CCA is an accredited community college with campuses in Aurora and Denver Colorado

Alumni Success

Daithan Kitchens

Title: 
Project Lead / Owner & Photographer
Company/Organization: 
Xcel Energy / KIDA Photography

Daithan Kitchens

Daithan studied business while at CCA and transferred to the University of Colorado, Denver where he got his bachelor’s degree in business administration, and his master’s in management & organization. “I am glad to have been able to attend CCA before attending a large 4-year university,” he says “I was able to acclimate to the culture of college, while gradually building up a balance between work, school, and my personal life.”

Now Daithan is a construction lead for Xcel Energy and oversees the installation of gas and electric infrastructures. He also owns his own photography business, KIDA Photography. “I attribute any success I’ve enjoyed to a few key factors,” Daithan states, “Always stay in learning mode; remember that failure is often the best teacher; and the road to anywhere starts with just one step.”

 

Charles Watkins

Title: 
Sr. Systems Administrator (IT)
Company/Organization: 
United States Antarctic Program

Charles Watkins

Charles attended the Community College of Aurora and received his associate degree in General Studies. “Just the basics,” he says, “but I took some extra time with art classes and particularly got the biggest kicks out of trig, microeconomics with Okole Uwadebe, logic, and psychology.”

Charles then continued his education at Metro State where he earned a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies. As a part of his course of study, Charles participated in an internship where he was able to go to the U.S. Geological Survey's National Ice Core Lab (NICL) in Lakewood, CO. “It was at NICL that I was first exposed to the science and work being done in Antarctica.” Charles claims. “After two years of interning and working at NICL, I graduated Metro and went to work for the U.S. Antarctic Program primary support contractor." Since then, Charles has traveled to Antarctica a total of 9 times over the past 15 years – as well as New Zealand, Chile, Australia and Argentina.

 

Kathy Trujillo

Title: 
Subrogation Paralegal
Company/Organization: 
Pinnacol Assurance

Kathy Trujillo

Kathy was in the paralegal program at Community College of Aurora, and she started working in that field almost as soon as she started her classes.

“After I started my first paralegal class at CCA, I applied for a position with my current employer as a legal secretary” Kathy states. She not only got the job, but she was promoted to a paralegal position while still attending classes.

Kathy graduated from CCA with an associate degree in general studies and a certificate in paralegal. Today, Kathy is still working successfully as a paralegal and is currently going to school for her bachelor’s in communication at Regis University.

“I’ve been with my employer for over 20 years and my education at CCA has allowed me to move around in the legal field. Also, all my CCA credits transferred to Regis University so I am now two and a half classes away from getting my degree there!”

 

Lisa Gilliard

Title: 
Government Product Specialist
Company/Organization: 
Denver Health

Lisa Gilliard

Lisa came to CCA after graduating from high school. She attended part-time as she was working and raising her daughter while in college. At CCA, Lisa completed her general studies courses and received her associate degree so she could transfer to a four-year college. Her plans came to fruition, and Lisa was able to transfer to the University of Denver where she studied at the Lamont School of Music. Lisa’s time at CCA helped her finish her bachelor’s quickly. “I was able to complete my work in two and a half years,” she states. At D.U., Lisa not only attained her bachelor’s in Music, but a minor in business as well.

Today, Lisa is a licensed Life and Health Producer for a health plan in Denver. “I work on their Medicare line of business, handling enrollments, disenrollments, compliance issues, premiums, and reporting.” On top of it all, she finds time to work in music, teaching violin and viola for Cherry Creek schools in the afternoons and evenings.

 

Kathleen Ryan Morgan

Title: 
Director of Finance & Administration
Company/Organization: 
University of Colorado Denver – Anschutz Campus

Kathleen Ryan Morgan

Kathleen attended Community College of Aurora where she was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and received her associate degree in foreign language. She states, “My AA helped me gain entry into Metro State University of Denver where I studied both business and language.” Kathleen graduated from Metro with flying colors, receiving her bachelor of science in business, management and marketing.

Now Kathleen works at CU Denver in the Department of Dermatology where she oversees 39 clinician/scientists and has many important responsibilities – including a $25 million annual budget. When talking about her position, she says that “understanding language, diversity and culture are essential,” and that her time at CCA “was of great benefit.” 

 
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