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WOMEN'S SOCCER: Pima takes second place in conference

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Pima takes second place in conference


The Pima Community College women’s soccer team lost 3-0 to No. 1 Paradise Valley Community College in the Region I, Division I championship final on Oct. 29.

The Aztecs won the championship in the previous two years and advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament. They finished in sixth place nationally in 2015 and in 11th place in 2014.

Paradise Valley set the tone early in the 2016 game, scoring three goals before the eight-minute mark.

The Aztecs played defense for much of the first half, and were outshot 12-9. Sophomore goalkeeper Daniela Sanchez finished with nine saves.

Pima mounted more shots on goal in the second half, but never scored.

Paradise Valley swept Pima this season. The Aztecs lost 1-0 on the road in the first game of the season, and fell 3-2 at Kino North Stadium in September.

PCC advanced to the championship game by beating the Chandler-Gilbert Community College Coyotes 2-1 on the road in the Oct. 26 semifinal.

The Aztecs scored first in the 28th minute with a goal by sophomore Destiny Jones. The Coyotes tied the game in the 35th minute.

The game went to overtime, and the winning goal came in the 102th minute from Pima freshman Alexis Hernandez off an assist from sophomore Maury Urcadez.

“We worked for it and it feels like a dream,” Hernandez said. “It was a perfect ball from Maury. They were getting tired at the end of the second half and we got more chances. We just kept pounding.”

Sanchez ended the game with nine saves.

Pima, playing with six sophomores and 14 freshmen, ended its season with a 16-6-1 record.

Urcadez was named first-team All ACCAC/All Region. Hernandez, Jones and Sanchez were named to the second team. Sophomore Sonia Garcia was honorable mention.

Sophomores with the second place plaque: Daniela Sanchez, Sonia Garcia, Shania Pablo, Alexis Aguirre, Destiny Jones, Maria Delgadillo, Maury Urcadez. (Photo by Ben Carbajal)

Sophomores with the second place plaque: Daniela Sanchez, Sonia Garcia, Shania Pablo, Alexis Aguirre, Destiny Jones, Maria Delgadillo, Maury Urcadez. (Photo by Ben Carbajal)

MEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs win region championship

MEN’S SOCCER: Aztecs win region championship


The No. 2 Pima Community College men’s soccer team secured its third consecutive Region I, Division I championship Oct. 29 in a 3-1 home victory over the No. 5 Phoenix College Bears.

PCC (18-3-1) now heads to a four-team NJCAA West District Tournament in Cheyenne, Wyoming on Nov. 4.

The No. 9 ranked Aztecs will play No. 16 Trinidad State Junior College (15-4) in the second semifinal match-up on Nov. 4 at 3 p.m.

The first semifinal game will feature host No. 10 ranked Lamarie County Community College (17-2) vs. College of Southern Nevada (15-3-2) at noon.

The winners will advance to the West District championship game on Nov. 5 at 12:30 p.m. and are guaranteed a spot in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Tyler, Texas. The national tournament is Nov. 14-19 at the Pat Hartley Soccer Complex.

Oct. 29: PCC 3, Phoenix College 1

Pima’s championship win marked its third straight NJCAA Region I, Division I title. The Aztecs have now defeated the Bears in the last three championship games.

In comments before the game, head coach Dave Cosgrove predicted a battle.

“I think Phoenix College has the best talent, player-for-player,” Cosgrove said. “They’re playing unbelievable soccer.”

The first half was scoreless as each team struggled to find its groove. Both teams narrowly missed scoring opportunities as shots hit the goal post multiple times.

The action-packed second half opened with a Pima scare as sophomore Hector Banegas was carted off the field in the 50th minute. Banegas returned to the game 15 minutes later.

A minute later, the Bears scored the game’s opening goal.

Pima freshman Gavino Carranza helped the Aztecs respond when he scored three minutes later directly off a free kick. He was later named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

At the 56-minute mark, freshman Julian Gaona converted a pass received from sophomore Justin Stoermer into a 2-1 lead for Pima.

The Aztecs put their stamp on the championship when freshman A.J. Valenzuela scored in the 80th minute.

Valenzuela was assisted by sophomore Lorenzo Rodriguez, who had an impressive outing after replacing injured freshman Chris Cooper in the first half.

Sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Anderson made three saves to keep the Bears from clawing back.

The Aztecs split with the Bears during the regular season. Pima beat Phoenix 2-1 at home in August but was shut out 4-0 on the road in early October.

Oct. 27: PCC 2, AWC 1

Pima reached the championship game by eliminating No. 3 Arizona Western College 2-1 in a Region I, Division I semifinal home game on Oct. 27.

Banegas scored the winning goal during a game in which emotions ran high.

Cooper scored a header in the eighth minute, with fellow freshman Andrew Bianchi providing the assist. Pima went into the halftime break up 1-0.

The second half was action-packed with aggressive play from both sides. The referee stopped play numerous times due to fouls, and disciplined players while trying to control the sidelines.

The opposing coaches engaged in verbal confrontations regarding the physical play. Cosgrove was intent on protecting his players, whom he felt were on the bad end of many foul challenges.

“Western played fantastic, I know it was competitive,” Cosgrove said. “And a little bit out of what’s acceptable.”

The Matadors’ Fabian Munoz was the villain for Pima due to multiple fouls that had the packed Kino North Stadium fans shouting at officials.

After Munoz leveled the score for the Matadors in the 76th minute, he ran in front of the Pima bench to celebrate. He kissed the team patch on his jersey while teammates rallied around him.

The Matadors lost their composure late. Three AWC players were temporarily removed from the game due to picking up yellow cards for arguing with the official over a foul call.

Banegas took advantage of the substitutions when he beat the goalkeeper to the far post to score a dramatic game-winning goal for Pima in the 88th minute. Bianchi provided a pass to earn the assist.

The stadium erupted as Banegas ran towards the Pima bench in triumph, where he was tackled by teammates in jubilation. The victory was Cosgrove’s 300th win as Pima head coach.

“I think discipline makes a big difference in games,” Cosgrove said “We were disciplined and they weren’t, and they paid the price for it.”

The Aztecs played to a scoreless tie in Yuma in September and beat the Matadors 6-0 in the final regular-season game on Oct. 20 at Kino.

Banegas’ goal in the semifinal game was his 17th of the season, though he refused to take full credit for winning the game.

“We’re a team,” he said. “It’s not just me, it’s all of us.”

PCC advanced to the playoffs with seven straight victories.

 Oct. 13: PCC 3, Glendale CC 0

Pima traveled to Glendale Community College and secured its fourth consecutive victory with a 3-0 shutout.

Freshman Julian Gaona continued his stellar season with two goals in the first five minutes. Sophomore Kyle VanAlstine and freshman Tatsuma Yuki provided the assists.

Cooper scored in the 71st minute off an assist by Banegas.

Sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Anderson provided three saves.

The Aztecs swept the home-and-away series versus Glendale, beating the Gauchos at Kino North Stadium in a 5-4 thriller in September.

 Oct. 19: PCC 3, Mesa CC 1

Pima men’s soccer picked up a 3-1 home victory over the Mesa Community College Thunderbirds.

Banegas scored from the penalty spot in the 26th minute after Cooper was brought down in the penalty box.

Cooper continued to stretch the Thunderbirds’ defense by taking on defenders with his speed and quick feet. He scored the game’s second goal in the 60th minute off an assisted by Yuki.

The Thunderbirds capitalized on a penalty kick in the 73rd minute, cutting Pima’s lead to 2-1.

While Mesa was pushing forward for the equalizing goal, Pima mounted a counter attack with 42 seconds remaining.

Gaona received the ball just past midfield, then outraced three defenders toward the goal. He shot from the right side of the penalty area and struck the top left corner of the net.

“It was a great game to prepare for the playoffs,” Gaona said.

Sophomore Hector Benegas beats the AWC goalkeeper to score the game-winning goal Oct. 27. (Photo by Ben Carbajal)

Sophomore Hector Benegas beats the AWC goalkeeper to score the game-winning goal Oct. 27. (Photo by Ben Carbajal)

Quarterback plays for love of the game

Quarterback plays for love of the game


Pima Community College quarterback Justin Martin is enjoying an amazing freshman season, but the kid had no idea any of it would happen the way that it has.

Martin grew up a big fan of the game.

“I’ve been playing football since like sixth grade,” Martin said. “I played for the Tucson Redskins on the west side of town.”

Martin has always been an all-around athlete and never had a designated position until college.

“I started out at running back but I practically played every position on the field back then,” he said. “I realized that I just loved touching the football.”

Before long, Martin was playing his own games on Saturday mornings and studying his idols on Sunday.

“I used to love Cadillac Williams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” he said. “When I started watching them on TV, I started to think. ‘I can do that.’”

Martin took his talents to Cholla High School for freshman year and was soon called up to varsity.

“It was a rough year on the field,” he said. “I didn’t get too many reps starting out but the experience was important.”

By sophomore year, Martin was starting at quarterback and safety but it was another rough year for his team.

Things changed dramatically for Martin at this point in his life and career. “My step-dad took an assistant coaching position at Pueblo High School, so I transferred,” he said.

Playing for his step-dad was a dream come true for Martin.

“He plays a big part in my life, a really big part,” he said. “I appreciate him and love him as if he were my father.”

Martin brought a certain “it” factor to Pueblo, which did not necessarily have a winning culture.

“I hated losing with a passion,” he said. “We had to start changing things around. We also got a new head coach that year.”

Martin led Pueblo to the playoffs for the first time in 25 years, an accomplishment that is still held in high regard.

“We lost first round but the experience was still amazing,” he said. “It took until my senior year for me to make the playoffs. I enjoyed the moment.”

As high school was winding down, Martin began to contemplate college. After weighing his options, he committed to PCC for the 2016-17 season.

“I was actually brought into training camp as a receiver, believe it or not,” Martin said.

“We had some quarterback issues all throughout camp,” he added. “I remember one day just tossing the ball around and next thing I know the coaches are asking me to throw in drills, and I was moved to quarterback.”

At that moment, Martin said, he realized he was meant to play quarterback. He has no intention of switching positions again.

Martin has built strong relationships with his teammates, including sophomore running back Sirgeo Hoffman and freshman receiver Jalen Edwards.

He has also developed an important relationship with head coach Jim Monaco.

“Monaco is a great guy,” Martin said. “He really just wants the best for us and he is always going to fight for us. I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to play for him.”

After Pima’s 21-9 loss against Arizona Western College, Monaco had encouraging words for Martin.

“You’ve got all the talent in the world,” he said during a post-game huddle. “You’ve got to keep your head up and lead this team.”

Martin’s 1,147 passing yards and 11 touchdowns are some of the highest marks in the conference.

He hopes to continue playing football throughout college and wants to play Division 1 someday.

For now, he’s thankful for the opportunity to do what he loves and extremely proud to be a Pima Aztec.

Quarterback Justin Martin. (Photo courtesy PCC)

Quarterback Justin Martin. (Photo courtesy PCC)

'Love's Labour's Lost' premieres April 14

‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ premieres April 14


Director Mickey Nugent, along with 16 students and a host of crew members, are busy preparing for their spring performance of Shakespeare’s witty “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”

“I always enjoy working with a young energizing cast who are smart and open minded,” Nugent said.

The production by the Pima Community College theater arts department will run April 14-24 in the Black Box Theatre in the West Campus Center for the Arts.

The story focuses on romance, but Nugent said the premise of the show is deception.

Some characters fight against their urge to fall in love because of a law that bans people from doing so.

Costard, played by Marchus Lewis, is a clown and jester who changes the story by switching love letters.

He and other stagecraft students assisted in building a garden set with a gazebo and a swing.

Lewis has helped build many sets in the past, and has been involved in seven plays including “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”

He began acting when he was 11 years old with encouragement from his mother. After he finishes his classes at PCC next year, he would like to move to Washington to study acting.

One of the couples is Jaquenetta, played by Brin Wassenberg, and Don Adriano de Armado, portrayed by Theodore Cleveland. Jaquenetta is a wench and Don Adriano de Armado is a Spaniard playwright hired by the king to impress the princess.

Wassenberg has been in five plays at Pima. The “wit” has been her favorite part of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” so far.

“It’s extremely funny and very fast-paced,” she said.

Wassenberg pursues acting for enjoyment only. Her major is business and she would like a career in marketing.

Cleveland has been in four plays at Pima, including “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” After participating in Christian Youth Theatre, he decided he enjoyed being on stage and so has continued to act.

Anna Hagberg who plays Rosaline, also acted with Christian Youth Theatre. One of her six siblings still participates.

Hagberg has performed in six plays at Pima and is participating in “Love’s Labour’s Lost” along with her brother Daniel.

Her character Rosaline is a friend of the princess. She falls in love with Biron, played by John Noble.

Hagberg is still deciding her future goals but said she enjoys acting.

“It’s just so fun,” she said. “I’m kind of a shy person. I enjoy portraying other personalities … just to dive in to how other people feel and act.”

Three students, Michael Anthony, Gary Brostek and Kyler Weeks, are participating in their first Pima production.

The cast and crew of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” have worked efficiently and effectively together.

Nugent said they began working on the production immediately after finishing their last show, “Crazy for You,” which was directed by Todd Poelstra. Nugent and Poelstra have worked together for about 13 years.

The current production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” marks the first time Pima has staged the show.

Performances will be at 7: 30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. A sign language interpreter will be available at the April 21 show.

Admission costs $18, with discounts available for faculty, students, seniors and groups. Tickets can be purchased at the CFA box office or online at

To learn more, call the box office at 206-6986 or visit

Don Adriano de Armado (Theodore Cleveland) performs a show for the Princess (Michaela Ivey) sitting between Katherine (Nemessy Santa Maria) and Maria (Taylor Falshaw) while Rosaline (Anna Hagberg) and Moth (Emily Fuchs) watch in amusement. (Aztec Press photo by Eddie Ceyala)

Don Adriano de Armado (Theodore Cleveland) performs a show for the Princess (Michaela Ivey) sitting between Katherine (Nemessy Santa Maria) and Maria (Taylor Falshaw) while Rosaline (Anna Hagberg) and Moth (Emily Fuchs) watch in amusement. (Aztec Press photo by Eddie Celaya)


What: “Love’s Labour’s Lost”

Where: Black Box Theatre, CFA, West Campus

When: April 14-24

Show times: Thurs-Fri-Sat, 7:30 p.m.; Sun, 2 p.m.

Tickets: $18, with discounts available

Box office: 206-6986




Cast list

Costard: Marchus Lewis

Maria: Taylor Falshaw

Dull: Rafael Acuña

Longaville: Christopher Dobson

Moth: Emily Fuchs

Dumain: Jeffrey Baden

Biron: John Noble

Lady Agnes: Beverly Ihli

Nathaniel: Kyler Weeks

Jaquenetta: Brin Wassenberg

Rosaline: Anna Hagberg

Don Adriano de Armado: Theodore Cleveland

Princess: Michaela Ivey

Katherine: Nemessy Santa Maria

Ferdinand: Daniel Hagberg

Holofernes: Aaron Cohen

Boyet: Gary Brostek

Forester/Mercade: Michael Anthony









Longaville (Christopher Dobson) flirts with Maria (Taylor Falshaw) in a scene from “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” (Aztec Press photo by Eddie Celaya.)

Aztec Press reporters win major state awards

Aztec Press reporters win major state awards

Aztec Press student reporters received two major awards in Arizona Press Club competition. The awards, announced May 4, were for stories published in 2014.

The Aztec Press competed against statewide community newspapers, rather than in a student category.

David Del Grande won first place in Community education reporting for his September 2014 investigation into Pima Community College’s use of adjunct instructors. Del Grande transferred to the University of Arizona journalism program this spring.

A judge’s comment: “Del Grande did a terrific job highlighting a major issue in higher education that has been widely overlooked by the national media.”

Andrew Paxton won third place in Community public service journalism. Paxton will graduate from PCC in May and plans to transfer to UA.

A judge’s comment: “Paxton’s coverage of Pima Community College is wide-ranging and balanced. By reporting both the good and bad news about the community college, he provided readers with valuable insight into an important community institution.”

For a complete list of Arizona Press Club winners, visit

Logo - Aztec Press

Therapy dogs offer ‘study paws’

Therapy dogs offer ‘study paws’

Students looking for a break from studying for exams and finishing final papers can visit a therapy dog at the West Campus Library.

Therapy dogs of all sizes and breeds, along with their handlers, will be in the foyer area outside the library from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Dec. 10-11 and Dec.15-16.

The West Campus library is located on the third floor of the Santa Catalina Building.

For more information, call librarian Rosanne Couston at 206-6821.

-By Katie Stewart

Students gather around to pet  Baxter, a therapy dog, during a past "study paws" event. (Photo courtesy of PCC)

Students gather around to pet Baxter, a therapy dog, during a past “study paws” event. (Photo courtesy of PCC)

TV channels broadcasting ‘Talk the Beat’ forum

TV channels broadcasting ‘Talk the Beat’ forum

TV broadcasts of a Nov. 6 forum held at East Campus, “Talking the Beat: Approaches to Policing, Ancient and Modern,” will be aired in December.

The round-table discussion explored the history of policing, from ancient times to modern-day tactics.

PCC-TV taped the forum, and will air programs at 6 p.m. on COX 121 and Comcast 97 channels. Remaining dates are Dec. 6, 13, 16, 23 and 30.

Mike Stack, East Campus arts and humanities department chair, said the forum was an informative event with three dynamic speakers and heartfelt questions from the audience.

“In light of recent and tragic events, each speaker separately and cumulatively gave us a perspective on policing that is more needed today than ever before,” Stack said.


Aztec Press wins regional awards

The Pima Community College student newspaper, Aztec Press, continues to win prestigious regional awards.


Most recently, Aztec Press was named one of two regional finalists for best all-around nondaily student newspaper when the Society of Professional Journalists named its Region 11 Mark of Excellence winners March 29.


The honor marked the fifth year in a row that Aztec Press has been an SPJ regional finalist. The newspaper was a national finalist in 2009.


Aztec Press competes against student publications in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada in the “large” category for universities and colleges with a student population above 10,000.


Journalism instructor Cynthia Lancaster is the faculty adviser for Aztec Press. This year’s student editor-in-chief is Andrew Paxton.


Complete Mark of Excellence results are available at


The newspaper has won honors in other recent contests as well.


In the Arizona Newspaper Association’s 2013 “Better Newspaper Contest,” its online site,, received a first-place award for “Best Website.”


Aztec Press also was awarded third place in ANA’s “Community Service/Journalistic Achievement” category.


In individual awards, student Larry Gaurano received a second-place award for “Best Feature Photo Layout” and two third-place prizes for “Best News Photograph” and “Best Multimedia Storytelling.”


The ANA contest does not have a student category, so the Aztec Press competed against non-daily state newspapers with a circulation between 3,500 and 10,000.


Fifty-three Arizona newspapers entered the contest with a total of 1,360 entries, according to the ANA.


Aztec Press wins Arizona Newspaper Association awards

Aztec Press wins Arizona Newspaper Association awards

NewsAztec Press has once again received accolades, this time from the Arizona Newspaper Association’s 2013 “Better Newspaper Contest.”

Our online site,, received a first-place award for “Best Website.”

Aztec Press also was awarded third place in the “Community Service/Journalistic Achievement” category.

In individual awards, student Larry Gaurano received a second-place award for “Best Feature Photo Layout” and two third-place prizes for “Best News Photograph” and “Best Multimedia Storytelling.”

The ANA contest did not have a student category. The Aztec Press competed against non-daily state newspapers with a circulation between 3,500 and 10,000.

Fifty-three Arizona newspapers entered the contest with a total of 1,360 entries, according to the ANA.

Family Play Date

STOMPING GROUNDS: Horse soldier museum charges on

STOMPING GROUNDS: Horse soldier museum charges on


One enduring image of the American West is that of the U.S. Cavalry, arriving just in time to save the day. It seems, however, that we become more disconnected from that part of our past with each new generation of 21st century technology.

A good way to fight this trend is to visit the Museum of the Horse Soldier in Tucson.

The museum, in the words of Director Rae Whitley, “endeavors to preserve the history and heritage of U.S. mounted services and recognize the horses’ contributions to U.S. military history.”

Whitley took over the museum three years ago, when it was more of a collection than a proper museum, housed in a drafty old barn. Under his direction, the barn has been renovated and that collection has become a first-rate museum.

Among the various exhibits, visitors will find examples of all standard-issue uniforms, equipment and weapons that U.S. cavalrymen would have used between the 1840s and 1940s.

Some artifacts are extremely rare, including the only complete “Rough Rider” (Teddy Roosevelt’s unit) uniform on display anywhere, and the only Civil War battle flag displayed in Arizona.

That flag, known as a guidon, was used to mark a rally point on the battlefield. It was lost by the 1st New York Light Artillery Battery D on the second day of the battle for Gettysburg, and was later recovered by the 18th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

While the museum is certainly military in nature, it is devoted to both horses and men.

“We talk as much about animal science as we do military science,” Whitley said.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, the museum is open by appointment and hosts a wide variety of groups, including many children.

“Education is one of the driving forces,” Whitley said, noting he especially loves teaching children. “I see a lot of ‘a-ha’ moments in children’s eyes.”

Whitley, a very knowledgeable and engaging man, is at the museum as often as possible, but admits he’s frequently out conducting business.

Guided tours are usually available, and when he’s there Whitley enjoys giving them. His tours are peppered with anecdotes and interesting stories that really bring the exhibits to life.

“Anytime I get to teach or learn about this topic, I love it,” he said.


Rough Rider uniforms, the type worn by Teddy Roosevelt, are on display at the museum. (Aztec Press photo by Michael Anderson)

Rough Rider uniforms, the type worn by Teddy Roosevelt, are on display at the museum. (Aztec Press photo by Michael Anderson)



Museum of the Horse Soldier

Address: 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road

Phone: 722-2706


Hours: Wed-Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Mon-Tue by appointment

Admission: $3 per adult, $2 per child, children under 6 free

Instructor helps future teachers enjoy math

Instructor helps future teachers enjoy math


Pima Community College instructor Makyla Hays works hard to inspire a new generation of math teachers.

She’s taught most levels of math at Pima and is passionate about all of them.

“I want people to see the beauty of math, not just how hard it is,” she says. “I love getting students to enjoy math in a way they didn’t think they could.”

Her current favorite is the Math 146-147 sequence, math for elementary teachers.

“I like being able to help future teachers find the beauty and fun of mathematics,” she says. “If they hate math, it’s hard for them to encourage their future students to love math. My job is to help them have confidence so they can inspire future groups of young students.”

Hays was born in the small northern California town of Redding, but her family soon moved to Sacramento. Her mother was a stay-at-home mom and her father was an engineer at Intel.

As a young child, she aspired to be her father’s boss. “So I could tell him what to do,” she says with a smile.

When she got to first grade, those aspirations changed. She decided she wanted to teach first grade, and a lifelong love of education was born.

In addition to being active in school, she played soccer for 11 years and competed on a swim team. She also spent lots of time reading, a habit she continues today with a focus on thrillers by the likes of Lee Child and Vince Flynn.

Her childhood summers were filled with trips to see her grandparents in Redding, and periodic trips to Hawaii, for which she is extremely grateful. “I was spoiled,” she admits.

She attended a Christian high school in Sacramento, and was accepted to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. When she attended a preview day at Grand Canyon, she met her future husband, Brandon.

“We emailed all summer and hung out immediately when we got to school that fall,” she says.

Hays says she enjoyed her college experience. She lived in the on-campus dormitories and rarely left campus. “I was very involved with tutoring and on-campus Bible studies, both going to them and leading them.”

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics degree from Grand Canyon, Hays attended the University of Arizona. She began teaching math and earned a Master of Arts in Mathematics with a teaching option.

She began her teaching career in earnest at the Learning Lab Academy of Tucson, a private school and tutoring facility. She also taught for three years at Marana High School, and earned a post-baccalaureate teaching certificate for grades 7-12 through PCC.

Hays started teaching at Pima in 2011, and has become a popular instructor.

Former Math 142 student Jackie Scheidt took the class after a friend recommended Hays. “She teaches in class exactly what’s in the book, she doesn’t go off on tangents, she makes it understandable.”

Hotel and restaurant management student Jeff Penatzer echoes Scheidt’s sentiments. “I really like her,” he says. “She gets the material across clearly and makes it interesting.”

Hays lives in northwest Tucson with her husband, who works for The Explorer newspaper, and their 3-year-old identical twin boys, Derek and Parker.

While students are her priority during the work day, it is clear that she is a devoted wife and mother. “They’re so much fun,” she says of her sons.

For aspiring math teachers, Hays offers a pet peeve and a suggestion.

Her pet peeve is when “shortcuts are taught that bypass understanding.”

Her advice for future math teachers:

“Anybody who wants to teach math should absolutely tutor first, because you get to hear the questions people are afraid to ask in class.”

Mathematical equations on a white board surround East Campus instructor Makyla Hays . (Aztec Press photo by Cole Potwardowski.)

Mathematical equations on a white board surround East Campus instructor Makyla Hays . (Aztec Press photo by Cole Potwardowski.)


Hays took aim at forensics

While attending college, Hays considered becoming a forensic investigator.

“I fell in love with the show “CSI” and loved crime dramas in both book and movie form,” she says.

A friend of her grandfather’s knew the supervisor of the Phoenix Police Department crime lab, and arranged for her to intern there. She was assigned to research bullet and cartridge recognition for the trace evidence lab.

“It was interesting studying the impressions made by firing pins on cartridge casings,” she says.

Her report, “Pattern Recognition for Identifying Bullet Matches,” was published in the Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists Journal in June 2007.

The Los Angeles Police Department cited her report in a 2010 application to the Paul Coverdell National Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program.

The program provides funding to state and local law enforcement agencies to improve the quality of their forensic science and medical examiner services. LAPD was awarded almost $300,000.

While Hays enjoyed her time in the Phoenix crime lab, she realized that line of work was not for her.

“The science behind the forensics was really interesting, but I needed to talk to more people,” she says.

She still likes watching crime dramas on television, but sees them differently now. Her favorites are “Numbers,” “The Mentalist,” “Criminal Minds” and the various “CSI” shows.

She singles out the “CSI” franchise in general and “CSI Miami” in particular as the most unrealistic.

“The conclusions they make from their analysis are just crazy,” she says with a laugh.

Anyone planning to become a forensic investigator needs to take chemistry, she says. “Chemistry is extremely important, no matter what you want to do in a crime lab.”




Instructors at Pima Community College have always been known as multifaceted. An art exhibit on display through Oct. 11 reveals yet another layer.

For the first time since 2001, the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery on West Campus is showcasing full-time faculty members from all PCC campuses.

The timing is finally right for a faculty exhibit to occur, according to gallery director David Andres.

“We just didn’t have the slot space before for such a diverse group,” Andres said.

“This is about showcasing faculty art so students understand the quality of an artist and how professional they are,” he said. “One reason we like to do this is because it shows that there’s another side to a faculty member.”

The exhibit’s featured artist is Mariana Carreras, chair of the visual arts department at Downtown Campus. She teaches drawing, painting, understanding of visual arts and design, and received an Outstanding Faculty award in 2012.

Carreras, who grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay, provided artwork that includes a self-portrait. Other works focus on the elements. In four separate paintings, she integrates mountain ranges from across the world into the background of her paintings.

“I am a transplant and a child of four generations of immigrants—many worlds and many mysteries,” she said in a news release. “I resonate with a rich and complex set of global symbols.”

Ann Simmons-Myers, “Sailor’s Moon”

Ann Simmons-Myers, “Sailor’s Moon”

Other faculty members exhibiting work are:

  • Joseph Dal Pra, sculpture (West Campus)
  • Matthias Düwel, painting (Northwest Campus)
  • Patti Gardiner, digital illustration (West Campus)
  • Greg Loumeau, digital illustration (West Campus)
  • Barbara Jo McLaughlin, sculpture (Desert Vista Campus)
  • Christina McNearney, painting (West Campus)
  • Ann Simmons-Myers, hand-manipulated photography (West Campus)
  • Michael Nolan, painting (West Campus)
  • Claire Park, fiber art (West Campus)
  • Reinhard Pawlicki, sculpture (West Campus)
  • Stephen Romaniello, painting (West Campus)
  • Nancy Spaulding, fashion design (West Campus)
  • Michael Stack, painting (East Campus)
  • Hiro Tashima, ceramic sculpture (West Campus)

Andres said the exhibit is the first to include pieces by digital arts instructors.

The Bernal Gallery is open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and before most evening performances in the Center for the Arts theaters. Admission is free.

(Photos courtesy of PCC Center for the Arts) Mariana Carreras, “Earth”

(Photos courtesy of PCC Center for the Arts)
Mariana Carreras, “Earth”


“Faculty Exhibit”

Where: Bernal Gallery, West Campus CFA

When: Through Oct. 11

Admission: Free

Details: 206-6942

Gallery talk: Sept. 19 at 2 p.m.

Reception: Sept. 19, 5-7 p.m.

VOLLEYBALL: Team serves up high expectations

VOLLEYBALL: Team serves up high expectations


Expectations are high for the Pima Community College volleyball team this year.

The Aztecs are returning from a season that saw them advance to the regional tournament as the No. 3 seed. Unfortunately, the only game at regionals was a loss to Phoenix College in straight sets.

“The players that were here last year would agree that we didn’t play our best at the tournament,” head Coach Dan Bithell said.

The Aztecs ended the 2012 season with a record of 15-13, and finished the regular season on a three-game winning streak.

For this year, Bithell said he is looking to sophomore All-ACCAC libero Courtney Pitts and two freshmen: setter Liz Mata and attacker Alexis Ammerman.

“I feel they’re all driving the team right now and taking us in a direction we need to go,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to earn a berth to the national championship tournament and to play the best when it matters most.”

On Aug. 30, the Aztecs earned their first conference win of the season when they defeated South Mountain Community College in five games.

Freshman Kristin Hains had 17 kills for the Aztecs, while freshman Kassidy Crawford contributed 12 kills. Sophomore Noelle Olson had 43 assists for the match and Pitts provided 22 digs. Freshman Andrea Burnett had three blocks and two aces.

The Aztecs lost three games to Eastern Arizona College in their home opener on Aug. 28, despite showing tenacious effort.

Hains led the Aztecs with 13 kills and two blocks. Sophomore Katie Rudolphi finished with 11 kills and nine digs, while Pitts had 15 digs for the match.

The regular season got underway with the New Mexico Military Institute classic on Aug. 23-24.

On the first day of the tournament, Pima defeated Dodge City Community College, but fell to Frank Phillips College. On the second day, the Aztecs couldn’t hold off Hutchinson Community College in their first game, but defeated Odessa College to finish the tournament.

Pima was scheduled to play Phoenix College at home on Sept. 4. The games took place after Aztec Press went to the printer.

Freshman Kristin Hains keeps her eye on the ball as she jumps high. (Aztec Press photo by Larry Gaurano)

Freshman Kristin Hains keeps her eye on the ball as she jumps high. (Aztec Press photo by Larry Gaurano)

On Deck

Sept. 6: Glendale CC, West Campus gym, 7 p.m.

Sept. 11: Alumni Match, West Campus gym, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13-14: @ Scottsdale Classic Tournament (Scottsdale), all day

Courtney's at home on the range

Courtney’s at home on the range


The past 18 months have been a blur for Pima Community College golfer Joseph Courtney. The sophomore has gone from a cattle ranch in Montana to being NJCAA regional golf champion.

For the youngest of six siblings, life can sometimes be difficult so far away from home.

“It sucks. I mean, I love it where I am at, but you get homesick, and I am ready to go home right now,” Courtney said. “I mean, I talk to my parents a bunch on the phone and my brothers.”

Courtney currently lives with two roommates, Daniel Harms and Trevor Martin. Harms works for Microsoft, and is working on the Windows 8 project. Martin is a journalism major.

“I live in a house full of brainiacs,” Courtney said.

Courtney recently switched his major to languages, and hopes to become a translator for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Between countless hours of studying and more than 40 hours a week spent practicing on his golf game, Courtney has little time for a social life.

“What I was told when I first came down here was that college has three aspects for an athlete: golf, school and social life,” Courtney said. “And you only have time to be great at two of those things.

“My first semester was really tough. It was the first time I had to manage a sport and school at the same time.”

His time practicing on the range has clearly paid off. The defending regional champion has improved every aspect of his game. Division I schools such as New Mexico State and Kansas State took notice and contacted him.

However, Courtney has decided to stay in Tucson and continue his education at the University of Arizona. He verbally committed to the program on April 26. If all his paperwork goes through, he will soon be a Wildcat.

wPg17-Joseph Courtney profile

Sophomore Joseph Courtney takes a practice swing. Aztec Press photo Jaime Hernandez.

For Courtney, one of the perks of being a collegiate golfer is getting to play on amazing courses. The toughest one he has played is the Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain in Tucson.

“I have played it about six or seven times, and my lowest round out there from the back tees — which are the championship tees — was a 73,” Courtney said. “It felt like I a shot a 61! It was brutal.”

If everything goes well with the UA, he will soon get a chance to play on his dream course. The Wildcats open next season in California playing at Pebble Beach Golf Course. Courtney has dreamed of playing at Pebble Beach ever since he picked up clubs.

Assistant coach Rick Price has seen major improvement in Courtney’s game over the past year.

“He has the pure ability and sheer determination to get the ball in the hole,” Price said.

For now, Courtney will keep pursuing his goals.

“Being a pro golfer is all I want to do. I’m just going to continue to chase my dream,” Courtney said.