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Provost resigns to the tune of $150,000

Provost resigns to the tune of $150,000



As Pima Community College moves forward into October, the search for a new hire in administration has already begun.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer Erica Holmes announced in an email on Sept. 25 that she had resigned from her position, which she has held less than a year. Her contract was slated to end June 30, 2016, but due to “personal reasons” her last day at Pima was Oct. 1.
In an email to all Pima faculty, Chancellor Lee Lambert wished Holmes the best of luck in her future.
“In accepting her resignation, I praise Dr. Holmes for her insightful and faithful service to Pima Community College during her tenure,” he wrote.
Holmes also addressed Pima faculty by email, expressing hopeful words about the forward momentum she believed the college was taking in the wake of multiple hardships.
“There are strong, competent and energized teams all across the district who will be able to implement planned initiatives,” she stated.
The cordiality however, is written fairly clearly in the Separation and Release Agreement, released by the Arizona Daily Star on Sept. 28.
Per the binding agreement, both parties may not make derogatory comments, all parties must claim Holmes has left for “personal reasons,” and Lambert would be required to write recommendations for her “confirming her positive contributions to the college.”
Also included in the agreement, is compensation to Holmes in two payments totaling around $150,000. The amount is roughly 12 months of pay and health benefits. The original contract with Holmes guaranteed her the pending amount before she was hired.
This doesn’t mark the first time Pima has had a provost that did not stay long term. There have been three different people in the position since 2012. Jerry Migler, the last provost, began to look for a new job after only about 6 months at PCC.


Erica Holmes emceed All-College Day at the beginning of the 2014 academic year.

Holmes also looked elsewhere for shortly into the position, applying at Pasco-Hermando State College in Florida, according to a Daily Star report on Jan. 28.
Holmes’ primary objective when she arrived was to improve PCC’s attendance tracking procedures after the college was federally audited. The new procedures weren’t widely liked by students or by the faculty, who had to change their policies on a tight schedule.
In the Mutual Release of Claims clause it states, “Holmes expressly acknowledges and agrees that she is waiving any and all claims that she may have under the Age Discrimination in Employee Act.” In return for this, Holmes will “receive consideration beyond that which she has been entitled to receive before entering into this agreement.”
Lambert wrote in an email Sept. 28 that they were reassessing the position of Provost, one that Pima seems to have difficulty filling for a full year duration.
The college invited interested parties to write letters of interest to apply for the acting role as Provost. Pima hopes to fill the position by Oct. 7, though the search for a permanant Provost could take as long as a year.

Tucson Meet Yourself showcases culture

Tucson Meet Yourself showcases culture



The Tucson Meet Yourself festival will return this month for its 42nd incarnation, from Oct. 9-11 in Downtown Tucson.

The three-day event will run from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The festival celebrates the traditional and contemporary folk life of the southwest region of the United States and the Northern most areas of Mexico in art, dance, music and food.

The popular event is one many Tucsonans look forward to each year. Most  have taken to affectionatly calling it “Tucson Eat Yourself” because of the large spread of globally inspired dishes.

According to the Tucson Meet Yourself website, this year will introduce artistic and culinary fellowships dedicated to funding a larger production by artists and chefs.

One recipient of the Artistic Fellowship, Michael Olson, aka Doc Twang, will make his first festival appearance as the band leader of The Key Ingredients of African Soul, a collection of artists from Zimbabwe, Mexico and the U.S.

Olson, 67, saw the grant as an opportunity to present African music in a setting that doesn’t showcase an artist, but allows a culture to be explored through its art.

“What made me so happy and want to participate in this is the vision that goes into this is more than just being local entertainers,” Olson said.

Olson, a Tucson native, found himself drawn to African music after a colleague gave him cassette tapes of Afro-pop music played on local Tucson radio station KXCI.

“What blew my mind was how the guitars worked together in African music,” Olson said.

He started to perform in the late ‘80s and now has more than 25 years of experience as a full-time artist.

Another full-time artist and recipient of the fellowship is singer Yasel Patterson, who will make his third appearance at the festival.

He’s accompanied by his longtime friend and pianist Liuduik Luis Cutiño Cruz, who will act as the musical director for the show.

Patterson said he hopes to bring a proper Cuban concert to the festival.

“I haven’t seen anything like a real Cuban show,” Patterson said.

The Cuban native got his musical start singing bass for a vocal quartet during his time at the University of Art in Cuba.

He’s been in the U.S. since 2008, after he sought asylum in the states after a trip to Mexico that left him unable to return to his home country.

Due to the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, he was able to apply for a green card after a one-year residency. Patterson became a citizen five years later.

The festival will also include an exhibit curated by Program Director Maribel Alvarez on “100 Years of Anthropology in the Community.”

The presentation will detail advances made in the field by the University of Arizona Anthropology Department and contributions made by members of the Tucson area.

The fall gathering continues to bring people together to explore various ethnic customs that are practiced by the city’s populace, but Alvarez stressed that it wasn’t always this easy to access the cultures that made Tucson.

“Despite the proximity to Mexico and the layers of history both native and of the various migrations west, Tucson really didn’t ‘know itself’ in the cultural sense,” she said. “There was no easy way to share beauty, tradition and honor across distinct cultural enclaves.”

This year, the festival will feature 60 food vendors, 20 food demonstrators, 100 folk artists and 95 heritage arts performing groups with 300 performers on three stages, under the care of 30 program staff and 500 volunteers.

As always, the showcase of culture, art and music is a joint effort of dedicated community members.

For more information on the festival, visit or contact For volunteer opportunities call 621-4046 or email

Larry Gaurano/Aztec Press A mother and child experincing a different culture’s arts and crafts project at the 2014 Tucson Meet Yourself.

Larry Gaurano/Aztec Press
A mother and child experincing a different culture’s arts and crafts project at the 2014 Tucson Meet Yourself.

PCC celebrates Constitution Day

PCC celebrates Constitution Day


Albert I. Niemeyer salutes fellow SAR member James Williamson on Constitution Day.


This year marked the 11th anniversary of Constitution Day. It commemorates the gathering and signing of the constitution in 1787.
Although the present holiday was established in 2004, recognition for this date can be traced back to 1911 to a federally chartered corporation named the Sons of the American Revolution.
Pima Community College was treated with a history lesson by members of SAR on the day of the holiday.
Albert I. Niemeyer, a member of SAR and someone who can trace his family lineage to the American Revolution, said the day’s goal is “to teach individuals about the Constitution and our Bill of Rights, about a nation of free men, to be able to preserve our constitution.”
Niemeyer said he believes the Constitution is very important today because if we lose our Constitution, we lose our rights.
The speaker’s topics varied, with Teresa Williamson speaking about the women of the American Revolution, and James Williamson on the militia.
Constitution Day can be seen to some as a day to celebrate our country or as a day to reflect on the constitution with the backdrop of today’s America.

Student working to be chief inspector

Student working to be chief inspector



From an early age, Tucson native Anthony Johnson dreamt of becoming the chief inspector for the Metropolitan Police Service in London, England.

“I want to become the chief inspector because it will allow me to put my specialized skills to use,” he said. “London is the business center of the world. This means that there are more cyber-crimes there compared to Tucson.”

Johnson discovered his passion for working with others in the summer following eighth grade when he had a “life-changing experience” while visiting New Scotland Yard in Westminster, United Kingdom.

Interested in what he learned regarding the police headquarters, Johnson began researching information about the police force, where he interviewed a member of the Royal Protection Unit.

“The metro police are one of the few municipal police forces that have a dedicated general cyber unit,” he added. “That combined with being in one of the most diverse cities in the world is why I want to work there.”

Johnson knew what he needed to do to accomplish his goal. That summer, he took the first step by volunteering for the Oro Valley Community Recourse Unit.

“When I first began volunteering, there were mixed emotions,” he said. “On one hand, I was very excited but on the other hand, I was not sure what I was getting into. Gradually, I was able to connect with fellow officers who shared past experiences working in the community.”

In a high school computer-science class, Johnson learned how to create and disassemble websites, and the basics for hacking. He believed that these skills would play a pivotal role for him as an officer.

“I trained with Pima Regional SWAT, I learned how to clear buildings, conduct high-risk traffic stops and working at special events around town such as football games and other specialized events,” he said.

Johnson continued doing this until his junior year at Canyon Del Oro High School in 2012.

Growing tired of participating in the same tasks day in and day out, Johnson was in need of a change. He filled out an application for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, hoping to get a different perspective of what law enforcement was about.

Under state law, the required age for becoming an officer is 21 years old.

Due to Johnson’s age at the time and the need to provide a high school diploma, he was unable to become an officer. After graduating from high school in 2013, he applied for a volunteer position.

Johnson was accepted into the program and served in various roles, from working on websites to assisting people who walk in or call the station.

“The Volunteer Unit at the Pima County Sheriff’s Department lets you do anything that you do not need a post-certification for,” Johnson said. “This can range from administrative work to conducting code 9’s. We also help with search and rescue for people in dire need.”

Keith Cook is a life-long friend of Johnson’s.

“He is a man who knows the law,” Cook said. “He also knows that he will hold a privileged position in our society, and yet he is not one to wave that position around like a sword.”

One of his favorite experiences, Johnson said, was a recent ride-along. He and a police officer patrolled streets across the city throughout the night.

During the ride, he watched as the officer ticketed speeding cars and helped out an older woman in need.

“The ride-along tested my mentality,” Johnson said. “If my experience had gone sour, I would have second-guessed becoming an officer.”

Currently a sophomore at Pima Community College, Johnson is ahead of schedule to transfer to a university by 2016.

As soon as Johnson turns 21, he plans on joining the Oro Valley Police Department as a patrol officer.

Johnson will continue pursuing his education at the University of Arizona after he becomes a police officer.

At UA, his goal is to double major in law enforcement and computer science. By continuing his education, it will become easier to obtain a work visa with the necessary skills when he moves out of the country.

After Johnson earns his law enforcement degree, he plans on starting a new life in England.

“To be able to become a chief inspector for the Metropolitan Police Station, I need to have lived in England for at least five years,” he said. “I figure that once I move there, I will use my knowledge in computer science to help me find a high-paying job.

“When the five years are over, I will be ready to obtain my citizenship and soon after become an officer,” he added. “I am very excited about what the future holds.”

Steven Fowler/Aztec Press Pima student Anthony Johnson stands in front of a Pima County Sheriff’s Department vehicle, where he volunteers. He plans to continue his education at the University Of Arizona then join the police service in London.

Steven Fowler/Aztec Press
Pima student Anthony Johnson stands in front of a Pima County Sheriff’s Department vehicle, where he volunteers. He plans to continue his education at the University Of Arizona then join the police service in London.

Durkin dreams for PCC students

Durkin dreams for PCC students



Martha Durkin had one thing to say to Pima Community College students: “Follow your dreams. Find out what you’re good at and what you like – which are usually the same thing – and do it!”

Durkin is a city official, attorney, wife and mother and is the newest board member for PCC representing District 5.

Earlier this year, Durkin, like any other person that morning, picked up a newspaper and saw the opening for the PCC board member position. Shocked that there was an opening in her district, she decided to apply for it.

What made her want to represent the voices of PCC students and District 5? “I’ve lived in District 5 for 22 years and Pima College students are our community,” she said.

In mid-August, Durkin was one of five candidates evaluated by a committee of nine Tucson community members to see if she was the right candidate for the vacancy on PCC’s Board of Govenors.

Even with her previous experience and knowledge of Tucson, she did not feel confident she would get the position.

“I was very happy, honored and a little surprised and that continues,” Durkin said.

While she may not have been confident, the committee was.

“Martha was very clear with her answers whenever asked a question, but she showed the board she had experience dealing with the issues,” said Alec Moreno, 21, the PCC student representative on the committee that selected Durkin. “I think whatever expectations I have she will meet. She is an outstanding candidate in the eyes of all the committee members.”

“I was very impressed with Martha because she had a good handle on the importance of education and the need to get out in the community and find their needs and desires,” said Yolanda Herrera, a community representative on the committee.

Durkin has lived in Tucson since 1976 when she left Wisconsin to pursue a law degree at the University of Arizona where she attended for both her undergraduate and master’s degrees.

Her law degree specializes in employment law, governmental relations and administration. She has spent half of the last 30 years as an attorney in practice and the other half in administrative positions, most recently as Tucson’s Deputy City Manager.

“My expectation is for Martha to learn what PCC is and make sure every decision she makes while on the board will better PCC,” said Phil Lopes, a community representative on the selection committee.

Durkin will hold the board position until December 2016 when a special election will be held to select a board member for a longer term. She intends to run for the position in that election.

Durkin believes she is obligated to run so long as she feels accepted or the position ends up not being a good fit. She hopes this won’t be the case.

“I hope that I can be successful at Pima Community College,” Durkin said.

Apart from work, Durkin wants to see Tucson back on its feet.

“We all need to work to improve the image here, and just make sure our kids want to live here,” Durkin said. “As anyone who knows when you try to leave Tucson you really can’t; it becomes home in a very meaningful way.”

David Pujol/Aztec PressMartha Durkin has been selected as the newest board member for PCC, representing District 5.

David Pujol/Aztec Press                                    Martha Durkin has been selected as the newest board member for PCC, representing District 5.


West Campus moment of silence

West Campus moment of silence





Pima Community College West Campus students and staff members joined the ceremony to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the hit on the World Trade Centers Sept.11, 2001.  The ceremony was held at the Palm Court area at 2 p.m.  Students joined in the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Student Advisory Board President Raymundo Montes. Morgan Phillips, president of West and Desert Vista Campus, said a few words followed with a moment of silence.

Peace Corps visits PCC

Peace Corps visits PCC



It’s a big world out there, and now is your chance to see it.

Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet is coming to Pima Community College to speak in conjuction with Congressman Raul Grijalva about the opportunities the program can provide as well as the importance of service in our own communities.

Peace Corps is an international service program providing the opportunity for people to travel the world and help struggling communities.

“Traveling the world is not only a way to expand every aspect of your horizon but brings to light a global understanding for all,” said Rose Rojas, an outreach and recruitment coordinator at PCC and former Peace Corps member.

“I repeatedly hear from students of the importance of helping others as they consider their career options,” she said. “Peace Corps is an excellent opportunity to do just that, serve and make a difference in the lives of many.”

Since its inception in 1961, over 220,000 Americans have served in 140 countries to date.

“Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is a first step in appreciating another’s understanding of the world,” Rojas said.

Rojas traveled to Micronesia for her period of service as a Lead Coordinator of a library development program.

She requested book donations, read to elementary school children and promoted literacy.

“The Peace Corps is an important organization for Pima students to learn many new leadership skills and gain crucial experience that is unique to the country served while abroad,” said Michael Peel, government relations liaison for PCC.

“Pima students will learn about issues from a international perspective through direct experience and will develop a deep understanding of their role in an increasingly globalized world,” he said.

PCC is partnering with the University of Arizona to promote Peace Corps as an option for recent and upcoming graduates.

The event will take place from 2-3 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at Community Campus in Rooms A109-112.

Desert Vista’s  library remodel

Desert Vista’s library remodel



The Pima Community College Desert Vista Campus library is being redesigned to include an Integrated Learning Center, thanks to a $2.6 million Title V grant.   

The library has temporarily moved to the Pueblo building, Ocotillo Room, during the renovation process.    

The cost of the redesign will total between $800,000 and $1 million, says Executive Director for Community Relations Libby Howell.

According to the Pima website, Desert Vista campus received the Title V grant for the integration and expansion of student resources on campus.

Title V is a program through the U.S. Department of Education that helps Hispanic-serving institutions improve their services.

The Integrated Learning Center will include a tutoring center, adult education, study area and computer commons. The redesign will also add space for faculty training and more student success skills training.

As of now, they are still in the design phase and hope to be done by the end of 2015, to begin construction. Once construction begins, it could take up to a year to complete.

There are some that are skeptical and don’t think the new design will enhance the library. Students will be able to find everything in one place, but it will be a smaller area for the library.

Library Director Tony Arroyo has hope for the renovations, but is afraid the library will suffer. “I believe the area is too small for everything they want to do,” he said. “Time will tell.”

East Campus repeats history

East Campus repeats history



The 1800s are visiting Pima Community College’s East Campus on Sept. 17.

The East Campus will be hosting Constitution and Citizenship Day, providing an opportunity for students to register to vote for the upcoming elections and learn more about the founding of the United States.

We Make History, a historical reenactment group, will arrive at the campus at 1 p.m. to re-enact the Revolutionary War and the signing of the U.S. Constitution. George Washington will be delivering a speech.

Nicole Hayes,Student Life program coordinator, said the event was sure to be a lot of fun and offer great opportunities for the student body.

Another event feature is the Free Speech Wall, a wall that will be marked in the courtyard, promoting students to openly speak their minds and engage in honest discussions without fear of discrimination.

The event is not currently on the campus calendar so be sure to make note of it. Voter registration will be running throughout the day, as will the Free Speech Wall.

Newest board member selected to replace Cortez

Newest board member selected to replace Cortez



Pima Community College’s longest serving board member has stepped down after 20 years representing Pima County’s 5th District. Marty Cortez announced her resignation in a letter to Pima County Superintendent Linda Arzoumanian on June 26.

Arzoumanian appointed Martha Durkin, Tucson’s deputy city manager, as Cortez’s replacement on Aug. 29 to serve until the end of 2016 and will appear on the election ballot in November 2016 for a two-year term.

“Pima Community College students are the best hope for our community because economic development requires a skilled and educated workforce.  Through credit courses, workforce development, career training programs, continuing education, and adult education, Pima Community College provides an invaluable resource to the region,” Durkin said in an email sent by Chancellor Lee Lambert to members of the college.

Durkin has been involved in Tucson politics for 30 years advising Pima County, the City of Tucson and Tucson Unified School District concerning employment law, procurement and contracts.

Arzoumanian believes that Durkin’s background will contribute to the challenges faced by the college in the coming years.

While a final decision for replacement was left to Arzoumanian, a group of seven people acted as an advisory committee to conduct interviews for potential candidates.

The committee consisted of Alec Moreno, Mays Imad and Don Harp representing students, faculty and staff, respectively. Valenzuela Estrada, Kelly Fryer, Yolanda Herrera Phil Lopes represented community members residing in District 5, a local business leader, Mark Hinrichs as well as District Superintendent H.T. Sanchez.

The committee interviewed five applicants on Aug. 28 landing on Durkin as their final recommendation.

Cortez was first elected in 1994 and re-elected four times, most recently in November 2012 for a term lasting until December 31, 2016.

“For personal reasons, I am submitting this letter of resignation from my position as board member of the Pima Community College Governing Board representing District 5 to be effective as soon as possible,” she wrote.

The Faculty Senate cited Cortez along with current board members David Longoria of District 2 and Scott Stewart of District 4, as well as former board member Brenda Even as having failed to “recognize and act ethically” in regards to the issues under the Flores administration and highlighted by the Higher Learning Commission.

The petition never garnered enough support to cause board members to defend their position and they have remained key figures in Pima’s decision-making process since.

Board chair Sylvia Lee called for the resignation of Cortez and the other board members in 2013 but ultimately reflected positively on the time they served together.

“In the over two years that I have worked with Marty on the board, I greatly admire her commitment to PCC and the Tucson community,” Lee said in an email to the Daily Star.

“We are grateful for Marty’s long years of service, and her remarkable commitment to Pima Community College,” Lambert said in a press release.

Cortez formerly served as a school principal within many Tucson high schools before becoming an academic program advisor at Northern Arizona University. She is currently still involved with the University of Arizona Hispanic Alumni Club where she sits on another board.

Cortez received several accolades throughout her tenure including the Hispanic Professional Action Committee Woman of the Year award, YWCA Woman of the Year award and was named a “Woman of Influence” by Inside Tucson Business.

“I have full confidence that Chancellor Lambert has and will, with the support of the Board and dedicated college employees, continue to move the College forward in providing educational opportunity for thousands of individuals as well as contributing to the business and economic growth of the community.” Cortez said in her letter.

“It has been an honor to have served as a Pima Community College Board member over the years.”

Photos courtesy of PCC Martha Durkin has been chosen as Cortez’s replacement as of Aug. 29.

Photos courtesy of PCC
Martha Durkin has been chosen as Cortez’s replacement as of Aug. 29.

Former board member Marty Cortez resigned on July 29 after 20 years on the board.

Former board member Marty Cortez resigned on July 29 after 20 years on the board.

Campuses welcome back Pima students

Campuses welcome back Pima students



The smell of freshly baked wood-fire pizza and new books is in the air. Different business, organizations and institutions haled new and returning students to brightly decorated booths, ranging from the University of Arizona to Bank of America.

The semester has just begun and students were greeted this week by different food trucks in the parking lot and booths set up in the common area of the Santa Catalina building.

Gene Twaronite is clad in a pink shirt that says “Women’s Health Matters” as he sits behind a booth for Planned Parenthood, conversing with students about the benefits of the organization and raising awareness.

“We’re trying to get the word out about Planned Parenthood, 97 percent of what we do is non-abortion. We do more health screening and birth control than anything else. Recently we’ve been under attack with a smear campaign,” Twaronite said.

Twaronite’s booth is collecting signatures to advance comprehensive sex ed. in the Tucson Unified School District.

Close to the Planned Parenthood stand sits the bookstore. The atmosphere is busy; the hustle and bustle of the exchange of money and required course material as well as other standard school fare is in full swing.

Griselda Delgado, 31, is a returning student studying nursing.

When asked about her opinion on the price of books she said, “I usually don’t buy my books here. I buy old editions of the books I need through Amazon, they’re basically the same but much cheaper,” Delgado said.

This may be wise advice to students who may not want to break the bank buying full priced textbooks for their classes, especially when some material costs well above the hundred dollar margin.

All in all the semester is off to a promising start and new students should expect many campus activities and events in the upcoming months.

S. J. Barajas/Aztec Students mingle amongst vendors, clubs and campus resources during Welcome Week at West Campus.

S. J. Barajas/Aztec Students mingle amongst vendors, clubs and campus resources during Welcome Week at West Campus.

Pima searches for new head of police

Pima searches for new head of police



Campus safety is an important component of education.

PCC’s police department maintains offices at each five campuses, and is made up of fully certified law enforcement officers.

However, the top role of the college’s law enforcement agency has sat empty this summer.

Currently, Pima is in the process of selecting a new chief of police and held candidate forums on Aug. 26 and Sept. 2 at the District Office. Mark Napier, Jacqueline Litzinger and Mark Brooks are the current candidates, and were each given 30 minutes to speak at the forums.

Napier has a strong background in public safety, working in various positions of law enforcement and academia since 1981. He is currently the operations director of the University of Arizona’s Parking and Transportation Services.

During the forums, he described himself as an academic at heart and spoke on the need to fulfill Clery requirements and increase enrollment at PCC.

“My real loves and passions are academics and law enforcement,” he said. “I have been able to combine those in my life. I have watched this community college grow up. I believe in the institution of community college and we need a strong and vibrant police department to make this college successful.”

Litzinger is currently Chief of Police for CSX Transportation and has worked in the police department of the University of Arizona. She said that people describe her as honest, and a good decision maker, which she believes are essential personality traits in a law enforcement officer. She also spoke on the necessity of compliance with the Clery requirements.

“We need 100 percent compliance with the Clery Act,” she said. “There’s no room for error when it comes to legal compliance. I would work very collaboratively with the leadership of the college to ensure that we are aligned.”

Video of Brooks’ forum was not yet available before the release of this article, but he has been a member of law enforcement since 1988. In his last position, he was Chief of Police for the Marion Police Department in North Carolina. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice, three master’s degrees and is in the process of receiving a doctorate of philosophy in Criminal Justice.

According to Pima spokesperson Libby Howell, PCC will keep the position open until they have the right person.

“If those candidates don’t seem to fit the bill, we have the option of going back to the candidate pool, or continuing to advertise for the position,” she said. “We want to make sure that we hire a really strong candidate with excellent skills.”

Whoever takes on this role will be responsible for day-to-day operations, staff supervision and strategy development. Howell said the candidates are expected to review Pima’s recent safety audits and the Clery assessments submitted in 2014 and 2015.

“We are looking for someone who can move the department forward, someone who is a real leader and can develop a strong team,” Howell said.  “We especially want someone who can be a good mentor to subordinates, and can support our community policing model, i.e. strengthen our community-oriented, people-friendly policing procedures that will increase officer visibility, and expand the role of community service officers as a supplement to college police officers.”

Former PCC police chief, Manny Amado, stepped down from the position in June.   

In an email interview, Amado said that he has moved to Denver, where he is the new Director of Campus Safety at Regis University.

Video of the forum held Aug. 26 for candidates Napier and Litzinger, were available on Pima’s website for five days, ending on Aug. 31. The video of the forum for Brooks on Sep. 2, will be available for viewing and comment until 8 a.m., Sept. 7.

To view each candidate’s resume, visit

PCC wins award for conservation

PCC wins award for conservation



Over the summer, Pima Community College participated in a conservation competition known as the Campus Conservation Nationals to lessen its energy and water use. PCC won the grand prize for water conservation, with Downtown Campus taking the lead in the effort.

Pima conserved almost 250,000 gallons of water in its introductory year to the competition. Because the college’s energy expenditure numbers were lower than the other colleges’ it won one of two grand prizes worth $2500.

During the competition over 500 people participated at Pima. Downtown Campus, Northwest Campus, the District Office, the Aviation Technology Center and the Maintenance and Security Office contributed greatly to the effort.

As part of the prize, Pima elected to receive the CCN First Grand Prize energy deal instead due to high energy use and a high price tag on the software included in the Second Grand Prize.

The CCN Second Grand Prize was a real-time water monitoring and BuildingOS Professional Edition software to help keep track of its water output.

The CCN has several supporting groups including Lucid, Center for Green Schools, Alliance to Save Energy, and the National Wildlife Federation, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers and Tucson Electric Power.

Pima students and employees, Student Life and the Downtown Campus Sustainability Club worked together to bring down our usage by employing a website provided by Lucid to keep track of the numbers.

According to Howell, this website helped encourage students to participate.

Pima students Stephen Eichelberger and Jessica Leafstone designed a sculpture for Downtown Campus in recognition of this accomplishment and awarded it on May 18.

At this time, Howell is unsure whether Pima will participate next year.

Step up for writing success

Step up for writing success



Pima Community College is offering a summer writing boot camp to help students increase their academic performance and prepare for fall classes.

The program, called “Step Up,” is an intensive three-week writing course being offered at Pima’s East Campus from July 20-Aug. 3. It runs Mon.-Thurs., from 9 a.m.-noon each day.

The course will feature interactive instruction on student success skills and writing. A light breakfast will be provided each day.

The goal is to provide students who may need a little extra help or a refresher course the assistance they require.

“We are focused on developmental education students who are most at risk of dropping out,” said PCC instructor Carmen Amavizca. “The workshop will increase student performance, college readiness, retention, and persistence among this diverse group.”

Amavizca said these students often get placed in the wrong course because they have been out of school for an extended period.

“It will provide this group of students with brush up skills and enable them to score into a higher course level,” she said. “For those developmental students who have always struggled in school, it will allow them to begin the fall semester with more confidence to have greater success.”

Space is limited in the class, with more than half the spots already filled. To register, email

Chancellor releases community report

Chancellor releases community report


Pima Community College chancellor Lee Lambert has released a 25-page report intended to inform the public about the progress and achievements being made at the college.

“Each day, our faculty and staff help students succeed,” Lambert wrote. “Our challenge is to document evidence of that successful teaching and learning.”

The report includes information on different programs at Pima, charts and figures displaying retention rates and other statistics, and student success stories.

“We recognize that the people of Pima County have entrusted us to operate a school that benefits its students and community in numerous ways,” Lambert said in the conclusion of the report. “That is why we are undertaking substantial initiatives that fill the gaps in the education of the community.”

The complete report can be viewed here.