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East Campus receives federal STEM grant

East Campus receives federal STEM grant

Dale Villeburn Old Coyote/Aztec Press Program manager Guadalupe Waitherwerch plans new ways to teach STEM students


Pima Community College East Campus has received a $3.1 million federal grant to supplement the science, technology, engineering and math programs offered to students.

The campus qualified for the STEM grant because it is a Hispanic-Serving Institute, meaning that 25 percent of enrolled students are of Hispanic descent.

The U.S. Department of Education grant seeks to increase the number of Hispanic and low-income students attaining degrees in STEM fields. Another goal is to develop model transfer and articulation agreements between other institutions.

The rate of degree completion in STEM fields is generally poor and worse for students of Hispanic or African-American descent, according to the Universal Journal of Educational Research.

Guadalupe Waitherwerch, the East Campus HSI-STEM program manager, said corporations need applicants who are better prepared.

“They are hiring people who look stellar on paper, but have no people skills and are not able to work on projects,” she said.

Job openings will be available. Data compiled by Pew Research Center indicates approximately 10,000 baby boomers have retired every day since 2011, leaving a void in the workforce.

Waitherwerch believes traditional college courses don’t provide students with the experience necessary to replace those who are leaving.

She hopes a new style of instruction will better prepare graduates to tackle real-world issues when they enter the workforce.

The first step is faculty redevelopment. Instructors will work together to develop integrated classes that help students understand where two subjects coincide in practical application.

The new class format encourages students to teach themselves while being supervised by an experienced guide. The instructor’s role will be to facilitate the application of knowledge rather than lecturing students.

To address the low completion rate of students in STEM programs, PCC will offer individual support for those enrolled in the redesigned classes.

The support will take the form of tutoring, student workshops, career and financial advisement, and helping students take advantage of community resources.

Plans to renovate the campus with up-to-date technology and infrastructure are also underway.

PCC’s renovation plan includes three phases. Each aspect is designed to provide low-income students with 21st-century resources.

Phases 1 and 2 involve creating modernized workspace for students to study alone or to collaborate in larger groups.

Phase 3 aims to provide a space for learning communities and faculty to cooperate while finding the crossroads of different subjects, such as biology and chemistry.

“We don’t have the structure here set up so that students can actually come together in groups, whether in classrooms or even in the library,” Waitherwerch said.

The grant funding will allow East Campus to purchase more smart-boards and to begin renting out laptops to students who may not have access to an off-campus computer or Wi-Fi.

Pima will receive the grant money in installments over the next five years. The college has committed to matching the grant funding and expects to use $3.1 million of its own money over the five-year span to support STEM programs.

The federal government monitors the funding to ensure it is being used efficiently and according to the college’s plan.

PCC is required to meet specific goals concerning the completion rate of the target demographic and their performance in the classes.

East Campus will implement the new teaching modalities in courses gradually, starting in the Fall 2017 semester.

An existing East Campus student STEM club is currently recruiting, and hopes to expand to other campuses as membership increases.

Part of the club’s function is to give STEM students “a chance to discuss and explore common ideas in a fun and open environment outside of the classroom,” club adviser Duke Schoonmaker said.
Club members will have opportunities to listen to guest speakers and to participate in field trips, fundraising events and social outings.

To join, email Schoonmaker at

BEST BETS: Enjoy fairs and festivals this February

BEST BETS: Enjoy fairs and festivals this February

Compiled by Elise Stahl

The holidays may be over, but there’s still plenty to do around town. Here are some festivals and activities happening in Tucson to keep your February fun:

Cruise, BBQ & Blues Festival & Car Show

Feb. 18

View a variety of trucks and cars, enjoy live blues music and fill up on barbecue at this show celebrating the art of vehicle design, hosted by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance.

The event will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road. Tickets are $5, with a $1 discount for veterans and active duty military with a military ID, cash only.



La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo

(No PCC classes Feb. 23-24 due to rodeo holiday)

Feb. 18-26: Rodeo

Watch rodeo events and participate in barn dances at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S. Sixth Ave. Wear pink on Sunday to support breast cancer initiatives. Daily admission prices range from $15 to $31, with barn dances an extra $5. Parking costs $7.



Rodeo royalty lead the way at the 2013 La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo. (Larry Gaurano/Aztec Press 2013)

Feb. 23: Rodeo Parade

The country’s largest non-motorized parade begins at 9 a.m. along a 1.5-mile route starting at Ajo Highway a half mile east of Park Avenue.

It proceeds east then south on Park to Irvington Road, west on Irvington to Sixth Avenue and north on Sixth to the north end of the Tucson Rodeo Grounds.

Grandstand seating on Irvington Road, which includes pre-parade entertainment beginning at 8 a.m., is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Street spots along the parade route are free.

Details: or


Tucson Women’s Comedy Festival

Feb. 23-25

Celebrate women in comedy with the Tucson Improv Movement as it presents three nights of storytelling, improv comedy and standup comedy from local and out-of-town comediennes.

Shows run from 7:30-11 p.m. each day at Tucson Improv Movement, 329 E. Seventh St. Tickets are $5.



35th Annual Peace Fair and Music Festival

Feb. 25

The Tucson Peace Center will hold Arizona’s largest gathering of peace, justice and environmental groups from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. downtown at Armory Park, 220 S. Sixth Avenue. The festival’s 2017 theme is demilitarization.

Live music, food, entertainment, informational displays and children’s activities are all included at this free event.



Mardi Gras – Carnival!

Feb. 28

Enjoy themed food, drinks and entertainment at this festival, which combines Mardi Gras and Brazilian carnival traditions. Entertainment includes face painters, 10-foot puppets, Samba dancers and more.

The free event runs from 5 p.m. on Feb. 28 through 2 a.m. on March 1 at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.

Details: or

Education by the numbers

Education by the numbers

Compiled by Dale Villeburn Old Coyote


$4.80 *

Amount of return in future income for every $1 spent on community college education.


$35,580 **

Median annual earnings for jobs requiring a high school diploma.


$58,240 **

Median annual earnings for jobs requiring an associate degree.

$68,190 **

Median annual earnings for jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree.


11% **

Unemployment rate for those with less than a high school diploma.


7.5% **

Unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma.


7% **

Unemployment rate for those with some college, no degree.


5.4% **

Unemployment rate for those with an associate degree.


4% **

Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree.


39.1 ***

Percentage of first-time college students enrolled in a community college who earn a credential from a two- or four-year institution within six years.


$5,400 ****

Average increase in annual pay someone with an associate degree can expect over a drop-out.



* AAAC Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges

** U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

*** National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, Shapiro & Dundar, 2014

**** Bailey & Belfield, 2015



Afrikana performance set for Feb. 21

The Barbea Williams Performing Company will perform Feb. 21 at the East Campus center courtyard from 11-11:45 a.m. as part of Black History Month activities.

The “Brotha Sistah H.O.O.D. – Honoring Our Own Darkness” performance will include an arts in education component and audience participation.

For more information, call the Student Life Center, 206-7617

-By Dale Villeburn Old Coyote


Apply for graduation by Feb. 22 deadline

All Pima Community College students who will finish a degree or certificate this semester are urged to apply for graduation.

Application deadline is Feb. 22. There is no cost to apply.

Students can visit the Service Center at any campus to check the status of their degree plan, to create an educational plan or for more information.

-By Melina Casillas


Northwest hosting Mardi Gras activity

Instructor Joanne Taylor and her sociology class will collaborate with Northwest Campus Student Life to present an informational activity about Mardi Gras on Feb. 28 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in NWC’s Student Life Center.

The activity will share how different countries and cultures celebrate Mardi Gras, and will include a charity collection.

For more information, call the Student Life Center at 206-2121.

-By Elise Stahl  


Submit SandScript entries by March 3

PCC’s award-winning literary magazine, SandScript, is accepting submissions from students for the 2017 edition. Deadline is March 3.

Students may submit visual art, poetry, prose or a combination of all three. Each entry requires a separate form.

Guidelines are specific and must be carefully followed. No previously published work will be accepted and hard copies will not be returned.

For more information, email For complete submission criteria, visit or

-By Robyn Zelickson

Anti-censorship bill moves to state Senate

Anti-censorship bill moves to state Senate

Nicholas Trujillo/Aztec Press Republican Senator Kimberly Yee, District 20, reintroduces the bill after 25 years.


An anti-censorship bill that could effectively nullify a famous court case that allows educational institutions the last word on student publications is working through the state Senate after passing unanimously at a hearing before the Senate Education Committee Feb. 2 in Phoenix.

Senate Bill 1384 was sponsored by Sen. Kimberly Yee (R, District 20) and was passed on to the senate floor. If it passes there, it will be sent to Gov. Doug Ducey, who can either sign or veto the bill.

SB 1384 is a response to the three-decade old Hazelwood v. Khuliemer case, where a St. Louis high school newspaper attempted to publish stories about divorce and teen pregnancy. The administration said that the stories would be inappropriate.

The case was taken to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in the students favor. However, after being taken to the Supreme Court, it was found that the school did have the power to censor the paper under certain circumstances.

At the hearing before the education committee, six students and two instructors gave testimony, and many more journalists attended.

“If it actually passes into law it’ll have significant implications for us,” said Sam Gross, editor in chief of the Daily Wildcat. “Basically the bill makes it harder to argue against us.”

Outlined in the bill are nine amendments to be added. One stipulates student journalists and media outlets will not be subject to prior restraint, even if they are supported financially by an educational facility.

If passed, SB 1384 would effectively overrule Hazelwood v. Khuliemer by freeing students of censorship by a school’s administration, even if the material were deemed taboo.

The bill does enforce four instances where students will not be protected: libel, unwarranted invasion of privacy, violating federal or state law or inciting students to break the law.

Specifically, if any of the four instances occur, the bill states, “the public school, community college or university has the burden of providing lawful justification without unique delay.”

Though passed unanimously, the bill did meet some criticism. Sen. Steve Smith (R, District 11) had a problem with SB 1384’s intention. Smith raised the possibility of a student falling at a stadium during a football game and the paper publishing a cartoon of it.

“We just want to make sure we are not green lighting any inappropriate stuff for high school kids,” Smith said. “A problem for some is not a problem for all.”

Smith pointed out that the potential cartoon would not be libelous or slanderous, but it would be inappropriate.

Yee countered, saying “we need to rely on the professionalism of our advisers. They’ve been journalism advisers for years and years and they wouldn’t have gotten there with inappropriate cartoons.”

While SB 1384 grants protection from censorship it also grants protection from disciplining a student-journalist for acting in accordance with the bill.

James Bourland, adviser for Tucson High Magnet School’s Cactus Chronicle, would be affected along with his student-journalists.

The bill grants protection to the adviser from being fired, reassigned or transferred if the adviser is acting to protect the student in accordance with the bill.

“What this would do is basically give the reporters the right to do their jobs, which is report the actual news,” Bourland said. “It would skip over those puff pieces, now we can actually be journalists.”
In the end, Bourland contends the spirit of SB 1384 is a long time coming. “It seems like, it’s pretty good that student journalist will be given the rights they should already have.”

AZTEC CALENDAR: Feb. 16-March 1

AZTEC CALENDAR: Feb. 16-March 1


Feb. 16, 21: Black History Month: Movie Series, West Campus Student Life Center, A-G20,

8 a.m.–5 p.m. “The Color Purple,” “Selma,” “Glory,” “13th” and “Barry,” light snacks provided. Details: 206-4500

Feb. 20: Presidents’ Day display, Northwest Campus Student Life Center, D-201, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Stop by to learn about America’s presidential history through a display. Details: 206-2121

Feb. 21: Chili Dog Fundraiser, East Campus, 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m. $4 chili dog meals, $3 hot dog meals, $2 chili dogs, $1 for single items. Details: 206-7616

Feb. 23–March 5: “In the Heights,” West Campus Proscenium Theatre. Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. $18, discounts available. Box office: 206-6986

Feb. 28: Mardi Gras activity, Northwest Campus Student Life Center, D-201, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Student Life will collaborate with Joanne Taylor’s sociology class to share the history and origin of the Mardi Gras holiday. Details: 206-2121



Feb 16: Softball vs. Colorado Northwestern CC, West Campus, doubleheader 1 p.m., 3 p.m.

Feb 18: Softball vs. Central Arizona College, West Campus, doubleheader noon, 2 p.m.

Feb 18: Baseball vs. Mesa CC, West Campus, doubleheader noon, 2:30 p.m.

Feb 21: Softball vs. Eastern Arizona College, West Campus, doubleheader 1 p.m., 3 p.m.

Feb 22: Women’s basketball vs. Central Arizona College, West Campus gym, 5:30 p.m.

Feb 22: Men’s basketball vs. Central Arizona College, West Campus gym, 7:30 p.m.

Feb 24: Baseball vs. White Rock Tritons, West Campus, doubleheader noon, 2:30 p.m.

Feb 25: Softball vs. Scottsdale CC, West Campus, doubleheader noon, 2p.m.

Feb 28: Women’s tennis vs. Mesa CC, West Campus tennis courts, 1:30 p.m.

Feb 28: Men’s tennis vs. Mesa CC, West Campus tennis courts, 1:30 p.m.

Feb 28: Women’s basketball vs. Arizona Western College, West Campus gym, 5:30 p.m.

Feb 28: Men’s basketball vs. Arizona Western College, West Campus gym, 7:30 p.m.



Feb. 12-18: Arizona Beer Week in the Old Pueblo, daily at varying locations, ages 21 and older, $45. Details:

Feb. 18: Cruise, BBQ & Blues Festival & Car Sow, Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road, 10 a.m. – 3p.m., $5, discounts available for veterans and active duty military with military ID. Details: 

Feb. 16-April 19: Day for Night Exhibition at Tohono Chul, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, daily, members and children under 5 free, $8 adults, $6 seniors, $4 students and active military with ID, $2 children under 12. Details:

Feb. 23: Tucson Rodeo Parade, starts at Park Avenue-Ajo Way at 9 a.m. Grandstand seating $10 adults, $5 kids 13 and under. Street views free. Details: 294-1280,

Feb. 25: Jazz in the Desert VIII, Quail Creek Ballroom, 1090 N Eagle Hollow Rd., 1 p.m. matinee $10, 5 p.m. dinner show $35. Details:

Feb. 25-26: Spring Festival of the Arts, 12155 N. Oracle Road, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free admission. Details:

Feb. 28: Mardi Gras – Carnival!, Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., 5p.m. – 2 a.m., Free. Details:



Feb 19: Atmosphere: Freshwater Fly Fishermen Tour, Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., 7 p.m. $25-$29. Details:

Feb 20: Adia Victoria, Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., 7 p.m. $10 in advance, $12 day of. Details:

Feb 24: Jimmy Eat World, Rialto Theatre, 7 p.m. $35-$45. Details:

Feb 24: Priests, 191 Toole, 191 E Toole Ave., 8 p.m. $12. Details:

Feb 25: Tucson Hip Hop Festival featuring Murs, 191 Toole, $10-$25. Details:

Feb 25: Attila, Rialto Theatre, 6 p.m. $19-$28. Details:



Theater releases 

Feb. 17

“Everybody Loves Somebody”

“The Great Wall”

“Fist Fight”

“A Cure for Wellness”


Feb. 24

“Get Out”


DVD releases

Feb. 21

“Bad Santa 2”

“Nocturnal Animals”

“Hacksaw Ridge”

Feb. 28

“Rules Don’t Apply”

“Doctor Strange”



WEEKEND WORKSHOP: PCC instructor to offer ‘Art of Storytelling’ tips

WEEKEND WORKSHOP: PCC instructor to offer ‘Art of Storytelling’ tips


PCC writing instructor Molly McCloy will lead “Art of Storytelling” sessions March 3-5. (Photo by Dan Morris)

Pima Community College writing instructor Molly McCloy will lead a weekend workshop on March 3-5 to teach students how to write and perform nonfiction stories from their lives.

“Art of Storytelling” sessions will be held at the Downtown Campus in the AH building, room 140. The schedule is as follows: Friday 6-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Students will also write individually on Saturday evening.

Students will view videos and listen to podcasts, read short nonfiction based on storytelling performances, and learn to organize stories using a traditional three-act structure. They’ll have an option to perform their work live for an audience on the last day of the workshop.

McCloy earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from The New School in New York City. She is a three-time winner of the NYC Moth StorySLAM and has published in Slate, Nerve and Swink.

She recently wrote a one-woman show, “Mad Dog Grudges,” and has performed it in New York City, Tucson and Phoenix.

Students can earn two credits. Current PCC students can enroll in WRT 298T4 through MyPima, CRN 23823. Non-students can complete an online admission form at Cost for state residents is $183.

For more information, contact Josie Milliken at or Brooke Anderson at

PCC student carves path to possibilities

PCC student carves path to possibilities


PCC student Luis Ateca values the people and opportunities he has found in Tucson. Photo: Brittany Mattox/Aztec Press

The smell of roasted coffee beans infuses the air of a local Starbucks, on a gorgeous Tucson morning. Behind an HP laptop, sits one Pima Community College student who’s unlike the rest.

Luis Ateca, 28, may seem like an ordinary student, but his journey to PCC has been different from most of his classmates. At the age of 8, Ateca left his homeland of Ciudad Juárez to move to the United States.

“As a kid, I wasn’t an idiot,” he says. “I knew there was a big difference between the kids in the U.S. and me.”

After spending much of his childhood in Juárez, comparing his home to the United States seemed almost unfair.

“They had beautiful homes, better schools, the city looked way cleaner,” he says. “Basically their living situation was far more ideal than mine.”

He moved to El Paso, Texas, in 1996 and escaped the most violent era Juarez had ever seen. From 2008 to 2012, his hometown was overthrown by violent cartels, with almost 4,000 reported homicides taking place in 2010 alone.

Later, he and his family moved to Tucson where he spent the remainder of his youth. While his childhood may seem extreme in comparison to students born in the U.S., he insists that it was very similar.

“Before all the violence started, we would just do what kids do,” he says. “We played outside, we played Super Nintendo, we watched movies.”

Once he became a citizen of the U.S., he says he was able to live the life he’d always wanted. Now he spends his days doing schoolwork to obtain his degree in business administration.

Amy Cramer, who teaches microeconomics at West Campus, is one of his favorite instructors.

“She’s fantastic,” he says. “She’s always there to help the students whenever someone has a question about the material. She’s up there as far as top-notch teachers go at Pima.”

Though he has been at Pima since graduating from high school in 2006, he believes he’ll finish his studies soon. “It’s taking me forever,” he says.

Once he obtains his associate degree, he intends to transfer to the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.

After graduating, he hopes to get a job working for a large company like Walt Disney or World Wrestling Entertainment. “I’m a big wrestling fan,” he says.

When he isn’t watching WWE on television or attending local wrestling events, he takes in all Tucson has to offer.

“I’m a foodie,” he says. “So I like to go out and try different restaurants and different cuisines here in Tucson.”

One of his favorite entertainment venues in Tucson is the Loft Cinema.

“I’m a huge cinephile,” he says. “I love watching movies.”

He dubs “Pulp Fiction” as his favorite movie of all time. “That’s the one movie that made me realize that I’ve been watching movies the wrong way,” he says.

Having viewed his fair share of flicks, he decided to take on an acting gig in a few of his friend’s films. His first role was in “The Lost Dog,” whose title discloses the majority of its plot. His most recent project, “Gordon Moss,” is expected to be finished soon.

“They are short films for the most part,” he says. “In one of them, I am the main protagonist. The other one, I was just a supporting character.”

The films have helped him to secure his own Internet Movie Database page, but he doesn’t plan on acting ever again. “I realized I’m an awful actor,” he says.

In the future, he hopes to take on more directing responsibilities in place of acting. “I see myself being behind the camera,” he says.

While he doesn’t consider himself an artistic type, he has attempted several creative ventures throughout his lifetime.

“I used to write songs back in my early years,” he says. “I haven’t done that as much as I used to.”

His now disbanded rap group, Spicy Deluxe, did earn him a reputation in high school. But now he focuses on different aspects of his creative side. “I’m pretty good at coming up with characters and movie concepts,” he says. He hopes one day to profit from his ideas.

Ateca prides himself on cultivating meaningful friendships, but says growing older has put many of his bonds into perspective.

“As the years pass, you start to see some people aren’t going to stick around,” he says. “But your true friends will be there for you through the years.”

Not wanting to lose touch with his roots, Ateca keeps in touch with many of his childhood friends. He also visits family in Juarez a few times each year, now that the city is being revived.

Priding himself on his generosity, he offers advice to those seeking lasting friendships. “Never expect anything in return,” he says. “Give, but don’t expect to receive.”

Ateca’s friends say they always have a reason to smile when he is around. His closest friend, Gianni Febbraro, says there’s never a dull moment when his pal is at his side.

“You’ll never find a classier gent than Luis Ateca,” Febbraro says.

Ateca says he is exited to meet new people throughout the rest of his academic journey, but is more than grateful for the friends in his life.

“I am good with what I have, and those people are the ones that I should care about right now,” he says. “Not try to impress the rest of the crowd.”

Wage bill makes small ripples for PCC

Wage bill makes small ripples for PCC



Federal work-study helps many Pima Community College students earn income while balancing their school work. Alex Velarde is one of those students.

After Arizona voters passed Proposition 206 last year, Velarde and other minimum wage workers saw their pay increase from $8.05 to $10 an hour on Jan. 1. The minimum wage will continue to increase in increments, reaching $12 by the year 2020.

Velarde has worked since 2014 as a student assistant on the Help Desk in the Computer Commons at West Campus. He helps students and staff with technical problems involving computers and printers.

He was pleased when Proposition 206 passed. “I thought, ‘Well great, it’s more money,’” he said.

Jose Chavez, a student assistant in the West Campus Learning Center, is also excited about the raise.

“I think it’s better, ‘cause we get paid more,” Chavez said. “They cut my hours a bit though, from 19 to 16 hours.”

Chavez said fewer work hours allow more time for his other obligations.

“With school and everything going on, I don’t complain too much about the hours,” he said.

PCC has 13 job classifications that pay minimum wage. Positions such as courier driver, residential assistance and Help Desk student assistant all saw a 24.2 percent increase in their pay grade.

Other PCC jobs did not see a raise because they already paid well over the previous $8.05 minimum wage.

“The impact has been pretty small,” PCC spokeswoman Libby Howell said in an email. “None of our regular employees were affected, because the lowest hourly wage PCC pays to a regular employee is $13.54.”

College documents say funding sources “will be allocated for appropriate budget adjustments for the remainder of this fiscal year.”

Allocated sources include grant-funded programs. Many personnel expenses will come from the college’s general fund.

The general fund gets revenue from three main sources: property tax levies, tuition and fees, and college equities.


Student Assistant Solomon Kebede is part of a small group of Pima Community College employees affected by the new minimum wage bill. Photo by Nicholas Trujillo.

Legislature kills ethnic studies proposal

Legislature kills ethnic studies proposal



The Arizona legislature has scrapped a proposal to punish universities and community colleges for offering ethnic studies and “social justice” courses.

After stirring up controversy and garnering national attention, the bill proposed by Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, was denied a hearing by House Education Committee chairman Paul Boyer, R-Phoenix.

Boyer confirmed that HB 2120 would not receive a hearing before his panel. The decision kills the bill for now.

The proposed legislation sought to expand upon HB 2281, a controversial Arizona ban on ethnic studies at the K-12 level.

The expansion would have financially punished universities and community colleges that “promote division, resentment or social justice toward a race, gender, religion, political affiliation, social class or other class of people.”

Schools that failed to comply would have lost 10 percent of their state funding.

Thorpe said he drafted the bill partly in response to a course offered by Arizona State University titled U.S. Race Theory and the Problem of Whiteness.

He also cited a University of Arizona “privilege walk” as a motivating factor.

Participants in the privilege walk are asked to take steps forward or backward, depending upon their response to questions relating to privilege and discrimination.

“Taxpayers’ resources should not be used to promote division of people in groups,” bill co-signer Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, said. “Activities like the privilege walk are just plain wrong.”

Pima Community College currently offers courses such as Introduction to Chicano Studies and Race, Ethnicity, Minority Groups and Social Justice. Both classes fall under International and Multicultural Studies.

PCC instructor Kristen Valencia, who teaches Introduction to Chicano Studies, said ethnic studies courses allow students to study differences and learn how to accept people of different ethnicities, cultures, religions, genders and classes.

“Ethnic studies courses are a beneficial source of knowledge that allow us to investigate the various cultures and ethnic groups that come in contact with one another and weave a vibrant and colorful national fabric within the United States,” she said.

Valencia said her Chicano Studies course does not teach overthrow of government and doesn’t advocate resentment toward any groups. In order to teach effectively, she added, it’s vital to provide students with a comprehensive history of all people.

PCC Vice Chancellor of External Relations Lisa Brosky stressed the importance of multicultural acceptance.

“We live and work in a global economy where an understanding and appreciation of other cultures is critical to success,” she said.

Chancellor Lee Lambert outlined efforts to make ethnic studies a more integral component at PCC during an ethnic studies forum last March.

Lambert talked about issues facing the country, state and local communities, and about how issues of race and ethnicity will take on greater importance in upcoming years.

Tucson Mayor Jonathon Rothschild also spoke at the forum.

“As everyone in the room knows, there is controversy about ethnic-studies programs,” he said.

Any bill with “Education: prohibited courses and activities” in its title is a problem, he added.

“Opponents say it encourages animosity between people of different background, or it incites people to rebel against authority,” Rothschild said. “To the first, I say, ‘nonsense.’ To the second, I say, ‘Democracy is about vibrant, challenging dialogue among different people.’”

PCC did not take a formal stance on HB 2120. However, on behalf of Lambert, Brosky said, “Pima values the academic freedom of our faculty and would actively work to protect their ability to teach courses in the manner that best presents the material.”



SPEAKERS' SERIES: Female Mexican directors topic of 'Behind the Lens'

SPEAKERS’ SERIES: Female Mexican directors topic of ‘Behind the Lens’



Pima Community College will host its first Speakers Series of the Spring semester on Feb. 7.

Speakers Series brings in Pima faculty members who share knowledge within their respective field.

Languages instructor Liz Rangel Arriola will present “Behind the Lens: Women Directors in Mexico.” Her talk will discuss the traditional social constructions they had to overcome, such as the vixens, harlots or damsels in need of male help.

“Mexican female directors are rewriting the answer to the question, “What is a Mexican woman?” in the cinematic medium which is more accessible to the masses,” Arriola said.

“Mexican cinema is actually flourishing,” she added. “The work done by women tells us a lot of the continuous struggles that women face in Latin America.”

The presentation is free and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Community Board Room (Building C) of the PCC District Office, 4095 E. Broadway Blvd. Light refreshments will be available.


The series will be followed by two more spring lectures:

  • March 7: “Cultural Awareness/ Consciousness” by Dorothy Brown-Smith.
  • April 4: “Going Global Without Leaving Town: Strategies for Internationalizing the General Education Curriculum” by Maureen Salzer.


For more information, call 206-4500.


Languages instructor Liz Rangel Arriola will speak on Feb. 7. Photo courtesy of PCC

THE WORD: What is your perfect Valentines's Day

THE WORD: What is your perfect Valentines’s Day

Photos and interviews by Dale Villeburn Old Coyote at West Campus


“Going on a hike, having dinner and chocolate.”

Sarah Diaz-Combs

Major: General Education


“A surprise picnic in the mountain and champagne.”

Kayla Hancock

Major: Art


“A nice dinner … and a horseback ride on the beach, on the sand, with the moonlight.”

Samuel Hickcox

Major: Creative Writing.


“Movie, dinner, and then somewhere with a view … as long as the night doesn’t go completely wrong.”

Remy Philipossian

Major: Architecture


“Going to Sushi-Ten with my wife … after that, maybe catch a couple movies, if we can before we go pick up our son.”

Charlie Rivas

Major: Mortuary Science


East Campus to host Capoeira demonstration

Movement Culture studio will visit Pima Community College’s East Campus on Feb. 6 to present the history and culture surrounding the Brazilian dance-martial art of Capoeira.

Demonstrations of the Malandragen style will take place in the courtyard from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

For more information, call the Student Life Center at 206-7616.

-By Dale Villeburn Old Coyote

Chisholm subject of Black History Month talk

In celebration of Black History Month, Northwest Campus will host a presentation about Shirley Chisholm on Feb. 8 from 11-11:35 a.m. in the Student Life Center.

Bobby Burns, a student services advanced specialist, will highlight Chisholm’s life and legacy as the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress and the first black candidate to run for the presidency.

Burns has presented themed Black History Month talks on prominent people and events for seven years. He says he desires to “let people know about the richness in the lives of African Americans.”

For more information, call the Student Life Center at 206-2121.

-By Elise Stahl


Desert Vista to hold Career Café Feb. 8 

Desert Vista Campus will host a Career Café on Feb. 8 from noon to 2 p.m. in the cafeteria. All PCC students are invited to attend the free event.

February’s “special brew” topic is “To Commit or Quit?”

Café stations will provide tips on resume writing, cover letters and interviewing. Free coffee will be available.

Two more Career Cafés will be held on March 8 and April 12. The March topic will be “Changing Careers” and the April topic will be “Small Talk for a Big Career.”

For more information, call 206-4500.

-By Rene Escobar

Love is in the air at Downtown Campus

Downtown Campus will host a Love Fest on Feb. 14 to celebrate a combination of Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and Arizona statehood.

Events taking place throughout the campus include Afrikana dancers, an expression table, snacks, a photo booth and giveaways.

Afrikana dancers led by troop leader Barbea Williams will perform on the RV Lawn from 11 a.m. to noon. An expression table in the atrium area will allow students to convey valentine love messages.

For more information, call the Student Life Center at 206-7258.

-By Dakota Fincher



Feb. 6: Capoeira History and Culture, East Campus courtyard, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Learn about the Brazilian Martial arts combining dance, music and movement. Free. Details: 206-4500


Feb. 7: American Red Cross Blood Drive, Northwest Campus A-207, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Both sign-ups and walk-ins will be available. Details: Student Life, 206-2121.


Feb. 8.: Black History Month presentation, Northwest Campus Student Life Center, D-201, 11-11:35 a.m. Bobby Burns will speak on the life and legacy of Shirley Chisholm. Details: Student Life, 206-2121.


Feb. 9: Healthy Relationship workshop, Northwest Campus Student Life Center, D-201, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Join a discussion facilitated by counselors to identify relationship boundaries and gain valuable resources. Details: Student Life, 206-2121.


Feb. 12: Annual Faculty Vocal Recital, West Campus Center for the Arts, 3 p.m., $8 Discounts available, Details: 206-6986


Feb. 13-14: Valentine’s Day card-making activity, Northwest Campus Student Life Center, D-201, Mon-Tue 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Make cards for friends, family or significant others. Details: Student Life, 206-2121.


Feb. 14: Love Fest, Downtown Campus, 9 a.m., Celebrate Valentine’s Day, Arizona Statehood and African American month, Details: Student Life 206-7258 


Feb 3: Track and Field, Aztec Indoor Invitational, West Campus, 10 a.m.

Feb 3: Baseball vs. El Paso CC, West Campus, doubleheader 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Feb 4: Softball vs. Glendale CC, West Campus, doubleheader noon and 2 p.m.

Feb 4: Baseball vs. El Paso CC, West Campus, doubleheader 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Feb 4: Track and Field, Aztec Indoor Invitational, West Campus, 10 a.m.

Feb 8: Women’s basketball vs. South Mountain CC, West Campus, 5:30 p.m.

Feb 8: Men’s basketball vs. South Mountain CC, West Campus, 7:30 p.m.

Feb 11: Baseball vs. Scottsdale CC, West Campus, doubleheader noon and 2:30 p.m.

Feb 11: Softball vs. Yavapai College, West Campus, doubleheader 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.



Theater releases

Feb. 3


“The Space Between Us”

Feb. 10

“John Wick: Chapter 2”

“Fifty Shades Darker”

“The LEGO Batman Movie”

DVD releases 

Feb. 7


Feb. 14


“The Edge of Seventeen”



Jan. 28- Feb 12, Tucson Gem & Mineral show, TCC and various locations


Jan 24 – Feb 04 Tucson Senior Olympic Festival, 5085 S. Cherry Avenue


Jan 24- May 28 Light Beyond the Bulb at Flandrau,1601 E University Blvd, Adults $14,

Children 4 -17 $10, Senior/Military/College Students (ID): $10, kids under 3 free.




Feb. 03 Rebelution, Rialto Theatre, 318 E Congress St., 7 p.m. $25


Feb 04 Cash’d Out, 191 Toole, 191 E. Toole Ave.

Feb 08, Young the Giant, Rialto Theatre, 318 E Congress St., 7 p.m. $27.50 – $35.50


Feb 11, Adam Ant, Rialto Theatre, 318 E Congress St., 7 p.m. $32 – $130


Feb 14, Luis Coronel, Rialto Theatre, 318 E Congress St., 7 p.m. $46 – 205


Campus club lets veterans help other veterans

Campus club lets veterans help other veterans

Selah Hadi, president of the Student Veterans Organization, works at the Veterans Center. (Micheal Romero/Aztec Press)


When Pima Community College student Selah Hadi wrote his name on a sign-in sheet for the Student Veterans Organization, it wasn’t clear to him that he was actually signing up to become president of the club.

“There was a staple that went through the word ‘president,’ so a lot of us didn’t know we were signing up to run,” he said.

When Student Services Coordinator Jorge Camarillo pointed out that nobody had volunteered for other positions in the club, Hadi stuck with the mix-up and successfully ran for president.

“He’s new, so he’s learning, but he’s a dependable, good student-veteran,” Camarillo said. “It’s a big responsibility becoming president of the Student Veterans Organization but he’s done a really good job in the timeframe.”

The SVO meets every first and third Friday of the month in the Veterans Center at Downtown Campus.

In his role as president, Hadi oversees meetings and their agendas while the club prepares for events like the Veterans Day Celebration on Nov. 11.

In conjunction with Pima’s Small Business Development Center, SVO helped put on the seventh annual Veterans Conference on Dec. 2. The conference was designed to help veterans attain small business loans.

Hadi worked construction and attended community college in Illinois before joining the Army.

He spent almost eight years in the military, from August 2006 until March 2013. He worked in the communications field as a satellite operator, setting up satellite dishes for ground-to-space transmissions.

At the beginning of his tenure, Hadi was stationed in Germany. He was given time off for both American and German holidays, allowing him extra opportunities to see other parts of Europe.

“I’ve been to pretty much every European country except for Italy,” he said. “And I’ve never made my way to Norway.”

While growing up in Iroquois County, Illinois, Hadi was part of an early version of Teen Court.

The program, which allows minors to be judged by their peers after they plead guilty to offenses, sparked his interest in law.

“I learned a lot from that,” he said. “And, that’s when I found out my passion was law and politics.”

Hadi is majoring in political science and minoring in criminal justice administration, with plans to transfer to the University of Arizona to study law.

He wants to become an international attorney in order to travel the world once again. “I love traveling and I love law, so when you put them together: international attorney,” he said.

As a long-term goal, Hadi plans to run for Congress. “I’m pretty ambitious,” he said.

Fellow SVO member and treasurer Kyle Hughes also plans to pursue law and public service.

“Like Selah, I would like to serve as a public official,” Hughes said. “If it’s city, if it’s county or anywhere else, I’d like to be a public servant and make sure things work.”

Hughes admires what Hadi accomplishes as a work-study student veteran and a single father.

“He has a big heart and has big ambition,” Hughes said. “He wants to learn, so he’ll hear you out.”

Hadi left the Army and moved to Tucson in order to stay close to his children. He began taking classes at Pima in Fall 2014 after issues with veteran benefits were resolved with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He participates in a work-study program at the Veterans Center, operating the front desk to help those who come into the center with anything they might need.

In the bigger picture, he and other work-study participants make sure veterans are qualified to use all of their benefits.

Their main goal is enabling veterans to attain higher education at Pima through certifications or transfers to a four-year university. They also help veterans who want to enter the work force after Pima.

“We do anything we can do to provide the necessities veterans might need,” Hadi said.

Hadi plans to remain SVO president until he graduates next May.

He’s proud of everything he has accomplished with the opportunities that were laid out for him. “I got to do what I wanted to do and then go back to college, which was always my plan,” he said.