Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Board of Trustees Elects New Leadership

Maria S. Farrington and Jim M. Wall have been selected to serve as chair and vice chair of the Salt Lake Community College Board of Trustees.

Farrington is a community leader with more than 24 years of experience in local not-for-profit organizations and schools. She currently owns a non-profit consulting business, and she is a former executive director for Holy Cross Ministries. She has also held leadership positions at the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum in Salt Lake City, the United Way of Salt Lake and the Eccles Annenberg Initiative at the Salt Lake City School District. Farrington was appointed to the SLCC Board of Trustees in 2015 and was elected as the board’s vice chair in 2017. She also represents the SLCC Trustees on the SLCC Foundation Board, where she has championed many fundraising activities for the college.

Wall worked as publisher of the Deseret News Publishing Company, Inc. and as director of the Bonneville International Corporation from 2000 until 2010. Previous to his work at the Deseret News, he was the executive vice president and general manager of The Denver Post. Wall has been active in each of the communities where he has lived and has worked with the United Way, local chambers of commerce, community and economic development organizations, college boards, the Boy Scouts of America and local theater, opera and symphony boards. He has served on the SLCC Board of Trustees since 2015.

“We are thrilled to have Maria and Jim leading the college’s board of trustees,” said Dr. Deneece G. Huftalin, president of SLCC. “Both have made significant contributions to our institution for years by providing guidance and leadership in various college initiatives. We look forward to continuing to work with them to increase access, enrollment and completion at SLCC.”

Cool Classes: Tennis

Kristel Alpaca (l-r), Maria Angel, Isaac Richardson, Kiara Allred, Hayden Kidd and Sandra Popayan

Kristel Alpaca graduated in 2018 from Salt Lake Community College with an associate’s degree in business. But there she was recently on a warm summer day at 6 p.m. on the Taylorsville Redwood Campus, tennis racquet in hand and ready to learn with her friend Sandra Popayan.

The two were among 12 who had enrolled in Clinton Broadhead’s Tennis II, which teaches students to adjust their strokes “according to power, control, height of bounces, speeds and angles." It’s a course designed for fun, competition and encourages lifelong participation. The “fun” part is what attracts many students like Alpaca, 23, who has an SLCC Zumba class under her belt, and Popayan, 40, new to tennis and loving it.

Kiara Allred unleashes a serve.

Isaac Richardson and Hayden Kidd needed the single course credit from a loaded Lifelong Wellness catalog to fulfill a degree requirement. Richardson, 22, of Sandy, is studying business and plans on transferring to a four-year institution. “It’s been a lot of fun,” he says. “I never tried tennis before. It’s the easiest class I’ve ever taken.” Kidd, 20, of West Valley City, is a computer science major and describes the class as “freaking great.”

Maria Angel, 21, of Holladay, is pursuing a future in dentistry while working on her associate’s degree at SLCC. In the realm of “cool classes” you can take at the college, though not a Lifelong Wellness course, Angel lists marine biology among the top, especially since she had the opportunity to spend a lot of time at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.

Instructor Clinton Broad offers advice to the group.

The ringer in Broadhead’s class, however, has to be Kiara Allred, 18, a newly minted graduate of Union High School and a member of its tennis team for three years. She’s studying health sciences, might be a nurse someday, and naturally figured the class would not only be an easy “A” but also fun – unless you’re on the other side of the net from her. “She’s harassing us,” someone pipes in from the group, which responds in laughter.

Game. Set. Fun, for Allred and everyone else on the court.

Hayden Kidd works on his return (and socks) game!

Meet Our Faculty: Ron Valcarce

Ron Valcarce

School of: Science, Mathematics & Engineering
What he teaches:
Organic Chemistry

Number of years teaching at SLCC:

Utah State University

Utah State University

Ron Valcarce teaches high school students the science behind making lip balm in the lab.

Why working at SLCC matters:

It has been my honor to teach at Salt Lake Community College, a place where students can and do change their lives. During my time here at SLCC working with my colleagues in the chemistry department, we have helped countless students find success in our classrooms and transition to become scientists, pharmacists, doctors, dentists and physician assistants. We have former students practicing successfully in all areas of the scientific and healthcare fields. Many, if not most of them, would not be in those professional positions if it were not for SLCC, which is the access point that gives these students opportunities for personal and professional success.     

How important SLCC is for our community:

Having the opportunity to teach at SLCC I have seen how valuable SLCC is to our community. I know of a significant number of my past students who would not have been able to access higher education were not for SLCC. For many, SLCC offered a second chance when their first attempt at college did not go as expected. Almost without exception, I have seen these students take advantage of this second chance and go on to earn their degrees and ultimately build successful careers.     

Greatest professional challenge:

Every semester we get a small group of students that, because of previous “bad experiences” in their high school science or chemistry classes, are certain they do not like or cannot be successful in our chemistry courses. Enlightening these students is a professional and enjoyable challenge. Fortunately, we have outstanding chemistry faculty who work as a cohesive group and share the teaching philosophy that when students are shown the chemistry that is used everywhere in their world, chemistry becomes accessible and even enjoyable.     

Greatest professional accomplishment:

I helped establish the American Chemical Society Student Affiliate chapter at Salt Lake Community College, which is supported by our chemistry department and supervised by our chemistry and nanotechnology faculty. Since its formation, the ACS-SA of SLCC has had steady membership growth and is now one of the largest ACS Student Affiliates in the nation. Since 2001, our ACS Student Affiliate has raised over $200,000 for local charities and provided over 69,000 service hours. As ACS-SA advisors, we have supervised over a hundred undergraduate research projects and given 240 students the opportunity to attend one of the annual ACS national conferences, where students presented their undergraduate research results and networked with professionals from all areas of the chemical sciences. In 1995 we created a community education outreach program that was originally called the Faraday Project. Now called Elemental Expeditions, this program was designed to promote STEM education to disadvantaged K-7 grade students attending resource limited schools.  Our Elemental Expeditions team members visit elementary and middle schools, after-school programs and Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs in the Salt Lake Valley to provide hands-on science demonstrations. In 2013 we initiated an undergraduate research project to attempt to measure the effectiveness of this educational outreach effort. The Chemical Information Series (CIS) is a program managed by our ACS-SA that is designed to give students information about careers in the chemical sciences and to provide professional development. This program works closely with five SLCC clubs (SLCC Chemistry Club, Pre-Pharmacy Club, Pre-Medical Professions Club, Nanotechnology Club and Biotechnology Club) and arranges or supports on- and off-campus speakers, trips to local science-related businesses and academic laboratories, pre-professional workshops, outreach projects and more. 

Advice for students or others:

The best advice for students is summarized in my favorite Thomas Huxley quote: "Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not." It is the first lesson that ought to be learned and, however early a person’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson that a person learns thoroughly.


Golf, Skiing, Beekeeping

Friday, June 21, 2019

Freezing Bananas, Fixing Cars: Students Explore SLCC Academic/Career Paths

Staff and faculty at Salt Lake Community College pitched in recently to show young students all of the cool and interesting stuff they’ll experience when they begin taking classes at SLCC.

The students were from East, Highland and West high schools, taking part in the PACE (Partnerships for Accessing College Education) Career Explorations week held each June. PACE is a scholarship program at SLCC created to increase participation in higher education and graduation rates for high school students.

Students visited the Miller Campus to see what happens at the Culinary Institute, in the automotive program and with academic paths in various areas of public safety. At the South City and Westpointe campuses, they learned about video game design, making music, welding, graphic design and aviation maintenance. Students received a dose of health sciences at the Jordan Campus, and then finished up on the Taylorsville Redwood Campus with experiments in chemistry and physics before learning about interior design, computer science and business.

Attending the four days of Career Explorations fulfills one of several requirements that students must complete to secure their scholarships at SLCC. They need to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, take four years of progressively advance math and attend several meetings and events. Upon completion, participants receive up to a two-year scholarship to SLCC. To be eligible to participate, students must be at least one of the following: first-generation college student, someone who demonstrates financial need or an “underrepresented” student in higher education.