Awards 2002-2003 | Chandler-Gilbert Community College
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2002-2003 Awards & Recognition

Alice Conkright, Founding Faculty Member, Retires

Alice Conkright, CGCC founding faculty member, retired this past spring after more than 20 years in the Maricopa Community College District.

Alice started with MCCCD in August 1981 at South Mountain Community College, and transferred over to CGCC in August 1985 as one of three founding faculty members, teaching a variety of reading, English, and humanities classes. She went on to serve as the first division chair of the Language and Humanities division from fall 1988 to spring 1994 and served a second term from fall 1998 to spring 2002.

"The past 18 years at Chandler-Gilbert Community College have changed me and sustained me in ways that I never could have anticipated," said Alice. "Teaching has been a joy; the students have been a gift; everyone on campus has been a support; and my years here have been a pleasure. I am grateful for all my experiences at CGCC."

This fall, Alice will be in Los Angeles with her daughter, Robyn and her grandchildren, Nora, 10, Amelia, 8, and Luke, 6. Her son Neil also lives in Los Angeles.

Next spring, Alice will return to CGCC to teach Ideas and Values in the Humanities and Literature and Film, with a focus on women writers. After that, she plans to spend summers in the Finger Lakes region of New York State and winters in Los Angeles.


CGCC, ASU Awarded $400K Grant

Chandler-Gilbert Community College, along with Estrella Mountain, Glendale, and Mesa Community Colleges and in collaboration with Arizona State University, was recently awarded a $400,000 grant by the National Science Foundation for a program entitled "Maricopa Engineering Transition Scholars" or METS.

The METS project is a two-year pilot collaboration between Arizona State University (ASU-Main) and the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCD) to forge an integrated learning system that enrolls, retains, and graduates women and underrepresented minorities in engineering degree programs.

The project is designed to 1) create an interest in engineering among students at the community colleges; 2) help students to transfer smoothly from a community college in MCCD to a four-year engineering degree program at ASU; and 3) assist the students in persisting to earn an undergraduate degree in engineering. The lead institution is the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at ASU. Of the four MCCD institutions participating, CGCC engineering faculty Bassam Matar will lead and manage the grant. The award is effective July 1, 2003 and expires June 30, 2005 for a total of $400,000 - $200K for MCCCD, and $200K for ASU.


CGCC Baseball Wins Regionals, Makes it to District Playoffs

Congratulations to the CGCC Coyotes for winning the Baseball Regional finals in May, beating Central Arizona College, the defending national champions.

The Coyotes went on to play Southern Nevada in the Western Baseball District Playoffs best of three series, losing 12-2 in game 3. In just the third year of their baseball program, the Coyotes were thrilled to have made it to just one victory away from the Junior College World Series.

"In three years the program has had tremendous success, so we're very proud of both our coaches and players. They've done a fantastic job--I don't think anyone has had that much success in that short of a time. Next year we're aiming for the world series," says Jeff Mason, CGCC Athletic Director.


Electric Utility Technology Program Graduates First Class

After just two semesters, 18 CGCC students are ready to embark on exciting new careers in the electrical utility field. This is the first class to graduate from the CGCC Electrical Utility Technology program and of those eighteen students, 11 have already obtained jobs as line workers with a little help from Mark Weaver, program director.

The fact that we are able to try and help these students find jobs to go to almost as soon as they earn their certificate or degree is what makes this program a success,  says Weaver.  The program has proven to be very popular, with classes filling up almost as soon as they open.

Electrical line workers install and repair electrical distribution and transmission systems for business and residential customers. Graduates of the EUT program are highly skilled in overhead and underground electrical power line installation and operational procedures. Students in the EUT program can earn a technical certificate or an Associate in Applied Science degree.


Diane Travers Receives NISOD Excellence Award

Diane was nominated for the following reasons (as stated by some of her faculty peers and affirmed by the administrative team):

- You constantly strive to provide a stimulating and challenging learning environment of your students.

- You consistently exhibit a commitment to innovation in teaching and learning, which has included service learning, cooperative learning, writing across the curriculum, and instructional technology

- You have provided ongoing leadership and mentoring for residential and adjunct faculty in the role of division chair and program coordinator.

- You are passionate and committed to making a meaningful contribution to the Communications curriculum.

- You have served over the years on a wide range of college committees, including faculty office allocations, faculty staffing, facilities planning and master planning, to new just a few.

"A tradition since 1989, the NISOD (National Institute for Organizational Development) Excellence Awards program was established to further support individual colleges recognizing and celebrating their finest at home and on an international stage. At the conference each year, NISOD recognizes more than 1,000 Excellence Awards recipients." -


CGCC Celebrates the Grand Opening of Three New Facilities

Chandler-Gilbert Community College celebrated the grand opening of three new facilities that mark significant growth for the college. The event was enjoyed by many with presentations and tours of the facilities. An ice cream social after the event allowed honored guests, students, faculty, and staff to mingle and enjoy the new facilities.

Student Center: 20,000 square feet of space devoted to key student development services. Includes career services, disabled student services, student activities, athletics, the Dean's office and more.

Performing Arts Center: A marvelous venue for music, theatre and dance performances. The new facility includes seating for 300, a flexible stage area, rehearsal spaces and faculty/staff offices and work spaces.

Baseball Diamond: The new home of the CGCC Coyotes baseball team. This new facility meets all NJCAA standards and will be used for practice and home games, as well as for local high school tournaments.


Diane Clark Receives Maricopa Institute for Learning (MIL) Fellowship

Congratulations to Diane Clark (English faculty) who has been selected to participate in the Maricopa Institute for Learning (MIL) Fellowship for 2003-2004. The primary goals of Diane's project are to determine if a separate English 101 class designed specifically for students who have self-declared writing anxiety helps students significantly reduce their writing anxiety and thus increases their ability to learn how to write more effectively; determine which anxiety reduction techniques are effective; and develop new techniques to help students overcome writing fears.


Innovation of the Year Award Winners

Congratulations to the Instructional Computing Committee for their Innovation of the Year Award: Chandler-Gilbert Goes Wireless. Our wireless college allows all students and staff the opportunity for "anytime, anywhere" learning. Congratulations to Rene Barrios and Wayne Gautreau for an honorable mention in Innovation of the Year Awards. They submitted Math Anxiety Reduction/Retention Students Success Program (MARS). This was a collaborative effort of CGCC's Counseling Department and Math/Science Division to improve retention rates and academic success for students in developmental mathematics coursework.


Janet Ortega Honored With WLG Distinguished Achievement Award

Congratulations to Janet Ortega who was presented with the Women's Leadership Group 2003 Women Leaders Distinguished Achievement Award, which was presented to her at the group's 5th Annual Women's Leadership Luncheon held April 1, at MCC.


CGCC Selected as Model for Campus Compact

Chandler-Gilbert Community College was recently selected as one of thirteen community colleges across the country by the Carnegie Foundation to participate in a Campus Compact project entitled, "Education the Next Generation of Active Citizens: A Strategy for Deepening Civic Engagement in American Higher Education."

CGCC's service learning program was recognized as an exemplary model in the following areas: Administrative Leadership, Enabling Mechanisms, and Integrated Activities.

Campus Compact, which has partnered with the American Association of Community Colleges in surveying all community colleges on their engagement practices and programs, has received a three-year grant from the Carnegie Corporation to combine documentation and dissemination of best practices of the engaged campus with an organizing effort to help campuses achieve broader institutionalization of civic engagement.

The focus: Campuses are hungry for good information about how to achieve an engaged campus. Campuses need a series of exemplars that they can use to create civic engagement strategies appropriate to their particular type of institution and specific needs.

Campus Compact visited the CGCC Pecos Campus in March to interview faculty, staff, and students who have participated in service learning at CGCC.

Thank you to Chris Schnick, Marybeth Mason, and Mike Greene, who coordinated the site Campus Compact site visit.


CGCC Takes 1st Place in MLX Package Race

Congratulations to CGCC for being the first place winner in the Maricopa Learning exchange (MLX) Package Race.

The MLX is an electronic warehouse of ideas, examples, and resources (represented as "packages")that support student learning at the Maricopa Community Colleges. Every six months, MCCCD awards technology prizes to the college that submits the most items.

Chandler-Gilbert made a college-wide effort to jump out in front and stay there, with a total of 130 shared innovations adding to the MLX between November 12, 2002 and February 28, 2003.

For more information about MLX or to check out CGCC submissions, access


Eva Falletta Selected for the National Institute for Leadership Development

Eva Falletta, director of the CGCC Learning Center, was recently selected to participate in the National Institute for Leadership Development. Nominated by her peers, Eva was selected for this program because her peers believe in her ability to make a difference as a leader in higher education. The National Institute for Leadership Development provides leadership programs for women and men in community colleges based on a philosophy of inclusion and diversity, which in turn empowers individuals and communities.


CGCC Students Named to All-Arizona Academic Team

Two CGCC students have been named to the All-Arizona Academic Second Team and will advance to the All-USA Academic Team competition next month. Shoshana Koesterman and Michayle Harris represented CGCC at the recognition ceremony on February 13, joining 61 academic scholars from community colleges around the state. The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Michael T. Rogers, a 1998 All-Arizona Academic First Team member from CGCC.

An elementary education major, Koesterman has completed 46 credit hours at CGCC with a 4.0 grade point average. Her involvement with community service in addition to her academic achievement resulted in her being selected as an All-Arizona scholar. Active in college service learning events including "Into the Streets," she also volunteers approximately 20 hours per week to fulfill personal community service work. Her enrollment in a course last fall entitled "Introduction to the Exceptional Learner" provided her the opportunity to volunteer in two different classrooms in the Chandler and Gilbert School Districts.

"In each of these environments, I worked with gifted children in grades ranging between 4th and 6th grade," said Koesterman. "I have learned several different skills regarding classroom management and teaching that will benefit me significantly in my future career as an educator."

Koesterman is involved in Phi Theta Kappa, the CGCC Honors Program and the CGCC Community Orchestra playing the viola. For 2002-03, she is the recipient of the Dougherty Foundation Scholarship, Maricopa County Community College District Employees Scholarship and the CGCC Honors Scholarship.

Harris is studying American Sign Language at CGCC with a goal of obtaining a master's degree in Audiology.

"I have learned much about the deaf culture and community. I have learned that being deaf is not an awful fate, but a unique existence. This knowledge has given me the desire to enter my chosen field of study," said Harris.

Since the summer of 2001, Harris has attended CGCC and MCC fulltime on a "Vision: College-Bound" full tuition scholarship for two years funded by the Chandler Education Foundation.

In addition, she works part time for the City of Chandler's Therapeutic Recreation program as a Recreation Leader, serving as a coach, dance instructor and teacher to people with disabilities. Her service learning experiences include serving as an "Into the Streets" site leader for the Chandler-Gilbert Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC) and an optional research project for a Southwest History class helping gather information for historical kiosks for City of Chandler parks.

The All-USA Academic Team is sponsored by USA Today, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. The criteria are designed to identify students who excel academically, demonstrate intellectual rigor in their course of study, show academic growth and potential, and use their two-year college education to better themselves, their schools, and their communities.

These remarkable young women proceeded to the All-USA Academic Scholarship competition at the annual AACC conference held this year in Dallas from April 5 - 8, with the 30 national winners featured in USA Today in April.


Crime & Intelligence Analysis Graduates First Class

The first class of a Crime & Intelligence Analysis certificate program offered by Chandler-Gilbert Community College graduated January 18, 2003. This program is the second of its kind in the country and will provide a valuable service to Arizona law enforcement agencies.

Most of the 23 students in the program already work in the field for various law enforcement or private sector agencies, but some are college students looking to break into this growing field, according to instructor Connie Kostelac, Police Research Supervisor for the Phoenix Police Department.

"We started the program before the events of September 11, 2001, but interest in the program has increased since then," said Kostelac.

The 13-month, 16-credit hour program includes coursework in six areas. In addition to Introduction to Crime and Intelligence Analysis I, students completed two courses in intelligence analysis, which focuses on finding people and the relationships between individuals and organizations. The intelligence courses cover a variety of analysis techniques including link, VIA, flow, and telephone toll analysis.

A course in Crime Analysis covers administrative, strategic and tactical areas, including crime trends and patterns, and analyzing crime series. Statistics helps students learn forecasting and predicting, and Geographic Information Systems is designed to teach students how to use maps to track geographic patterns and forecast crime locations.

Kostelac said crime and intelligence analysts from across the Valley, including the Department of Public Safety, participated in the development of the program and acted as instructors.


Adjunct Faculty Recognized for 20+ Semesters of Service

Congratulations to the following adjunct faculty members with 20 or more semesters of service who were recognized at the Spring 2003 all-faculty meeting:

Iris Weiss has been teaching English 101 for the Language & Humanities Division since 1994.

John McKinnon has been teaching astronomy, math, and physics classes for the Science and Math Division since 1995.

Charlene Riedell has been teaching sociology, psychology, and counseling and personal development courses for CGCC since 1987.


Performing Arts Receives Acclaim for The Secret Garden

Max McQueen, entertainment critic for the East Valley Tribune, recently listed CGCC on his 2002 Awards list in the Sunday Arts. The awards are known as The Maxie Awards for valley, community and educational theater. CGCC's production of The Secret Garden received an honorable mention ranking in the Best College Production category.


Marc Denton Earns Honorable Mention from the Tribune

Max McQueen, entertainment critic for the East Valley Tribune, recently listed CGCC music faculty Marc Denton on his 2002 Awards list in the Sunday Arts edition of the newspaper. The awards are known as The Maxie Awards for valley, community and educational theater. Denton received an honorable mention for his Musical Direction of Gilbert Fine Arts production of The Sound of Music.


Marketing Department Takes Home the Gold

CGCC was awarded bronze and gold Medallion Awards during recent competition at the District VI conference of the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations. The college was awarded the bronze for its Athletic Department brochure, and a gold for the Legacy video produced by the Media Services Department that reviewed CGCC's history during the tenure of founding President Arnette Ward. CGCC has now been awarded 8 Medallions for marketing excellence in the past three years.