Receive a $500 grant for your summer and/or fall education. CCA has $1.75 million in federal tuition and emergency grants available for summer and fall. Everyone, regardless of immigration status, is eligible to apply for these grants. Learn more about financial assistance.
CCA Launches First Brand Marketing Campaign
Locks, Lights, Out of Sight - Campus Lockdown Drill on April 6
Inclusive Excellence Campaign Begins at CCA
Get to Know... The Community ESL Department
Adjunct Faculty Profile
Hip Hip Huzzah
Seen Around Campus
Welcome to CCA!
What Does the Fox Say?
The next time you’re at Harkins Theatre waiting for the movie to start, or listening to Pandora, you may find that a commercial for our college pops up. The Communications Department launched CCA’s first brand campaign, titled “Potential Realized,” on March 14. This integrated marketing campaign is designed to build awareness of and positive attitudes toward the college. “The campaign ties the brand promise, Potential Realized, to the vision of the college, student success,” said Ethan Ruzzano, director of marketing. “We want those who see the ads to associate a CCA education with high-level values like pride, freedom, and accomplishment.” The campaign asks the question: “What does it mean to realize your potential?”
Andrea, one of the students featured in the commercials, is president of the International Student Association at CCA, vice president of the Student Government Association, and vice president of Latin X. In her opinion, realizing her potential means supporting her family, and she wants to become an organizational coach when she graduates from CCA. Andrea is one of six students featured in the commercials who share their stories about family, their goals, and their dreams. A survey was sent to faculty and staff asking them to nominate exceptional students to be featured in the campaign. About 30 students were nominated and interviewed, and six were chosen. You can see each student on a microsite created for the campaign.
The campaign commercial can be seen on Comcast Aurora, in Aurora movie theaters (and Harkins), and on digital channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Other ads are on RTD bus tails, Pandora radio, delivered through the mail to Aurora residents, and distributed across thousands of websites.
Creating and producing a marketing concept takes time and talent. Ethan says it took about nine months to develop and execute the campaign, from concept to reality. CCA has run a commercial in the past but not an integrated (multichannel) campaign. “One of the best forms of measurement is to look at potential student interest,” said Ruzzano. “During the first week, the campaign generated 226 new prospects. That’s a 337 percent increase over the same period last year.” The 16-week campaign started on March 14 and will end on June 30.
“We want to start building a collective memory within the minds of our constituents. We are trying to get them to become more aware of the college and also remember something positive about us,” said Ruzzano. “Some people may be thinking about college now and head to our website. Others may not currently be thinking about college—but when they do, we want CCA to be a college that comes to mind as one they would consider.”
You can help spread the word about our institution by being a brand ambassador for the college. Participation is simple; when interacting with those outside the college, continue the messages found within the campaign, namely that CCA is the place where students learn what they need to reach their goals—to realize their potential.
On April 6 starting at 10 a.m., the CCA Security Department will conduct a lockdown drill on the CentreTech campus. We want you to feel safe on campus, and these drills will help you in the event of an on-campus incident. Jeff Simpson, CCA’s director of security, shares some vital information in the following interview to help you prepare for the drill.
What is the difference between a lockdown and a lockout?
A lockdown means there is a threat inside the building. Typically it means there is an active shooter in your building. If you are inside an office or a classroom, you should lock your doors, turn out your lights, and get out of sight. If you’re in a hallway or a place where you can see an exit, take it—if you know if is safe to do so. A lockout means there is a threat outside the building and our purpose with this action is to keep it out. Exterior doors are locked, and no one is allowed in or out of the building. If you are notified of a lockout and you are away from the building, do not come to campus.”
What will happen during the lockdown drill on April 6?
You will hear a PA announcement that says: “Locks, Lights, Out of Sight.” This means lock your doors, turn off the lights, and get out of sight. Although this is a drill, we want everyone to please take this exercise seriously, as if it were a real incident. Even if you are in the middle of a class session, a meeting, or on the phone, please follow these instructions.
What if I’m in the hallway? What do I do?
If you can see the exit and know it’s safe to take it, do so.
What do I do if I’m in my classroom or in my office?
Lock the doors, cover the window on the door with a coat (see photo above), turn off the lights and get out of sight. Then wait until you hear the all-clear announcement.
Why are we doing this drill?
Since the Columbine shooting, there has been an uptick in violence on school campuses. Most incidents last two to five minutes, and statistically speaking, you have about 25 seconds to get to a place of safety. We do these drills to get people thinking about safety and how to handle themselves in certain situations. Also, it is a federal mandate that colleges must inform students, faculty and staff about what to do in case of an active shooter or threat on campus.
The CCA Security Department is doing many things to keep our campus community safe. We encourage you to share this video with your students and staff members so that they understand what to do in the event of an incident. If you have questions, please contact Jeff Simpson at 303-360-4722 or email him at email@example.com.
Dr. Betsy Oudenhoven
Happy Spring! It’s been a wonderful semester and as I write this, the snow is melting from our blizzard, and spring break is just around the corner. When everyone gets back, it’s a quick five weeks to graduation. There have been a number of wonderful activities, initiatives, and accomplishments this semester, and one piece of especially good news is that CCA will soon own our CentreTech campus. You may not even be aware that this was not the case, so here’s the rest of the story:
The Community College of Aurora has a unique history. The college was chartered in May 1983 but was not initially allowed to have a physical campus. In the beginning, we were a “college without walls.” However, in anticipation of the opportunity to develop a campus, the City of Aurora donated 20 acres of land on the CentreTech Parkway. CCA, the Community College of Aurora Foundation, and the City of Aurora worked to secure financing to construct the original three buildings at CentreTech (Administration, Classroom, and Fine Arts). In April of 1990, bonds were issued, and the college and the foundation entered into a 25-year-lease agreement, whereby the college would lease the buildings and property from the foundation. Groundbreaking for the three buildings was held in June of 1990, and construction was completed a year later. In July 1991, CCA began to hold classes at the CentreTech campus.
The college has been making annual payments to the CCAF since 1991, and these funds were used to pay off the bonds. Our final bond payment was made in October 2015. The current lease for the CentreTech campus expires on April 1, 2016. Negotiations between college administration and the foundation board (as well as lawyers from the city, state and foundation) led to the option of an immediate payoff and transfer of title of the campus from the foundation to the college. Aurora’s city council voted to transfer to the foundation the title to parcels for which they still had ownership; the foundation in turn agreed to transfer those parcels, as well as the parcels they owned, to the college for $1.75 million. At the state board meeting on March 9, the board gave approval for the financial transaction.
This is a wonderful resolution for the college. The transaction will give the college ownership of the CentreTech campus, resolve all lease issues between the college and the foundation, and allow CCA and the foundation to focus on fundraising for student scholarships. In addition, it will give CCA the opportunity to build new buildings or make other significant exterior renovations at the CentreTech campus. As the funds we are using were those set aside for the Facilities/IT building we discussed a few years ago, we won’t be building in the immediate future, but it does allow us that opportunity when we are ready. It also gets us out from under an annual rent payment that was impacting our operating budget.
While everything is not yet finalized, we anticipate having all the legal loose ends wrapped up by the end of the semester. This summer, we will have a celebration with all the folks who made this college possible—including former colleagues, city and state officials, members of our past and present foundation boards, and current faculty, staff, and students. CentreTech is a lovely campus, it’s our first home, and soon it will really belong to us.
The Inclusive Excellence Campaign will launch the week of April 4. This campaign is designed to educate the campus on what inclusive excellence is and why CCA is adopting an Inclusive Excellence framework. All campus community members will have the opportunity to engage in the campaign, as well as an opportunity to share their reflections on messages the campaign sends and how they would like CCA to move forward with implementing Inclusive Excellence. Look for posters regarding Inclusive Excellence all around campus. If you have questions, feel free to contact Quill Phillips, special assistant to the president for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence, at 303-360-4822.
High Line Canal Cleanup
Twich Collins, Student Government Association president, (pictured in the foreground) was one of 300 community volunteers to help clean the 50-mile stretch of the High Line canal on Saturday, March 12. Twich and several CCA volunteers helped clean up trash, debris, and other items along the canal. The CentreTech campus was the registration site for the event, which was sponsored by Aurora Water. Thanks to everyone for keeping Aurora beautiful!
CCA’s First Confluence—Where Work and Critical Thinking Meet
On March 11, 2016, the Community College of Aurora hosted its first Confluence, a student academic conference of the School of Liberal Arts. Faculty members from across the School of Liberal Arts submitted the best student work from spring, summer and fall semesters in 2015. A panel of faculty members judged the submissions for final inclusion in the conference. The work submitted determined the themes of the concurrent sessions. The presentation covered a wide range of topics from societal problems, sexuality, and historical perspectives, to philosophy and the gaming culture.
Both former and current students presented papers: Casey Hodges —a former student who was invited by his former faculty member, Vicki Graham—presented his position on aquatic conservation as he told the story about “Snuffy the Seal” and the issue of aquatic endangered species. “This was an awesome day,” he said. “The Confluence gets people engaged. There’s a hundred other things students could be doing on a Friday. To show up and listen is a growing experience, because you get so much out of these presentations.”
Student Nikki McConnell (pictured left) presented her paper, titled “The Analysis of Gender: Self-Exploration Project,” about gender roles in the military. She was able to express discrepancies in gender expectations while serving in the military. Read the full story about Confluence.
CCA Welcomes Aurora Police Chief Nicholas Metz
Speaking at CCA on Monday, March 21, Aurora Police Chief Nicholas “Nick” Metz addressed several topics regarding the city of Aurora, crime statistics, and the police department’s relationship with CCA. Metz said that Aurora is the safest big city in Colorado, and 13th on the list of safest big cities in the United States. CCA’s security department works closely with the Aurora Police Department, which includes the college in on-campus emergency-awareness exercises and maintains open lines of communication with Jeff Simpson, CCA’s director of security, and his staff. Several, if not all, of CCA’s security staff have been trained through the Aurora PD’s Police Academy programs, and CCA’s Police Academy has incorporated instructors from the department in its curriculum.
Read the full story about Chief Metz’s visit.
CCA’s Second “National Model United Nations” Team Represents the Republic of Korea and Wins Honorable Mention
For the second year in a row, CCA’s National Model United Nations team returned with the equivalent of a third-place prize (honorable mention) from the National Model United Nations competition in New York City, March 20-24. CCA’s delegation was the main representative of the Republic of Korea on 10 different committees and represented along with MacEwan University in Canada (one committee), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece (one committee), Saint Petersburg State University in Russia (one committee), University of Nigeria Nsukka in Nigeria (one committee), the University of Texas at Austin (one committee) and Zhejiang University of Science and Technology in China (two committees). Our 18-person delegation consisted of four students from concurrent enrollment, seven international students from six different countries, and a cross-section of CCA’s diverse student population. Congratulations!
Don’t be surprised if you hear a new language you’ve never heard before spoken each day you walk into the North Quad building on the Lowry campus.
Located on the first floor of the North Quad building, the Community English as a Second Language (CESL) program provides assistance and services to CCA students who speak multiple languages.
CESL students come from all over the world: In the past year, the program’s students have come from 95 different countries, such as Brazil, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mali, Mexico, Moldova, Myanmar, Sudan, and Vietnam. Some of the 73 different first languages our students speak include Afaan, Amharic, Arabic, Bangla, Burmese, Dari, French, Korean, and Spanish. The CESL students are made up of mostly immigrants and refugees from the Aurora-Denver metro area.
CESL offers six different levels of non-credit ESL classes, from beginning-level classes for people who are just starting to learn English to advanced-level classes. The program also has citizenship-preparation classes, which are partially funded by a grant from the United States Citizen and Immigration Services program (USCIS). Community ESL runs four 10-week terms per year, with classes starting in January, April, July, and October, and serves an average of about 490 students each term, or nearly 2,000 students per year.
Many CESL students go on to take college-level classes at CCA, and they tend to do very well. Between spring 2012 and summer 2015, 165 CESL students started taking College Prep ESL classes at CCA, and 92 percent of the students who started in CESL passed their College Prep ESL classes.
CESL staff are also very proud of the program’s citizenship-preparation classes, where more than 200 students a year study for their citizenship tests and practice citizenship interviews so they will be well-prepared for their appointments at USCIS. The CESL program has helped many of its students successfully earn their U.S. citizenship, including 11 students who have naturalized since the beginning of 2016.
CESL students have wonderful things to say about their classes. They report that they like the teachers and staff, their classes are challenging, and they feel that they have improved their English skills quite a bit. Students have commented to CESL staff that their teachers are friendly, caring, and enthusiastic, and the students appreciate being able to change their class schedule when they need to.
The Community ESL Program is led by Program Director Stephanie Lawton, who has directed all aspects of the program since 2009. She is supported by Jackie Zvejnieks, who joined CCA as the assistant coordinator of CESL in November 2015.
Featured Event: Camino al Colegio – April 16, 2016 – noon to 2 p.m. - West Quad Building 112 (Todd Bergren Room)
Inclusive Excellence (Student Session) - April 11, 2016 - noon to 1 p.m. - West Quad Building 112 (Todd Bergren Room)
Inclusive Excellence (Employee Session) - April 13, 2016 - 3 to 4 p.m. - West Quad Building 112 (Todd Bergren Room)
Featured Event: 9Health Fair – April 10, 2016 – 7 a.m. to noon – CentreTech Campus – various locations
ThankYouAmerica! Music and Art Event – April 6, 2016 – 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Student Centre, Rotunda (S100)
ThankYouAmerica! Business and Science Event – April 13, 2016 – 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Inclusive Excellence (Student Session) - April 13, 2016 - noon to 1 p.m. - Student Centre, Cafeteria
Speak Up, Colorado! – April 29, 2016 – noon to 3 p.m. – Classroom Building
Katherine Billotte, Adjunct Humanities Faculty
Q: What Classes do you teach at CCA?
A: This semester I’m teaching World Mythology; Early Civilizations; and Medieval to Modern Civilizations.
Q: How long have you been teaching at CCA?
A: For a year now.
Q: What is your professional/educational background?
A: I’m an Aurora girl; I graduated from Overland High School. I grew up right off of Alameda and Havana. I got my bachelor’s degree in classical languages from the University of California, Berkeley. I got my joint M.A./Ph.D. in classics from the University of London from Royal Holloway College. I was in London for two and a half years. Then I went to Egypt and was in Cairo during the 2011 revolution. I was doing a research exchange with an American University in Cairo and then came back and spent another year in London, went to Berlin, and then came home.
Q: What made you decide to come back to Aurora and teach?
A: I do my research stuff and I love it, but I also really want to be engaged in the community that I come from. One of the beautiful things about adjuncting here actually is that I am able to do that but also really engage the community that made me, and I think that’s really great.
Q: What do you like about teaching humanities courses? What drew you to the field?
A: I like big questions. I had brilliant teachers at Overland—literature, English, French, and history teachers who were engaged. The discussions at Overland—because there was so much diversity—were really fascinating. One of the reasons I like teaching here is because when I went looking for that [diversity] elsewhere—when I teach Latin to prep-school kids, for instance—you wouldn’t get those kinds of discussions. You get that here. It re-creates the experience I had that made me fall in love with having those kind of conversations in the first place.
Q: What advice would you give to a CCA student who is taking a class and has hit a wall or is struggling?
A: I ended up taking Calc 3—Differential Equations. I sat down and looked at the syllabus and realized that even if I failed all the tests, I realized that if I just did the homework I could pass. If I just got up every morning and did an hour of this, I would pass. And that’s all I needed. I still don’t really know what differential equations are. I didn’t check my grade; I just got up every morning an hour before class and I would do my homework. Get up every morning or every evening; get up and say, “I’m going to do this for an hour. I’m going to do this for 45 minutes—whatever you can handle—and do it. Don’t worry about the grade. I wish I had some magical button that could trigger kids and make them not care about their grades.
Q: Did you have a memorable teacher who inspired you?
A: Rachel Advincula—she was my world geography teacher freshman year in high school. She was just interested in the world in a really engaging way; to this day, she is just interested in the world, and it made me interested in the world, and that was really special. Probably the person who changed the course of my life is Caroline Humfress, who is a scholar of Roman rhetoric, which is as far from what I do as possible. She was on sabbatical from Birkbeck College at the University of London, and I met her at Cal when I was a freshman. She taught the first college class I ever took. I had gone to college to be a linguist; she made me think about language in a different way, and it moved me into literary theory.
A: I love to travel. I’ve been to every continent but Australia, and we’ve got that on the agenda for this year. I like college sports so I’m a big college football fan. I was at Cal during the [Jeff] Tedford era when they were really good. I grew up as a CU fan but then they went and joined the same conference so that’s been hard—it’s caused a lot of family trouble.
AAHHE Conference Attended by CCA Faculty and Students
Community College of Aurora faculty Chris Juarez (math/statistics), Cynthia Villegas (English) and James Gray (math), along with 10 CCA Hispanic students, attended the 2016 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education conference in Costa Mesa, CA, from March 10-12. This year’s AAHHE theme was “Latino Attainment: Meeting America’s Equity & Talent Imperatives.” The 10 students were nominated by a faculty member or staff, and included several ASCENT students and one high school student. (ASCENT stands for Accelerating Students Through Concurrent Enrollment.) At the conference, the students attended several sessions regarding Latino attainment, as well as a workshop titled “Building Your Career in Higher Education: Paths to Research, Teaching, Administration, Government and Nonprofit Leadership.” In addition, the students networked with faculty and administrators, including university presidents, which provided the students with mentorship, and resulted in several students being offered possible opportunities such as attending a resident summer STEM program.
Vice President of Student Affairs Presents at National Conference
Dr. Elena Sandoval-Lucero, vice president for Student Affairs, attended the NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education conference from March 12-16, where she presented a featured education session titled “Factors Impacting the Success of Latino Students at Community Colleges.” NASPA is the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
Congratulations to Kyla and Trent Antony, who welcomed Adilynn Antony into the world at 1:17 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15. Adilynn weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and measured 19.5 inches long. Kyla, Trent, and baby are doing wonderfully.
The Office of Student Life and Student Government Association, in conjunction with many different departments across CCA, hosted several events for the college’s first Spirit Week. Check out many of the various activities and events featured:
Student Government Association President Twich Collins serves CCA President Betsy Oudenhoven a pancake during Spirit Week’s Pancake Celebration on the CentreTech walkway on Tuesday, March 15.
Elena Sandoval-Lucero, vice president of Student Affairs, met with students on the CentreTech campus on Thursday, March 17, as part of “Re-energize with Elena” during Spirit Week. Sandoval-Lucero offered energy and fruit drinks, coffee, and snacks for students.
Alyssa Rosch, graduate assistant with the Office of Student Life, tosses a bean bag during a Spirit Week activity on the Lowry campus on Monday, March 14.
International Village: A Passport to Culture
If you missed this year’s International Village at the CentreTech campus on March 22, you missed a treat! This international potluck and culture celebration offered the CCA community the opportunity to immerse themselves in the food and culture of many of our students. “It’s a great way to celebrate the diverse population of our students at CCA,” said Chris Tombari, assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “Many of our students are residents of Aurora, and they are proud to share their culture.” Some of the featured culinary fare included delicious food from Ethiopia; Indian cuisine; mole from Mexico; and alfajores, a type of sandwich cookie, from Peru. Ethiopian coffee and organic teas from China were also part of the potluck. The table from America included bologna sandwiches and a multicolored cake. Adolfo Romero, (photo on left) a CCA student from Chile, sang lively songs from his native country.
How the Qur’an and the Bible Speak to Women Today
More than 75 students, staff, faculty, and community members attended the interfaith panel and art exhibit “Rereading the Sacred Texts: How Do the Bible and Qur’an Speak to Women?” on Tuesday, March 22. Daniel Schweissing, English as a Second Language faculty member, facilitated the panel discussion between Christine Sheikh (left) and Angela January (right).
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
The CCA production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was performed for the Aurora public on two weekends in March. The performance, directed by Joe Gill, featured some twists on the traditional Shakespeare classic. The play was set in a 1920s urban setting, and the gender of some of the actors was reversed for the production. Gill and Dana Bergren, who plays Titania in the play, were interviewed on 9News about the play.
Andrew Singer, faculty, Diesel Power Mechanics
Hollie Jones, administrative assistant I, Financial Aid Office
Elena Wiman, accounting technician II, Cashier’s Office
Rebecca Pickett, program assistant, Center for Workforce Development
What is the best April Fool’s joke you have seen—either on or off campus?
“The best April Fool’s joke I’ve seen on campus was when a coworker and I bought a bunch of car air fresheners and taped them to the bottom of the new guy’s desk chair. He kept swiveling around trying to figure out the smell. Every other day or so we would add another air freshener but with a different scent. The guy came to the conclusion that his air vent was connected to the one in the ladies’ restroom, and so the mystery pine/lemon scent was women’s perfume. We eventually stopped adding/changing scents and just let him believe his theory was correct.” – Brandy Monckton, academic advisor, School of Liberal Arts
“My daughter taped the press button on the back of the squirt nozzle at the kitchen sink down (in the spray position). Then carefully pointed the nozzle at the sink. When the water was turned on a spray hit the unsuspecting person right in the face.” – Pony Anderson, director, Center for Simulation and Disaster Management Institute