Saturday, December 21, 2013

Extreme Makeover: KJZZ Newsroom Edition

The all new KJZZ Newsroom.
The KJZZ Newsroom prior to the recent renovation.
Just in time for the holidays, the KJZZ newsroom has a brand new look! The listener-supported public radio station located at Rio Salado College in Tempe, has undergone an extreme makeover, going from an outdated modular setting to a high-tech journalism center.

"The new KJZZ newsroom is an open, collaborative space, designed for journalists to work together and create compelling stories,” said KJZZ Associate General Manager Mark Moran. “Before the makeover, KJZZ's journalists were boxed into cubicles that didn't exactly inspire creativity and inventiveness.”

Collaboration was a key factor in the newsroom renovation.

“It's the same direction being taken by many of the country's Fortune 500 companies,” Moran said. “We wanted to facilitate reporters being able to exchange ideas, check facts and plan for the future. Most importantly, the space is designed so that nobody is ever sitting in the same place two days in a row. It's truly collaborative and flexible.”

Veteran Valley reporter Steve Goldstein, host of KJZZ’s “Here and Now” and co-host of “The Show,” thinks the new work environment is a welcome change.

"We've been in the current space in the Rio Salado College Tower for more than a decade, so reconstructing the newsroom has generated new ways of looking at the world,” Goldstein said. “Now we're seeing each other through frosted glass rather than staring at the side of a cubicle, fostering better face to face communication.”

“Ideas can be expressed to a colleague by either rolling over a chair or even overhearing another conversation and jumping in to make a suggestion or share a source."

Renovations to the newsroom also include new wireless technology that allows for completion of digital editing work on the fly while decreasing time spent on filing and uploading stories.

“We invested in several layers of technology that allow us to stay apace of what is going on in the world on multiple media platforms,” Moran said. “With the technology now in place, we are able to hold virtual editorial meetings with reporters in different states simultaneously, or in fact, in other parts of the world, if necessary.”

The newsroom renovation was funded through a generous donation made by Deeann Griebel, a member of the KJZZ Leadership society.

“I am thrilled to be able to provide funding for the renovation of KJZZ’s newsroom through the Friends of Public Radio Arizona,” Griebel said. “Having an organization like KJZZ that provides balanced, honest reporting is vital to our society.”

Moran agreed, saying the newsroom renovation will ultimately benefit KJZZ listeners.

“Taking down barriers fosters increased communication, more vibrant workers, better story ideas, more productivity and, in the end, more well-rounded in-depth news stories for our listeners,” Moran said.

91.5 KJZZ is an NPR member station that is a community service of Rio Salado College and licensed to the Maricopa Community Colleges, serving nearly 300,000 weekly listeners.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Book Advance Timeline

Qualifying students who met the Priority Filing Deadline for their semester block can expect book advance funds to be available approximately nine business days prior to the semester block start date. Students should review the financial aid terms and conditions to ensure they qualify to receive a book advance.

The Maricopa Student Refund Program is the fastest way to have book advance and financial aid funds delivered. Enrollment instructions for MSRP will be sent through the student center, and students are encouraged to monitor their Gmail account for notification.

Book Advance funds are not restricted to the Rio Salado College bookstore, but students are encouraged to use caution when purchasing course materials from a third party.

Book advance funds may not be an appropriate option for students who prefer to purchase books prior to the first day of class.  Here's a look at the typical Book Advance timeline:
  • Funds are posted to the Rio Salado College account 6-9 days prior to the start of class.
  • Funds can take 4-6 business days to be received by City Prepaid Services.
  • Funds that are deposited on a holiday or weekend may take even longer.
  • Remaining financial aid funds will not be available until two-weeks after the start of class.
Book Advances are not a part of federal student aid. The Maricopa County Community College District offers the book advance program as a service to its students above and beyond Department of Education requirements. Students may opt out of the Book Advance program if they prefer not to receive money prior to their student aid disbursement.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New MCCCD Transcript Report Streamlines Transfer Process

Maricopa County Community College District recently launched the single transcript report. The new transcript report was developed in response to student feedback and is designed to help students transfer all of their Maricopa District credits in a way that is efficient and easy to navigate. Watch the video or visit the transcripts page at to learn more.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Reading at Rio Book Club Discusses The Hobbit

Please join the Reading at Rio Book Club Wednesday, January 22, 2014 from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. to discuss J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel "The Hobbit." Rio Salado Library has a copy of the book and a DVD of the first part of the film (the second part of the film is in theaters now).
Everybody is welcome!  

The book club will meet in the 2nd floor faculty area of the Hohokam building at our Tempe location. As has become a Reading at Rio Book Club tradition, cupcakes and other treats will be served!

What: The Reading at Rio Book Club Discusses The Hobbit
When: Wednesday, January 22, 20134from 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Where: Hohokam, 2nd floor faculty area

Contact Christopher Orf at the Rio Library with questions or to RSVP. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

SPOT 127 Teen Reporters Unveil Stories of Deception

Teen reporters from SPOT 127, KJZZ’s youth media center, are using their passion for journalism and digital media to produce an online audio series about tobacco use and addiction called Stories of Deception. Students Taking a New Direction (STAND), Arizona’s anti-smoking youth coalition, recently enlisted the help of the SPOT 127 team to produce the series.

“I hope teenagers hear this message and realize there are better ways to cope with stress and anxiety than by using tobacco products," said BrieAnna Frank, a Maryvale High School junior who has been with the SPOT 127 team since its grand opening in Nov. 2012 and the producer of a public service announcement in the series called Don’t be a Replacement.

“There is no one better to explain the perils of tobacco use to teens, than other teens,” says Courtney Ward, Chief Office of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation for the Arizona Department of Health Services. “We are really pleased with the outcome of this first series with SPOT 127. We plan to take SPOT 127 studios to places outside of metro-Phoenix to recruit other youth that will help us capture many other stories.”

The SPOT 127 team has already completed two public service announcements, which focus on the adverse effects smoking has on a teen’s social life and how tobacco companies view young people as ‘replacement’ smokers for the hundreds who die every year from tobacco-related diseases. They have also completed a feature story that reveals why people living with mental health conditions are more likely to smoke and are more prone to die from smoking.

The segments are available on the STAND web site, STAND is also using Facebook to encourage its many followers, especially Arizona educator, to share these stories with teens.

"I have really enjoyed the opportunity to tell teenagers about the dangers of tobacco use. This message is incredibly important to our generation," said Hannah Smith-Rodgers, a SPOT 127 reporter and senior at the Arizona Conservatory for Arts and Academics who produced the feature about the additional dangers of smoking for people living with mental health conditions.

“The enthusiasm of our team of journalists is apparent in the work they created,” said SPOT 127 Executive Director, Greg Pereira. “Our studios empower them to be the best story tellers they can be and we are delighted to be a partner with STAND.”

The teen reporters had complete control of the project from concept to completion. They chose the interviewees, the editorial focus and managed all aspects of production from the SPOT 127 studios at 3701 W. Thomas in Phoenix.

SPOT 127 is a division of listener-supported 91.5 KJZZ and a community service of Rio Salado College. This free, after-school program is designed to introduce high school students to digital media journalism and support programs that help them build confidence, attain valuable skill sets and achieve higher learning. Teens interested in joining the team can learn more at or by calling 480-774-8350.

This story can also be found in the December 14 edition of the Tempe Republic. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Child and Family Studies Subject Guide Now Available

The Rio Salado Library is proud to introduce the Child & Family Studies Subject Guide. The guide provides links to key library and Web resources for CFS students. These resources are arranged by topic so that students can instantly access the information they need the most:
  • Where Do I Start?
  • Books & eBooks
  • Magazine & Journal Articles
  • News Articles 
  • Countries, Cultures & Customs
  • Video & Image Collections
  • Research Paper Help
  • Citation Help
  • Web Searching Tips
  • Child & Family Studies Resources
  • Student Requests
Developed by Kirstin Thomas, Instructional Coordinator for the Library, this subject-specific guide is designed to be a one-stop shop for all of your Child & Family Studies related research needs.

Questions/comments about the guide? Contact

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Understanding Student Loan Repayment

Paying for College: Understanding Student Loan Repayment 

Properly managing student loans is an important step in establishing a financial foundation during and after college. Students who borrow money to pay for college MUST pay it back. Here are some of the things students need to know about repaying student loans.
  • Payments for most federal loans are not typically expected until the student leaves college or reduces to less than half-time enrollment. Payments for PLUS loans begin as soon as the money is disbursed. 
  • Defaulting on student loans will damage the student’s ability to borrow money in the future and can result in garnishments of wages and tax refunds. 
  • Student loan deferments postpone or reduce payments and interest for a limited period of time and require the student to meet specific requirements. 
  • Student loan forbearance options postpone only payments. Interest will still accrue during forbearance. A discretionary forbearance is decided by the lender. A mandatory forbearance requires students to meet specific eligibility requirements. 
  • Students should contact the loan servicer if they are having trouble making payments. In some cases, the repayment plan can be changed to allow for lower payments over a longer period of time. 
  • Under VERY LIMITED circumstances, students may qualify to have their student loans forgiven, canceled or discharged. 
Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Website for a comprehensive look at the student loan repayment process.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

RSC Reaches Out With Peer Mentors

It’s human nature. When your mother asks you to do something, you take it with a grain of salt. Your friend makes the same request and you’re on it like a Black Friday shopper lining up at the mall.

Why the difference?

“We tend to relate to our peers more so than others,” said David Hall, director of academic advisement at Rio Salado College.

That is the foundation for a new peer mentoring program in the college’s advising department.

The peer mentors are part of RioAchieve, an initiative dedicated to increasing student completion rates, and part of a student success grant the college received in October 2012.

Rio Salado has hired four peer mentors to reach out to degree-seeking students who are new to the college.

“Peer mentors are current students who have proven to be successful, with at least a 3.0 grade point average,” Hall said. “They know the system and they know the available resources. They can offer tips on how to be successful.”

The peer mentors will each be assigned a group of students, with a goal of guiding them through their chosen academic program to completion.

“The peer mentor team will reach out to their students, hoping to work with them regularly and guide them through their programs efficiently,” said Michael Murphy, assistant director of academic advisement. “More importantly, the mentors will be there when the student has questions, concerns, or just needs someone to talk to about their studies.”

Mentors will interact with students in many ways, including telephone, email, in-person meetings and through social media. Through these communication channels, peer mentors can share their own experiences and strategies from a personal perspective, and build unique relationships with students.

Students participating in the RioAchieve initiative will have both a peer mentor and an academic advisor.

Where the peer mentors will serve a motivational support type role, the academic advisors ensure students choose appropriate classes, evaluate transfer credits and help develop program plans.

Jennifer Wharton, a Rio Salado employee for five years, will serve as the supervisor of the RioAchieve advising team.

"I am delighted to be part of the team providing student-focused proactive advisement and mentoring through the RioAchieve program,” Wharton said. “Offering peer mentoring is an exciting new opportunity to connect with our students at a different level.”

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How-to Stay Happy and Healthy Through Hectic Holiday Happenings

Hometown visits, elaborate meals, colorfully wrapped packages and cards with hand written holiday wishes are all important traditions, but the mechanics of the holiday experience can cause any light hearted merrymaker to feel a little stressed out.

According to Melanie Abts, Rio Salado College counseling faculty chair, most holiday stress is predictable, so the best strategy is simply to plan for it.

"Being prepared for uncomfortable situations allows us to identify circumstances that are beyond our control and keep things in perspective," Abts said.

For example, whether flying or driving, holiday travel is ugly.  It just is.  Winter weather can cause canceled flights or poor driving conditions, children are wound up and can't be still, security is heightened, traffic is jammed, and there are any number of hiccups that can happen along the way.

Abts suggests avoiding the chaos completely. "Fly on Christmas day if you can," Abts said. "The airports are completely empty, the flight crew is cheerful, and you'll probably get your choice of seating."

"If that's not possible," she added, "Just plan for the worst case scenario.  Give yourself plenty of time so that you don't feel rushed and make sure your carry-on can cover you for a day or two in case your luggage gets lost.  Bring a set of earplugs or a music player and lots of snacks and you’ll be set."

Of course, hometown visits aren't always the most joyous occasions either.   A critical parent, sibling rivalries or even running into an ex can be troublesome.

"If you know you’re going to a family dinner and you know a particular person will bring up something you did last year, or that you’re not a good enough parent or that you're too thin or too fat or why aren't you married yet? You can plan your response ahead of time," Abts said.  “You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself and your reactions. "

Resources like money and time are also in short supply during the holidays.  Running low on either can cause tension and, according to Abts, it's important to prioritize to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

"Sometimes we just take on too much," Abs said. "Especially Rio students who may not even be on a break.  We have start dates as late as December 5, and the holiday season can be a high-need time for those students.”

Abs recommends the stress management workshop available on the Rio Salado College counseling site for students, or anyone else who is feeling distressed during the holidays.

"Distress is different,” Abts explains. "Distress comes from the game changers like death, divorce, or even learning that you have a baby coming.  Even if it's a positive event, if you're already stressed, you might be at your breaking point. It's important to realize that yes, you are in crisis, but you can get through it."

According to Abts, although some people take comfort in holiday traditions, abandoning high maintenance rituals during times of distress might be helpful.

“It’s important during these times to identify what’s important to you and cut out absolutely everything else.  How important are all of the rituals?” Abts said. “If you’re already at the breaking point, don’t expect yourself to bake seven cakes or to plan a charity event.  It’ll be ok. If you don’t do those things, the next day will still happen."

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Understanding the Student Center To Do List

The student center to-do list is the key to avoiding financial aid delays. Financial aid cannot be processed until everything in the to-do list has been completed. Students can find their to-do list on the right-hand side of the student center.

Items in the to-do list will vary depending on each student’s situation. The most common to-do list items involve:
  • Admissions 
  • Program eligibility 
  • Verification of dependent or independent status 
  • Master Promissory Note (MPN) 
  • Missing or incomplete documents and forms
If all of the to-do list items have been completed, students can monitor the status of their financial aid application by clicking the Account Inquiry link in the Finances section of the student center (see image below).

Monday, December 2, 2013

Inspirational Art at the Knowledge Commons

Kat Randall is the lead graphic designer at Rio Salado College. Her work can be found across the Valley on everything from billboards and big screens to bus tails and light rails. She is also responsible for the wall mural decorating the entrance to the RSC Knowledge Commons, a one-stop student resource center on the fifth floor of the Rio Tower building.

The translucent mural is the first thing visitors see as they arrive at the Knowledge Commons, featuring dynamic portraits and quotes of key historical figures.

"It was important to me to have something that really captured the attention from the get-go," Randall said. "I was aware that some of our students come to our building exclusively to visit the Knowledge Commons and utilize those resources, so I wanted to have an impactful entry way."

The Rio Salado library staff worked with Randall to find quotes for the mural from visually interesting and familiar historical figures.

"I thought it would be really great to have a visual of who said the quote," Randall said. "In addition to being recognizable, it gives a feel for the different eras the speakers came from."

Randal said she hopes the piece will influence and uplift students as they enter the Knowledge Commons.

"I hope that the hallway really catches their eye right from the elevator and inspires them. We can learn so much from past generations and leaders by following their words of wisdom. I also love that it has our Rio colors and communicates our aesthetic without being overly branded," Randall said. "I enjoy the projects where I have complete creative freedom. This project was one of those, and I'm really proud of it."

In addition to her work as a graphic designer, Randall said she enjoys side art projects and interior design.

"Interior design is one of my passions," Randall said. "All design has common elements. You can see the relationship between amazing furniture and a stunning magazine layout. Good design is good design. It's about color, composition, scale and balance. Exploring creativity in different mediums really helps me be the best designer I can be."

According to Randall, Adobe imaging software is a helpful tool for those pursuing a career as a graphic designer.

"Just about everyone uses Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. Those three pretty much rule the industry in print," Randall said, "but it's not all about the software. You need the basic skills of composition and typography to go with it. The important thing is to constantly push yourself, even if it's for just a few hours after your day job. Design takes a good eye and some natural talent, but it really is a lot about practice too."

Rio Salado College offers a 35-credit certificate of completion in digital design. For more information, visit

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Financial Aid Eligibility Requires Academic Progress

Satisfactory academic progress refers to a federal regulation requiring student to make progress toward the completion of a degree or certificate program in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid.

Each semester, Rio Salado College evaluates whether the Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) set forth by the Maricopa County Community College District have been met. The evaluation process determines financial aid eligibility based on three measures: Grade Point Average (GPA), Progress, and Maximum Time Frame.
  • GPA – Students must meet a minimum grade point average based on the total number of credits attempted. 
  • Progress – Students must successfully complete 2/3 of all courses attempted. Progress is calculated cumulatively and carries over from one term to the next.
  • Maximum Time Frame – Students who have already attempted more than 150% of the required credits for a program will no longer be able to pay for the program using federal financial aid. More information on the maximum time frame requirement is available in the Financial Aid Tips: Maximum Time Frame post. 
  • Attempted Credits -- If a student withdraws from class outside of the approved drop/add period, the credits are still considered attempted credits and will be considered in the SAP evaluation. 
Students who do not meet all three criteria for satisfactory academic progress are no longer eligible to receive financial aid and in some cases, may be required to return a portion of the aid they've already received.

Students who have lost their financial aid eligibility due to unsatisfactory academic progress or to the time frame requirement have the opportunity to appeal by completing the Appeal for Satisfactory Academic Progress and/or Appeal for Maximum Timeframe forms.

The full Maricopa County Community Colleges Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility are available on the Rio Salado College Financial Aid website.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Clock Is Ticking For GED Students

This story can also be read in the November 23 edition of the Tempe Republic

Blair Liddicoat, Associate Dean
College Bridge Pathways
The GED test is changing! The Department of Education is releasing a new GED exam with stricter requirements and a much higher fee effective January 1.

Currently, students are allowed to take the five-part exam over time in their choice of paper-based or computer-based format. The new test has four sections and will only be available in a computer-based format. Students taking the new test will not receive credit for sections passed under the old testing process.

"As of January, the new 2014 GED tests will be required and at that time, test scores for the current GED tests will become invalid," said Blair Liddicoat, Rio Salado College Associate Dean of College Bridge Pathways. "This means students will have to start over with the new tests."

According to Liddicoat, students should not wait until the last minute if they want to finish their GED before the changes take effect.

"All students who are pursuing their GED diploma need to remember that they only have until the end of December to take the current GED tests," Liddicoat said. "Additionally, some test centers may be closed over Thanksgiving and during the holiday week in December, so it's important to plan ahead."

As the largest provider of adult basic education in Arizona, including GED classes and college pathway programs, Rio Salado College has noticed a significant increase in the number of students showing up to complete their GED tests.

“We’ve already seen an increase in the first two weeks of November and are expecting even higher demand as the holidays approach,” said Linda Lukey, director of testing and prior learning assessment at Rio Salado. “We want to make everyone aware that wait times may increase as we near the deadline. We also want to remind students that Rio Salado College testing centers will be closed during the college’s annual winter break.”

Rio Salado testing centers are available at the following locations:
  • RSC Tempe
  • RSC Northern
  • RSC Avondale
  • RSC Southern
  • RSC Thomas
  • RSC Luke
  • Communiversity at Surprise
Test centers at RSC Northern and RSC Tempe will remain open during the college’s winter break for online GED testing only.

Walk-in, paper-based testing is available only at the Northern location and only until November 26. All other locations require an appointment for paper-based testing. Wait times for walk-in testing can be significant, and students are encouraged to plan accordingly.

Computer-based testing is available at all test center locations. Students must register for the exam 24 hours before testing through

All Rio Salado College test centers are approved to offer the computer-based 2014 GED tests as of January. For more details about GED Testing services and hours of operation, or call 480-517-8000.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Recycle Turkey Frying Oil at the Cafe At Rio

Those who are planning to deep fry their turkey this Thanksgiving may recycle their used cooking oil at the Cafe at Rio. 

A 50 gallon drum will be located on the back dock of the Tower at Rio building and will be clearly marked as a receptacle for used cooking oil.

The oil will be recycled through a partnership with the Green Dining Network for use as bio-diesel fuel and other environmentally friendly products. 

A much larger receptacle will also be available at Green Dining Network's location at 3654 S. 16th street in Phoenix. There will be a padlock on the receptacle, but users can simply lift the lid and pour the oil through the grates.
Contact Sustainable Food Systems Director Michael Hodgins at the Cafe at Rio for details.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spring Financial Aid Deadlines Approaching

It's important for students to submit all financial aid documents on or before the Priority Filing Deadline. This includes the Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as required documentation that may be needed to authenticate identity, residency or prior education.

Meeting the Priority Filing Deadline will help qualified students avoid processing delays and ensure that:
  • Tuition payments are deferred.
  • The student will not be dropped from class for non-payment
  • Book Advance funds are not delayed
  • Financial Aid Funds are released in a timely manner
Deadlines for Spring 2014 semester blocks begin December 7, 2013. Students will find the Priority Filing Deadline for their chosen semester block by visiting the Priority Filing Deadline Chart.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Library New Titles - Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath Is Here!

Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants is now available at the Rio Salado Library. It uncovers the hidden rules that shape the balance between the weak and the mighty and the powerful and the dispossessed. Check out the complete list of new titles below:
For a complete list of all new titles visit the Library Website.


Abominable: A Novel by Dan Simmons

The Accused: A Rosato & Associates Novel by Lisa Scottoline

The Caretaker: A Novel by A.X. Ahmad

A Dangerous Deceit by Marjorie Eccles

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Longbourn: A Novel by Jo Baker

The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Wisp of a Thing by Alex Bledsoe

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls: A Novel by Anton Disclafani

Always Watching by Chevy Stevens

The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Dual Inheritance: A Novel by Joanna Hershon

Identical by Scott Turow

Norwegian By Night: A Novel by Derek B. Miller

Police by Jo Nesbo

Quiet Dell: A Novel by Jayne Ann Phillips

Red Moon: A Novel by Benjamin Percy

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith

Murder by Sunlight by Barbara Graham

No Man's Nightingale by Ruth Rendell

The Spanish Queen by Carolly Erickson

Sycamore Row: A Novel by John Grisham

Top Down by Jim Lehrer

Valley of Amazement of Amy Tan

Winners: A Novel by Danielle Steel


The Bound-for-College Guidebook: A Step-byStep Guide to Finding and Applying to Collegesby Frank Burtnett

Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry by Robert W. Thurston, Jonathan Morris and Shawn Steiman

The Complete Fibromyalgia Health, Diet Guide & Cookbook by Louise S. McCrindle and Alison C. Bested

History of American Cooking by Merrill D. Smith

How to Write a Business Plan by Mike P. McKeever

The Little Book of Stress Relief by David B. Posen

Motivating and Retaining Online Students: Research Based Strategies That Work by Rosemary Lehman and Simone C. O. Conciecao

The Prepper's Complete Book of Disaster Readiness: Life-Saving Skills, Supplies, Tactics and Plans by Jim Cobb

UContent: The Information Professional's Guide to User-Generated Content by Nicholas G. Tomaiuolo

Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number that Shapes Your Financial Future by Liz Pulliam Weston

Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda

Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine by Paul A. Offit, M.D.

The King of Sports: Football's Impact on America by Gregg Easterbrook

Managing Across Cultures: The Seven Keys of Doing Business With a Global Mindset by Charlene M. Solomon and Michael S. Schell

Matthew Brady: Portraits of a Nation by Robert Wilson

The Muslim Brotherhood: Evolution of an Islamist Movement by Carrie Rosefsky Wickham

Podcasting for Dummies by Tee Morris

Say Anything to Anyone, Anywhere: 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication by Gayle Cotton

Small Time Operator: How to Start Your Own Business, Keep Your Books, Pay Your Taxes, and Stay Out of Trouble by Bernard B. Kamoroff

Anything Goes: A History of American Musical Theatre by Ethan Mordden

Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet by Sarah Elton

David and Goliath: Underdog's, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater by Michael Y. Sokolove

The Dynamics of Disaster by Susan W. Kieffer

Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

Jack London: An American Life by Earle Labor

Miss Manners Minds Your Business by Judith Martin and Nicholas Ivor Martin

The New Senior Woman: Reinventing the Years Beyond Mid-Life by Barbara Fleisher and Thelma Reese

Lord Jim

Tortilla Flat

The March: The Story of the Greatest March in History

Treasures of New York

Saturday, November 16, 2013

RSC Southern Location Now Open

Rio Salado College has opened a new location in Tempe to better serve students and residents in the East Valley. The location, RSC Southern, located at Southern Avenue and the 101, officially opened its doors at this week during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

“What was once an empty shopping plaza now stands as a beacon to residents to improve their lives through the power of education,” said Dr. Jo Jorgenson, Rio Salado College’s dean of instruction and community development.

Open since June, RSC Southern has served more than 400 students through its College Bridge Pathways programs that include adult basic education, GED prep and English Language Acquisition for Adults classes.

The location also offers a testing center, academic advising, counseling, tutoring and other college support services, and is the future home of the East Valley Veterans Education Center.

"The new RSC Southern location provides expanded access to student services for our online students as well as educational opportunities for College Bridge Pathways students,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College.

One of those College Bridge Pathway students is Tempe resident Vincent Smalley, a student who recently earned his GED after taking prep classes at RSC Southern.

“I was homeschooled for a majority of my life,” Smalley said. “If it weren’t for Rio Salado and its passionate commitment to the success of their students, I’d still be the same old me.”

Smalley credits Rio with more than just giving him an education.

“Everything I did in class not only improved my learning capabilities, but also changed the way I felt about myself,” Smalley said. “It gave me a sense of accomplishment and proved that I have what it takes to succeed.”

RSC Southern also benefits the East Valley by partnering with local community organizations.

“This location responds to a Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) initiative that calls for the creation of educational empowerment zones,” Bustamante said. “These regional zones bring together cities, social service agencies, businesses and educational institutions to strengthen the surrounding communities.”

MCCCD Chancellor Rufus Glasper echoed the importance of community involvement.

“Imagine an empowerment zone in your community – bringing all those minds together with inclusiveness, engagement and respect,” Glasper said. “When we think of our future, it will be through partnerships, not by operating in individual silos.”

Rio Salado College is the largest online public community college in the nation serving more than 65,000 students annually with more than 40,000 students on line. The college enrolls more than 2,300 Tempe residents annually.

RSC Southern is located at 3320 S. Price Rd., Tempe, AZ 85282. It is open Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday – Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This story can also be read in the November 15 edition of The Tempe Republic. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

2013-14 Creative Writing Competition Deadline Extended

Each year, the Maricopa County Community College District Center for Learning and Instruction sponsors a district-wide competition to encourage and recognize its student writers.The annual competition showcases originality in Poetry, Fiction, Essay, and One-Act Script writing. Winning contributions in each category are then published in the MCCCD annual publication, Passages. 

Students may submit their original works using the Call for Entry website. For complete instructions visit the Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction's Creative Writing Competition webpage.

Entries for the 2013-14 competition must be submitted to the Call for Entry  website by November 22, 2013.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Student Success Initiative

Submitted by Michael Murphy, Interim Assistant Director of Academic Advisement

President Barack Obama challenged America’s colleges and universities to increase the number of students completing degrees and other credentials that they can put to work. In response to the president’s completion agenda the Maricopa County Community College District and Rio Salado College have taken steps to better prepare students from the outset of their college careers.

The Student Success Initiative, or SSI, includes five success strategies designed to positively impact student retention, persistence and degree completion. Launched fall 2013, these steps are now required of all students who are new to college and seeking a degree or planning to transfer to a university.

These student success activities include:
  • Placement testing to determine the student's preparedness level for English, Mathematics and Critical Reading classes. These tests can be taken free of charge at any Rio Salado testing center and must be completed before registering for classes. 
  • Preparatory classes as a pre-requisite when indicated by placement testing results. Students who do not test into 100-level courses are required to take preparatory classes before registering for 100-level courses. 
  • College success courses are strongly encouraged for students who test into English, Math or Reading classes below the 100 level. These classes focus on orientation to college, personal growth, and study skills development as well as educational and career planning.
  • Academic advisement is strongly encouraged. Students who meet with an advisor will discuss their academic and career goals and plan their course load.
  • New Student Orientation (NSO101) Rio Salado's FREE, non-credit online orientation class introduces students to the RioLearn online learning environment and provides information about college programs and policies. It also offers guidance on financial planning and college success. 
“The purpose of the Student Success Initiative is to help every Rio Salado student be successful in their classes, but also to help them with the larger goal of completing their education,” says David Hall, Director of Academic Advisement at Rio Salado College.

To learn more about these success activities, and how to pursue them, visit This portal for new students offers a step-by-step guide to the process of enrolling, choosing a program, testing, payment and more.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

RSC Southern Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Scheduled

RSC Southern
 TEMPE – November 6, 2013 – Rio Salado College invites the community to celebrate the opening of its new Tempe location, RSC Southern, at a grand opening event on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 8:30 a.m.

RSC Southern serves students, veterans and East Valley residents through College Bridge Pathways, including adult basic education, GED prep and English Language Acquisition for Adults classes.

RSC Southern also offers a testing center, academic advising, counseling, tutoring and other college support services, and is the future home of the East Valley Veterans Education Center.

"This new regional location provides expanded access to student services for our online students as well as educational opportunities for our College Bridge Pathways students,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College.

RSC Southern will also benefit the East Valley by partnering with local community organizations.

“It also responds to the Maricopa County Community College District’s initiative that calls for the creation of Educational Empowerment Zones to bring together cities, social service agencies, businesses and educational institutions to strengthen surrounding communities,” Bustamante said.

The grand opening event will include a welcome reception with refreshments, short program, ceremonial ribbon cutting and tours of the new facility.

RSC Southern is located at 3320 S. Price Rd., Tempe, AZ 85282. It is open Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday – Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

From the Garden to the Table

Rio Salado Gardening Instructor Josh Sundberg
College cafeterias are not typically a first choice for a healthy, organic lunch. Luckily, there is nothing typical about Tempe-based Rio Salado College. With seasonal menus, locally-sourced ingredients and produce fresh from the college’s backyard garden, the Café at Rio has become a local lunchtime hotspot. 
The secret to the Café’s success is its garden to table philosophy and the high quality organic produce that is grown less than a touchdown pass away from the kitchen. 
Vegetables and herbs planted in the Garden at Rio include rosemary, basil, mint, sage, zucchini, eggplant, okra, broccoli, chiles and cantaloupe. 
Rio Salado Gardening instructor Josh Sundberg uses the garden as a learning lab where students discover gardening practices like aquaponics, companion planting and trap crops.
One of the first things Sundberg teaches is a respect for bees.
“I invite bees in to the garden, and give them plenty of incentive to come,” Sundberg said. “We plant basil to use in the Café and to attract bees. Bees need flowers for their food supply, and I need food for the bees if I want my vegetables to pollinate.”
According to Sundberg, the Garden at Rio uses no fertilizer and doesn't require tilling.
“I really want people to reconnect with nature. Forests don’t need to be tilled or fertilized in order for plants to grow.”  Sundberg said.
“The inspiration for the Garden at Rio is nature. In nature, you would never see just a field of corn. There is always diversity in what is growing,” Sundberg said. “We try to display that diversity in all the planting beds. Some beds have more than 30 different plants in them. “
Sundberg said he uses natural methods to control unwanted pests.
“We use mint in the Café for our flavored waters. In the garden, mint is planted next to jalapenos to keep insects occupied. I’d rather have them eating mint than my cash crops.” Sundberg said.
As for weed control, Sundberg said he doesn't believe in it.
There’s no such thing as a weed,” Sundberg said. “Weeds grow for a purpose – they nourish the soil. People consider purslane a weed, but we grow it in the garden. It has the highest Omega-3 content of all land-based plants, and is pretty tasty. It tastes like spinach meets citrus!”
According to Rio Salado’s Chef Ben Leach, the focus on sustainability and local agriculture is about more than just environmental concerns.
“We want to cultivate a zero-waste and ecologically-responsible food system,” Leach said, “but our methods also make good business sense.  When we harvest our vegetables from the garden or buy them from a local farm, we don’t have to pay to preserve and transport them across the country. We’re also serving a higher quality, more flavorful meal that our customers can feel good about eating.”

This story can also be found in the Nov. 2 edition of the  Tempe Republic. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

KFYI 550 Live Broadcast from EVVEC Featuring Mike Broomhead and Barrel Boy

KFYI 550's Mike Broomhead and KNIX 102.5 local celebrity, Barrel Boy, will be broadcasting live from the East Valley Veteran’s Education Center Wednesday, November 6.  Please stop by between 4 and 7 to get your picture taken with Barrel Boy and help us spread the word about the amazing work being done in support of our military veterans at EVVEC.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Research Project Help Available 24/7

It’s research time! Visit Ask a Librarian for help finding the best sources for your projects

Have you been assigned a research paper or other project that requires you to use credible sources and you just don’t know where to start or what to do? This is very common college experience! 
The research process can be overwhelming when there are so many ways to find information. Even if you're familiar with library resources and especially if you aren't, you can still visit Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat

Our 24/7 Chat service is available around the clock and every day of the year and connects you online with a professional librarian who can work with you one-on-one to help you locate, evaluate, and cite the best sources for your projects. 

The MCCCD Libraries also offer research help in-person and by phone. These services are freely available to all MCCCD students, faculty and staff. To get help from a librarian now, visit

Monday, October 28, 2013

2013 College Fair To Be Held Nov. 7

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is hosting the 2013 College Fair at Rio Salado College in Tempe. The goal of the fair is to help students overcome obstacles on their way to college completion.

The College Fair will take place on Thursday, November 7th from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the Rio Salado Conference Center (2323 W. 14th St., Tempe, 85281). You are welcome anytime between 5:00 and 9:00. Admission is free!

Highlights of the fair include the following:
  • Representatives from various Rio Salado departments (Advising, Financial Aid/Scholarships, Testing, Adult Education, Tutoring, and more) will be available to answer your questions. 
  • Rio’s Counseling Department will speak to students about strategies (time management, goal setting, etc.) for college success.
  • Representatives from Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, Grand Canyon University, and other schools will discuss transfer requirements.
  • Student groups (Phi Theta Kappa, the Student Public Policy Forum, the National Society of Leadership and Success) will share information.
  • A college completion commitment event will take place throughout the evening. Students can make a commitment to completing their program or degree.
  • Drawings and fun activities (including a drawing for a signed AZ Cardinals football!)
Please join us on Thursday, November 7th. RSVP if you can, though it is not required.

Contact John Bastian (; 480-517-8656) to RSVP or with any questions.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

SPOT127 Project Wins 2013 Student Production Emmy

SPOT127, KJZZ's youth media center in Maryvale has been awarded the 2013 Student Production Emmy by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The Rocky Mountain Chapter covers all of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and El Centro California.

The winning project, "Teenagers Coming Out" was created by Jessica Garcia and Melissa Mancio who joined SPOT 127 last year. Both students attended Maryvale High School and neither had produced an audio or video project prior to their involvement in the SPOT 127 program. Garcia and Mancio both graduated from high school last May and are now attending college.

KJZZ is a listener-supported public radio station licensed to the Maricopa Community College District. It is a community service of Rio Salado College’s Division of Public Service, featuring a mix of local, national and international news, jazz and blues — serving more than 306,000 weekly listeners.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Job Search Course Teaches Comprehensive Approach

Learn interview techniques with
CPD102AC Creative Job Hunting
Creative Job Hunting (CPD102AC) is a course offered through Rio Salado College's Counseling Services department. The two-credit elective teaches a comprehensive approach that will help job seekers improve the strategic elements of their job search and address the psychological strain of prolonged unemployment.

"There are very few experiences in life that are as painful as an unsuccessful job search," said Rio Salado College Counseling Faculty Chair Melanie Abts. "The mental and physical drain of what feels like constant rejection by potential employers can lead to anxiety and self-doubt."

The creative job hunting class was developed by adjunct faculty member Kamela Craig who said she believes the course material is best suited for recent graduates or job seekers who have an immediate desire to start working.

"This is not a career planning course. This class is for recent graduates or community members who already know what kind of work they want to do," Craig said. "We want our students to feel like they are prepared to find a job after they receive their degree. For our community members, it is an extremely tough job market and taking this course can provide some new ideas on how to tackle their search."

According to Craig, the course teaches students to be better communicators so that they can not only write better resumes and cover letters, but they can also perform better in an interview.

"A majority of my students state that interviewing is their biggest fear, so we want to address that head on. We discuss a variety of techniques to help calm the nerves and then we pinpoint a strategy that will work best for the individual student," Craig said. "Students review common interview questions and behavioral interviewing questions and devise personalized answers with written feedback from the instructor.”

Students gain confidence and become more comfortable with the interview process through simulated interviews. Craig said she believes this helps students identify their strengths and weaknesses in an interview setting.

"As with anything, practice makes perfect," Craig said. "For the final, students must set up a mock interview with an employer to practice their answers and receive feedback in a pressure-free environment." She added, “I think the mock interview can be an 'ah-ha' moment for many students."

With an online delivery format and flexible monday start dates, attending the creative job hunting classes does not have to interfere with the actual job hunt. Participants can expect to learn how to create a job search plan, write a compelling resume and cover letter, use social networking to find job leads, deal with stress to stay motivated, and stay calm during an interview.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Economics Subject Guide

The Rio Salado Library is proud to introduce the Economics (ECN) Subject Guide. The guide provides links to key library and Web resources for Economics students. These resources are arranged by topic so that students can instantly access the information they need the most:
  • Easy Like Wikipedia!
  • Articles
  • Books and eBooks
  • Reports & Profiles
  • Countries, Cultures & Customs
  • Research Paper Help
  • Citation Help
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Web Resources
  • Tutoring
Developed by Kirstin Thomas, Instructional Coordinator for the Library, this subject-specific guide is designed to be a one-stop shop for all of your ECN related research needs.

Questions/comments about the guide? Contact

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

RSC Mobile App Available Now


The Rio Salado College mobile app is now available on both Android and iPhone. Stay connected with Rio Salado social media networks, news updates and local events. The app can also be used for convenient access to RioLearn, RioLounge and My Maricopa.Windows and Blackberry users can visit for a browser-based version.  Be sure to check it out!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Like Buttah!

KJZZ Host/Reporter Steve Goldstein made the Phoenix Magazine, 2013 Best of the Valley list.

The editors included Steve in the People and Media category for having the Most Buttery Local Radio Voice. Here’s a look at the listing:

The KJZZ personality is a public-radio reporter with commercial-radio pipes. Providing the Valley-news bumper segments on NPR’s All Things Considered current events program, Goldstein makes “congestion on the I-10” sound like the sweetest of lullabies, with a warm, dulcet delivery that never fails to soothe. Physicians should rent this guy out for bad post-operative news and such. 3-6 p.m. weekdays on 91.5 FM.

Congratulations Steve!

Story submitted by KJZZ Public Relations Coordinator Annette Flores.KJZZ is a community service of Rio Salado College’s Division of Public Service.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Library Used Book Sale

Rio Salado College Library Used Book Sale will take place Tuesday, Oct. 22 & Wednesday, Oct. 23, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Rio Salado College Conference Center, 2323 W. 14th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281.

Shoppers will find all sorts of treasures, and great bargains too, including thousands of music CDs (Classical & Jazz),novels, crafts, reference, non-fiction, DVDs, VHS, magazines and more!
  • Hardbacks $1
  • Paperbacks $.50
  • Music CDs & DVDs $1
  • VHS & Cassette tapes $.25
  • Magazines $.25
This is a CASH ONLY sale. Funds raised will support purchases for the library collection. Contact Melanie Fritz at the Rio Salado College Library for details. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Scholarship Applicants Wanted For Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is looking for high-performing community college transfer students with financial need who plan to transfer to a top four-year college or university to apply for its Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Be a current student at an accredited US community college or two-year institution with sophomore status by December 31, 2013, or a recent graduate (since spring 2009)
  • Plan to enroll full time in a baccalaureate program at an accredited college or university in fall 2014
  • Have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.5 or better on a scale of 4.0 
  • Demonstrate unmet financial need.
  • Have not previously been nominated for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

Note: While the Foundation considers academic excellence first in evaluating candidates, competitive applicants must also demonstrate unmet financial need, which has two components:
  • Education costs that are appreciably greater than the total amount of other scholarships or grant awards.
  • Insufficient student and family income to meet educational costs.

Selected students may use the award for tuition, living expenses, books, and other required fees, may pursue any area of study, will have the opportunity to network with the larger JKCF Scholar community, and will receive up to $30,000 each year, making this scholarship the largest private scholarship for community college transfer students in the country. Students who stand out for their exceptional academic abilities and achievements, persistence, leadership and desire to help others, should visit the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s website to learn more. The application is open from September 12 to November 7, 2013.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Get Cooking This Holiday Season with Rio Salado College

Rio Salado College’s sustainable foods department recently announced a series of in-person holiday cooking workshops. Participants will work with a professional chef in a beautiful new teaching kitchen at the college’s RSC Thomas location. The 3.5 hour workshops cost $49 each and will cover seasonal favorites like made-from-scratch soups, holiday pies and three different kinds of tamales.

Workshop participants can expect a hands-on experience where they will learn much more than ingredients and cooking times.
  • From Scratch Soup - (Oct. 26) Discover different categories of soups and their importance as a staple in diets throughout the world. Participants will learn to make butternut squash soup, tortilla soup, New England clam chowder, and Tom Yum Soup.
  • Holiday Pie Workshop – (Nov. 16) This class will cover gluten-free pie crust in addition to traditional pie crust, and cookie crumb crust. Participants will learn to make classic apple, French apple pecan and pumpkin pie. Each student will leave class with one pie.
  • Tamales, Tamales, Tamales – (Dec. 14) Get the do’s and don’ts of making tamales from a professional chef and have a late lunch enjoying the results. Participants will learn to make green chile chicken tamales, red chile beef tamales and green corn tamales.

Michael Hodgins, Director of the Sustainable Food Systems program at Rio Salado said he is very excited to be offering these classes.

"Cooking and baking brings families and communities together,” Hodgins said. “It’s unfortunate that cooking and baking, to some extent, are becoming a lost art as folks get busier and busier.”

According to Hodgins, the holiday cooking workshops will teach students more than just cooking skills.

“We have a fantastic for-credit Sustainable Food Systems program with cooking and baking classes, but it is still important to reach out to the community and provide education for those that don't necessarily want to cook for a career. We want to help them enrich their lives and the lives of those around them through great food."

All three workshops will be held from 11a.m. until 2:30 p.m. RSC Thomas is located at 3631 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85019. For more information, and search “community education.”

This story can also be found in the October 12 edition of the Tempe Republic.