Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The 2016 ITC Outstanding eLearning Student is...

Photo of Williams

Congratulations to Rio Salado College student Vanessa Williams who received the Outstanding eLearning Student award at the national Instructional Technology Council (ITC) eLearning conference held in Scottsdale Feb. 15-17, 2016.
Williams with Rio Salado President Bustamante
“I have achieved what I thought to be impossible ten years ago,” Williams said of her award. “This honor means that I have exceeded my own expectations of balancing home, work and school, and being successful in doing so.”

Williams is currently the president of Rio Salado’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) student honor society chapter, and vice president of the college’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

She was nominated for the eLearning award by Dr. Melanie Abts and John Bastian, PTK chapter advisors.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving for this award than Vanessa,” Bastian said. “She is a reliable student leader now and shows great potential to do great things for our communities in the future.”

Williams credits Rio Salado’s online classes with her academic success.

“Online learning has been very beneficial to me,” Williams said. “It has allowed me the opportunity to go to school full-time while working full-time, and has taught me to manage my time more effectively.”

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Panel with Rio Salado Communications Faculty Chair Corey Pruitt

At the conference, Williams participated in a student panel with other Rio Salado students to discuss the online learning experience.

“Online courses also helped me to stay on track and achieve my goal of obtaining an associate degree,” Williams said. “And thank you to Rio Salado College, for going out of your way to support the students and their dreams.”

Photo of Rio Salado team with Dr. Bustamante and Faculty Chair Pruitt

“When we listen to our students and try to meet their needs, we are all more successful in our roles as higher education leaders,” said Dr. Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College.

Williams plans to transfer to Northern Arizona University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in management. In the future, she hopes to create a non-profit organization to assist peer support specialists in behavior health. When she is not working or with her family, she is an advocate for the homeless.

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Rio Salado College served as the host college for the ITC conference. The ITC is affiliated with the American Association of Community Colleges. Its mission is to provide leadership and professional development in higher education by advocating, collaborating and sharing innovative practices in educational technologies.

Images of students.  Alt text: Instructional Technology Council (ITC) eLearning Conference, Feb. 14-17, 2016 Rio Salado College Student Panel Bios    Ashley (Dani) Cross took her first class at Rio Salado College in the spring of 2011 and currently works as a part-time peer mentor there. She is on the waiting list for the nursing program through Maricopa Community College District. She plans to continue on with her education and earn a Master of Science in Nursing while working as a nurse. As single mother of her 7-year-old son, Eli, she finds e-learning to be a convenient way to complete her coursework while at the same time juggling life’s responsibilities.  Nathan Errington is a Rio Salado College student and an active duty member of the United States Air Force assigned to Luke AFB. He graduated with his Associate in Applied Science in Computer Technology, Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Web Design, and CCL in Computer Usage and Applications through Rio Salado in spring 2015. Nathan is currently pursuing an Arizona General Education Curriculum associate degree. He is scheduled to spend a year at Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea for his next assignment and then a follow-on assignment to Misawa AB, Japan. He plans to continue his studies with Rio Salado College while being deployed overseas.  Samra Hausey started as a student at Rio Salado College in fall 2011 and became a part-time peer mentor in the Advisement department in 2014.  E-learning is a better fit for her than a traditional campus setting with flexible scheduling and delivery methods that meet her learning style. She currently is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with the goal to teach 4th grade and earn master’s degree through Arizona State University.  Samantha Hill is studying healthcare innovation at Arizona State University (ASU) and is on the waiting list for the medical radiography program at Gateway Community College. Before going to ASU, she took e-learning classes at Rio Salado to earn college credits while deciding upon her educational and career goals. She is employed at Rio Salado College as a peer mentor and volunteers at the Maricopa Integrated Health System in the radiology department. In the future, she hopes study radiography and work at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital or the Mayo Clinic.  Daniel Mott is a student at Rio Salado College and member of its Phi Theta Kappa. He is the father of two boys, a small insurance business owner and part-time student. He started taking classes with Rio Salado in spring 2014 and is working on an Associate in Arts. He sees his mother as an inspiration to complete his education and finds e-learning convenient for his schedule. He appreciates that he can take classes in topics he can apply to all areas of his life. Daniel plans to transfer to an Arizona university to pursue a bachelor degree in marketing or communications.  Vanessa Williams started with Rio Salado College in fall 2013. She is Rio Salado College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter president and vice president of the college’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Vanessa works as a supervisor at Warm Line, a non-emergency peer-supported telephone hotline through the non-profit Crisis Response Network. She plans to earn an associate degree and transfer to Northern Arizona University to pursue a bachelor degree in management. In the future, she hopes to create a non-profit organization to assist peer support specialists in behavior health. When she is not working or with her family, she is an advocate for the homeless.Meet the ITC Panel
We appreciate the time and effort of the Rio Salado students who volunteered their time to take part in the ITC panel. Their input is invaluable. Learn more about who they are in this bio sheet.




By Rio Salado Communications Coordinator Mira Radovich.