2011 Golden Bear Champions
Following is the 2011 list of Golden Bear Champions, recognizing those individuals were recognized in May 2012 for their outstanding contributions in support PC students, employees, programs, services, and the college community.
Tony Moya, Raul H. Castro Institute Advisory Committee Advisory Council Member
A member of the Raul H. Castro (RCI) Advisory Committee and SRP's manager of Latino relations, Tony Moya is a passionate community advocate for the RCI's mission to educate and strengthen partners that serve the Latino community. Through his leadership and commitment, SRP served as the Premier Sponsor of the 2011 Youth Leadership Conference, a partnership between the RCI, Cartwright Elementary School District, and Raul H. Castro Middle School. The conference targets middle school students and focuses on leadership and civic engagement. More than 200 students participated in this year's conference, which included a new parent track. SRP's sponsorship is critical to the expansion of this program, and it is because of Tony that more students and parents are being reached. Another primary function of the RCI is to promote Governor Raul H. Castro's legacy through the use of an educational tool kit. These tool kits, which include a video biography, student workbooks, and a teacher's guide, are distributed to Arizona high schools at no cost. In 2010-2011, 150 toolkits were distributed, which means that 4500 student workbooks went into the homes of Arizona students and their families, creating a far-reaching impact critical to the RCI. Thanks to Tony's support and advocacy, SRP will be printing another 4500 student workbooks and 150 teacher guides for the 2011-2012 academic year. These are just two examples of Tony's outstanding commitment to the RCI and to the Latino community.
Leslie Lindo, Sonoran SBAP Business & Industry Partner
Leslie Lindo, co-founder and lead instructor of Sonoran Sustainable Building Advisor Program (SBAP), has been an outstanding partner in providing a green training program that benefits Phoenix College, students, and the community. Approved by the U.S. Green Building Council's Education Provider Program, the program is a certificate course for professionals in careers related to the built environment, providing students with the opportunity to earn the designation of Certified Sustainable Building Advisor (CSBA). Leslie encourages her students to continue with their educational efforts and provides numerous opportunities for the participants to be innovative when it comes to sustainable projects. She has been responsive to adapting new training programs, creating a nine-week program in support of State Energy Sector Partnership grant funding and also a Sustainable Cities program for the City of Phoenix Summer Youth Program. The partnership between SBAP and Phoenix College Custom Training and Education is leading the way toward a greener environment for all of us.
Gregory E. Torrez, Phoenix College President's Advisory Council Community Leader
Gregory E. Torrez is a founding member of the Phoenix College President's Advisory Council, a champion for community college education, and a highly-respected advocate for PC. He is frequently invited to participate in college and district meetings to discuss significant issues that impact student success and strategic directions. Gregory has shared many innovative ideas concerning student success and fundraising with the members of the PC President's Advisory Council. In addition, he has spearheaded meetings with business and school partners in an effort to create more employment, training, and educational opportunities for students and community members. He is very innovative and can often be heard to remark that he has a million ideas to share, generously encouraging college leaders to select those ideas that are most promising. The ultimate beneficiaries of Gregory's creativity are the students for whom he strives to provide an ever-expanding array of opportunities.
Tina Ellis, Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona, Inc. Community Organization Partner
Those looking to train for a new career with an emphasis on green energy have a champion in Tina Ellis, program coordinator for Goodwill's Pathways Adult Training and Employment Program. Tina and her staff have partnered with Phoenix College Custom Training & Education at PC Downtown to support national green training initiatives and programs for Pathways clients. The Pathways Adult Training and Employment Program provides on-the-job training and placement in a high-growth emerging industry. Clients are primarily composed of unemployed individuals who are encouraged to re-career in 'green collar' jobs. The skills they acquire through the programs at PC Downtown increase participants' ability to become employable in green industries such as agriculture, building construction, forestry, manufacturing, renewable solar energy, and transportation. Tina is a strong advocate both for the green training programs and for her Pathways clients' pursuit of their educational goals. Her collaborative work with PC Downtown has resulted in a boost to the college's green training programs while providing highly marketable skills for individuals looking to boost their career.
Sylvia Russell, North High School K-12 Colleague
For the last 20 years, Sylvia Russell has participated in the annual Foreign Language Competition hosted by Phoenix College's former Foreign Language Department (now Liberal Arts). Sylvia, a World Language Instructional Leader at North High School, has made a tradition of bringing students to participate in the competition, working with them as a group and individually to prepare them to participate in the competition's various categories, including poetry, skits, and short story. Sylvia dedicates considerable time toward ensuring that her students are well-prepared to give their best performance in the competition. Thanks to Sylvia's support, hundreds of North High School students have participated in the Foreign Language Competition over the past two decades, which means that hundreds of students have also received positive exposure to Phoenix College and its programs. When Sylvia talks to the students about the competition, she also educates them about Phoenix College and the Foreign Language (Liberal Arts) Department. As a result, some of the new faces at Phoenix College New Student Orientation each year are Sylvia Russell's former students, who have selected PC as their institution of choice to pursue their academic goals.
Dick & Patty Norton, Half-Century Club Board of Directors Alumni Partner
Phoenix College alumni Dick '49 and Patty '50 Norton have together served the Phoenix College Alumni Association and the Half-Century Club for nearly 12 years. As past presidents of the Half-Century Club, the Nortons have benefited students by providing scholarship support and championing numerous college initiatives, including the award-winning Personal Money Management (PMM) program, which taught sound financial management skills to students in the ACE program (Achieving a College Education). The PMM program garnered national acclaim in 2003 when it was awarded a gold medal for best practices in alumni relations from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Other major initiatives the Nortons have championed are the "Making Life Better for Generations" scholarship campaign and the new Planned Giving Program, currently being implemented among Half-Century Club alumni in conjunction with the Maricopa Colleges Foundation. Dick and Patty's commitment to the college is immeasurable. When they first became involved as alumni board members in 2000, they lived full-time in San Diego but traveled to Phoenix monthly to attend alumni board meetings and college events. The frequency of their commute increased from 2003-2007, when they worked with staff to coordinate the PMM program. Dick and Patty, who met when they were PC students in the late 1940s, have always worked as a team. In 2004, the Nortons were the first couple to be inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame.
Judy Washor & Kitty McGaffic, Phoenix Art Museum Docents Public Service Partner
For the past several years, the Phoenix Art Museum Docents have benefited community members, students, and the college by providing a free art lecture series at the PC Downtown location. Docents Judy Washor and Kitty McGaffic provide an engaging, accessible presentation, exposing participants to the wonder and beauty to be found in all forms of art. Their presentations attract a diverse audience to PC Downtown, many of whom had not previously visited the location. This provides the opportunity to showcase Phoenix College and its programs and services to increasing numbers of community members, while providing an enriching program about art. Judy and Kitty and the Phoenix Art Museum Docents have been helpful, supportive, and a genuine pleasure to work with. They are always enthusiastic about bringing new topics and art forms to the participants, expanding the knowledge of art aficionados and sparking a flame of interest among those not as familiar with fine art. The docents' dedication to the collaborative partnership with Phoenix College is highly deserving of recognition.
Les Metzger, Phoenix College Alumni Association Scholarship Partner
Les Metzger '46 is a proud Phoenix College alumnus who, in 1994, became among the first individuals to establish an annual scholarship helping single mothers in financial need to attend Phoenix College. Les's generous support put the Phoenix College Alumni Association scholarship program in the spotlight and inspired other alumni to give back in similar ways. Over the years, Les has made it possible for students majoring in such programs as nursing, dental assisting, dental hygiene, business, and legal studies to obtain their education and training at Phoenix College. Amanda Sliney, 2010 recipient of the Metzger scholarship, said: "As a single mother working part-time, I am extremely grateful to have the support made possible by Mr. Metzger. In the near future, I will be joining the dental profession and look forward to being able to help others the way I have been helped through this scholarship."
Burt Price, Ameri-Skills Technology Partner
A collaborative effort of Ameri-Skills and Phoenix College Custom Training and Education has resulted in excellent learning opportunities for those looking to enter the "green" workforce. Growing momentum for solar and other types of alternative energy means that increasing numbers of residential and commercial customers will be looking to add green power systems to buildings and homes. Members of the workforce who will provide these systems are being trained at PC Downtown. The college's partnership with Ameri-Skills has contributed the PC's green offerings by providing the technology of mobile solar panels for the Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Entry Level Installer Training. With the hands-on component provided by Ameri-Skills, the training meets the needs of those who learn best by doing, while teaching the specialized competencies required by this field. Burt Price, Executive Vice President of Ameri-Skills Technical Training, coordinates the schedule of photovoltaic courses and ensures the technology of the solar modules is up-to-date in meeting industry standards. The partnership between Ameri-Skills and Phoenix College Custom Training and Education is helping to meet the demand for alternative energy training programs, ultimately allowing students to gain solid footing on the path toward becoming renewable energy entrepreneurs.
Jeff Wolz, Arizona State University University Colleague
Jeff Wolz, ASU Program Director for Medical Laboratory Science, is a quiet, brilliant dynamo who has collaborated with Phoenix College in the Medical Laboratory Science program to create the 90:30 partnership program offered almost entirely on the Phoenix College campus. Jeff's diligence, resilience, and resourcefulness are central to the program's establishment in record time. There are 17 students in the initial cohort for the ASU-PC partnership program for BAS in Medical Laboratory Science, which provides a seamless, convenient, and cost-effective transfer program for students. Students can complete a bachelor's degree in the program by earning 90 college credits from Phoenix College and 30 through ASU. Students comment that the partnership program is challenging yet fun, and the hybrid program design optimizes student retention and success. Jeff has masterfully navigated and integrated the cultures, policies, and practices of Phoenix College and Arizona State University to ensure the student experience is fulfilling and academically engaging. He exemplifies the ideal qualities of an academic collaborator and is forging a new paradigm for future partnerships with PC's university peers.