Paradise Valley

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30 Years of Philosophy at PVCC

Home Page - Thu, 2017-11-09 15:51
  Paradise Valley Community College is celebrating its 30th Anniversary! As part of the celebration, PVCC hosted the “30 Years of Philosophy at PVCC” event. It featured a panel of four PVCC Alumni who opened the program by providing an overview of their own journey from students of philosophy to their current roles as teachers […]

AZ Legislators Tour Campus

Home Page - Fri, 2017-11-03 18:15
Paradise Valley Community College was honored to host Arizona State Legislators Kelly Butler (third from left), District 28 and Geraldine Peten (middle), District 4, as they toured PVCC campus on October 25. They had the opportunity to listen to student presentations in Psychology 101, observe a Music Production Studio demonstration and learn about our Health […]

Early College Program Success

What's On My Mind - Tue, 2017-10-31 15:54
PVCC is building excellent pathways for high school students to earn college credit. Please take a moment to learn more about the success of our Early College programs with Dr. Audrey Fresques who provides insight into why these programs are so successful.

Eight Maricopa Colleges Eligible for 2019 Aspen Prize

Home Page - Wed, 2017-10-25 16:26
Eight Maricopa Community Colleges named eligible for 2019 Aspen Prize, and PVCC is one of them! The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named eight Maricopa Community Colleges among the nation’s top 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and […]

Alice Cooper’s Talent Search Draws 600 People

Home Page - Mon, 2017-10-23 11:39
Paradise Valley Community college hosted the quarterfinals of the 2017 Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding Musical Talent Search, on October 12 and 13. Over 600 people were in attendance over the two nights. PVCC’s Center for the Performing Arts (CPA) embraced a total of 58 bands and solo artists, encompassing all types of […]

Student Crowned Miss Indian Arizona

Home Page - Sun, 2017-10-22 18:10
Congrats to PVCC student Mariah Jordan Sharpe on being crowned Miss Indian Arizona! Below is the AZ Central article on Sharpe. For more information on Miss Indian Arizona, visit here.   (Original article by Kaila White, AZ Central Reporter, here. Photos in article below from AZ Central.)   After 56 years, Miss Indian Arizona crown […]

Pumas Step Up to Support Hurricane Relief

Home Page - Sat, 2017-10-21 16:13
In an effort to instill the importance of community service in its student-athletes, Puma Athletics continually strives to have each of its programs engage in community service projects throughout the year.  In the past, such service has been performed in the immediate area with local organizations. In that spirit, when student-athletes heard of the devastation […]

PVCC Nursing Faculty Research Published

Home Page - Fri, 2017-10-20 15:51
Congratulations to Nursing Faculty Tina Barney on her recently published article in Intensive and Critical Care Nursing Journal! Tina Barney has worked in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit at Honor Health John C. Lincoln Medical Center, since 2012. “As a Magnet designated facility (an award status given by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center, ANCC, to hospitals […]

Guided Pathways

What's On My Mind - Fri, 2017-10-13 07:49

Greetings Colleagues,

The College Leadership Council recently held their first meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to “kick off” our work around championing the College’s four strategic priorities for the year (paraphrased below).

1.1 Increase student success, retention and completion

1.1.2 – Close education attainment gaps for targeted student populations

2.3 – Align occupational programs, courses, and skills with current workforce needs

3.2 – Leverage efforts around sustainability to achieve top-level distinction among community colleges

Embedded in our student success priorities is the notion that we can do a better job to show students a clear and concise pathway to transfer, completion and/or career placement. It is also important to note that all national models around the pathway construct identify enhancing the learning experience as a foundational principle. Our work to implement Guided Pathways through the “Puma Pathway” will be strongly grounded in our core as a learning-centered college.

Please take a look at a recent monograph from the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement entitled Guided Pathways Demystified . You can download the paper at

As we move to implement Guided Pathways at PVCC, I encourage you to continue to follow the progress of the Maricopa Transformation work at the system level.


Human Love

What's On My Mind - Sun, 2017-10-08 10:14

I have been trying all week to focus “What’s on my Mind?” towards an academic imperative – mainly our work and an update on Guided Pathways or one of the college’s strategic priorities. But I just could not find the mental traction to do so. Instead, as I am sure many of you, I can’t seem to get the most recent life tragedy – the massacre in Las Vegas – out of my mind, heart and soul. This human-driven event coupled with the recent natural disasters in Texas, Florida, Mexico City, and Puerto Rico have caused me to stop, pause and think more deeply about loss, grief, sadness, unfairness and the fragility of life. Crashing in on these quiet reflections have been the loud chatter on all forms of media about the appropriate human and cultural reaction or response to such calamities.

Because our work around the power of learning is so oriented in human relationships and a culture of social engagement, please consider taking time this week to go deeper in connecting with our students and with each other. Many years ago, one of my first mentors shared with me that the core of being successful in higher education is that “…you must love students…” and he emphasized the notion of human love. Perhaps this is the only “appropriate” human response to the events of the last several months.

Art Gallery Reception: “Otherness”

Home Page - Sun, 2017-09-24 16:04
  The Center for the Performing Arts Gallery at Paradise Valley Community College is pleased to announce Otherness: Work by Dain Q. Gore and Danielle Wood. The artwork will be on view from September 11 – October 13, 2017. The reception is Wednesday, September 27, at 6pm. The reception is open to the public; light refreshments will […]

PVCC and U2 – Common Bond of Positive Social Change

What's On My Mind - Sat, 2017-09-23 09:19

On Tuesday evening of this week, while at the U2 Joshua Tree concert, my one allowed work related thought in between Bono’s captivating vocals and The Edge’s guitar riffs was that the legendary band U2 and PVCC have much more in common than a shared 30th Anniversary Celebration. Their seminal album The Joshua Tree (the 2017 tour moniker) was released in 1987 the same year that PVCC opened its doors to students.  More importantly, U2 and PVCC share a common bond around positive social change. Their anthem One was released with all of the proceeds going to AIDS research and is often attributed to their social justice causes. Their music is a means to a greater end. Just as learning at PVCC is a means to a greater end – positive social change as exemplified, for example, by the thousands of hours our students give back to the community through volunteerism and service.

Also this week, I was privileged to recommend five of our retired faculty for emeritus status – Umar Sharif, Jeanne Franco, Karen Kabrich, Sherry Adams, and Donna Rebadow – all exemplary teachers and champions of student success. During their acceptance comments, both Sherry and Donna presented compelling student stories and living, vivid examples of how they leveraged student learning to yield greater positive social change for our communities. I must say it was a U2 concert-like moment!

Last night, under the direction of Drs. Scinto, Reed, and Kelly, PVCC was rocked into the night at the Musical Tribute to 1987 – Rock vs. New Wave concert. All the proceeds from the concert go to a scholarship to support the pathway between Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Center and PVCC. So even our concerts are tied to positive social change – creating access for potentially at-risk students to come to college. With all due respect to U2, the Union 32 All Star Band can play! Their closing set was especially powerful – it was a PVCC concert moment that rocked my musical heart and soul.

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.