Setting a standard for excellenceBy Dr. J.D. Rottweiler
Cochise College takes a lot of pride in its work. Most everyone here is passionate about student success.
I frequently have the chance to enjoy communications from the general public about specific faculty and staff who have made a difference to someone with whom they have worked. I get particularly excited when the work advances the strategic priorities of the college - competitive advantages, excellence, everything speaks, and completion.
Although the daily contributions of employees are impossible to quantify, I want to take this time to congratulate a few whose work is reflecting positively on the institution and helping us pursue our goals.
Margarita Ramirez Loya has developed a project that makes learning material relevant and interesting to English as a Second Language and developmental English students. Participants in the Oral History Project learn what life was like here in the early 1900s by interviewing local senior citizens, creating digital stories, and writing the interviewees’ stories in their own voice. The stories have been presented publicly, and Ramirez Loya has been invited to present the project at an international conference.
Music faculty Lori Keyne’s curiosity about cultural programs along the Arizona border with Mexico resulted in the development of a research project and successful application for a Fulbright Border Award, a program to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. Lori’s objective is to create a bridge of cultural exchange and dialog between higher education institutions in Sonora and Arizona. With her research launching this semester, Keyne’s enthusiasm for the arts is likely to spill over into the classroom.
Yes, Jerry Carrillo spends time in class. But he’s best known for the teaching he does on the basketball court. Coach Carrillo’s talent for pulling a team together and motivating players to perform both as students and athletes is known far and wide, and it recently earned him notice by the Sierra Vista Herald as the Top Coach of 2011. This, after he announced his resignation and, almost immediately, his return to Cochise College, and guided the 2010-2011 team to win the regional championship, demonstrates how well he can pull out the stops in situations that might confound others. Year after year, Jerry’s energy and enthusiasm effectively inspires the young men on his teams to succeed.
The job of managing the Online Campus could seem dull, given the implication that it involves endless hours at a computer with limited human interaction. But George Self’s method of keeping things interesting is nothing short of admirable. George recently was recognized with a North American Council on Staff, Program and Organizational Development Exemplar Award. That’s because George regularly presents professional development workshops to college personnel and can be counted on to do it with a combination of expertise, enthusiasm and humor. The college is fortunate that its Online Campus director comes with a true interest in technology, and George is an “idea man” who has helped countless faculty and staff understand how they can integrate technology into the work they do every day, all while wearing a silly hat.
If there’s one thing a true business professional brings to the table, it’s the development of goals and the successful pursuit of outcomes. This year, the Small Business Development Center, under the direction of Mark Schmitt, was recognized for achieving all of its goals for the year, having helped start 33 new businesses that created 63 new jobs, and assisted in retaining 24 jobs, during the first six months of 2011. Additionally, Schmitt received an award for having the most economic impact among all of the state’s SBDC counselors, an honor that is particularly notable considering that there are centers located in much more populated areas than Cochise County.
In addition to publicly commending these folks, I want to personally thank every Cochise College employee whose extra mile of effort and excellence has furthered the strategic priorities of the institution. Cochise College’s success depends on its people, and it’s important to celebrate that.
J.D. Rottweiler is president of Cochise College. Contact him at email@example.com.