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JULY 2008 Highlights at a Glance

Emergency Alert Upgrades System

AWC site with the emergency alert banner

On July 1, 2008 Arizona Western College activated a new website emergency notification system. If an emergency takes place at AWC a red banner can be placed on every page of the AWC website denoting the emergency condition. When you "click" on the banner it will automatically take you to a webpage, which will provide additional information. The new system is capable of being updated in real time so our entire district will know the current status of the emergency.

You will see the banner occasionally as it is tested and a test message will be displayed. It is our intent to only use this method of communication if an actual emergency is taking place. This new service is but one way AWC is working to provide enhanced emergency notification to all our students, employees and the general public.

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Green Replaces Sims...for the Interim

Michelle Sims

After seven years as the Director of PR and Marketing, Michelle Sims has accepted an interim Full Time Faculty position. Michelle will be a Professor of Business teaching marketing and other business classes in the fall.

Over the last five years along with her marketing and public relations duties on campus,  Michelle has also been working with the students as an instructor. "When a full time faculty position opened for the fall I jumped at the chance. This will give me more time with my children and family...I will miss the routine I've had over the last seven years...but this is a good move at this time," Michelle commented.

A familiar face will be stepping in to head the Marketing and Publications Department...for the interim.  Ginger Green, former Director of the AWC Foundation, has accepted the Interim Director of Marketing and PR position. Ginger can be reached at or ext. 49595.

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AWC Closes to Connect Electricity


AWC...quiet with no electricity

The main campus of Arizona Western College was without electricity and air conditioning beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday July 20, until 7:00 a.m. on Monday July 21. During this time, the new APS electrical substation was connected to the College's electrical substation. This means that the College's email, on-line classes, web site, television and radio stations were not operational during this time period. The outage was necessary to provide electrical services to the new buildings on campus. 

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Construction Trades Offers Tours

AWC Professor David Sisson discusses the Construction Trades Program to members of the community

The Arizona Western College Construction Trades Programs will be hosting program orientation Monday to Thursday during the month of  August for students, parents and area businesses. Program information and facility tours will be conducted by Carpentry Professor Frank Orta and Electrical Wiring Professor David Sisson at the AWC Construction Trades Center. The AWC Construction Trades Program provides job training and skill upgrades for employment in high demand, high paying construction technologies such as Air-conditioning, Carpentry, Drafting, Electrical Wiring, Plumbing and Welding. AWC Construction Trades Program classrooms are centrally located at the Construction Trades Center and on the AWC main campus.

The AWC Construction Trades Center has opened the doors of the new office at 281 24th St. The orientation and registration can be completed in as little as one hour. This program is funded with assistance from the Department of Labor and partnerships with area businesses. Financial aid is available to qualifying students.

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Pepsi Promotes Their Relationship with AWC

The film crew shoots video of AWC Athletes for the Pepsi Cola Bottling award presentation.

Pepsi Cola Bottling in Yuma has been nominated for a very prestigious international award. And why are they featuring AWC in their nomination video?  They want to showcase their relationship with the campus-and most notably our athletic department-as their focus.

The video will be presented at the Bottling Assoiation Annual Awards dinner in December.  Yuma's Pepsi Bottling company is in the final four internationally competing against companies in Canada, Georgia and Texas.

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Matador Soccer Camp

AWC 2008 Soccer Camp

Arizona Western College proudly held it's 2008 Matador Soccer Camp July 28th through August 1st at the AWC Soccer Field.
AWC Head Soccer Coach Kenny Dale, Assistant Coaches Jay VanWassenhoven and Sarah Ramirez, and several current and former AWC Matadors’ soccer players provided expert instruction to young soccer players of all skill levels. The five-day camp was for boys and girls ages 6-14. Dale and his camp coaches designed an environment in which players can develop their skills and improve their soccer games while enjoying the game itself. The camp emphasized learning of the basic rules, techniques and skills essential to improving each soccer player’s game. Each camper received a camp soccer ball, T-shirt, certificate and other prizes for participating in the camp.

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AWC Updated Photo Gallery Debuts


The long awaited AWC Photo Gallery is up and accessible.  When you are visiting the AWC website, you will see the new 'Photo Gallery' image in the middle of the page. Click and it will take you to the brand new Photo Gallery.

Within the Photo Gallery, you will see albums.  When you look in each album you will find folders that will have the specific events and activities.

The new Gallery is also 'searchable.' If you are looking for a specific image and you know the person's name or the event title you can type that in and your results will appear.

You will see the Gallery main page has an album labeled 2007/2008. Within that album you will find the events and activities from the previous academic year. And the AWC Photo Support Team will begin filling the 2008/2009 album with upcoming events as the semester begins.

If you have an event or activity you would like a photographer to attend please click here and submit the form to our Campus Photographer.

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Addition of BioPacs Enhances Student Learning

Science and Ag Building

Arizona Western College is excited to announce the addition of 6 Biopac Systems and laptops to the Biology Department. The faculty in the Biology Department presently teach 23 Anatomy and Physiology classes a year at the College. Lab experiments and demonstrations are difficult to accomplish without the proper tools. Biopac offers students opportunities to learn physiological concepts with tools that provide real results.

John King, Professor of Biology at AWC says “The biology faculty is very excited about using this new technology in the classroom. The acquisition of these Biopacs elevates our anatomy and physiology program to a level that would be seen in a major university. The timing is also fortunate as it coincides with the opening of our new science building.”

Biopac is a software/hardware system that enables students to study the respiratory, circulatory, muscular, neural and other systems by conducting experiments on themselves. The students take in the data, analyze it and associate it to what they learned in lecture. Biopacs are used in schools that teach physiology including community colleges, universities and medical schools.

There is no tool like a Biopac System that can integrate the dynamics of a laboratory environment, the technology of their software, the collection of data, and have it relate so well to the concepts of physiological mechanisms of the body.

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New Pilot Course Offered

Arizona Western College will be offering a Private Pilot Ground School (TEC 111) course during the fall semester. The course will be instructed by Mike Taylor, who has an extensive background in aviation. This course is being offered to anyone interested in pursuing a career in aviation or to anyone with personal flying goals in mind. The 3 credit course will take place every Wednesday night from 6 pm to 8:45 pm on AWC’s Main Campus. The first class begins on Wednesday, August 20th.

Private Pilot Ground School will prepare students for the FAA private pilot written examination. Airplane systems, meteorology, federal aviation regulations, aeronautical charts, radio navigation, the flight computer, and other topics will be covered in sufficient depth throughout the semester.

Mike Taylor Pilot Course Instructor

The instructor of the course, Mike Taylor, first learned to fly in 1975 at Yuma Internationall Airport with a company called Aero International. He was a working college student and was able to fly one hour a week on his limited income. Every weekend he would look forward to scheduling a flight at Yuma Int'l. It took 52 weeks to get his private pilot’s license. Eventually he earned his commercial and instrument ratings along with his CFI (certified flight instructor rating).

During this process he was teaching science at Yuma High School (YHS). From 1987-1989, he implemented and taught an Aviation / Aerospace Physics Class at YHS. During this course he encouraged students to pursue aviation careers. One day a student asked why he did not become an airline pilot, since he was so excited about flying. He did not have a good answer.

So in 1989, Taylor left education and accepted a job with an airline flying B-727 turbojet aircraft. He became a check airman with the airline training new pilots. However, 3 days after the 1st Gulf War the airline closed. He flew B-727s with a freight airline until returning to education in 1992.

Currently, Mike Taylor is the principle at Otondo Elementary School and has also previously taught at AWC as an Adjunct Professor of Geology with Professor Fred Croxen.

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Three AWC Football Players Honored

Arizona Western College is proud to announce that three AWC football players have been named to the 2008 NJCAA Preseason All-American teams. Matadors’ defensive lineman Pauli Latu and defensive back Marcus Benjamin were named to the NJCAA 1st Team while Matadors’ offensive lineman Travis Nua earned 2nd Team honors.

The announcement comes just a week before the Matador football student-athletes begin arriving at the AWC campus in Yuma for preseason training camp.

 Marcus Benjamin

 Pauli Latu

 Travis Nua

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Classified Employees Corner

Pete Cassidy-CEA President

It doesn't matter if you are a new AWC classified employee or you've been on campus for years you know the difference the hard work of the AWC Classified Employee Association has made since it began.

This is a group made up of classified employees that work hard at raising funds for various events throughout the year.

The 'CEA' organizes the Annual Classified In-Service and contributes to the Annual AWC/NAU-Yuma Christmas Party. The group also works with the Santa Squad to raise money. They also coordinate in donating money to local, regional and national events.

If you are a classiifed employee and want to become involved in the CEA contact the CEA President Pete Cassidy at

This is the introduction of the Classified Employees Corner. You will be introduced to the Association members and the events they support throughout the year.

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