Weaving an Internship into a Full-Time Position

Kyle Muhr with ACC MGDI faculty John Hall

Kyle Muhr with ACC MGDI faculty John Hall

ACC Multimedia, Graphic Design & Illustration student Kyle Muhr recently interned – and subsequently earned a full-time position – at Workhorse 45 in downtown Littleton.
Workhorse 45 is a unique brand maker, with a general store in the front end of the building and a full-service branding, design, web development, marketing and communications studio tucked away in the back.

“Kyle was the first of many students that we plan to work with through an internship program with ACC,” said Shane George, President, Creative Director and Brand Maker at Workhorse 45.  “After a short time of working together, there was no denying his talent and the solid foundation of design and skills that were cultivated by the staff at ACC.  We are so excited to have Kyle on board at Workhorse 45.”

Prior to his internship and appointment at Workhorse 45, Muhr participated in ACC’s in-house MGDI internship, Studio ACC, and was the lead designer on the 2015 edition of ACC’s award-winning art and literary journal, Progenitor.  The publication received a “First Place with Special Merit” award in the American Scholastic Press Association’s 2015 annual magazine competition, an “Award of Excellence” in the 2015 University & College Designers Association Design Competition, and a second-place showing in the Southwestern Division of the Community College Humanities Association’s 2015 Literary Magazine Competition.

Furthermore, when Studio ACC students were charged with developing a logo for the new Downtown Littleton Art District, it was Muhr’s design that was ultimately selected.

A native of Brush, Colorado, Kyle will have his work featured in the upcoming MGDI Student Show (April 28 – May 6) in the Colorado Gallery of the Arts at ACC.  He will complete his AAS this May.

Opening the Eyes of the Youth Through Art

ACC Art Professor Gigi Lambert

ACC Art Professor Gigi Lambert

With the opening of the third week of spring semester, everything is beginning to get into the swing of it all. Students know where their classes are, they’re getting to know their class mates and professors, they’re adjusting to the workloads and their schedules. Here, at the Art and Design Center, we’ve decided to interview our first Professor. Gigi Lambert has been teaching students for the past 30+ years; though, not all of those were spent at Arapahoe Community College. She’s taught swimming, 2D design and water media (water painting). Through all of her classes, she’s taught more than the course at hand; Gigi has opened the minds of her students by teaching them to open their eyes, to observe the world from a different perspective. She aims to change and influence as many lives as she possibly can. We can most definitely say that she enjoys her job wholeheartedly.

Q: Why did you choose to teach at Arapahoe Community College?

A: I’ve always cared for the community college system and to be honest, ACC might have chosen me. One of my friends worked here and they were looking for another teacher, this is where my friend recommended me for the job. Since I’ve started teaching 2D art and water media, I’m so surprised at how much the art program has grown; how the department has gained a personality, a shape, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. I’ve been teaching for 30+ years and I’ve loved every minute of it. “In terms of long term relationships, it’s my longest.”

Q: Why did you decide to teach? What lead you to this decision?

A: I started out teaching a swim class and realized that teaching was fun, I found it to be so thrilling; though, I never thought that I’d end up teaching art. After a while I found myself modeling for art classes. It was during these classes that I started to listen to what the professors were saying. How they described the scene – how to get the pencils to dance on the paper as the young artists sketched. It was in these classes that I really wanted to get into art. This was my starting point.

Q: What is your favorite aspect about Arapahoe Community College?

A: Without a doubt, I love the diversity of the student population. In my classes, each student learns differently and it challenges me to connect with each student. In case you haven’t noticed, I thrive on challenges; so to teach to each student’s different style of learning, it’s what some would call my purpose.

Q: How would you describe your teaching style?

A: Enthusiastic. Perhaps even overly enthusiastic. I aim to focus on the student’s individual needs. Just because little Johnny can paint beautiful landscapes doesn’t mean that he can draw portraits; and just because little Susie can draw portraits doesn’t mean that she can paint beautiful landscapes. It is my goal to be able to get the students to gain a better understanding of what being an artist really means. Everybody’s a snowflake, that’s just the way it is. No two people learn in exactly the same way as each other and it’s my job to make sure that they’re able to achieve their artistic goals.

Q: What are your top three expectations for your students at the beginning of the semester?

A: My top three expectations for my students is for them to find a love of form; for the world around them, and to be able to look at things from a new perspective. I expect my students to be more aware of the content in their everyday lives in order to live a happier life where they’ve discovered who they are. I expect them to see more, to open their eyes, and to have a better understanding of art. If my students were to take only one thing away from my class, I’d want that one thing to be my students leaving with a sense of purpose.

Q: If money wasn’t a crucial part of today’s society, would you still wake up every morning and come to work to teach?

A: Absolutely! Without a second thought. The reason being that I love teaching. I mean, yeah, the money is an added bonus but it’s not the main reason I teach. The way that I see it is that everybody who teaches, teaches because they care about their students and their futures. Another reason that I love teaching so much is because it doesn’t take up all of my time; it allows me to work on my own works, to focus on other aspects of my life like my family. I can honestly say that I have one of the greatest jobs in the world.

Photograph and Interview by Brandon Kile, ACC Art & Design Work Study

Why Study Abroad with ACC?

Dreaming to go to London, Paris, Zurich, and Milan was just a dream 2 days before the spring semester 2015. That first day of spring semester Adam Shelffo (Business faculty) walked in and started to talk about a business class offered in the summer. Right away, I tuned out because I did not want to do a summer class. Next thing he says is, “We will be going to London, Paris, Zurich, and Milan.” Boom, it was done. I was going to be in my first summer class, going to Europe for 2 weeks. Those 5 months prior departure, all of the students and Adam met and discussed details for the trip. Getting to know the strangers that I would be living with for two weeks overseas was necessary.

Streets of London

Streets of London – photo by Raelynn Padilla

During these meetings we discussed how the “class” aspect was going to go, what we needed to pack, more importantly HOW to pack, as well as forms and other necessities for departure. The most stressful aspect was the packing, from a girl’s perspective anyways. Considering we had no idea what the weather was going to be even though it was in the summer, we got rained on a day in London. We had to pack for the different businesses that we visited, too, as well as for any adventures we went on. Tennis shoes/walking shoes are HIGHLY recommended with the amount of walking.

When we arrived in London, it was much more than I imagined. I have dreamt of seeing these places since I was a child. It was surreal. Taking a double decker bus, having fish and chips, seeing Buckingham Palace, the London Bridge, Big Ben, and other “touristy” things were amazing. For our first business visit in London, we went to Parkour Generations, and, yes, we did partake in a little parkour action. That summer I realized how much core strength I did not have. However, Parkour Generations taught us that in business or in life, since obstacles are always around, it is not bad to look at different ways to go around them, and having people there to help you is okay.

Eiffel Tower at Night

Eiffel Tower at Night – photo by Raelynn Padilla

After our 4 days in London, we took a train ride to Paris for our next 3 days. In Paris, we saw the Eiffel Tower, from many different angles, the Notre Dame, we also saw the famous Mona Lisa in the Louvre. A few of us after an evening boat tour through Paris went and saw Moulin Rouge. That performance was phenomenal. Bucket list item checked off. I think the best part of Paris, France, for me was going to see Chateau de Versailles. There are no words to describe the beauty of that place, the artwork, the hall of mirrors, the gardens, just perfect. If you get the opportunity to go to France, definitely check out Versailles

On from three great days in Paris to a breathtaking 3 days in Zurich. Green and blue, that all I have to say to describe the views. We got the chance to go to Mount Pilatus in Luzern. It was a 20-minute ride in a 4-person gondola up to a 3.5-minute ride on a 30-person aerial cableway car. From the top of the mountains, the view looked exactly like they do in the National Geographic. After a couple of hours exploring, we went on to the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. A total of 40 minutes to go down the mountain. Waiting for us at the bottom was a boat that took us all the way back to Luzern. An hour and a half on the boat seeing the green mountains and grass, along with the beautiful blue sea, was the best boat ride I have been on so far.

Boat ride to Luzern

Boat ride to Luzern – photo by Raelynn Padilla

The last 2 days in Europe were spent in Milan, Italy. First off, the food was AMAZING! I love Italian food, maybe a little too much. Anyways, we went to the Duomo di Milano and got to walk along the top of it. To see the detailed architecture out of marble is indescribable. When we toured it, it was being cleaned, which we were told takes years because of the size and details. On the north side of the Duomo, is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is a high-end shopping mall. Names like Prada, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, and even Ferrari.

Duomo, Milan

Duomo, Milan – photo by Raelynn Padilla

Along the way we had homework, which was to note the differences between these cities as well as the US. Differences from eating, dressing, to communicating, which I can speak for the other 11 students that went, there were many differences. One expects differences, but never expects the depths and details of every little thing you do on a daily basis. We learned how businesses run in each city. The interactions, the daily duties, expectation, and most importantly the etiquette of business. There were many adventures and sightseeing times, but the business aspects of the trip really put into perspective the uniqueness of the cultures around the world.

Why go again? This will be my second year going on this trip with Adam Shelffo, along with, hopefully, three other students that went last summer. I am super excited to go with these guys. You create a little family that you have to depend on across the ocean. These are the people you lean on when you run into obstacles, like still trying to figure out which way to look when crossing the streets of London. The people that you laugh when you get a little home sick, and remind you that you are on an amazing trip. The people that definitely help you with your homework last minute. Lastly, the people that you create amazing memories with and now have inside sayings and jokes that never get old. I am glad I went because I created friendships. I wish all 11 of those friends could join us again, but I am excited to create more friendships with the newcomers.

I am excited to learn about these new cities for this summer, Dublin, Amsterdam, and Brussels. I am excited to learn about the other new students that are going to be joining us. I am extremely excited that Terri Scrima will be joining our trip as well. She always has great assignments and lessons in her classes, so having her communications apart of the curriculum is going to make it a great class. Overall, I am looking forward to a fantastic experience.

For information, contact Adam Shelffo, adam.shelffo@arapahoe.edu or Terri Scrima, terri.scrima@arapahoe.edu or visit the ACC Study Abroad web page.

Pack your bags, grab your shades and come join us in the Danger Zone!

by Raelynn Padilla, ACC Student

Finding Inspiration for Universal Design for Learning

Lee Christopher, Director of eLearning

Lee Christopher, Director of eLearning

The first time I heard the words Universal Design for Learning, I was sitting in a Conference Presentation entitled, “What is UDL?” The presenter told us that UDL stood for Universal Design for Learning and that she would be talking more about what Universal Design was throughout her talk. I didn’t know at the time that this presentation would be life-changing for me.

The presenter, Donna Hall, an experienced distance education instructor and instructional designer had us close our eyes as she played part of a video on Quadratic Equations.  When she stopped the video, she asked us to open our eyes and explain what the video was about. A math teacher quickly raised her hand. Ms. Hall asked the rest of us in the audience if we understood the video before hearing the math teacher’s explanation. There was immediate laughter and someone said, “Are you kidding?” Ms. Hall then told us that what we experienced was how it is for a blind student taking a math course and having only videos presenting math material to him or her. Next, Ms. Hall handed out 3 X 5 index cards and pencils. She asked us to write our names on the cards using our non-dominant hand. If we were right-handed, we should write with our left hand. If we were left-handed, we should write with our right hand. This was almost impossible. Some cards fell to the floor and some people dropped pencils. Ms. Hall pointed out that this was what it is like for someone with mobility issues or arthritis. The third activity we had to do was to watch a video without any sound of an art instructor demonstrating how to use a lathe for drawing plans for a house. Once again, no one could figure out what the lesson was about. Ms. Hall pointed out that we had experienced what it is like for a deaf person trying to learn in this situation. Ms. Hall pointed out that if the instructors had used the principles of Universal Design for Learning, there would have been multiple ways the instructor would have used to teach the lessons. She told us that Universal Design for Learning (UDL) represents instructional design that strives to meet the learning needs of the greatest number of students. UDL’s basic principles are multiple means of representation, multiple means of expression, and multiple means of engagement. It was after this presentation that I began learning as much as I could about Universal Design for Learning. “Walking in someone else’s shoes is a good idea.”

Thanks for letting me share this with you.
Lee Christopher, M.Ed., M.F.A.
Director of eLearning at ACC

ACC EMS Instructors – Touching Lives, Inspiring Others

“Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.” –Solomon Ortiz

ACC EMS Students during joint simulation activity.

ACC EMS Students during joint simulation activity.

Every teacher I have encountered in my 19 years of life, has had some sort of impact in my life for various reasons. But up until college no one has impacted me the way my instructors, Bill, Peter and Jordan have. I’m not entirely sure as to why, maybe it’s because of their passion for EMS or maybe because they just impact everyone they meet. Whatever the reason is, I’m glad I’ve met them. Not only have they impacted me in my career, but also in my personal life. I have always been very interested in the medical field, but I didn’t necessarily have someone to look up to, now I have three. Jordan inspires me and pushes me to become better as an EMT since day one. She was intimidating because well, I am very shy, but she’s made sure that I broke that and made sure that I felt confident in the things I do as a student. I remember one day she implied to our lab class that she was going to make sure we were efficient EMTs once we were done with this program. One week left of the program and she is absolutely right. 3 months ago, I would have never thought I would be able to think outside the box to save a life, now thanks to her I am positive our lab will have no issues in the future. Jordan is young, she’s only 20 years old, but that girl sure knows exactly what she is doing; and she doesn’t play around when she is out in that ambulance providing care for her patients. I hope to stay in contact with her after we are done with the program, because I still have so much to learn from her; not only that, but she is such a great motivator, she sure knows how to push us to our limit to ensure that we know how to handle pressure. Now I know that out there in the field I will be prepared to control my adrenaline for each call thanks to her.

Peter is the type of guy who speaks the truth whether we want to hear it or not, but he doesn’t do it to hurt us, he does it to make sure that we become better. Peter was very intimidating when I met him, heck he still is intimidating today. See I am not the one to participate in class, nor be put on the spotlight; but he wasn’t going to budge and he was expecting us to participate as much as we could. There were many times I wanted to just run out of the classroom because I felt like I was his target. Not the case at all, he just want us to come out of our little shells and learn to communicate our ideas and thoughts with each other. He has helped me a lot with my stage fright, and he too has made me think outside the box. He has made sure I have spoken enough during class, that now I am sure to speak my mind in a professional matter that will come in handy once I’m out in the field. When I did my clinical rides, I thought there is just no way I’ll be able to talk with these people who are really experienced in EMS. But honestly thanks to the class Peter gave us, I was able to ask all the right questions whether it was about documentation, or about certain calls; I was able to actually understand dispatch way better after our radio communications lab. Peter went out of his way to ensure that we were understanding absolutely everything we were learning in his class would be accurate and related to what we would see out in the field. 124 has taught me so much, and I believe it had to do with who was teaching it. I hope Peter stays teaching that class because he has a lot to bring to the table. He knows how to make it a very interactive class, and he also cares a lot about our careers; whether we are EMTs, Firefighters, or Police officers. He makes sure we understand how everything works in EMS, and will point us in the right direction. And I appreciate what he has done in my life because of that I was able to grow in my career as a future EMT.

Bill Spialek, ACC EMS Department Chair

Bill Spialek, ACC EMS Department Chair

And as always the best is saved for last. Where do I begin expressing the impact Bill has done in my life. Put it this way,  Bill is like my Paramedic step dad. He has taught me way too much that sometimes I’m amazed at how far I’ve come thanks to him. Not only is he a great instructor, he makes has ensured that we are comprehending the material and also makes sure we become great EMTs one day. Everyone knows him, and I finally understand why, it’s because not only is he a great Paramedic, but also because he is such a great human being. When I started the course I thought what the heck am I doing here, I thought maybe being an EMT isn’t for me, but now I am sure that it is thanks to him. Out of every single instructor I have had, Bill is the one I look up to the most. When he walks by I think wow, one day I want to be like him. And not just me, many of my classmates have also said that. It’s because we know that it takes a lot to teach student, and even more so training someone to save lives. He has the courage like I haven’t seen before, because maybe he has wanted to throw the towel in and give up, but because of his passion for EMS is the reason why this EMT program has became better. Talking to an EMT tech at PSL, who actually went through the program before Bill took over was so glad to hear how improved the program has become. I gave her a breakdown of the program Bill has designed and she said there is no doubt that my instructor knows exactly what he is doing, and she can also sense that he is sending prepared and honest EMT student out there. I agree with her, Bill has put so much into this program, which allows us to have quality training compared. From the uniform to morbid humor, from the communication to the skills; no one else could train us the way we have been trained by Bill without being so passionate about what they do. I am glad I am making it to the end of this program a better and improved human being, someone who is prepared to go out and make my instructors proud. My classmates and I are so thankful for being part of the ACC EMT program. Great people and great professionals receiving quality learning all start in the classroom, it all starts with a great and honest instructor with such passion about EMS.


Spialek, William –Program Director/Instructor
Brehm, Jordan –Lab Instructor
Rousseau, Peter -124 Instructor
Cesaro, Dana -EMT
ACC EMT 121 -Program

ACC’s Volunteering to Learn (ViTaL) Excursion to the Humane Society

ACC’s Volunteering to Learn (ViTaL) team headed out for their first volunteer excursion last Friday, January 15, 2016. A group of four ACC faculty and staff took pet supplies donated by the ACC community and spent the morning volunteering at the Littleton’s Humane Society of the South Platte Valley.

Here we are departing from ACC with all the wonderful pet supplies donated by the ACC community:

ViTaL team outside ACC

Left to right: Meredith Tofield, Josie Mills, Amanda Johnson, Diana Hornick

Erin Liebner of the Humane Society of the South Platte Valley welcomed us, and we took a short visit to the cat room while she arranged our plan for the morning.

White cat on scratching post

Adoptable cat at Human Society

Amanda petting cat

Amanda pets Starvin’ Marvin

black cat

Adoptable cat at the Humane Society


Another cat for adoption at the Humane Society

Erin then set us up with the task of cleaning out the shed where they store food and supplies for the animals. It was a chilly but sunny morning, and we worked together happily rearranging the bags of food and treats so that the floor was clear, and everything was easy to find.

Before and after photos below


Food storage

Humane Society food storage before.


Amanda and Meredith organizing.

Amanda and Meredith organizing pet food storage.


Humane Society pet food storage after ViTaL team organized it.

Humane Society pet food storage after ViTaL team organized it.

Once we’d finished our work in the shed, we headed back inside where we were rewarded with some time to visit with the dogs.

Dog available for adoption from the Humane Society.

Dog available for adoption from the Humane Society.

Close-up of dog

Another dog available for adoption

Another available dog at the Humane Society

Another available dog at the Humane Society

Another dog ready to find its forever home.

Another dog ready to find its forever home.

We then helped out washing dishes, refilling treat containers, and mopping the floor in the main meeting area.

We loved spending the morning at the Humane Society meeting the wonderful volunteers and visiting the animals who need a home.

Left to right: Meredith Tofield, Diana Hornick, Josie Mills, Amanda Johnson

Left to right: Meredith Tofield, Diana Hornick, Josie Mills, Amanda Johnson

ViTaL welcomes students, faculty, staff, and administrators to join us in serving the community. Many more opportunities will ensue in the coming months. Contact Josie Mills or Diana Hornick for more information.

by Josie Mills, ACC English Department Chair