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October 2012 - Highlights at a Glance


Arizona Senate Debate


Arizona Senate candidates debated on Campus

KAWC partnered with local television station KECY and the Yuma Sun to bring Arizona Senate candidates Jeff Flake and Richard Carmona to Yuma to debate issues impacting rural Arizona.

The debate was held on Thursday, October 25th in the North Wing of the 3C Building on AWC’s main campus.

KECY CW aired a live broadcast of the debate, and KECY FOX re-broadcast the event at 9:30 p.m., after the evening newscast.  KAWC AM and FM both aired the debate at 6 p.m.

Lou Gum, KAWC News & Operations Director, served as moderator. Candidates took questions from a panel of news professionals comprised of KAWC Morning Edition Host and reporter Michelle Faust, KECY News Director Anna Chaulk and Yuma Sun Reporter Joyce Lobeck.

Questions focused on issues related to rural Arizona, from land and water management to special challenges in health care, immigration and job creation.

Seating was limited to 300 guests. 100 tickets each were distributed by Yuma County Republican and Democratic Party offices and the remaining 100 were distributed by KAWC and its partners. 

Foundation, Hawkey Nomintaed for Heart of Yuma 

With nominations in four of six categories, Arizona Western College figured prominently in the Heart of Yuma Awards presented by the Yuma Community Foundation at its annual dessert buffet on Tuesday, October 30.

The AWC Foundation was nominated as the Outstanding Nonprofit Organization; Dr. Kayle Haws, President Elect of the Foundation Board, was nominated as the Outstanding Volunteer; Christina Hawkey, Executive Director of the Foundation, was nominated as the Outstanding Leader; and her son, Kyle Hawkey, Associate Professor of Psychology at AWC and Senior Program Coordinator for the University of Arizona, was nominated as the Outstanding Young Leader.

Christina Hawkey says: “The AWC Foundation is honored to have been nominated for this award. We are proud of the college and proud of our students. Being nominated is a reflection of our generous donors and our deserving scholarship recipients. Regarding her personal nomination, she says: “I am humbled to have been nominated for this award. I have taught for Yuma School District One, AWC, NAU-Yuma, and UA-Yuma and have been able to see what great leaders we really have in this community!”

Dr. Haws says he feels humbled and undeserving of the nomination because he is just trying to make the community a better place for his children to grow up by helping provide access to education, just as some adults did for him when he was in college. “I just hope to give back something positive,” he says

Kyle Hawkey says he is honored to be considered for the award and that community involvement is not only vitally important to his own life, but is also key to the growth, development, and success of any community. “The Yuma Community has given me so much and is very dear to my heart,” he adds. “I try to give back in every possible way. I hope that by giving back to the community, other residents will be inspired to do the same.”

At the awards buffet, each nominee from a total of six categories were called up to receive the beautiful ruby red Heart of Yuma engraved with “Heart of Yuma 2012” on it. The Yuma Community Foundation is a philanthropic organization that serves Yuma area nonprofit organizations.

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Breast Cancer Walk


Students participating in the AWC Breast Cancer Walk

Arizona Western College students, faculty and staff participated in a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk to commenorate October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The participants walked continuously from 11am until 2pm.


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Logistics Alumni Recieves Scholarship 

Herman Benhke completed an AAS degree in Logistics with Honors last year at AWC and recently received a $1,000 scholarship from Southern Arizona Logistics Education Organization (SALEO) to continue his pursuit of the Logistics and Supply Chain Management degree through NAU-Yuma.

Although he had extensive experience that involved many of the skills required of Logistics’ managers, he acknowledged in his application essay that he needed to “constantly upgrade and enhance” his knowledge. He is seeking a Bachelor’s degree in Logistics and then a Master’s Degree in Project Management through NAU in Yuma.

He says, “I am honored and empowered” by the award, which will enable him to continue moving forward with his educational goals.

SALEO recently awarded 14 scholarships of $1,000 each to outstanding students, including Benhke, from Yuma, following a golf tournament and luncheon in southern Arizona. Ten of the other students were from the Tucson area, and one each was from Marana, Phoenix and Snowflake.

SALEO’s total of $14,000 in scholarships this year topped the $9,000 that the organization awarded in 2011. SALEO is a nonprofit organization that works through education, networking, and workforce development and offers a forum for logistics providers and users to share information about the latest issues affecting transportation and logistics.

The tournament’s title sponsor was The Port of Tucson (, which offers businesses access to rail and intermodal container transportation as well as to warehousing. Scholarship Boosters included: Union Pacific Railroad; HDS Companies, which provides services to the truck driving industry; and The ILS Company, which offers complete cross-border supply chain management solutions. ILS is headquartered in Tucson and has facilities in Mexico.

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Volleyball Region Finals


Arizona Western College is proud to announce that the AWC Volleyball team has officially won the 2012 Region I Division I Volleyball Championship after defeating the 2nd-seeded Lady Gila Monsters of Eastern Arizona College, 25-19, 28-26, 25-23, earlier tonight in the 2012 Region I Division I Volleyball Finals at ‘The House’ on the AWC campus in Yuma. The win sends the Matadors to the District C Championship, which will be played November 6th at the site of the Region II Champions. 

After dominating the Lady Gila Monsters in three sets a week ago but then losing two matches (in one night) two nights later against Yavapai College in the regular season finale, Matador fans wondered which of those Matador performances they would see tonight. From the opening serve, the Lady Matadors showed that their confidence wasn’t shaken from Friday’s losses as they broke out to an early 9-5 lead in Game 1. They would gradually extend the lead throughout the game, leading by as many as 8 points on four different occasions, and behind Amber Graham’s five kills, took the first game, 25-19. 

 Annual Celebration of Scholarships


Annual event brings donors together with scholarship winners

The Arizona Western College Foundation hosted the 2012-2013 Celebration of Scholarship. This year celebrates the fifth year of this event and the AWC Foundation would like to give a special thanks to Southwest Gas for sponsoring this year’s event.
Celebration of Scholarship provides a wonderful opportunity to join scholarship students and generous donors to share stories and experiences. Scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to share their Arizona Western College classroom experiences and what the scholarship has meant to their educational goals. Donors will unite with scholarship students, faculty and staff to hear firsthand how their generosity is changing lives.
The celebration took place in the Schoening Conference Center (3C) on AWC’s Main Campus on Thursday, October 25.

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2012 El Toro Bowl Just Around the Corner


2011 El Toro Bowl

Arizona Western College, the Caballeros de Yuma and the Matador Athletic Association are proud to announce that tickets for the 2012 El Toro Bowl-presented by Alexander Automotive Group-went on sale to the general public beginning Wednesday, September 26th. For the first time, fans can purchase their tickets online, and all seats at Veterans Memorial Stadium for the game are reserved-seat tickets. The announcement comes just a little over two months before the teams take the field at Veterans Memorial Stadium for the December 1st football game, which last year not only signaled the return of the bowl that was held in Yuma from 1968 through 1973, but also brought the NJCAA Football National Championship Game to Yuma for the first time in 40 years.

Last year, approximately ¼ of the 5300 possible seats for the bowl game were reserved seats, with the remainder of the tickets being general admission. Those reserved seats were snapped up almost completely within the first three weeks after they went on sale last September. Realizing that fact-combined with the feedback from those with general admission passes from last year-bowl organizers have responded by numbering every seat in the facility, making all seats $13 reserved-seat tickets. Organizers have also responded to fan feedback this year by implementing online ticket sales for the first time ever. Fans with a credit card can now choose their own seats and print them out from their own home computer. Those who still wish to buy their tickets with cash or a check can visit two different Yuma-area locations to choose their seats. Fans will be able to bring their printed-out tickets to ‘The Vet’ on game day, where the tickets will be scanned at the gate.

Welding Thunder Hits Main Campus 


Welders Without Borders Welding Thunder Fabrication Team Invitational and Expo

Arizona Western College hosted the Welders Without Borders Welding Thunder Fabrication Team Invitational and Expo October 19 and 20th.
Described by lead organizer Professor Samuel Colton as “NASCAR for Welding”, this exciting, competitive and educational event combined team camaraderie and training sessions. It was also a way for welding professionals from area businesses, high school and college students to learn about the latest in welding technology and potential careers while interacting with industry leaders and professionals.

The featured event pitted invited teams from Arizona and California high schools and colleges in an event to fabricate a special BBQ grill, which they then used to cook their lunch, and to provide food samples to the judges. The teams worked with their own engine drive equipment and their own pit crew outdoors in the AWC parking lot nearest the Welding Institute.

Other features of the event included: A pipe-welding workshop A titanium welding workshop using a specialized gas-filled CK Products dome; A Welding Inspection workshop; A Boy Scouts of America welding merit badge event and A presentation on the degree pathway between AWC and NAU for a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Technology

This first-time event was a collaboration between the AWC Institute of Welding Technology, The AWC American Welding Society Student Chapter and the AWC SkillsUSA Student Chapter. Participating businesses and organizations included: American Welding Society San Diego Section AWS District 21 Officers ESAB Lincoln Electric Company Miller Electric Company Victor Specialties Vern Lewis Welding Equipment Distributors Stoody Broco-Rankin Industries WestAir Gases of Yuma CAID INC Tucson Arizona

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Monarch Seminar Held


Last month science students planted the AWC fields in preparation for the Monarch's arrival

Gail Morris from the Southwest Monarch Watch presented a public seminar on Monarch Butterfly Conservation on Thursday, October 25th in the AS Building.

Morris discussed Monarch migration patterns through Arizona, California and Mexico. She also presented information on how residents can create Monarch habitat in their yards and inform the public about Monarch biology and conservation in Arizona.

Audience members could sign up to be citizen scientists who record Monarch sightings in the Yuma area. And they also toured the college’s recently-created Monarch butterfly garden.

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Culinary Arts Dinners 


Guests enjoy the culinary delights of the AWC Culinary Arts students

The Arizona Western College Culinary Arts Department continue to present their culinary arts events this fall semester.

The dinners feature the very best of their culinary creations prepared exclusively for you by the AWC Culinary Arts students. Join them Tuesday, November 13, at 6:00 pm in LR 109 on the main campus. Seats are limited…and all tickets must be purchased in advance.

Tickets for the Culinary Arts Dinner will be available at the 3C (College Community Center) business office for $25 per person. Please call 928-344-7700 for payment over the phone. Limited quantities are available.

November 13 Culinary Arts Meals menu beef tenderloin. All meals include an appetizer, soup/salad and dessert.

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