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JUNE 2007 Highlights at a Glance


AWC and NAU in Yuma Graduates Record Number of Students

Governing Board President Steve Shadle and Dr. Schoening at this year's commencement ceremony.

Arizona Western College and NAU in Yuma graduated over 1200 students this May, which was a record number. The 2007 commencement ceremony took place at the AWC Margaret Page Amphitheater on Friday, May 18th.

Krista Rodin and Roberta Kelly congratulate a NAU-Yuma graduate.

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Earn a BS in Biology Starting this Fall

NAU in Yuma and AWC are excited to announce the addition of a new degree option for students in the sciences. Beginning fall of 2007, students in Yuma will be able to earn a BS degree in Biology. This degree will complement the current degree offerings which include a BS in Environmental Science, a BS in Secondary Education –Earth Sciences, and a BS in Agriculture Systems Management (offered via UA). For the first time, a student in Yuma will be able to select from a complete suite of science degree options

This degree is important because it allows students to more easily complete the requirements for many pre-professional schools such as medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and other allied health professions as well as the traditional wildlife management, conservation, land management and other ecological careers. In addition, students who complete this degree can also then obtain post-degree certification to teach secondary sciences in the public high schools – filling a dire need in our community.

This program is being offered as a 2+2 program meaning the students can complete the first two years of the curriculum at Arizona Western College and then transfer to NAU in Yuma to complete the degree. All courses for the degree will be taught in Yuma. During the spring of 2007 more than 200 students are enrolled in science major’s courses and this number is expected to grow. We hope to be able to satisfy our communities need for a scientifically literate workforce to meet the futures need for health care workers, teachers, land managers, agriculture workers, environmental engineers and many other technical careers.

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One Special Family Honored at La Cosecha 2007!

Dr. Schoening, AWC President, shakes Rubycell's hand and presents the Perez family (from left to right: Roxanna, Rubicela, and Alonso) with the 2007 La Cosecha Family award.

The 16th Annual La Cosecha (The Harvest) Outstanding Graduates Banquet was held on Thursday, May 17th at the Yuma Civic and Convention Center. The banquet honored AWC graduates in the presence of family, community guests and college officials for academic excellence or the promise of community service.

One special moment of the night was the presentation of the La Cosecha Family Award that goes to a family that has made education a priority, and who support each other’s efforts in that regard. This year the award was presented to the Perez Family. The mother, Rubicela Perez, graduated this May with a Masters in Bilingual Multicultural Education from NAU-Yuma, who began her education at AWC as an ESL student. Her two daughters Rubycell (18 yrs old) and Roxanna (16 years old) also graduated this May from AWC with Associate degrees. The Perez family, in part, owes its success to Alonso: husband, father, cook, and taxi driver. Alonso is a Veterinarian graduate from Mexico, but is unable to practice in the US. Many years ago, Alonso began taking ESL classes at AWC, but it was difficult to continue due to the fact that he needed to support his family economically.

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Wi-Fi Hotspot Now on Campus

Time Warner has partnered with Arizona Western College to offer an unrestricted wi-fi hot spot on AWC’s main Yuma campus that went live on Wednesday, May 29th. Anyone with a capable laptop can use the service free of charge. Time Warner is offering this service at no charge to AWC students and community members as a way of saying “thanks” for support over the years. The wi-fi hot spot covers the main core of the campus and will allow users in the coverage range to access the Internet via wireless laptop connections. The strongest wi-fi location is the east side of the Learning Resources building around the AWC fountain and flagpole area. AWC and Time Warner will examine the use of this service on a semi-annual basis to determine its effectiveness.

Wi-Fi Map

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Upward Bound Grant Awarded

Terry Shove, Director of Educational Talent Search/Upward Bound, stands with an Upward Bound student.

Arizona Western College has received notice that they have been awarded the Upward Bound Grant for almost 1.2 million dollars over the next four years. The grant starts September 1, 2007 as a continuation of the past grant that AWC had received. This is AWC’s third grant cycle, which means that this is the second time AWC has been renewed.

Upward Bound is a federal grant awarded to colleges and universities to work with high school students who are low income and/or first generation (meaning neither parent has a 4-year degree). AWC serves 70 students at Yuma, Kofa, Cibola, San Luis and Parker High schools, who are planning on going to college for a four-year degree and provides fundamental support to the participants in their preparation for college entrance. Students normally are recruited in the 9th grade and continue through high school graduation.

Participants in Upward Bound attend weekly meetings at their school during the school year to help them become more successful in their academic career. Students then attend a 6-week residential camp held at Arizona Western College each summer. The camp includes academic classes and skill building seminars. Students also have opportunities to take part in work-study positions and job shadowing with local businesses in the community.

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What does KAWC Mean to You?

Mark Reynolds in the KAWC studio.

What does KAWC mean to you? KAWC Radio, 88.9FM and 1320AM, are Yuma’s ONLY public radio stations and are asking for input from everyone in the community on “What does KAWC mean to you?” KAWC is interested to find out what community members value most about public radio and/or KAWC in hopes they will be able to serve the diverse needs of the community better in the future. To provide input to KAWC, please visit their website at and click on the link “What does KAWC mean to you?” KAWC Radio is listener-supported public radio located on the Arizona Western College campus. If you would like more information about KAWC please contact Alison Howell at 314-9547.

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Employee Kudos

Mary Schaal

Mary Schaal, AWC’s Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Grants was appointed to the Governor’s Technical Advisory Committee, along with other institutional researchers from community colleges, universities, and private colleges/universities across the state. The committee’s purpose is to assist the entity that will be carrying out the postsecondary feasibility and demand study by providing technical advice and data required for completion of the study of future higher education and workforce demands in Arizona. This report will be released to the Governor’s P-20 Council in August 2007.

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