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On November 14, the Community College of Aurora held its annual Partner Appreciation event at the Aurora Municipal Center and recognized Aurora Public Schools (APS) and its Superintendent Rico Munn with CCA's 2018 Outstanding Partnership Award.
CCA hosts the event to show appreciation to community partners, recognize long-standing relationships, and highlight the ways these partnerships make a difference in our community.
CCA President Betsy Oudenhoven opened the evening by celebrating those who commit their time, expertise, and resources to strengthen the education infrastructure in Aurora and the East Metro area.
Each year at the event, CCA gives the award to a partner who has made an exceptional contribution to the college – impacting the quality of education, student life, and community impact.
APS is a strong partner with CCA in concurrent enrollment. Bobby Pace, Dean of Academic Affairs for Concurrent Enrollment, explained how concurrent enrollment helps and changes how high school students look at college.
After he spoke, APS' Rangeview High School teacher Stephanie Walsh and several Rangeview High School students described the impact concurrent enrollment has had on them.
Dear CCA Colleagues: CCA’s annual Student Success Awards on November 30 gave those in attendance the opportunity to hear the inspirational and touching stories of our student award winners, as shared by their college nominators. Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a wonderful TedTalk in 2014 called “The Danger of a Single Story” and in it she reminds us of the power of stories.
Adichie shared an experience she had walking through a marketplace in Guadalajara where she found herself surprised by what she observed and shared, “I realized that I had been so immersed in the media coverage of Mexicans that they had become one thing in my mind: the abject immigrant. I had bought into the single story of Mexicans, and I could not have been more ashamed of myself. So that is how to create a single story – show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again – and that is what they become…The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
We know that community college students are often stereotyped; that there are some who believe a single story about our students. Because we are diverse and open access institutions some believe that our students are less capable, less deserving, or less likely to be successful. There is danger in these stories as they sustain false stereotypes, undermine our mission, and lack an understanding of and respect for the students we serve.
It is true that we welcome everyone and we serve a very diverse student body. And it is true that we provide opportunity to those who may not otherwise have it. And it is true that many of our students have overcome significant obstacles to be at CCA. And our students have been successful, not because faculty lower the bar for them but because the students have the ability, the desire, and the work ethic to succeed – and because they have friends and family as well as faculty and staff who support them and believe in them.
We heard a lot of amazing stories at this event, but we did not learn everything about these complex and remarkable students – we never do. We were, however, reminded that there is no single story for our students – that they are each impressive in their own way and in the context of their own stories. We were privileged to see teachers and mentors who have come into relationship with their students – who have challenged them, supported them, cared about them, and taken the time to celebrate them. These relationships are built on a shared humanity and mutual respect. These relationships are between individuals who are often very different from each other – and yet they have come together at this time, at this college, to change the future. We are so lucky to be at a place where that is possible.
Have a wonderful and well-deserved break and I’ll see everyone in January.
Theatre Production Offers Vignettes and Monologues Related to Mt. Rushmore
CCA’s Theatre Department production, "Snapshot", ran November 2 to 10 under the direction of Theatre Director Stacey D’Angelo. "Snapshot" is a collection of vignettes and monologues, all associated in some way with Mt. Rushmore. The performance featured stories from history, poignant personal stories, biting satire, and comedy with each piece holding a special place in the larger production.
Professional Development Day Focuses on Humanizing Students’ Experience
CCA hosted its annual Professional Development Day on November 20. The theme for the day was “Humanizing Our Students’ Experience at CCA” and staff, faculty, and instructors participated in sessions that focused on student topics such as enrollment, diversity, and instruction. Irene Yoon, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy in the College of Education at the University of Utah, gave the keynote presentation, “Humanizing Cultures on Campus: The Power and Peril of Collective Storytelling for Inclusion.”
CCA Annual Health and Wellness Fair
From left to right, Bob Callaway, Human Resources Assistant Director; Cindy Hesse, Human Resources Director; and Staci Shulman, Human Resources Specialist, helped put on CCA's Health and Wellness Fair on November 1.
CCCS President Joe Garcia Visits CCA
On October 17, Colorado Community College System President Joe Garcia visited CCA’s Lowry and CentreTech campuses where he toured college facilities; visited with faculty, staff, and students; and learned more about CCA initiatives including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), concurrent enrollment programming, inclusive excellence initiatives, and progress on the implementation of Guided Pathways.
CCA Art Instructor Opens First Solo Exhibition at Denver Gallery, Receives Shero Award
Art Instructor Kim Harrell opened her first solo exhibition on November 1 at Mai Wyn Fine Art in Denver. Harrell’s "Back to the Garden", an exhibition of sculptural and functional silver works, ran through December 1. The Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art in Denver has also acquired four of Harrell’s silver spoons from her solo exhibition for its permanent collection.
Harrell was one of six Sheroes recognized from Women in Kind for her contributions to the Denver and Aurora community on November 29. Women in Kind is a Denver-based organization that recognizes and supports women in business. The Shero award is meant to highlight women in the Denver community who may be underappreciated for their above and beyond deeds.
Tami Morrissey 25th CCA Anniversary
Tami Morrissey, Executive Assistant to the President, celebrated 25 years with the Community College of Aurora on October 26.
CCA Adult Education Staff Present at Conference; Hettinger Named Volunteer of the Year
Instructors and staff from CCA’s Center for Adult Education attended the Colorado Adult Education Professional Association (CAEPA) annual conference in Westminster on October 23-24. During the conference, High School Equivalency instructors Brenda Gierczak, Paige Wenzivsky, and Rebecca Graham gave a presentation entitled “Lesson Planning Using College and Career Readiness Standards Math and Language Arts Standards.” Center Director Anne Petti and Accelerated Pathways to Success Coordinator Valerie Gantzler presented on career pathways and on using data for program improvement. Longtime volunteer Ron Hettinger was named CAEPA Volunteer of the Year. Ron has volunteered in the High School Equivalency program since 2014, working primarily with students to improve their math skills and making a positive impact on hundreds of adult education students.
Caption: Janet Paulson, Adult Education Coordinator for the Center for Adult Education, and Ron Hettinger, at the Colorado Adult Education Professional Association conference.
CCA Vice President Guest Edits Journal’s Special Issue on Student Affairs
Paulette Dalpes, Vice President for Student Affairs, served as a guest editor with C. Casey Ozaki from the University of North Dakota, for a special issue of the Community College Journal of Research and Practice. The title of the issue is “Current Initiatives and Trends in Higher Education: The Role of Student Affairs in Advancing Community College Student Success.”
Hines Article in Career Developments Magazine
Career Counselor Erica Hines’ graduate research on the use of the hope-centered model of career development on graduating seniors to establish career goals, pathways, and agency was published in the Fall 2018 issue of the National Career Development Association’s Career Developments magazine. Her research focused on career professionals adapting to their students during workshops and taking advantage of career tools available to assist with the growing diversity within college settings.
Ashley Simpson Named Chair of Education and World Languages Department
Ashley Simpson was named Chair of the Education and World Languages Department in October. Simpson was previously the Chair for the Early Childhood/Teacher Education Department. The new department will consist of the American Sign Language, Early Childhood Education, Teacher Education, College Preparatory ESL, Spanish, and Translation/Interpretation programs. Simpson started at CCA as the Early Childhood/Teacher Education Department Chair in 2015. She spent five years prior to joining CCA as a Reading Skills Facilitator – preparing students for college-level curriculum – at Hinds Community College in Utica, Mississippi.
The Colorado Film School announced the winners of its 2018 Fall Student Show Awards on December 6. Congratulations to all the film students who worked so hard all semester.
Nnena West, Project Director, TRIO, welcomed her son, Zaire, on September 1. He weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces.
Darlene Miller, Research Analyst, welcomed her daughter, Juliette, on October 2. Juliette weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 19 inches.
Jake Jabs Leads CCA Students on American Furniture Warehouse Tour
CCA’s Introduction to Business students and Entrepreneurship faculty member Dan Clarke were given a private tour of the American Furniture Warehouse headquarters by company president and CEO Jake Jabs on November 14. Jabs spoke to the students about running a successful business, having passion for one’s work, salaries for different positions, operations management, and much more. The CCA business students asked questions and were impressed with the company’s focus on hiring and retaining great employees and investment in green technologies.
Caption: Jake Jabs speaks to CCA students during the American Furniture Warehouse visit.
College Employees and Students Participate in First CCA Day of Service
On November 16, CCA launched its inaugural Day of Service, a one-day volunteer program intended to provide students, faculty, instructors, and staff with meaningful opportunities to connect with the greater Aurora community. A total of 105 volunteers participated and were placed at one of 10 community partner sites, which included, among others, the Aurora Animal Shelter, Food Bank of the Rockies, Aurora Day Resource Center, and Ronald McDonald House. The Office of Student Life coordinated the event with the support of Human Resources and college leadership.
Caption: Summer Wimberly, Academic Program Coordinator for Concurrent Enrollment, volunteered at the Denver Urban Garden at East Middle School.
Pickering Helps Medical Center of Aurora Launch Healing Arts Program
Michael Pickering, CCA Music Director, helped the Medical Center of Aurora launch its Healing Arts Program on November 7 as he performed and talked about the importance of music in people’s lives and its ability to help them heal.
Bring STEM to Life
Pathways Advisor Michelle Jaramillo (left) and College Recruiter Katrina Venta represented CCA at the American Heart Association’s Bring STEM to Life event at Children’s Hospital Colorado on October 8.
Brittany Beard, Pathways Advisor
Adam Blanford, Assistant Director, Institutional Research
Tatiana Esmeral Castillo, Data Specialist
Yvanna Corella, Assistant Director, Advising
Michael Roderique, Training Coordinator, Inclusive Excellence
Director of Communications and Marketing Mary Meeks left CCA in October. She joined CCA in January 2016. Mary’s colleagues celebrated her time at the college with a farewell party on October 1.
From left to right, Kathy Jackson, Administrative Assistant for the Centre for Recruitment and Orientation, and Mary Meeks, Director of Communications and Marketing, stopped to pose for a photo.