Thursday, June 14, 2018

Leader, Visionary Chosen for New Director of Academic Advising

The Division of Student Affairs is pleased to announce that Ashley Sokia has accepted the role of Director of Academic Advising. Under Ashley’s leadership as the Interim Director for the past year, the Executive Cabinet approved the new Academic Advising Model on May 8. Ashley has garnered an immense amount of trust in her leadership and strategic vision for advising and the college. Please join Student Affairs in congratulating Ashley on her new position!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

'Stage Combat' Demo, Grand Youth Program Take Center Stage on Fox 13's The Place

Salt Lake Community College students Tennessee Tarrant and A.J. Neuschwander fought in front of Fox 13's Big Budah and taught him how to throw and take a punch - the Hollywood variety, that is. The students demonstrated the "stage combat" knowledge they learned at SLCC's Center for Arts & Media (CAM) on Fox 13's The Place. SLCC theater program director Zachary Curtis prepped the students and CAM program manager Josh Elstein talked about SLCC's Grand Youth program, which includes lessons in stage fighting. Below are a few highlights from the visit to Fox 13 studios.

Zachary Curtis (l-r), A.J. Neuschwander, Tennessee Tarrant and Josh Elstein

Meet Our Faculty: Maria Skelton

Maria Skelton

Assistant Professor and Fashion Institute Internship Coordinator
School of Arts, Communication & Media
Fashion Institute

What she teaches:
Introduction to Fashion; Costume History; Intermediate Sewing; Pattern Drafting Essentials; Draping Fundamentals; Fashion Internship

Number of years teaching at SLCC:

Undergraduate degree:
Brigham Young University (BFA - Clothing and Textiles)

Why working at SLCC matters:
SLCC has the only fashion design and merchandising program in Utah, offering students access to topnotch education without leaving the state. SLCC has a large and diverse population and class sizes tend to be smaller, with many resources available to support students. SLCC is always working to improve access, equity, and completion – which make this an exciting and rewarding place to work.

Greatest professional challenge:
Finding ways to create and revise curriculum, and teach content encompassing the knowledge and skill sets necessary for success in the industry – while fitting everything into a 2-year AAS Degree program. My primary concern is that program graduates will be competitive in the industry.

Greatest professional accomplishment:
It’s been exciting and rewarding to see the process of continually revising the curriculum pay off in the student’s breadth of knowledge and skill sets. Student success is really at the heart of what makes teaching such a joy.

Advice for students or others:
I think it’s important for students to seek out academic advising, with program advisors, faculty, or administration (or all three).  Students who have advisors generally enjoy more effective academic and career planning, set realistic goals, and are more aware of college resources and support services, resulting in a more successful overall education experience.

Future plans:
Continuing to collaborate with our Fashion Institute faculty and program manager in order to improve and grow the fashion program. There are always changes happening in the industry and it is crucial to stay up with industry needs while continuing to find the best ways of serving our student population.

I have been married to my wonderful and supportive husband David for nearly 29 years, who is an attorney and businessman. We have three amazing children – two daughters – Alison, 21, and Elizabeth, 19, who are currently in college; and a son Daniel, 17, who is a high school senior and will be attending college next year.

I love reading, sewing, knitting, and most artistic endeavors. I enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, canoeing, and camping, as well as gardening My favorite thing to do is hang out with my family.

SLCC Receives Grant from Lumina Foundation Fund for Racial Justice and Equity

Salt Lake Community College received a $25,000 grant from Lumina Foundation’s Fund for Racial Justice and Equity, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, to increase public awareness and raise critical consciousness around racial and social justice.

From a pool of 312 applicants nationwide, Salt Lake Community College was one of 19 college and universities selected to receive funding from the Lumina Foundation. The grants announced today were in response to what the foundation saw as an urgent need to improve the atmosphere around race on campuses across the country. The fund that provides the grants was created last year in the wake of the racially motivated violence on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville.

“As a philanthropic leader, Lumina shares a deep passion and concern about the nation’s racial climate, especially on college campuses,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “These campuses have shown a willingness to address racial disparities at a systemic level: They recognize that achieving equitable results is about more than promoting diversity – it’s about whether the institution fosters a climate in which every student feels welcome and has the same opportunity to earn a degree or certificate of value, regardless of race or ethnicity.”

In partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Lumina evaluated grant applications submitted in response to a request for proposals. The number of responses indicates a strong desire throughout higher education to improve campus culture through community dialogues, faculty and staff development, and other creative approaches. Lumina received proposals from a wide breadth of institutions, including 2- and 4-year, public and private, minority-serving, and large and small.

With the Lumina Foundation grant, the College will build upon efforts of being equity-minded in pedagogical practices, polices, and programming in the pursuit of a campus climate that is conducive to the recruitment, retention, and success of our African American, Indigenous, and Latinx students, staff, and faculty.

“Over the past year and a half to two years, Salt Lake Community College has made tremendous strides to develop and advance equity and inclusivity plans,“ said Dr. Roderic Land, Special Assistant to the President and Chief Diversity Officer of Salt Lake Community College. “However, it has not all been a crystal stair. We have definitely met resistance along the way. Yet, we must continue to press forward to help people see the value in all humanity.”

Utah demographics are rapidly becoming more diverse. There is a tremendous need to continue and, in some circles, start the conversation and take strategic action to address racial justice and equity. As SLCC seeks to “be a model for inclusive and transformative education by strengthening the communities we serve through the success of all our students”, the college is well positioned to be the conduit to engage both campus and community on the vexing issues of racial and social justice.

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Lumina envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. The Foundation’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Student’s Quest for Scholarships Allows Him to Pursue Multiple Degrees, New Career

Paul Eaton will have earned three degrees from Salt Lake Community College by the time he graduates at the end of 2018 – and it is thanks, in part, to hustling for scholarship money.

Eaton’s latest financial achievement for college was being named a 2018 New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar, a $1,250 return on his investment of the time and energy he spent pursuing the award. SLCC is also sending Eaton to New York in October for the Association of Community College Trustees Leadership Congress to accept the award in person.

New Century Workforce Pathway Scholars are selected based on their academic accomplishments, leadership, activities and how they extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. More than 2,000 students were nominated from more than 1,600 college campuses across the country. Only one New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar was selected from each state. The scholarship program is designed encourage college completion and student success as they prepare to enter the workforce.

Eaton, 38, decided after his father’s death in 2016 to leave a job he didn’t like in the banking industry to pursue something in construction. One of the first classes he took at SLCC was a course on how to frame a home. “It was the most fun I had in years,” Eaton says. 

Due in part to many early-morning homework sessions while at his office in South Jordan – he didn’t want to wake his wife and children at home in Kearns – Eaton has earned good grades and bagged four scholarships. He is one semester away from earning associate degrees in construction management, general studies and history.

For each of the scholarships Eaton has received, he has had to fill out application forms, write multiple essays and secure letters of recommendation. Once he figured out how easy it was to apply for scholarships, “I applied for as many scholarships as I could,” he says.

Eaton adds his academic path at SLCC was the “foot in the door” he needed to secure a job as a code compliance inspector with South Jordan City so he could work while going to school. He hopes the degrees from SLCC will help him move up in his current career, and he plans to continue his education at the College by taking courses related to genealogy.

The New Century Workforce Pathway Scholars Program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, the soft drink company’s philanthropic arm, and Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society recognizing the achievements of college students and their growth as scholars and leaders.