With the ending of 2016/2017 Academic year at Paradise Valley Community College and our summer session classes in progress, I am taking this opportunity to share several highlights of the past academic year.

A record number of Paradise Valley Community College students participated in the 2016/2017 Commencement exercises. Over 260 students marched in the ceremony held at the Dream City Church. It is anticipated that PVCC will award approximately 900 degrees and certificates during the 2016/2017 academic year.

It has been a very busy spring season for Puma Athletics. The Pumas had seven of eight sports qualify for post season competition, with five of those qualifying to compete at NJCAA National Tournaments. In the midst of their stellar performances, several student-athletes and coaches were recognized at the Conference and Region levels. 15 Student-Athletes and 2 Coaches received awards. PVCC is also the home of the 2016 NJCAA Women’s Soccer National Champions.

The Puma soccer programs will have new faces at the helm next season. PV Women’s Soccer head coach Jon Ruzan will be making a move and taking over the men’s program, while newcomer Ivan Dizdar will lead the women’s program. Both coaches are currently on staff and have already hit the ground running preparing for the 2017 seasons. Earth Week in April brought several different events alive on campus: Teach Children About Climate change, Sustainability Pitch Contest – PVCC Students pitched their solution for positive social change related to sustainability, and the Changing World of Journalism – President of the Arizona Republic, Mi-Ai Parish, shared her perspective of the world of Journalism in today’s society.

As part of the Arizona SciTech Festival, the North Valley STEAM Expo was held at PVCC. Students, faculty members, community members, and local businesses come together to showcase how they use STEAM on a daily basis and provided demonstrations and hands-on experiences. This event provides an opportunity to learn about the exciting STEAM-related programs PVCC has to offer, and visit our state-of-the-art facilities on campus. In addition, two keynote speakers presented on very interesting topics: (1) Ms. Vanessa Castillo – “Acoustics of Instrument Making,” and (2) Dr. Ryan Jones – “Study Smarter and Retain Longer.”

Beat the heat this summer at Paradise Valley Community College! PVCC is offering a variety of STEAM(science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) summer camp programs for grades 6-12, including new graduates. Students can get first-hand experience in their fields of interest and even earn college credit in some programs PVCC at Black Mountain and the Phoenix Astronomical Society hosted several Star Parties at our Black Mountain Site.

As part of the Civil Conversations Series PVCC hosted the screening of the documentary “White People,” a documentary which features a student who attended Paradise Valley Community College. The purpose for the Civil Conversation Series is to talk about topics which are difficult to discuss in a civil manner with the goal of coming to an understanding rather than trying to be “right.”

Congratulations Erika Leatherwood, who was named a 2017 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar. She was chosen as a part of the team program that recognizes 50, Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars. Student scholars receive local, state and national recognition at Phi Theta Kappa’s (PTK) annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee. As a Gold Scholar, PTK Honor Society presented Leatherwood with a $1,500 scholarship and a medallion. She was nominated for the award by campus administrators and judged by a panel based on academic achievement, leadership and engagement in college and community service. Fresh Start partnered with Paradise Valley Community College to exclusively offer the Small Business Start-up Certificate to meet the needs of women who wish to become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses. All courses are college accredited and students graduate from PVCC with 13 college credits. The courses are offered on Saturdays at Fresh Start and cover education and training in management, marketing, finance and business plan development. Classes start in the fall and run for nine months.

How far can a “thank you” go? PVCC education students intend to find out! Paradise Valley Community College’s future educators are asking the community to thank teachers in a new way. The students, tired of not acting on the challenges teachers face and eager to change attitudes toward education in Arizona, felt “Somebody has to do something for educators!” And so they did. WeElevateEDU was born! Developed by PVCC’s Club Ed (future teachers student club), WeElevateEDU is a 7-step challenge to be completed within 30 days. The challenge asks the participant to take seven small steps to become more involved with the education community, (i.e. “like” an education-related Facebook page and write a “thank you” note to a former teacher.) WeElevateEDU believes “educators in Arizona and across the U.S. are professionals who deserve our support to help them in their tireless efforts to impact all students in meaningful and lasting ways.” By spreading awareness of education issues and showing teacher appreciation in this challenge, learners can advocate for educators with a strong, collective voice.

PVCC Business/IT Students Triumph in MCCCD ASU Poder: Cisco Innovation Challenge Competition. The Spring 2016 $5000 1st Place Winner was Garrett Stahnke (Murphy Mobility Device). The Murphy Mobility device is used to foster and accelerate recovery from ankle injuries. Poder is a free, 5-week entrepreneurship program offered to Maricopa Community College students by Arizona State University’s College of Entrepreneurship + Innovation. In this course, students apply entrepreneurship skills to solve community issues, learn personal success strategies, and use technologies to maximize positive impact on the world. The Fall 2015 $5000 1st Place Winner, Renee Eberhardt (Honor’s Oils), was also a student at PVCC.

PVCC has partnered up with Greater Phoenix SCORE to provide mentorship for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can make appointments to meet with SCORE representative every Wednesday in the PVCC Entrepreneurship Education Center.
The League for Innovation in the Community College hosted the 19th annual Innovations Conference in San Francisco, California this year. Innovations 2017 is the premier event for professionals dedicated to improving organizational teaching and learning, and discovering new approaches for enhancing the community college experience. This international conference provides a forum for collaboration among academic experts and leading community college professionals, while granting participants exclusive access to the most inventive and thought-provoking programs from around the world. This year Paradise Valley was well represented having three presenters: Jon Hayashi (Biology), Caron Sada (Psychology), and Carolyn Miller (Instructional Designer).
The League established the John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards in 2012. These awards are open to League Board and Alliance member institutions to celebrate outstanding contributions and leadership by community college faculty and staff. Recipients are recognized in a series of activities and promotions, and honored at special events at the League’s Innovations Conference each spring. Three Paradise Valley faculty and staff were also recognized during the conference.

· Doug Berry (Psychology)

· Abigail Rusu (CIS BPC)

· Carolyn Miller (Center for Teaching and Learning)

PVCC Signature events continue to grow. Fine and Performing Arts productions provided outstanding entertainment throughout the year. PVCC Continues to host First Saturday Concert Series. JAZZ Under the Stars featuring music by PVCC’s Monday Night and Wednesday Night Jazz Bands continued to entertain. The PVCC Faculty JAZZ Ensemble appeared live at Black Mountain for several outdoor concerts. ALL MY SONS by Arthur Miller, directed by Joe Flowers provided classic theatre. A Musical Tribute to SINGER-SONGWRITERS featuring music from some of the greatest singer-songwriters from the 1970’s through today benefitted the Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Pathway to PVCC Scholarship Fund.

Festival of Tales – Held twice a year. Festival of Tales is a community outreach program to encourage children’s literacy, the arts, storytelling, and music that has grown from just 250 participants to nearly 4,000. In the past nine years, more than 40,000 new books have been given away to children, many of whom come from low-income families
Every year PVCC serves as a site host for the City of Phoenix’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Campaign Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. This community program has helped thousands of tax payers towards their goal of lifting themselves out of poverty and towards self-sufficiency. The site at PVCC assisted 220 tax payers who received a total of $288,055 in federal refunds. These taxpayers were assisted by 28 volunteer which donated 641 hours of their time. That is over $15,108 of in-kind services.

August will begin another academic year of success and accomplishments. During Academic Year 2017-2018 Paradise Valley Community College will celebrate 30 years of providing teaching and learning excellence for our community. Be sure to check our anniversary web page throughout 2017 to see brand new feature stories and reflections from current students, alumni, past and present employees. These stories represent the “power of learning” in action and demonstrate how the faculty and staff have enabled our students to achieve their dreams and effect positive social change in our community.

30th Anniversary PVCC Video
Thank you for your continued support and esteemed contributions to PVCC. I look forward to seeing you for breakfast on October 2, 2017 and please mark your calendars for the following dates:

· October 2, 2017 | 7:30am-9:00am | KSC 1000 Patayan Community Room

· December 4, 2017 | 7:30am-9:00am | KSC 1000 Patayan Community Room

· February 5, 2018 | 7:30am-9:00am | KSC 1000 Patayan Community Room

· April 30, 2018 | 7:30am-9:00am | KSC 1000 Patayan Community Room



Paul Dale, Ed.D.