Paradise Valley

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8 Nominated for Arizona Theatre Awards

Home Page - Wed, 2017-09-20 14:15
  Congratulations to the 2017 AriZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence nominees! Since 1991, the Arizona Awards have strived to promote the visibility, cooperation and growth of theatres in the Valley and are dedicated to recognizing excellence in theatrical performances, as well as individuals who produce exceptional work in all aspects of theatre. ​ PVCC is […]

Free Veterans Ceramics Program

Home Page - Tue, 2017-09-19 13:58
PVCC has received a grant in the amount of $5,100 to create a new program just for Veterans in the community and their family members (over 18) that will provide an opportunity to explore ceramic art techniques and avenues of expression starting September 9, 2017 through May, 2018. The program will meet in the PVCC […]

PVCC News – Four Weeks Into the Semester

What's On My Mind - Fri, 2017-09-15 07:50
Welcome to the fourth week of the semester. As we all know, this is a critical week for students – especially those students new to PVCC. Please take some extra time to reach out, connect, and remind all our students how much we value and support them as engage learners.

In this video blog, I provide updates on a number of key college activities. My thanks to Miguel Saucedo for his continued excellent and creative video work for the college.

In future editions watch for updates on the Critical Thinking Academy, Guided Pathways, and the amazing success of our ACE program.  

New PTK Honor Society Regional Coordinator

Home Page - Tue, 2017-09-05 09:43
  We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ryan Martin as the Arizona Regional Coordinator for Pi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK), effective immediately.  She succeeds Amy MacPherson who served in this position for the last three years. Ryan has served as a Phi Theta Kappa chapter advisor at Paradise Valley Community College since […]

Critical Thinking and the Future of our DACA Students

What's On My Mind - Mon, 2017-09-04 20:55

This week it is likely that the President of the United States will provide direction regarding the future of students protected under the provisions of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Just as we are concerned about Federal laws that govern our veteran and financial aid students, we also ought to think deeply about the potential impact on the over 2500 district-wide and 140 PVCC DACA students.

A 2017 Center for American Progress study found that DACA students were, on average, 6-and-a-half years old when they were brought to this country by their parents. It might also be argued that these students know only the culture of the United States of America.

I remain hopeful that our policy makers will engage in disciplined critical thinking as the future of DACA is determined. PVCC is “modeling the way.” Last week I had the pleasure of stopping by the “kickoff” meeting for the second cohort of the PVCC Critical Thinking Academy where faculty and staff are learning to integrate critical thinking strategies in curricular and co-curricular experiences as a way to not only further engage students as active learners but to also increase overall persistence and degree completion. The framework for the Critical Thinking Academy is provided by the writings of Drs. Linda Elder and Richard Paul who argue that critical “fairmindedness” comes from the intellectual foundations of: integrity, independence, perseverance, humility, courage and confidence in reason.

In further support for the need for able critical thinkers, Janet Napolitano, President of the UC System, in a recent San Francisco Chronicle article wrote “…truth telling is the essence of both teaching and learning…and we can draw on academic expertise and shared values…{so} it is important that we muster the collective will to participate fully in the public square.”

At the June MCCCD Governing Board meeting, two PVCC students – Maria Socorro Leon Pena and Angel Diaz addressed the standing-room-only crowd in support of our Board’s continued legal fight with the Arizona Supreme Court to maintain in-state tuition. It is clear that Maria and Angel articulated critically reasoned arguments to support educational access for DACA students. Their testimony also demonstrated that the PVCC programs Diversity Inc. and Emerging Leaders contributed to their “fairminded” positions. I encourage you to view their statements (Maria at 58:04 and Angel at 1:00:04)

It appears now that the future stakes for our DACA students may be much greater than merely holding on to in-state tuition – they may be holding on to keeping their dream alive and their valued critical thinking skills as a part of the American future. It will be only through rigorous application of critical thinking that policy makers can address this complex issue in a fairminded manner.

Fall 2017 Start Up – Thank You

What's On My Mind - Fri, 2017-08-25 07:58


Thank you for an excellent first week of the semester. Your extra efforts to make students feel welcome and part of our community of learners is very much appreciated.

Please take a look at my semester opening reflections.

Fine Arts Chair Wins Faculty Award

Home Page - Mon, 2017-08-21 10:03
Congratulations to PVCC Fine & Performing Arts Chair Dr. Chris Scinto on receiving the 2017 ACCT Regional Faculty Member Award for the pacific region! The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) announced the recipients of its annual Regional Awards for community college trustees, equity programs, chief executive officers, faculty members, and professional board staff members. The 2017 […]

Welcome – Fall Semester 2017

What's On My Mind - Fri, 2017-08-18 17:08

Welcome again to the 2017-2018 academic year during which time we will “bring learning alive” in support of student success, persistence and completion. I wanted to recap a number of the initiatives and exciting projects that we will engaged in throughout the year.

The College’s Strategic Plan has been updated to align with the District’s Strategic Commitments. A copy of our plan is available at

College faculty and staff are being identified to serve on work teams in support of the MCCCD Transformation work in the areas of: Guided Pathways, improving student support, and enhancing industry/workforce responsiveness through the establishment of Institutes. For more information regarding the Transformation, please see

Through an allocation from the District of $243,000, we will be deploying four new positions in support of: academic advising, the welcome center, the learning support center, and students enrolled in developmental math.  These efforts are specifically targeted towards improving student success, persistence, and completion.

Ongoing throughout the year, we will continue to financially support innovation and pilot programs through the Puma Pathway internal grant proposal process. Watch for more details soon.

Lastly, one of the first events to celebrate our 30th Anniversary is a PVCC night with the Arizona Diamondbacks. On September 23, please join me, faculty/staff colleagues, family and friends for special pre-game activities and the baseball game. For more information go to

Please accept my deepest thanks for all of your collective work to ensure students reach their goals and aspirations. Throughout this academic year, I look forward to celebrating our 30th Anniversary and the many stories of student success.

Puma Baseball Player Wins Rawlings Gold Glove

Home Page - Fri, 2017-08-18 09:38
Congrats to PVCC short stop Josh Bristyan on winning the 2017 Rawlings Golden Glove Award! PVCC pitcher Harry Gard and catcher Matt Malkin were also nominated. Great job Pumas and we look forward to the 2017-2018 Puma baseball season. The  American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) /Rawlings Gold Glove Awards® are determined by the NJCAA Division II Baseball […]

Summer Leadership Projects

What's On My Mind - Tue, 2017-06-27 11:58
This week’s edition of What’s on My Mind? provides a quick summary of the summer leadership projects in preparation for the 2017-2018 academic year. I also express my thanks to staff and faculty for the very good work around our very positive fall enrollment picture.

Please take a look.

2017 Commencement Breaks Graduate Record

Home Page - Thu, 2017-06-22 12:40
27th Annual Commencement Ceremony Austin Bell   Paradise Valley Community College’s 27th annual commencement ceremony was held on May 12th, 2017. The 2017 commencement was unique in that it marked the 30th year anniversary of the college opening and a record number of graduates in attendance. 270 graduates took the stage to receive an associate […]

Summer Learning and Reading

What's On My Mind - Sat, 2017-06-17 11:55

Greetings All,

Summer session is well underway!

Given our shared commitment to lifelong learning, I thought I‘d share some ideas for summer learning and reading. Enjoy.


“Wofford College president Bernie Dunlap tells the story of Sandor Teszler, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who taught him about passionate living and lifelong learning.”


Jason Silva speaks of the power of Awe


Meet the United States new Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith

Here is what I am reading this summer

“Thank you for Being Late – An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations” by Thomas Friedman

“Let My People Go Surfing –  The Education of a Reluctant Businessman” by Yvon Chouinard (Founder of Patagonia)

“Designing Your Life – How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Edwards