Showing posts with label RioPresident. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RioPresident. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Rio Salado Welcomes New VPAA Kate Smith

Please join us in welcoming Kate Smith-- Rio Salado's new Vice President of Academic Affairs

Smith, who begins her tenure this week, will be responsible for the oversight of Faculty, academic support services, Community Development, Dual Enrollment, Educational Service Partners, Institutional Research, Curriculum, and Institutional Integrity.

“I am excited to welcome Kate to the Rio Salado College team and to Maricopa,” said Chris Bustamante, president of Rio Salado College. “I have every confidence that she will provide meaningful contributions to our important work of serving students.”

Smith brings a depth of experience to her new role with more than 20 years of experience in education. Most recently she served as the Dean of the Academic Foundations division at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York. In that role, Kate had direct oversight of developmental education, college success courses, the English for Speakers of other Languages program, Dual Enrollment, writing centers, learning centers, tutoring, grant funded initiatives, and more.

Smith is a collaborative and supportive educator and leader. She is also well known in New York and across the nation as a speaker on topics ranging from active learning strategies to leading change through collaborative practices.

“I am thrilled to join Rio Salado College,” Smith said. “I am humbled and honored to be joining such a progressive and hard-working team. I appreciate the opportunity to support and contribute to the excellent work of the faculty and staff at Rio and look forward to working with my new colleagues.”

Friday, May 6, 2016

Rio President Bustamante Appointed to ACE Board

Image of Dr. Bustamante

Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante was recently appointed to the board of the American Council on Education (ACE).

"The landscape in higher education is changing," said Bustamante." I am honored to be invited to serve on the ACE Board with other university and college presidents from throughout the nation to be a voice and advocate for higher education. This is a critical time when we are all re-examining how to best serve 21st Century students and prepare them to succeed in higher education and beyond."

ACE is a national organization that aims to tackle the toughest higher education challenges, with a focus on improving access and preparing every student to succeed. More than 1,700 institutions are ACE members, including accredited, degree-granting two- and four-year colleges, private and public universities, and nonprofit and for-profit entities.

Because of its advocacy role, ACE is a key point of contact on higher education matters for congressional staff and members of the executive branch, and is frequently cited in the national media on higher education issues.

By Rio Salado Communications Coordinator Mira Radovich

Friday, April 15, 2016

Watch Lumina #StrongerNation Webcast!

Images for Stronger Nation webcast and photo of Dr. Bustamante

Did you miss the April 11 Lumina Foundation Stronger Nation‬ live webcast with The National Press Club It’s available for viewing now online.

The event was hosted to review the 2016 Stronger Nation report, which provides the latest degree attainment data, with media and a panel of national experts who discussed the fundamental inequities in post-secondary education, changing workforce requirements, the impact of low attainment rates and more. Included on that panel was Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante.

snapshot from the webcast
We encourage you to watch the webcast and engage in the discussion using #StrongerNation.

View the report now online.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Join RSC & @LuminaFound #StrongerNation 4/11

snapshot of Lumina Foundation StrongerNation Facebook page, image of monuments from across the nation.  Text: A stonger nation through higher education.

The Lumina Foundation’s A Stronger Nation report on post-secondary attainment has been the leading source of information about progress toward national attainment goals since it was first published in 2009. The 2016 edition, which will be released on Monday, April 11 as part of a special presentation, will include the latest degree attainment data as well as the first-ever nationally representative data showing Americans’ attainment of high-quality post-secondary certificates.

Dr. Bustamante
Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante will be taking part in Monday’s #StrongerNation presentation hosted by the Lumina Foundation, as part of a panel of national experts.

The panel will discuss issues such as the fundamental inequities in post-secondary education; changing workforce requirements; the social, economic, and community impact of low attainment rates; and other related issues. The panel discussion will be moderated by Nirvi Shah, deputy editor for policy at POLITICO Pro.

We encourage you to take part by watching a live stream of the event, 12-2 p.m. Arizona time, and by engaging in the dialogue online using #StrongerNation

The link to the live stream is:

For additional details, visit this Lumina Foundation web page.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Congresswoman Sinema State of District Address

We were delighted to take part in this morning's Tempe Chamber of Commerce State of the District Address with Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema at Rio Salado College.

The Congresswoman shared updates with community, educational, political and civic leaders on issues affecting our district, state and country.

Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante also provided updates on how the college is serving the City of Tempe.

We appreciate your attendance and engagement!

Photos from today's event are available on our Facebook account. Please feel free to tag and download photos.

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Rio Salado College staff, students and guests gathered for a moment of silence at 11 a.m. to honor the memory of the victims of last week's tragedy at Umpqua Community College and to let the UCC community know that we stand with them as they begin the process of healing.
"With this offering, we also show our support to our friends and colleagues who are working tirelessly to pick up the pieces on the UCC campus." --Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante


Monday, September 21, 2015

Pep Rally Raises 1K for Student Scholarships!

More than 215 attendees took part in Rio Salado's first-ever Back-to-School Pep Rally and Scholarship Fundraiser on Tuesday, Sept. 15. 

Rio Salado and the Maricopa Community Colleges District employees who attended the event enjoyed snow cones and water-themed activities like a dunk tank, water balloon volleyball, sponge toss and surf-machine. It was also a chance to help introduce the college’s new mascot Splash.

Thanks to everyone for attending, and for helping to raise more than $1,000 for the Rio Salado student scholarship fund! 
Image of David O'Shea being dunked.

And a special thank you to the good-natured folks who volunteered to be dunked and splashed in the name of education!

You can view more photos from the event by visiting this Facebook album.

Friday, September 4, 2015

RSC President Lumina Foundation Champion

snapshot of Strategy Labs web page with quote from Dr. B: “  We have to continue to provide clear pathways [to credentials] that are affordable and accessible for students. We need to be bold and take risks in terms of coming up with solutions that really work for our students…The changing environment around our students and [institutions] really task us with adapting higher education to our students’ needs, rather than our needs. ”

The Lumina Foundation recently featured Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante as its newest Strategy Labs Champion.

Here is a video profile produced by Strategy Labs, which features Dr Bustamante addressing questions about Rio Salado's leadership, dual enrollment program, efforts to develop lower-cost pathway credentials and how we're fulfilling our vision to "reinvent the learning experience to change lives."

About Strategy Labs and the Lumina Foundation
Strategy Labs are an open platform for leaders and influencers in all 50 states to come together to share research, data and professional experiences to advance Goal 2025. That goal is to increase the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. The Strategy Labs enable Lumina Foundation to connect and collaborate with state and system-level policymakers and higher education leaders to advance the State Policy Agenda and to focus on increased educational attainment.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Presidents' Scholarship Still Available!

stamp for Presidential Scholarship

The Presidents' Scholarship is still available to Rio Salado College students who qualify!

The scholarship covers full time in-county tuition (up to 15 credits plus registration fees) for up to four consecutive fall and spring semesters.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to have your tuition paid for at Rio Salado College!

Contact the Rio Salado Honors Program to check your eligibility by calling 480-517-8284. 

Visit this web page for additional details and requirements.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Students Earn College Degrees in High School

Dual enrollment graduates surrounding Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante

A record number of Valley students have already received their associate degrees before graduating from high school thanks to Rio Salado’s dual enrollment program. 

There were a total of 38 dual enrollment grads from 10 different high schools this year, 26 of whom took part in Rio Salado’s 2015 Commencement Ceremony at Comerica Theatre on May 5. This represents a record number of graduates, commencement attendees and schools participating in Rio Salado’s dual enrollment program.

The students come from Deer Valley and Heritage high schools in Glendale; Brophy College Prep, Desert Vista, Horizon, Mountain Pointe and Xavier College Prep in Phoenix as well as Tempe’s Corona del Sol, Marcos de Niza and McClintock high schools.

“I chose dual enrollment because I wanted to take as many core classes as possible to get a head start on my biomedical engineering degree,” said Slade Hermann, a senior at Deer Valley High School, who earned an associate in arts degree at last week’s ceremony.

“Through Rio Salado’s program, my high school offered multiple classes not only for high school credit, but for college credit as well, so I took advantage.”

Erin Hintze, a senior at Xavier College Preparatory, said the cost savings was a major factor. “Rio’s dual enrollment program is a great way to take college-level classes in high school at a more affordable price than if you took them in college,” said Hintze, who earned an associate in arts degree and is one of 16 Xavier dual enrollment grads.

“I earned a college degree before I graduate from high school,” said Hintze. “That is a claim most kids can't make.”

Hintze will be enrolling as a junior in Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University this fall, with plans to major in computer systems engineering.

Kate Boyle, another Xavier College Preparatory student, noted the benefits of getting a jump start on her college career. “I will be a second semester sophomore when I go to college and will have completed all the general education classes I would have had to take if I did not go through Rio’s dual enrollment program,” Boyle said.

Approximately 7,000 students earned high school and college credits simultaneously through Rio Salado’s dual enrollment classes. Classes are taught in person at each school by high school instructors who meet the qualifications to teach college classes.

“Research shows students who participate in dual enrollment programs have higher college GPA’s and are more likely to graduate from college than those who don’t,” said Dr. EJ Anderson, Rio Salado director of community partnerships for early college.

“Dual enrollment is one of the best strategies to improve a student’s ability to go to college and graduate on time,” said Anderson.

Anderson says parents play a key role in the program. “The Dual Enrollment program has really flourished in the past few years as students, parents, teachers and administrators see the incredible benefits,” Anderson said.

Dual enrollment credits transfer to all Arizona public colleges and universities, as well as many public and private colleges and universities outside of Arizona.

“Dual enrollment helped prepare me for college,” said Desert Vista High School senior Rex Moore, who is also a member of Rio Salado’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society and one of two Rio Salado All Arizona Academic Scholars who was awarded full tuition to one of Arizona’s public universities this February.

“I was always interested in math and science and want to do something to help people. That is why I am pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering.”

Austin Hornbaker, a senior at Tempe Corona del Sol High School and physics aficionado, earned both an associate in arts and an associate in science degree at the commencement ceremony.

“Dual enrollment allowed me to complete most of my associate in science (AS) degree by taking the classes I needed to take anyway to graduate high school,” Hornbaker said. “As it turns out, the AS and AA are so similar that I have completed the requirements for both degrees.”

With two associate degrees under his belt, Hornbaker will have the first four semesters of his bachelor’s degree in physics completed before he even sets foot on the ASU campus this fall.

“I will be able to jump right into the interesting physics classes instead of spending my first two years completing general education requirements,” Hornbaker said.

For more details about Rio Salado’s dual enrollment program, including scholarship opportunities, visit or call 480-517-8080.

Rio Salado Dual Enrollment Class of 2015
  • Brophy College Prep: Kevin Mead, Michael O'Gara
  • Corona del Sol: Steven Dykstra, Austin Hornbaker*, Samuel Juetten
  • Deer Valley: Slade Hermann, Michael Barnes, Grady Telfer, Jordan Tovar, Peter Tuohy, Victoria Vincent
  • Desert Vista: Angelique Cappo, Chase Boeke, Eric Kooinga, Megan Yousefelahi*, Rex Moore, Sepehr Rostamzadeh, Tessa Reinhart
  • Heritage: Andreas Grossen
  • Horizon: Angelica Gutierrez, Jasmine Robinson, Megan Fried
  • Marcos de Niza: Elizabeth Bierwagon
  • McClintock: Katie Canevit
  • Mt. Pointe: Kyra de la Torre, Shugri Abdulle, Teresa Velasco
  • Xavier College Prep: Brittney Hintze (2013), Aimee Skornik (2014), Anna Aloma, Areen Badwal. Erin Hintze, Jessica Kuretich, Kate Boyle, Katrina Knapp, Kyra Ochsner Madison Kumnic, Maria Brunacini, Mary Martin, Monica Tibajia, Morgan Snopko, Tianna Bengston, Tristan Richards

*Earned an associate of arts and science degree.

1. Group photo of Valley dual grads from Rio Salado Commencement Ceremony with President Chris Bustamante. Photographer Kenneth Krehbiel.
2. Sister Joanie Nuckols with Xavier Prep graduates. Photographer Kenneth Krehbiel.
3. Desert Vista Grads: Chase Boeke, Angelique Cappo, Rex Moore, Megan Yousefelahi and Sepehr Rostamzadeh. Photographer Gordon Fong.

Other high-resolution photographs available at

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Help Name the Rio Waves Mascot!

illustration of new mascto to name.  Cute, blue character with pixalated round face and Rio waves for head of hair.  Holding card that reads: "My name is???"

Rio Salado has decided on a new mascot-- The Rio Waves!  
Now it's time to help us name it!

We’re seeking a name that represents our unique brand as pioneers, relates to our name – Rio Salado (Salt River), and represents us as a college that finds innovative solutions and cuts through barriers.

The mascot represents educational access for all through flexibility, adaptability, affordability and accountability.

The Rio Wave is gender-neutral, friendly, helpful, and most of all serves as an ambassador for all Rio students, staff and faculty.

Please submit your gender-neutral name suggestion for our new mascot to: by midnight, April 20.

Visit this RioNews blog for additional details and back story about our mascot search and visit this web page for the latest updates.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Personalized Learning Trumps All

March/April 2015 cover of eCampus News

The March/April 2015 edition of @ecampusnews features a column called, College Presidents Predict New Institutional Models, which includes perspectives from Rio Salado President Dr. Chris Bustamante. 

You can read Dr. Bustamante's article about the subject, Personalized Learning Trumps All on page 10 of the online issue.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rio Salado Mascot Announced March 24

Rio's new mascot will be announced March 24!  Images of other Maricopa Colleges Mascots surrounding Chancellor Dr. Rufus Glasper

T-minus one week until we announce what the Rio Salado mascot will be! 

Survey participants and our mascot committee have narrowed down the search to three finalists: a Roadrunner, Raven or a Wave

Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante will make the official announcement during a college-wide meeting on Tuesday, March 24 at 10:15 a.m.

We will share the verdict immediately afterward via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, RioNews and this web page.

We look forward to sharing this exciting news with you!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rio Salado Honors 2015 ALL-AZ Scholars

Photo: Rex Moore, Rio Salado President Dr. Chris Bustamante and John Field (l-r) pose after Moore and Field were honored as the schoolÕs top scholars at Rio Salado College.

Rio Salado College presented Rex Moore and John Field as its 2015 scholars at the 20th annual All-Arizona Academic Awards Luncheon on Feb. 18 to honor students for outstanding academic achievement, community involvement and leadership. 

Moore and Field were among 26 Maricopa Community Colleges students recognized at the luncheon and awarded full tuition to an Arizona state university of their choice, along with cash awards ranging from $500 to $1,000 dollars.

Learn more about Moore and Field in this story.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Using Entrepreneurial Mindset to Serve Students

Cover or magazine.  Headline: The Entrepreneurial Method & PFEP in Action.  Working in the background fixing a machine.

The 2015 Winter/Spring edition of Community College Entrepreneurship features an article by Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante called, Using the Entrepreneurial Mindset to Serve Students.

You can read it now online. See page 11.

Whether an institution is public, private, not-for-profit, traditional, or non-traditional, an entrepreneurial mindset is critical as we redifine ourselves the ever-changing landscape of higher education.
                                    --Dr. Chris Bustamate

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Rio President Appointed to Governor Committee

Photo of Dr. B

Rio Salado College President Dr. Chris Bustamante was recently appointed to Governor Doug Ducey’s Education Transition Committee.

Dr. Bustamante will work with other education and community leaders on the committee to advise the new administration on important education issues of the day, including those pertinent to Arizona's community colleges.

Monday, January 12, 2015

United Way 2014 Great Success Thanks to You!

Cedrtificate of Appreciation to Rio Salado College from St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance on December 24, 2014.  "for helping to eliminate hunger in our community."

We are pleased to announce that Rio Salado College raised approximately $18,300 during its 2014 employee giving campaign in support of the Valley of the Sun and Mesa United Way, including St. Mary’s Food Bank. 

Approximately $283,000 was raised by all ten Maricopa Community Colleges.

image: Who's Hungry in Maricopa County.  Unite to End Hunger.

The focus of our 2014 campaign was to Help End Hunger in Maricopa County. We appreciate the role you played in making this campaign a great success.

Every action you take will make a difference.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rio Staff Raise $1800 for Student Fund

photo of Rosslyn Knight

Pictured above is Rio Salado Faculty Chair for Reading Rosslyn Knight proudly holding a check for $1,800, which will benefit the Maricopa Colleges Faculty Foundation.

Knight, along with other Rio Salado faculty and administrators helped to raise the money during a recent holiday party by raffling gift items.

In addition to granting scholarships, the Foundation provides just-in-time funds to help students avoid having to drop out of school as a result of unforeseen financial emergencies. Foundation dollars are also helping students pay for bus passes, baby food, rent, car repairs and other daily expenses.

You can make a difference too. Donate Now.

The Maricopa Colleges Faculty Foundation is a 501(c)5 voluntary labor organization composed of current and retired residential faculty from the ten Maricopa Colleges.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Rio President Recognized by Boy Scouts

Dr. Bustamante and his family.

The Grand Canyon Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) recently honored Rio Salado President Dr. Chris Bustamante with the ¡Scouting...Vale la Pena! Award at the BSA Diversity Leadership Reception.

The award recognizes outstanding service, advocacy and involvement in the development and implementation of Scouting opportunities for Hispanic/Latino youth.

“Scouting has been a very important part of my life." said Dr. Bustamante. "I learned how to set goals and achieve them because of scouting, and I learned the importance of fellowship and leadership. Scouting gave me a sense of confidence in myself. That is why this award means so much; I want every young person to experience what I have, regardless of their circumstances, the color of their skin, family situation or economic standing.”

Other award recipients include Dr. William Holland, Eagle Scout Class of 1959, and Abe Arvizu, Jr., Troop 204.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

RSC President to Participate in National Presidential Innovation Lab

Rio Salado College President Chris Bustamante  has been named to the Presidential Innovation Lab, a groundbreaking effort by the American Council on Education (ACE) to examine possible models inspired by the disruptive potential of new educational technologies such as massive open online courses (MOOCs) to boost the number of Americans able to earn a college degree.

He is among 14 chief executive officers from a diverse group of colleges and universities who are participating in the Presidential Innovation Lab. The Lab will be an opportunity for higher education leaders to engage in proactive thinking about this new learning space and guide a national dialogue about potential new academic and financial models that can help close persistent attainment gaps, including those among low-income young adults.

The initial session will be held July 21-23 at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, CA, an independent, non-profit research organization that will help guide the work of the Presidential Innovation Lab. A second two-day meeting will take place in Washington, DC, in October.

“Examining next generation learning models and determining how they will best serve students is vital to the future of higher education,” Bustamante said. “The Presidential Innovation Lab will allow us to explore attainment gaps and new technologies which have the ability to expand access, retention and completion for students while at the same time increasing productivity and cost-efficiency.”

“This is an opportunity for senior higher education leaders to engage in comprehensive and critical thinking about the potential of this new learning modality to boost attainment levels, particularly among older, post-traditional students, low-income young adults and other underserved students," said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad.

Also participating in the Presidential Innovation Lab are:
• Joseph E. Aoun, president, Northeastern University (MA)
• Scott S. Cowen, president, Tulane University (LA)
• Michael M. Crow, president, Arizona State University
• John F. Ebersole, president, Excelsior College (NY)
• Renu Khator, president, University of Houston and chancellor, University of Houston System (TX)
• Paul J. LeBlanc, president, Southern New Hampshire University
• Robert W. Mendenhall, president, Western Governors University (UT)
• Mohammad H. Qayoumi, president, San Jose State University (CA)
• Vincent Price, provost, The University of Pennsylvania
• L. Rafael Reif, president, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• Kevin P. Reilly, president, University of Wisconsin System
• Clayton Spencer, president, Bates College (ME)
• Linda M. Thor, chancellor, Foothill-De Anza Community College District (CA)

“The work of the Presidential Innovation Lab, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will guide a national dialog about the type of academic and financial models that might grow out of the current high level of interest in MOOCs and other new technologies and learning methods,” added Cathy A. Sandeen, ACE vice president for education attainment and innovation.
Lab participants will consider questions such as how newer educational innovations could be used by students toward degree completion and the potential impact of such innovations on the fundamental design and delivery of instruction, institutions' recognition of learning, and the underlying financing models for all of higher education.

The Presidential Innovation Lab is part of a wide-ranging research and evaluation effort examining the academic potential of MOOCs announced by ACE in November 2012.

About ACE
Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy.

About Rio Salado College
Rio Salado College was established in 1978 by the Maricopa County Community College District to provide the next step in education for non-traditional students. The college, headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, is one of the largest online public community colleges in the nation serving more than 67,000 students annually. In addition to providing high-quality instruction for 100+ degree and certificate pathways, Rio Salado is dedicated to providing flexible, affordable access through;  adult basic education, collaborative partnerships, early college initiatives and online learning. Rio Salado has prided itself on its innovative culture since its inception, as it has always been on the forefront of providing new and more effective ways to help students take the next step in their education.