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Nov 25 15

Performing 28 Years in The Annual Highlights from Handel’s Messiah

Year after year, the performance proves to be one of the most moving musical pieces of all time.  Lorraine Calbow, author, faculty emeritus and founder of the South Mountain Community College (SMCC) Storytelling Institute, has been performing in the choir for all 28 years. Calbow says “to sing every year with people to make beautiful music is indeed uplifting for me and to see familiar faces each season is like coming home to the SMCC family.”

The twenty-eigth annual performance of Highlights from Handel’s Messiah will be presented Saturday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at SMCC.

Under the direction of Dr. Jerome K. Garrison, SR., SMCC Music Faculty Chair, more than 80 vocalists and instrumentalists will participate in this year’s performance, comprising the Community Concert Choir and Orchestra.

Experience the performance this year for yourself.

WHEN:    Saturday, December 5 | 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: South Mountain Community College Performance Hall
7050 S. 24th Street, Phoenix 85042

TICKETS: $10 available on Eventbrite at

Visit or call 602.243.8382.

Nov 24 15

Design Team for Hope College & Career Readiness Academy in Place

As the Hope College and Career Readiness Academy makes plans to break ground in early 2016, a team was needed to work through the specific needs, challenges and design elements of the school.

The team members meet weekly with the Maricopa Regional School District and Orcutt Winslow (architect) to discuss the following areas of the 50,000 square foot building:

  • Parking
  • Bus stops
  • Safety & security
  • Classrooms (18) and laboratories (1 chemistry and 1 biology)
  • Childcare area & playground
  • Gymnasium
  • Kitchen
  • Career and Technical Education Lab

I would like to recognize the following South Mountain team members for actively participating in this project:

  • Dolores Urbieta
  • Nancy Deegan
  • Janet Ortega
  • Mark Nielsen
  • Robert Holmes
  • Shari Olson
  • Tim Budworth
  • Yvette Espinosa

The Hope College and Career Readiness Academy will be located at 6900 South 24th Street, which is at the north end of the campus.

Oct 26 15

South Mountain Community College & City of Phoenix Host Geology Hike

South Mountain Community College and the City of Phoenix invite you to participate in a community hike on South Mountain where you will gain insight into the geology of the mountain.

On Saturday, November 7, students from Arizona State University and South Mountain Community College will join community members for a 2.2-mile hike led by professors and geologists, Ron Dorn (ASU) and Sian Proctor (SMCC). Participants will learn the basic geology of South Mountain while focusing on the debris fields from 2014 rainfall. More adventurous hikers will have the opportunity to hike up a debris field to see the source catchments – an area where water is collected by the natural landscape.

To register for the hike, visit and enter course code 7390. The hike is free and limited to 30 participants.

Date: November 7, 2015
Time: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Location: Activity Complex, 10919 S. Central Avenue
Cost: Free

Oct 20 15

South Mountain Community College Theatre to Present an Original Adaptation of Six Characters in Search of an Author

South Mountain Community College Theatre is proud to present a new adaptation of the absurdist play “Six Characters in Search of an Author” October 29-30 and November 4-6 in the college’s Performing Arts Center.

“Six Characters in Search of an Author” is a comedic absurdist play exploring the relationship between playwrights, their characters, and theatre practitioners.

Local playwright, director and Maricopa Community College instructor, Laurelann Porter, introduces a new adaptation that highlights the clash between the deeply disturbing tragedy and irreverent comedy. As the play unfolds, you will learn what happens when an author abandons his characters before the play was finished and those characters return demanding their stories be told*.

Luigi Pirandello originally wrote the play, which premiered in Italy in 1921 and in America – on Broadway – in 1922.

Admission is free.

WHAT:        Six Characters in Search of an Author

WHO:          South Mountain Community College Theatre

WHEN:       Only five performances
Oct. 29 & 30 at 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 4, 5 & 6 at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:      Performing Arts Center
South Mountain Community College Main Campus
7050 S. 24th St., Phoenix, AZ 85042

TICKETS:    Free

*This play contains mature language.

Oct 12 15

South Mountain Community College Partners with Si Se Puede Foundation to Offer STEM Programming to Area High School Students

On Wednesday, September 30, South Mountain Community College announced a partnership with the Si Se Puede Foundation to offer a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Robotics program to local high school students.

“STEM skills are becoming increasingly necessary to give youth a path to success,” said South Mountain President Shari Olson. “Through this partnership, we will be able to offer engaging, hands-on learning that will get them excited about STEM majors and careers.”

According to US2020, more than nine million STEM professionals will be needed by 2022. Providing opportunities like the STEM Robotics exposes today’s youth to engineering, physics and calculus so that they can learn skills needed to navigate an ever increasingly complicated and technology driven world.

The South Phoenix STEM Robotics program kickoff event will be held on November 6, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ninth graders can apply with their Counseling office.

For more information on the program, contact Alberto Esparza at (480) 310-2018 or To learn more about the Si Se Puede Foundation, visit

Oct 7 15

Community Entrepreneurship Director Speaks at Innovation Arizona

On Thursday, October 1, South Mountain Community College Community Entrepreneurship Center Director Bruce McHenry participated in a panel discussion about incubators and co-working spaces.

“Business incubators are geared to help speed up the growth and success of startup and early-stage companies,” stated McHenry. ”The Community Entrepreneurship Center at South Mountain will provide students and community members with the mentoring, expertise, networking and potential capital investments to jumpstart their businesses.”

The Innovation Arizona Summit provides an opportunity for businesses and educators to strengthen their connections.

“We were excited that Bruce was invited to take part in this year’s Summit,” said South Mountain Community College President Dr. Shari Olson. “This event provided the college an opportunity to support the entrepreneurial community and showcase how we are working to expand resources for entrepreneurs in south Phoenix.”

For more information about the Community Entrepreneurship Center or entrepreneurship programs, visit

Oct 5 15

Public Invited to Grand Opening of South Mountain Community Entrepreneurship Center

The public is invited to tour the new South Mountain Community College (SMCC) Community Entrepreneurship Center (CEC) Thursday, November 12, 2015. The new CEC is a business incubator offering education, services, tools, and resources for start-up and existing businesses that includes dedicated workspace, office, conference room, ‘superman’ call booth, kitchen, and lounge space for student-entrepreneurs. The space offers computers as well as Wi-Fi for bring-your-own-devices.

The CEC environment creates connections to grow and sustain entrepreneurs and small businesses by providing a unique co-learning space where student entrepreneurs will be able to collaborate with faculty, staff, and community partners supporting entrepreneurship.

Community partners providing support include:

  • SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives)
  • SBDC (Maricopa Small Business Development Center)
  • AWEE (Arizona Women’s Education & Employment center)
  • ASU Skysong Office of Entrepreneurship + Innovation.

Start-up seed funding is available to student entrepreneurs through semi-annual venture pitch contests and Micro-finance program offered jointly with MariSol Federal Credit Union and small Matters.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony | Grand Opening Celebration
Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 | 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
South Mountain Community College
7050 S. 24th Street | Phoenix, AZ 85042

Media tours are available Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, 9 – 11 a.m. To request a different time please call 602.243. 8169.

Sep 23 15

South Mountain Community Library Celebrates Your Right to Read

What do The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky have in common? They have all been challenged or banned from libraries.

Sponsored by the American Library Association and groups of authors, teachers, book sellers and publishers, Banned Books Week (September 27-October 3) honors and draws attention to the freedom to read and the freedom to seek and express ideas — even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.  Books recognized during this week have been challenged because of alleged racism, offensive language, sexual content and religious viewpoint.

South Mountain Community Library will celebrate Banned Books Week with a September 29 Read-A-Thon from 11AM-12PM in the Library Community Room. Everyone will have the opportunity to read or listen to short selections from a challenged or banned book.

Participants will enjoy desserts and drinks and have the opportunity to win a raffle prize as they hear Dr. Kimberly Pope point out the harms of censorship and share her personal experiences as a board member of the Chandler Public Library.

The South Mountain Community Library will have a display of banned books, which can be checked out. Stop by and pick up a banned book!

The late Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, a frequently challenged, classic novel about book burning in a future society, once said, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture.  Just get people to stop reading them.”

Celebrate your right to read Banned Books Week, September 27-October 3!

Banned Books Week event is sponsored by the South Mountain Community Library, South Mountain Community College Honors Program and South Mountain Community College Diversity Committee.

Sep 23 15

South Mountain Hosts Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which kicked off this week, South Mountain Community College District will offer a variety of free events, including a movie screening, speaker panel, live music and taco Tuesday at its main campus on 24th Street and Baseline.

On Wednesday, September 23, a screening of The Book of Life will take place at 11AM in the Student Union. This animated film by Mexican director Jorge Gutierrez and producer Guillermo del Toro was born out of Gutierrez’s deep connection with Mexico’s Day of the Dead, and much of the animation is stylized by the masks and figures that are synonymous with its celebration.

Next week, students and the community can learn more about the Hispanic culture and history from the speakers’ panel on Wednesday, September 30, from 11AM-1PM on the LRC Patio.

To finish out the celebration, enjoy the music of local disc jockey Manic Hispanic while dining from the food trucks and watching a capoeira demonstration on Tuesday, October 6, 11AM-1PM outside the Student Union.

Hispanic Heritage Month was expanded from a weeklong observation in 1988. It started September 15 in commemoration of the Independence Day anniversary of Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, and runs through Oct. 15. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence Sept. 16 and Sept. 17.

Sep 18 15

Celebrating 20 Years of Storytelling: New Courses and a Year Filled With Anniversary Events

For 20 years, South Mountain Community College (SMCC) has made a name for itself in the ancient art of storytelling. Storytelling is more complex than simply memorizing a script; no two performances are the same. The oral art tradition is steeped in the humanities bringing about connections and community through stories.

The first storytelling festival was held October of 1995 and since has evolved into a mainstream art embraced by a large and expanding audience in Phoenix. So much that Phoenix is now known as the largest storytelling network in the nation.

Led by Director, Liz Warren, an internationally acclaimed storyteller, the institute is a great place to take a basic class or even study for an academic certificate. New 1-credit storytelling classes are being offered this fall that are conveniently offered on Saturdays, teaching how to use storytelling in various careers and settings of life.

This year Liz Warren and Storytelling faculty, Marilyn Torres will be conducting storytelling workshops with the bilingual nursing fellowship program mentors and early college education students.  The dynamic storytelling duo has also created new partnerships with Arizona Storytellers, Gila River Indian Community, and nationally recognized and renowned storytellers that will be featured in the institutes signature as well as new unique performances throughout the year.

For more information and performances scheduled during the 20th year anniversary celebration, visit

Sep 15 15

Public Invited to Grand Opening of New Veteran Center

The public is invited to tour the recently completed South Mountain Community College Veterans Center on Sept. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Following the opening ceremony attendees may tour the center and enjoy refreshments. “SMCC is honored to offer the public an opportunity to view this enhancement to our campus,” said Dr. Shari Olson, SMCC President. “Our college has always strived to provide excellent services for our military students and their families. We are dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of these veterans. ” The Veterans Center is here to connect veteran and military students with the resources they need – including tutoring, counseling, educational benefits and academic guidance. It is the goal of the center to be a place where these students can connect with one another and receive the assistance needed to achieve personal and academic goals. The new Veterans Center will be located in the Student Services building.

Sep 15 15

South Mountain Community College recognized by White House as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics has recognized South Mountain Community College for the Bilingual Nursing Fellows Program (BNFP) as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education.

This Initiative seeks to leverage Bright Spots to encourage collaboration between stakeholders focused on similar issues in sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice, and effective partnerships, ultimately resulting in increased support for the educational attainment of the Hispanic community, from cradle-to-career.

The BNFP program at South Mountain was created to meet the critical shortfall of Spanish speaking nurses in Arizona and to prepare students for employment as registered nurses. Through partnerships with Phoenix College and Arizona State University, students are able to transfer directly into the BSN program at ASU for reduced tuition rates.

This fall, through collaboration with the Arizona Action Coalition Diversity Council, a mentoring program has been implemented. The program is designed to have 20 BNFP student mentees pair with mentors from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Black Nurses Association of Greater Phoenix, and Philippine Nurses Association of Arizona to engage with underserved populations in community health settings. This group will also be working with the South Mountain Storytelling Institute to learn how the art of storytelling can assist them in their nursing careers.

Since the program began more than 15 years ago, over 300 students have become a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or certified nurse assistant. The BNFP program also has a 100 percent LCN NCLEX pass rate and 95 percent RN NCLEX pass rate. To date, 226 students have received their Associates in Applied Sciences with 108 additional students in the program this fall.

As a Bright Spot, the South Mountain BNFP program will be part of a national online catalog that includes over 230 programs that invest in key education priorities for Hispanics.

“It is an honor to have the college recognized as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education,” said Dr. Shari Olson, South Mountain President. “Not only is the BNFP program instrumental in meeting current workforce needs, it is an example of the college’s leadership, dedication and steadfast commitment to the Hispanic community.”

For more information on the BNFP program, visit

Sep 1 15

TRIO Programs at South Mountain

South Mountain Community College Receives Over $231,000 from U.S. Department of Education

As part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Support Services Program (a TRIO program), South Mountain Community College received $231,103 in order to continue providing students with the academic and support services they need to succeed in college. This award is renewable each year for five years totaling $1.15 million.

This grant is aimed at providing low-income, first generation, and disabled students the opportunity to attend college and complete a program of study. While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRIO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

“At South Mountain, our TRIO programs strive to increase retention and graduation rates for students by providing services, opportunities and resources that enhance personal skills and academic excellence,” stated Dr. Shari Olson, president.

TRIO programs at South Mountain include Upward Bound and STEP. More information about these programs is available at

Aug 18 15

SMCC Mobile Pantry Distribution Begins Friday, Sept. 4, 2015

On September 4, South Mountain Community College employees and students will help their community by packing FREE boxes of food as volunteers for the St. Mary’s Food Bank Mobile Pantry Distribution. Fresh fruit and vegetables will be available for all families or individuals in need. The Mobile Pantry is open to the public and free of charge. No identification or qualifying is required. The Mobile Pantry takes place every two weeks from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. at the South Mountain Community College Performing Arts Center. Distribution dates for the semester are as follows: September 4 and 18 October 2 and 16 November 6 and 20, December 4 and 18 South Mountain Community College is located at 7050 S. 24th Street, Phoenix, just north of Baseline Rd. For additional information, please call 602.243.8065.

Aug 5 15

Musicians and Vocalists Scholarships Available!

Students and community members that love to play an instrument or sing are invited to audition for South Mountain Community College’s choir and performance bands. Auditions begin August 13, 2015, and spots are available in the day community choir, evening community choir, day jazz band, evening community band and mariachi band. Auditions will continue until all positions are filled.

Performers selected also qualify to receive a scholarship to help cover college tuition.

Performances are held throughout the semester, and each group performs in at least one of the concerts on main

  • Community Chorus (Eve) meets Wednesdays; 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., Aug. 26 – Dec. 18, 2015
  • Community Chorus (Day) meets Mondays; 1:00 – 3:30 p.m., Aug. 24 – Dec. 18, 2015
  • Community Band meets Mondays; 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., Aug. 24 – Dec. 7, 2015
  • Jazz Band (Day) meets Tuesday/Thursday; 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., Aug. 25 – Dec. 18, 2015
  • Jazz Band – Latin Jazz (Eve) meets Tuesdays; 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., Aug. 25 – Dec. 18, 2015
  • Mariachi Band meets Tuesdays; 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Aug. 25 – Dec. 18, 2015

Contact Desiree Howard, 602.243.8382, to schedule an audition.

Jul 1 15

USCIS to Welcome 250 New Citizens During Independence Day Celebration at South Mountain Community College

USCIS to Welcome 250 New Citizens

During Independence Day Celebration at South Mountain Community College

Citizenship candidates to take Oath at public libraries and historic landmarks


PHOENIX — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will welcome America’s newest citizens during a special naturalization ceremony at South Mountain Community College.

The Honorable Roslyn O. Silver, U.S. Federal Judge for the District of Arizona will preside over the ceremony and administer the Oath of Allegiance to the new citizens.

Honored guests and speakers include:  former State Senator Robert Blendu, and USCIS Phoenix District Director Al Gallmann.

The 250 citizenship candidates originate from the following 57 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bularia, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, People’s Republic, Colombia, Congo, Congo-Kinshasa, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Serbia, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, ST. Vincent –Grenadines, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USSR, Vietnam, and Yugoslavia.

This ceremony is part of USCIS’ annual Independence Day celebration. This year, USCIS celebrates our nation’s 239th birthday by welcoming more than 4,000 new U.S. citizens in more than 50 naturalization ceremonies across the country from July 1through July 4.

To view a list of 2015 Independence Day naturalization ceremonies, visit

USCIS is asking new citizens and their families and friends to share their experience and photos from their ceremonies via social media using the hashtag #newUScitizen.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.


WHO: USCIS District Director Al Gallmann

Former State Senator Robert Blendu

The Honorable Roslyn O. Silver, U.S. Federal Judge

WHEN: Friday, July 3, at 9 a.m.
WHERE: South Mountain Community College

7050 S. 24thStreet

Phoenix, AZ 85042

CONTACT: Maria Elena Upson,

USCIS Public Affairs Officer

(602) 462-2503 desk

(214) 208-7765 mobile

NOTE: Media should plan on arriving at least 30 minutes before the ceremony begins.


Jun 16 15

Hope College & Career Readiness Academy

Additional Information Session to Learn More About The Hope College & Career Readiness Academy

An additional information session has been scheduled to provide the community with more information about how South Mountain Community College (SMCC), a Maricopa County Community College, and the Maricopa County Regional School District (MCRSD) are working together to find a solution that will re-connect the youth in South Phoenix.

MCRSD is proposing to develop a high school campus – Hope College and Career Readiness Academy – that will provide disconnected youth in South Phoenix with an opportunity to return to school and receive specialized training while obtaining their high school diplomas.

Research indicates that traditional educational routes are not working for these young adults. Working together, we can prepare all teens and young adults with the skills they need to be productive, fulfilled citizens and community members.

Hope College and Career Readiness Academy Information Session:

Monday, June 22
6-7 P.M. | Free and open to the public

South Mountain Community Library | Community Room

  • Learn more about the Hope College and Career Readiness Academy and programs it will offer
  • How we can decrease the disparity in education outcomes in Phoenix neighborhoods by joining forces
  • Enhance the local economy by developing positive community members
  • Alleviate taxpayer burden by reducing unemployment, and produce engaged workers looking for long-term employment opportunities.
Jun 11 15

South Mountain Community College Athletics Best Year in the History of The College

The 2014-15 season turned out to be the best season ever for South Mountain Community College (CC) Athletics. The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) honored eight student-athletes as All-Americans for their respective sports. This is the largest number of individual All-Americans in one year in the history of the college. The eight All-American student-athletes represent the largest total of all the Maricopa Colleges for the 2014-15 athletic year.

Congratulations South Mountain Community College Cougars on your outstanding performance and achievement:

  • Delaney Scanlan, Volleyball
  • Kevin Kelly, Basketball
  • Connor Klein, Golf
  • Ben Harden, Golf
  • Jake DeForest, Golf
  • Ryan Douglass, Golf
  • Alexis Evans, Softball
  • Sebastian Zawada, Baseball

The Academic recognitions will be announced by the NJCAA in the next couple weeks, which will include seven of South Mountain CC’s nine teams achieving outstanding academic honors.

Jun 10 15

Hope College Information Session

Serving the Disconnected Youth In South Phoenix

Serving the Disconnected Youth In South Phoenix

South Mountain Community College (SMCC), a Maricopa County Community College, and the Maricopa County Regional School District (MCRSD) are working together to find a solution that will re-connect the youth in South Phoenix.

MCRSD is proposing to develop a high school campus – Hope College and Career Readiness Academy – focused on re-connecting these young adults. This Academy will provide disconnected youth in South Phoenix with an opportunity to return to school and receive specialized training while obtaining their high school diplomas.

Research indicates that traditional educational routes are not working for these young adults. Working together, we can prepare all teens and young adults with the skills they need to be productive, fulfilled citizens and community members.

Hope College and Career Readiness Academy Information Session:

Wednesday, June 10
6-7 P.M. | Free and open to the public

South Mountain Community Library Community Room

  • Learn more about the academy and programs it will offer
  • How we can decrease the disparity in education outcomes in Phoenix neighborhoods by joining forces
  • Enhance the local economy by developing positive community members
  • Alleviate taxpayer burden by reducing unemployment, and produce engaged workers looking for long-term employment opportunities.
May 26 15

SMCC Student Club to Develop a Mobile App

South Mountain Community College (CC) “Digital Connect” club has been awarded a learning grant to develop a mobile app and student digital newspaper for the college. Phi Theta Kappa students have already published the inaugural edition of “Cougar Today”, the student newspaper, as a PDF that will morph into the digital newspaper.

Business and Information Technology division faculty Stephen Hustedde, Niall McCarthy, and Maria Bailey-Benson along with Language Arts division faculty member Camille Newton, submitted submitted the application for the 2015-2016 Learning Grant project and were awarded $11,880 for the proposed project.

“South Mountain CC has made strides in building a programming/mobile apps development program and a business entrepreneurship program”, said Stephen Hustedde. “We have programming and design students who need and want more real-world experience. An obvious solution is to develop a mobile app and a digital newspaper deployable to mobile devices in-house, placing students with faculty oversight to provide additional learning and instruction, while helping students build upon their portfolio to secure gainful employment.”

The club project will focus on four interwoven teams – a mobile-app design/development team (programming students), a digital publication design team (web and graphic design students), a content team to write for the newspaper as well as the app (journalism/English students), and a business/entrepreneurship team that provide project management, marketing, and surveying of student needs/desires in the design process (business/entrepreneurship students).

The Digital Connect project will kick-off July 1, 2015 and will begin recruiting students August 20, 2015. For more information contact Stephen Hustedde at

May 19 15

South Mountain Community College Career Education Students Have A New Scholarship Opportunity

Phoenix, AZ – May 18 – South Mountain Community College (South Mountain) is now offering tuition awards and test certification reimbursements to students enrolled in a My Career Certificate of Completion program.

To apply for the tuition award, students must be enrolled in their final class that will complete their certificate at South Mountain, maintain a grade of C/P or better, meet attendance requirements for the course and apply prior to graduation. Students interested in the test certification reimbursement must have attended South Mountain after October 1, 2013, completed the test between May 1, 2015 and December 18, 2015, and submit completed test results and proof of payment with application.

“We are delighted to announce this scholarship, which reflects the importance of career education at South Mountain,” says Shari Olson, South Mountain president. “We are committed to a whole-person approach, which provides students with the knowledge, skills and tools to effect real change in their workforce and their community.”

Gladys Hernandez, real estate student and test certification reimbursement applicant, said that this grand affords her the opportunity to focus on preparing for the test. “I don’t have to worry that I won’t be able to take the test due to financial considerations,” she said. “I am thankful that South Mountain is supporting my education and helping me achieve my career aspirations.”

The Walmart Brighter Futures Project and the League for Innovation in the Community College made this scholarship program possible. For more information about the program, contact the MyCareer Advisor at

May 14 15

Announcing Business Micro-Finance Program with Community Partners

South Mountain Community College Community Entrepreneurship Center announces new partnership program with Marisol Federal Credit Union (FCU and smallMatters organization. This new signature partnership program provides entrepreneurship students the eligibility to apply for a micro-finance business loan from $500 to $2500 with MariSol FCU upon completion of the 16-credit program.

MariSol FCU is a community development financial institution that serves modest income people in Maricopa County. “We are committed to financial inclusion and empowerment by expanding access to affordable and equitable financial services for all,” said Robin Romano, CEO of MariSol FCU. “MariSol believes strongly in encouraging entrepreneurs. They are the backbone of the business community and need more support from same community.”

smallMatters is a social think tank organization focusing on healthy communities, environmental aesthetics, and service technologies; dedicated to teaching people the art of community organizing. The partnership with South Mountain Community College Community Entrepreneurship Center is part of the organization’s Artisan Food Guild project.

When asked how the partnership program prepares entrepreneurs for success, Bruce McHenry, business faculty and Community Entrepreneurship Center director said, “Three of the biggest obstacles for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses are access to information, resources, and capital. This unique partnership helps overcome these barriers by providing entrepreneurs with the education, skills, connections, and eligibility for their first business loan, which is the hardest to get. Having these tools helps increases an entrepreneur’s likelihood of success and growth”.

For more information about the Business Micro-Finance Program call 623.282.1194, email or visit,

May 13 15

2015 Commencement Ceremony

South Mountain Community College’s spring commencement ceremony will be held Friday, May 15 at Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington Street. The ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m., with Alfredo Gutierrez as the keynote speaker.

Gutierrez currently serves on the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board, representing District 5 and an active supporter of the Latino community.

Gutierrez served the citizens of Arizona as a Senator from 1972 to 1986. During his tenure, he, along with Burton Barr, Art Hamilton, and Governor Bruce Babbitt, led the reorganization of State government from a rural, southern-inspired governance model to a modern, forward-leaning decision structure. Since leaving the Senate, Mr. Gutierrez has worked in public relations, issues management and authored a book. He has frequently been asked to speak on the issue of immigration history and immigration reform and continues to advocate for public schools and immigration reform.

Student speaker BriAnna Schrimpf, valedictorian, will also be featured at the ceremony. Schrimpf has maintained a 4.0 and was a star athlete on the softball team – ranking #1 in the conference and #8 nationally for homeruns. She is graduating with an associate’s degree in nursing.

No tickets are necessary to attend the graduation ceremony. For more information on the ceremony, call 602.243.8000.

May 12 15

SMCC Students Awarded a Total of $2,000 for Business Venture Pitches

Venture Pitch

Congratulations goes out to the South Mountain Community College Community Entrepreneurship Center Spring 2015 Student Venture Pitch Competition (SVPC) winners! Marisol Federal Credit Union funded the 2015 Student Venture Pitch Competitions and has partnered with the college to support entrepreneurial opportunities.

14 student participants pitched their business concepts, many already established, to a panel of distinguished judges, which included Chuck Newton from SCORE, Robin Romano, MariSol Federal Credit Union CEO, and Dr. Garret Westlake, Associate Dean of Student Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University.

Participants had three minutes to provide an overview of their businesses, describe their customers, and outline the benefits their business would gain from the prize money. Prizes were awarded for first through fifth place, audience choice and best business idea with social innovation.

The Spring 2015 winners of the SVPC are as follows:

  • First Place $500 Jason Wasser
  • Second Place $400 Lisa Leon
  • Third Place $300 Jenna DeCoite
  • Fourth Place $200 Belinda Escalante
  • Fifth Place $100 Lakesha Harris
  • Social Innovation $250 Belinda Escalante
  • Audience Choice $250 Jenna Decoite

The next Student Venture Pitch Competition (SVPC) will be held in Fall 2015. The SVPC is open to all SMCC students registered for a minimum of three credit hours during the semester and who own or are ready to start a business.

For more information about the many opportunities available through the South Mountain Community College Community Entrepreneurship Center visit

May 5 15

SMCC Business Students Excel at International Conference

Business Students Excel at International ConferenceSouth Mountain Community College Collegiate DECA members competed in the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando, Florida, April 18 through April 21 after qualifying at the Annual State DECA Career Development Conference. Students included John (Gus) Barnes, Juan Gonzalez, Bryan Florendo, Cassandra Votion and Georgina Mendoza. South Mountain Community College DECA came home with multiple medals, and received the Leadership Passport Executive Award. Gus Barnes received the Leadership and Academic Honors Award.

For the competitions, Bryan Florendo placed in the top 10 in Accounting. Juan Gonzalez placed in the top 10 in Human Resource Management. The team of Juan Gonzalez, Gus Barnes and a student from Estrella Mountain Community College placed in the top 10 for their work on an Entrepreneurship Case.

Six Arizona colleges and universities were represented at this conference. South Mountain Community College had the most top 10 finalists from all six Arizona schools.

DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. For more information about the South Mountain Community College chapter or to get involved, visit

Apr 23 15

Paws 4 a Study Break at South Mountain Community Library

Paws 4 Study Break

Join Barney, Maddy and Ringo at the South Mountain Community Library Thursday, May 7 for a study break. The library will be hosting the stress management event for students before finals weeks. Therapy dogs, Barney, Maddy, and Ringo from the Paws 2 Read organization will join Amy Torgerson, South Mountain Community College Counseling Faculty to help ease the stress of studying for finals.

Ms. Torgerson will provide stress advice and last-minute research assistance. The library will provide healthy study snacks. The event is free and open to the public.

South Mountain Community College President, Dr. Shari Olson supports the event saying, “It’s important for all of us to take time to nourish our well-being. Our canine companions help us do that every day. I hope all our students have a chance to participate in this wonderful event.”

Don’t work like a dog! Paws 4 a study break and spend a dog-day afternoon at the South Mountain Community Library!

WHEN: May 7, 2015, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: 7050 S. 24th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042

Apr 17 15

Want More Than a Job? Want a Career?

Create the Future You Want at
South Mountain Community College

With more than 50 degrees and certificate programs available, students can create the future they want at South Mountain Community College. South Mountain Community College MyCareer programs prepare students for entry into the job market and provide a firm academic base for continuing their education at a four-year college or university. If you’re ready to reach your potential and are looking for more than a job, South Mountain Community College is the place for you.

MyCareer programs offer industry certifications, job placement, and entry-level salary ranges from $20,000 – $50,000 per year in industries with projected employment growth of 8 – 32 percent. All MyCareer programs at South Mountain Community College can be completed in as little as one semester to two years with job placement upon completion of the program.

MyCareer programs include:

  • Accounting
  • Cisco Networking
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Graphic and Web Design
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Retail Management
  • Microsoft/Linux
  • Mobil Apps
  • Real Estate
  • Music Business
  • And many more

To learn more about myCareer Programs call/text 623.282.1194, email or visit,


Apr 15 15

U.S. Attorney’s Office Selects South Mountain Community College Student for Internship

Maribel Paz South Mountain Community College (SMCC) Student Maribel Paz has been selected for an internship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Maribel is in her second semester at SMCC pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice. Maribel’s career goals include becoming a police officer, detective, and, eventually an attorney.

The position with the U.S. Attorney’s Office will include administrative work, conducting research on criminal cases and participating in courtroom hearings. “I discovered my passion for criminal law and the justice system in high school when I participated in the Teen Court program,” said Maribel. “This is the perfect internship for my career goals.” Maribel even inspired her math teacher to pursue a career in law, and he is now a student in the law program at Columbia University.

Maribel credits her experience at SMCC as a work-study student and the resources available in the career services center that prepared her for the five-panel interview and qualifications required for the internship.

“I cannot wait to start learning more about my future career and putting my education into practice,” stated Maribel.

Apr 1 15

Earn Free College Credits

Summer STEM Program Opportunities to Earn Free College Credits Now Accepting Applications

South Mountain Community College (SMCC) offers two summer program opportunities for students pursuing STEM degrees to earn college credits for free.  The SMCC Bioscience Summer Camp and the Minority Male Summer Institute are now accepting applications.

In the Bioscience Summer Camp students learn about scientific applications, laboratory techniques, and moral issues associated with Biotechnology and earn four college credits. Expand your career and college options, while getting paid to earn four college credits that meet general education Natural Science requirements at universities and colleges across the country.

Biotechnology is one of the 21st century’s hottest careers, and experience in this field looks good on a resume or college application. As part of the camp, students will take field trips and get behind-the-scenes looks at Tgen and ASU’s Biodesign Institutes.

The Minority Male Summer Institute (MMI) is a program that was created to promote study and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to graduating minority male high school seniors.

Male students of color continue to be under-represented in the career fields of science and technology. The MMI was designed to make it easier for these students to get started in college and begin a potentially rich and rewarding career path while earning five college credits in just five weeks.

Both programs run May 26 to June 25, 2015 at the SMCC main campus located at 7050 S. 24th Street, Phoenix.  For detailed information and application to these programs visit, or contact Yvette Espinosa at 602.243.8090.

Mar 25 15

Emily Alcazar Named 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Bronze Scholar


South Mountain Community College student, Emily Alcazar, has been named a 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Bronze Scholar. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars, and providing nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually. As a Bronze Scholar, Emily will receive a $1,000 scholarship and a special medallion.

SMCC President, Dr. Shari Olson, nominated two students for the All-State-Community College Academic Team. To make the final selection, an independent panel of judges considered outstanding academic rigor, grade point average, academic and leadership awards, and engagement in college and community service. “This award demonstrates the exemplary accomplishments and work of Emily and the SMCC Phi Theta Kappa chapter,” stated President Olson.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society administers the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Program and recognizes Coca-Cola Community College scholars during All-State Community College Academic Team recognition ceremonies held in 38 states. Student scholars also receive recognition locally during ceremonies held nationally and internationally at the Phi Theta Kappa’s Annual Convention.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said J. Mark Davis, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa and make it possible for deserving students to achieve their educational goals.”