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For all media information requests concerning South Mountain Community College and affiliated activities, please contact:
Bruce Battle

250 New Citizens

Posted by on Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on 250 New Citizens


PHOENIX, Ariz.– June 22, 2016 – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will welcome America’s newest citizens during a special naturalization ceremony at South Mountain Community College Monday, July 4, 2016, SMCC GYM, 9:00 a.m.

The Honorable Roslyn O. Silver, U.S. Federal Judge for the District of Arizona will preside over the ceremony and administer the Oath of Allegiance to the new citizens.

The 250 citizenship candidates originate from the following 57 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bularia, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, People’s Republic, Colombia, Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Serbia, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, ST. Vincent –Grenadines, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USSR, Vietnam, and Yugoslavia.

This ceremony is part of USCIS’ annual Independence Day celebration. This year, USCIS celebrates our nation’s 240th birthday by welcoming more than 4,000 new U.S. citizens in more than 50 naturalization ceremonies across the country from July 1through July 4.

USCIS is asking new citizens and their families and friends to share their experience and photos from their ceremonies via social media using the hashtag #newUScitizen.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow on Twitter @uscis.

For media inquiries, contact Maria Elena Upson, USCIS Public Affairs Officer, 602.462.2503

NOTE: Media should plan on arriving at least 30 minutes before the ceremony begins.


Posted by on Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on PHARMACY TECHNICIAN


PHOENIX, Ariz. – June 1, 2016 – South Mountain Community College (SMCC) Pharmacy Customer Service Technician program is accepting applications for the fall 2016 cohort. The first information session about the program and application process will begin June 2, 2016.

The program trains and prepares students for a career as a qualified professional. The median pay for Pharmacy Technicians in Arizona is approximately $31,656 annually and projected job growth is faster than average.

The Certificate of Completion in the Pharmacy Customer Service program will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to work in the retail pharmacy environment. Courses will cover federal and state pharmacy regulations and pharmacy services, including prescription dispensing and drug distribution and control. Emphasis will be on providing quality customer service and using effective communications and interpersonal skills when dealing with pharmacy customers and personnel.

The 24-week program runs in the evening and all classes are held at the Guadalupe Center located at 9233 S. Avenida del Yaqui (Priest Dr.) in Guadalupe.

To qualify students must have a High School diploma or GED, apply to the program, and attend one of the information sessions to receive application information.

Information sessions will take place at SMCC main campus and Guadalupe Center.

June 2 | 5 – 7 p.m. | GC124
June 21 | 5 – 7 p.m. | GC124

June 16 | 5 – 7 p.m. | LRC106
July 7 | 5 – 7 p.m. | LRC106

Applications must be received by July 25, 2016. Space is limited.

For more information call 602-243-8217 or


Posted by on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on STUDENTS AWARDED $2,500


PHOENIX, Ariz. – May 17, 2016 – Congratulations go out to the South Mountain Community College (SMCC) Community Entrepreneurship Center (CEC) Spring 2016 Student Venture Pitch Competition (SVPC) winners! The SVPC is funded by MariSol Federal Credit Union to support local entrepreneurial opportunities.

Student Entrepreneurs had three minutes to provide an overview of their businesses, describe their customers, and outline the benefits their business would gain from the prize money. Prizes were awarded for first through fifth place.

Kerry TaftFirst place winner Kerry Taft, Owner of business FitBox, formerly known as PT Kerry Dance & Fitness Studio, was awarded $500 for her venture pitch. Taft’s passion for fitness began as a child, growing up in foster care and needed something to do. Taft had always been interested in music so she started dancing. Teaching dance classes eventually turned into teaching fitness classes. Taft loves helping others so this was the perfect platform for her. Taft’s business specializes in promoting self-worth while teaching mothers and children specifically the benefits of having a healthy, active lifestyle that is fun.

With the prize money, Kerry plans on expanding FitBox to offer online personal training and online fitness classes. “I have many goals for my business and a well-planned timeline. Within the next year, I will be operating my business out of a larger facility. I will also have a large and steady pool of online memberships as well as offering free boot camps and fitness classes for families in my community”, says Taft

Runner-up Maria Gonzalez was awarded the second place prize of $400 for her call center business. Student entrepreneurs Ana Murley, Qwner of an Off-roading education business and Carl Fulton who owned a taxi service to support a half-way house both tied for third place prize of $300. Karina Baker, mobile yoga for kids and Markel Sumler, HIV/AIDS education services, both tied for fourth place each winning $200. Fifth place prize of $100 went to David Luna for his DJ & Audio services business.

The next Student Venture Pitch Competition will be held in Fall 2016. The competition is open to all SMCC students registered for a minimum of three credit hours during the semester and who own or are ready to start a business.

For more information about the many opportunities available through the South Mountain Community College Community Entrepreneurship Center visit


Posted by on Monday, May 9th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on DR. SIAN PROCTOR


Dr. Sian ProctorPHOENIX, Ariz. – Dr. Sian Proctor, geology professor at South Mountain Community College (SMCC), was selected to participate in GENIUS, a television series by Stephen Hawking The first episode is scheduled to air on PBS Wednesday, May 18, 2016. In the series, renowned scientist Stephen Hawking shows ordinary people how to think like a genius. Dr. Proctor is a volunteer participant in Episode 2: “Are We alone?”

Dr. Proctor is also one of nine individuals selected for the 2016 Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program (ACEAP). The program brings amateur astronomers, planetarium personnel, and K-16 formal and informal astronomy educators to US astronomy facilities in Chile. In June, the ambassadors will travel to Chile and visit Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), Gemini-South Observatory, and the Atacama Large Millimeter-submillimeter Array (ALMA). While at these facilities, ACEAP Ambassadors will receive extensive training about the instruments, the science, and data products, and the will also learn about communicating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts. When they return home, the Ambassadors will share their experiences and observatory resources with schools and community groups across the US.

Along with being a geology professor, Dr. Proctor is also a sustainability professor at SMCC. Throughout her adult life she has pushed herself to take on new challenges and to learn new things that she can bring back into the classroom. She has traveled and taught around the world, and was a finalist for the 2009 NASA Astronaut Program. She was on the 2010 Discovery Channel reality TV show called The Colony. In 2013 she lived for 120 days in a NASA funded Mars Simulation called HI-SEAS. Dr. Proctor’s experiences during the HI-SEAS mission and on The Colony taught her how to live in unique environments with limited resources. During the summer of 2014, Sian spent four weeks in Barrow, Alaska as a PolarTREC Teacher studying coastal erosion and risk management.

For those who want to learn more about this exciting new science, Dr. Proctor will be teaching Introduction to Planetary Science (GLG105) the coming fall 2016 semester.

For more information about “GENIUS”, visit

For more information about “ACEAP”, visit

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Posted by on Thursday, March 31st, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Groundbreaking Ceremony


Hope College and Career Readiness Academy Ground Breaking Ceremony

Please join us for this new chapter in SMCC history.

South Mountain Community College (SMCC) and the Maricopa County Regional School District (MCRSD) will break ground on the Hope College and Career Readiness Academy on April 7, 2016.

Hope College and Career Readiness Academy will provide disconnected youth in South Phoenix with an opportunity to return to school and receive specialized training while obtaining their high school diplomas.


South Mountain Community College
7050 S. 24th Street | Phoenix, AZ 85042 (See map for event location)
Event is open to the public.

Collegiate DECA

Posted by on Wednesday, March 30th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Collegiate DECA


PHOENIX, Ariz. – March 2016 – On February 27, fifteen South Mountain Community College (SMCC) DECA club students attended the State Career Development Conference at Grand Canyon University. The students competed against seven other universities and colleges in various business fields. Ryan Lindale took first place in Professional Sales and Christopher Villagrana took third place in Accounting.

Georgina Mendoza, Kaiya Henderson, Jazmine Bustillo, Glydel Jabagat, Jonathan Raus, Angel Chavez and Ryan Lindale qualified for the International Career Development Conference. The seven students will compete at the conference to take place in Washington DC on April 15 – 20, 2016.

SMCC DECA also won an award for the largest Collegiate DECA chapter in Arizona with 58 members. Barbara Gonzalez, Club Advisor and SMCC Faculty, received the award for Collegiate DECA Advisor of the Year.

On March 8 and 9, SMCC DECA members, Georgina Mendoza and Kaiya Henderson were selected to participate in the MLB Diversity Business Summit.

Both students plan to major in Sports Management, Mendoza stated, “It was an amazing experience. I gave my resume to all of the teams there and networked with all of them.”

For more information about SMCC’s Collegiate DECA or Business programs visit,

State Conference
2016 State Conference

Kaiya Henderson
Kaiya Henderson | Business Summit

Georgina Mendoza
Georgina Mendoza | Business Summit

Free Outdoor Concert

Posted by on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Free Outdoor Concert


PHOENIX, Ariz. – March 23, 2016 – The South Mountain Community College (SMCC) Music Program presents “Music Under The Stars” featuring special guest artist, R&B Diva Laydee Jai. The outdoor concert will spotlight its talented students, as well as community performers.

Laydee Jai has been performing locally in the Phoenix area for over 30 years, well known for her style of R&B, Top 40, and Old School music.

The performance will be led by Performing Arts Division Chair Dr. Jerome Garrison, the groups performing will include the SMCC Community Concert Band, Day Jazz Band, the Latin Jazz Band and guest performance by the Arizona State University Mariachi Ensemble.

Open seating for the free concert will be on the lawn of the college’s Performing Arts Center Amphitheater. Spectators are invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs, and picnic in the shade of the SMCC Performance Hall.

Friday, April 1, 2016 | 5:30 p.m.

The SMCC Performing Arts Center Amphitheater is located on the east side of the Main Campus, at 7050 S. 24th Street in Phoenix, just north of Baseline Road.

Music lovers of all ages are encouraged to attend. Admission is FREE!

Visit or call 602.243.8382


Posted by on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on COUNSELING AND MENTORSHIP RESOURCES


PHOENIX, Ariz.– March 2016 – Are you a local entrepreneur or small business owner wanting guidance and advice expanding or starting your business? South Mountain Community College’s (SMCC) Community Entrepreneurship Center (CEC) offers free counseling and mentorship resources daily.

Resource Schedule:

Entrepreneurs in Residence | Marketing and business Plans
Monday & Wednesday | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence | Technology and Business Process
Monday | 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

SBDC – Small Business Development Centers | Business Analyst
Tuesday | 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

SCORE | Certified Score Mentor
Wednesday | 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

MariSol Federal Credit Union | Loan Officer/Credit Review
Wednesday | 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

ASU Skysong Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
First Wednesday of the month | 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

For full schedule and contact information visit:

Summer Fun

Posted by on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Summer Fun


Applications are being accepted for STEM Summer Camps

PHOENIX, Ariz.– March 1, 2016 – Are you looking for a STEMulating summer experience for your eighth or ninth grade student? South Mountain Community College is currently accepting applications for its Technology Summer Camp.

This weeklong program will introduce students to technical careers through hands-on activities. Your student will:
Create a mobile app
Learn basic programming and computer networking
Participate in cyber challenge competitions

South Mountain’s STEM camp program can help fill your child’s summer break with fun and engaging learning opportunities. The Technology Summer Camp offers a variety of interesting science, technology, engineering and math activities designed to keep young brains entertained and stimulated throughout the summer.

For more information on camp sessions and to apply, visit

Application deadline is March 25, 2016.

This camp is possible through a partnership with the Gila River Indian Community. Space is limited so apply early!

Dr. Mark Spencer

Posted by on Thursday, February 25th, 2016 in News Releases | Comments Off on Dr. Mark Spencer

Dr. Mark Spencer Makes International Headlines with Co-Authored Paper on Evolution

Dr. Mark Spencer, science faculty at South Mountain Community College (SMCC), recently co-authored a paper on the changes that have occurred in the skull during human and non-primate evolution, focused on the mechanics of feeding.

This collaborative research paper addresses the anatomy of a recently discovered species of hominin – the upright-walking ancestors and relatives of living people. It highlights an evolutionary shift that occurred at the origin of our lineage toward having jaws that were less powerfully built, indicating changes in diet 2 million years ago.

“Science is my passion,” said Mark. “I recognize the value it has within our society – being scientifically literate empowers people, both as a community and as individuals.”

Two articles have recently highlighted his research:

Dr. Spencer has been teaching at SMCC since 2012. Prior to this he was at Duke University, University of Colorado, Denver, and Arizona State University.

“As an educator, I always focus on opening up new interests and opportunities to students. Although I have taught all levels, including Ph.D. students, I most enjoy teaching introductory courses – helping students to overcome their anxiety about science and watching them make connections between what they learn and their own lives is immensely rewarding to me.”

“Teaching at South Mountain has been a wonderful opportunity. Because the classes are kept smaller, I get to know my students and work with them to advance their understanding of science while pursuing their varied goals,” Mark stated.