RSSArchive for November, 2011

PCC art instructor’s show at Tucson International Airport


Adelante Program


'DANCE FUSION' explodes Dec. 9-10

‘DANCE FUSION’ explodes Dec. 9-10



Pima Community College student dancers will present a dance concert, DANCE FUSION, on Dec. 9-10.

The  innovative and unexpected blend of choreography and music will take place at PCC Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre on West Campus at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Under the direction of Aurora Goncalves-Shaner, Pima students, faculty and guest artists from the University of Arizona will perform various dance styles fused together in a variety of movements from classical to contemporary to cultural.

The performance will include a vibrant blend of physicality and musicality with contrasting music. The diverse selections from the program include the fusion of ballet, jazz, break-dancing, hip-hop and folkorico to music by a string quartet.

Tickets are $10, with discounts available. Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts box office, located on West Campus at 2202 W. Anklam Road. Box-office hours are Tuesday-Friday, noon-5 p.m. and one hour before performances. For more information call 206-6986, email or visit online at

Photograph by Ed Flores

The Loft Film Festival 2011


Backstage at a drag show

Backstage at a drag show



Ryan Klenke performs as Regine Ray. Aztec Press photo by Whitney Billings.

Stage lights shine brightly, reflecting the pink sequence of Regine Ray’s meticulously put-together wardrobe.


Two words can be used to describe her… glamorous diva!


You would never know that come daytime this diva is a simple guy, born in Nashville, Tenn., and raised on a farm in Illinois.


Ryan Klenke is a simple down-to-earth student at Pima Community College. After changing his major three times, he decided on sociology.


His two identities are completely separate — very different individuals in one body.


“Regine is glamorous with such a sweet personality,” he says. “Ryan is a chill and laid back all-American guy. He can shoot a gun and all that jazz.”


Klenke moved to Tucson around the age of 14, which was also the same age he came out as gay to his family and friends. His family did not take the news well, which has caused distance.


“It was very difficult,” he said.


After surviving the emotional heartache of coming out to family and friends, a few years later Klenke faced the obstacle of two broken legs, the result of a serious car accident.


“This was by far the biggest obstacle in my life emotionally, physically and financially,” Klenke said.



When he was 19, Klenke found a new sense of belonging performing in a charity drag show.


“I never knew I would keep doing it professionally,” he said. “It just kind of happened.”


While Klenke enjoys the spotlight dressed as a woman, he’s not interested in a sex change.


“The biggest misconception regarding drag is that people think that because the male performers dress like women or vice-versa, we have the desire to be a woman, or in some cases a man,” he said.

Regine Ray started the “New Babies Drag Show” in June to provide a stage for men and women just starting out in drag.


It gives them a chance to test themselves against fierce competition and break into the spotlight. Performers are constantly working, improving their shows and competing for titles and new names.


Miss Ray is admired by many and considered to be the “drag mom” of quite a few performers. She has not only provided them with opportunity but also offered a support system within their family of performers.


Miss Regine Ray, left, helps Prosche du Roche add finishing touches. Aztec Press photo by Whitney Billings.



What: “The New Babies Drag Show”

Where: Howl at the Moon, 915 W. Prince Road

When: Thursdays at 7pm

Tickets: Free admission

Details: 293-7339

Porsche Du Roche applies makeup before a show. Aztec Press photo by Whitney Billings.

Occupy Tucson update November

Student earns honors for fashion design

Student earns honors for fashion design


Design forms fill the fashion design lab at Pima Community College’s West Campus, sharing space with eager students ready to bring creativity to life.

Wendy Ashton typically works in a corner, an air of dedication filling the space around her.

Ashton has short blonde hair and a welcoming presence to her, wearing jeans and a chunky-knit beige sweater. At first glance, few would realize that she’s an award-winning fashion designer.

She recently received the first place scholarship award from noted Los Angeles designer and author Helen Joseph-Armstrong for excellence in Patternmaking I.

Ashton is the proud mother of five children. Once her children were grown, she decided it was time to do something for herself thus she and turned her fashion design hobby into a successful business.

Ashton’s desire to design started when she was 6 years old. She had spent years watching her mother sew, so decided to teach herself.

When asked about her influences, Ashton hesitated and gave an unusual answer.

“No designers really influence me,” she said. “I have fun and I make what I see.”

Ashton specializes in formal wear, ranging from prom and bridesmaid dresses to wedding gowns.

She described in great detail the first gown she created: a satin cream dress with a youthful, sweetheart neckline and a waist adorned by two bows.

Ashton’s design process involves consulting a client, taking measurements and picking out fabric.

“The whole process is rewarding,” she said.

Ashton’s designs can currently be viewed in the Fashion Design Lab window, CG-25 at the end of the Palm Court.

For design inquiries, Ashton can be reached at or phone at 579-3013.

Wendy Ashton stands outside of her display at Fashion Design Lab window at West Campus. Aztec Press photo by Chloe Deem.

Instructor’s art on display at airport

Instructor’s art on display at airport


Through Dec. 31, Tucson International Airport will exhibit more than 20 of Pima Community College faculty member Christina McNearney’s paintings and portraits in a central area on the second level.

“What I am doing right now is the most exciting thing,” McNearney said.

With titles such as “Daydream,” “Desert Series,” “Walking Series,” “Lake Xavier” and “Reaching Beyond,” her pieces represent the influence of earth, nature and climate.

McNearney joined the PCC faculty in 1999, and currently teaches painting, drawing and basic design in the visual and digital arts department.

From 1997-1998, she taught life drawing, and painting at the University of North Carolina.

The St. Louis native is a University of Arizona graduate.

She finds herself comfortable with a computer and press, as she frequently uses images from her drawings and paintings as fuel in her digital and intaglio prints and visa versa.

At age 18, McNearny began working at a Mexican art gallery. Her ideas and perception of art took over as she found her interest within art.

The hard work and dedication that she has given toward her work has led to the biggest project she has been involved in.

 “I experience palinopsia every waking moment of my life, yet as I paint I explore this aspect of perception as an experiment of paint mediums,” she said.

The effects of her vision have not stopped McNearney from painting and drawing, and in fact it’s helped her think of abstract patterns in a different perspective.

 McNearney started working on two large pieces in 2008 in time for the Nov. 8 gallery opening.

“It’s very process-oriented,” she said. “Art needs time for brewing and mentoring, to get my point across.”

The process usually results in digitally construct patterns, then print with pigmented inks and gel. The printed patterns are used with UV inhibitors, acrylic paints, then dripped on acrylic skins to complete a crypsis or natural pattern. She proceeds to layer the surface with paint.

McNearney has displayed her work around several Tucson locations, including the UA Museum of Art, Tucson Museum of Art and Obsidian Gallery.

 “I have a good feeling of my work, whenever I am there,” she said.


Vehicle thefts most common campus crime

Vehicle thefts most common campus crime


Chevrolet and Ford pickup trucks, Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys are the most commonly stolen cars at Pima Community College and nationwide, according to Stella Bay, executive director for PCC’s Department of Public Safety.

Vehicle thefts are the most common crime reported at PCC campuses. The recently released 2010 Clery Campus Crime Report lists 29 vehicles stolen from the college’s six campuses, compared to 22 vehicles in 2009.

Downtown Campus also had nine reports of liquor law violations, compared to seven in 2009 and 38 in 2008.

Six cases of illegal drug activity were reported at Downtown Campus, up from five cases reported in 2009. Desert Vista has four reports, compared to one in 2009.

Desert Vista and West campuses each had eight vehicle theft reports in 2010. Six vehicle thefts were reported at Downtown Campus. East Campus had three reports, while Northwest and Community campuses each had two reported thefts.

“What’s not noted on the report is that most cars are recovered by the next day,” Bay said. “The car will be left in a parking lot, maybe left abandoned in a neighborhood.”

Some vehicles stolen from PCC are used for transporting drugs, she said. Thieves also steal vehicles to remove valuable items such as stereo systems.

Although Bay didn’t have exact statistics available, she said the vehicle thieves are mainly juveniles.

Statewide, auto thefts have gone down, Bay noted. “At one point, I think the state of Arizona was two or three for highest number of auto thefts.”

She believes safety education and advanced technology in cars help reduce vehicle thefts.

PCC previously used a poster campaign to promote safety.

“You know, educating the public as far as layering so it’s harder for people to steal your car,” Bay said. “Locking it up, taking the keys, parking in a crowded area, the use of LoJack and alarm systems.”

Bay advised anyone who sees suspicious activity on campus to call the 24-hour DPS dispatch number: 206-2700.

Citizen involvement provides the best deterrence for any kind of crime occurring on campus, Bay said. “We’re working with the students to help make these numbers smaller and smaller each year.”

Community service officers dressed in blue shirts also patrol campuses. “They also act as deterrence,” Bay said. “They’re on foot in the parking lot, and they work with the police department.”



The Clery Report summarizes data on campus crimes reported during the previous three years. To request a printed copy, call Pima’s Department of Public Safety at 206-2671.

The police department provides access to monthly activity logs, annual crime statistics and the Clery Report through the PCC website at

For additional Clery Report details, see “By the Numbers.”

PCC motor vehicle thefts reported:

Campus           2010    2009

West                8          10

Desert Vista    8          3

Downtown      6          2

East                 3          2

Northwest       2          3

Community     2          1

Source: 2010 Jeanne Clery Campus Crime Act Annual Report



Crimes reported at Pima Community College campuses in 2010:


Criminal homicide or manslaughter cases


Robbery, at Community Campus


Forcible sex offenses reported at any PCC campus, compared to 1 at East Campus in 2009


Motor vehicle thefts at West Campus, compared to 10 in 2009


Hate crimes reported


Liquor law arrests at Downtown Campus, compared to 7 in 2009 and 38 in 2008


Illegal drug arrests at Downtown Campus, compared to 5 in 2009


Illegal weapon arrests at any PCC campus


Administrative referrals  for drugs, alcohol or weapons (2 at East Campus for alcohol, 1 at Desert Vista for drugs, 1 at Northwest Campus for alcohol)

Compiled by Kyle Wasson


2010 Jeanne Clery Campus Crime Act Annual Report


Photo by Leftrick Herd

Pima to get preview of Zoo Lights

Pima to get preview of Zoo Lights

Pima Community College will host a privat preview of Zoo Lights at Reid Park Zoo Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Zoo Lights is an annual holiday event at Reid Park Zoo, designed to get attendees in the holiday spirit.

The zoo is decorated with twinkling lights and animal-themed light sculptures, although live animals wil be off exhibit for the event.

Visitors can enjoy the holiday light displays, festive music, free hot cocoa and homemade treats. There will also be a chance to visit with Santa Claus and get a free photo memory.

The entry fee is $5 and children age 5 and under are free. Reid Park Zoo is located at 1030 S. Randolph Way.

RSVP to no later than Friday, Dec. 2. If you have questions, call 205-4888.

Zoo Lights will be open to the public Dec. 2-11, Thursdays through Sundays. Starting Dec. 15, Zoo Lights will be open every night continuing through Dec. 23.

On nights open to the public, admission will be $5 for adults, $4 for members and $3 for children ages 2-14.

There will be free cookies and $1 cocoa available inside the event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

From the archives: Cross country first PCC sport to bring national recognition

From the archives: Cross country first PCC sport to bring national recognition


Thirty-five years ago, the Pima Community College cross country “great pumpkins” headed to Farmingdale, N.Y., to represent Arizona and PCC at the junior college cross country national competition.

The national competition came after PCC won a state championship and a regional title with an undefeated record of 10-0.

The 1976 cross country team was the first major Pima team to compete at a national level.

PCC President Irwin Spector and coach Jim Mielke had high hopes for the team to bring home a trophy with No. 1 engraved on it.

The very experienced team was headed for a tense and challenging competition. But why the “great pumpkins” name?

Mielke awarded the name “pumpkins” because of the orange shirts the team wore.

Spectators who watched the team win the state championship added the “great” description.

During the 1976 state championship, Pima runners captured the first three places.

Art Menchaca was the first runner to cross the finish line, setting a course record time of 24:02.

Larry Martinez finished second in 24:19 and Frank Canez took third with a time of 24:22.

Mielke told reporters the Pima team had fulfilled its mission, and had an “honest shot at the national championship title.”

On Nov. 13, 1976, Mielke took seven athletes to compete for the national title, hoping to bring home that first place trophy. Unfortunately, they had to settle for second place behind a Virginia team.

For Mielke, second place recognition was enough to prove his team’s value.

“The athletes have gained the feeling that they are among the best athletes in the nation,” he said.

The Pima athletes competing were: Brian Denker, who finished in fourth place; Larry Martinez, sixth; Ruben Ruiz, seventh; Art Menchaca, eighth; Frank Canez, 20th place; David Duffy, 45th place, and Nick Ortega, 107th place.

The athletes were “pleased but not content” with their national title, Mielke said. Finishing in second place brought “the fulfillment of a dream and another goal to dream for.”

Athletic Voice: College scandals sickening

Athletic Voice: College scandals sickening


The world of collegiate athletics is becoming a modern-day replica of the old Catholic Church. By that, I mean it’s packed full of scandal, dishonor and unthinkable acts.

Fellow students at the Aztec Press daily express their discontent with the validity of sports in today’s society. I usually sit quietly in the back, chuckling behind my cardigan and facial hair.

Growing up, college sports were the foundation of my household. Being born and raised in Tucson only further fueled the passion, which leads to my current state of disappointment with the NCAA.

Memories of coaching greats Bowden, Holtz and other legends who once graced arenas have been replaced with cheaters and criminals. Those two words have no place in sports.

The recent unfolding of events at Penn State University has only further darkened the public’s perception of collegiate institutions’ drive to succeed. Since its inception, Penn State has prided itself on “success with honor.”

Today, that phrase has lost its meaning, especially following the childish riots that ensued after the university fired head coach Joe Paterno.

The legendary coach was fired because officials determined that Paterno didn’t do enough to protect potential victims after a graduate assistant said he witnessed an assistant coach sexually assaulting a young boy.

Upset students aimed their frustration at administrators when the focus should have been on victims.

As a fan of college football and its traditions, I was disgusted and saddened that the stellar career of a coaching legend could be overshadowed by allegations against his long-time assistant.

The courts must determine what really happened, but the implications are disturbing. Is winning more important than the well-being of children?

The slew of misconduct in the NCAA is nauseating, and only further proves its growing lack of purity.

Whether it’s recruiting violations, illegal cash donations or even the extremes of sexual abuse, fans are ignoring serious issues.

Let’s get back to the honest competition we all love and respect. Remember, it’s just a game.

Arts Briefs

Arts Briefs

“Curtains” Auditions

The Pima Community College Theatre Arts Department will be holding auditions for its Spring 2012 production of the musical “Curtains.”

Auditions will be held Nov. 28-30 at the Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre at West Campus, at 6 p.m.

The auditions will be conducted in three parts. Monday Nov. 28 will be the dancing audition, so wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and tap shoes is recommended.

Tuesday Nov. 29 will be the singing auditions. “Curtains” is a light romantic comedy, the song should be at least sixteen bars but no longer than 32 and bring sheet music as a piano accompaniment will be available.

Acting auditions will be held Wednesday Nov. 30. All readings will be provided and given out on the first day of auditions.

All students are welcome to audition, but must be present at all three auditions to be considered.

The cast list will be posted on Friday Dec. 2.

For more information contact Todd Poelstra at 206-6815 or email

By Mylo Erikson

Fashion show to fundraise for homeless women shelter

The West Campus Apparel Association is hosting a holiday fashion show to raise money for a field trip, and Wings for Women.

Wings for Women is a re-entry program for homeless women with substance abuse problems who are looking to improve their lives and transition into permanent housing.

The program works to provide a safe, clean and sober living environment.

The fashion show will take place at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 30. at West Campus in the Cafeteria.

There will be a bake sale, and opportunity for donations during the show.

For more information about the fashion show, contact Rose Genzeman and or Lori Alford at

Fore more information about Wings for Women, including a donation wish list, visit or call 406-6345.

By Chelo Grubb


Kelsey Montano running at nationals.

Aztecs finish season in top 20


In the final meet of the 2011 season, the Pima Community College cross country teams finished in the national top 20.

PCC competed at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 1 Cross Country Championships on Nov. 12 in Hobbs, N. M.

“The goal was to have both teams in the top 10 and we just missed that,” head coach Greg Wenneborg said. “I think it will make the team hungry to achieve their goals in the coming seasons.”

Pima finished eighth of 34 teams in the women’s 5-K race losing out to Iowa Central College who won the women’s championship title.

Due to a persistent hip injury, star Pima freshman Jamie Shrader was unable to run.

“I was actually planning on running, I warmed up and got on the line,” Schrader said. “I started the race but then I could start to feel some of the pain again, and I wasn’t in a scoring position for my team so I decided to step off.”

On a windy 5 km course, the top Aztec was freshman Kelsey Montano who finished 20:19 earning her 19th place overall.

Freshman Lucia Hernandez finished 48th with a time of 20:54. Sophomore Heidi Lopez rounded out the top three with a time of 21:09, 60th place overall.

“I’m proud that the women stepped up and held it together for the championship meet and finished in the top 10,” Wenneborg said.

The men’s team finished in 13th place out of 38 teams in the 8-K race behind Paradise Valley Community College who took the men’s championship title.

Freshman Caleb Herrera led the way for the men on the 8 km course, finishing in 38th place with a time of 28:00.

Freshmen Aren Maxwell and Fabian Romero finished in 48th and 95th places with times of 28:09 and 28:45 respectively.

Pima’s women’s team finished 189 points behind race winner ICC and the men’s team finished 328 points behind men’s champion PVCC.


Kelsey Montano running at nationals.

Kelsey Montano running at nationals in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Sophomore forward Nicholas Peppe competes against the Bears of Phoenix College.

Aztecs tie for fifth with Lincoln Lynx


The eighth seeded Pima Community College men’s soccer team tied the sixth seeded Lincoln College for fifth place at the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship Tournament, Nov. 20.

With the 1-1 tie, the Aztecs couldn’t close the door on the Lynx of Lincoln. LC scored the only goal of the first half, which was answered back in the third minute of the second half by Aztec sophomore midfielder Jann Nash. Nash led the Aztec scoring throughout the playoffs.

“This last game was intense,” Nash said. “We were down for most of the game and I was able to score with three minutes left.”

Tournament rules did not allow for overtime or penalty kicks in consolation bracket play so the two teams settled for the tie.

With the tie, the Aztecs finished their season 19-7-2. The Aztecs also accomplished a NJCAA tournament first as their win over Iowa Western Community College on Nov. 19, was the first ever win for a team seeded eighth at the championship tournament.

“We did a lot this season, more than anyone expected so it was definitely something special,” Nash said.

Fellow Aztec, freshman forward Declan Fulton agrees their season was a success.

“What our team did this year is unprecedented, we set records no Pima team has ever done,” Fulton said. “We won the most amount of games in Pima men’s soccer history, we scored the fastest goal, the most goals in one game, the first eighth seeded team to win a game in nationals and the first shutout of Yavapai at their home field.”

Pima won their consolation bracket game as they defeated the fifth seeded IWCC, 1-0.  Neither team scored in the opening half but sophomore forward Kolby Jacobson scored the only goal of the game with the assist from sophomore forward Nicholas Peppe.  PCC lost their opening game at the 2011 NJCAA National Tournament as they were beat 1-0 by top seed Darton College, Albany GA, Nov. 17.  The two teams played to a 0-0 tie at the half but the Cavaliers broke the deadlock midway through the second half, on a scramble in front of the Aztecs net.  Pima had numerous goal attempts in the second half as they played most of the 45 minute period in the Darton end of the field, but the Aztecs could not find the back of the Cavalier’s net.

“Our season was fantastic considering the uneven playing field,” said head coach David Cosgrove.

Pima was the only team at the National Tournament without international players.

“Our whole team is American, and 20 out of 22 players are from the Tucson area,” said Fulton.  “No team will ever have the their whole team from the same city.”

Next season the coaches look to rebuild the team since 15 of the 22 players are sophomores and will not be returning next year.

“We had so much team chemistry and so much passion throughout the year,” Fulton said. “It will be difficult filling in the holes for next year with our sophomores leaving since most of our team are sophomores.”

Sophomore forward Nicholas Peppe competes against the Bears of Phoenix College.

Sophomore forward Nicholas Peppe competes against the Bears of Phoenix College.