The August 11 CentreTech Celebration brought together CCA staff and faculty from the 1980s through today to reminisce and remember the journey it took to develop the CentreTech campus location and to celebrate the agreement transferring the CentreTech campus land to CCA.
(Caption: At left, (l-r) CCA President Betsy Oudenhoven, former CCA President Larry Carter, and former CCA President Linda Bowman during the CentreTech Celebration.)
When CCA was chartered in May 1983, the college was not initially allowed to have a physical campus, and it became known informally as a “college without walls.”
For eight years, CCA operated out of an office building at Sixth and Chambers, slowly expanding until it became apparent that it needed a real campus.
After the City of Aurora donated 20 acres of land for the CentreTech campus, the Community College of Aurora Foundation, CCA, and the City of Aurora worked to secure financing to build the CentreTech campus. In April 1990, bonds were issued, and in July 1991, CentreTech hosted its first classes. As part of the agreements made at that time, CCA began leasing the CentreTech buildings from the Foundation and made the last of its lease payments in October 2015. After negotiations between the state, city, CCAF, and the college, CCA officially took control of CentreTech’s destiny this spring.
The transfer agreement is expected to open up many possibilities for CCA and the CentreTech campus: Now that the Colorado Community College System and CCA own the campus land, it’s anticipated that future growth and facilities-planning decisions will be easier to make.
The transfer agreement will have long-term impacts for the future of CCA and the CentreTech campus, according to Dr. Linda Bowman, who served as CCA president from 2000 to 2012.
The first impact is that the college will have the ability to envision its future, the future needs of students, and other opportunities.
“Now there is an opportunity to think ahead: How do we want to invest?” Dr. Bowman said.
(Caption: At left, former CCA president Dr. Linda Bowman speaks with former CCA faculty member Jim Weedin at the CentreTech Celebration.)
The second impact is that CCA no longer has limits on where and how the college can expand. “Because we had obligations for the bonds, it definitely constrained what we could do and how the college grew,” Dr. Bowman said. “It opens up a whole new world of things that can be accomplished.”
During the event, many Aurora community members were recognized for helping CCA to grow and develop.
Jim Lewien, who was part of the original organizing committee to establish CCA, was recognized for his contributions with an award named after him. The Jim Lewien Summit Award, an ongoing award, will recognize community members who have contributed to the development of CCA.
In presenting the award to Lewien, Arthur McFarlane, president of the CCAF board, cited Lewien’s willingness to contribute his time and passion to CCA and its development.
(Caption: At left, CCAF Executive Director John Wolfkill shakes Jim Lewien's hand and presents him with an award while CCAF board member Arthur McFarlane looks on.)
“You were there to bring expertise as well as knowledge and wisdom to the table,” McFarlane said. “Thank you for everything you have done.”
After receiving the award, Lewien expressed gratitude to the many people who worked with him and others to make CCA and CentreTech a reality.
“Many people played a key role at that time. I’ve had the privilege of working with each president, so many college staff and board members. It has truly been a learning experience. This award is tremendous to me and I’ll truly treasure it all of my life.”
Dr. Larry Carter, president of CCA from 1986 to 2000, watched the community come together to make the CentreTech campus a reality and to give CCA a home. At the CentreTech celebration, Dr. Carter observed that there were many, many community members who pitched in to get the campus built.
“It’s just a sign of an outstanding group of people who all thought this should happen,” Dr. Carter said. “It truly was a community effort in so many facets.”
Welcome to the fall 2016 semester. I hope you all had a great summer. I’m not ready for it to be over, but happily we can rely on some more beautiful Colorado weather in the months to come. I would like to give you a quick overview of some important activities that will occur this semester. As the year progresses, we will elaborate on these activities at the all-college meetings. These are “all-comers” meetings, and everyone is encouraged to attend. And while I know the meetings won’t always work with individual schedules, I hope you can make time. We have a lot of wonderful new employees this year, and these meetings can are a great way for everyone to get acquainted.
An important focus for this year is Collaboration, which is one of our college values (along with respect, quality, access, diversity, and inclusion). We are doing so many wonderful things—sometimes individually, sometimes within departments—but we don’t always systematically connect these efforts across the college. I suspect that while this is not always easy, most of us would agree that it is helpful to our students if we can explain in one voice how things work here. We have been discussing the ways we can provide an educational experience to our students that sets forth clear structures and supports. We chip away at it, but the most powerful changes come when we are better able to connect the dots. We are one college with two campuses (and a number of locations in our high schools). Our students view us as one college, and they want their experience to be seamless.
To further the work we are doing around guided pathways (structured academic programs and proactive advisement), I would like to begin a Completion Collaborative. Similar to the way we started the Inclusive Excellence Council, this group would be open to any interested member of the college community. The intent will be to broaden our completion conversation—share information about completion initiatives at the college, share ideas about strategies used by other colleges, communicate progress to the greater college community, involve students (both in terms of sharing information with them and getting input from them), and whatever else the group thinks would further our completion and student success work.
This cross-institutional group will assure that the conversation about student success and completion continues and that we broadly monitor and fine-tune our initiatives so that we begin to see impact at scale. A significant amount of good work has already taken place under the completion umbrella, but we have not yet found a way to ensure that we are communicating effectively with each other and with our students. Let’s give this a try and see how it works. We’ll have a meeting in September (stay tuned) and decide where we want to go from there. In the meantime, if you are interested in participating please shoot me an email, and feel free to add any other specific questions, thoughts, or suggestions you have.
Other important initiatives this fall semester:
VP Search: As you are probably aware, Janet Brandau, VP for Academic Affairs, will retire in December. Janet has done a wonderful job in a very demanding and difficult position. The chief academic officer is one of the most critical leadership positions at any institution of higher education, and as a result this is a very important search for us. I would love to have broad engagement and input during the process. Cindy Hesse, director of HR, will chair the search and will send out more information soon.
Facilities Master Plan: Duane Risse, VP for Administration, is orchestrating our facilities master-planning process, which will move quickly once we have an architectural firm in place. This is another initiative that will benefit from broad input and involvement as we plan for our current, and potentially future, facilities.
HLC Visit: As many of you know, we are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and they are coming to visit. This is a big deal. Chris Ward has been working with a dedicated team of writers (Lisa LeFevre, Tracy Mendoza, David Spiegel, Margaret Uchner, and Tamara White) for more than a year to prepare the required report, and we will also host a team of seven individuals for two days on October 24 and 25.
Also, on Thursday, September 1, Dr. Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System, will visit CCA for an open forum at the Lowry campus in the Bergren Room from 2 to 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Have a great semester!
Music in the Park
CCA staff, faculty, and students participated in Music in the Park on July 27. Participants provided music for a crowd of CCA community members who gathered around to watch the music performances located between the Administration and Student Centre buildings.
Caption: At left, CCA Music Director Michael Pickering plays the keyboard while his wife, Amy, sings during Music in the Park.
CCA students produced, directed, and performed in “Leading Ladies” in June, a performance that also served as a fundraiser for the CCA Theatre Department. The comedy, set in the 1950s, focuses on two male actors who pose as the missing nieces of a wealthy older woman who is in poor health. The two men begin to fall for the woman’s real niece and the woman’s aide. The two men also attempt to perform a Shakespearean play at the woman’s estate, adding to the farce.
Caption: From left, CCA student Michael Evans listens to advice given by CCA student Allistair Basse during "Leading Ladies."
International Yoga Day at CCA
The Office of Student Life hosted a free yoga class in celebration of International Yoga Day in the Rotunda in the Student Centre Building on June 21.
CCA Hosts International Visitor Leadership Program Participants
On August 15, CCA hosted visitors participating in the U.S. State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Program. The delegation of eight Tunisians, their State Department hosts, and three interpreters participated in a three-week program titled “Combating Violent Extremism Through the Arts.” The project examined the link between cultural engagement and community well-being by focusing on the arts as a vehicle for promoting social change. A CCA student spoke about the college’s student project, ThankYouAmerica!, and the visitors also participated in a drumming lesson with the Music Department.
Caption: Above, CCA President Betsy Oudenhoven speaks to the International Visitors Leadership Program.
Student Life is a department on campus dedicated to making the life of our students better. We do this in four main ways: Involvement, Leadership, Community Engagement, and Inclusive Excellence.
Involvement: We provide high-quality campus-wide events and activities. Some are just for fun! Most encourage learning in new ways, such as through festivals, workshops, panels, hosting guest speakers, and so on. We have learning outcomes for each event and activity we create, which means we want to make sure students are taking away something meaningful from their experience. We also support our student-led organizations, such as the Student Government Association and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, among others. And don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn your strengths! StrengthsQuest is a tool to help discover your natural talents—and how to use them for personal and academic success. We offer workshops for students, as well as team-orientated workshops for faculty and staff departments.
We just hired Jorge Velasquez, assistant director for the Office of Student Life (photo at left), who is the point person for campus and community partnerships for our events and activities. If you have an idea for a great event, contact Jorge at Jorge.firstname.lastname@example.org
Leadership: We facilitate leadership learning. Our employers want leaders, and our society needs leaders. Our new leadership program, myQUEST, is open to all students and provides the opportunity for students to learn more about themselves within four leadership areas: individual, group, community, and inclusive excellence. Students will participate in eight sessions, which help them broaden their understanding of the multifaceted nature of leadership. A session is a workshop, lecture, presentation, etc., that aligns with one of the four leadership areas. Learn more about myQUEST and nominate a student today!
Community Engagement: We provide opportunities for students to give back. For some, that means volunteering weekly at a local nonprofit organization or helping out in their church, mosque, or synagogue. For others, it might be picking up trash in their neighborhood. We help students understand how they can make their communities better. We also promote civic engagement, which means we encourage our students to engage with their communities in ways that facilitate and promote democracy. For example, this fall semester you will see volunteers encouraging students to register to vote and handing out information about the voting process and timelines. We recognize that not all our students can vote; so how do they get involved? They can promote and educate others on issues that will be on the upcoming ballot. Keep a lookout for more things happening in the fall, like a Presidential Election Debate Watch Party.
Inclusive Excellence: As a way to ensure that our students have the best experience at CCA, and to support the College Initiative of Inclusive Excellence, Student Life is committed to hard work. By that, we mean that we are committed to asking the tough questions, such as, Are we being fair and equitable to all students? Do our processes and procedures reflect our desire to be open and welcoming? Are the students who attend our events and programs reflective of our student body? By asking these questions, and by prioritizing professional development of staff, we can do the work necessary to make sure all students feel that they matter, that they are valued, and they belong here at CCA and in Student Life.
For more information about Student Life, visit us in person at either campus, or take a look at the Student Life website.
We look forward to a great year with you!
Colorado Film School received two Emmy Awards at the 2016 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Heartland Chapter Emmy Awards on Saturday, July 16, 2016. The awards were for:
Long Form Fiction: “SYN" Colorado Film School - Christopher Beeson, advisor; Madison Decook, writer/director/producer
Short Form Fiction “The Launch” Colorado Film School - Geoffrey Chadwick, faculty advisor; Dylan Welter, director
On August 9, CCA’s Mathematics Department was nominated as a finalist to receive the Excelencia in Education Award. The department’s program was one of 20 programs nationwide that were recognized as most effective at increasing Latino student success in higher education. Under the direction of James Gray (department chair), the department implemented an equity mentoring program in which faculty were mentored on how to foster success for students who were underperforming in their classes. Hispanic students, in particular, are now one of the highest performing groups at CCA. CCA was the only community college in Colorado selected by Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit organization that honors America’s top programs that increase academic achievement among Latino students. CCA was nominated by the Center for Urban Education. Finalists will be recognized at the annual Celebración de Excelencia event on Sept. 21 in Washington, D.C.
The Tri-County Health Department recognized CCA for its work toward a healthy culture. In August, the college was recognized by Health Links Colorado as a Certified Healthy Business Partner. Deb Hoefler, director of Financial Aid Advising, coordinates a Workplace Wellness Committee, which plans and implements activities designed to help faculty and staff create a better work/life balance.
Heather McMichael, chair of the Business Department, and Neil Pollard, lead Entrepreneurship faculty, traveled to Maryland from Aug. 1-3 to visit four community colleges in the region that have robust and well-established Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship programs. CCA is designing a similar program for its students since there is currently no multifaceted Entrepreneurship program at the two-year level in Colorado and CCA would like to pioneer this type of program for our students. Heather and Neil visited Prince George’s Community College, Anne Arundel Community College, Carroll Community College, and Howard Community College in Maryland to interact and initiate relationships with like-minded educators who are fostering the entrepreneurial spirit on their East Coast campuses. Over the course of their visit, Heather and Neil were able to discuss curriculum design, community partnerships, and articulation agreements with staff and faculty, meet students and hear their success stories, tour their programs and business incubators, and learn about the components and histories of their Entrepreneurship programs. Heather and Neil returned to CCA armed with a wealth of information and resources, and invigorated to design the CCA program.
CCA received several grants and awards during the summer – here are some of the highlights:
Congratulations to Rebecca Pritchard, academic program support specialist in the School of Liberal Arts! She gave birth to Davis Gregory Pritchard on Aug. 8 at 5:30 a.m. Davis weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and measured 20 inches long. Both Davis and Rebecca are doing well.
Kimberly Suazo, payroll accountant, welcomed her first grandson, Miles John, on July 11 at 8:51 a.m. He weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces. The girl in the picture is Kimberly's other grandchild, Emalyn.
Welcome Week: Mixer Monday - Aug. 22, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Student Centre Building (in the Rotunda, S100)
Music, light refreshments, and activities will be provided to welcome students to CCA for the fall semester. No registration is necessary.
T-shirt Tuesday: Aug. 23, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., CentreTech and Lowry campuses
Students who wear their CCA shirts, sweaters, and other miscellaneous gear should stop by the CentreTech quad at the CentreTech campus or the West Quad lobby at Lowry campus to receive candy and a raffle ticket.
Convocation: Aug. 25, 4 to 5 p.m., Student Centre Building (in the Rotunda, S100)
Gather together, meet CCA and Student Government Association presidents, meet faculty and staff, and learn from current students. Light refreshments will be served.
Fall Job & Internship Fair: Sept. 7, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., between the Classroom Building and Fine Arts buildings.
About 50 employers are expected to attend this event which will provide students and the general public the opportunity to meet with prospective employers or sign up for internships.
Honor Symposium Luncheon: Sept. 9, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Student Centre Building (in the Rotunda, S100)
All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend and learn more about participating in the Honors Project Program and to celebrate our recent scholars and their projects.
Take Action Meeting: Sept. 9, 12 to 1 p.m., In the snack/cafe area near the bookstore and Grill inside the Student Centre Building
Math Faculty LaVelle Knight is convening a meeting to discuss the issues of economic security, health care, and other issues that are affecting American families. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to meet and talk about these issues during this informational forum.
Constitution Week: Does Your Life Matter?: Sept. 12, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Fine Arts Building (in the Forum, F100)
This panel presentation will focus on the intersection of Civil Rights & Liberties and the Criminal Justice System. Expect to hear about the ever evolving issues in the Black Lives Matter movement and similar movements demanding oversight and accountability of law enforcement. Participants will learn about the rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, identify where issues and conflicts arise, and what can be done to create a positive and inclusive dialogue around these issue for the CCA community.
Constitution Week: "The Campaign" Movie Showing: Sept. 13, 6 to 8 p.m., Fine Arts Building (in the Forum, F100)
What can a Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis comedy tell you about politics? Come watch “The Campaign” and hear from local activists about their work on campaigns and how you can get involved in the election process.
Constitution Week: Constitution Day Citizenship Bowl: Sept. 15, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Student Centre Building (in the Rotunda, S100)
Think you know a lot about American Government? Do you think you could pass the US Citizenship Exam? Come test out your skills in our annual US Citizenship Bowl and test out just how much you [don’t] know!
Welcome Fest: Aug. 24, 3 to 6 p.m., Lowry campus Quad
Students who attend this event can enjoy food, play games, and meet other students as part of Welcome Week.
Meeting with CCCS President Nancy McCallin: Sept. 1, 2 to 3 p.m., Todd Bergren Room
An informal opportunity to meet with Dr. Nancy McCallin and ask questions about what is happening at the college system level.
Diesel Power Mechanics Open House: Sept. 22 and Sept. 23, 4 to 7 p.m., Diesel Power Mechanics Building 840
Students interested in the program can meet with faculty, tour the facility, ask questions, and sign up for the program. During the open house an initial aptitude test will be given and staff will be available to discuss the steps to apply.
CCA Hosts Naturalization Ceremony for 31 New American Citizens
On August 9, CCA hosted a naturalization ceremony with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, Lutheran Family Services, and the Colorado African Organization for 31 new American citizens representing 15 countries. Three of the new citizens completed a citizenship class at CCA to prepare them for the application and test, which also included English language instruction. CCA has provided ESL classes to the community since 2003 and a citizenship program since 2008.
CCA Students Remember Aurora Theater Victims
On the four-year anniversary of the Aurora Theater Shooting, CCA students remembered the CCA students killed in the July 20, 2012 attack. Flowers were laid at the on-campus memorial located on the walkway between the Administration and Student Centre buildings at CentreTech campus.
The Office of Student Life Provides Ice Cream Sandwiches
Students stopped by the Office of Student Life on both the CentreTech and Lowry campuses for free ice cream sandwiches to celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich day on Aug. 2.
CCA Celebrates Summer Bridge Program Completion
Aurora Public Schools students who completed a Summer Bridge program received certificates for completing the program on Aug. 3. From June to August, juniors from Aurora high schools attended classes at CCA, receiving college credit for English coursework as well as leadership and life instruction.
Students Interested in Health Careers Visit CCA’s Lowry Campus
Students participating in the Summer Health Careers Institute offered by the Colorado Area Health Education Center (AHEC) visited CCA’s Lowry campus to tour simulation labs and learn about the emergency medical response profession. In addition, the students were taught how to apply a neck brace.
Colorado Community College System employees email accounts have been bombarded with phishing attempts in the past few weeks. These emails usually appear to come from IT and ask you to click on a link to verify your account details. Please remember that no IT department in the system will ever send you a link in your email to confirm your account credentials.
Also any official communication from the CCA IT department will always include “IT Update” in the subject of the email. If you receive an email asking you to click a link to verify your credentials, even if it comes from a CCA IT employee or another employee in the system and/or includes IT Update in the subject line, please delete it immediately. If you have questions, please call the IT department at 303-360-4900.
Cindy Anderson, Advising Director
Cindy joined CCA in August from the AmeriCorps: Denver Public Schools Math Fellows Program, in which she taught math at Kepner Middle School in addition to organizing curriculum, capturing data, and delivering remediation to students. Cindy has experience in general advising in both higher-education and high-school settings. She has held progressively responsible advising roles, including director of undergraduate advising, assistant director of advising, associate director of advising, manager of enrollment and advising, senior advisor and career counselor, and college counselor. She has held leadership roles in general advising offices at CCA’s two largest transfer institutions, MSU Denver, and CU Denver, and was a general and career advisor at Red Rocks Community College for 10 years.
Lynette Jachowicz, Arts & Communication Department Chair
Lynette Jachowicz joined CCA in August after finishing her work as division chair of a department at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Missouri. Lynette has more than 14 years of teaching experience at community colleges and recently defended her dissertation for her Ph.D. in Communication Studies at the University of Kansas (her dissertation is titled “Trust, Leadership, and Communication Satisfaction in Higher Education”). Similar to her new position at CCA, she has experience leading a department that represents the multiple disciplines of art, communication, music, theater, English, graphic design, and criminal justice. Finally, she has Colorado connections: local extended family and her bachelor’s in Speech Communication from the University of Northern Colorado.
Other new welcomes:
Judy Anderson—Financial Aid advisor
Courtney Butler—academic program support specialist, School of Professional Studies and Sciences
Travis Graves—EMS faculty
Kathy Guise—Physics faculty
Neil Pollard—Business faculty
Vanessa Vazquez - achievement coach
Jorge Velasquez—assistant director of Student Life
What has been the best movie you have seen this summer?
Sean (Twich) Collins, outgoing Student Government Association president: “My favorite film so far this summer has been Swiss Army Man. It stars Daniel Radcliffe (from the Harry Potter franchise) and Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood). The movie is about Hank (Paul Dano), who is stranded alone on an island and about to give up on life until he finds a flatulating corpse, Manny (Daniel Radcliffe). He soon learns that Manny has all sorts of useful things about him and uses him to find his way back home. Along the journey home, Hank finds out more about himself and the loner he has always been. It is a sweet little picture with surprisingly odd and funny moments. The film really hooks you in with the trials of the characters as they build their friendship. By the end, it has you wishing you had your own multipurpose tool of a friend.”
Debbie Irvine, assistant director, Human Resources: "The Secret Life of Pets. Going to the movies with my 5-year-old granddaughter and 19-month-old grandson adds a level of fun and excitement. We all, especially the kids, laughed through the entire movie!”
Chris Ward, vice president of Institutional Effectiveness: "The best film I’ve seen this summer is Ryan Elam’s Model UN video."