Awards2009-2010 | Chandler-Gilbert Community College
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Awards & Recognition - 2009-2010 Academic Year

 Marc Denton 2010 Arizona State All-State Jazz Clinic Choir Director/Clinician


Music faculty and vocal music coordinator Marc Denton was chosen to serve as the 2010 Arizona State All-State Jazz Clinic Choir Director/Clinician for the Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA). This was a 3-day clinic and performance for the top jazz choral students in the state.


 Service-Learning Collaborations with K-12 Schools


CGCC was awarded the 2009 Community College National Center for Community Engagement Award for Service-Learning Collaborations with K-12 Schools for Chandler Writes!, a community-writing program designed to enhance learning and develop personal relationships between college students and young students in the community through the writing process. 

Developed by CGCC English faculty Chris Schnick, Chandler Writes! provides a powerful service-learning opportunity for CGCC students to connect their curriculum to their community by working with Chandler youth at San Marcos Elementary School and Si Se Puede, a program for at-risk youth from impoverished neighborhoods in Chandler. Chandler Writes! Tutoring and Writing with Youth at San Marcos Elementary involves CGCC students tutoring elementary students as they work on homework, serving as mentors and role models, helping them generate personal writing and celebrating their writing as they read together in a public sharing. Chandler Writes! Showing Si Se Puede Youth the College and Writing Our Stories has CGCC students working with Si Se Puede teens Saturday mornings for a tour of the college and writing together to share their stories in readings and in an anthology they produce.


Congratulations to Chris Schnick, Pam Davenport, Chris Reider, Alison Whiting, and Mike Greene



 Pushpa Ramakrishna, Dr. Rufus Glasper Co-Author Chapter in State of Black Arizona


Biology faculty Pushpa Ramakrishna and MCCCD Chancellor Dr. Rufus Glasper co-authored a chapter in the book, State of Black Arizona, Volume 2, printed by Arizona State University and copyrighted by the Arizona Board of Regents.  The chapter is entitled, "Bridging the Gap: Sustainability and Higher Education." 


 Lori Girshick Published through Civic Research Institute


Sociology faculty Lori Girschick published a two-part article entitled, "Same-Sex Interpersonal Violence: An Activist Researcher’s Commentary" in the Sexual Assault Report, Vol. 13, No. 5, New Jersey: Civic Research Institute, in April 2010.


 Frank Wilson Awarded AFCEA, FORD Scholarships


Congratulations to mathematics faculty Frank Wilson, who was awarded the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Scholarship for Working Professionals in 2009 and the FORD Business Scholarship in 2010.



 Nancy Foote Named "Teacher of the Year" and "Arizona Master Teacher"

Adjunct chemistry faculty Nancy Foote was named "Teacher of the Year" by is a non-profit organization that provides compelling educational DVDs and current events lessons that encourage students to think critically. 

Nancy was also named an Arizona Master Teacher by the State of Arizona, through the Arizona K-12 Center.
  A Master Teacher is an individual recognized for excellence in the classroom, including the ability to improve student achievement, the ability to mentor other teachers in achieving excellence in their classrooms, and the ability to communicate effectively with their community. 

 Debbie Busby Publishes Book

Adjunct English faculty Debbie Busby published a book entitled, "Confessions of a Recovering Mormon: The Deborah Lucas Story." 


 WLG Honors Marybeth Mason as "Woman of Distinction"


Congratulations to CGCC Dean of Community Affairs, Marybeth Mason, who was honored with the Women's Leadership Group 2010 "Woman of Distinction" Distinguished Achievement Award, which will be presented to her at the group's 12th Annual Women's Leadership Luncheon in April.

An excerpt from her nomination read as follows:

Marybeth Mason is an exceptional leader who consistently applies her time, expertise, and creativity to initiatives which support not only student success, and but ultimately college and district success. She extends her time and talents to all who seek her support, serving as a mentor to both students and employees, providing experience, leadership, and encouragement in their pursuit of education and professional development. Marybeth’s passionate commitment to education, students, and CGCC is evident in all that she does.

 Frank Wilson, Trey Cox, Scott Adamson Published in Mathematics Journal


CGCC mathematics faculty Frank Wilson, Trey Cox, and Scott Adamson were recently published in The Mathematics Teacher.  The title of their article was "Inverse functions: What Our Teachers Didn't Tell Us."


 Bassam Matar Named Electronic Engineering Times ACE Award Educator of the Year

Congratulations to engineering faculty Bassam Matar, who was selected as the 2010 Electronic Engineering Times ACE Award Educator of the Year.

The Annual Creativity in Electronics Award (ACE) program honors innovators who demonstrate global electronics industry leadership.  Bassam's election marks the first time that the Educator of the Year Award will be given to a community college faculty member.  Prior recipients have come from Purdue University, University of San Francisco, San Jose University, and Southern Methodist University.

Other 2010 award recipients include individuals from Microchip, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Hewlett Packard, and Google. 


 Dr. Linda Lujan Published in Contemporary Issues in Institutional Ethics


CGCC interim president Dr. Linda Lujan co-authored, "Prepared for Challenges: The Importance of a Professional and Institutional Ethical Identity" with Sharon K. Anderson and Diane L. Hegeman in the 2009 publication of Contemporary Issues in Institutional Ethics.





 Ben Archer Receives W. P. Carey MBA Student Leadership Awards


Lead Help Desk Analyst Ben Archer received the W.P. Carey MBA Student Leadership Award in Spring 2010.

The W. P. Carey MBA Student Leadership Awards recognizes MBA students in their second year of study for leadership in the pursuit of academic excellence, leadership in the University community, and leadership in the surrounding community.  Leadership in these areas is vital to the success of the W. P. Carey School and Arizona State University as a whole. These awards are given to students in the late spring of each academic year.




 Frank Wilson Published in Business, Mathematics Journals


CGCC mathematics faculty Frank Wilson recently published "Forecasting Sales of Nintendo Game Consoles," in The Journal of Business Forecasting and "When Am I Ever Going to Use This?" in the Math AMATYC Educator.







 Patrick Finn's Publishes Second Book, Receives 2009 Hudson Prize

English faculty Patrick Finn's second book, From the Darkness Right Under Our Feet, won the 2009 Hudson Prize and will be published in December 2010 of this year by Black Lawrence Press/Dzanc Books.  

His short story, "Between Pissworth and Papich" is forthcoming in the Yalobusha Review (University of Mississippi) and "Where Cat-Scratch and Happy Valley Meet," will be published in Thuglit.

 Jamie Jensen Published in The American Biology Teacher

Adjunct biology faculty Jamie Jensen was published in The American Biology Teacher in April 2010. The article was entitled "Using the Mystery of the Cyclopic Lamb to Teach Biotechnology."


 CGCC Receives National Recognition for Community Service, Named to President’s Honor Roll

CGCC has been named for the fourth year in a row to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation 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.

CGCC engaged more than 2,500 students and staff in more than 67,000 hours of service during the 2008-09 academic year. In addition to students participating in academic service learning related to their curricula, including English, biology, communications, business, education, nutrition, sociology, psychology, and mathematics, many clubs and organizations such as Phi Theta Kappa and the HEAT Club (the Hands-On Environmental Action Team) also devoted hundreds of hours to their community engaged in various fund-raising and service projects.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

 Cesar Becerra Named Diversity Award Recipient

Congratulations to Cesar Becerra, Williams Campus Student Services Specialist, who was named as the CGCC recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Award on Saturday, January 16, at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Basketball Classic.  Each year, the CGCC Athletic Department honors an employee who consistently promotes inclusiveness and diversity at the college.

An excerpt from Cesar's nomination read as follows - "In his time at CGCC, Cesar has served on a number of committees to help foster student success or improve the campus community.  Most notably, he has served on the diversity committee which explores unique ideas towards attaining a more inclusive campus that values every student equally, as well as the iStart Smart committee which is a district-wide student success initiative. Cesar is devoted to issues of social justice as well as educational opportunity. With an inner and outward passion for community building, he has devoted much of his time and energy to empowering underrepresented communities through education and civic engagement.  In his professional as well as his personal life he promotes cultural pride, self-esteem, empathy, hope and change."

 Marketing & PR Wins Three Medallions


Congratulations to the Marketing & Public Relations Department who recently won three Medallion Awards from the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations for 2008-2009. Marketing & PR received the three Medallions for the "Discover Your World" Foreign Language Poster; the Sustainability & Ecological Literacy Certificate brochure; and the CGCC Student Handbook.


Marketing & PR has received a total of 39 Medallion Awards in the past 10 years.


 Braaten Family Named Chandler/Gilbert YMCA Family of the Year

Congratulations to CGCC communications faculty Anthony Braaten and his family, who were recently recognized as the 2009 Chandler/Gilbert YMCA Family of the Year.

Anthony has served on the Chandler YMCA Board of Managers since 2004.  He has also served on the Chandler YMCA’s annual Strong Kids Campaign, and volunteered at their annual golf tournament and food drives.  In addition, he connects CGCC students to the YMCA through service-learning projects each semester. Anthony's wife Carrie teaches multiple preschool and babysitting classes at the YMCA, as well as volunteering on evenings and weekends.

"Anthony and Carrie Braaten and their family exemplify what a YMCA family should be. They believe in the YMCA, support the YMCA with both time and resources, and they are helping to pass on the YMCA mission and core values to their kids,” said Steve Hewitt, Executive Director of the Chandler/Gilbert Family YMCA.

 Melinda Rudibaugh Receives AMATYC Teaching Excellence Award

Congratulations to mathematics faculty Melinda Rudibaugh, recipient of the 2009 American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) Teaching Excellence Award.

The Teaching Excellence Award is intended for educators who have made outstanding contributions to mathematics or mathematics education at a two-year college. Teaching excellence is the main focus of the award.

Melinda was among six awardees from across the U.S. who were honored at the annual AMATYC conference in Las Vegas in November.

 CGCC Receives Environmental Leadership Award

CGCC was recently honored by Salt River Project (SRP) for "environmental leadership through the use of solar energy."  CGCC participates in SRP's EarthWise Solar Energy program by utilizing photovoltaic arrays located on top of Jacaranda and Javelina Halls. Jacaranda Hall and Javelina Halls  produce another 30,000 kW-hours annually.

SRP salutes Arizona businesses that demonstrate a strong commitment to environmental excellence and earth-friendly energy solutions. 


 John Schroeder, Bassam Matar Receive Community Excellence Awards

Williams Campus Provost John Schroeder and Engineering faculty Bassam Matar were honored in  October 2009, at the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce Community Excellence Awards.

John Schroeder was recognized as "CGCC Staff Member of the Year." An excerpt from his nomination is as follows, "John leads by example.  He sets the bar high in his expectations and then works hard to help employees be successful in rising above the bar.  He never asks an employee to do something that he himself is not willing to do or that the employee does not have the tools to complete.  He encourages learning at all levels and supports employees needs while finding a balance in what is best for the college and what is best for the employee."

Bassam Matar was recognized as "CGCC Educator of the Year." An excerpt from his nomination is as follows,
"Students can clearly detect Bassam Matar’s enthusiasm and love for teaching engineering. He has coordinated and developed the Engineering Program at Chandler-Gilbert Community College since its inception and has grown the program at an amazing rate. His passion for teaching and learning rubs off on the students. Students are assigned real-world hands-on activities in class—build a robot, build an egg-drop device, build a catapult, design a solar home, design a solar oven—which are both challenging and fun.  Bassam understands the individual needs of students, encouraging and contributing to their success and fostering their self-esteem. He structures his classroom so each student is encouraged and recognized as unique."

 Connect to Your Major: A New Model for Faculty Advisement Named 2009-10 Innovation of the Year

Congratulations to 2009-2010 CGCC Innovation of the Year award winners -  Faculty: Jill Anderson (Nursing), Marc Denton (Music), Lee Kutzke (Justice Studies), Dr. Rosemary Leary (Chemistry), Bassam Matar (Engineering), Linda Meng (Mathematics), Beth Nuneviller (Business), Kate O’Mara (Art History), Dr. Belinda Ramos (Psychology), Vanessa Sandoval (Communication), Caryl Terrell-Bamiro (English), Patrick Williams (English), Maria Wise (Mathematics), Randy Wright (Music)
Advisement Office: Ryan Cain (Coordinator), Marina Giovannini (Advisor), Manny Gutierrez (Advisor), Monica Ulich (Advisor), Ernie Bracamonte (Advisor) Career Services: Mary Frederick (Director), Greg Wojtovich (Program Advisor), Donna Lehman (Coordinator) Administration:  Dr. Bill Mullaney (Dean of Arts and Sciences), Dee Randolph (Administrative Assistant), and Kimberly Smith (iStart Smart Assistant).

"Connect to Your Major: A New Model for Faculty Advisement” represents a joint venture between the faculty, the advisement office, the career center and the administration to improve student retention and persistence. This unique model for faculty advising is comprised of two major components: (1) group sessions organized by major and (2) individual advising conferences between faculty members and students. The sessions are designed to provide essential information to students about their careers and majors, to allow students to get acquainted with faculty advisors and other students in their field, and to help students to register for the upcoming semester. The individual conferences provide the opportunity for more personal attention and help to strengthen the relationship between the faculty advisor and the student.

CGCC is currently completing its second semester of the “Connect to Your Major” program.  Because the response of the nearly 400 students who attended a “Connect to Your Major” session was so positive, and the feedback from the faculty advisors themselves has been so enthusiastic, we are convinced that the “Connect to Your Major” program is here to stay.  This spring the team expanded the program to include Music majors and added two additional faculty advisors.  Currently, all students enrolled in a student success class are required to attend a “Connect to Your Major” session or see an advisor one-on-one, and they are exploring ways to reach more students. This semester they are waging an aggressive marketing campaign to attract more students to the sessions by promoting the sessions within individual classes in the various disciplines. 

 Chris Schnick Honored as Educator of the Year by Si Se Puede

English faculty Chris Schnick was recognized as a Cesar E. Chavez Educator of the Year by the Si Se Puede Foundation in March 2010.

His nomination is as follows, "Mr. Schnick is a dedicated, innovative, and passionate English teacher who is also a compelling leader among his peers.  He serves both faculty and students in a variety of leadership roles at the college, within the Chandler Unified School District, in the community, and with national organizations.  His 'Chandler Writes' program at CUSD and at Si Se Puede has not only inspired students to write, to think critically and to aspire to achieving a college education, but his efforts have also been successful in impacting the education of many Hispanic youth in our community. Through his commitment and dedication, he has helped build a phenomenal partnership between the college and the Chandler Unified School District."