Thursday, March 22, 2018

40th Anniversary Throwback Thursday 1985-87

Our next stop on the 40th anniversary Throwback Thursday timeline is 1985-87.

On the world stage, Mikhail Gorbachev became president of the Soviet Union, pop musicians banded together to fight African famine at the Live Aid concerts, and version 1.0 of Windows was released.

Locally, the MCCCD Governing Board assigned Dr. Charles Green as president of Rio Salado College in 1985. In 1986, Rio Salado moved its headquarters to a building purchased at 640 N. First Avenue in Phoenix, replacing previously rented facilities. The college’s adult basic education program was also singled out as one of the top 10 ABE programs in the United States.

Pictured here are members of Rio Salado’s ABE staff including Mary Johnson, Eunice Robbins, Karen Mills, Janet Gesin and Karen Watson.
Do you remember this time? Share your photos, stories and memories via email to or social media using the hashtag #RioSaladoCollege40th.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Workforce Development Prepares Students for Careers

Maricopa County News recently shared a video about Rio Salado College student Jessica Angulo and how she is using her workforce training to gain real world experience as an electrician apprentice.

Watch the video at:

Angulo took GED® test prep classes at Rio Salado College Downtown and enrolled in the college’s Energy Systems Technology I-BEST Program.

After earning her high school equivalency diploma, Angulo was admitted to an electrical apprenticeship program, where she is thriving.

The video also features a cameo by Blair Liddicoat, Associate Dean of Adult Education at Rio Salado. 

For more information about how Rio Salado’s adult basic education opportunities can benefit you, visit

-Video courtesy of Maricopa County, and producer Erika Flores.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Meet Rio's 2018 John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award Honorees

Three Rio Salado College employees are recipients of the 2018 John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards honoring exceptional teaching and leadership in community college education.

The awards are given each year by the League for Innovation in the Community College

Rio Salado's honorees are: Hazel Davis, Faculty Chair for Library Services; Todd Simmons, Vice President of Administrative Services; and Dr. Wanda Tucker, Faculty Chair for Psychology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.

They were nominated for the award by Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante, who singled out their commitment to excellence in putting students first.
The awards will be given out by the at the League’s annual conference in Maryland March 18-21, 2018.

Hazel Davis
"I am greatly honored to receive this award for my work as Library Faculty Chair at Rio Salado College, where innovation thrives and enables ever-evolving and creative services for our non-traditional student body. Today, it is more important than ever for students to develop the information literacy skills that will underpin their college endeavors and enable them to become thoughtful and informed citizens. I feel so fortunate to work with my wonderful team to educate and empower our students."

Todd Simmons
"When most people think about excellence in high education, they think about the teaching and learning process. But, providing funding for excellence in teaching and learning requires creative solutions to financial issues and concerns. I hope that I have been able to contribute, in that capacity, to Rio Salado College and the success that it and its students have experienced. I am passionate about helping others achieve their life dreams and making their lives and the lives of those around them better."

Dr. Wanda Tucker
"It is an honor to receive the John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award. I am fortunate to serve at a college where innovative ideas are welcomed to support the academic goals of students. Administrators, faculty colleagues, and staff members create an environment where excellence is promoted to champion initiatives for students and employees. In turn, it is my desire to give back and contribute to academic forums where intellectual inquiry is valued and appreciated."

For more information visit

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Celebrate Women's History Month in March

Image Credit: Women Marching in Suffragette Parade, Washington, DC (National Archives)
Image credit: Women marching in Suffragette Parade, Washington, DC (National Archives)

March is Women's History Month!

Celebrate the great contributions that women have made to our nation during the month of March. Read this article from the National Women’s History Month website to learn how it came to be. You can also visit the National Archives website to learn more about the history of women in the United States and explore their stories through letters, photographs, film, and other sources at

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

It’s Research time! Visit Ask a Librarian for 24/7 Help

Do you have a research paper or other project that requires you to use library sources and you don’t know where to start or what to do? You're not alone! The research process can be overwhelming when there are so many ways to find information.

What's credible and what's not? What's peer-reviewed and what's a database? Find the most relevant and reliable sources for your papers and presentations.

Our 24/7 Chat service is available around the clock and every day of the year! 

A former student who used Ask a Librarian shared that "(t)he librarian was beyond helpful! She provided way more information related to my original topic. Even though the topic I provided to her had limited sources, she managed to think outside the box and give me alternative ideas and help me chose a different topic that still was related. I would definitely recommend the 24/7 Librarian help to anyone."

To get help from a librarian, visit

Monday, March 12, 2018

Bustamante Named to National Higher Education Committee

Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante was recently invited to serve as a member of Forward50, a newly formed committee convened by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The committee is comprised of 50 higher education leaders from across the nation.

The Forward50 are tasked with developing useful solutions to remove barriers that prevent students attending and graduating from college. Members of the committee will identify evolving policy issues and seek input from other higher education institutions. As part of this work, the group will create four white papers that address access, affordability, accountability and transparency and include recommendations for members of Congress. These papers will also be available to the broader policy community for review and comment prior to finalization.

“This initiative aligns with Rio Salado’s long-standing commitment to college affordability and access,” said Bustamante. “I look forward to reaching out to experts at here at Rio Salado, the Maricopa Community College District and other institutions to seek input and practical solutions related to this work. It is exciting being a part of this initiative and the work that will take place to ensure that students have what they need to go to college and be successful.” 

Learn more about Forward50 at

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Service Hours for Spring Break Week

Rio Salado College will be closed Thursday, March 15-Friday, March 16 for Spring Break

However, the RSC Testing Centers at Tempe and Northern will be open those day from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. In addition, some departments will have special hours during Spring Break Week. See the hours below.

RSC Tempe

Registration & Records, Financial Aid, Cashiers, Advising, Computer Lab and Library
Mon-Wed    8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thurs-Fri     Closed
Mon-Wed    9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thurs-Fri     Closed
Mon-Wed    9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Thurs-Fri     Closed
Sat                  9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
 Technology Helpdesk
Mon-Wed    7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thurs-Fri     Closed

RSC Testing Centers

Monday, March 12 – Regular hours
Tuesday, March 13 – Regular hours
Wednesday, March 14 – Regular hours
Thursday, March 15 – Tempe and Northern Only, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday, March 16 - Tempe and Northern Only, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

40th Anniversary Throwback Thursday 1982-84

Rio Salado 40th anniversary banner with 1985 Arizona Republic photo of Rio Salado College Instructor Bond Womack working with Perryville students.

Our 40th anniversary Throwback Thursday time machine is making a pit stop to revisit 1982-84.

It was a time when Rio Salado was celebrating its 4th birthday, launching its Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honor society, hosting in-person classes at local shopping malls and partnering with the Arizona Department of Corrections to pioneer its incarcerated re-entry program. It was a time when Ronald Reagan was president, Michael Jackson’s Thriller was a hit and shoulder pads and big hair were all the rage.

Pictured here is Rio Salado Instructor Bond Womack working with students at the Arizona Correctional Training Center at Perryville as featured in a Jan. 21, 1985 Arizona Republic story written by Alan Ariav about Rio Salado’s incarcerated re-entry program.

Do you remember this time? Share your photos, stories and memories via email to or social media using the hashtag #RioSaladoCollege40th.

Tempe Geeks Night Out is Tonight!

Poster for Geeks Night Out with AZ SciTech Fest logo.  Image of attendees being captivated by Rich Cuprak

Time to break out the lightsabers, capes and curiosity for Geeks Night Out, an Arizona SciTech Festival event hosted this evening, March 1 by the City of Tempe. 

Roam freely to explore the wonders of science, technology and innovation! 

Free and open to the public.

Stop by our information booth to learn about the latest trends and technologies that are improving our world with STEM Faculty Chair Rick Vaughn and Faculty Chair of Applied Technology Richard Cuprak. 

Look for our SPOT 127 youth media reporters, who will be covering the event.

Meet Super Teacher Ed Student Eric Courtemanche

Photo of Eric smiling at camera.  Text: Straight A student

Here’s to educational warrior Eric Courtemanche, a Rio Salado Teacher in Residence intern who is working toward his certification in special education.

Many thanks to Eric’s wife Laurie for sharing the photo above and this Facebook post-- and for inspiring us:
You see this man right here ? He’s been through a lot in the last 9 mo. Started a new FT job, went back to school to get his SpEd certification and is still suffering from a nasty bout of valley fever. HOWEVER- through all of that, he got STRAIGHT A’s in his classes. Yes, you read that right - STRAIGHT A’s!! Rio Salado College was very accommodating with deadlines, which we so appreciate. So proud of you, sweetheart!
According to Laurie, Eric took his first full-time teaching job at the Ironwood American Leadership Academy as a special education high school math teacher starting last July. He became very ill during the October fall break and spent a week in the hospital, diagnosed with Valley Fever. He was out of work until mid-December. “Rio Salado was very accommodating about his homework deadlines his observation deadlines when he had to take his finals...” said Laurie.

“The best part of all this is that this was his first semester at Rio. He was literally 6 or 8 weeks into the program when he got sick, was hospitalized for a week and then out of work in disability for another 8 weeks. Rio deferred assignments, observations, finals, etc. To say that we are grateful that he was treated as a human being as opposed to be treated like a student ID number would be the largest of understatements,” said Laurie.

A member of Rio Salado’s Teacher Education team, Special Education Instructional Specialist Elizabeth Hoffman said, “Eric is a great guy! It was a pleasure working with him and through it all, he never took advantage of his situation.”

Rio Salado Faculty Chair of Educator Preparation Programs Jennifer Gresko said the instructional team works tirelessly on meeting the needs of each individual student. “The team meets weekly to discuss student needs and progress and decisions are made to accommodate special circumstances, while adhering to high standards of rigor and accountability. Finding this perfect balance can be tough! Seeing students like Eric succeed is the highest praise we can receive for our work. His success is our success!”

Eric, we appreciate your efforts, determination, successes, choice of study—and admire your family’s support!

Find the super teacher in you!