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august 2008 Highlights at a Glance


Vision 2013

Dr. Schoening presents Vision 2013 

Welcoming back the AWC faculty included Dr. Schoening's Vision 2013.  AWC faculty and staff gathered in the AWC Little Theater on Thursday August 14 and Saturday, August 16th to view the presentation.

The theme of the Vision presentation this year was 'At the Movies'. The AWC Ambassadors presented hot popcorn to the audience as they enjoyed Vision 2013.

The audience learned vital information about the future of the college and our upcoming accreditation self-study visit.

Deb Leal with the President's Trophy

As the viewing came to a close, Dr. Schoening presented Deb Leal the Presidents Trophy for her efferts in her previous position as the AWC Telephone System Operator/Receptionist. If you are looking for Deb, she has a new home in the Career Development office as the Career Development Assistant.


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Welcome Week

AWC Ambassadors at the Now Showing Information Fair

AWC's Welcome Week kicked off for students on August 18th with the beginning of classes.

The new and returning students were greeted by the AWC Ambassadors.  The Ambassadors assisted students in finding buildings and classrooms.

Illusionist-Aaron Black

During the week-long events students, faculty and staff were informed and entertained.  There were booths at the "Now Showing" Information Fair, the President's Convocation, Aaron Black the illusionist and so much more in the fun-filled week.
The enrollment for fall 08 set another record. Enrollment was up over 6% more than last fall semester-which had set a previous record as the highest enrollment in AWC's history.
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Center For Success Award


Randy Nelson-Director of the AWC Small Business Development Center, Sandra Hernandez-AWC SBDC Business Analyst, and Alan Pruitt-AWC SBDC Business Analyst

Arizona Western College was awarded the “Center of Success” award for 2007 in Prescott, AZ the first week of August.

The award was from the Small Business Administration, Arizona Small Business Development Center network, and the Arizona Friends of Small Business for AWC exceeding all of their annual goals.

The goals for AWC in 2007 included new business start-ups, capital formation, job creation, long term clients, extended engagement clients, and shared resourced and increased sales. The award was given for meeting and exceeding all of our goals set by the SBA and our AzSBDC Network. The award was presented to Randy Nelson of the AWC Small Business Development Center.

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4th Annual Day of Champions

Over 300 Volunteers

Arizona Western College is proud to announce that more than 300 volunteers participated in the 4th Annual AWC Day of Champions across Yuma and Imperial Counties. Arizona Western College and the Matador Athletic Association salute all of the 339 volunteers that gave their time and energy.

186 members of the AWC Athletic Department-the most ever to participate in this event from the department (including AWC Athletic Director Jerry Smith; head coaches Kelly Green, John Stratton, Patrick Cunningham, Angel Shamblin and Tom Minnick; assistant coaches Jerry Dominguez, Lance Von Vogt, Aaron Cheatwood, Jason DeWolf, Billy Glasscock, Tony Mitchell, Justin Jantz, Kyle Isaacs, Marisol Arenivas and Alan Manifold; athletic trainer Megan Guthrie (and 2 student trainers); athletic secretary Cindy Evans, athletic equipment manager Elias Escobar and AWC Sports Information Director Jim Howell) as well as several members of their families were joined by over 75 employees of Wal-Mart, 7 from Sam's Club, 4 from Circle K, 3 from Southwest Gas, 10 from Outback Steakhouse as well as approximately 10 members of the AWC facilities staff and photography department, 7 bus drivers, and in a special appearance this year, 40 members of the Australian National Football Team. The volunteers dug in and handled 34 different community projects for non-profit agencies throughout Yuma and Imperial Valley over the span of just six hours. Agencies such as American Red Cross-Imperial Valley Chapter, Saddles of Joy, City of Yuma Parks & Recreation, Arizona Children’s Association, the EXCEL Group, the Robert J. Moody

AWC Volunteers

Demonstration Garden, the Yuma Conservation Garden, the Yuma WORC Center, the AWC Foundation, Crossroads Mission, Habitat for Humanity, the Yuma Community Food Bank, the Salvation Army, the East County Guardian Angels, Greater Yuma Helping Hands and the Town of Wellton opened the doors, gates, windows, and even shut down a street or two to allow the volunteers to help them complete some very crucial tasks. “I’m not sure how it happened, but this year’s event was easily the most efficient one we’ve ever had,” said AWC Athletic Director Jerry Smith. “By 8:30 in the morning, there were several of our groups calling to find out what other jobs they could help with since they were done with their first one, and by 11AM, almost all of the projects were completed. It’s just amazing to see what people-many of whom don’t even know each other going in-can do when they stand side-by-side with one goal in mind.” 

“The success of this event hinges every year on the cooperation and dedication that we receive from the people from these businesses that give so much of themselves,” remarked Smith.

Men's Basketball Coach Kelly Green Pitches in at Habitat for Humanity

“Most just see what happens on the day of the event, but the hard work that’s put in to plan and prepare for six months straight every year from people like Kevin Ladek, Kathy Perales, Albert Garcia, Jin Porter and all of the assistant managers at Wal-Mart; Retta Springer, Brian Gillens and Joe Lopez from Sam’s Club; Derek Gurney and Outback Steakhouse; Pat Abiles and Walter Richter from Southwest Gas; Angela Anger and Sonia Nunez from Circle K; and Jeff Harris and Russ Egan from Eldorado Broadcasters can’t be emphasized enough. We’re all exhausted tonight, but the feeling of satisfaction about what we’ve accomplished is just amazing.”

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HLC Academy


Arizona Western College has been accepted to the Higher Learning Commission’s Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning which will occur 2009 through 2012. AWC will be part of the February 2009 Cohort Group along with colleges and universities from across the region. The Academy will begin with a three-day Academy Roundtable on February 18, 2009. Acceptance into the Academy is a competitive process with only two cohorts of eighteen institutions admitted to the Academy in 2008-2009.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation and one of two Commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The HLC is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission accredits, and thereby grants membership in the Commission and in the North Central Association, to degree-granting educational institutions in the North Central region which includes Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

According to the HLC, the experience of the Academy is intended to offer “…HLC member institutions a four-year sequence of events and interactions that are focused on student learning, targeted at accelerating and advancing efforts to assess and improve student learning, and designed to build institution-wide commitment to assessment of student learning.”

AWC is currently working on their self-study project in preparation for their nine year comprehensive accreditation visit by the HLC March 2-4, 2009. AWC’s accreditation mission is “To conduct a comprehensive, evidence-based self-study, in accordance with North Central Association guidelines, that identifies Arizona Western College's successes, challenges, and opportunities, which enhance services and learning for the communities we serve.”

Dr. Joann Linville

Dr. Joann Linville, Interim Vice President for Learning Services and chief academic officer for Arizona Western College states “Our selection and participation in the Academy is an honor. It will afford our faculty and staff the opportunity to learn from experts in the field of assessing student learning. This experience will only serve to strengthen our student learning outcomes assessment program and continue to improve our educational programs. AWC has a faculty driven learning outcomes assessment across all segments of the curriculum which we expect will become stronger and more meaningful as a result of our work with the Academy”.

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RAD Tech Donations

 From left: Cynthia Thurber, Alycia Mosher, Victoria Holas; Director Radiology Technology Program, Marcus Johnson-Dean of Career & Technical Education, Liz Loether Rancho Viejo Elementary School teacher, Leslie Leder, Soo Fanwinkle, Alex Smith.

The AWC Radiologic Technology (Rad Tech) program is happy to announce a new relationship with a group of young Yuma area students. A chance meeting brought the two groups together almost a year ago at the AWC Family Night. The students from the Gowan Acheivement Program (GAP) at Rancho Viejo Elementary school came on campus to attend Family Night last year.

These young students began to entertain the AWC Rad Tech students at their booth at Family Night by singing the “Bone Song” from the Hannah Montana TV show. They were singing the song to the Rad Tech’s skeletal display.

The Rad Tech students at that point wanted to have the Rancho Viejo students sing that song at the 2008 Rad Tech graduation. The Rancho Viejo group performed the song and they were a hit. The Rad Tech graduates wanted to thank the Rancho Viejo students by donating school supplies for the this year.

The Rad Tech students donated boxes of over $200 worth of school supplies to representatives from the Gap Program at Rancho Viejo Elementary School.

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Professor Publishes

Jahna's True Kin

Arizona Western College is proud to announce Professor of English, Ric Jahna’s book release. Jahna’s book, True Kin was released the first part of July. Ric's book was published by the Ohio State University Press and was the winner of The Ohio State University Prize In Short Fiction.

Ric Jahna was the recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award in 2004. His fiction has appeared in Mid-American Review, Green Hills Literary Latern, and other journals. He is professor of English at Arizona Western College in Parker, Arizona.

From the back cover:
"Ranging from the clay roads of Central Florida to the American Desert Southwest, the linked stories of TRUE KIN foreground a cast of recurring characters engaged in battles both public and private, epic and mundane. The lead-off story, 'Independence Day 1983,' winner of the AWP Intro Award, introduces a lakeside family barbeque, where class tensions and long-held grudges threaten to burst forth with dangerous consequences, In 'Making Weight,' a jumbo sized high school wrestler struggles against his unpredictable body to lose six very important pounds. In 'Release Statement,' a troubled young women attempts to make sence of her lifelong obsession with Bob Barker of The Price Is Right fame. An unsuspecting adjunct professor, in 'Hurricane Party, 2002,' finds himself thrust suddenly into a violent confrontation with his former student. Rendered in meticulously crafted prose, these nine interconnected stories and one novella are grounded soundly in the dramatic moment, while probing deeply into the larger mysteries of the human condition. Seekers all, Jahna's characters brave the often absurd trials of contemporary life in an ongoing search for community, meaning, and love."

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Women's Basketball Earns National Honors

AWC's Women's Basketball team

Arizona Western College is proud to announce that the AWC Women’s Basketball team has earned a spot on the NJCAA Academic All-American Teams list for the 2007-08 academic year. The team achieved the honor with a 3.139 cumulative team grade point average in 2007-08. The announcement comes just three days prior to the start of the 2008-09 fall semester on the AWC campus.

This past year, the squad got off to a great start by placing 5 members of their 15-woman roster on the Dean’s List (meaning they achieved a 3.6 GPA or higher) during the fall semester, and finishing the semester with a 3.138 CGPA, the 2nd-highest in the program. Starting power forward Tanya Clark and backup guard Maria Garcia both paced the way for the ladies with perfect 4.0 GPAs during the fall. The spring semester saw the same academic excellence with 5 more student-athletes earning Dean’s List spots, including perfect 4.0 grade point averages during the spring for Garcia and backup center Arpine Amirkhanyan. For the year, eight members of the team finished with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher, including Garcia’s 4.0 GPA for the year. The success for the team didn’t end in the classroom, either, since their 21 wins on the court in 2007-08 was their highest number of wins in a season since the 2004-05 campaign. Their head coach has spent the last 12 months admiring the team’s work ethic in the classroom, and is ecstatic about the team’s prospects of bettering that academic mark this year. “Our coaching staff is proud of this past year’s team and its academic achievements,” remarked AWC Women’s Head Basketball Coach Patrick Cunningham. “(Lady Mats’ Assistant) Coach (Marisol) Arenivas did a good job working with the team members in organizing their approach to their studies, and the players were focused enough to understand the importance of managing time, school and basketball. We work hard as a coaching staff to recruit players that understand it’s about gaining that education, and basketball is only a small part of the big picture.”


Cunningham will welcome this year’s group of Lady Matador Basketball players next week when the ’08 fall semester opens August 18th. The Lady Matadors will take the floor to kick off their 2008-09 basketball season in early November.

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Fall Athletics Kick-off

Matador 2008 Football

With the fall semester beginning fall sports commence...

Under a new head coach, Tom Minnick, the AWC football team hit the field for two scrimmages in August taking on the Australian National Team and the College of the Desert. Click here for the AWC Matador's Football Schedule.

Matador Soccer vs Glendale College

Kenny Dale's 2008 Soccer Team is out of the box with a 4-0 record in August...
Click here
for the Soccer Schedule.

AWC vs Phoenix College

AWC's Volleyball team, along with new head coach Karen Sitkiewicz, were on the road for most of scrimmage play. The Matador's are looking to hit hard in regular conference play. Click here for the Volleyball schedule.

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Classified Employees Corner

Pete Cassidy in his Navy Boot Camp Photo- 1970's

Welcome to the Classified Employees Corner. This month we will begin to introduce you to the Classified Employee Association elected officers.

President of the CEA is Pete Cassidy. Pete is the Computer Operator in the CIS department.  He has been at AWC for over eight years. Before working at AWC he was worked for Lockheed Martin Technology Services at MCAS-Yuma and at their Cherry Hill, New Jersey headquarters.

Pete's favorite memory of working at AWC is going down to Algodones with Tim and Terry Shove and the rest of the "gang" from AWC every Thursday!

When asked why he joined the CEA, Pete comments: "I feel it brings the college community closer together for fun events, i.e., Chili Cookoff-Hot Dogs/Hamburgers over the grill. It brings awareness to the college community about events which happen throughout the country where people have been hurt, i.e., Hurricane Katrina when the CEA donated funds to the Red Cross to help that community out, donated funds to the American Cancer Society on behalf of John Courtis who presented the "FISH Philosphy" free of charge and simply asked that we donate money to the ACS. And it brings the Classified Employees closer together at the Classified In-Service for both fun and learning experience."

Join the CEA as they continue to introduce their officers to the AWC community in next month's Highlights. The CEA would also like to welcome thier new members including the first ever from NAU-Yuma, John Klein III.

If you are a classified employee and would like more information on the Classified Empoyee Association email Pete Cassidy at

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