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PC Student and Faculty Member Poems Take Flight Aboard Inspiration4

Magdaleno Perez, Student, and Cody Wilson, Creative Writing Instructor_Space2Inspire-PC-Winners

Phoenix College (PC) student Magdaleno Perez’s poem Inspiration, asks us to “Dream big people of the world,” and PC faculty member Cody Wilson’s poem asks us to consider the Dust of Us. Both were among the creative works carried into space by civilian astronaut Dr. Sian Proctor, a faculty member at South Mountain Community College.

Perez, who is re-careering after working in corrections and security, is majoring in social work.  His passion for writing blossomed after taking classes with PC faculty members Amy Silverman and Cody Wilson. His poem was selected among over 275 submissions, from across the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD). It has been read in space by Dr. Proctor, as part of her prosperity seat on the civilian mission. 

“All of my instructors at Phoenix College have been great, but I have especially enjoyed the creative writing classes,'' said Perez.  He added, “I like to learn about social issues and incorporate them as themes in my poems.” Perez says he is thrilled that his poem is among the creative works aboard Inspiration4, and that Dr. Proctor's achievements have influenced him.

Perez, who loves online learning, started taking classes at PC during the spring of 2020, just as the Covid-19 pandemic was emerging.  He first studied English with Amy Silverman, and later, enrolled in Cody Wilson's creative writing class. With just three courses remaining, Perez will graduate in December, having earned an Associate of Arts Degree.  He plans to transfer to a university to complete his Bachelor’s degree.

Until Wilson and Perez came together to pose for this story's photos, the two had never met in person.   They now share a unique bond, and place in U.S. history, alongside Dr. Proctor and the Inspiration4 civilian mission.

View all of the winning art and poetry submissions from the Space2inspire competition here.  
Listen to Dr. Sian Proctor talk about her inspiration for entering space, and why she tells students that education is power, here.

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Phoenix College is the flagship of the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Established in 1920, PC offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training.

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District.  The Maricopa County Community College District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system,

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