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August 2007 - Highlights at a Glance


4th Annual 2007 Fall Convocation

Dr. Schoening, AWC President, talked about "Investing in Yourself."

Leah Stevens, AWC student, sang the National Anthem next to Long Hoang, AWC SGA President.

The 4th Annual Convocation kicked off the Fall 2007 semester on August 22nd.  Long Hoang, 2007-2008 AWC Student Government Association President and international student from Vietnam, opened up the convocation by welcoming everyone.  AWC student Leah Stevens sang the National Anthem and Hoang then spoke about AWC and the importance of education.  He then introduced Dr. Schoening, who's theme for the convocation this year was "Investing in Yourself." He said, "The most important investment you can make in your life is investing in yourself." 


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"Under Construction" Resource Fair


Lupe Lomeli, Admissions, Recruitment, and Outreach Coordinator, helped students at the NCA booth.

The 2007 "Under Construction" Resource Fair took place on August 22nd. There were over 35 vendors at the fair. This was a one-stop shop full of information for students, faculty, and staff on services, activities, safety, academic resources and more. The "Under Construction" Resource Fair brought everyone together that is building the foundation for yOur Community, yOur College, yOur Future!

Sam Colton, Professor of Welding/Coordinator of Technical Instructional Dept.

Chase Bank was one of the vendors at the Resource Fair.







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AWC's Expanded Engineering Program

Dr. Schoening, AWC President, announced that AWC has expanded their Engineering Program at the press conference.

Arizona Western College held a press conference on August 7, 2007 to announce that they would be expanding their Engineering Program starting this fall. Engineering classes have been offered at AWC for about 10 years, but this will be the first time that there will be a full associate’s degree and transfer program that will be available to students. This expansion will also be accomplished through partnerships with local entities, such as the Yuma Proving Grounds, local businesses, local government, and the Yuma Union High School District.

For years it has been difficult to find engineers in Yuma or recruit engineers to the Yuma area. There has been a concern in the Yuma community for awhile and with Yuma’s rapid growth over the last few years there is more of a need then ever for qualified engineers. The goal of the new program is to keep local talent and young professionals in the community and perhaps attract others to come to Yuma.

One of the highlights of the program will be the internships that will be available for students through local partnerships. James L. Wymer, Technical Director at the Yuma Proving Grounds announced that they will offer up to 10 internships for engineering students this fall. Dr. Schoening, AWC President, said he would eventually like to have an internship for every engineering student in the future.

Dr. Rakesh Pangasa, Professor of Mathematics and Engineering, showed the Engineering Program curriculum to the media.

Originally, the plan was to have 20 students enrolled in the Engineering Program this fall, but at the time of the press conference there were already 27 students enrolled. More sessions had to be added and there is now room for 45 students this fall.

The participants that attended the press conference were James L. Wymer, YPG Technical Director; Carlton Handy, Command Sergeant Major at YPG; Soheir “Sue” Ibrahim, YPG Technology Transfer Officer; Norris D. Johnson, YPG Education Services Officer; Chuck C. Wullenjohn, YPG Public Affairs Officer; Larry Nelson, Yuma City Mayor; Ken Rosevear, Executive Director for the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce; Chris Camacho, President/CEO for the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation; Dr. Don Schoening, AWC President; Roberta Kelly, Associate Director of Student Services for NAU-Yuma; Dr. Rakesh Pangasa, AWC Engineering and Mathematics Professor; and faculty/staff from AWC and NAU-Yuma.

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NAU-Yuma Awarded 1.5 Million Teacher Preparation Grant

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) has announced that Northern Arizona University has received a five year $1.5 million grant for teacher training for NAU students in Yuma and La Paz Counties. Recognizing the acute shortage of both regular and special education teachers in the southwest corner of Arizona, OELA has funded the PRISE (Preparing Rural Inclusive Special Educators) Grant for three cohorts of 15 students each to pursue studies leading to a Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a dual major in Elementary Education/Special Education along with the coursework required for the Arizona Department of Education’s English as a Second Language Endorsement. The PRISE grant funds will provide participants selected for the program with tuition and books for all courses in the program. Dr. Krista Rodin, NAU-Yuma’s Associate Vice President and Campus Executive Officer, states, “The award will benefit students in Yuma by making tuition available to continue their studies toward a teaching degree. This program serves our community in much needed areas such as Special Education and second language teaching teacher preparation. Grant Director, Dr. Patricia Peterson, of the NAU Flagstaff campus adds that this is a wonderful opportunity for Yuma area students who want to become Special Education teachers since that major is normally available only on the Flagstaff campus. Faculty members comprising the PRISE Grant instructional team come from both Yuma and Flagstaff providing teaching expertise in their specific academic areas.

While going through the four to five semester program leading up to student teaching, grant recipients are required to work as Instructional Assistants or classroom paraprofessionals in one of the PRISE grant consortium school districts made up of the Crane, Gadsden, Parker, Quartzsite, San Pasqual, Somerton, Yuma Elementary, Yuma High, and Wellton School Districts. As such, participants are able to immediately apply theories and concepts learned in class with students in the classrooms in which they work. The end result is a student teacher who is very confident and well-prepared to handle the semester of student teaching and who then easily transitions into his/her own classroom the following semester.

Students interested in applying for the first cohort of the grant, which will begin in January 2008, must have completed all their general education course work requirements for freshman and sophomore years by the end of fall semester 2007, along with all prerequisite courses and grade point average for admission into NAU’s Teacher Education program. Grant co-director, Nancy Blitz, can be contacted at 344-7677 for further information, for prerequisite coursework advisement, and for applications forms.

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 AWC Presented with the "Center of Excellence" Award

(Left to right) Janice Washington, State Director of the AZ SBDC; Randy Nelson, AWC Director of Small Business Development Center; Robert Salmon, Chairman of the AZ Friends Small Business; and Sandra Hernandez, WIA Coordinator, with Arizona Western College's "Center of Excellence" award.

Arizona Western College was awarded the “Center of Excellence” award for 2006 in Flagstaff, AZ on August 1, 2007. 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 2006 included long term clients, business start-ups, capital formation, increased sales revenue, and shared resources. The award was presented to Randy Nelson and Sandra Hernandez of the AWC Small Business Development Center by Robert Blaney, District Director of the Small Business Administration; Robert Salmon, Chairman of the Arizona Friends of Small Business; and Janice Washington, State Director of the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network.

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AWC's Art Gallery

"Time in a Chifferobe" by William Blomquist is just one of the many art pieces displayed in the AWC Gallery.

The Arizona Western College Art Gallery had been closed all summer, but is up and running as of August 20th.  The AWC Art Faculty Show is going on right now and will run until September 13th.  Make sure to stop by the gallery located in AB 110 and see all of the work displayed by AWC's talented faculty.  The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. If you have questions about the AWC Gallery please contact Angel Luna at 344-7596.



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Employee Kudos

Dr. Don Schoening, AWC President, presented Lynn Harlow-Smith, Accounts Receivable Supervisor, with the President's Trophy on
August 16th.

Lynn Harlow-Smith

Lynn Harlow-Smith, Accounts Receivable Supervisor, was awarded the President's Trophy by Dr. Schoening on August 16th after the 2012: A Vision in Progress presentation!  Dr. Schoening stated, "Lynn has exceptional organizational skills and is a dedicated professional and is committed to providing the best possible customer support to Yuma and La Paz counties.  She exemplifies an AWC employee that has exhibited the core values of excellence, efficiencey, effectiveness, equity, effort and ethics by providing these services."

Dr. Don Schoening, AWC President, presented Chip Straley, Professor of Theatre, with the President's Trophy on August 18th.

Forrest "Chip" Straley         

Chip Straley, Professor of Theatre, was awarded the President's Trophy by Dr. Schoening on August 18th at the Fall 2007 faculty lunch! Dr. Schoening said Chip was selected for the award, "For providing cultural opportunities at a comprehensive community college, attending and supporting college and athletic functions, student activities and organizations, along with contributing personally to the dramatics' program, acting in plays, and serving professionally as a role model." 

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