Annual Convention.

In addition, the Coca-Cola Foundation, along with the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, recognizes the New Century Scholars. Fifty students from all state teams will be named Gold Scholars, receiving $1,500; 50 students will be named Silver Scholars, receiving $1,250; and 50 students will be named Bronze Scholars, receiving $1,000. A state may have multiple Gold, Silver and Bronze Scholars. All scholars also receive special medallions. The top scoring student in each of the 50 states will be named a New Century Scholar and will receive a $2,000 stipend. New Century Scholars will also be recognized at the AACC Convention.

Behind the Scenes with CGCC Alumni Turned Children’s Author Kathy Peach

Kathy Peach and President Bill Guerriero
We sat down with Kathy Peach former Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) student and successful children’s author for a brief Q&A to chat about her recent visit to CGCC’s Children’s Literature class, her new children’s book The Tiniest Tumbleweed and the inspiration behind her pages.

Connections (CX): You recently visited Chandler-Gilbert Community College to talk about your first children’s book The Tiniest Tumbleweed. Tell us more about the event and what it meant for you as former student to come back and share your book with the CGCC community.

Peach: The purpose of my visit to Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) was twofold. First, it was my desire to dedicate a copy of The Tiniest Tumbleweed to the CGCC library. It was my privilege and pleasure to meet and present a copy to CGCC interim president Dr. William Guerriero.

CX: In addition to your book reading, event attendees were able to learn more about your relationship with CGCC. Can you explain your book’s connection to your time as a student at CGCC?

Peach: During my visit to CGCC, I had the good fortune to spend time with the future teachers attending Professor Sharon Fagan’s Children’s Literature class. It was when I was attending professor Fagan’s Children’s Lit class that I learned of the components of literature that define a piece of children’s literature as quality. In writing The Tiniest Tumbleweed, I referred to the handout we were given in class where each component was explained. I literally compared my manuscript to the handout, over and over again to ensure I was incorporating as many of the concepts as was possible.

CX: In addition to your book reading, event attendees had the opportunity to hear from your book’s publisher and author. Tell us more about their involvement.

Peach: The students in attendance had the opportunity to meet the publisher of the book, Mrs. Linda Radke. Mrs. Radke is owner and president of Five Star Publications, Inc. a local and award winning publishing company located in Chandler. The Tiniest Tumbleweed is published through Little Five Start, the children’s division of Five Star Publications, Inc.

As an additional treat, Alex Lopez, the illustrator, joined the class via Skype. The students heard how Mr. Lopez envisioned and drew the artwork for the book. Mr. Lopez stated that he enjoyed the story and easily formed an emotional connection with the characters, the tumbleweed and sparrow parents wishing the best for their children, as his own triplet daughters, too, were small at birth.       

CX: What influence did CGCC have on your desire to become a children’s author?

Peach: I moved to Chandler, AZ in March of 2009 and enrolled at CGCC as a first time college student in May of 2009. Three life changing events happened while I was in attendance. The first occurred in Sharon Fagan’s Children’s Literature class. I had always wanted to write a children’s book. Based on the information in Fagan’s class, the goal changed. No longer did I want to write a children’s book. I wanted to produce a piece of quality children’s literature. There is a difference. Time will tell whether or not I will have fulfilled my goal.

Second, I was introduced to Dr. Albert Bandura’s work in the concepts of self-efficacy during Dr. Karen Hardin’s Psychology 101 class. The Tiniest Tumbleweed rests on the foundation of Dr. Bandura’s work. His work also served as the basis for the scientific research required to complete my thesis at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University. Third, I received an invitation to apply to Barrett Honors College during my final semester at CGCC.  The rest is history.

When I enrolled at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, my oldest daughter, Tiffany, said, “Mom, the world is going to open up to you in ways you will have never thought possible. That’s what college does for people.” Little did I realize how prophetic her words would become and my “world opening up” experience all started at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. I am delighted to be able to give back a small portion of what the institution has given to me. 

Book info
The Tiniest Tumbleweed released on January 8, 2016 and is already in its second printing. It became an award winning book two times in March 2016 recognized as honor awardees at both the 2016 Southwest Book Festival contest and the Los Angeles Book Fest contest. Through Eileen Bailey and KidsReadUSA, a copy of the book was placed into the hands of every third grader in the Balsz School District. The Washington School District recently bought copies for their Special Education Department and their Head Start teachers. There have been several sold out author signings at Sibley’s West, The Chandler and Arizona Gift Shop located in downtown Chandler, AZ. You can purchase the book the Chandler-Gilbert Community College bookstore, Chandler, AZ and through,, and Barnes and I am also available for school visits. Please contact Little Five Star Publications at 480.940.8182 for details.     

Friday, March 18, 2016

Therapeutic Massage Program Announces New Evening Cohort

A new flexible option is now available for students looking to pursue a certificate in massage therapy. Chandler-Gilbert Community College’s (CGCC) Therapeutic Massage Program is offering a new evening co-hort beginning this May for interested students. This expansion is the result of student demand and CGCC’s commitment to being a valley-leader in Therapeutic Massage education.

“It is our goal to make this field as accessible and affordable as possible for our students,” shared Trine Bourke, Program Coordinator, Therapeutic Massage. “We are proud to be approximately one-third the cost of private therapeutic massage schools around the Valley, and now we are even more accessible with the addition of evening classes.”

Program graduates are well-prepared with the skills to enter the field of massage therapy in a variety of settings, including: hospitals, physical therapy clinics, sports performance institutes, spas/resorts and private practice, among many others. The program focuses on enhancing healing and wellness through a variety of Therapeutic Massage techniques.

Upon completion of our program students can earn either an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree or Certificate of Completion. In addition, the AAS transfers directly to the Bachelor of Applied Science at ASU East Campus and Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies at all ASU locations.

Registration for the evening cohort is now open and classes will begin May 30th and conclude December 14th (massage core classes only). Classes will be Monday through Thursday 5:30-8:30pm.  For all of those interested in the Therapeutic Massage Program at CGCC contact Program Director Trine Bourke, AAS, LMT at or click here to visit the website for information about the program requirements and certificates. Becoming a massage therapist will allow you to make a difference in your own life and the lives of others every day. Enroll now!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Spring Break!

Just a quick reminder all Chandler-Gilbert Community College campuses will be closed for Spring Break next week March 14-18. Classes will resume as normal on Monday, March 21. Enjoy your time off and see you soon! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Holocaust-era Rail Car & Exhibit Travels to CGCC

Public welcome to view important part of history
Photo credit: Helen Weisman
A Holocaust-era rail car from Macedonia will be on display at Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) Pecos Campus on Wednesday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit is part of a joint effort coordinated by CGCC, the City of Chandler and the East Valley Jewish Community Center (EVJCC) to educate students and the community about the Holocaust by promoting acceptance, social action and respect.

The 11-ton, 33-foot-long rail car is the type and kind that Nazi Germany used to transport Holocaust victims to labor and death camps during World War II. The exhibit utilizes Stanton's eight stages of genocide to teach viewers about how events like the Holocaust develop. As individuals learn and understand those eight stages, they can apply them to current events on a local, national and global level. The rail car also comes with recorded voices and docents enabling visitors to learn from personal perspective, while considering present issues.

Following the rail car, attendees can walk over to the Agave Hall Community Room to view the 'Then They Came For Us...A Revolutionary Exhibit' created by the EVJCC exploring three distinct events: the Holocaust, the treatment of Black people in Europe, and the domestic struggle for Civil Rights. The exhibit will examine the three events simultaneously across a timeline from the early 1910s to the early 1950s.. The exhibit will be on display from March 29-April 1.

In addition to the railcar event, two special speaking engagement opportunities will be hosted on March 29th & 30th featuring Holocaust survivors George Kalman, author of The Risk of Sorrow: Conversations with Holocaust Survivor, Valerie Foster and others. Click here for more information about the events.

The rail car will be on display at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Pecos Campus, 2626 E. Pecos Rd., Chandler, AZ 85225 Parking lot 2 on the west side of campus near the Agave Building.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Check Out These Upcoming Latino American Events at your CGCC Library

What:   Celebrating Local Latino Artists and Community Oral History Exhibition Opening and Artists Panel
When:  Wednesday, March 9th – Friday, April 8th, 2016, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Where: Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Pecos Library: First Floor
Made possible by a grant from the American Library Association and National Endowment for the Arts
Join us for the Celebrating Local Latino Artists and Community Oral History Exhibit opening and listen to a panel of the exhibited artists discuss art, identity, culture, and community. The exhibit features local artists Marco Albarran, Jose Benavidas, Norma Garcia-Torres, Zarco Guerrero and Martin Moreno including oral histories of the artists and oral histories of community members collected by Mexican-American History and Culture students.Panel begins at 7:00 pm. Light refreshments served.

The oral history of artists and in the community are posted here: 

Moreover, excerpts from the interviews will be interwoven in the art exhibit with QR code links to audio clips from interviews. Here is an example of one of these display quotes:

…And at the Downtown Library!

What:   Sharing Our Heritage: Chandler Latino Voices
When: Saturday, March 5, 2016, 2-3 p.m.
Where: Downtown Chandler Public Library, Copper Room South-North
Details: Celebrating the lore and legacy of Chandler’s Latino history, individuals representing the past 100 years, including members of Chandler’s pioneering Mexican American families and those who continue to empower the community, will share their oral recollections, stories and experiences.  Historical photographs from the Chandler Museum will be displayed on banners as part of an exhibit that will subsequently travel to the library branches, public schools and Chandler-Gilbert Community College, a community partner.

What:   Prejudice and Pride, Latino Americans Film Viewing, Episode 5 (1965-1980)
When:  Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 6:30-8:30 p.m
Where: Downtown Chandler Library, Copper Room South
Details: This episode details the creation of the proud “Chicano” identity, as labor leaders organize farm workers in Arizona and California. The film will be followed by a facilitated discussion led by Dr. Christine Marin. Dr. Marin, professor, archivist, curator, established the Arizona State University Chicana/o Research Collection along with the Chicana/Chicano Studies Department at A.S.U.

What:   Corazon Del Nopal:  The Power and Heart of Los Chicanos
Author Talk by Stella Pope Duarte and Music by Guerrero Family Music
When:  Saturday, March 19, 2016, 2-3 p.m.
Where: Downtown Chandler Library, Copper Room South-North
Details: From the ancient ruins of the 300-year-old Aztec empire, a new nation rose in the midst of treachery, oppression and unrelenting war.  Comets, prophecies and smoking mirrors signaled their birth as they founded Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), and eventually journeyed north from the Valley of Mexico to take their place in the making of America. Duarte’s riveting talk on the legacy of the modern-day Chicanos will be enhanced by a performance from Guerrero Family Music.

CGCC has a strong commitment to co-curricular events as we are convinced it enhances students' learning, connects them more to the college and their community which leads to greater persistence, and strengthens our communities. We welcome your participation and your sharing of the opportunities.

Friday, March 4, 2016

CGCC VP Named Man of the Year Award Among Men of Action

The Chandler Men of Action (CMOE), an African American youth empowerment organization, awarded the 2016 Coy Payne Man of the Year Award to CGCC Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. William H. Crawford III.  This award, which recognizes men who embody the CMOE mission of creating an environment of hope and opportunity for African-American youth, was given to Dr. Crawford for his commitment to educational leadership and the academic success of students in and outside of the classroom.  The presentation took place at the CMOE 4th Annual Banquet and Fundraiser last Friday, February 26 at the Chandler Community Center.

"Dr. Crawford exemplifies leadership in the educational community and beyond through his support, encouragement, and participation in activities and programs that promote educational equity which aligns with the mission and goals of both the Maricopa Community Colleges District and the Chandler Men of Action", said Pastor Victor Hardy, President of the Chandler Men of Action.

Dr. Crawford’s success in education is fueled by his own background as a proud product of the community college system.  He is passionate about student success and the mission of the community college system to respond to the needs of our communities and its residents.  One of the many ways Dr. Crawford helps to fulfill this mission is through frequently speaking to students, parents, and community leaders about the impact of the community college system on his life.
"Bill is an invaluable leader both at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and in the community. He is a consummate professional and a mentor to many at the college, ensuring that every action and activity taken at the college contributes to student success. The college is appreciative that he is being recognized with this honor,” said Dr. William Guerriero, Interim President of CGCC. 
Dr. Crawford offers a unique perspective forged through years of active involvement and a diverse set of experiences.  He is currently Chair of the City of Chandler Merit System Board; Chair of the Si Se Puede Foundation’s Board of Directors and a board member of the East Valley Partnership, East Valley NAACP, and the Chandler Men of Action.  Before transitioning to higher education, William Crawford was employed with the Phoenix Police Department for more than 23 years where he held numerous leadership positions and served with distinction. 

William Crawford holds both Doctorate and Master of Education degrees from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Justice Studies from Arizona State University.

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.