Faculty Newsletter - El Paso Community College

Faculty Newsletter - El Paso Community College

Faculty Newsletter May 2015 EPCC Honors Faculty at Recognition Dinner Faculty, administration, staff, friends and family celebrated several of their o...

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Faculty Newsletter May 2015 EPCC Honors Faculty at Recognition Dinner Faculty, administration, staff, friends and family celebrated several of their own who won awards for excellence during the annual Recognition Dinner held on Friday, April 24. The event returned to the El Paso Club atop the 18th floor of the Chase Building, after being held at the Coronado Country Club for the past two years. Attendees enjoyed a social hour and a buffet dinner before the awards ceremony. Fariba Ansari, (Physics, RG), received the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award. Claudia Cochran, (Psychology, VV); Lisa M. Elliott, (Mass Communication, VV); and Gabriel Mendoza, (Math, RG) were presented with the Faculty Achievement and NISOD Awards. Adjunct Faculty Achievement Award winners were Patricia Barrientos, (Math, TM); Joseph Bernal, (Philosophy, RG); and Yasmin Ramirez, (English, VV).

Front row, from right to left: Claudia Cochran and Fariba Ansari. Back row: William Serrata, EPCC President; Gabriel Mendoza; Vice President of Information Technology, Jenny M. Giron, recipient of the President’s NISOD Award; Lisa M. Elliott, and Steve Smith, Vice President of Instruction and Workforce Education. 1

Below from left to right are Patricia Barrientos, Joseph Bernal, and Yasmin Ramirez, EPCC adjunct faculty award winners.

A little about our award winners….. Dr. Fariba Ansari received B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics at Gazi University in Turkey and her M.A. in education and Ph.D. in material science and engineering at UTEP. She is an accomplished researcher across STEM fields and is the principal investigator for the program. She has presented workshops locally, regionally, and nationally and is involved in many EPCC initiatives and community programs, serving as the District-wide Coordinator at EPCC in physics. Having taught every psychology course offered by EPCC, Claudia Cochran has also taught in every format, including online and power pack courses. She serves as a faculty senator and has authored numerous publications. In 2007, she began the Teen Survivor Program, reaching out to and inspiring more than 5,000 middle school students in the El Paso region to make better life decisions. Born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, Lisa Elliott began her career in mass communication while in college at Brigham Young University, working as television crew for college sports broadcasts and directing a daily news show. She subsequently worked in the television and film industries in Los Angeles. She completed an M.A. degree in popular culture at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and now serves as Discipline and District-Wide Coordinator for Mass Communication. Along with his Master’s degree in mathematics, Gabriel Mendoza earned a second Master’s in Technology Implementation in the Mathematics Classroom. He is an EPCC representative on the National WebAssign Faculty Advisory Board and has coordinated the Regional Science Bowl for the Department of Energy for the last seven years, sending students to represent El Paso at the national level in Washington, D.C. He is the student advisor for the EPCC-STEM Club and has taken more than 300 students to national conferences and the NASA Johnson Space Center. He serves as discipline coordinator at Rio Grande. Pat Barrientos, a native El Pasoan, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado at age 19. She has been an educator for 37 years, both at EPCC and the public schools. She was hired at EPCC as an English instructor and began taking math classes for fun; she taught in both disciplines but now teaches math. She is a repeat winner of the Adjunct Faculty Achievement Award, the first time in 2009. She is the creator of the 2

Adjunct Forum, a mainstay during Faculty Development Week, and is the Senate Adjunct representative for the Transmountain campus. Joining the philosophy department at EPCC in fall 2013, Joseph Bernal has provided many community service opportunities for the students he teaches in Ethics. He has developed a working collaboration with biology and anthropology to provide multi-disciplinary opportunities for students. He is an EPCC Leadership Academy graduate, co-advisor to the EPCC philosophy Club, and a member of the philosophic Systems Institute (PSI). Yasmin Ramirez is active in the literary community and writes a weekly blog. A prolific creative writer, she has been featured in numerous publications and is the Executive Director of the literary nonprofit BorderSenses. In the English discipline she serves on the Common Essay and the Literary Fiesta committees. Project Director for ForWord, Ramirez is also involved with the Boys and Girls Club, Latinitas, and Upward Bound. Faculty retirees also were recognized at the dinner, including Jose Baltazar, Fred Bunn, Donna Cieslik, Jeff Coles, Bob Femat, Mary Lan, Roberto Jacquez, and Joyce Whiteside.

Carina Ramirez (ESL, VV) has been reelected President of the Senate, according to an official count. This will be Carina’s eighth term as faculty leader. Also reelected were Blayne Primozich (Government, TM), Full Time Vice President; Rodolfo Hernandez (Psychology, NW), Adjunct Vice President; and Celeste Favela (Psychology, VV), Secretary. Check your email for the full election report, including results for full time and adjunct senators at each campus. President of the local TFA, Gabriel Camacho (Philosophy, TM), has been appointed to a three-year term on the editorial board of the NEA’s higher education journal, Thought and Action. Impressed by the efforts made at EPCC, executive directors of both the TFA and NEA recommended Camacho for the position. Jorge Gomez (English, NW) is serving as the advisor of the Glass Menagerie, a multidisciplinary, studentdriven society that fosters engagement in the arts, including literature, film, art, music, and philosophy. The group has sponsored numerous events, including literature symposiums on Crying Lot of 49 and The Stranger, screenings and discussions on One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and In the Land of Blood and Honey, and faculty-led art and philosophy workshops. In April the group sponsored a screening and discussion of Children of a Lesser God by award winning dramatist Mark Medoff, followed by a breakfast and lectures with the NMSU professor. Communication professor Elvira Carrizal-Dukes helped coordinate events. These two EPCC instructors, along with Northwest English professors Tony Procell and Michael Duncan, Isadora Stowe (Art), and Melissa Esmacher (History) serve as the society’s steering committee. 3

On March 19, 2015, Michelle Ann Murphy (Art TM) received another degree, a Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling from Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The adjunct instructor has taught at EPCC since 2005. Michelle Ann Murphy

The Architecture Society at Valle Verde, led by professors Emmanuel Moreno, Alex Mireles, and Crystal Lindstrom, brought world renowned architect Daniel Libeskind to speak to EPCC students, faculty and the community about what he is doing around the world and in particular at Ground Zero in New York. Local print and broadcast media promoted the lecture, held at Temple Mt. Sinai. Students and faculty gathered at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing after the lecture to enjoy Mr. and Mrs. Libeskind’s company, knowledge, and rhetoric. Faculty and students raised the more than $16,000 necessary to host the distinguished architect. Manuela Alejandra Gomez (Philosophy VV), advisor for the EPCC Philosophy Club, reports that members volunteered on César Chávez Day at the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank. The club is committed to applying the philosophy learned in the classroom to our community with hands-on activities. They were invited and attended the premiere of the film Unfriended on March 8 at Bassett Cinemas and discussed the moral implications of the film on cyber bullying. The club is currently fundraising to provide meals for the Opportunity Center for the Homeless.

Oscar Baeza (Librarian VV) and Oscar Velasquez (Counselor VV) report that the Texas Association of Chicanas/os in Higher Education (TACHE) held its state conference at the Camino Real Hotel on February 1114, and they rate it a big success. EPCC faculty, staff, and administrators attended the event, along with the El Paso TACHE student chapter. Workshops, guest speakers, and social events filled the days and evenings. Thanks go out to the TACHE El Paso Chapter, statewide Executive team, and all volunteers for their work. A special thank you to Dr. Serrata and the EPCC deans for their support of the conference. 4

Christian Servin (Computer Science, VV) and Vladik Kreinovich have co-authored the book Propagation of Interval and Probabilistic Uncertainty in Cyberinfrastructure-Related Data Processing and Data Fusion for Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg this year.

From left to right are Chris Soto, Orlando Javier Colon, Christian Murga, Dr. Christian Servin, Aaron DeWitt, Jay Labrado, R. Escalera, And Jesus Esparza.

Servin and several EPCC computer science students (pictured above) participated at the 15th Joint UTEP/NMSU workshop in mathematics, computer science and computational sciences on November 1, 2014, in El Paso. ************************************************************* Deborah Knapp (Counselor, VV) has been successful in establishing a chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) on the EPCC campus. NSCS, founded in 1994 on the campus of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. EPCC members will be able to transfer into two of NSCS’ largest and active chapters in Texas: UTEP and Texas Tech.


Metro Chapultepec, a composition for flute (doubling piccolo) with electronics by Jeffrey J. Meyer (Music VV), will premiere June 22 at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival held at the Abrons Art Center Playhouse. The piece will be performed by Mary Elizabeth Thompson, wife of the composer. According to its Web page, the festival “is dedicated to showcasing the best electroacoustic music and video art from all the world in New York City, through a multi-day festival. The festival includes electroacoustic music recorded alone in up to eight channels, works involving live electronics, works combining musical instruments or voices with recorded or live electronics, video and multimedia works, and audio and video installations.”

Susan Silva (Reading and ESL, VV) hosted a group of faculty and counselors from ten disciplines at an information session on Learning Communities on April 22. Attendees learned about the EPCC Learning Community program, including details about the advantages of this learning environment, as well as how to develop and deliver a learning community. Faculty-planned paired, usually back-to-back, classes from different disciplines with a central theme to join the separate curricula make up a Learning Community. The same cohort of students register for both classes in the pair, and the instructors work together for student success. For many students, learning is a social event, and this model of instruction delivery helps facilitate that social domain. Thanks go to Kathleen Bombach, Gabriel Camacho, Melinda Camarillo, Zaira Crisafulli, Bill Clarke, Linda Chamblin, Michael Gonzalez, Alvino Hernandez, Brian Kirby, Scott Mann, John Nelson, Robert Aguilar, Patrick Rosser, Jorge Rodriguez, Maria Elena de la Rosa, and Christian Servin.



The nationally recognized El Paso Community College Teachership Academy is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 phase I cohort. The Teachership Academy is a ten-month program designed to enhance teaching skills, make an immediate impact on student learning and prepares our graduates to become future teaching mentors. Teachership participants will engage actively and learn from national guest speakers on various teaching topics. Participants also will conduct an Action Research project upon graduation. The cohort is filling fast, so get your application in as soon as possible. Teachership is open to all fulltime and adjunct faculty members. The deadline to apply is June 20, 2015. For more information and to download an application please visit: http://www.epcc.edu/TeachershipAcademy/Pages/default.aspx. We will see you at our 2015 Fall cohort orientation session! By Oscar Baeza

From left to right, Lydia Tena, NW Dean; Robert Aguilar, Education, VV; Oscar Baeza, Librarian, VV; Pat Duran, Counselor,MdP; Sandra Perez, Guest Speaker; Audrey Hernando, Jose PachecoLucero, and Hilda Taylor, Biology, NW.

Remembering those we have lost


Reduce Stress Sleep Well Stress manifests in poor health, exaggerated bad habits, depression, and sleep loss. Very few people operate well on less than 8 hours sleep a night. Since sleep is often the easiest stress-creating problem to remedy, here are some actions that help provide a good night’s sleep. Sleeping well requires some preparation! Tips for helping you sleep better:  Eat dinner before 8 p.m. so that the food has time to digest and not create indigestion and acid reflux.  Stick to a regular bedtime, even on the weekends. Staying up late on the weekends and trying to make it to work on time on Monday morning results in the equivalent of jet lag.  Develop a ritual of relaxing activities and habits for the hour before bed. Try soothing music or use a white noise generator to help relax.  Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques prior to sleep.  If you are lying awake, try reciting the “Gratitude Alphabet.” Start with A and think of all the things that begin with A that you are grateful for, then go to B—it’s likely that you won’t reach Z.  If you really cannot sleep, don’t lie awake tossing and turning. Get up and do some calming activity, like reading a book (not a murder mystery or technical materials—something non-fiction).  Repeat the same rituals before going to bed to get the mind into the frame for settling down to sleep. These tips courtesy of Nancy Tharp, Risk Manager, Office of Risk Management & Safety

Faculty Development Week: August 17-21, 2015 GRADUATION Friday, May 15 Don Haskins Center 2:00 p.m. Ceremony AS, AAS, Certificates of Completion

6:00 p.m. Ceremony

Faculty development office Valle Verde Campus Rm. A2419 Phone: 915-831-2201 Fax: 915-831-2738 Email: [email protected] Spring Newsletter Editor: Ruth Vise 915-831-8841 [email protected]

AA Degree

The El Paso County Community College District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity