Friday, January 13, 2017

KJZZ Hosts Grand Opening of SPOT 127 East 1/19

SPOT 127 logo.  Text: East Valley Grand Opening

Join KJZZ Phoenix and SPOT 127 for the grand opening of SPOT 127 East, Thursday, Jan. 19 at Rio Salado Southern in Tempe.

This new, youth media center will empower teens to find their voices and engage with their communities through photo, audio and video storytelling. Learn more at

SPOT 127 East Grand Opening
Thursday, January 19
2-4 p.m.

3320 S Price Rd
Tempe, AZ 85282-7513

Image of SPOT 127 students in a recording studio

SPOT 127 and KJZZ are a community service of Rio Salado College.

New Paralegal Classes to Enhance Your Skillsets

Photo of the Supreme Courthouse

Rio Salado has added three new electives to its online paralegal program. The classes include environmental law, immigration law, and legal investigation

A class in e-discovery is coming soon. These classes will offer students more specialized course content that is socially relevant and can help established paralegals meet continuing legal education requirements.

Image of Angela Kwan
“The new class options provide students with areas of interest to explore and may help them focus their career paths,” said Angela Kwan, Rio Salado’s faculty chair for Administration of Justice Studies and Paralegal.

Rio’s curriculum prepares students for the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) certification exam.

Classes focus on fundamental skills such as legal research, writing and analysis, IRAC writing, Bluebook legal citation and Westlaw training.

Image of a courtroom

In addition to the substantive coursework, Rio Salado’s program offers professional development opportunities through partnerships with private law firms, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations and corporate businesses.

image of a law library
Qualified candidates have the opportunity to intern and apply their legal education in a legal setting. For more details, visit

#Paralegal #LegalCareer #LegalTech #eDiscovery #ImmigrationLaw #EnvironmentalLaw #Career #Success

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Learning the Language of Success

Photo of medical professional smiling while holding documents

Rio Salado College student Miriam Ponsock has turned her language skills and compassion into a career.

Ponsock is a wife and mother of two who speaks Spanish and has a passion for helping people. When she was recently contemplating her career options, these two skills merged into one clear direction. “I care about people, and figured if I can get training in something I enjoy, and do it as a career, that is a good thing,” said Ponsock.

She promptly enrolled in Rio Salado College’s Spanish for Medical Interpretation classes.

The two-class sequence was created to give students the opportunity to gain valuable career skills while helping fill voids in the local healthcare community.

“Communication is key, especially in emergency room situations,” said Angela Felix, Rio Salado College’s faculty chair for languages. “There is an increase in the number of people needing quality medical care. Receiving the correct information in a language they understand is critical.”

Photo of person in blue srubs speaking with smiling elderly person with arm brace. Background: doctor in an office and doctor walking

Rio Salado partnered with the Phoenix Children’s Hospital to develop the course content, which was accredited by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters in 2014.

“This training is perfect for students who are bilingual but don’t know what career path to follow,” Felix said. “The most important thing to know is that students don’t have to have a medical background to take these classes. We will teach them the terminology and how to manage interpretive encounters.”
Offering the classes online allows students to enjoy the convenience of learning on their schedule.

“I like the online experience,” said Ponsock. “My class is user-friendly and flexible. I can log in at any time and contact my instructor, check my grades and complete my assignments.”

However, it has not all been smooth sailing for Ponsock. Her husband is fighting a life-threatening disease and may require an organ transplant.

“I was trying to get a job, going to school, visiting the hospital for my husband’s health emergencies and attending the needs of my children,” Ponsock said. “There were moments when I felt burdened and had difficulty focusing.”

“But there were also moments of relief where I would give it my all,” Ponsock said. “I believe that with divine grace I was able to push through. I’m grateful that Rio Salado gave me the flexibility to study, work and care for my family.”

Ponsock’s perseverance paid off. After completing the first Spanish for Medical Interpretation class, she got a job with a company that specializes in interpreting and translation services.

“The work I did for my class and my teacher’s constructive feedback were a huge stepping stone for me to obtain this job,” Ponsock said. “The class has helped me grow and has boosted my confidence to a level that I had never imagined.”

Ponsock’s instructor was Dr. Elida Testai, a former science journalist in Argentina who believes that interpretation goes far beyond word choice.
Nurse holding pill bottle while elderly patient looks at the bottle

“Anybody can check words in a dictionary,” Testai said. “Interpreters transmit a message, a concept or an idea while respecting the tone and intention of the speaker in context. It’s about conveying a deep level of meaning.”

For more information about Rio Salado’s Spanish for Medical Interpretation classes visit Enroll now -- classes start Mondays!

Contributed by Mira Radovich, Communications Coordinator. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Special Saturday Hours to Help You Get Ready...

Imge of Rio Salado mascot Splash carrying his backpack and books.

The Rio Salado Tempe headquarters will be open Saturday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. to help you get ready for school!

The following student services will be available:
The Testing Center, Knowledge Commons and Technology Support Helpdesk will have normal Saturday hours.

Avoid wait times!

For a step-by-step guide on getting started at Rio Salado College visit

Monday, January 9, 2017

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Jan. 16

photo of MLK

Rio Salado College and the Maricopa Community Colleges will be closed Monday, Jan. 16 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

We will resume regular business hours on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

We encourage you to take pause during this national holiday to reflect on Dr. King's contributions to the Civil Rights Movement-- and how you can serve as a steward of this cause.

snapshot of Gale Biography collection for MLK, Photo of March on Washington with MLK waving and smiling
The Gale Biography in Context database offers current and archival multimedia resources that will provide you with insights into Dr. King's life, achievements and legacy.  Please note, you will need to log into RioLearn to access. 
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.