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2012 Golden Bear Partners

May 01, 2012

Phoenix College 2012 Golden Bear Partnership Awards

The 2012 President's Golden Bear Partnership Awards honored 10 distinguished partners who have positively impacted the Phoenix College community in our pursuit of PC's mission and vision.

This year’s honorees were recognized May 3 during a breakfast celebration at the Phoenix College Osborn site. The partners came from an array of categories, including business and industry, community leader, alumni partner, public service partner and scholarship partner. Honorees were selected by a committee comprised of PC faculty and staff.

These partnerships have positively impacted our students and create an atmosphere conducive to academic success.

"These partnerships have positively impacted our students and create an atmosphere conducive to academic success," said PC President Dr. Anna Solley. "We are delighted to have the opportunity to recognize them and honor their commitment to Phoenix College."

 The 2012 Golden Bear Champions are:

Advisory Council Partner
Don Altman, Phoenix College Dental Hygiene Advisory Council

As a public leader in both state and national dental community boards and institutions over the last two decades, Dr. Don Altman brings a high profile to Phoenix College’s Department of Dental Programs as a dedicated member of the Dental Hygiene Advisory Council. He has also served for many years in supportive roles that have positively impacted the education of PC students. Dr. Altman has a passion for lifelong learning, and his career has included such notable positions as Chief Dental Officer for the Arizona Department of Health Services, and President and two-term Member of the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners. He currently serves as the Director of Dental Public Health Education the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health at A. T. Still University. Dr. Altman is a strong supporter of accredited educational programs such as those at Phoenix College and a proponent of the standards upheld within them. In addition to sharing his professional expertise, he generously supports scholarships for Dental Programs students. Dr. Altman’s unwavering support exemplifies an “above and beyond” contribution toward the excellence of PC’s Dental Programs and the success of the students.    

Business & Industry Partner
David Padilla, Pizza Patron

David Padilla, vice president of Pizza Patron, has not allowed the passage of time to erode his dedication to the community that contributed to his livelihood. David, who earned a Food Service Administration degree at PC in 1997, has supported the Phoenix College Office of Recruitment and Retention on numerous occasions by providing a lunch of high quality cuisine pizza to prospective students at various on-campus recruitment events at highly discounted prices. As a result, participants experience a wonderful lunch, the college is able to maximize limited resources for such events, and both partners — David Padilla’s Pizza Patron and Phoenix College — are able to collaboratively support their communities. With a strong desire to give back to his community, aid youth and families to ensure that no one goes hungry, and share his talents, David has consistently supported the college’s initiatives and programs.

Community Leader
John Teefy, Phoenix Fire Department and International Association of Fire Fighters

As an instructor with the International Association of Fire Fighters in their Hazardous Materials First Responder Program, John Teefy has collaborated with the Phoenix College Fire Science Program to provide additional training to students for the past 10 years. John is known nation-wide as an expert in Hazardous Materials Response Training. By bringing his vast experience and knowledge to Phoenix College, he has provided value-added components to the Hazardous Materials class, including national certifications in Hazardous Materials Response and Confined Space Operations. John provides this service as an outreach from the International Association of Fire Fighters, bringing the most up-to-date training material and information to Phoenix College students.

Community Organization Partner
Kelly Stewart, Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa

Through their work with the Phoenix College Counseling Department, Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa provide opportunities to students pursuing their GED. Literacy Volunteers assess students’ needs, and PC provides classes for college credit, such as Strategies for College Success, Career & Personal Development, Career Exploration, and Personal Money Management. Literacy Volunteers also provide the necessary classroom space, allowing students the convenience of attending these classes in the same location where their GED classes take place. The orientation to college and career classes allows the students to familiarize themselves with the college process, visit the college, and set goals. Most importantly, it gets them interested in attending college, with the majority of students going on to take classes at Phoenix College after they complete their GED. The staff at Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa go above and beyond to partner with PC in providing a supportive and encouraging environment that fosters student success.

K-12 Colleague
Raul Piña, Cartwright School District

Dr. Raul Piña, School Improvement Coach for Cartwright School District, has worked closely with the Raul H. Castro Institute (RCI) of Phoenix College for several years, partnering to host an annual middle school leadership conference. As the former principal of the Raul H. Castro Middle School, Raul was instrumental in the formation of this conference. This year, the Dare2Dream conference was held at Phoenix College allowing for over 500 students and 150 parents from surrounding elementary school districts to participate. Raul’s on-going commitment to spearheading this effort is commendable. Because of his leadership, increasing numbers of middle school students are learning that they hold great potential, and that not only is a college education within reach, but that it must be among their goals. Raul’s dedication to partnering with the RCI and Phoenix College helps ensure that middle school students stay in school and continue to progress through the educational pipeline.

Alumni Partner
Dr. Betty Greathouse, Half-Century Club Board Member

During the past two years, the Phoenix College Alumni Association Half-Century Club has worked to reinstate a planned giving program to encourage alumni to support student scholarships. Dr. Betty Greathouse, a board member of the Half-Century Club and member of the class of 1962, has provided leadership for this effort. She has worked with Alumni & Development Office staff to develop a campaign encouraging her peers to join her in supporting this effort by encouraging other alumni make this a priority in their charitable giving. She has lent her name and credibility to the campaign as one of PC’s most respected alumni, which has played a key component in its success, and has led by example by establishing a planned gift herself and allowing news of it to be shared publicly. Dr. Greathouse’s overall support and advocacy have been the catalyst in successfully moving the campaign forward.

Public Service Partner
Wayne Stutzer, RBC Wealth Management

For more than nine years, Wayne Stutzer has offered the free News and Money Series non-credit course at Phoenix College. He provides this class at no charge to aid the community with their financial investments and retirement planning, also touching on current issues and trends that affect financial planning. Wayne’s class has the highest enrollment of any non-credit course, with well over 50 students each semester. With frequent appearances as a financial authority on Phoenix television and radio business programs, Wayne currently hosts The Smart Investor on KTAR. By publicly promoting his class, he also helps to promote Phoenix College and PC Downtown. Wayne puts his wealth of knowledge to use in aiding individuals in navigating today’s ever-changing financial environment. He truly enjoys helping people become more aware of current financial trends and how they affect monetary matters through his fun and inviting free lecture series. Wayne’s generosity in sharing his time and expertise to help others is a testament to his support of the PC family.

Scholarship Partner
Linda Czarnecki, Dougherty Foundation

For many years, Executive Director Linda Czarnecki has been the face of the Dougherty Foundation, a non-profit educational trust established to “assist deserving and qualified students who would not otherwise be able to continue their undergraduate and post graduate education.” Linda has been instrumental in facilitating the relationship between the Dougherty Foundation and Phoenix College in making sure that PC students are offered priority access to the Dougherty scholarship each year. It is estimated that Phoenix College students have been awarded more than $354,000 in scholarships from the Dougherty Foundation. The process of awarding scholarships for multiple organizations can be time consuming, and determining the worthiness of one candidate over another is not always an easy task. Linda has handled all these tasks professionally and with compassion, and always with the best interests of the student in mind. She is an exemplary scholarship partner for Phoenix College and a role model among executive directors of non-profit organizations.

Technology Partner
Chris Varela, NetApp

After speaking with Chris Varela, Arizona SLED Territory Manager for NetApp, in the fall of 2011, staff from Phoenix College’s Information Technology department learned about NetApp’s new education donation program. Chris shared that the program focuses on implementing state-of-the-art technology to help schools adopt and accelerate student learning systems and virtualization projects, as well as disaster recovery solutions. One of the goals of this program is to help institutions that have been impacted by substantial budget cuts, limiting their ability to provide all of the technology required to service the needs of the students. Phoenix College submitted a program application, which was taken into consideration by NetApp and eventually approved. The donated equipment has provided Phoenix College with the ability to expand the current storage capacity while taking advantage of the de-duplication and redundancy provided by the NetApp technology. Overall, this support from Chris Varela and NetApp has allowed PC to continue to maximize teaching and learning through the use of technology.

University Colleague
Tanya Mure, Northern Arizona University

Many students who begin their college career at Phoenix College plan to continue on for a bachelor’s degree. As Northern Arizona University’s on-site representative at Phoenix College, Tanya Mure is always available to assist students. Her involvement with Phoenix College benefits students by promoting college completion and the pursuit of higher education degrees. Through the Connect 2 NAU program, Tanya maintains open channels of communication for students, employees, and community members. She collaborates with PC’s Counseling Department on transfer-related workshops to provide information and classroom presentations, always ensuring that there are multiple methods for students to be well-informed about their options. She is a willing collaborator on projects and demonstrates a caring attitude toward PC students and staff, encouraging an ever-growing number of employees to pursue degrees beyond an associate’s level. Tanya’s wealth of information and passion for her work combine to help countless PC students make the most of their educational experience.