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Demand for student success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields has never been higher, and South Mountain Community College has made serving students pursuing careers in STEM fields a top priority.
Those efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, Director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL), has identified SMCC as “excelling” in its support for Hispanic STEM students, and to learn more about the college’s programs, OCCRL will be making a site visit to SMCC on October 23-24.
Formed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989, OCCRL’s mission is to use research and evaluation methods to improve policies, programs and practices to enhance community college education, and support the transition to college for diverse learners at the state, national and international level.
As part of its visit, OCCRL will examine the college as part of a case study for a National Science Foundation grant: Hispanic-Serving Community College STEM Pipelines. OCCCRL looks for success in specific criteria such as enrollment and completion numbers, and degrees and certificates awarded, and the college must meet specific minimums as indicated by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), including:
- Overall institutional minimum enrollment of 5000
- Minimum 30% Hispanic enrollment
- Number of Hispanic awards/degrees conferred of at least 50
- Ratio of Hispanic STEM completion to enrollment of at least .90
- Ratio of Hispanic completion to enrollment of at least .90
During the visit, OCCRL will interview STEM faculty, student services staff, and academic officers, as well as students themselves.
“I am thrilled that the office has recognized South Mountain Community College for its work,” said SMCC President Dr. Shari Olson. “This is such an important focus for local students who want to compete in the global marketplace.”
SMCC is federally recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. More than half of SMCC’s student body is Hispanic, and 52 percent of the certificates and degrees awarded last year at SMCC were earned by Hispanic students. Approximately 30 percent of students attending the college are enrolled in STEM programs, with completion rates of nearly 90 percent.
Imposter Syndrome: SMCC Professor to Speak About Overcoming that Little Voice that Tells You You’re a Fraud
“This is crazy,” you think. “I shouldn’t be here. They’re going to find me out, and I’m going to get fired.”
Or thrown out of the building.
Or laughed off the stage.
If these types of thoughts have ever crossed your mind, you’re not alone. It’s called Imposter Syndrome, and South Mountain Community College geoscience professor Dr. Sian Proctor believes that it’s a nearly universal phenomenon that we all have experienced at one time or another. She will be speaking about overcoming it in her upcoming TED talk, “Imposter Syndrome: Overcoming the Voices Within,” as part of the TEDx event “Voices” taking place on Oct. 13 at the South Mountain Community Library, on the SMCC campus.
At its core, Imposter Syndrome refers to an individual’s concern at being discovered a “fraud,” despite their own real success or expertise. Many of the world’s most successful and famous individuals have talked about their own experience with Imposter Syndrome, including actors Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, authors Maya Angelou and Neil Gaiman, and Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
“Society and social media are already constantly pressuring everyone to be the best, or to be the smartest or most amazing person in the room,” said Proctor. “But Imposter Syndrome is different, in that you’ve already been chosen and invited to be on the stage as an equal with all these other experts, and you still feel as if you have no right to be there.”
Proctor herself has struggled with these thoughts, despite a stunning resume that includes being a finalist for NASA’s astronaut training in 2009, being featured in the PBS Series Genius by Stephen Hawking, and a current side gig on the Science Channel’s TV show Strange Evidence as the science demonstration expert – not to mention a master’s degree in geology and a Ph.D. in science education she puts to regular use as part of the faculty at SMCC.
Proctor believes that Imposter Syndrome is particularly hard on women and minorities, as they increasingly and successfully navigate their way into experiences that had previously been inaccessible.
“It’s often when you are trying something new or trying to achieve a goal in a brand-new way,” said Proctor. “Your inner voice is telling you that you don’t deserve to be there, even though others have obviously identified you as someone that is engaging and unique, and has something to contribute.”
Proctor believes that one of the keys to overcoming Imposter Syndrome is trying to focus on what you bring to the table.
“We can be our own worst enemies, but we have to also be our own best cheerleaders,” said Proctor. “We have to remind ourselves of our own unique experiences, backgrounds and prospective, and say to ourselves, ‘Clearly, I am special, and I was chosen and I belong, and I am on the right path.’”
Proctor can be seen at the tedx event on October 13, and also as a speaker at the Women of Color STEM Entrepreneurship conference, October 4-6, hosted by Arizona State University.
The Ultimate Technology Summer Camp at South Mountain Community College (SMCC) has received nearly $100k in renewed grant funding from the Gila River Indian Community and the City of Phoenix, which will allow the popular program to continue its run for another three summers, through 2021. The college will receive a little more than $31k each year for the next three years.
“This is an amazing opportunity for young women and minority students to get first-hand experience into fields where they are traditionally underrepresented,” said SMCC Residential Faculty and Business Coordinator Mary Bailey Benson. “We’re thrilled to be able to continue this important program, and grateful to the Gila River Indian Community for their continued support.”
The camp began with initial grant funding in 2016. Each summer, the college hosted two week-long camps and served more than 150 students in total over the past three summers.
Aimed at students in grades 8-10, the camps expose minority and female students to educational opportunities and careers in science, math, engineering and technology (STEM). The goal of the camp is to stimulate interest in STEM and increase the number of minority and female students enrolling in STEM-related courses – in both high school and college.
The program curriculum includes hands-on activities and exercises that allow the students to experience the practical applications of STEM in the workplace, such as computer programming, data analytics, accounting principles, and engineering, in a fun learning environment. The camp also incorporates workshops that provide students with the skills needed to succeed in STEM courses. Also included are skills-based workshops focusing on the fundamentals of app development, an introduction to computer programming with Raspberry Pis, and the importance of critical thinking and math skills applied through MS Excel and accounting principles.
Campers have also taken part in design challenges at the Arizona Science Center’s CREATE maker’s space on the final day of the camp.
For more information about enrolling in the camp email Maria Bailey Benson at email@example.com
Todd Eastin, South Mountain Community College’s Director of Athletics and Baseball Coach, received the Idahlynn Karre Exemplary Leadership Award on April 3, 2018. This award recognizes achievements that advance academic and administrative leadership in higher education organizations. Congratulations Todd!
SMCC was the recipient of the 2018 American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Award of Excellence in the category of Community College Safety, Leadership, and Planning. This award honors exemplary practices and innovation in campus safety and emergency response strategies, programs, and procedures. Read More»
Over the last two weeks, since we hosted three finalists for the Vice President of Learning position at SMCC, Judy Belsher and I have worked very closely with District HR, the search consultant, and the VPL committee co-chairs, Guy Goodman and Dr. Newton.
Following the open forums on campus, I reviewed multiple sources of input, including open forum feedback comments, first and second interview committee rankings, and rankings from Division Chairs, Vice Presidents, and Deans. Background checks were completed late last week, with a formal offer from District HR being made to Dr. Clyne G. H. Namuo. He has accepted the offer and will begin working with us the week of May 21st.
Dr. Clyne G. H. Namuo currently serves as the Dean of Business and Technology at Cochise College where he leads a division that includes CIS/Cybersecurity, Business, Engineering, Small Business Development Center, Career Technical Education (welding, construction, automotive, culinary arts, agriculture/agronomy, HVAC, fire science), and the Prison Education Division. Prior to serving as Dean, Dr. Namuo was a member of the faculty for 11 years serving in progressively responsible positions including Department Chair of CIS and Assistant Dean of Technology (Division Chair).
Dr. Namuo holds a BBA in Marketing from the University of Hawaii, an MS in Information Systems from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Strategy from the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona.
He has presented his research on the strategic positioning of community colleges at the annual NISOD and League of Innovations conferences. He is the author of Community College Strategy published by NorLights Press in 2014 and has worked with various community colleges struggling to manage reduced financial resources and the impact of recessionary forces. He has been actively involved in accreditation efforts for over 10 years and is currently a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.
He is active in the community as a former board President of Habitat for Humanity Sierra Vista, a commissioner for the Industrial Development Authority, and a former member of the Sierra Vista City Council’s Citizen Advisory Commission.
I thank you all for participating in the process and providing your input.
South Mountain Community College student and Phi Theta Kappa member, Isabel Alcazar was nominated for the All-Arizona Academic Team Scholarship and was placed on the first team. This scholarship will award her with four semesters of tuition waivers to any one of the three Arizona public universities and an additional $1,000 for being placed on the first team. In the Spring of 2016, Isabel was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), an international honor society. Later, she was elected as PTK Alpha Eta Delta’s Chapter President, where she organizes and oversees projects both on campus and within the community. In addition to her work with PTK, she has a very active role in the honors college. After being awarded the All-Arizona Scholarship, she became one of only 50 students in the U.S. to receive the Coca-Cola Gold Award. Isabel will be attending the international PTK conference in Kansas City, Missouri to represent SMCC’s chapter of PTK and to be recognized for her award. Izabel will transfer to ASU this Fall and intends to earn a Bachelors Degree in Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology. She aspires to go to medical school and become a doctor.
Arizona Collegiate DECA Selects SMCC Student, Dennis Williams, as the Arizona Candidate for National Executive Vice President
Every year Arizona Collegiate DECA chooses one member as the Arizona Nominee for National Executive Vice President. To be nominated, the candidate must complete an extensive application, submit their resume and go through a grueling interview by the State Executive Officers, Co-Executive Directors and the Alumni Board. This year, our very own SMCC Collegiate DECA Vice President, Dennis Williams, was selected as the Arizona Candidate. Dennis will now attend the International Career Development Conference in Washington DC from April 11th through the 14th. At the conference he will have a campaign team helping him every step of the way. His campaign will start with an exam to make sure he understands club operations, procedures and structure. He will then be interviewed by the national administrative staff, answer questions from voting delegates from other states and countries, make speeches and shake a lot of hands. By the end of the conference, voting will take place and four members will be chosen as the national executive officers. If chosen, Dennis will work on national issues facing Collegiate DECA. He will travel across the nation as a DECA representative to many different schools and to the national headquarters. He will be a voice for all community college students.
Dennis will need $1,000 for his campaign. These funds will go to booth rental, required DECA blazer, flyers, banners, posters, promotional giveaways, printing, decorations and supplies. If you are interested in donating to the campaign please contact DECA Club Advisor Barbara Gonzalez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thirteen South Mountain Community College Collegiate DECA students attended the Arizona Career Development Conference on Friday, February 23rd and Saturday, February 24th. The students attended workshops, networked with other students from around the state and competed in leadership and business competitions. The following SMCC Collegiate DECA Members took home medals: Adrian Trujillo, 1st Place in Food & Restaurant Management, Tetwan Dennis, 3rd Place in Accounting, David Benavidez, 3rd Place in Food & Restaurant Management, David Benavidez and Pedro Viana, 3rd Place in Business Ethics, Baldemar Arizmendi and Juan Dominguez, 3rd Place in Financial Statement Analysis.
To qualify for the International Career Development Conference in Washington DC members must place 1st thru 3rd and score a 70% or above. Four SMCC students will be in Washington DC in April: Adrian Trujillo, Tetwan Dennis, Oscar Lopez and Dennis Williams. Please congratulate these SMCC Collegiate DECA members on their accomplishments.
Pictured left to right; David Benavidez, Baldemar Arizmendi, Tetwan Dennis, Pedro Viana, Adrian Trujillo
For additional information, please contact Barbara Gonzalez, Faculty/Accounting Coordinator/DECA Advisor/PTK Co-Coordinator | mCLCTL at email@example.com
On March 25, 2018, Liz Warren, Faculty Director, South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute received the Arizona Humanities Public Scholar, Dan Shilling Award, the first community college professor to receive this award in its 29-year history. Liz Warren, a fourth-generation Arizonan, directs the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. The Institute received the Maricopa Community Colleges 2016 Diversity Award, and the 2014 New Times Best of Phoenix award for “Best Place to Learn to Tell Tales.” Her textbook, The Oral Tradition Today: An Introduction to the Art of Storytelling is used at colleges around the nation. Liz’s recorded version of The Story of the Grail received a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award and a Storytelling World Award. Liz serves as storytelling coach for the popular Arizona Storytellers Project produced by the Arizona Republic. In July 2014 she received the Oracle Award for Service and Leadership from the National Storytelling Network. In September 2014 Liz was named to the New Times list of 100 Creatives in Phoenix. She has also served on the Arizona Humanities AZ Speaks roster as a Road Scholar. Liz holds a B.S. in Anthropology and M.A. in Anthropology from Arizona State University and spends most summers in Ireland teaching for Mesa Community College’s Study Abroad Ireland program.