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February 2008 - Highlights at a Glance


AWC Receives President's Honor Roll Award for Distinguished Community Service


AWC athletes and volunteers provide their services to the Red Cross during the "Day of Champions."

The Corporation for National and Community Service named Arizona Western College to the United States President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to disadvantaged youth.

Dr. Don E. Schoening, Arizona Western College President shared that “Arizona Western College is committed to connecting academics with real life experience. We strive to create communities inside and outside of the classroom, where students can apply knowledge, critical thinking and problem solving to real life situations. When students do this, learning becomes relevant and meaningful.”

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses. The Honor Roll is jointly sponsored by the Corporation, through its Learn and Serve America program, and the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.

Arizona Western College’s service projects involve many student groups. During 2007, AWC Athletics performed over 2700 community service hours during the Day of Champions and the Stewart Wolfe Playground Project. The student-athletes assisted local agencies such as Yuma Community Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Yuma Homefront Optimist Club, Imperial Valley Red Cross, Saddles of Joy, East County Guardian Angels, Yuma Ballet Theatre, Helping Hands, KCFY Radio, Yuma WORC Center, Crossroads Mission, town of Wellton, City of Yuma Parks & Recreation, Yuma Family YMCA, Schechert Family YMCA and the Boys and Girls’ Club of Yuma.

Some community service projects are tied to specific academic disciplines such as: biology students conducting environmental impact studies; nursing students assisting with flu clinics; or education students taking a practicum as part of their graded coursework. With AWC courses or clubs, students may be more involved with projects that are of service to others, usually within non-profit agencies or educational entities. In this capacity, students assist with fundraising, community cleanup, food drives, toy drives, educational programming, or with public grant projects such as the Wetland Parks. These types of projects are aimed more at developing citizenship, teamwork, leadership and the giving back to community.

AWC nursing students and nursing faculty assist with the flu clinics for the Yuma County Health Department.

In congratulating the winners, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said, “Americans rely on our higher education system to prepare students for citizenship and the workforce. We look to institutions like these to provide leadership in partnering with local schools to shape the civic, democratic and economic future of our country.”

Overall, the Community Service Honor Roll awarded six schools with Presidential Awards. In addition, four schools were recognized as Special Achievement Award winners, 127 as Honor Roll with Distinction members and 391 schools as Honor Roll members. In total, 528 schools were recognized. A full list is available at

“There is no question that the universities and colleges who have made an effort to participate and win the Honor Roll award are themselves being rewarded,” said American Council on Education President David Ward. “Earning this distinction is not easy. But now each of these schools will be able to wear this award like a badge of honor.”

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, go to

 AWC joins NAU Yuma in 20 Year Celebration

Thursday, February 21st, Arizona Western College faculty, staff and students helped Northern Arizona University's Yuma Branch Campus to celebrate the 20 year educational partnership!
In 1988, the partnership concept was developed to ensure area students a chance to obtain a Bachelors or even a Masters degree without leaving the Yuma area.

In September of 2006, The Arizona Board of Regents approved the Branch Campus designation for the Yuma campus.  This has allowed the Yuma campus the opportunity to develop it's own programs, rather than maintaining the ones only offered in Flagstaff. Along with the ability to design the programs to compliment Yuma and the surrounding area's employment needs, the campus can now apply for a more diverse group of grants and federal funds.

The AWC-NAU Yuma "2 plus 2" program allows students to enroll at AWC and seamlessly transfer to the NAU system to obtain a four year degree.

Community Meets Industry Need


Andy Renkey, Plant Manager of Johnson Controls in Yuma

The week of February 18th marked the culmination of months of collaborative work between the Yuma Manufacturer’s Association (YMA), Arizona Western College, Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation, and Yuma Private Industry Council.

The accomplishment- two Arizona Western College courses designed to meet local manufacturing demands. The courses: Industrial Electricity and Industrial Application for Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC). The instructors: Mr. Gregory Childs and Mr. Edward Kromer, both industry experts from Yuma industry.

“The development of these courses speaks to the collaborative process amongst a very vested group of community partners…it’s where education, community support, industry demand, and industry ingenuity have come together…I’m proud to have been a part of this team,” said Daniel Barajas, Associate Dean for Community and Educational Partnerships for Arizona Western College.

Mr. Andy Renkey, Plant Manager of Johnson Controls here in Yuma, who has been instrumental in the development of this program feels that, “The partnership between AWC and Yuma’s manufacturing industry is a benchmark in continued education. Our employees have the opportunity to attend college and learn skills that are 100% applicable to their workplace environment.

I’m proud to be a part of this initial program and look forward to working with the College to develop a Certificate program that will enhance these first two classes with additional industrial mechanic skills needed for success in a high-tech environment.”

The collaborating partners of YMA include: Johnson Controls, Shaw Industries, Carrier UTC, Alside Windows, Northwestern Industries, Dole Fresh Vegetables, Gowan Milling, and OneSource Distributors. The commitment of the YMA ensures a quality educational experience that translates to success in the workplace.

(Left to right): John Welch, Johnson Controls; Daniel Barajas, AWC Associate Dean for Community and Educational Partnerships; Chris Camacho, CEO of the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation; and Andy Renkey, Johnson Controls.

Students and industry experts gather for one of the new classes at Arizona Western College.

National PTK Scholar Selected from AWC


Dr. Michael Miller, Faculty Liaison for Honors and Professor of English

Dr. Michael Miller, a member of the Arizona Western College faculty, was selected as a Faculty Scholar for the 2008 Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Scholar Conference and 2008 Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Institute.

Dr. Miller is one of only 24 people who were selected for this honor from a large pool of applicants. Applicants must be Phi Theta Kappa advisors who have exhibited exceptional knowledge of the current Honors Study Topic, The Paradox of Affluence: Choices, Challenges, and Consequences, and demonstrated excellence in teaching.

The Faculty Scholar Conference, sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, was held at Phi Theta Kappa’s Center for Excellence in Jackson, Mississippi, January 30 –February 3, 2008. The Faculty Scholar Conference prepares the Faculty Scholars to serve as group facilitators at the Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Institute. Faculty Scholars heard presentations on a variety of issues concerning the paradox of affluence and participated in discussion groups throughout the four-day conference.

The annual International Honors Institute will be held at San Francisco State University (SFSU) in San Francisco, California June 16-21, 2008. During this conference, Dr. Miller and the other Phi Theta Kappa Faculty Scholars will lead groups of 15-20 honor students in seminar discussions of the issues presented throughout the week.

Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, MS, is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,250 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than two million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 100,000 students inducted annually.

For more information on the 2008 Faculty Scholars and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Programs, contact Susan Edwards, Director of Honors Programs at 800.946.9995, ext. 3541.

College Goal Sunday


College Goal Sunday held in the Academic Complex at Arizona Western College.

The Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education (ACPE) hosted the 12th annual College Goal Sunday event at 29 statewide locations on February 10th. Arizona Western College was one of the 30 locations statewide to host the event on February 10th in the Academic Complex (AC).

College Goal Sunday held at Arizona Western College was a huge success with over 300 students and family members participating in this year's event. 

College Goal Sunday is a free event where college-bound students along with their parents and any returning adult students can get assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) form. Financial Aid professionals were on hand to explain the process of financial aid and answer any questions. These forms can lead to scholarships, loans and grants for Arizona Western College or any state university in Arizona. Students who attended the event had the opportunity to win prizes such as scholarships and laptops.


Lupe Lomeli, Admissions, Recruitment, and Outreach Coordinator, helps a student with his FASFA form.

Since its inception, College Goal Sunday has helped nearly 25,000 college-bound students and their families statewide complete the FASFA form and take the first step towards finding financial aid to fulfill their dreams of higher education. More information about the event can be accessed at

Matador Basketball


Men's Basketball Head Coach Kelly Green discusses strategies with the team during the game.

Arizona Western College is proud to announce that the AWC Men’s Basketball team has officially won the ACCAC Regular Season Title by virtue of their 81-75 victory tonight against Glendale. By winning the regular season crown, the Matadors also clinched the #1 seed in the Region I Division I Playoffs next week, and have earned a bye all the way to the Region I Championship Game on Saturday, March 8th. The Matadors will host an undetermined opponent at ‘The House’ on the AWC Campus that night in a 7:30PM tipoff. It’s the first outright regular season title for the Matadors since 2005, when they later won the Region I title and made the first of back-to-back appearances in the NJCAA Tournament.

The Matadors actually clinched a tie for the regular season title a week ago with their road win last Wednesday night against Chandler-Gilbert, but because of their Saturday night loss to Mesa, the outright title remained just out of their grasp. The Matadors had to battle for the entire 40 minutes with the upstart Gauchos, who cut a 17-point 2nd-half deficit down to just 4 with less than 2 minutes left. However, the Matadors were able to make some key free throws down the stretch and hold off the charge of the Gauchos. The win gives the Matadors a 25-3 overall record and a 19-2 mark in ACCAC play. They own a 2-game edge over 2nd place Eastern Arizona, who officially determined their playoff fate as well Tuesday night by defeating Yavapai College in Thatcher, 89-76. The win-coupled with Cochise’s 93-73 defeat of 3rd-place Mesa-officially clinched the #2 seed for Eastern Arizona and officially declared Mesa as the #3 seed. The 4th and final playoff seed will be determined Friday night in the regular season finale, with Cochise and Central Arizona (AWC’s Friday night opponent) tied for 4th place, each with a conference mark of 11 wins and 10 losses. Central Arizona controls their own destiny, since a Vaquero win Friday night in Coolidge will give them the tiebreaker over the Apaches. The Region I Division I Playoffs will commence Tuesday night, March 4th at Theo Heap Gymnasium in Mesa, with the 3rd-seeded Thunderbirds hosting either the Vaqueros or the Apaches. The winner of that game will then travel to Thatcher on Thursday, March 6th to face the 2nd-seeded Eastern Arizona Gila Monsters, with the winner of that matchup heading to Yuma on March 8th to face the Matadors. Matador fans can catch all the action of any playoff game the Matadors are involved in LIVE on the Matador Sports Network: SportsRadio 560 KBLU on the radio; the brand-new AWC Athletics website ( on the internet courtesy of Audio Sports Online; and AWC TV (Time-Warner Cable Channel 74) on television. Saturday’s game will be broadcast on radio and internet starting at 7:15PM, and on television beginning at 7:30PM. The winner of that matchup will advance to the NJCAA Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas, which begins on Tuesday, March 18th.

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C-SPAN Bus Visits the Campus


The C-SPAN Campaign 2008 Bus visits the College's campus.

The C-SPAN Campaign 2008 Bus, “Road to the White House Tour,” stopped be a Arizona Western College and NAU-Yuma Branch Campus on Thursday, February 14th  after spending “Super Tuesday” in California. Time Warner Cable and Information Technology Services at Arizona Western College partnered up to bring the bus to the College’s campus.

The C-SPAN Campaign 2008 Bus is a 45-foot mobile production studio that is traveling across the country on the 2008 Presidential Election campaign trail to promote and enhance C-SPAN’s comprehensive political coverage, travel to major political events such as candidate debates and speeches in primary states, and conduct educational programs for teachers and students.


Visitors talk to the C-SPAN representatives.

While in Yuma, representatives from the network were available to discuss with visitors and students the current status of the 2008 Presidential Election, while also demonstrating what non-profit C-SPAN Television Network and websites have to offer. There were opportunities for visitors to share their thoughts about candidates and issues that will be a part of this year’s election on the C-SPAN Campaign 2008 “Bus Blog.”

Valentine's Day Dinner


Lifelong entertainer, Lynn Roberts plays the saxaphone as part of his performance.


The audience enjoys Lynn Roberts performance.

Arizona Western College was excited to have a Valentine’s Day Dinner featuring, lifelong entertainer, Lynn Roberts on February 14th in the Ocotillo Lounge located in the Student Union. The dinner started at 6:00 pm and was followed by the performance by Roberts.

A lifelong entertainer, Lynn Roberts has played with several big-name acts such as Russ Caryle, Ted Weems, and Tony Bennet. Roberts even became the lead alto saxophone player for the Wayne King (a.k.a. the Waltz King) Orchestra. Currently, he directs his five to fourteen piece band, the “Swinging Saxes.”
His variety show was definitely a crowd pleaser for all ages. Lynn performed his unique and one of a kind musical routines. Including, playing two saxophones or two trumpets at the same time, playing the flute while humming a counter melody, performing Dixieland on teeny weeny instruments, and more!

 High School Art Exhibition in AWC Gallery


Area High School Art Exhibit display through March 14th.

The Area High Schools Art Exhibition is now taking place and will run through March 14th in the AWC Gallery, AB 110. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. This exhibition is an annual venue for exceptionally talented young artists of the community. Participating schools are: Yuma High School, Yuma Catholic, Cibola High School, Vista High School, and San Luis High School. For more information, contact Angel Luna 344-7596


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