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Honoring New Beginnings  

It is the season of mortarboards and robes. The air on campus shimmers with excitement, joy and, maybe, even a little fear of the unknown. Graduation at Coconino Community College is upon us. Our ceremonies – two of them now – are Friday, May 10, beginning at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., at the Lone Tree campus. 

The graduating students will be poised for new beginnings and for the next steps in their lives after college. Some will continue their educational journey at a university. Others are planning to enter the workforce as nurses, or emergency medical technicians, or skilled workers in the construction trades. Their experiences are diverse. 

“Diverse” is a powerful word to describe our students, and their stories shed light on that diversity. They hail from all backgrounds, cultures, ages and more. As a result, CCC will always remain committed to celebrating the diversity and inclusion of all our students. 

According to CCC’s Diversity Statement, “Coconino Community College recognizes and respects diversity and the value it brings to our communities. We appreciate and welcome cultures, identities, beliefs, experiences and all that makes us unique. CCC champions and acts to build an inclusive work and learning environment. We are allies and advocates, navigating respectful dialogue about our shared humanity.” 

Here is a small sample of the spectrum of our students: 


San Carlos Apache tribal member Michael Jordan is a full-time student at CCC and is the first generation in his family to attend college. As part of a “cooperative” agreement to get paid to go to school, Jordan works for San Carlos Forestry Management when he’s on breaks from school. A CCC2NAU student, Jordan will be heading to Northern Arizona University to complete a bachelor’s degree in biology, with an emphasis on fish and wildlife management. 


CCC nursing student Nicole Zygadlo, while working at Flagstaff Medical Center as a patient technician, helped launch a volunteer program, “Compassionate Companions,” where volunteers spend time with patients. She said that all people need love, affection and communication, and this fact was her motivation to help. Her immediate goal is to become a Registered Nurse. 


After completing his associate degree this summer, John Byrd will move down to the Valley to attend Arizona State University to seek a bachelor’s degree in engineering. He eventually wants to work in the mechanical engineering sector with biological devices. Depending on the needs of the industry, he may continue his education and seek a master’s degree or Ph.D. 


Martika Tallman’s ultimate goal is to be a dental hygienist. After receiving two associate degrees, she wants to go into the dental hygiene program at NAU. She wants to work on the Navajo Nation, but she wouldn’t mind traveling out of the country to provide dental work in countries where dental services are difficult. 


CCC Summer Courses and Camps  


Although the regalia of graduation will soon be put away, the summer will bring many opportunities for continued learning for all ages. 

At the Lone Tree campus, the Art on the Colorado Plateau summer classes kick off in early June. The classes, which range from a week to a month and are taught by CCC’s remarkably talented Fine Arts faculty, include: Introduction to Figure Drawing; Surface Design Techniques for Fabric and Paper; Painting with Gouache; Grand Canyon Mural Painting; Introduction to Portrait Drawing; Introduction to Landscape; and Ceramics Workshop. For more information, contact Alan Petersen at 928-226-4322 or alan.petersen@coconino.edu. 


At the Fourth Street campus, the 2019 Summer Career Camps start in early June as well. The week-long camps feature: Camp Stronger, where children will be working together as they learn about self-care, first-aid, CPR and firefighting; Camp Build, where children will work safely in the woodshop to make their own woodworking project; Culinary Tours Around the World, where children will get the essence of the culinary arts and fuel a passion for spending time in the kitchen; Crime Scene Investigations, where children will get the CSI treatment on how law enforcement agencies investigate crimes; and Coding for Kids, where children get the ideas behind how computers work and how to program them. Registration materials are available at the Fourth Street campus front desk. For more information, contact jeff.jones@coconino.edu for more information. 


Finally, at CCC in Page, the Maintenance Technician program will get underway in late May. Participants will gain the skills and certifications necessary to become maintenance technicians at a variety of apartment complexes, motels and more. 


This summer’s offerings at CCC are exciting. As always, I invite you to visit any of CCC’s locations – on Lone Tree Road and on Fourth Street in Flagstaff, and on Lake Powell Boulevard in Page. 

And don’t forget, CCC is now registering students for summer and fall classes. I would encourage all of you who may be considering a return to college life but are concerned about how you will fare – take a first step, have faith, and reach for those dreams. 

CCC is a great place to be. Come join us! FBN 


By Colleen Smith 

Colleen Smith, Ph.D., is the president of Coconino Community College. 



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