Thursday, February 21, 2019

Scholarship Recipient Sees ‘Boundless’ Opportunities at SLCC

Don McNaughton’s past college experiences could best be defined as a series of starts and stops. After he graduated from Snow Canyon High School in St. George, the teenager enrolled in a local college, but without a clear academic or career path. Befuddled by options, he bounced between fields as diverse as personal training and architecture. He decided he just wasn’t ready for college at that time. Don tried to go back to school again at 25, but he still couldn’t find his focus.

In fact, a quest for clarity in life is actually a part of Don’s daily existence as he deals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Not one to use ADHD as a crutch, he has gained skills over the years to effectively deal with his condition. “The disorder is a big part of my life, but with the help of books, education, medication, psychology, meditation and mindfulness, I have been able to live with it,” he says.

Now, at the age of 30, Don is a student at SLCC and a recipient of the Boundless Opportunity Scholarship. This time, he feels like he is in the right place at the right time. “SLCC has been great. I love the small classrooms and the wonderful teachers,” he says.

And now Don knows what he wants to do with his life. After consulting his mother, who is a nurse, Don discovered that nursing was the right career for him as well. “The chaotic and fast-paced nature of nursing suits my personality,” he explains.

Don is planning on becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and he wants to use his training to help others. “I’d love to have a chance to give back to the community,” he says. “I know the effect that counseling has on people’s lives.”

Don is grateful that he was awarded a scholarship and feels that the scholarship validates the struggles he has faced with his disorder. As he puts it, “The scholarship is a recognition of the difficulties I have faced.”

Monday, February 4, 2019

Meet Our Faculty: Wesley C. Sanders

Wesley C. Sanders

Assistant Professor
School of: Science, Math and Engineering

What he teaches:
Introduction to Nanotechnology (ENGR 1050)
Introduction to Scanning Probe Microscopy (MSE 2320)
Fundamentals of Microscopy (MSE 1820)
Introduction to Materials Science Engineering/Elements of Materials Science (MSE 2010/MSE 2160)
General Chemistry I (CHEM 1210)

Number of years teaching at SLCC:
Eight years

Western Carolina University

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Virginia Tech

Why working at SLCC matters:

Working at SLCC provides me with an opportunity to give back.  I started my professional career in 1999 as a high school science teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to earn two graduate degrees and to work in a national laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher (Naval Research Laboratory – Washington, DC).  I want to use what I’ve learned in my professional and academic pursuits over the past 20 years to do my part in the preparation of the next generation of scientists, engineers and medical professionals starting their pursuits at SLCC.

Greatest professional challenge:

A fun challenge I’ve been involved with while serving as a faculty member is the development of laboratory exercises and demonstrations for use in SLCC’s introductory nanotechnology and microscopy courses.  Nanotechnology is a scientific discipline that plays a significant role in several of our day-to-day activities, but only a few people are aware of the impact. Academic institutions across the country are recognizing the impact and developing courses and programs in response.  Since the integration of nanotechnology in two-year colleges is relatively new, there are few resources available that provide students with hands-on experiences that emphasize the importance of this field. 

Greatest professional accomplishment:

As a faculty member, I’ve had the good fortune of working with several talented students to develop hands-on laboratory activities that are now routinely used in our nanotechnology coursework.  Many of the activities have been published in the Journal of Chemical Education and have been presented at several national meetings of the American Chemical Society.  In each case, all participating students were listed as authors.

Advice for students or others:

Work hard and do not be afraid of challenges that arise in your academic and professional pursuits. Setting the bar high comes with obstacles. Don’t let the obstacles stop you from your goals and dreams.  If you get knocked down, dust yourself off and keep it moving – it will be worth it in the end.

Future plans:

Working with students to revise existing nanotechnology-based labs and to develop new laboratory investigations. I also plan to work more closely with other colleges and industries to ensure that SLCC’s nanotechnology program is up-to-date and is adequately preparing students for the nanotechnology workforce.


I have a five-year-old daughter, Wesli Azae Sanders.  She likes to draw, paint, go to tumbling class and play with her dogs.


Binge watching YouTube and Netflix.

SLCC Names new Vice President for Finance and Administration, CFO

Jeffrey West has joined Salt Lake Community College’s executive cabinet as its Vice President for Finance and Administration and chief financial officer. His duties at the college started Feb. 1.

Jeffrey has over three decades of experience in higher education, and he has worked at Utah State University, Maricopa Community Colleges and the University of Arizona. He most recently served at the University of Utah, where he was the school’s Associate Vice President for Financial and Business Services.

Holding both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Utah State University, Jeffrey is also a certified public accountant, and throughout his career he has worked as a financial analyst, operations supervisor, project leader, systems administrator, associate controller, controller and department director.

Additionally, Jeffrey is a faculty contributor and leader for both the Western Association for College and University Business Officers and the National Association of College and Business Officers.