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Bruce Battle

SMCC Faculty Dr. Sian Proctor Returns from Global Adventures

Posted by on Monday, November 27th, 2017 in News Releases | Comments Off on SMCC Faculty Dr. Sian Proctor Returns from Global Adventures

Dr. Sian Proctor, a member of South Mountain Community College’s geology, sustainability, and planetary science faculty, returned on July 17, 2017 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Teacher at Sea Program (TAS).  She believes in taking advantage of professional growth opportunities and gives presentations to students around the country on how a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) has changed her life.

“It is important to engage in lifelong learning and to push yourself outside your comfort zone,” Dr. Proctor said. “When we do this, we truly experience and learn from the world around us.”

Dr. Proctor is one of nearly 700 educators to have participated in the TAS program since its inception in 1990. She set sail on the NOAA vessel Oscar Dyson to work with scientist tasked with completing an acoustic-trawl survey of Walleye Pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus) around Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska., According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Alaskan pollock is the world’s second-most important fish species in terms of total catch. Scientists continually monitor the population to prevent overfishing. Even though Dr. Proctor is not a biologist she enjoyed being at sea and learning about the science behind creating sustainable fisheries.

In 2016, Dr. Proctor was selected for the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program and visited several of the country’s astronomy facilities. Through that experience she met astronomers from around the United States which opened up even more opportunities. She started her 2017 summer off with 2-weeks at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. doing astronomy education outreach with one of the ACEAP ambassadors. he then returned to Chile with another ACEAP ambassador   to engage in STEM outreach with k-12 schools in San Pedro de Atacama. While in Chile, she went on her first meteorite hunt and helped retrieve a meteorite from the Atacama Desert.

“I love having my summers off so that I can travel and engage in professional development. The best part about being a geoscientist is that everywhere I go, there is something for me to learn about our amazing Earth.

Dr. Proctor’s past adventures also include spending a month in Barrow, Alaska in 2014 with the National Science Foundation’s PolarTREC program, and serving as education outreach officer for a 4-month NASA funded Mars simulation called HI-SEAS. She has had a life-long love of space exploration and was a finalist for the 2009 NASA astronaut selection process. Her goal is to be a role model for students to purse STEM careers and she believes in leading by example.

“I hope that when students see me traveling the world, making connections, and creating unique learning opportunities then maybe they will be inspired to do the same.”

Dr. Proctor frequently appears in science-related media programming. She is currently featured in the Science Channel show Strange Evidence airing on Tuesday nights. She also appeared in the 2016 PBS series Genius by Stephen Hawking, Episode 2: Are We Alone. In 2012, she appeared in two episodes of the Cox7 Arizona series The STEM Journals. In 2010, she spent two months filming the Discovery Channel reality TV show called The Colony.

AICPA Scholarship

Posted by on Monday, September 11th, 2017 in News Releases | Comments Off on AICPA Scholarship

SMCC Accounting Student is awarded the prestigious AICPA Scholarship

Albert UrbietaPHOENIX, Ariz.– Tuesday, August 15, 2017 – We are pleased to announce that Albert Urbieta has been awarded the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) $5,000 Scholarship for Two-year Transfer Students. The AICPA is the world’s largest member association representing the accounting profession, with more than 418,000 members in 143 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments.

Albert attended SMCC for two years. He completed his accounting and business requirements to transfer to Arizona State University (ASU) Fall 2017. He has been admitted into the accounting program at W.P. Carey School of Business, which has a rigorous acceptance process.

During his time at SMCC, Albert was very involved in Collegiate DECA and as an Office Assistant in the Community Entrepreneurship Center.

“Albert is an excellent accounting student. I am excited for his future and I know he will be a great addition to the accounting profession.” Barbara Gonzalez, CPA, SMCC Accounting Faculty.


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Media Contact:

Matt Hasson, (480) 717-0208,

Guadalupe Center

Posted by on Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 in News Releases | Comments Off on Guadalupe Center

South Mountain Community College Revitalizes Guadalupe Center with Community Partnerships to Maximize Benefits

PHOENIX, Ariz.– Wednesday, July 19, 2017 – South Mountain Community College is revitalizing its Guadalupe Center to provide greater support and educational opportunities to residents. The Guadalupe Center will hold an “Action Plan” meeting today at 6 p.m. on enhancing community partnerships with the Town of Guadalupe and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe to improve benefits for community members.

“At South Mountain Community College, our relationship with the community is the foundation of what we do,” said South Mountain Community College President Dr. Shari L. Olson. “The Guadalupe Center will continue to work collaboratively with key community partners to maximize educational support and career possibilities for residents.”

The next Action Plan meeting is scheduled on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at 6 p.m. South Mountain Community College will also host one community forum each semester to ensure ongoing communication with community partners.

For more than 20 years, the Guadalupe Center has been helping students from Tempe, Phoenix, Chandler, Ahwatukee, and Guadalupe find a convenient and affordable way to attain their educational goals.

The Guadalupe Center assists residents with admission, academic advising, registration and financial aid services. It also provides students with resources and information on transferring to any four-year university in Arizona.

The Guadalupe Center maintains active partnerships with nearly three dozen community organizations, including Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley, United Way, AWEE, and Tempe Adult Education.

Learn more about the Guadalupe Center.

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Media Contact:

Matt Hasson, (480) 717-0208,

Jonny Britt

Posted by on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 in News Releases | Comments Off on Jonny Britt

Spring Jazz Festival Featuring Jonny Britt

PHOENIX, Ariz.– February 2017 – In honor of Black History Month, South Mountain Community College (SMCC) Music Department proudly presents featured artist, Johnny Britt to perform at the Spring Jazz Festival Friday, February 24.

Britt is a multi-talented singer, songwriter, producer, trumpeter, arranger and composer with two appearances and performances in two Oscar Nominated Films, La La Land, and Hidden Figures. Britt will be performing songs from his acclaimed recorded release, “Marvin Meets Miles” Vol. 1.

The festival starts at 7:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

For more information about this event contact Dr. Jerome Garrison at 602.243.8055.

Art of Storytelling

Posted by on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 in News Releases | Comments Off on Art of Storytelling

Bringing People Together Through the Art of Storytelling

PHOENIX, Ariz.– January, 2017 – Everyone loves a good story. Whether it’s a book you cannot put down, a dramatic movie that pulls on your emotions or a speaker that inspires you, it is the anticipation of what comes next that holds our interest and allows us to open our minds to another world.

Students at South Mountain Community College (SMCC) have discovered how storytelling can help them in their careers, with their education, calm public speaking fears, help with job interviews and unite people across ages, races and communities.

Harriet Cole came to SMCC as a non-traditional (adult) student to take The Art of Storytelling class and find out if it could help her with her educational and career goals. Two years later, she earned her Academic Certificate in Storytelling and went on to earn her Master of Arts in Humanities with a focus on Storytelling.

“After taking one class in Storytelling, I could see the impact it would have in bringing people together,” stated Cole. “As a teacher, I start every class session by telling a story. I have found that students who hear stories have a greater interest in working together to learn. ”

“Listening to someone’s story is an amazing thing,” said Phyllis Ralley, a Storytelling Institute student at SMCC. “You gain a profound appreciation for who they are and where they come from.”

Not only are students learning how to apply storytelling to help bring their goals into fruition, executives are beginning to see how storytelling can bring employees together and build culture.

Recently, Liz Warren, director of the Storytelling Institute, led a workshop for the Founders Forum of Gateway’s Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation. Participants discovered how to apply storytelling to a business pitch, how to use a team to assist in achieving the solution of the story, and the importance of creating an emotional connection.

Get ready to tap your imagining mind, discover your voice, and find your personal style. The changing communications landscape requires a new skill – storytelling. If you make presentations, teach, interact with customers, or are in the job market, applying the elements of story will bring you closer to your audience. For more information, visit or watch a live storytelling event,

Entrepreneurship Board of Directors

Posted by on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 in News Releases | Comments Off on Entrepreneurship Board of Directors

South Mountain Community College President Elected to National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship Board of Directors

December 21, 2016 (Phoenix, AZ) – On Monday, December 12, Dr. Shari Olson, president of South Mountain Community College (SMCC), was elected to the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Board of Directors. NACCE is the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges.

“It is an honor to be selected as a member of the NACCE board,” stated Dr. Olson. “This appointment will allow me to further contribute to expanding entrepreneurialism on a national level. SMCC opened its Community Entrepreneurship Center last year; the Center creates connections to grow and sustain entrepreneurs and small businesses by providing a unique co-learning space where student entrepreneurs collaborate with faculty, staff, and community partners that support entrepreneurship. At SMCC, we are committed to developing and supporting entrepreneurs in our region.”

“NACCE is delighted to welcome Dr. Shari Olson as a newly elected Board member. Our Nominating Committee reviewed a number of outstanding candidates and was particularly impressed with Dr. Olson’s commitment and track record of success in higher education innovation, entrepreneurship, and teaching excellence. In 2014, she was recognized as the Entrepreneurial President of the Year at NACCE’s national conference. As NACCE continues to amplify its voice as a thought leader and resource, Board members like Dr. Olson are essential to our continued growth and success,” said Rebecca Corbin, Ed.D., president & CEO of NACCE.

Dr. Olson’s term begins immediately.

Explore Your Future

Posted by on Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Explore Your Future


College Preview Day for Graduating High School Students

PHOENIX, Ariz.– Dec. 13, 2016 – Are you graduating from high school and thinking about going to college? South Mountain Community College would you like to invite you to join us for a day of inspiration, motivation and college exploration. Come and learn more about SMCC’s academic programs and career pathways? Overall, do you have questions about how to fulfill your future college and career goals? Then SMCC Cougar Day is for you!

South Mountain Community College will be opening its doors to graduating high school students on Friday, February 3 to come and participate in a half-day introduction to your college options, programs, and services.

During Cougar Day participants will:

  • Get valuable information on how to get ready to attend college
  • Go on a campus tour
  • Receive college swag
  • Spend time interacting with SMCC students, faculty and staff
  • Get answers to your questions regarding enrollment and programs
  • Get inspired!

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and lunch is included. Registration is required.

Event Details:

Date: Friday, February 3, 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: South Mountain Community College Performing Arts Center,
7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix
Register: Christopher Erran, 602.243.8346 or

Business Case Competition

Posted by on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Business Case Competition


DECA StudentsPHOENIX, Ariz. – A South Mountain Community College (SMCC) student team won the Arizona Community College Excellence (ACCE) Business Case Competition on October 14 at the University of Arizona’s Eller School of Management.

The team’s business plan earned the opportunity for each of the four members to use a $500 scholarship to enroll in the Eller College of Management. In addition, every student participant will be given priority consideration for Eller College transfer scholarships, if they choose to attend the University of Arizona in the future.

A total of 10 community colleges participated in the ACCE event. The members of SMCC’s award winning team are Shane Perez, Chandra Bragg, Christian Lopez and Ryan Lindale (pictured from left to right below).

All team members are a part of the college’s DECA club. For more information on the club, contact

Handel’s Messiah

Posted by on Friday, October 28th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Handel’s Messiah


PHOENIX, Ariz.– October 28, 2016 -Year after year, South Mountain Community College (SMCC) presents the Highlights from Handel’s Messiah and each year the performance proves to be one of the most moving musical pieces of all time. The twenty-ninth annual performance will take place this year on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the SMCC Performing Arts Center.

Under the direction of Dr. Jerome K. Garrison, SR., SMCC Music Faculty Chair, more than 80 vocalists and instrumentalists will participate in this year’s performance, comprising the Community Concert Choir and Orchestra.

Experience the performance this year for yourself.

WHEN: Saturday, December 3 | 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: South Mountain Community College Performance Hall
7050 S. 24th Street, Phoenix 85042

TICKETS: $10 available on Eventbrite at


Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick

Posted by on Thursday, October 27th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick

Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick Named 2016 ATHENA Award Recipient for Public Sector Leadership from the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Maria Harper-Merinick width=TEMPE, Arizona—Oct. 26, 2016—Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, Chancellor of the Maricopa Community College District, received the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce 2016 ATHENA Award in the category of Public Sector leadership at the annual award event on Oct. 26. The 11 ATHENA finalists in three categories were chosen for their demonstrated excellence in business and leadership, dedication to the community, and support and mentorship of other women.

“I was truly honored to be an ATHENA nominee; to be chosen as the Public Sector recipient, from among such an accomplished group of my peers, is an esteemed reminder of the important responsibility that we have as women to lift each other up and blaze the trail for those who come behind us just as those before us did.”

To receive an ATHENA award nomination, recipients must demonstrate consistent success within their profession and community and have mentored other women throughout their career. Harper-Marinick has been a formal mentor in the Maricopa Community College District’s Women Leadership program for 15 years and an informal mentor for countless people who aspire to achieve higher education. “I consider the community at large my ‘work space’,” she said. “Mentoring and learning together with others is a lifelong commitment.” On the national level, she is currently a mentor with the National Community College Hispanic Council Fellows program and the Aspen Institute Presidential Fellowship.

In accepting the award, Harper-Marinick said, “[This award] makes me even more responsible for continuing to do the good work that I’ve been chosen to do. Every day I get up, grateful that I have an opportunity to serve the community.”

Harper-Marinick is dedicated to community service that strengthens opportunities for all students to advance to and through college. An instrumental leader in shaping access to higher education for Arizonans, she serves on the boards of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Achieve60AZ, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Arizona Governor’s (Ducey) Workforce Arizona Council – Quality Workforce Committee, and Valley of the Sun United Way. On the national stage, she is a member of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance by the U.S. Secretary of Education, the National Community College Hispanic Council, and the President’s Council of the Association of Governing Boards.

In the past two years alone, Harper-Marinick has been recognized for exemplary local and national leadership contributions: she received the 2016 Profiles of Success Special Recognition Award from Valle del Sol, the 2015 Woman of the Year from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and was named a 2015 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow.

The ATHENA Award recognizes exemplary achievement among women who have consistently invested in themselves, their profession, their community, and especially other women. More so, it challenges its recipients with a continued sense of responsibility, support and leadership.