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Five Honored at Annual Employee Recognition Luncheon

News April 29, 2015
Honoress at annual employee recognition luncheon

The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation each year recognizes MCCCD employees who have made outstanding contributions to the District’s mission. These kinds of events help with employee engagement, something that is always worth investing in (be it through or through events such as these).

This year, five awards were made to individual employees at a luncheon held April 28, 2015 at the Foundation’s offices. Dr. Steven Helfgot, CEO/President of MCCF presided over the luncheon and remarks were made by Dr. Rufus Glasper, Chancellor, MCCCD and Heidi Schaefer, Chairman, MCCF Board.

The 2015 Recipients of the Employee Recognition Awards are:

Dr. Christopher Scinto, Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC), Division Chair of Fine and Performing Arts who has served PVCC since 2011. Under Dr. Scinto’s leadership students have flourished and demonstrated success in the arts; significant community partnerships and notable scholarships. In just the last five years, PVCC Center for Performing Arts has provided over 625 performances, drawing over 69,000 community attendees. Through various benefit events, more than $40,500 has been raised for Fine and Performing Arts scholarships.

Landres “Buddy” Cheeks, South Mountain Community College (SMCC), Director of Student Life and Leadership, is known for his dedicated long-time position as a Maricopa leader, student advocate and role model. Recognized for his commitment to equality, inclusiveness and cultural enrichment, Mr. Cheek’s contributions to SMCC positively impacts students who learn by doing and giving back to the community.

Dr. Heather Weber, Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC), Dean for Occupational Education, was honored for her support of students, faculty, staff, District policies and community events. Dr. Weber’s contributions to the MCCC District and student body are unparalleled, focusing on reaching out into the community to build partnerships that support funding, internships and future job opportunities for EMCC students.

Miguel Fernandez, Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC), English Faculty, spent his sabbatical semester researching and developing an online training program to assist faculty members in understanding and dealing with student veterans. This tool met a significant need for the MCCC District to provide accurate, comprehensive and easily accessible training for meeting the needs of this diverse population. The program, “Toolkit for Training Faculty to Best Serve Student Veterans,” is available free of charge and is being introduced to colleges across the country.

Dr. Bryan Tippet (awarded posthumously), EMCC, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, was a champion of student success, devoting his professional life to making sure that all students have access to a quality education. Dr. Tippet built lasting partnerships with numerous institutions and led EMCC to become a learning-centered organization deeply valuing teaching, learning and caring.

Five awards were made in the form of $1,000 scholarship given in each awardee’s name to a student at any college or center. Awardees may help select criteria for awarding the scholarship based on MCCF guidelines.

All MCCCD employees were eligible for nomination, regardless of employment status or policy group membership. Nominations were submitted by MCCCD employees, and were reviewed by a panel of MCCF Board members and/or community leaders.