Showing posts with label SPPF. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SPPF. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

PTK Service Project Benefits Homeless

Image of Rio Salado Student Life leadership and PTK students holding up a thank you sign.

Every year, Rio Salado's Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society – Alpha Theta Omicron Chapter, organizes a community service project.

This year, PTK students collected hygiene products and assembled care packages to benefit homeless individuals. Donations were collected on behalf of the Tempe Community Action Agency, located at 2150 E. Orange St. in Tempe, Arizona, which will distribute the products to those who need them most.

"The generosity of Rio Salado staff and visitors to the college's various locations, who supported this year’s project mission and help make it a great success -- we are so thankful,” said student volunteer and Rio Salado PTK organizer, Theresa Maheux.

montage of images of students collecting, packing and delivering donations

Kevin Bilder, dean of student affairs, said, “I was extremely proud to be a part of and witness the initiative of our PTK students. Their commitment to address a social issue to help make a difference in other peoples’ lives was very inspiring.”

The volunteers were led by PTK chapter president Vanessa Williams, and community service chair Theresa Maheux. Students and volunteers assembled 350 care packages.

“I am very impressed by all of the hard work and dedication the PTK student participants demonstrated for this year’s project,” said John Bastian, coordinator of student life and leadership at Rio Salado. “The generosity of our students, as well as Rio Salado staff and volunteers was very much appreciated and helped make this project a great success.”

PTK actively promotes scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship. To learn more about PTK and other student life initiatives, visit this Rio Salado Student Life web page.

To learn more the about the Tempe Community Action Agency and how you can make a difference, visit:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Student Group Facilitates Civic Involvement

Rio Salado student Gabriel Sanchez completed the SPPF
program. His final project focused on the growing crisis
that student loans play in the economy.
Choosing to attend classes at an online college does not mean students miss out on connecting with other students and getting involved with their school and community.

Three Rio Salado College students recently completed the Student Public Policy Forum (SPPF), a program that offers students a way to network while also fostering civic involvement.

Student Public Policy Forum
SPPF is a 2-semester academic program that provides an overview of local, state, and national public policy making, and promotes citizen influence and involvement.  SPPF gives students an up-close experience of how government works and culminates in travel to Washington, D.C. in the spring semester.

Rio Salado student Gabriel Sanchez completed the SPPF program en route to earning an associate degree in public administration.

“I returned to college to complete an associate degree to compliment my position with the federal government,” said Sanchez. “SPPF was an amazing experience that helped to focus my intentions towards a future career in politics.”

As part of the program requirements, students select a policy issue on which they conduct research, create an advocacy plan, and develop a final poster presentation.

Sanchez’s final project focused on the growing crisis that student loans play in the economy and for the individuals that take them.

“Financial issues are one of the major problems that impact people today and can only get better through education and proper measures to pass important information to the people for informed decisions,” Sanchez said.

Student Jaye Grismer originally decided to participate in SPPF to better understand how change happens in the community.

“The year that I spent in the SPPF program has helped me to build and enhance my professional skill-set,” Grismer said. “The program assignments and interactions boosted my personal confidence and helped me to identify how I can most effectively assist a team to facilitate change.”

Grismer’s final project centered on the cost of getting an education.

“Federal Social Impact Bonds, or ‘Pay for Success’ financing, is a little known resource that I wanted to educate my classmates and community about,” Grismer said. “I focused my final project on these innovative funding mechanisms and how they could help expand Arizona’s early education programs while also decreasing taxpayer costs and government spending.”

John Field, a student pursuing a paralegal studies degree, said SPPF gave him the opportunity for real-life participation in civic leadership.

“By taking a hands-on approach to education, I now feel more experienced and able to speak with lawmakers, school boards, and the media,” Field said.

Field’s final project was about improving the Violence Against Women Act. 

“This act does very little to protect victims, and often discourages victims from reporting acts of violence or assisting in the prosecution,” Field said. “My proposal would help remedy these limitations in Arizona by obligating judges to convict violent abusers of felonies, mandating sentences and restricting gun ownership.”

All three students agree that SPPF benefited them through more than academics.

“I am much less intimidated of the legislative process and a more productive student and engaged citizen because of my SPPF program experiences,” Grismer said. 
For more details about SPPF, contact Rio Salado Student Life and Leadership Coordinator John Bastian at or 480-517-8656.

By Mira Radovich, Communications Coordinator at Rio Salado College. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Public Policy Forum Promotes Civic Responsibility

The Student Public Policy Forum (SPPF) is a two-semester academic program that provides an overview of local, state, and national public-policy making. Participants will learn the importance of civic responsibility and the value of citizen advocacy. The 2012-13 SPPF is presented in a hybrid format utilizing in-person and online elements to provide students with an up-close understanding of how government works. The experience culminates in a trip to Washington, D.C., where students have the opportunity to lobby members of Congress and their staff on important issues in higher education.

Why join SPPF?

Through participation in SPPF students will . . .
  • Gain confidence and interact with public officials 
  • Communicate effectively in a political context 
  • Effectively advocate for (and with) your community 
  • Learn the how and why of consensus building 
  • Develop and refine leadership skills 
Admission Requirements:
  • Maintain a minimum enrollment of six credit hours at a Maricopa Community College during the Fall and Spring semesters 
  • Register for the SPPF section of POS115 during the spring semester 
  • Be a U.S. citizen or lawful resident 
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above for all college coursework and maintain a semester GPA of 2.5 or above 
  • Agree to all program guidelines and ground rules 

The SPPF application deadline for the 2012-13 school year is Friday, April 27, 2012. For more information about the Student Public Policy Forum visit the Rio Salado College SPPF webpage.