Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rio Salado Adjunct Instructor Celebrates Arizona's Historical Women Writers

Carol Osman-Brown, adjunct professor at Rio Salado College, is celebrating the Arizona Centennial in a unique way.

Osman-Brown has spent the last year collaborating with fellow members of Arizona Press Women, a non-profit organization made up of communications professionals, on a 308-page book titled “Skirting Traditions.” The book highlights female writers and journalists throughout Arizona’s history.

“These women were ahead of their time; they paved the way for women in the press and drew attention to important social issues. In reality, they brought about a great change in our state. Sadly they are often overlooked in the history books, which is why I was eager to share their stories,” said Osman-Brown.

The book, published in conjunction with Arizona’s Centennial celebration, chronicles the lives and accomplishments of 28 Arizona women. These women exhibited resilience, creativity and the grit to survive, whether on the frontier of a young state or in a male-dominated profession.

Proceeds from book sales will be used to fund college scholarships for English and journalism students at Arizona colleges.

The narratives in the book move from the beginning of Arizona’s statehood in 1912 forward to the modern day, describing daring feats, patriotic actions, and amazing accomplishments. Osman-Brown’s contributions consisted of her research and writings on Phyllis Leonard, who authored seven internationally published novels and Patricia Meyers, a veteran Arizona journalist and internationally renowned jazz critic.

“One of my favorite aspects of writing is really getting to know what you are writing about. In my case, I feel like I really got to know these women and their great accomplishments,” said Osman-Brown. “I researched and wrote on these women because they were both very interesting and I found that I had a lot in common with them,” she added.

Osman-Brown was raised in Phoenix and earned a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University. Following an extensive career in the communications industry, which included work with Arizona Highways Magazine and the Phoenix Gazette, Brown now enjoys the rewarding work she does as an adjunct faculty member at Rio Salado College where she has spent the last 25 years teaching magazine writing and journalism classes to college students.  

“If a student dreams of being a writer, they must never give up. There are a number of opportunities out there. Just like the women in the book if you are passionate about something, learn about it and write about it,” said Osman-Brown.

Osman-Brown says it is important for Arizonans to learn about the state’s historical figures because it will inspire them to pursue their lifetime goals. “We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and we can learn so much from our history,” said Osman-Brown. “I believe that everybody has a good story. These Arizona women wrote and reported on important social issues. They paved the way for women in the press and they were some of the first to present a woman’s viewpoint in Arizona.”

Published March 24, 2012 in the Arizona Republic

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Make the Most of Online Learning

Thinking about enrolling in an online college?  Like anything, there are pros and cons to online learning. Doing a little research ahead of time can help make the experience positive and successful!
Rio Salado student
Amanda Carrero

Like traditional universities, online courses bring content, instructors and students together for the purpose of learning. The curriculum of an online program may be similar to a traditional academic or career program, but the delivery is very different. Online colleges use the Internet to deliver course materials and manage student and instructor communication.

Benefits of Online Classes

There are three main advantages to online learning that a traditional classroom experience won’t bring.

• Convenience – You can attend class at home, out-of-town, or wherever you are as long as you have access to the Internet.

• Access – What if the program you are interested in is not offered at your local college? With access to online programs and classes, you are no longer limited to the traditional education options.

• Flexibility – Online classes means having access to course materials 24/7, so you can schedule your study around your other commitments, such as work and family.

Challenges of Online Classes

A successful online experience requires some extra motivation and discipline from a traditional learning environment. Students must have basic computer skills and be familiar with the Internet, and be able to adhere to class and assignment deadlines.

“While online courses give you the opportunity to work at your own pace, the best way to succeed at Rio Salado is to use good time management skills,” said Amanda Carrero, an honors student at Rio Salado College in Tempe.

To help stay organized, Rio students can take advantage of RioLearn, the college’s online course management system. RioLearn provides a calendar and alert system to help students track their assignments and manage coursework.

While your classes may not be in-person, they may occasionally require that you attend online events at specific times, take proctored exams at a testing center, or meet other face-to-face requirements such as science labs or internships.

Because online classes rely on technology, sometimes forces beyond your control (thunderstorms, dog unplugging your laptop, etc.!) can affect your classes. Rio Salado has a 24/7 helpdesk giving students access to technical support and assistance with passwords, pdfs, downloading files and more.

You’re Not Alone!

Online learning does not mean you are on your own! Online students connect with each other, and their instructors, in a variety of ways, including online discussions, email, video chats, and social media. Frequent communication with your instructor is encouraged. The more you connect with the course content, your classmates, and your instructor, the more successful your experience will be.

Rio Salado offers a wide range of student services to further help you throughout your online experience, academic advising, tutoring, college and career success classes, online library and more.

So once you’ve done your homework on online learning, you’ll see that Rio Salado College is the place for you!

-Published in the Tempe Republic, 3-17-12

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cave Creek Teacher Receives Excellence in Education Award

Congratulations to principal and teacher Sharon Pritash of Annunciation Catholic School in Cave Creek for receiving the Excellence in Education Award for the month of March.

 "Her integrity and dedication provide a fun-filled and faithful academic setting. In addition, she has a non-stop energy and vivaciousness that allows her to not only tackle the various principal duties, but also lead our fourth-graders to academic excellence," said Peg Tanner, whose daughter is in Dr. Pritash's class.

 Excellence in Education is a partnership between Rio Salado College and KEZ 99.9 FM, which recognizes Valley teachers. Students and parents of students are encouraged to nominate K-12 teachers who are excellent at their profession and have gone above-and-beyond the call of duty to make a difference in their community.

Each month, a Valley K-12 teacher will be selected from all the entries to be recognized for their outstanding contribution to education. KEZ’s Marty Manning will visit the teacher’s school to surprise them with their “Excellence in Education” Award. The surprise visit will be broadcast during the Beth and Friends Show. All winning teachers are rewarded with $99, an Excellence in Education Award, and a Rio Salado College gift bag.

To nominate a special teacher, please visit KEZ 99.9 keyword excellence.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rio to Transfer Student Email on March 15

Rio Salado is excited to announce that a new Google-powered student e-mail system, MCCCD Student Email, has been implemented for all students. Your new email account is designed to provide official college and Maricopa Community College District communication and access to several tools that will allow you to do school work more conveniently.

On Thursday, March 15, 2012, Rio Salado College will begin transferring your RioLearn email to your MCCCD Student Email account. The transfer process will be complete by Sunday, March 18. Your existing RioLearn email messages will appear in your MCCCD student email inbox after the transfer process is complete. Read more.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tempe Student Receives Youth of the Year Award

Each year the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley honors eight club members with a Youth of the Year award. The award is based on service and leadership in three areas; school, the Boys and Girls Club, and the community.
Chantinique Dancy, a Tempe resident and senior at Tempe High School, was chosen as the recipient from Tempe’s Ladmo Branch of the Boys and Girls Club. With this honor, she was also awarded a $1,000 scholarship to attend Rio Salado College.

After graduating high school, Dancy plans to continue her education by studying cosmetology, attending Rio Salado College and transferring to Northern Arizona University to earn a degree in business management.

"My dream of pursuing a career that interests me gets me out of bed in the morning," said Dancy. "I want a degree in management because I think it will be beneficial to know how to manage and run businesses. I am really interested in owning my own beauty salon and I want to learn the business side of the industry," she said.

The Boys and Girls Club has given Dancy support and helped her find purpose in her day-to-day activities. "I feel like I can be myself at the Boys & Girls Club. It’s just like being with my family," said Dancy.

Dancy, who joined the Boys and Girls Club seven years ago, was selected for the award based on her leadership in the areas of home and family, moral character, community service, club service, school and life goals.

She was also judged on poise, self-confidence and public speaking abilities. The judges also considered the obstacles she and the other recipients had overcome. She has stood out over the years due to her positive attitude, strong work ethic and leadership qualities.

As an assistant in the Club’s "Girl Talk" program, Dancy has also helped others as a member of the teen leadership-building Keystone Club and the Junior Staff Training team. She advises young people who are struggling with family or personal issues to talk to people around them who they can trust.

"If there is nobody in your family who you can talk to about your problems, teachers, counselors, and friends can be good resources. The Boys and Girls Club is also a great resource. I got most of my advice from talking to mentors at the Boys and Girls Club," said Dancy.

At Tempe High, Dancy is involved in the Black Student Union, the high school choir and dance programs. Dancy is a gifted musician and has used her talents to uplift her fellow Club members on many occasions. "I was born to sing and I love all kinds of music," she said.

Dancy says that young people should stay focused and be dedicated to what they are passionate about. "Part of being a leader is being dedicated and working your hardest to achieve your goals," she said.