RSSArchive for October 14th, 2010

The Word: Are you down with Jersey Shore?

Debbie Hadley looks for  Jersey attitude on the Northwest Campus.

ONLINE EXTRA: Football shows promise despite losses

ONLINE EXTRA: Football shows promise despite losses

By Narciso Thomas Villarreal
Photo by Ed Adams
Scottsdale Videos by James Kelley

The Pima Community College football team has lost three games in a row, but that includes a close call to an undefeated team and a deceiving score against the preseason No. 1 ranked team.

The Aztecs (2-4, 0-3 Western States Football League) lost their third consecutive game after being beat 32-13 by the No. 8 Arizona Western College Matadors on Oct. 9 at home. Pima was close early on, but Western pulled away in the second half.

“That’s a great football team we just played, and I thought our kids gave every ounce of effort they could,” head coach Patrick Nugent said after the game. “We just fell a little bit short tonight.”

The Aztecs struck first after sophomore defensive back Michael Holloway intercepted the ball and took it 11 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.

The first half ended with Pima trailing 18-7.

Pima would only muster six more points after sophomore running back Auburá Taylor had a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter.

“It was good to finally get back there,” Taylor said. “I ain’t been starting back there all year. Our starter went down. I felt like it would be a big chance to step up there and definitely make a big play and keep the team in it.”

Taylor had 107 total punt return yards in four attempts. He also had four kickoff returns totaling 101 yards.

“I think we can definitely make some big plays,” Taylor said about the team’s overall performance on special teams. “As long as they keep kicking it to me, I’m going to do the best I can.”

Pima’s special teams also prevented AWC from scoring a two-point conversion and blocked two point-after-touchdown attempts.

The Aztecs’ true freshmen pair of quarterbacks threw for 80 passing yards in total, with Zander McKean taking most of the snaps.

McKean went 7-20 for 75 yards. He was picked off once and sacked twice.

Zach Schira completed one pass in six attempts worth five total passing yards. The Matadors intercepted two of his passes and sacked him five times on the other hand.

“We definitely had a chance in that ball game,” Schira said. “They were a hell of a football team. They’re big, they’re strong and they’re fast. We were real close. We got a few breaks here and there. We minimize a couple mistakes, and we’re right in that ball game.”

Ricky Solomon

Pima rushed for 65 total yards with freshman receiver Ty Minkin leading the team with 34 yards in three carries. Sophomore running back Andy Garcia finished second with 28 yards in six carries.

“We moved the ball,” Nugent said. “We just had some mess-ups down in their zones. We just couldn’t put it in the end zone.”

Nugent said he thought the team got some decent yardage, but they just couldn’t score.

Pima had 80 total receiving yards with sophomore receiver Scott Campbell making four catches worth 41 yards.

As of Oct. 11, Western is ranked third in the National Junior College Athletic Association in total team defense.

The Matadors had 366 total yards of offense in the game. AWC is also ranked seventh in the NJCAA in total team offense.

Pima had two interceptions in the game, including one by sophomore defensive back Ricky Solomon, who leads the team this season with four.

On Oct. 2, the Pima football team overcame an early 14-0 deficit to Scottsdale Community College but couldn’t hold on to their brief lead on a rainy night.

The Aztecs fell to the then undefeated Fighting Artichokes 26-20 at home. Scottsdale quickly jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter but PCC soon answered back.

“Another tough loss two weeks in a row,” Nugent said after the SCC game. “We gave up points early.”

Pima freshman running back Damion Bracy scored a 33-yard rushing touchdown to get Pima on the board in the second quarter. The Fighting Artichokes struck back instantly though.

Scottsdale blocked the extra point attempt and returned the ball 90-plus yards for two points to give the Fighting Artichokes a 16-6 lead.

The last time Pima played SCC at home, in 2009, the Aztecs missed three extra points and the Fighting Artichokes won on a last second field goal 35-32.

SCC was driving down the field in the last minute of the first until sophomore linebacker Justin Kitchen got an interception.

“I just read it and cut across in front of him and picked it off,” Kitchen said. “I tried to return it like Reggie Bush.”

In the third quarter, McKean threw an 86-yard touchdown pass to Campbell. This time the extra point was good, and the third quarter ended with Scottsdale leading 16-13.

“We battled back. It was a great comeback for our guys to get out,” Nugent said.

In the fourth quarter, Pima took its first lead after Schira threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Minkin. The score was 20-16 after the extra point.

Zach Schira

Scottdale came back by scoring a touchdown and a field goal that put them up 26-20.

“We gave up a bad touchdown in the fourth quarter,” Nugent said. “We just can’t figure out a way to find a win. We just got to keep battling.”

In the game, Pima had 277 total offensive yards, with 159 passing yards and 118 rushing yards.

McKean and Schira again split time behind the center. McKean went 3-10 for 94 passing yards while Schira went 4-10 for 63 passing yards.

Schira lead the Pima rushing game with 62 yards in eight carries. Bracy finished the game with 37 rushing yards in three carries.

Campbell led Pima in receiving with 99 yards in four catches.

On the defensive end, Pima allowed 415 yards.

Pima’s Solomon had two interceptions and six solo tackles. Kitchen also had four solo tackles.

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Football, former quarterback move on

Football, former quarterback move on

By Eric Townsend
Photo by James Kelley

As an elite local quarterback who played for his future college coach, Dan Nicholas was anointed by many as Pima Community College football team’s savior.

It initially came as a shock when Nicholas unexpectedly decided to leave the team in August.

“I just lost confidence,” Nicholas said. “I had a couple of injuries, and I lost confidence in my offensive line. I also lost confidence in myself and my game.”

Nicholas’ decision to quit the team was difficult.

“It was really tough,” he said. “I went back and forth many times before I decided I didn’t want to play anymore.”

When Pat Nugent left Canyon del Oro High School in January 2009 to take the full-time head coaching job at Pima, he quickly recruited Nicholas as his starting quarterback.

Nicholas was the 2007 Tucson Citizen Player of the Year and a two-year starter at quarterback for Nugent at CDO.

Nugent and Nicholas led the Dorados to their first state championship game in 30 years a 12-2 record in 2007.

Pima fans hoped Nicholas’ high school success would translate well to the junior college level, but 2009 proved rough. The Aztecs went 0-10, and a foot injury kept Nicholas out of action for the final two games of the season.

Pat Nugent, left, Daniel Nicholas, right

Even with the injury, Nicholas ranked sixth in passing last year in the Western States Football League, throwing for 924 yards, 92 for 144, with three touchdowns and five interceptions in eight games.

For 2010, fans pinned their hopes on a talented freshman lineup and sophomores with a year of experience under their belt.

They counted on Nicholas to lead the way, but things didn’t go quite as Nugent and the Aztecs had planned.

A shoulder injury in spring ball led to Nicholas’ unforeseen and abrupt departure from the team just before fall camp started.

“My first reaction was like, wow!” sophomore linebacker Brent Lush said. “I didn’t think he would quit like that, especially after going through the workouts and summer camp.”

Nugent was also surprised when his starting quarterback called it quits.

“When fall camp came around, we were anticipating he would be there. He texted me the first day of fall camp and basically said he’s not going to play,” Nugent said.
“When he told us he was leaving, we were kind of in shock,” Nugent added. “We didn’t try to fight it, and overall the team has handled it very well.”

In a sophomore-dominated league, Pima has coped with Nicholas’ absence by using capable freshmen quarterbacks Zach Schira and Zander McKean.

Recent events, such as the team’s first win against a conference opponent in 50 games, indicate the team is improving.

“They have done a good job,” Lush said of the new quarterbacks. “But they’re still learning. They’re just freshmen.”

Nicholas originally signed with football powerhouse Glendale Community College, but did not enroll and took the 2008 season off. He then turned down a scholarship to Adams State College, a four-year school in Colorado, to attend Pima.

He said he has now started a new chapter in his life, which brings lots of uncertainty.

“I might be looking to go out of state for school,” he said. “I still don’t know what I want to do academically.”

Nicholas is not sure whether he will play football again, but seemed open to the idea.

“I feel I could still play wherever I go,” he said.

He does not regret leaving the Pima team. “I feel I made the right decision.”

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Pride Week: Drag stars shake up cafeteria

Pride Week: Drag stars shake up cafeteria

Photos by Miki Jennings

Members of Dragstar Cabaret look on during the performance.

Janee Starr high-fives an audience member.

Janee Starr struts while performing.

Janee Starr performs while students look on

Sugey Lopez, Janee Starr and Dragstar Cabert after the performance.

Men's soccer seeks cushy playoff spot

Men’s soccer seeks cushy playoff spot

By James Kelley
Photo by Ed Adams

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team has four games left in the regular season but the Aztecs are sitting pretty in their ultra-competitive conference.

No. 12 Pima (13-3 overall and in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) rebounded from a 4-1 loss at No. 11 Arizona Western College by pounding GateWay Community College 7-0 on Oct. 11.

“Considering we got beat up pretty good Saturday night, I thought it was a good response from our kids,” head coach Dave Cosgrove said. “I don’t think we were very happy, a little demoralized, by what happened Saturday night in Yuma.”

Cosgrove said the GateWay game could have been dangerous. “Our emotions were down, our concentration wasn’t good, but the kids responded well,” he said. “I am very pleased with the result.”

Freshman forward Yahya Kane earned eight points, with a hat trick and two assists against the Geckos. Sophomore forward Minh Vu also made a significant impact in the goal storm, scoring one and assisting on two others.

Sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Bacon made two saves against GateWay to earn his third shutout of the season.

Pima is in a comfy spot when it comes to the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 1 tournament, which starts Oct. 25. The top six teams in the ACCAC make the playoffs.

“I think after tonight we will still be sitting in first place, which is great but there is a lot of soccer left,” Cosgrove said Oct. 11. “Every night it keeps changing who is in first, second and third.”

The one and two seeds receive byes into the semifinals, while the three seed hosts the six seed and the four seed hosts the five seed.

Going into the games on Oct. 11, Arizona Western was first with 37 points. Pima, with 36 points, was tied for second with Chandler-Gilbert Community College. No. 15 Yavapai College (33 points), Phoenix College (29 points) and Scottsdale Community College (26 points) round out the top six.

“It’s simply going to come down to who plays best the week of the playoffs,” Cosgrove said. “There are probably five different teams that can win if they play well that entire week.”

Teams earn three points for a win and one for a tie.

Cosgrove said earning a bye is even better than home field advantage.

“The biggest advantage will probably be the teams that get one less game that week because all these games are just going to be all out super competitive games,” Cosgrove said. “Everybody is playing hard the entire time, so having an extra game will be really hard compared to the team that gets a couple days rest.”

Carlos Camacho

On Oct. 9, Western beat the Aztecs 4-1 in Yuma. Kane scored Pima’s goal.

Pima routed South Mountain Community College 8-0 on Oct. 6 for the Aztecs’ third win in a row. PCC’s big three of Kane, freshman forward Donny Toia and Vu each tallied a brace, two goals.

Freshman forward Blake Brennen earned four points, scoring a goal and tallying two assists.

Sophomore goalkeeper Josh Reiffer made his season debut and earned the shutout.

Pima’s road game at Yavapai College on Oct. 4 was postponed until Oct. 18 due to weather.

On Oct. 2 the Aztecs bested Paradise Valley Community College 2-0 at home. Kane scored a goal and got an assist.

Kane’s assist was on the goal that was scored by Brennen. Sophomore goalkeeper Miko Gastelum made three saves and earned his fifth clean sheet.

Pima bounced back from its second loss of the season by taking it out on Mesa Community College on Sept. 29 in a 5-1 win.

Vu scored two goals, giving him his third multi-goal game of the season. Sophomore forward Edward Betterton, freshman forward Nicholas Peppe and Brennen scored Pima’s other goals.

Vu is first in the ACCAC in scoring with 14 goals and eight assists, which is 36 points. Kane is fifth with 17 points and Toia is seventh with 16 points.

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Online class success rate earns an ‘F’

Online class success rate earns an ‘F’

By Debbie Hadley

Online courses are not for everyone.

“I always forgot to do the readings and the tests,” said Jordan Tijerino, a game design major at Pima Community College. “It wasn’t difficult keeping up with the work, it was just remembering to do it.”

Tijerino enrolled in his first online hybrid course last year, and stuck with it despite his struggles. “I got this thing that if I start a class I’m going to finish it,” he said. In the end, however, Tijerino failed the class.

Many college students, especially males, perform poorly in online environments.

“I took one over summer. It was hell,” said liberal arts major William Strasser. “It was a lightning-fast course, which was kind of the problem for me. I got a D. It was my first hybrid class and I haven’t taken one since. I wouldn’t take another one.”

Online formats include classes taught entirely online, self-paced Web classes and hybrid classes with both online and classroom instruction.

PCC statistics show that all online formats have lower success rates than other forms of instruction.

Chancellor Roy Flores shared results for white, male (non-Hispanic) students during a presentation to PCC employees during All College Day on Aug 20.

“They’re not as successful using Web courses,” Flores said. “They’re not as successful using the technology. That is a bit of a surprise.”

Inez Whipple, a PCC instructional designer and Blackboard senior certified trainer, does not find the results surprising. “I suspect had Chancellor Flores put any demographic group up there, it would have been abysmal,” she said.

Whipple also works for PCC’s Center for Learning Technology, which rarely develops self-paced courses.

“We don’t believe that students can go through the material with minimal interaction with other students,” she said. “I think self-paced courses do a disservice to students.”

Nursing student Axel Gudenkauf agrees after giving online courses a try.

“I did good, but I didn’t like them,” Gudenkauf said. “I’m the kind of person who needs social interaction and online just didn’t work. I don’t think it works for most people.”

Enrollment in PCC online classes has averaged a 12.6 percent increase each year since 2005.

In Fall 2009, PCC offered 743 online classes, 199 hybrids and 544 online-only. There were 4,327 students enrolled in the hybrid classes and 11,532 enrolled in online classes, for a total of 15,859 students.

Plans to improve the high dropout rate and low success rate are not yet under way. Flores is counting on his staff to make changes that meet student needs.

“As we get more data, I’m hopeful that deans and faculty and others who provide direct instruction and support services begin to use that to provide better services in a more timely fashion,” Flores said.

Whipple said instructional designers would like to add more. “We’ve got text and we’re trying to introduce more video, other learning styles, podcasting and things like that.”

However, low funding means fewer improvements.

“We’re kind of limited in the opportunities we can provide for students,” Whipple said. “Financially, we’re not being given the money to develop those kinds of things. The economy limits us on the kinds of things we can branch out to do.”

Whipple said students who are good at scheduling their time will have fewer problems passing an online class.

It’s difficult to reach students who stop participating, she added.

“The thing is, they’re not there,” she said. “They don’t log in, they don’t participate in the discussion. I don’t know what they’re thinking.”

The “Distance Learning” tab on Pima’s website includes a posting titled, “Is Distance Learning for me?” It says students who wish to succeed must “be highly interactive” and “participate frequently.”

Whipple and Flores both said the advising staff should tell students what to expect.

“Certainly I feel it’s the responsibility of our advising staff to let students know that online courses are not easy,” Whipple said. “It’s not an easy way out. You are going to work and put in at least the same amount of effort that you would in a face-to-face course.”

Flores said more can be done. “I don’t think we do students a service by not saying anything and then implicitly assuming that it works the same for everyone.”

Gus Figuerua, a PCC nursing student who has successfully completed an online class, said students should take responsibility.

“They’re signing up for it,” he said. “They know what they’re getting into.”

Tijerino, meanwhile, is taking another hybrid course this semester. Although he failed the first course and now knows what to expect, he still wasn’t doing well three weeks into the class.

“I only remembered to do one of the three weeks of homework,” he said.

Cross Country teams in different places

Cross Country teams in different places

Editor’s note: on Oct. 14 the men’s cross country team reentered the rankings at No. 18

By Daniel Gaona
Photos by Ed Adams

With only two meets left in the regular season, the Pima Community College men’s and women’s cross country teams are in different places.

The men are currently unranked. Men’s and women’s head coach Greg Wenneborg said the squad needs to break into the top 15 within the next few weeks so it can go to nationals.

“In order to get ranked we need five guys under 27:30 for eight-kilometers but they haven’t done it yet,” Wenneborg said. “I still believe we can easily do that. Of those five, I’m sure that two can run under 26:30 on the right day.

“We just haven’t hit on all cylinders and keep having little setbacks,” he added. “It’s been a very bizarre season that way but they’re really close to popping a big one.”

Wenneborg said the only way to make it into the top 15 is to beat No. 20 Mesa Community College handily.

On the other hand, the women are the No. 9 team nationally but aren’t at 100 percent.

Injuries have been on and off with sophomores Julia Peerenboom and Annalisa Loevenguth. Peerenboom is still nursing a sore foot and Loevenguth has had issues with her calf.

Additionally, sophomore Magda Mankel is still waiting for her dual enrollment to be cleared.

“We really need her and we’re being as patient as we possibly can be,” Wenneborg said.

Wenneborg hopes to have everyone by the time Nationals roll around in the middle of November. He feels a complete women’s team would easily finish in the top five.

“If we get everyone eligible and healthy, this is a very dangerous team,” he said.

Pima will travel to Walnut, Calif., on Oct 15 for the Mt. SAC Invitational. Rather than the standard 5k for the women and 8k for the men, it will be three miles for the women and four miles for the men.

Wenneborg said since it’s an off-distance race the times won’t help in the rankings but the placings could.

“I think the guys and the girls could be top three finishers at this meet and that would help our rankings,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to go out there and run fast on a course that is challenging.”

Andy Lacy

On Oct. 21, the Aztecs will have their final regular season meet at Mesa. They will return to Mesa for the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 1 Championship meets on Nov. 2.

The Aztecs traveled to Tempe to race in the Grand Canyon University Invitational on Oct. 9. The women won the meet and the men placed second behind Mesa.

Freshman standout Heidi Lopez led the way for the women finishing fourth in 19.31.98. Sophomore Priscilla Mendoza placed fifth and freshman Rachel Whitford finished sixth.

Peerenboom and Loevenguth both missed the race. Mankel was unattached and ran 19:37.77.

The men’s team had an improved showing at the meet. Wenneborg said the team made the decision to run as a pack and the top four finished within seven spots of each other.

Sophomore Mario Portillo finished seventh in 27:12.52. Sophomore Jess Montour and freshman Humberto Bravo placed ninth and 11th respectively.

The women took second while the men were fourth at the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Championship meets on Oct. 2 in Scottsdale.

Mendoza and sophomore Julia Dittiger finished eighth and ninth respectively leading the Pima women. Freshman Andy Lacy was the top finisher for the Aztecs on the men’s side at 15th place.

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Effectiveness of hand sanitizers in question

Effectiveness of hand sanitizers in question

Story and photo by Samantha Esquivel

Hand-sanitizing dispensers that spit out foam gel seem to be everywhere at Pima Community College.

PCC spent about $50,000 last year to install and maintain 575 alcohol-free gel dispensers in lobbies, hallways and classrooms throughout the district.

Annual maintenance costs for the sanitizer stations total $6,000 per year, according to
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Marketing Rachelle Howell.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the hand sanitizers to minimize exposure to seasonal flu and the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, Howell said.

However, new research says squirting on alcohol-based hand sanitizer doesn’t significantly decrease how often someone is infected with a cold or flu.

The University of Virginia study was sponsored by the Dial Corp., which markets a hand sanitizer. Results were announced in September during the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Boston.

The findings surprised research team leader Dr. Ronald Turner, a professor of pediatrics. “We all thought if you used hand disinfectants, it would have an impact,” he told reporters.

The findings suggest that influenza and cold viruses might be transmitted by air, not hand contact. In other words, sneezes and coughs are the culprits.

In the experiment, Turner used alcohol-based disinfectants that kill viruses for up to four hours after application.

Students who avidly used the sanitizer had 42 rhinovirus infections per 100 volunteers, while students who did not use it reported 51 rhinovirus infections per 100.

Twelve of 100 students who used sanitizer caught the flu, compared with 15 per 100 who didn’t take special precautions.

Most Pima students surveyed were surprised to hear that hand sanitizers may not play a significant role in preventing illness. Ironically, however, many said they ignore the hand sanitizing machines.

“Honestly, the dispensers blend into the walls,” Caryn Paye said. “I don’t really use them.”

Others feel it doesn’t hurt to have the dispensers around.

“The dispensers should be left; they have to be somewhat effective,” Ricky Hull said. “At least it smells good, and leaves you feeling like you have killed germs on your hands.”

The Centers for Disease Control still recommends hand washing as a way to keep from getting sick and spreading illnesses.

Howell said public awareness was one of the best tools Pima used to fight the spread of flu during the 2009 H1N1 scare. In addition to installing hand sanitizer dispensers, the college created posters and brochures filled with tips.

“It was important that people knew what they should do to increase their chances of staying healthy and avoiding the flu,” she said.

Pima veteran started his education in the Navy

Pima veteran started his education in the Navy

By Kyle Wasson

Upon returning from a short yet successful career in the U.S. Navy, Pima Community College student Carlos “Rosko” Taliaferro is back in the Old Pueblo and focused on school.

Taliaferro is no rookie in the classroom. When he joined the Navy in 2000, his education started with a three-month boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill.

“I liked boot camp a lot,” Taliaferro said. “It was a great experience and I got to meet a lot of different people.”

He then shipped to Charleston, S.C., for Electricians Mate nuclear school. The 18-month program teaches sailors how to operate a nuclear reactor at sea.

“It wasn’t as regimented as ‘boot,’ however I was always studying and we had tests every week,” Taliaferro said.

Typical Navy training programs average three to seven months. Navy electrician mates attend a six-month reactor fundamentals class, followed by six months of learning about nuclear power.

Once electrician mates finish the initial training, they are sent to the Nuclear Power Training Unit command in Saratoga Springs, NY. The school includes a mix of enlisted sailors, officer candidates and high-ranking officers.

Students in the nuclear program must wait a year before they are allowed to touch equipment.

“There was a lot to learn in that amount of time,” Taliaferro said. “It gets real when you start working with all of those dangerous materials.”

Immediately after completing training, sailors receive orders to their new command, where they will work for the remainder of their enlistment.

“I was glad to finish, and I looked forward to actually getting to the fleet,” Taliaferro said.

Taliaferro didn’t get a typical “meet and greet” ceremony when he joined his ship. Instead, he was loaded onto a C-2A Greyhound and flown to his new home, the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln.

The Lincoln had deployed from San Diego, Calif., three months earlier and was already halfway through its cruise. The ship was about to make a port call in Singapore, and Taliaferro arrived just in time.

His return home from deployment was cut short on Oct. 16, 2002, when President George W. Bush declared war on Iraq.

As Operation Iraqi Freedom commenced, the Lincoln changed course from San Diego to the Arabian Gulf. The ship stayed at sea for 10 months, a record-setting deployment that marks the longest time at sea since the Vietnam War.

Taliaferro spent three of those months without seeing land. “Yeah, that really wasn’t any fun at all,” he said. “People start getting on your nerves.”

His lengthy deployment had advantages as well. Taliaferro visited many ports, including Tokyo, Guam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Dubai, Bahrain and Australia. Of all the places Taliaferro visited, he says Bahrain was his favorite.

One of the more important missions he took part in was providing tsunami relief to Thailand victims in 2003.

Taliaferro also served as a crew member during filming of the blockbuster film, “Stealth.” One night he was using a ship exercise room, and actress Jessica Biel entered.

“She came into the gym and there were a few guys with her, of course,” he said. “They kicked us out shortly after.”

Taliaferro also witnessed President Bush’s 2003 televised address on Iraq, when Bush famously boarded the Lincoln dressed in a flight suit and stood before a banner declaring “mission accomplished.”

As his enlistment reached its end, Taliaferro decided to move back to Tucson from his home in Seattle.

“I missed it here,” he said. “It was too rainy in Seattle and I was getting sick of it there.”

Since returning from war, Taliaferro has successfully made the transition from sailor to student. As a dual-enrolled junior at Pima and the University of Arizona, he is taking 20 credit hours this semester.

Taliaferro is enrolled in UA’s College of Mining, and plans to graduate in May 2012 with a degree in mining and engineering.

“I’ll just be happy to finish,” he said of his degree plans. “I would really like to get a job overseas, maybe get another degree.”

Taliaferro retains fond memories of his military service.

“I learned a lot and it was a great experience,” he said.

Carlos "Rosco" Taliaferro

Oct. 26 talk will explore online education

Oct. 26 talk will explore online education

By Sierra Russell

Pima Community College instructor Dolores Durán-Cerda uses online techniques to help students become fluent Spanish speakers.

Durán-Cerda will share her experience with online methods in a talk entitled “Teaching Languages and Culture Using Online Education” as part of the college’s Speakers’ Series.

The talk will be Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. in the District Office Community Board Room, 4905 E. Broadway Blvd. It is free and open to the public, Light refreshments will be served.

Durán-Cerda will also discuss how language, culture, art and music relate to the Hispanic world.

“Learning a language is not only about vocabulary and grammar structure,” Durán-Cerda said. “It’s also about understanding a people’s culture, customs, values and traditions.”

Digital technology allows students to view the news in other languages, hear poetry recited by Pablo Neruda and virtually visit a museum in Mexico City, all from the comfort of their computers, she noted.

Durán-Cerda teaches two hybrid Spanish 101 classes and one self-paced Spanish course at Downtown Campus. The hybrid classes meet once a week in the classroom and once a week online.

Using a program called WIMBA, students can record their voices and post the recordings online, Durán-Cerda said. “This gives us the chance to listen to each other and make comments.”

Instructors can also post visual aids as part of the lesson plans.

The self-paced class is especially useful for students who have difficulty coming to campus due to such factors as disability, lack of transportation or work schedule, Durán-Cerda said.

She is available during class time to answer questions and provide grammatical clarifications.

The class works with WIMBA’s Live Classrooms program, which resembles a chat room but with one major difference. “Everyone can hear each other,” Durán-Cerda said.

For further information, contact Durán-Cerda at

Immigration activists keep DREAM alive

By David Mendez

Like many Pima Community College students, he’s been in Arizona since elementary school. He’s involved in numerous clubs and organizations. He’s proud to live in America, which he calls “the happiest place in the world.”

Yet because he’s a Mexican immigrant, he feels he’s on the outside looking in.

“Enrique” (who has elected to hide his identity for this story) is a legal immigrant. He’s lived in Tucson on a visa with his family since he was 7.

Like many immigrants, legal and illegal, Enrique hopes Congress will ease the path to citizenship.

One potential opportunity died in September when a bill known as the DREAM Act stalled.

DREAM, which stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, would grant eligible illegal immigrant students conditional permanent residency and the ability to apply for financial aid.

To qualify, a student must have been brought to the United States before age 16, have proof of U.S. residency for at least five consecutive years, have a U.S. high school diploma or GED and be of “good moral character.”

Though Enrique has legal visa status, he’s chosen to hide his name because he’s afraid of saying anything that could jeopardize his family’s chances at securing permanent resident status.

“We filed our residency back in the year 2000, so we’ve just been waiting for the past 10 years,” Enrique said. “They say it’s going to take 10 more years.”

Enrique doesn’t understand the anti-immigrant fervor dominating the news, which reached a fevered pitch when Senate Bill 1070 was signed into state law by Gov. Jan Brewer.

In the current climate, migrants to the United States feel as if visas are impossible to receive.

West Campus student president Sugey Lopez is a Mexican citizen in the United States on a visa.

“I was really lucky to get mine when I did,” she said.

When she lost her original travel visa, she chose to stay in Arizona while her student visa was being processed — an act that risked deportation.

“For about two months, I was practically illegal. I barely left the house. When I went anywhere, my girlfriend drove,” she said. “You get deported, and you’re done. They don’t allow you to come back.”

Lopez said officials don’t consider individual circumstances. “They don’t care how long you’ve been here, the taxes you’ve paid…if you’re not from here, you’re not as important.”

Anti-immigrant viewpoints strike Enrique as misguided. “The immigrants coming are putting the United States on an altar,” he said. “It’s not just the rest of the Americas, it’s that all the world wants to come to the United States. I would be proud of that.”

When natural disasters occur, the United States is the first country to help, Enrique noted. “But when it comes to actually fixing something they’re a part of, they don’t take action for that.”

He urged Americans to look beyond immigrant stereotypes. “We’re not criminals,” he said. “We didn’t come here to invade the country.”

Lopez said immigrants have goals and expectations. “There wouldn’t be a DREAM Act if people didn’t have dreams,” she said. “All of the people who are pushing for the DREAM Act are people who want more for their lives.”

Enrique will continue campaigning for the DREAM Act, though he believes it’s just a small part of the whole.

He said the proposed legislation means very little in the overall scheme of immigration reform if it’s a bone being tossed to distract activists from chasing further measures.

“The immigrant community doesn’t see the DREAM Act as success,” he said. “It won’t be the end of the immigration problem that we have. That only takes care of the youth, those that came in before 16. What happens to the adult population?”

Success will come through comprehensive immigration reform, he said. “The DREAM Act will be just one step — not a victory.”

Women's soccer eyes playoff spot

Women’s soccer eyes playoff spot

By James Sargent
Photo by James Kelley

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team is on the brink of a playoff berth, and needs the upcoming four games to determine if they will earn one.

Just like the men’s playoffs, the women’s will feature the top six teams from the conference, with the one and two seeds receiving byes into semifinals.

“I can’t say at this point,” head coach Kendra Veliz said about making the playoffs. “I think there’s still a chance.”

The Aztecs are 6-7-1 overall and in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference.

Going into play on Oct. 11, Pima was in fifth with 19 points, six points or two wins behind fourth place Phoenix College and one point or a tie, ahead of sixth Glendale Community College.

“Initially I thought we were doing better, but we have had a couple tough games with the weather not helping us,” Veliz said of her team. “I think we are outplaying some of our opponents, we just have to finish a little better. We also need to be more consistent, individually and as a team.”

On Oct. 11, GateWay Community College beat PCC 2-1.

Sophomore forward Tamra James scored Pima’s goal. She was set up with an assist by freshman midfielder Cynthia Fierro.

Current ACCAC goalie of the week, sophomore Glykeria Antoniou, started the game in the net and only allowed one Gecko goal. Freshman Sophia Babuca played in the second half and allowed one goal as well.

On Oct. 2, PCC blew out South Mountain 9-0.

Aztec freshman defender Jade Carr scored a hat trick in the win. James continues to lead the team in scoring as she kicked home her eighth goal of the season. She is 15th in the ACCAC in scoring.

Pima tied Cochise College, 1-1, on Oct. 4 in Douglas. The Apaches beat the Aztecs 1-0 at PCC.

James scored the only goal for the Aztecs off an assist by sophomore defender Amber Bender.

The Apaches scored their goal midway through the second half. Neither team could find the net in the two overtime periods after.

The Oct. 2 game against No. 3 Paradise Valley Community College was halted due to poor weather conditions while Pima was winning 1-0. The game has been rescheduled and started from scratch on Oct. 18.

On Sept. 29, the Aztecs defeated Mesa Community College, 4-1 at the friendly confines of the West Campus soccer field.

Celeste Carrera

Freshmen Kelly Button and Celeste Carrera scored the two goals in the first half that gave them the early lead.

In the second half, sophomore Miranda Brower headed in the third goal set up by freshman Susie Hansen, and Carr scored the final goal set up by freshman Trinity Houk.

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‘Dorm Room Diet’ offers healthy tips

‘Dorm Room Diet’ offers healthy tips

By Ricky Gonzales

At several points throughout each day, college students make seemingly simple, yet difficult, decisions about what to eat. Constant demands on time limit their choices.

With quick-fix, on-the-go fast food joints at nearly every street corner, students often find themselves unwrapping a burger and fries rather than tossing a salad.

“I usually just eat whatever is nearby at the time,” said JorDan McKie, a Pima Community College student who takes classes at Downtown and West campuses. “It can be pizza or Panda Express. I’m just always running around between school and work.”

Michael Jarvis, a PCC student majoring in fire science, also faces a time crunch.

“I try to stick to a healthy diet, well balanced meals and cut back on soda,” he said. “But every once in a while I’ll grab fast food because with college and work I’m always on the go.”

Student Courtney Payne said she makes trips to Eegee’s and Panda Express, mostly due to convenience and not because they have great tasting food.

“The Dorm Room Diet” by Daphne Oz offers tips on how to eat better while attending college. Her 10-step program promises to create “a healthy lifestyle plan that really works.”

Oz, the daughter of “Dr. Oz Show” physician Mehmet Oz, cites specific examples in her life and those around her. Her goal is to help students make conscious decisions so they avoid gaining the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen” pounds.

She wrote the national best-seller, first published in 2006, while attending Princeton University.

The book cites college lifestyle “danger zones,” such as eating on the run, partying, attending sporting events and studying late at night. Oz also emphasizes regular exercise while dieting as a tip for fighting the fat, but who doesn’t?

Oz offers practical advice, but some tips seem too expensive for an average student’s budget. For instance, how many of us can splurge on Omega-3 fortified foods?

Some recipes use unusual ingredients as well. Will students really muster courage to eat garbanzo beans and beluga lentils?

The $12 paperback can be purchased at online sites such Amazon or Barnes & Noble. See for details.

“Dorm Room Diet” seems primarily directed toward young women. It’s well-written and Oz’s suggestions do spark a more health-conscious attitude.

However, Oz is a Princeton graduate with a famous dad. She comes from a privileged background. Most of us do not.

Voters to decide controversial proposals

Voters to decide controversial proposals

Story and photo by Jordan Condra

Arizona voters will decide on constitutional amendments, citizen initiatives, legislative referrals and local matters in the Nov. 2 election.

Controversial issues on the ballot include Propositions 106 and 107.

Proposition 106 would give you the choice to opt out of any health care system. It would also allow you or an employer to pay directly for lawful health care services without being penalized.

The proposition’s author, Dr. Eric Novack, says Prop. 106 gives people the right to spend their own money for a second opinion or scanning test. He argues that no bureaucrat should ever be able to take that right away.

On the flip side, Arizona resident Laurie Renee Gutierrez says health care is a human right and the government must force everyone to pay a fair share. Others who oppose Prop. 106 say it would prevent a guarantee of health care for all, and slow the process of health care reform.

Another hot-topic issue facing voters is affirmative action.

Proposition 107 would prohibit the state from granting preferential treatment to or discriminating against any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.

Those who support Prop. 107 say it guarantees fairness and equality for all citizens of Arizona. It would eliminate any government system that uses race and gender preferences.

Those against Prop. 107 say it is actually an anti-equal opportunity initiative that will eliminate important programs that ensure academic success for Arizona’s students.

Eight other propositions appear on the ballot. They are:

Proposition 109: Would make hunting, fishing and harvesting wildlife a constitutional right, and prohibit laws that unreasonably restrict these rights.

Proposition 110: Would allow the sale or lease of state trust land without auction or advertisement to protect military installations and operations.

Proposition 111: Would change the title “secretary of state” to “lieutenant governor.” It would also require each political party’s nominees for governor and lieutenant governor to run on one ticket and be voted on together in the general election.

Proposition 112: Would change the initiative filing deadline from four months to six months before each general election.

Proposition 113: Would guarantee the right to keep your vote secret in elections, designations or authorizations for employee representation, including unions and employee organizations.

Proposition 203: Would authorize the use of marijuana for people with debilitating medical conditions with the written consent of a physician.

Proposition 301: Would transfer the balance of money in the land conservation fund to the state general fund.

Proposition 302: Would transfer money remaining in the early childhood development and education fund to the state general fund. That money would then be used for health and human services for children.

Voting no on any proposition has the effect of maintaining current law.

For more information on the candidates and propositions, visit

FACE-OFF: Surviving the first fight

FACE-OFF: Surviving the first fight

By Gabi Piña

The honeymoon phase may be wearing off and things have gotten a little too real with your sweetheart.

You may not want to believe that someone who appeared flawless a couple of weeks ago is now causing you so much distress.

Sooner or later, you won’t be able to pretend that your girl is made of rainbows and unicorns. You will explode and your first fight will be born.

Now, I can’t speak for most women but I know I’m not the only one who does this. I offer my sincere apologies to the male gender, but sometimes we pick at the smallest thing to see how much we can get away with.

I genuinely believe it is because we want to see how much you can deal with. It’s our way of testing you.

Please do not get discouraged if your new girlfriend is doing this. I have a theory that it is only done in newly formed relationships, when the waters are still being tested.

Don’t let something like a stupid nitpick ruin your blossoming relationship.

If you are the reason your first fight erupted, analyze what you really did wrong and why your girl is upset. There is nothing more annoying than trying to talk to a boyfriend about a disagreement and getting “I don’t know” thrown at you left and right.

The worst thing you can do is leave a fight unsettled. No matter who comes out champion, no matter who was right or who was wrong (I believe the whole “girls love being right” idea is a myth), coming to an understanding is one of the best feelings in the world.

If admitting you’re wrong is not your style, Bucko, then I’m sorry to say you’re looking to get the boot. If your girl means plenty to you, it’s time you learn to swallow heavy doses of that thing you call pride.

By D.J Ochoa

Now that you and your “Romeo” have spent an immense amount of time with one another, fighting seems the last thing on your mind.

Don’t kid yourself, sweetheart. Relationships are filled with ups and downs. They have been since Adam and Eve, and we all know how that story turned out.

Even if this roller coaster continues to soar into the clouds, it will eventually come falling down (hence the first fight.)

Now ladies, the first argument can be a little tricky. No matter how many first fights you have had in past relationships, each one should be handled differently.

First fights are key in a relationship because it shows your love interest how you deal with conflict, whether big or small.

Here are a few guidelines for lacing up your gloves.

First, under no circumstances should you ever air your argument to the entire world. There is no bigger turn-off to a man than having his business told in gossip form.

Keep your disagreements between the two of you. Don’t discuss them with your girlfriends over a pint of Rocky Road ice cream.

Second, no matter how big or small the argument may seem, do not go down without a fight.

Voice your opinion. Show him that you won’t back down until you are heard.

Doing that shows him you will not be walked over. Plus, men love to be challenged from time to time.

Finally, when there isn’t an ounce of fight left in you, let the conflict go.

There is no use in wallowing in a disagreement that has been resolved. Continuing to bring the dilemma alive will only dig your relationship further into a grave.

So there you have it, ladies: a fool-proof plan that will help you survive your first fight. Now you can work on enjoying the make-up.