Encouraging student success in their classrooms is not the only way Northland Pioneer College faculty members give back to their communities. You’ll find faculty members coordinating fundraisers to raise awareness of food insecurity, helping the homeless find employment and teaching soccer skills to under-6 youngsters.
They are gaining national recognition for artistic endeavors and sharing with colleagues at national conferences about the unique programs developed at NPC. Some of those activities were highlighted in a report to the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board during the September 18 regular monthly meeting in Holbrook.
“I’m excited to learn how my colleagues are involved in research and how they bring back to the college and back into the classroom for our students,” explained Magda Gluszek, art faculty and chair of the professional development committee that helps fund some of those outside activities. Gluszek supplemented a written summary prepared by NPC Faculty Association President Dr. Michael Solomonson outlining the recent activities of faculty members, including those of Gluszek.
For the fourth year, Gluszek is coordinating the Empty Bowls Project, where community members handcraft ceramic bowls used to help raise awareness of food insecurity in our area. This year’s community event will be Friday, November 16, at NPC’s Show Low campus, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., or whenever the soup runs out. For a $10 donation, individuals receive one of the handcrafted bowls, a portion of soup, donated by Persnikkity’s, and a portion of bread, donated by Karen’s Bake Shop, the daily meal for many in our community facing food insecurity, noted Gluszek. Past events raised over $5,000 for The Love Kitchen in Pinetop to aid the fight against hunger.
In February, Gluszek participated in ASU’s Ceramic Research Center annual studio tour, providing a demonstration of her techniques. She also taught a weekend workshop on sculpting heads and hands at Reitz Ranch Center in Cottonwood; presented her artwork at the Chautauqua Area Potters Guild in Fredonia, New York; and had a solo exhibition of her work at Practical Art, a gallery and shop in Phoenix exclusively for Arizona artists.
In her oral report to the board Gluszek highlighted how NPC faculty members share with colleagues about the unique programs and activities developed by NPC, including Dr. Richard Harris’ presentation about the success of the TALON Project at the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships conference last year in Washington, D.C., and his updated report to be presented in November at the group’s San Antonio, Texas annual conference. Harris teaches Spanish and Structured English Immersion and chairs the dual enrollment sub-committee.
Harris, TALON Project Director Renell Heister and NPC High School and Dual Enrollment Program Director Karen Zimmerman also made a similar presentation in April at the Arizona state-wide dual enrollment conference.
Other faculty members presenting at conferences included Dr. Eleanor Hempsey, faculty in biology, at the Western Regional Human Anatomy and Physiology Society; Dr. Allision Landy, faculty and Early Childhood Studies chair, at the Arizona First Things First Childhood Education Summit; Randy Hoskins, welding faculty, at an American Welding Society CWI/CWE recertification seminar; Melody Niesen, English faculty, at the Conference on College Composition and Communication last spring and the upcoming National Council of Teachers of English annual conference in November; and Dr. David Smith, Biology faculty, at this year’s Society of Vertebrate Paleontology conference in Albuquerque.
Dr. Solomonson’s full-length play, Invasions and Penetrations, was named a finalist, finishing in the top nine plays of 175 submissions, in the Problematic Play Festival at Z Space in San Francisco. Earlier, the play had been named a semi-finalist in the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwriting Contest, finishing in the top 24 percent of the 1400 entries. He is a regional respondent with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and will be responding to Mesa Community College’s production of The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow in December.
Chloe Fagotti, cosmetology faculty and chair, volunteers at the White Mountain Coalition Against Homelessness in Pinetop. She lived on the property for a year, serving as night supervisor and helping residents seeking employment with developing résumés, conducting mock interviews as well as emphasizing “dress for success.” Fagotti paid for residents’ services at the NPC’s cosmetology center out of her own pocket. A member of the local Lions Club, Fagotti regularly volunteers with the Salvation Army, Angel Tree, Kids Back-to-School Backpacks and Ring Bells programs. She also assists the elderly with in-home haircuts, toenail trimming, shopping and housekeeping.
Biology faculty Cynthia Hutton spent a week this summer grading the AP Biology Exam, something she has done for the past 20 years. She also received a scholarship to attend a four-day short course in Genomics at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.
English faculty Dr. Elizabeth Oliphant wrote a children’s literature book review for the fall edition of Great Plains Quarterly on Harry Castlemon’s Frank on the Prairie.
Dr. Inez Schaechterle, English faculty, judged textile items at the recent Navajo County Fair. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clothing and textiles, in addition to her English credentials.
Welding faculty Frank Pinnell led his St. Johns students in constructing a brush truck for the Vernon Fire Department. Randy Hoskins led his Show Low welding shop in building a large table for the Vernon Fire Station.
Andrew Hassard, faculty in anthropology, geography and honors plus serving as social and behavioral sciences chair, helped NPC Friends and Family with their second annual Disc Golf Tournament fundraiser. A pro disc golfer, Hassard won the older pro division High Desert Open championship in April, the King of the Mountain crown in May, and the White Mountain Autism Foundation Tournament in all age groups in August. Hassard also leads book discussions at the Show Low Public Library.
Eric Bishop, computer information systems faculty and chair, participated in a three-day Google Faculty Institute this summer, and is already applying what he learned about Google Cloud, App Maker, Cloud Functions and Machine Learning in his courses. Bishop continues to serve on the Show Low Planning & Zoning Commission, a volunteer position he has done since 2012. Since 2009 he has been an adjunct faculty for Boston University’s Computer Science graduate degree program, helping to develop curriculum for that institution.
Film instructor Mark Ford coaches AYSO Under-6 and Under-10 soccer teams and coaches the Lakeside White Mountain Blues under-10 traveling team, accompanying the team to major regional tournaments.
Reports about other faculty activities will be presented at future NPC governing board meetings. The board meets on the second Tuesday of every month, except July, at 10 a.m. in the Tiponi Community Center on the Holbrook – Painted Desert Campus, 2251 E. Navajo Blvd.
– – – N P C — Expanding Minds • Transforming Lives – – –