Thursday, October 18, 2018

Meet the 2018 Constitution Contest Winners!

background with Constitution header "We the People" with photos of the winners, Margie Munoz and Damian Robinson. Vintage ink well and quill in view

The results of our 2018 Constitution Day contest are in!

The contest called on students to answer this question: “Describe how the First Amendment of the Constitution enhances diversity in the United States.” The prize—a $75 gift card!

Congratulations to the winners:

We thank all of the Constitution Day contest winners and participants for sharing their thoughtful and poignant narratives.

We encourage you to take pause to think about what the Constitution means to you!

Pictured above are Margie Munoz and Damian Robinson.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Take a Selfie Stand Against Cheating Today!

Alt text: collage of three student photos, each student carrying a white board with a statement about why they don’t cheat.  Statements: 1. Because Cheaters Never Win! 2. Because I would probably get caught. 3. Because I believe in honesty and integrity

Today is International Day Against Contract Cheating! We’re calling on #RioWaves to show their support for academic integrity and ethics in their studies-- and to take a stand against cheating by sharing a selfie with a statement that completes this sentence: 

“I don’t contract cheat because ___________.” 

Share your statements via social media using hashtags #RioSaladoCollege #defeatthecheat #excelwithintegrity.

Look for shares on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts later today.

Rio Salado is a proud member of the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI), which is leading the International Day Against Contract Cheating effort.

Banner for International Day of Action against Contract Cheating, featuring illustrated images of two young bandits exchanging answers to test in a clandestine alley.

Excuses, Excuses 
While there are no excuses and the consequences are great, the stress and pressures of school can make it tempting and sometimes irresistible for students.

What is Cheating?
photo of a student holding up white board with her statement, I don't cheat because a smart student doesn't need anything else but themselves to answer
Most of us are familiar with cheat sheets and copying homework, but there’s a new kind of cheating called Contract Cheating.
Contract Cheating is a “form of academic dishonesty where students get academic work completed on their behalf, which they then submit for academic credit [and/or advantage] as if they created it themselves,” according to

Examples of contract cheating include:
  • Purchasing an assignment from an online site 
  • Sharing answers to an assignment on a file sharing site 
  • Posting or purchasing answers to an exam, assignment, or other assessed work 
  • Paying someone to write a test or exam 

photo of a student holding up white board with her statement, I don't cheat because the struggle is part of the journeyWe Want You to Succeed! 
We encourage you to take advantage of our Resources for Academic Success toolbox, Student Success videos, Tutoring services and Counseling teams.

Learn more about Contract Cheating by visiting or contacting Rio Salado’s Academic Integrity team

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Date Night idea: Soap Making Workshop 10/18

bars of colorful soap wrapped in a variety of ribbon and paper.

Any plans this Thursday? Why not make it a date night and take a Soap Making 101 workshop Oct. 18 with the Cafe at Rio team!

Register now:

Use code FALLSOAP for 15% discount.

No tests, no grades-- just fun!

Free Orientation: Learn How to Be a Teacher!

Young man smiling at camera.  Text: Learn how to be a teacher

Take part in a free orientation session to learn about the educational pathways and employment opportunities available to help you succeed as a teacher!

Rio Salado offers Arizona Department of Education approved Teacher Education programs that provide convenient and cost-effective ways for undergraduate students and working individuals with a bachelor’s degree to transition into teaching.

Our Post Baccalaureate courses are designed for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree or higher (in any area) from an accredited university and would like to become a teacher.

Orientation Agenda: 
  • Rio Salado College's Educator Preparation Program requirements
  • Program expectations and support
  • Registration process and requirements
  • Answers to questions you may have

Hand writing on a green chalkboard.  Text: Make a Difference Become a Teacher.  Learn more about Rio Salado College's Teacher Education Programs.  Rio Salado and Maricopa Community Colleges logos

Choose an in-person or virtual session that works for you!

Post-Baccalaureate Orientation Schedule:
November 5 - Virtual
November 28 - In-person
December 10 - In-person

Post-Bacc sessions take place 6-8 p.m. In-person session will take place at the Rio Salado College headquarters Conference Center in Tempe.

Teacher-in-Residence Orientation Schedule:
November 29 - In-person
December 10 - In-person

TIR sessions take place 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. In-person session will take place at the Rio Salado College headquarters Conference Center in Tempe.

Eager to learn more now? 
Check out this RioNews blog, Expert Advice on How to Become a Teacher by Rio Salado Teacher Ed Field Experience Coordinator and Coordinator of Marketing Paulina Ngo.

Visit or call 480-517-8140 for additional information about our Teacher Education programs and services.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Culinary Workshops Begin with Soap Making 10/18

Poster for Fall Culinary Workshops featuring images of tamales, pizza, appetizers, soap and tortellini

Looking for a culinary adventure? Join the Café at Rio and Sustainable Food Systems teams for a series of community education workshops to learn how to make soap, tortellini, pizza, holiday appetizers and tamales!

Register now:

Your first adventure begins Oct. 18 with a lesson on how to make soap! Use the code FALLSOAP for a 15% discount on this workshop!

No tests, no grades-- just good old fashion fun!

Join Us for Be a Leader College Fair, Oct. 21!

Snapshot from Be a Leader web site page for event.  Text: Register now! Taking Steps Towards College Success.  Oct. 21, 8:30-11:30 a.m.

The 10th Annual Be a Leader Taking Steps Towards College Success Resource Fair, Walk-a-Thon and College Fair is Sunday, October 21!
The event kicks off with the college Resource Fair, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. at Civic Space Park in Phoenix.

The College Success Walk-a-Thon begins at 11:30 a.m., starting from Civic Space Park and ending at the Phoenix Convention Center, where the College Fair will take place.

Students will have a chance to meet with representatives from 200+ colleges from across the country during the College Fair, 12-3 p.m.

Snapshot of Be a Leader FAFSA registration form at

New This Year! Be A Leader and its partners will provide one-on-one support with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at the event. If you need help completing the FAFSA, you should register online to receive further information on what to bring. Register here:

Photo of walk-a-thon from past years featuring dozens of students holding a banner that reads "I'm taking steps towards college success because..."

This event is great for parents and teens who want to explore their college options-- and educational advocates who want to support a good cause.

Rio Salado is a proud sponsor of this event. Stop by our information booth to say hello!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Scholarships for Top Community College Students

Shot of ALL-AZ seal over Maricopa Community Colleges Building and flag.  Text: All-Arizona Academic Team Scholarship Applications Due Oct. 22, 2018.  Adjacent is a still for Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship poster

Here are two scholarship opportunities for top community college students who have achieved academic excellence and plan to transfer to a university: the All-Arizona Academic Team Scholarship and the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The time you invest in these scholarship applications will be well worth your while!

Shot of ALL-AZ seal over Maricopa Community Colleges Building and flag.  Text: All-Arizona Academic Team Scholarship Applications Due Oct. 22, 2018

All-Arizona Academic Team Scholarship
Each year, Rio Salado College nominates two of its most distinguished students to receive the All-Arizona Academic Team Scholarship, which includes tuition to one of Arizona’s three state universities; Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, along with a cash award in the range of $500-1,000.

Tuition and scholarships will be issued as a two-year, full-time award or a four-year, part-time award. Candidates must have a 3.5 GPA during the past five years and have demonstrated leadership or community/school involvement. For additional scholarship requirements, please visit this web. Apply before the Oct. 22, 2018 deadline.

If you are selected for the All-Arizona Team, you will have the opportunity to apply for more scholarships, including the prestigious All-USA Community College Academic Team.

still for Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship poster.

Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship
This is a nationally competitive scholarship for students who have achieved academic excellence at community colleges. A GPA of 3.5 or higher is required, financial need is considered and school/community service typically is expected.

Chosen scholars will receive up to $40,000 per year in financial support to cover educational expenses and become part of a supportive network of educators and scholars.

Learn more about eligibility requirements and apply online before the November 27 deadline by visiting this web page.

We hope you will take advantage of these opportunities and call on our Student Life team if you require assistance, have questions or simply want to talk about the process by emailing or calling 480-517-8050.

Good luck with your applications!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Explore New Math Emporium with eCampus News

Snapshot of ECampus News web feature.  Text: Does your college have a math concierge.  The Math Emporium at an Arizona community college pairs technology with human help to increase student success

Learn about our new Math Emporium in Phoenix in this eCampus News story featuring Rio Salado's Faculty Chair of Mathematics John Jensen.

The Emporium is free and open to all Maricopa Community Colleges students who are eager to improve their math skills.

Learn more:

Monday, October 8, 2018

Get Your Share of $2.5 Million in Scholarships

Poster featuring a pink piggy bank wearing a graduation cap.  Text: Spring 2019 scholarships available.  Deadline Oct. 14, 2018.  Rio Salado mascot Splash standing near by in graduation cap and gown. Text: Thanks to the generosity of our donors the Foundation will award more than 2.5 million in scholarships during the 2018-19 school year
Time is running out to apply for spring 2018 Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation (MCCCDF) scholarships!  The deadline-- Oct. 14.  The prize-- more than $2.5 million in scholarships.

Apply now:

Look for exclusive opportunities for Rio Waves like the James P. Hornburg Memorial Scholarship for students majoring in Law Enforcement and Corrections and the Dr. Linda M. Thor Scholarship, which is geared toward helping single moms. Veterans, there are also exclusive scholarships for you.

Do the Math! 
The few hours you spend on a scholarship application will be a good investment.  Don't discount those small scholarships!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Voter Registration Deadline Oct. 9!

snapshot from azcentral story referenced in blog, featuring azcentral logo, arizona flag backdrop and text: Important Election Dates to Know.  Voter Registration Deadline Oct. 9.  Image of Rio mascot splash wearing a patriotic top hat and voter button

Last call! October 9 is the registration deadline to vote in the 2018 General Election. 

It's quick and easy at– if you have an Arizona Driver License or an Arizona non-operating I.D. card issued by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).

Be an informed voter!
Check out this story for voter resources and tips!

Here are additional resources from the Citizens Clean Elections Commission and our Maricopa County Recorder's office:

Rio Salado Luke A.F.B. Closed Columbus Day 10/8

Poster for Columbus Day, featuring a sketched vintage ship. Text: Rio Salado Luke A.F.B Closed Oct. 8, 2018

Our Rio Salado Luke Airforce Base location will be closed Monday, Oct. 8 for Columbus Day, a federal holiday observed by the Air Force. 

New MCCCD Tuition Payment Requirements

Photo of a student registering with a college staffer. Text: New Payment Requirement: Tuition is due on the day that you register

Please take note of new tuition payment requirements for Maricopa Community Colleges students. Tuition is due on the day that you register. 

Rio Salado students are an exception and should check their student center to confirm due dates. 

For more information, including payment options, visit

Please also note, the registration processing fee is non-refundable.

Room Change for Domestic Violence Conference

poster featuring a montage of words about domestic violence with a no sign over it.

Room Change Notice! Today's Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness Conference sessions are being held at the Hohokam faculty collaboration area.

Our final session, Domestic Violence: The Psychology of Relationship Abuse, Coercion and Violence takes place 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Presenters: Dr. Jon McCaine, Clinical Psychologist for Bayless Health Care Group and Program Director of Bayless Health Care’s Lighthouse Project for High Risk Teenage Youth.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

40th Anniversary Throwback Thursday 2009-11

Rio Salado 40th anniversary banner with text: An innovative leader in higher education. Collage of photos of Communiversity at Surprise ribbon cutting ceremony, featuring former President Linda Thor and guests.

Welcome to the past! The next stop on our 40th anniversary Throwback Thursday timeline is 2009-11!

April 10, 2009 story about the Communiversity in Northwest Valley News.  Headline: Economic Reality Molding Communiversity. Image of construction workers building new location

In 2009, Rio Salado celebrated the grand opening of the Communiversity at Surprise, an innovative approach to learning. The Communiversity joined higher education partners together in one location to offer students the opportunity to earn progressive degrees all under one roof. 

Snapshot of Arizona Republic story announcing WCET award.  Headline: Rio Salado College is Recognized for the Use of Technology

In 2010, interim president Chris Bustamante was appointed president of Rio Salado by the Maricopa Community Colleges, succeeding Dr. Linda Thor who left to become chancellor of California’s Foothill-De Anza Community College District.

Also in 2010, Rio Salado was one of four colleges in the country to win an Outstanding Work award from WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), which recognized Rio Salado’s Peer-to-Peer Plagiarism Detection System.

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

Visit our 40th anniversary website to learn more about our year-long celebration

#RioGivesBack Progress Report

Collage of images featured below in blog of Rio Salado employee groups at volunteer events.

We’re celebrating our 40th anniversary with 40 acts of community service! Here are the latest developments from Rio staff members.

Group photo of Partnerships team

The Rio Salado Partnerships department chose Project C.U.R.E. as its volunteer project. Each month Project C.U.R.E’s Phoenix warehouse sends multiple 40-foot shipping containers filled with life-saving medical supplies to hospitals in need in more than 130 countries. The Partnerships team volunteered for three hours to sort and package medical supplies for shipment, stock inventory, prepare shipments and load containers. In the process, the team learned how Project C.U.R.E. investigates the needs of countries and ensures that there is a clinic which can use the supplies—including difficult to get to remote areas. According to Project C.U.R.E, they have never lost a container to theft or stopped delivery within a country.  Pictured here are Susan Lawrence, Robyn Sheppard, Darcy Breault, Cheri Land and Michael Turner.

Group shot of Avondale team

The Rio Salado Avondale Instructional Team volunteered their services at the Agua Fria Food & Clothing Bank on September 12. The team collected food and clothing that will be offered to families and individuals in the Southwest Valley who are hungry, in need or facing crisis. The team spent their afternoon sorting through food shipments and organizing clothing donations. Pictured here are Michelle De Poy, David Contreras, Jessica Alvarado and Monica Garcia.

Group shot of Thomas team standing in front of St. Mary’s Food Bank wall.

Ten members from the Rio Salado Thomas team volunteered at St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix for two hours on Wed., Sept. 12. Some team members worked on production lines packing food boxes while others helped St. Mary’s with administrative duties. Pictured from right to left: Tommy Kukic, Elizabeth Kerr, Rosa Zepeda, Tom Clark, Cristina Rivera, Julie Jorgensen, Nomar Celaya, Sam Canelake.  Jaime Cruz-Gama and Tanya Mijares also took part in this activity.

collage of group photos at Feed My Starving Children

Members of the Educator Prep Program volunteered their services at Feed My Starving Children in Mesa on Tue., Sept. 25. The team helped pack 283 boxes, which will feed 167 children for an entire year! Food boxes, containing vegetables, soy, rice and vitamin mix are distributed to diverse locations around the world for children in need. Team members included Mary Jo Krog, Julie Ferin, Christine Burke, Paulina Ngo, Jennifer Gladis, Renee Manning, Beth Hoffman, Bryan Arseneault, Diana Betts, Liz Taber and Regina Holzbaur.

Visit this Facebook album to see more photos. 

We encourage participants to share their photos and stories of service using these hashtags: #RioServes, #RioGivesBack #RioSaladoCollege40th.

Here’s to human kindness!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

#HispanicHeritage Lunch & Performance 10/4

Poster featuring an illustrated image of a colorful banner and lights, official Hispanic Heritage logo with text: Honoring Our Heritage. Building Our Future 2018.  Rio and Maricopa logos and band of Dias de los Muretos band playing musical instruments.  Photos of performers and a Peruvian corn salad.

Enjoy Latin guitar performances by Arizona State University students Philip Zweig and Alex Sanders, 12-1 p.m. at our Tempe headquarters amphitheater, Thursday, Oct. 4.

Order a tasty Peruvian Toasted Sweet Corn, Avocado and Quinoa Salad from our Cafe at Rio along the way.

Check out other Hispanic Heritage Month events at Rio Salado and the Maricopa Community Colleges at

Café @ Rio -- Made with Love!

Collage of images of Cafe at Rio staff, the Cafe at Rio Garden and a dish with grilled chicken, colorful vegetables and sides.
Pictured above are Café @ Rio staff members Michael Hodgins, Miana Spradlin and Thalia Martinez

Dash of Salt
By Rio Salado College Sr. Project Manager and Brand Journalist Mark Moran

A community college cafeteria may be the last place you’d expect to find a grilled panini, homemade soup or fresh sandwiches and salads made to order, with many of the ingredients grown just a few hundred feet away. In fact, most of the produce used at Rio Salado College’s sustainable café, called Café @ Rio is raised locally if not in the café’s on-site garden itself. Amid a clean and bright atmosphere, complete with digital menu screens and sparkling glass, waits an eager and knowledgeable staff ready to serve its patrons healthy portions of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, vegan options and lean proteins. The seafood choices all adhere to the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch standards for sustainable seafood

Café@Rio is unique among community college cafes in its sustainable approach to food

Café General Manager Michael Hodgins grew up in the restaurant industry. Literally. He started out washing dishes at a Country Club in upstate New York when he was 15 years-old, but it was enough to prompt his interest in the food industry. “I can tell you why I got out of doing dishes. It’s terrible staring down a pot sink,” Hodgins said chuckling. “Chef, can I peel five cases of shrimp? Anything to get me out of these dishes.” Once he got beyond the dirty dishes, Hodgins was hooked on the restaurant lifestyle. “I loved the camaraderie of the restaurant,” Hodgins said, “the adrenaline rush of the restaurant, the creativity component and the service.”

Hodgins working in the garden shoveling dirt in his office attire and sun glasses

Hodgins’ career took him from New York State to Arizona where he graduated from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and worked a series of jobs, including head chef for what was then known as Bank One Ballpark, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He learned about the sustainable food movement on the job with a company called Bon Appetit, a sustainable food services company. He was the corporate chef for the Intel properties in metro Phoenix, where he created a network of local farmers from scratch. “I found that there were so many more producers here in Arizona than I would have ever guessed.” One of the most important producers is Café @ Rio’s on-site garden. The café relies on it a lot, said Hodgins. Especially in the winter months when the garden can be at full capacity. “There are days when the lettuce on the salad bar was picked at 8 a.m. that morning and we open at 11,” said Hodgins. We have lettuce from November to April coming out of our garden.”

While providing healthy, fresh menu options for customers and adhering to the highest sustainability standards, Café @ Rio has a larger purpose, too. People who want to make a career in the sustainable food industry can earn an associate degree in Sustainable Food Systems, and the Café@Rio and its garden are the labs.

Café @ Rio is part of a much bigger sustainable foods movement in America. In Los Angeles, for example, Ron Finley, the former CEO of a volunteer group called LA Green Grounds, which plants gardens in what are known as food deserts. Those can be anything from a strip of dirt in a roadway median to a homeless shelter or a vacant lot. Despite some civic opposition, LA Green Grounds was able to get some city ordinances changed to allow for even more urban gardening, and it has grown into a force in the volunteer sustainable food community. “I got tired of driving 45 minutes round trip to get an apple that wasn’t impregnated with pesticides,” said Finley in a TED talk. “This has got to stop.” With LA Green Grounds now on firm soil, Finley has gone on to start the Ron Finley project and calls himself The Gangsta Gardner. He has released an independent film about urban gardening that documents the stories of four unlikely gardeners in high crime parts of Los Angeles. “The food is the problem and the food is the solution. Growing one plant will give you ten-thousand seeds. So one dollars-worth of green beans will give you $75 worth of food,” Finley said. “I refused to be a part of this manufactured reality that was manufactured for me by someone else.”

As part of Rio Salado’s degree program, students learn best practices for raising and using sustainable foods, what the “real food movement” is and the best ways to prepare and serve those ingredients. The college composts all of its food scraps and tree trimmings to create fertilizer, sells its fry oil to be made into biofuel, and offers nutrient dense food options on a daily basis.

You don’t have to have an eye on the food industry as a career, either. It may be that you’re simply thinking about a sustainable planet for the future. “I don’t want to be responsible for having my kids’ or my grandkids’ generation not being able to produce nutritious food for themselves,” says Hodgins. “With sustainability being one of the core values of the college, I’d say that’s kind of walking the walk.”

There is more information on Rio Salado College’s Sustainability Food Systems Program here

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Rio Salado & MCCCD Closing at Noon 10/2

Image of a dark storm.  Road sign with an exclamation point and cloud icon.

Rio Salado and all Maricopa Community Colleges locations will be closing today, Oct. 2 at noon due to the weather and potentially deteriorating road conditions. We plan to open as scheduled tomorrow, Oct. 3 at 8:00 a.m.

We encourage all students, faculty and staff to check their email and visit our Facebook and Twitter accounts for the latest information and updates.

Please call the MCCCD Police Department at 480-784-0911 if you encounter an emergency.

Monday, October 1, 2018

New Tuition Payment Requirements Oct. 2018

Photo of students working in a classroom.  Center student is smiling at camera.  Text: New Tuition Payment Requirements

Tuition is due on the day that you register! Use one of the following three payment options to hold your class(es):

Financial Aid and Scholarships
If you have been awarded and accepted your financial aid and your award covers the full cost of your tuition and fees, your classes are secured.

If your financial aid award is less than your tuition and fees, please make payment arrangements to cover the balance.

icon for a plan
Payment Plan
Sign-up for a payment plan to hold your class(es) on the day you register. A $15.00 down payment and a $20.00 payment plan fee per semester ($35.00, non-refundable) is required to secure your class(es). Reloadable prepaid cards may be used to set up payment plan. Learn more by visiting

icon for a piggy bank
Pay in Full
Log in to your student account to pay tuition in full using a debit/credit card or pay by your checking/savings account.

For more information, visit

Effective October 2018, the registration processing fee is non-refundable.

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Conference 10/4-5

Poster featuring words relating to Domestic Violence in purple.  Wring with cross out mark over the phrase Domestic Violence

Join Rio Salado College for a Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Awareness Conference, October 4 & 5 at our Tempe headquarters. 

Free and open to Rio Salado and Maricopa Community Colleges students, staff, faculty and the general public. We hope you will join us to engage in the dialogue.

Here’s a look at the agenda:

Thursday, October 4, 2018
Rio Salado Tower
Room 515

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
“Identifying Sexual Harassment in the Workplace”

Presenter: MCCCD Employee Assistance Program

“Sexual Misconduct”
Presenter: Maria Bellino, Rio Salado Associate VP, Administrative and Employee Services

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
“How Does Domestic Violence affect Performance in the Workplace”

Presenter: MCCCD Employee Assistance Program

12 – 1 p.m.
“Putting an End to Teen Domestic Violence”

Presenter:  Bobbi Sudberry, Co-Founder of Kaity’s Way

Friday, October 5, 2018
Rio Salado Conference Center
2nd Floor South Room

Image of a workshop, close up of presenter's profile.10-11 a.m.
“Toxic Masculinity: The Impact of Male Insecurities on the School and Workplace Environment”

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“Domestic Violence: The Psychology of Relationship Abuse, Coercion and Violence”

Presenters: Dr. Jon McCaine, Clinical Psychologist for Bayless Health Care Group and Program Director of Bayless Health Care’s Lighthouse Project for High Risk Teenage Youth.