By MICHEAL ROMERO
Through hard work on campus and in the community, 12 Pima Community College students have been named to the 2016 All-Arizona Academic Team. They were recognized for the accolade by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Each student receives two-year tuition waivers for any public university in Arizona, as well as scholarships from PCC. The top four students earn additional scholarships from the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program.
Alex Martinez Figueroa and Eduardo Lujan Olivas received the gold scholarship for placing in the top 20 students in the nation.
Francy Luna Diaz landed the silver scholarship in the top 100 and Julia Mona received a bronze scholarship for the top 150.
Alex Martinez Figueroa
In addition to placing in the top 20, Figueroa was named number one in the state of Arizona, making him All-USA.
However, the journey to the top wasn’t easy and spanned seven years, following graduation from a Yuma high school.
Upon graduating in 2009, Figueroa attended Arizona Western College for business but failed his courses. He moved to Phoenix a year later to attend Glendale Community College. After completing his EMT basic training, his interest in the medical field was spurred.
Figueroa moved to Tucson in 2011 with hopes of attending the fire academy, but financial problems kept him from finishing the program.
When his finances were back in order, he enrolled at Pima. One of his instructors was future Assistant Vice Chancellor Karrie Mitchell.
“She was one of the people who told me that she saw me going far and I could actually go for the medical field,” Figueroa said. “She gave me a lot of confidence in myself, which helped me in my first semester to get A’s in all of my classes.”
TRIO Student Support Services then introduced him to the honors council, aiding the process of enrolling in his first honors class.
With the support of Program Director Hector Acosta and the networking skills attained in the honors society, Figueroa realized that the goal of reaching the public health field was not as far off as he had suspected.
“If there was an emergency in the family then I could be there to help out,” he said. “I wanted to be able to make sure my family is doing the right thing, whether it be a healthier lifestyle or anything else.”
Eduardo Lujan Olivas
Olivas chose to tackle administrative justice with his two-year waiver and he plans to pursue criminal justice and criminology at Arizona State University. His ultimate goal is to become a federal agent, possibly for the DEA.
“I took an aptitude test and the suggestion came out as law enforcement,” Olivas said. “But I didn’t just want to be a police officer, so I knew I needed more school.”
He began the application process for the PTK honor society in his freshman year at Pima.
“You have to have completed about nine credit hours and have a 3.5 GPA in order to get into Phi Theta Kappa,” he said. “I was inducted, and then I started going to the meetings and got involved with their community service projects.”
As the vice president of student government at the Downtown Campus, Olivas helped to implement the smoking areas on campus and ban e-cigarettes indoors.
One project he undertook with the honors society was about Central American children coming to the United States border and the conditions they were put in.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would have to take them in because they were on American soil,” Olivas said. “They would be put in shelters and await a court hearing, so we researched that and informed the community on what was happening and what could be done.”
Francy Luna Diaz
Francy Luna Diaz’s journey at Pima began in the fall semester of 2012, a year after moving from Barranquilla, Colombia.
Her first stop in the country was Las Vegas, where she obtained a high school diploma equivalent. She had already completed high school in Colombia and was even taking college courses.
Diaz moved to Wisconsin before coming to Tucson and enrolling at Pima.
She learned English fluently in Wisconsin.
“Through high school they teach basic English kind of like here they teach you Spanish, but you don’t really learn it very well,” Diaz said. “Most of it I learned in while I was in Wisconsin because nobody speaks Spanish there, so I was fully immersed.”
She joined the honors club at Pima in Fall 2013 after taking the prerequisite honors class online.
Though she completed most of the community service for her Phi Theta Kappa application with the honors club, Diaz was very active in the community in her home country.
“Growing up in Colombia I used to participate in different activities like cleaning up parks,” she said. “I was part of a group called Defensa Civil, which is kind of like the Girls Scouts here but they teach you survival techniques, CPR and you go camping.”
After finishing her studies at the University of Arizona, which include Latin American Studies and Political Science, Diaz hopes to attend an Ivy League school. Her ultimate goal is becoming an ambassador or another position in politics.
Julia Mona plans to continue service to the community by becoming a nurse practitioner, following in the footsteps of her mother, a medical doctor.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to be freshman year, but I chose to do nursing because it is one of the things I can do to reach out to people heart-to-heart,” Mona said. “My mom was a doctor and watching her interact with the nurses, the way she cared for my grandmother and grandfather was the same care I want to give.”
Mona performs much of her community service with her church, including a dance ministry that performs for the community.
She is also part of a confirmation retreat that helps middle schoolers understand their faith.
As a member of the honors society at Pima, she helped create a leadership role with Honors Coordinator Kenneth Vorndran that put her in charge of scheduling meetings and a game-night at her resident Northwest Campus.
“My first meeting, they were talking about all these events and I felt like I had no idea why I was there or what they were talking about, but at least I’m here,” she said. “After a few meetings I got the hang of it and jumped into events.
“In the beginning of my junior year, I realized I could use all of this for my application for Phi Theta Kappa.”
By BRYAN OROZCO
Pima Community College Acting Provost Dolores Duran-Cerda received a presidential citation award from the League of United Latin American Citizens at the 27th annual LULAC Educational Awards and Scholarships Banquet on April 14.
“It is her strong commitment and dedicated service in the field of higher education as well as her strong advocacy in securing educational scholarships for deserving students that LULAC is very proud to present this most deserving presidential citation award to Dr. Dolores Duran-Cerda,” former South Tucson mayor Dan Eckstrom told banquet attendees.
It’s been a long road for Duran-Cerda to not only be in the position of receiving awards but receiving the provost position. That road was paved with a strong work ethic.
Duran-Cerda was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa. Her mother and her mother’s family were migrant workers from Agua Prieta in Sonora, México. Her father was from Chile.
Duran-Cerda recalls difficulty growing up Latina in Iowa.
“Elementary school was kind of tough,” she said. “Being different and speaking a different language.”
It got better in high school, she said. She became popular because she helped others with their Spanish homework.
She spent most of her time in Iowa as a child, but every summer she and her family would travel to Douglas, Ariz. She looked forward to visiting the desert.
Duran-Cerda graduated with honors from the University of Iowa with degrees in Spanish, French and Secondary Education.
Both of her parents were involved in education, too.
Her mother attended the University of Arizona and became a Spanish teacher at Rincon High School. As a pioneer in bilingual education, her mother contributed to the ‘The Invisible Minority Report” that spearheaded bilingual education around the country.
Richard G. Fimbres, City of Tucson council member, drew positive parallels from Duran-Cerda and her family.
“She comes from good stock in her family,” he said. “Her mother was a great mentor to many people and she’s been a great mentor. She’s done so many things in our community.”
Duran-Cerda always wanted to attend school in Arizona, and applied to graduate school at the University of Arizona.
When she was accepted, her parents moved to Arizona with her.
She received her master’s in Latin American literature from UA and later a doctoral degree with an emphasis in poetry and a secondary focus in Mexican- American literature.
After graduate school, she began looking for a job close to home. She want to stay close because her father was deceased and her mother had been diagnosed with cancer.
She received a faculty member position at PCC as a Spanish instructor in 1997 and taught for 16 years.
In 2013, an acting position for the provost position opened. She applied for and received the job.
Duran-Cerda received the position at a time when Pima was writing a policy to help undocumented DAPA and DACA students receive in-state tuition.
The contribution to helping pass the policy crystallized her desire to be the provost.
“I know that in the classroom I was helping students, but this was a bigger impact,” she said.
When the full-time position for provost opened up in 2015, Duran-Cerda applied and received the position that she now holds.
She says it’s a lot of work and it comes with stress, but she believes she can handle it knowing the college and what it needs.
This was most evident when Pima was put on probation by the Higher Learning Commission at the time she received the position.
The provost’s office was tasked with getting the college off of probation. Long hours and frequent meetings were necessary to achieve this.
She can look back at that time now and laugh. “It was like boom! Into the job,” she said.
Duran-Cerda brands every-day experiences as an instructor as her proudest moments at Pima.
The different skill levels students have in Spanish reminded her of her experiences as a young woman in high school.
The other kids would get mad at her and tell her that she already knew Spanish and that it was unfair that she was taking the class.
She would respond to the other students with, “Well, you guys take English classes. Why can I not take Spanish classes?”
Duran-Cerda did not take Spanish in high school to get an easy A, but to become more proficient at in reading and writing her first language. Her Pima students were in the same situation.
“I believe it is important that teachers show respect to the students and to their pace,” she said.
Duran-Cerda acknowledges that Pima is going through a rough time.
“There is a storm,” she says. “And after that storm the clouds break and everything is sunny and there are rainbows. We’re on our way to that.”
She believes that her role as the provost is to create relationships internally with employees and externally with the community. That is vital to her.
“It’s a dialogue,” she said. “Metaphorically and literally.”
Duran-Cerda doesn’t see herself doing anything but education for the rest of her life and doing it at Pima Community College.
By ALYSSA RAMER
Two Pima Community College employees work on editing video, each in a different control room of the TV studio at Community Campus, 401 N. Bonita Ave.
Conrad Mendez works on a show called “The Set List,” which spotlights performances by local musicians in the studio. Dan Coonts works on other projects.
Their editing work will air on PCC’s two TV channels, Cox 97 and Comcast 121.
“We’re pretty heavily support-based … things like graduation, College Day,” Coonts said. “We do audio PA stuff, we cover board meetings, HR forums, etc.”
Coonts has worked at PCCTV for two years, and said mobility is his favorite part of the job.
“Probably that we are not always chained to our desks,” he said. “We often go to locations to shoot video.”
Manager Gloria Helin-Moore said PCCTV was originally part of the Center for Learning Technology and other departments.
It has been located in varied places over the years, including the Roosevelt Building at Downtown Campus.
PCCTV gained its name within the last decade but the college previously created videos and used tele-courses.
The current emphasis has changed from tele-courses to managing a great majority of the video work at PCC, according to Helin-Moore.
“Our mode here is we want to do high-production quality,” she said.
In the late 1970s, Pima purchased pre-made tele-courses and provided them to students.
Pima instructors offered tele-courses as three-credit PCC classes. Students would watch programs when they aired, and then complete homework assignments.
PCCTV currently has just one tele-course available.
In the ‘80s, PCCTV gained Public Education and Government channels because of its involvement with the tele-courses. PEG channels are 97 on Comcast and 121 on Cox, according to the PCCTV website.
People within the Tucson city limits received the Cox channel. The Comcast channels aired in other locations throughout Pima County.
Television content includes coverage of PCC events and programs that explore different educational subjects. “The Set List” airs Wednesdays from 8-10 p.m.
The department currently has six employees and one intern, and Helin-Moore is reviewing applications for another media design employee.
Her employees are skilled in specialized areas but several work in multiple fields.
Helin-Moore said she enjoys working with her fellow employees because they are very creative, and also likes that her work changes often.
Interns, who participate in every area of video work, have come from the University of Arizona and the Art Institute.
Pima students are welcome as well, but none have yet applied.
Students must come to PCCTV and ask for the internship, and gain credit from their school.
“I think internships should be highly valued because you make good connections,” Helin-Moore said.
Pima internship classes include Digital Video and Film Arts Internship (DAR 290E2), Internship in Digital Arts/Graphics (DAR 290E3) and Journalism Internship (JRN 290).
Students who want to intern at PCCTV must first make arrangements with both PCCTV and the class instructor, and then enroll in the class after the internship is approved.
PCCTV is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at Community Campus.
For more information, visit pima.edu/community/pcc-tv.
By B.M. BAILER
Amid the deadly serious portraits carefully rendered in charcoal and acrylic … starkly beautiful black-and-white photography … and painstakingly constructed woven artwork on display in the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, you’ll also find two scar-covered sculptures that appear to have muscled their way in from a seedier dimension.
One of them – a snarling, snaggletooth beast swathed in putrid-green skin that is literally coming apart at the seams – looks particularly out of place.
The bulbous creature wields a sharp hook in one hand, a no-nonsense meat cleaver in the other, and a tiny, terrified, about-to-be-consumed critter in the third.
The imagery is gory, ghastly and unforgettable. And that’s exactly how Pima Community College student Zack Turner, the artist behind the grotesquery, likes it.
“I am a fan of the strange and misshapen,” he admitted. “I like to create a creature or character that’s not intrinsically evil or good. I think about how each of us has characteristics to be a hero, or a villain, or a monster – and it makes me think about the elements that shape us: tragedy, hate, anger, love.”
When PCC put out a call to artists in preparation for its annual juried art show, students from all campuses submitted more than 200 pieces.
Judges selected 69 for display at the campus gallery, and an additional 38 works for a satellite show located at Tucson International Airport.
Turner, 30, has five sculptures on display at the juried show – including “Three Brothers,” a burly trio of muscled minotaurs at the airport’s Lower Link Gallery. That show runs through July 10.
As a youngster, Turner enjoyed drawing, but had left that far behind in his quest to earn an associate degree in psychology.
He needed to fulfill additional elective coursework, though, so in 2008 he signed up for a sculpture class at Northwest Campus.
“As soon as I started doing the art stuff again, that was it for me,” he said, with a grin. “I could work on it all day, every day – and it revitalized going to school for me.”
Part of the appeal of his work is the texture of the finished product. All Turner’s sculptures are made with Super Sculpey – a polymer-based clay often used in stop-motion animation.
Unlike ceramics, it takes on a warm, matte, almost flesh-like texture after it is cured.
It is pliable, holds detail work well and can be baked in a conventional kitchen oven — a perfect medium for artists who do not have access to professional-grade high-fire kilns.
“I’ve never worked in a studio at all – one with a big, open space,” Turner said. “The only place I’ve sculpted is in my bedroom.”
There are two Turner pieces on display in the crisply lighted West Campus Bernal Gallery.
The first is “Stitches” – the aforementioned brute whose pachydermic skin is stitched together with metal staples, a la Frankenstein’s Monster.
The second, called “Alien Bust,” is a small yet exquisitely detailed sculpture of an almost endearing exoskeletal extraterrestrial.
The lipless creature is scarred and gnarled, with a dramatic, blood-red crest and four piercing alien eyes that glitter like bright emeralds.
It’s obvious that Turner has a good sense of three-dimensional form, said gallery director David Andrés, who also teaches printmaking, design and gallery-and-museum practices at PCC.
“I think he can go far in the animation and digital arts field,” Andrés noted.
In fact, Turner already has more than a little experience in creature-feature special effects.
In the summer of 2014, he interned for the Stan Winston School of Character Arts, helping build a miniature cityscape for “Kaiju Fury,” a 360-degree, virtual-reality short film.
He and other character-arts engineers also constructed two 6-foot-tall “monster suits” — then filmed epic battle scenes and Godzilla-style metropolitan smackdowns for the project.
The short film was screened at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in 2015.
It’s an experience Turner probably wouldn’t have had if he hadn’t gotten back into art while at PCC.
And while specifically pursuing a psychology degree is no longer his goal, he found that reintroducing sculpture into his life reignited his passion for learning and creativity.
“When I started getting back into art, I started doodling and sketching on my breaks and lunches,” he said. “I got more accomplished in that time than any time I would actually sit down to work.
“You didn’t have time to think, or worry about whether your work was good, bad or something else. I had a limited window to create – and create I did.”
Best of Show: Hector G Barajas
Best of 2D: Blair Friederich
Best of 3D: Elaine Isner
Best of Painting: Hector G. Barajas
Best of Print Making: Marika Szabo
Best of Mixed Media: Jo Andersen
Best of Digital Photography: Tony Polzer aka Ramone
Best of Digital Arts: Richard Larkin
Best of Drawing: Cindy De Walt
Best of Sculpture: Ricardo Cazares Valencia
Best of Ceramics: Ekaterina Lifshin
Best of Fibers: Virginia Ericson
Best of Alternative Process/Photography: Marcela Pino
Honorable Mention Printmaking: Emily Page
Honorable Mention Painting: Ekaterina Lifshin
Honorable Mention Digital Photography: Kate Dawes
Honorable Mention Drawing: Becca Rand
Honorable Mention Sculpture: Anna Miller
Honorable Mention Ceramics: Rick Spriggs
Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition
Where: Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, CFA, West Campus
By JASON WEIR
With six straight conference wins, the Pima Community College softball team guaranteed themselves no worse than the second seed in the upcoming ACCAC Region I Division II Tournament.
Pima’s hopes of hosting the tournament have all but faded.
“We will most likely have to travel to Phoenix and play a powerful team in their yard,” head coach Armando Quiroz said.
Phoenix currently holds a six game lead over Pima 39-15 (27-12 ACCAC) in the conference standings. The teams each have four doubleheaders left but no remaining games against each other. (Note: the April 19 matchups took place after Aztec Press went to press.)
The Aztecs have eight games left to prepare for the tournament.
“We have lacked defensive consistency,” Quiroz said. “If we find consistency in this last month we will be hard to beat.”
PCC swept a high scoring doubleheader April 16 at Central Arizona College.
Sophomore Araceli Peralta’s home run in the top of the 12th inning put Pima up by two, 20-18. Sophomore Odalis Orduno retired the side in the bottom of the inning to get the win.
The second game ended like the first. In the final inning Pima scored 2 runs to break a tie. Orduno didn’t allow the Vaqueras a hit in the bottom of the seventh inning. Pima won 9-7. Orduno, who pitched relief in both games, received her 17th win of the season.
The Aztecs dominated their April 14 doubleheader at GateWay Community College winning both games in the fifth inning by run-rule.
In the first game, Pima scored five runs in the first two innings on their way to the 10-1 win. Freshman Bailey Critchlow started and won her 17th game of the season.
Again, Pima struck fast and early in the second game. The Aztecs scored six runs in the first two innings and beat the Geckos 9-1. Freshman Luisa Silvain pitched all five innings.
The Aztecs swept their April 9 matchup against Paradise Valley Community College. The Pumas took Pima to extra innings in the first game. An eighth inning sacrifice fly RBI gave PCC the win 11-10.
Orduno pitched a complete game and shut out the Pumas 4-0 in the second game.
Next up, the Aztecs travel to Arizona Western College for a doubleheader matchup on April 23.
April 23: @ Arizona Western College (Yuma), doubleheader, noon, 2 p.m.
April 26: vs. GateWay CC, West Campus, doubleheader, 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
April 30: vs. Chandler-Gilbert CC,
West Campus, doubleheader,
noon, 2 p.m.
By ALYSSA RAMER
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 pima.edu/community/the-arts/center-arts/now-playing.html.
To learn more, call the box office at 206-6986 or visit pima.edu/cfa.
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
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.)
By MICHEAL ROMERO
Pima Community College has released a report that summarizes the college’s efforts to comply with standards of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.
The report, made available to employees for feedback on March 28, chronicles the steps taken by various councils to overhaul systems put into place by the college to ensure sufficiency in meeting accreditation goals.
The employee feedback is intended to reach areas that may have not been given attention by appointed accreditation councils to maintain the most factual report possible for the college.
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Accreditation Bruce Moses said that employee feedback is important to reach these possibly overlooked areas.
“You can’t always ensure that you’re capturing all of the facts,” Moses said. “There are always folks within the campus community: faculty, staff and even students, who have information that you want to gather to ensure that you’re reporting everything factually.”
This method means that multiple drafts will be published after each round of employee feedback to maintain the most accurate representation of the college’s standing by the HLC’s July 1 submission deadline.
One group, the Continuous Improvement Operating Council, focused on evaluation of the college’s delivery of education in all aspects, from financial aid, registration, admissions, teaching and learning, down to the cashier’s office and the library.
“The CIOC, they’re going to be individuals that say ‘hey, we did the self-assessment of this area and we don’t really think we’re up to snuff,’” Moses said. “They go out ask what needs to be done and put a team together to strengthen our organization.”
The report lists six core themes as the driving force behind a revised mission statement that has evolved over much input by stakeholders, community members, staff and faculty:
1) Access is intended to help all students with regard to programs and services.
2) Teaching and Program Excellence is designed to ensure the best success rate for students.
3) Student Services is focused on financial aid matters.
4) Community Engagement is intended to maintain a better relationship with Pima County to provide the most qualified graduates to the workforce.
5) Diversity/Inclusion/Global Education will put emphasis on expanding the diversity of the student base.
6) Student Success intends to support students to achieve all academic and personal goals.
The official mission statement reads as “Pima Community College is an open-admissions institution providing affordable comprehensive educational opportunities that support student success and meet the diverse needs of the community.”
But overall, a sustained system of improvement, evaluation and further improvement is the goal of both Pima and the HLC.
The HLC’s concerns stemmed from the college’s ability to evaluate its processes and determine their effectiveness in achieving the desired goal.
“A lot of these things are measured qualitatively,” Moses said. “A lot of things are measured based on a process being put in place, assessment of that process and improvement of that process.”
When addressing a human resource hiring issue, the college sought out an external community member and a process that included public forums to select applicants in the final stages of employment consideration.
The PCC Office of Dispute Resolution was created in 2014 to combat issues in complaints and grievances that saw no tracking of the number of filed grievances, how they were addressed, the time that it took to resolve the issue and whether or not the resolution was successful.
The report also takes notice of the decline in enrollment for the college since 2012, citing many reasons for the plummet which include the probation, a lack of outreach and a decline of financial support from the state.
The college acknowledges that enrollment decline is the focus of not just a single department but the school as a whole and an initiative will be put into place that sees the development of an outreach and recruitment program, focus on improving student persistence and retention as well as more support for degree and certification course completion.
Once the report is finalized for the HLC’s July submission, improvement and refinement will remain the focus of the college.
“The undercurrent of our accreditation is continuous improvement,” Moses said.
By KATTA MAPES
After years of work in computer support and information technology systems, John Sweeney realized that IT was not where he belonged.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in e-business from the University of Phoenix in 2002. Working in IT for Pima County was the natural application for his knowledge, skills and abilities, and he stayed in the field until 2009.
Sweeney decided he needed to reinvent himself.
“I took some time to figure out what I was going to do when I grew up and eventually decided on massage,” he said.
His wife Rosanne Couston, a reference librarian at Pima Community College West Campus, was encouraging and supportive of Sweeney’s need to find and follow his career passion.
A survey of local massage training programs led Sweeney to the one at PCC’s Northwest Campus.
He chose Pima because he could obtain college credits while trying out the different massage therapy classes, and could also determine if massage was the correct career field for him.
“I found this resonated with me.” Sweeney said of massage therapy. “I’ve always been drawn to math and science and the massage program allowed me to fill a gap in my knowledge regarding biological systems.”
He dove into the massage therapy program and took several elective classes beyond the program requirements.
“John was an exceptional student, in both knowledge and skills, and was fully engaged in his student internship,” PCC instructor Janet Vizard said.
Sweeney graduated from the program in 2012, was licensed in June and set up a private practice in his home.
“He has made great contributions to the massage community, and has developed a successful private practice in massage therapy,” Vizard said.
As his client base grew, Sweeney began to gravitate toward continuing education courses in elder massage and massage for pregnant women.
Geriatric massage is a specialty, he explained. The therapist must take into account the medications the client is taking, which may affect how and where he works on the client. Other considerations are fragile skin that may bruise easily and mobility issues that make a table massage difficult or impossible.
Throughout his life, Sweeney was often told he had a knack for teaching.
“I’ve been told that I am able to explain things easily, especially in my previous career working with computer technology, so I thought that might easily be leveraged into teaching what I know about,” he said.
His first job at PCC was lab assistant in a massage class and later in the massage clinic. From there, he expressed interest in teaching. Last October, he was hired as an adjunct instructor.
“I was very pleased when John came back to the PCC therapeutic massage program as a lab assistant in the hands-on practices classes,” Vizard said. “And now I am thrilled that he is an adjunct instructor in the therapeutic massage program.”
In the upcoming fall semester, Sweeney will teach a wellness education course and two therapeutic massage courses.
By EDDIE CEYLAYA
Like any town, Tucson has its perennial institutions. Reid Park and Fourth Avenue come to mind, as do poorly maintained streets and roads.
In my estimation, however, none come close to touching the glazed goodness of Le Cave’s Bakery.
Situated out of donut shop central casting, Le Cave’s is located on South Sixth Avenue across from a Catholic Church. (We’re notorious for donuts before, after and, if you’re extremely sinful like I am, during mass.)
Le Cave’s isn’t just my favorite pastry place. It’s Tucson’s.
Cashier Tiffany Molina explains.
“We have a national award from PETA,” she says. “We were mentioned in USA Today and voted number one in Arizona by various publications.”
Oh, and they happen to have a letter of recognition from Congress sitting around.
Customer Derek Ungurun couldn’t agree more.
“These are just the best donuts in town,” he says. “I’ll kill six warm glazed ones in a sitting. Could probably do the same with the Boston crème.”
It’s more than donuts, too.
“We do a lot of custom design and photo sheet-cakes,” Molina says. “We have tres leches cakes, cream pies and during Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie.”
Molina, the daughter of current owner Rudy Molina Jr., has been working both the front counter and in the bakery since she was 12 years old.
“I grew up in the place,” she says. “I’ve always helped out with little chores. It’s a great job, and it’s our family’s.”
If you’re wondering why the place is called “Le Cave’s” (pronounced cave, you know, like where bears hibernate) and not “Molina’s,” well that’s because the original owner and baker was named Basel Le Cave.
“My grandfather, Rudy Sr., did work for Mr. Le Cave,” Molina said. “The business started 80 years ago in 1935. We’ve been at the same location ever since.”
It’s been in the Molinas’ family for the past 60 years, soon to be 61.
Her grandfather “loved the manual labor part, the rolling the dough and making the donuts,” Molina says. “He really had a passion for it.”
That eventually led him to buy the place, she adds. “He grew up with it and after a while, he bought the business to do his own thing with.”
The passion and history shows through in the donuts. That, and a unique recipe that calls for no eggs or milk.
“We call them the veggie donuts,” Molina says. “They are vegan and we use a potato flour, so it’s just very different because no one else uses potato flour. The rest is secret, but I can tell you the flour isn’t something people usually run across.”
While the donuts have remained unchanged, the building that houses the bakery has unfortunately seen better times.
After a storm last October, the city health department forced the bakery to shut down due to unsanitary conditions caused in part by the roof caving in.
Le Cave’s has been operating under a provisional license granted by the Pima County Health Department that expires April 8.
Those issues are being dealt with, according to Molina.
“They haven’t been able to pass us because there were issues with the plastering for the roofing in the very back,” she says. “That’s all done now.”
The issue hasn’t stopped customers from continuing to visit Le Cave’s.
“We were talking the other day with a customer and figured out he was the fifth generation of his family to come through,” Molina says. “We get old folks who tell stories of getting their donuts for 5 or 10 cents.”
While you can’t score a donut for 10 cents anymore, a dozen unfilled donuts will cost you $8.99 in today’s world, with any filled donuts costing $1.59 each.
Tradition, passion and loyalty equal a cultural institution; a title Le Cave’s wears proudly.
“We’ve been here so long,” Molina says. “Same location. Not many people can say that.”
And nobody makes a better donut.
Le Cave’s Bakery
Address: 1219 S. Sixth Ave.
Tues-Fri, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
By TRAVIS BRAASCH
A “supergroup” is a band consisting of already-famous artists and musicians from other bands. The music is not always as good as the musicians’ main bands, and the mention of a supergroup can cause intense eye-rolling.
Head Wound City is an exception to this stereotype, unleashing music that may surpass what members have accomplished in their original bands.
Formed in 2004, members from The Blood Brothers, The Locust and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs make up the supergroup.
Fans and critics often classify the group as noisegrind, a mixture of noise rock and the extreme metal genre known as grindcore.
“I’d just say we are a punk or hardcore band,” singer Jordan Blilie said. “All of our members are in vastly different sounding bands, but when we come together, the sound is natural and not forced at all. It’s easy for us to work together.”
Head Wound City released its first and only album to date in 2005. Since its release, the group has been cited as one of the most influential groups within the punk and hardcore community despite the lack of followup recordings.
“Finding the time to record has been by far the biggest challenge for us,” Blilie said. “It takes a lot of planning for us because we are all very active in other full-time bands, touring and recording, so it can be difficult.”
Head Wound City recorded the debut, self-titled album within the span of one week.
Despite the lack of time in the studio, the self-titled album struck a chord with audiences coming out to see the new supergroup.
The band has gained an ever-growing fan base over the years.
“They just bring so many different things to the table,” fan Jerard Poole said. “Most bands play songs that all sound exactly the same, but there is a lot of variety in their music.”
The group entered the recording studio this past year to work on creating the highly anticipated follow-up album, titled “A New Wave of Violence.” It’s due for release in May.
This time around, the group had more time to work on and plan the songs, but still took just over a week to record in the studio.
“It seemed like I had all the time in the world to write lyrics for “A New Wave of Violence,” Blilie said. “I had time to sit and piece together the lyrics and they just came together. It was very organic.”
Unlike some bands that fall into the grindcore genre, Head Wound City is not about just playing songs as fast as it can.
“The new album will have a lot of variety musically,” Blilie said. “We, of course, have fast punk songs, but we will also have some slower parts and different things going on at once.”
Head Wound City has challenged audiences with its hard-edged form of punk music while touring across the United States, but the band has set its sights on bigger audiences.
“I would love to be able to tour Japan,” Blillie said. “I have always wanted to tour there and have not gotten the chance to before. I think it would be an absolutely amazing experience.”
By JASON WEIR
Softball head coach Armando Quiroz recently surpassed 400 wins at Pima Community College. He had 412 wins as of April 4, the most on record at PCC.
The milestone caused the coach to reflect on his eight seasons with the Aztecs.
“My thoughts go to all the talented and wonderful young ladies that have come through this program,” Quiroz said.
“Nothing would be possible without their sacrifices and commitments,” he added. “They continue to amaze me with their skill level and the undying love they have for the game.
Quiroz is just as quick to give his coaching staff credit.
“The best group of coaches anyone could ever hope to have,” he said. “I am humbled every day by their selfless commitments to our young ladies. Nothing ever happened on our team ‘til they all did their jobs. We have 400 wins and counting, thank you.”
A Tucson native, Quiroz was hired by Pima in 2008 after a stint with Eastern New Mexico University from 2005-07.
Quiroz coached softball at Flowing Wells High School from 1999-2004 (161-48-1).
There, he was able to coach his daughter, Rebekah, to back-to-back state championships in 1999 and 2000. Quiroz’s 2001 team was ranked No. 1 in the country by ESPN in March 2001.
He met his wife of 35 years, Elsa, in Tucson. Rebekah is one of their three children. They also have a son Armando Jr. and another daughter, Katy.
Family is very important to Quiroz. While at Eastern New Mexico University, his family was still in Tucson when he found out his son was going to war, the first of two tours.
“I just knew at that point I better come home,” Quiroz said.
Eastern New Mexico did not want to lose him and offered him more money to stay.
“It’s not about money, it is about family,” Quiroz told them. “My son is going to war and I need to be home with my wife.”
His mantra for players is faith, family, school, softball. “We are hard-nosed softball people, but it is still number four on the list.”
Rebekah Quiroz has been an assistant coach with her father in each of his eight years at Pima.
“He expects to win and treats his girls like family,” she said. “They trust him.”
The younger Quiroz hopes to someday inherit the head job.
“I hope to take over this program and do the same exact thing he has been doing,” she said. “A winning program. He has taught me very well.”
She is not the only one to recognize his gift. The Pima County Sports Hall of Fame inducted Quiroz in 2008.
“I was honored,” he said of his induction. “We never enter this profession thinking Hall of Fame.”
After graduating from Tucson Magnet High School, Quiroz went on to earn a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.
He earned both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees with a 4.0 grade point average.
He calls his current team a work in progress as they head into the playoffs.
“Effort and attitude are controllable and this team has done a great job with these two qualities,” he said.
The No. 16 Aztecs are currently 33-14, 21-11 in ACCAC, and gearing up for the ACCAC tournament May 6.
“We have progressed so far from the fall season but must continue to do so daily,” Quiroz said. “We are working hard to peak at playoff time in early May.
“They have worked hard and sacrificed like our past teams and that’s all I can ask of them,” he added. “We have kept our eyes on the prize at the end of the regular season.”
By EDDIE CELAYA
The Pima Community College Board of Governors has voted to raise tuition for in-state residents for the 2016-17 school year. The board also approved cuts to out-of-state, international and online tuition rates, and will offer at a 50 percent discount to students 55 and older.
Board members approved the changes by a 4-1 vote during their March 9 meeting. The new rates take effect July 1.
In-state students will see a 4 percent increase, from $75.50 to $78.50 per credit hour.
For a full-time, in-state student taking 15 credit hours, the increase equates to $45 more in tuition per semester.
Some PCC students said the increase could be an issue.
“It’s unfair to certain people, it’s already pretty expensive” student Arturo Padilla said. “If you already don’t qualify for financial aid to cover tuition, this just makes it harder.”
Student Marie Hill agreed.
“I pay for my own school, I don’t qualify for financial aid,” she said. “I understand as the economy gets better, the college needs to raise prices.”
But as a single mother with a full-time job, Hill said the raise will cause additional strain.
“It’s stressful as it is,” she said. “We get enough of the prices of food, gas, books, etcetera. This definitely doesn’t benefit me.”
Others, like student-athlete Alyssa O’Connell, didn’t view the increase as significant.
“It’s not too much different,” she said. “I play sports and I’m on scholarship, so I’m sure that will cover it.”
While the plan raises the in-state tuition rate, it also applies a tuition cap. Students will not be charged tuition for courses they take in excess of 15 credit hours per semester.
Weston Brown, director of International Programs and Recruitment, believes a tuition cap will benefit certain students and help attract out-of-state and international students who might not have considered PCC under the old tuition schedule.
“For students in advanced programs, where they might carry 16 or more credits, this cap at 15 could be a huge motivation to not only progress through the program faster and cheaper, but also to attract students who otherwise would have questioned the price,” Brown said.
The cap won’t factor into some students’ decisions, though, according to student Gabrielle Sisneroz.
“I’ve got to take the classes I’ve got to take,” she said. “This won’t make me want to take 16 instead of 12 or 13 credits.”
The new rate structure reduces out-of-state and international student tuition by $52, from $352 to $300 per credit hour.
The most drastic cut, however, is to non-resident online tuition rates. The board approved a cut of 40 percent, reducing the per-credit rate from $352 to $210.
The reductions will help PCC become more competitive in the international, out-of-state and online student markets, according to Vice Chancellor for Finance David Bea.
PCC compared itself to peer institutions, Bea said. He cited Rio Salado College in Tempe, with an online tuition rate of $215 per credit hour, as an example of a competitive peer program.
“We really wanted to approach this from a market standpoint,” he said. “Right now, we’re on the high end of the spectrum.”
During the question and comment period at the March 9 meeting, some board members expressed misgivings about the tuition raise.
“It feels as if we’re somehow balancing the budget on the backs of in-state students,” District 2 board member Demion Clinco said. “I don’t think that’s what is going on but it certainly has that flavor.”
Bea countered by saying meetings with student group representatives were encouraging.
“At three dollars per credit, we didn’t see a lot of pushback,” Bea said. “At five dollars we saw some squeamishness, some squirming in the seat.”
District 3 board member Sylvia Lee focused on the international tuition rate. “If we approve this plan tonight, I assume there will be a bold marketing plan?” she asked Chancellor Lambert.
Lambert assured her there would be, and that part of that plan would focus on comparative costs of living. For some reason, he said, “we project high, as high as if you were living in Silicon Valley. We are clearing that up.”
Before calling for the vote, Board Chair Mark Hanna, who represents District 1, said it would be hard for in-state students not to view the increase in their tuition as helping to subsidize the attendance of out-of-state, international and online students.
“To appear to balance the budget on the backs of students, I understand, intellectually, that’s not what’s going on,” Hanna said. “But when I look at it, and I see the only way to raise more money is to charge our students more, that’s really troubling.”
Board members Clinco, Lee, Scott Stuart and Martha Durkin voted in favor. Hanna cast the dissenting vote.
For more information on the new tuition schedule and the 2016-17 budget, visit PCC’s website at pima.edu/meeting-notices/presentations/2016-2018/201603-09-fy17-tuition.PDF.
By TRAVIS BRAASCH
Walking into Loop Jean Company makes you feel like you’ve entered the home of a relative rather than a clothing store.
You’re first welcomed by Cash, a gentle poodle mix who greets everyone with a wagging tail. Owner Ted Greve quickly follows, offering a smile and handshake.
Loop Jean Company, located at 7047 N. Oracle Road in the Casas Adobes Plaza Loop, has brought high-end denim and sportswear to Tucson for two years.
However, Ted and Tamara Greve have been deeply involved in the world of fashion for more than 30.
They worked closely together in the world of business and fashion for many years, operating high-end retail stores in New Mexico and California before founding Loop.
“We have worked together for a long time, so for us it is pretty great,” Ted Greve said. “We have very different viewpoints on most things, so we balance each other out.”
Greve was born and raised in Tucson, attending Catalina High before traveling to other parts of the country and eventually settling back home.
“I have always for one reason or another had an appreciation for denim,” he said. “It certainly is my lifestyle. I have always been a southwestern kind of guy.”
Loop makes denim products its cornerstone, with most being made from selvedge denim.
Selvedge refers to denim made on old-fashioned looms. It has a tighter, denser and more durable weave than prewashed jeans.
“The religion of raw is wearing them the equivalent of every day for a year,” Greve said. “All of the creases and whiskering come to the forefront, and are all from the owner’s own body.”
Selvedge denim has become popular in recent years among men in their 20s, and Loop carries exclusive brands that are hard, if not impossible, to find through other retailers.
One example is the Ralph Lauren line Double RL, which is available in just 10 stores nationwide.
“We will always carry Double RL,” Greve said. “To carry Double RL is much more impressive and meaningful within the industry. If you are in the industry, you know it just doesn’t happen, everyone aspires to it.
Loop also carries high-end denim from companies such as Tellason, Double RL and 3Sixteen, and has a vast array of women’s denim.
Prices fall into a number of budgets. Higher-end brands such as Double RL cost a few hundred dollars, but Loop also has clearance-priced denim for under $100.
The store is one of only two stores in Arizona to carry limited-edition shirts and sportswear from Robert Graham.
It also carries the highly sought-after Shinola watches, which are manufactured by hand in Detroit.
Some products have carried over from previous business ventures, such as gold and silver belt buckles. Those who suffer from a nickel allergy know how hard it can be to find belts that don’t contain cheap metal, and Loop has a wide selection in many styles.
Employees often refer to patrons as clients rather than customers.
“Every single person who works here spends a good deal of time on the floor,” Greve said. “You have to stay in touch with the client and build that relationship, stay up to date on the products and just read up on everything.”
Employees tend to a client’s every need, from picking the right fit and size to getting products tailored overnight.
“We do every alteration you can do on denim,” Greve said. “We can taper them, take in the waist, anything to make sure our client is completely happy with their purchase.”
For more information, visit loopjeancompany.com or stop in to browse the always-changing selection of products.
We covered Bernie Sanders’ rally extensively last November. In the interest of neutrality, we will cover Donald Trump’s too. But this is a very different story.
When Trump came to Arizona, his policies didn’t make headlines. The protests did.
It was hard to miss the rally at Tucson Convention Center. Hours before Trump took the stage, protesters gathered in front of the doors leading into the auditorium.
Those wishing to enter the arena had to first endure a gauntlet of anti-Trump signs and chants.
“Shame on you” was one of the protesters’ favorites. These were the first words of the rally.
Inside the arena, general chatter filled the stands. A voice came over the loud speaker instructing visitors of the protocol for dealing with protesters.
“If someone around you begins to protest, please do not touch or harm the protester. This is a peaceful rally,” it said. “But make sure to chant ‘Trump, Trump, Trump’ as loud as you can.”
Listeners were first greeted by Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWitt, who incited the audience by referring to the protesters outside as “stupid” and “jerks.”
Former Gov. Jan Brewer introduced Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who referenced the day’s earlier incident in which three protesters were arrested for blocking the road to an earlier Trump rally.
“I think I’m gonna have to go out and pay a visit to them,” he said of the Tucson protesters. He did not threaten to arrest them as that is not a power he has outside of Maricopa County.
Protesters had already made their way into the arena before Trump took the stage.
Several people were removed by security and Secret Service.
Outside, Tucson police barricaded the exiting audience members from a barrage of angry protesters who singled out the more vocal Trump supporters. At the end of the police line, protestors and Trump supporters alike attacked each other several times, leading to various physical confrontations. None ended in arrests.
Trump’s rally in Tucson wasn’t about his policies. The protests weren’t about immigration or women’s rights. This rally highlighted the ugly truth within Trump’s rhetoric and his campaign: He gives people an excuse to be inhumane.
The worst of humanity showed up in both Trump’s followers and his protesters. Neither side could claim the high ground.
What Tucson showed the world on March 19 was that this campaign has brought out the worst in people. It has given us an excuse to take out on others the deep frustration we feel whether we support or protest Donald Trump.
His words have done a great disservice to this nation, dividing us more than any aspect of our identities could.
Written on behalf of the Aztec Press Editorial Board by Managing Editor Nick Meyers.