Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ruby Miller: Rio Woman of Distinction

Congratulations to Ruby Miller, Rio’s WLG 2014 Woman of Distinction. She is pictured above, front and center among past Rio honorees.

Honorees are chosen for exemplifying outstanding achievement in the areas of leadership, innovation, service and contribution to women.

Ruby was nominated by her peers, who shared sentiments about how she embodies the qualities of a Women of Distinction. Here are a few excerpts from nominations submitted by Debbie Cloud, Angela Felix, Kerrie Specker, John Jensen, and Jennifer Shantz.

Ruby Miller, Associate Dean, Judicial Affairs
with Rio President, Dr. Chris Bustamante
Ruby demonstrates leadership not only in her role as Associate Dean of Students, but also in her interactions with faculty, staff, and students. She has the amazing ability to balance contradictory perspectives and arrive at fair-minded conclusions that support student success while upholding our institutional integrity. 

Ruby's collegiality, sense of humor, decision-making ability, and willingness to take responsibility for difficult decisions serve as a model for other Maricopa women. Ruby Miller is a valuable asset to the college and district.

Ruby knows her job inside and out. She is a valuable resource when questions of policies and procedures come into play. In difficult situations, Ruby is supportive, she helps determine possible options that may be available in a situation, she will not shy away from a confrontation. At the same time, Ruby holds the students' best interests at heart, she will hold them accountable but she'll do it in a very positive manner. 

The Maricopa Community Colleges WLG will honor Ruby and recipients from the other nine community colleges at a luncheon on Monday, April 28, 2014, at Paradise Valley Community College.

The Women's Leadership Group provides for the continuous development of a strong and supportive work environment for the diverse women of the Maricopa Community Colleges.

Photo of Rio Women of Distinction - Front row: Angela Ambrosia, Ruby Miller, and Kishia Brock. Back row: Pat Case, Hazel Davis, Dana Reid, Beatriz Cohen, Sheila Barham, Janine Adkins and Earnestine Harrison.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dive into the Deep Web

No matter how good you are at using web search engines (e.g., Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.), there are valuable resources on the web that commercial search engines will not find for you. These resources, often referred to as the Deep Web, the Hidden Web, or the Invisible Web, contain a variety of content, including databases of articles, data, statistics, and government documents.

Check out the Deep Web Subject Guide to learn more about the Deep Web and the tools that will take you there.

Image by fearthemelon under a CC-BY-SA 2.0 license.

Rio Grad Profile: Becky Capps Reimagined

Becky Capps spent most of her professional life as an artist. She had a successful business and in 2000 was selected to collaborate in a nine-foot-long canvas installed at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She was doing well, until 2008, when everything changed.

“I still had one of my three children at home, was recently divorced and was alarmed at the rate my business phone had stopped ringing,” Capps said. “For several years I was very busy painting murals indoors and out, creating wall treatments and faux finishing. Then the recession hit and knocked my feet out from under me without much warning.”

Capps could have chosen an early retirement, but instead found work with the US Census bureau, painting part time and taking temp jobs when they were available.

“I have reimagined my life several times, and at 58 years of age, it was time to do it again,” Capps said.

Like many, Capps relied on her faith to help her though the rough times of the recession.

“I was praying, asking God for direction, when I literally bumped into a Rio Salado sign at Paradise Valley mall,” Capps said. “Immediately, I began thinking about what a new career would like if I had a degree.”

Capps decided to visit the Rio Salado College and Maricopa County Community College District websites where she found career counseling resources and took a couple of interest assessments. With a goal of eventually working in hospice, Capps enrolled in classes.

“From the first class I took, I was hooked on online learning,” Capps said. “I learned early on to think critically and discovered how to apply deep learning to my studies. I enjoyed doing my lessons on my own time and my instructors were amazingly helpful. Some of the instructors have impacted my life in ways they will never know. Their words of encouragement spurred me on right when I needed it most.”

Capps excelled in her classes and became highly involved in the student community.

“I saw straight A’s for the first time in my life and it became a challenge to keep them. Being on the President’s Honor Roll every semester has been such a reward along with being a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society,” Capps said. “Who would have known a right brained artist could make the adjustment of left brain learning?”

Halfway through her program, Capps discovered her true passion and changed her major to Family Life Education.

“I may still do hospice work on the side,” Capps said, “but I have formed my own organization called Pathways in Aging where I facilitate five different workshops that help adults in their retirement years.”

“The recession brought my full time mural painting business to a close,“ Capps said, “but instead of crumbling, I allowed my life story to continue, adding chapters that will surprise me with new beginnings.”

Capps will receive her AAS in Family Life Education with an emphasis on Adult Development and Aging in May 2014 and plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree in human services online at Ottawa University.

“Ottawa offers a fantastic scholarship for Rio students who have graduated with an associate degree,” Capps said. “And they accepted more of my transfer credits than the other universities I considered.”

“Retirement does not look like it will happen for me for a very long time,” Capps said. “And my 60s will be anything but boring.”

This story can also be found in the April 19, 2014 edition of the Tempe Republic. Contributed by Patricia Moore on behalf of Rio Salado College.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rio 2014 Graduation Speakers Inspire

Congratulations to Kaisi Balmer, Patrick Valenzuela, Jr. and Gloria Bauerle-- Rio Salado College 2014 graduation speakers. You'll hear more about their accomplishments during the May 6 Commencement and May 13 HSE Graduation ceremonies. Here’s a glimpse into their extraordinary lives.

For Kaisi Balmer, graduation means a celebration of self and spirit. She came to Rio Salado College four years ago, on the recommendation of a friend. At the time, Balmer was homeless, jobless, addicted to drugs, and disconnected from family and friends. Thanks to faith, determination and the assistance of an academic advisor, Balmer mapped out a plan to get back on track in pursuit of her true dream: becoming a doctor.

Balmer will receive her Associate in Arts diploma at commencement and plans on continuing her studies this fall at Arizona State University to earn a degree in global health, and ultimately become a Missionary family practitioner. “When life happens, people may give up on their goals, dreams, purpose, and even themselves,” Balmer said. “Then along comes hope in the shape of a person, or opportunity. Take it. You have nothing to lose.”

Patrick Valenzuela, Jr. had three goals in life when he left high school 10 years ago: graduate college, join the U.S. Navy, and become a police officer. He put college on the back burner to join the Navy, and upon completion of his service, was hired as a police officer in the city of Glendale. At 22, he had accomplished two of his three goals. Then life happened. Valenzuela got married, had three daughters, and even continued watching over his younger siblings when his father was deployed to Afghanistan.

Valenzuela credits his children with helping him reach that third goal. “I wanted to be a role model for them and to prove that as long as you persevere, are patient, and put in the work, you can succeed,” he said. Valenzuela will accept his associate degree in law enforcement technology diploma during commencement. He plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at Northern Arizona University.

Gloria Bauerle had an unstable and traumatic childhood but found the strength and courage to break free from her past and help others coping with abuse as a community organizer and mentor. She has also had her share of adversity as an adult. In June, after mourning the loss of her son, she decided it was time to move forward once again--starting with an education. She successfully completed Rio’s High School Equivalency (HSE) Preparation  program and passed her GED test. Now she’s preparing to take the next step as a college student at Rio. Bauerle says she has many dreams she wants to pursue, including a degree in communications and to serve as a life coach.

“I have come to understand that just when I think I might have figured something out a whole new world of possibilities opens up. Every dream has mountains and waste lands, but every dream also has a promised land and if we do not give up and lose heart in the waste lands we will be better because of them and the lessons we learn while we are there become the stepping stones to our dreams being realized.” -- Gloria Bauerle

We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of all Rio Salado College students at the upcoming commencement and HSE graduation ceremonies.

Visit Rio Commencement and Rio HSE Graduation web pages for more details about attending these special events.

Rio Commencement
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Comerica Theatre
400 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003
(the corner of 4th Ave. & Washington St.)

Rio HSE Graduation
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Comerica Theatre
400 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003
(the corner of 4th Ave. & Washington St.)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Stressed out? Read on…

The month of April is Stress Awareness Month. The Rio Salado Library has a wide selection of materials to help with stress management: 

Featured Book
The Tao of Stress: How to Calm, Balance, and Simplify Your Life, by Robert Santee.

“Like most emotions, stress is a natural part of life, but there are ways to manage it and stay balanced. In The Tao of Stress, an expert in Taoist psychology presents daily meditative skills and movement exercises that can help readers simplify their lives, fight fatigue, and calm a busy mind. In addition, the meditation practices outlined in this book will show readers how being in harmony with the changes around them, rather than in conflict, can greatly reduce their stress. The book is simple, fun, and practical for everyday use" (provided by publisher).
More stress management books

Featured DVD
Yoga for Beginners with Desi Bartlett

“Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise, benefiting body and mind. It can also seem mysterious, and even intimidating. Thanks to Desi Bartlett, anyone can get started and get results fast. Includes two unique practices, one an active, easy flow for complete body toning, the other slower and deeper for building long, lean muscles. Even if you’ve never done yoga before in your life, this is for you” (provided by publisher).
More yoga DVDs 

Featured Audio Book
Breathing: The Master Key to Self-Healing, by Andrew Weil.

“Dr. Andrew Weil's Breathing: The Master Key to Self-Healing is a double-disc set that comprehensively explains and demonstrates different forms of therapeutic breathing and their benefits”  (from publisher).
More relaxation audio books

ASU Transfer Specialist Tuesday Visits

ASU Transfer Specialist Erika Camarillo is now visiting Rio Academic Advisement on Tuesdays to meet with students interested in completing their studies there after graduating from Rio Salado. To make an appointment to meet with Erika, visit this link.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Financial Aid Widgets and Calculators

RSC's Financial Aid Department offers several automated tools to help students budget educational expenses. Here's a look at what you have at your disposal:

Financial Aid Calculator - Find an estimated monthly student loan payment by entering the loan amount, annual interest rate and loan duration.

Net Price Calculator - Estimate the total annual cost of attending Rio Salado College including things like books, transportation and housing.

Block Calendar Calculator - Determine your next available start date.

Disbursement Calculator - Estimate the arrival of your financial aid refund. (Note: this tool provides an estimate only and does not provide a guaranteed disbursement date.)

Monday, April 14, 2014

RSC Dental Clinic Open House April 15

Join us for an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, tour the facility, meet the staff and students and learn about the dental hygiene clinic services available to you.

When: Tuesday, April 15
Time: 3-6 p.m.
Where: RSC Dental Clinic, 2250 W. 14th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281

The clinic is located across the street from the Conference Center @ Rio.

Free Screenings and Discounted Cleanings:
Rio Salado’s dental hygiene students are looking for clinic and clinical board patients. A screening appointment is free and takes about 30 minutes to identify your individual need and type of cleaning. Make an inquiry about this during the open house or schedule a screening appointment by calling the clinic at 480-377-4100.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mission Completed: Veteran Convocation

The Maricopa Community Colleges and Maricopa Veterans Education TaskForce (MVET) are pleased to invite veteran students and their families to attend the 2014 MVET Student Convocation on May 1, 4:30-6 p.m. at Phoenix College.

This celebration will include remarks by guest speaker Carl G. Schneider, Maj. Gen. USAF (Ret.)

The program includes light refreshments and a ceremony for all graduating veteran students.

Regalia is encouraged, but not required for students or faculty.

2014 MVET Student Convocation
Thursday, May 1, 2014
4:30 - 6 p.m.
Phoenix College North Gym
1202 W. Thomas Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85013

Please RSVP by the April 25 at

Contact Darcy Breault at or 480-384-9862 for more information. For the latest event details, visit

All convocations are open to all graduates from all ten Maricopa Community Colleges. Employees, family and friends of graduates are welcome to join in these celebrations.