Monday, April 30, 2018

Preparing for Your Commencement, May 9.

Image of a student taking a selfie at graduation 2017, dressed in cap and gown, in front of commencement banner and stage.

Are you ready to celebrate your achievements at Rio Salado’s commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 9? Please refer to this event page and event flyer for the latest details. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your big night.

The ceremony will take place at the Comerica Theater, located at 400 W. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85003. Students should arrive and register at the Comerica Box Office entrance door on 4th Ave beginning at 5:45 p.m. Lobby doors will open for guests at 5:30 p.m.

Caps, Gowns & Tassels 
snapshot of badge 3.  Text: Rio Salado College GraduateStudents can pick up their cap and gown between now and May 9 (before noon) at the Rio Salado headquarters in Tempe. For more information contact 480-517- 8540 or

Grad Badge
Download and share your favorite grad badge. You have three options. This selection is trending as a favorite pick among Rio Wave grads.

snapshot of 2017 ceremony.  President Bustamante posing for a photo with a student grad.
GradImages will take photographs of graduates receiving their diplomas and when they exit the stage. Proofs of these photos will be made available at and can also be purchased directly from GradImages by calling 800-261-2576. Please email inquiries to

We will post event photos in the coming weeks via our Facebook account. You are welcome to tag, download and share these photos.

Live Stream
The event will be available via live stream, courtesy of MCTV. Share this link with family members and friends:

snapshot of Rio Salado Snapchat filter, featuring images of students embedded into a filter.  Text: Oh Snap!  We have a filter.  Download Snapchat to use itGo Social
Share your stories, smiles and celebrations using #RioGrad #RioWaves or by using our Snapchat grad filter at Comerica Theatre on May 9.

Here’s to Rio Salado 2018 Graduates! 

Check Out Our Latest 40th Anniversary Video

Still image of Rio Salado human 40

As part of Rio Salado College’s 40th anniversary celebration, more than 200 employees gathered at the Tempe headquarters for a photograph-- sporting their new anniversary t-shirts and assembled as a human 40 formation!

Included in the festivities was Rio Salado mascot Splash, who cheered the team on as they took their places.

Enjoy this behind-the-scenes video of the making of this commemorative photo.

Visit for the latest news about our 40th anniversary celebration.

Here's to Celebrating 40 Years as an Innovative Leader in Higher Education.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Join Rio’s PTK Team to Help Neighbors in Need

Rio Salado’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapter is partnering with the Andre House of Arizona to host a donation drive for people in need, April 30–May 19.

Among the top priorities is collecting reusable (hard plastic) water bottles, which are more sustainable than recyclable water bottles, and also offer storage for leftover food or vitamins.

Other items being collected:
  • Washcloths
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Deodorant 
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Shampoo and conditioner (travel size and large size)
  • Lotion (travel size, unscented or mildly scented)
  • Body wash/soap
  • Toothpaste (travel size)
  • Toothbrushes
  • Q-tips
  • Multi-vitamins, cough drops, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.
  • Band-aids
  • Combs and hairbrushes
  • Sunglasses
  • Ziplock freezer/storage bags (gallon size)
  • Shoes, work boots, sneakers, sandals (gently used, no high heels)
  • Men’s and women’s clothing and undergarments 

Donation bins are located at the Rio Salado Tempe Tower lobby and near the rear entrance of the Rio Salado Tempe Hohokam building.

For more information, please contact

The André House of Arizona is a non-profit organization providing free services to people who are struggling with poverty and homelessness.

We appreciate your contributions and generosity.

Pictured above are Rio Salado PTK students Evea Morrow and Crystal Roberto sorting through 2017  donations.

Artists of Promise Gala Tonight at Herberger

Poster for Artists of Promise, illustrations of performers and artistic cultural icons.

The Artists of Promise gala and exhibition is tonight! 

This is the night when students from all across the Valley get to showcase their finest artistic works-- and for us to honor the recipients of the Maricopa Community Colleges Chancellor Award in creative writing, dance/choreography, film/media arts, music composition, music instrumental, music vocal, theater design, theater performance and visual arts.

Join us!

Artist of Promise Gala Exhibition 
Wednesday, April 25
5:30 - 9:00 pm
Herberger Theater Center
Free and open to the public

You can also tune in for a live stream of the event, courtesy of Maricopa Community Colleges Television, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Valley Employers Offer Higher Learning Incentives logo.  Still image of Phoenix Skyline.  Text: Arizona is Still Hiring.
Check out this story to learn how Valley employers are providing recruitment incentives, including professional growth opportunities to create a loyal, highly-skilled workforce.

snapshot photo of Shelby Cartright and caption from story: State Farm employee Shelby Cartwright uses the company's college-tuition benefit. (Photo: Russ Wiles/The Republic)Included is a reference to Shelby Cartwright, one of 250+ State Farm employees in the Phoenix area who uses company-paid tuition for courses at Rio Salado College.

Rio Salado collaborates with the Maricopa Community Colleges, Maricopa Corporate College, local and national industry leaders to develop certificate and degree programs that help students improve their chances of attaining gainful employment— by focusing on industry needs and skillsets in demand.

MCOR logo

The Maricopa Corporate College is a service of Rio Salado, offering non-credit professional growth opportunities. Learn more at

Monday, April 23, 2018

New MCCCD Raúl Héctor Castro Scholarship

Vintage photo of Castro, likely circa 1950s

The Maricopa Community Colleges (MCCCD) is pleased to announce a scholarship in honor of the Honorable Raúl Héctor Castro, the first and only Mexican-American Governor of Arizona. 

This new scholarship will be available for the fall semester of 2018 to underserved Latino students interested in occupational programs and skilled trades who are enrolled in either Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Certificate of Completion (CCL) programs.

MCCCD Chancellor Maria Harper-Marinick, Ph.D. explains, “Latinos are our second largest student population. We are honored that former Governor Castro’s family and Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. have established this fund to provide much needed financial support for Latino students at Maricopa Community Colleges. We know that when our students worry less about financing their education, they are able to focus more on learning the vital skills they need to be successful in the workforce.”

Approximately 33% of MCCCD students identify as Latino. Many are nontraditional and/or first generation college students. Currently, $40,000 is available in this scholarship fund. Of that, $20,000 is a matching gift from Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.

“Chicanos Por La Causa is committed to empowering individuals toward self-sufficiency. Education is an important vehicle that provides this empowerment. I am particularly excited to be a part of the MCCCD Raul Castro Scholarship, which offers pathways toward certification for highly skilled jobs or a foundation to transfer to a four year university,” states David Adame, President and CEO at Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.

The Honorable Raúl Castro served as Governor of Arizona from 1975 to 1977. During his career, Governor Castro held both elected and non-elected public offices, including Pima County Attorney and the United States Ambassador to El Salvador, Bolivia and Argentina. He received all of his formal education in Arizona attending Arizona State Teachers College and earning his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arizona.

“My father was a trailblazer who valued education. He believed that we are obligated to provide opportunities for our brothers and sisters. This is one of several scholarships in my father’s name and our family is excited to support Maricopa’s Latino students for many years to come,” said Beth Castro daughter of Raúl Castro.

More details about the Raúl Héctor Castro Scholarship application process will be released in the near future.

News courtesy of the Maricopa Community Colleges

Celebrate Earth Day-- Every Day!

Illustration of Earth and mascot Splashh on a surf board.  Text: Earth Day, 22nd April.

Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22 in support of environmental protection. The movement began in 1970 and is now celebrated by more than one billion people around the globe-- making it the largest civic observance in the world!

Learn more about the history of Earth Day, the impact it has had and what the movement is trying to do today by visiting

image of a green leafRio Salado College is committed to its Sustainability Pledge. The college has incorporated sustainability as a core value and has developed several programs and practices that embrace the sociocultural, environmental and economic facets of sustainability. It’s not just a matter of teaching others how to be sustainable-- Rio Salado strives to be a leader in environmental responsibility by incorporating earth-friendly practices throughout its daily operations. We hope you will join us in this effort.

Friday, April 20, 2018

New Titles at the Rio Salado Library for April

video cover for Loving Vincent, featuring self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

Check out the latest in fiction, nonfiction and DVD releases from the Rio Salado Library, including blockbuster movies like Get OutLoving Vincent and Murder on the Orient Express!

This is a free service for Rio Salado students and staff. You can arrange for free pick up and drop off at Rio Salado locations across the Valley. Let us know if you have a special request by calling 480-517-8424.




This list is updated throughout the month as new books arrive. To view the complete list
of new titles from previous months, please see the Library New Titles Archive.

College Savings Tips from @azcentral

banner featuring Maricopa Community Colleges students and logo and logo.  Text: From today's healines at AZ Central: "Go to Community College for as long as possible."

Check out this azcentral story and discussion with news staff about how to get an Arizona university degree for less money. 

Rio Salado and the Maricopa Community Colleges are ready to help you make the most of your time, money and passion-- with online options, flexible Monday starts, seamless transfers and more. We look forward to being of service to you!

Rio Salado proudly provides distance-education to students in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For more information about programs and classes available in your state, please visit

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Celebrate Your Graduation with Us!

New social media banner featuring Rio Salado 2018 student speaker Jamie Peredo in graduation attire.  Text: Congratulations Rio Salado College Class of 2018.  Maricopa Community Colleges logo and 2018 grad badge.

Here's to Rio Salado College 2018 grads! We look forward to celebrating your accomplishments at our 2018 commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 9, at Comerica Theatre.

Pictured above is this year's student speaker, Jamie Peredo, an honors graduate of Rio Salado’s dental hygiene program. You'll be hearing more about her soon!

Check out this event page for the latest details on how to prepare for our commencement ceremony and to download your 2018 Grad Badge.

images of three different grad badges to choose from.

We also encourage you to join us for Maricopa Community Colleges convocations to celebrate your accomplishments. 

What is a convocation? Watch this video to learn more and then visit

snapshot from convocation video.  Image of grads walking through a procession.  Text: Is a cultural celebration of your success as a student.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Free Urban Nocturnes Performance Today at Noon!

Image of Karen Sinclair and Christopher McKay standing in front of downtown Phoenix skyline

Join Rio Salado's Honors Program for a free concert performance featuring Urban Nocturnes at the Rio Saldo Conference Center today, April 17 beginning at noon.

Urban Nocturnes is a chamber group with the Phoenix Symphony, founded by Karen Sinclair, violin, and Christopher McKay, viola. They are Artists-in-Residence at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Phoenix as well as full-time members of The Phoenix Symphony.

We hope to see you there!

Rio Salado Conference Center
2323 W. 14th St.
Tempe, AZ 85281

Thursday, April 12, 2018

40th Anniversary Throwback Thursday 1988-90

Welcome to the past! Our next stop on the 40th anniversary Throwback Thursday timeline is 1988-90.

Rio Salado College celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1988. At the time, it was noted that Rio was the first community college in the Valley, and often the first in Arizona or across the nation, to try a new service or unique program:
  • First mail registration 
  • First telephone registration 
  • First automatic computer registration 
  • First to distribute class schedules via Circle K Stores 
  • First to try modem delivered instruction 
  • First to provide a radio reading service for the visually-impaired 
In an effort to create alternative course delivery systems to meet student needs, the college began offering classes via audio teleconference on the SUNDIAL Network. “The network allows students to participate in credit classes from the privacy of their homes.”

In 1990, Dr. Charles Green departed Rio, and Dr. Linda Thor (pictured above) was named the new college president. At the time, she said, "The Maricopa District in Phoenix is one of the premiere community college districts in the nation, and this was a once-in-a-decade opening for a college president."

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

Monday, April 9, 2018

Celebrate National Library Week April 8-14, 2018!

First recognized in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. 

It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

Check out this National Library Week guide, created by the Rio Salado Library. It highlights many of the practical resources and services that make the Rio Library an indispensable source of student support. Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

KJZZ Hosts Explore Arizona StoryFest May 12

Join KJZZ 91.5 FM for EXPLORE ARIZONA StoryFest and Expo at the Mesa Convention Center on Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

The family-friendly event will showcase some of the state’s most animated storytellers and features booths from popular and unique Arizona destinations. 

Pre-registered listeners will have the chance to record their stories of family, success, discovery and more. Recording time slots will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis at

KJZZ’s mobile studio and food truck Soundbite will also be on hand. 

Tickets are $10. Children 13 and under are free. 

The event benefits Sun Sounds of Arizona and is presented in partnership with the Arizona Storytellers Project and South Mountain Community College's Storytelling Institute.