Thursday, April 14, 2011

Honoring Excellence

Rio Salado College in conjunction with, Estrella Mountain Community College ,Glendale Community College, and the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation, will each recognize an outstanding alumni, student advocate and community partner at the fifth-annual Awards for Excellence Gala on April 16 at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park. The celebration highlights the colleges and community’s commitment to higher education in the West Valley. The evening includes individual recognition of each honoree, entertainment and silent auction with proceeds to benefit student scholarship.

The Rio Salado College’s Awards for Excellence recipients all have a valued connection to the Communiversity @ Surprise. Each was recognized for their contribution to higher education.


Outstanding Community PartnerJeanne Blackman, APS Community Relations Manager
Jeanne Blackman is original member of the Advisory Council for the Communiversity @ Surprise and has a passion for education. She has seen the difference that education can make in people’s lives and actively supports the need for scholarships in the Greater Surprise region. Blackman’s other community engagements include the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce, The Next Step Mentoring Program and the Surprise Youth Leadership Program. She has also served as the mentor for the award-winning Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) organization.


Outstanding Student Advocate – Roxie Holmes, Communiversity @ Surprise
Since 1984,Roxie Holmes has been serving students for the Maricopa County Community College District. All of her experience has contributed to her current position as the Student Services Specialist for the Communiversity at Surprise, where she works with students from all of the educational partners at the Communiversity. Holmes’ role is unique, as she builds a positive rapport with a diverse population of students from elementary and high school students to adult re-entry and incarcerated students. She does all this with professionalism; always considering the needs of the student first.


Outstanding Alumni – Wendy Mitchell, Communiversity @ Surprise
According to Wendy Mitchell, she is even more conscientious in her studies than she would have been earlier in life. As an adult re-entry student, she maintains a 3.87 GPA while pursuing an associate degree and working full-time as an activity specialist at Benevilla. Mitchell applies her educational experience at work, where her interaction enriches the lives many Alzheimer’s patients. She was the recipient of a 2010 Rio Salado College Scholarship awarded at the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Copper Sun event and plans to continue her education to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work.


Estrella Mountain Community College Awardees

Outstanding Community Partner – Hispanic Leadership Forum del Oeste

Outstanding Student Advocate – Marylyn Bradley

Outstanding Alumni – Chief Mark Brown

Glendale Community College Awardees

Outstanding Community Partner – Sun City West Fire Department

Outstanding Student Advocate – Doug DeSanti

Outstanding Alumni – Alexandria A. Matthews

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