Teal and Silver


 Teal & Silver Awards 2011

The Chandler-Gilbert Community College Teal & Silver Awards Program was created to recognize the contributions of individuals who support CGCC students, employees, programs, services, and the college community.

These individuals positively impact the college by assisting with program or service improvements, supporting creative and innovative ideas, improving the quality of the college experience, supporting the delivery of instruction, providing resources or assisting with cost-saving measures, and advocating for the college in the media, with elected officials, and in the community.

  Linda Downs, RN, CRNI: Business & Industry Partner

As Manager of Pre-Op, PACU, Pain Management, and PAT services at Arizona Spine & Joint Hospital in Mesa, Linda Downs, RN, CRNI, has been an invaluable partner to the Nursing Program at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and has helped improve the educational experience of CGCC nursing students for the past several years.


CGCC’s nursing program curriculum includes care of preoperative, intra-operative, and postoperative patients and also teaches the role of the perioperative nurse. However, CGCC nursing students previously have had no opportunity to visit perioperative nursing areas in local hospitals. To fill this gap, Linda has worked to make it possible for CGCC Block 2 nursing students to visit Arizona Spine & Joint Hospital for their perioperative observation experience every semester since 2008. As a result of her efforts, students are able to observe care of the patients before their surgery, during their time in the operating room, and into the post-anesthesia recovery room, where they stay with patients until discharge.


Linda’s willingness to go the extra mile makes a difference with every student nurse who enters her doors and highlights the importance of her continued relationship with CGCC’s Nursing Program.

 James Chalifoux: Technology Partner

James Chalifoux has played an integral role in the technological advancement and growth of Chandler-Gilbert Community College.


James has worked with CGCC to design systems and bid specifications for the construction of new classroom media systems. He collaborated closely with CGCC staff to create bid specifications for Ironwood Hall, Saguaro Hall and Bridget Hall Media Systems, and Cholla Hall classroom remodels. His role as project manager ensured these projects were completed to the proper design specifications, in the necessary time frame, and within the budget developed for the project. Moreover, his attention to detail has not only led to cost savings but also helped resolve problems in the field that saved the college time and money in the construction process. His creative problem solving allowed Ironwood Hall to open on time and enabled faculty and students to use the new media systems the first week of the semester.


Known for his personable nature and tireless advocacy for CGCC, James has even been willing to provide services at a reduced rate to allow for smaller college projects to conform to budgetary constraints.


For his immeasurable support during a time of great expansion at the college, CGCC is honored to name James Chalifoux as our 2011 Technology Partner.

 Rex Ginder: University Colleague

The flight-training program offered jointly by Chandler-Gilbert Community College and the University of North Dakota Aerospace Foundation owes a tremendous amount of gratitude to the program’s Director of Training, Rex Ginder, for the support he has provided.


The CGCC/UND partnership would not be the success it is today without Rex’s involvement and his student-centered approach to the job. He consistently goes above and beyond his duties, all for the sake of student success. He never turns down the opportunity to help an individual interested in the flight program, consistently participates in college events, and assists the CGCC Student Services staff and Aviation Department, while bringing his professionalism and enthusiasm for the program. Rex continually shares his resources and aids in CGCC fundraising endeavors by donating one-hour pre-flights to raise money for scholarships.


In addition, Rex has been named Flight Instructor of the Year by the FAA. It is through his concerted efforts CGCC Aviation students discover that the sky truly is the limit when it comes to their education.


The 2011 University Colleague Award is a reflection of Rex Ginder’s dedication and service to the University of North Dakota and Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

 Eric Leshinskie: Community College Colleague

Under the exceptional leadership of Eric Leshinksie, the Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI) is committed to student success, effective teaching and learning pedagogy, technology innovation, and the scholarship of teaching and learning by working collaboratively with faculty, administrators, and district-wide groups.


Faculty from all disciplines work closely with Eric, the Director of the MCLI, and his staff to create a wide variety of professional development opportunities, including dialogue days, workshops, grants, summer institutes, and fellowships open to all faculty throughout the Maricopa Community College District.


Whenever any member of the CGCC faculty development team asks for support on an initiative, Eric is always a thoughtful and enthusiastic collaborator who knows how to make it happen. He has worked closely with CGCC’s Melinda Rudibaugh for eight years to support offering the learnshop, Engaging Students in Active Learning (ESAL) I and II. His entire staffs follows his lead and are equally dedicated professionals who are committed to the support of teaching and learning on all MCCCD campuses.


CGCC faculty thank Eric Leshinskie for his leadership and support of innovation in teaching and learning, which has helped CGCC be a leader and participant in so many important initiatives that have benefitted so many students.

  Jamie Merrill: K-12 School Colleague

As Curriculum Specialist at San Marcos Elementary School, Jamie Merrill has been an important source of support for the Teacher Education Program at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Students in the Teacher Education Program must complete 20-30 hours of service-learning each semester as part of their coursework. Jamie Merrill and her teachers and staff at San Marcos Elementary School have consistently served as powerful mentors to CGCC students.


Jamie is extremely enthusiastic about having CGCC students at her site, and she deeply values the community connection between her program and the college. The service-learning experience gives our students an opportunity to learn in an environment dedicated to excellence. As a result, Jamie has not only initiated traditional individual classroom placements, but she has also facilitated group placements of Early Childhood students, worked with English faculty to design and implement the Chandler Writes! program on her campus, and helped place CGCC students as part of the America Reads tutoring program. Consistently, those students placed at San Marcos Elementary School have positive, professionally enriching experiences, which directly enhances their learning.


Leadership, support, and enthusiasm like Jamie’s are behind the success of CGCC’s service-learning program and its effort to cultivate involved citizens and the teachers of tomorrow.

 Christine Mackay: Community Leader

As Economic Development Director for the City of Chandler, Christine Mackay’s leadership in positioning the East Valley as a competitive player for opportunities and knowledge related to “green” professions has directly impacted Chandler-Gilbert Community College.


Christine’s efforts have enabled CGCC and its Center for Workforce Development to create and offer reputable Solar and Green Professional classes to assist in the city’s mission to attract and retain new companies to the area. Furthermore, her aggressive outreach to the college has successfully resulted in North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners approved courses, externships with local companies, LEED credentialed, BPI approved, and RESNET HERS programs – all critical certifications and designations for students and professionals seeking to remain competitive in the industry. Christine has arranged several high-level community meetings with local energy companies such as SRP and APS, and has been a relentless advocate for CGCC through key event forums.


There has not been a time in which CGCC staff has not been able to count on Christine’s assistance with an important educational initiative. CGCC is pleased to name Christine Mackay the recipient of a 2011 Teal & Silver Award.

 Trinity Donovan: Community Organization Partner

The ongoing partnership between Chandler-Gilbert Community College and Chandler Vice Mayor Trinity Donovan has yielded tremendous benefits for CGCC students and programs, as well as the surrounding community.


Chandler-Gilbert Community College has worked with Trinity in many capacities in multiple community organizations, such as Valley of the Sun United Way and Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods (ICAN). In her new capacity as Executive Director of the Chandler Christian Community Center, she has welcomed numerous CGCC students who are interested in completing their service-learning hours at the Center. This environment creates a powerful learning experience for students and helps them connect what they do at the Center to their curriculum.


Trinity has also been a reliable consultant on community trends. She has served as a guest speaker multiple times and has enriched CGCC’s co-curricular event, the Hunger Banquet, by speaking to students about issues of poverty in Chandler.


Trinity Donovan is a true community advocate who strengthens the relationship between community service and educational achievement, which makes her a vital resource and wonderful partner for Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

 Chandler Chamber of Commerce and Air Products: Scholarship Donor

Beginning in 2003, the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, along with Karen Hall, Vice President of Programs and Events, have worked in concert with Chandler-Gilbert Community College to develop and award scholarships to CGCC students. As the scholarship evolved, Air Products & Chemicals, with support from Richard Jordan, Site Manager, began funding the awards given to students who are Chandler residents majoring in a business-related field.


The Chamber has awarded $27,000 to 14 students over the past 8 years, providing much needed financial assistance. However, the Chamber does not simply subsidize the scholarship; they take an active role in the scholarship process. They developed the application, created their own committee to review and select the recipients, and even invite the recipients to the Chandler Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards dinner where they are personally recognized.


The Chamber’s constant engagement and collaboration with CGCC exemplifies the principles upheld in their mission statement: to support business and the community through vital programs and services that attract and embrace business and diversity. CGCC is proud to recognize the Chandler Chamber of Commerce and Air Products & Chemicals as our 2011 Scholarship Donors.

 Intel Corp – Intel Latino Network Arizona: Advisory Council Member

As members of the Intel Latino Network, the Intel Latina Outreach Working Group, including Marge Goodman, Business Continuity Program Manager; Sheri Wardle, IT Project Manager; and Gabriela González, University Programs Manager; have been dedicated supporters of Chandler-Gilbert Community College and the STEM Outreach effort for several years.


These women have worked tirelessly to provide outreach in the Latino community and bring the career fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to the forefront. As members of Intel’s Latina Outreach Working Group, they serve as Advisory Council members for the Hermanas: Diseña Tu Futuro (Sisters: Design Your Future) Conference, which brings East Valley Latina high school students to CGCC to explore career opportunities for underrepresented females in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This conference was developed in partnership with Intel and the Maricopa Community Colleges and has previously been held at two sister colleges. It was through the leadership of these three Council members that the conference is now hosted at CGCC, near Intel sites in Chandler.


CGCC is deeply appreciative of the efforts, guidance, and leadership of this group in helping to provide a supportive environment in which young women can interact with successful Latinas in STEM careers, receive encouragement to finish high school, attend college, and pursue their goals.