ACC Distinguished Faculty 2018-2019 Profile: Chris McKellips

Chris McKellipsDepartment
English

Years teaching at ACC
7…the first five I was an adjunct, and the last two as full-time faculty.

Total number of years teaching
15 total, including part-time, full-time, high school and college.

Undergraduate degree
Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Minnesota (but my first year of college was completed at Rainy River Community College). Then attended University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) to complete secondary teacher prep program.

Graduate degree
M.Ed. in Adult Education from Colorado State University.

Honors & awards
Well, I won a bubblegum blowing contest against the students when I taught high school English at the American School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Also, I was awarded All-College Instructor of the Year in 2013-14 (Liberal Arts and Professional Programs).

Current committee work
Curriculum Committee (this is my 2nd year), Program Chair of CCR/AAA, State Discipline Co-Chair of AAA, Professional Development Advisory Board, Elevate Advisory Board, Campus Redesign, IEC, Pathways Academic Mapping Group.

Fun fact about me
From the roof of the house I grew up in, I could see Canada, and I would go back and forth across the border weekly. Also, I’m not sure how many banjos I have.

My most memorable moment at ACC
One of our class readings in CCR 092 is set in a coal mining town. Students in the class were voicing what they knew about coal, and their disgust with it being dirty energy, etc. I told them that all their electricity here in Denver comes from coal, train cars of it each day, and they were surprised. I went into detail: “You couldn’t charge your cell phones without coal, couldn’t blow-dry your hair or keep your soda cold; we wouldn’t have these lights on if it weren’t for coal.” And as if on cue, all the lights on the first floor went out and we were in a windowless room in pitch black darkness. After a second, everyone began laughing, assuming it was something I had engineered. In reality, it was our building’s safety system clicking into gear due to a fire scare on the third floor; in a few minutes, we all had to leave the building. Perfectly timed!

Congratulations, Chris McKellips, one of ACC’s Distinguished Faculty for 2018-2019!

October is College Application Month

students at Discover ACC spring 2018October is College Application Month, and Arapahoe Community College is ready to help you Move Mountains every step of the way.

No matter where you may wish to pursue your higher education, you’ll want to begin by completing your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be eligible for grants, work study, student loans and other financial aid programs.

Did you know that ACC helps any college-bound student with the FAFSA? We host FAFSA labs for students and their parents all the time…for free! Students who complete their FAFSA by November 9, 2018, may even be eligible for a College Application Month scholarship giveaway.

If you’re applying to a two-year or four-year school in Colorado, visit the College and University Checklist and Application Link webpage. Find your institution and click Application Info. This will direct you to each institution’s application page. If you’re applying to several schools, consider filling out the Common Application, which is accepted at colleges and universities all over the country.

Navigating career options can seem overwhelming, but with the help of the College in Colorado Career Cluster Survey, you can begin aligning your interests with our guided pathways, and you’ll be well on your way to developing your plan for success.

Think you’ve identified a possible career path? Now’s the time to figure out what kind of education or training you’ll need. Keep in mind that the ACC Castle Rock Collaboration Campus is scheduled to open next fall, providing a seamless pathway from high school diploma to associate degree to bachelor’s degree, all under one roof!

Looking for a great way to familiarize yourself with all of the student resources at ACC? Mark your calendars for Friday, Oct. 19, and join us for Discover ACC! from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Littleton Campus. Our ACC Admissions team and student ambassadors will be on hand to talk about transitioning to college, financial aid, degree pathways and much more.

ACC will also visit dozens of local high schools throughout October, and for the fifth consecutive year, we’ll have representatives at Denver Public Schools’ College Application Day. As many as 1,200 DPS students will be in attendance, many of whom hope to become the first in their immediate & extended families to attend college.

Additionally, Tuesday, Oct. 30, is Colorado Free Application Day. The ACC Career & Transfer Center is hosting a pizza party at the Littleton Campus that day, and several in-state universities will be on hand to meet with students about degrees and transfer options.

Questions? Connect with ACC today at 303.797.5637 or admissions@arapahoe.edu. Our friendly, helpful staff will be glad to assist you.

by Jeff Duggan, ACC Communications Coordinator

Study Abroad Japan Experience

In June 2018, a group of ACC students set out on a study abroad adventure to Japan to study ceramics, drawing, painting, and photography and learn about Japanese culture. Here is what one of our students, Savannah Lewis-Sweed, experienced.

Lewis-Sweed and partnerMy favorite thing about the trip to Japan was immersing myself in nature that I was unfamiliar with. Growing up in Colorado, I had the privilege to explore trails and mountain scenes and going to Japan was an even greater privilege. Since the climate there is usually rainy, moss and small leafed plants grow everywhere. Japanese building surrounded by vegetationThe air seemed to linger with the scent of gentle rain. I would love to return and see Mount Fuji and explore the anime centers of Tokyo. One of my accomplishments was I made these little thank you notes to go with these miniature wheel-thrown pots my girlfriend, Vanessa, had made for the special people we encountered in Japan. It felt good to collaborate and create something small, but meaningful. In Japan, tips are not accepted, but small gifts are a great way to show appreciation.

water pouringPrior to the trip I was anticipating what I would learn about myself. In Japan, I was able to trust others and accept that my quiet nature greatly benefited me in several social situations. I learned a lot from listening and I believe that lesson will benefit me in the future. While learning about myself, I also learned about Japan’s culture. Despite the large crowds, it was hardly ever loud. Everyone spoke at a respectful volume. Savannah and VanessaThe subways, streets and even the alleys were spotless. Hardly ever will you find stepped on food, gum or even cigarette butts tossed in the streets. The city even has cleaning crews who wash the sidewalks and roads. The people who live in Japan take pride in leaving public places clean and litter free. Although there were many attractions and exciting foods to try, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the trip nearly as much without my girlfriend, Vanessa. She has always supported me in my decisions and helped me through several firsts on the trip to Japan. I also had the wonderful opportunity to bond with people I had never talked to before and discovered that we have more in common than just ceramics and a love to create. Together we were able to enjoy every moment in Japan and always had each other’s back.

purple flowerThe kindness and thought put into every moment in Japan made it difficult to return home. After being in a different culture for so long, it was challenging to face reality. There wasn’t a transition period from a country of lush and love. Arriving to DIA didn’t feel familiar or as comforting as I had anticipated. Upon returning home, I was faced with this persistent feeling of struggle and strife to truly see if I wanted to change, if I really wanted to be a person who was kinder, more patient, and considerate of myself and the energy I bring into the room.vegetation There were certainly moments once I was back home where I felt like the worst version of myself. It was an emotional and mental tug of war, one side wanting to give into my inner selfishness, where the other was begging the other side to see reason and trust that adopting a giving nature, doesn’t mean being left with nothing in the end. I was forced to face my actions and to see myself as my girlfriend, friends and peers saw me. I compare it to when reptiles shed their old skin in order to make room for their new skin. The process is uncomfortable, but the journey is worth the destination. Any opportunity for growth should be taken and understood that allowing events and experiences to change you is not an easy process, because if it was easy, everyone would do it. It has been nearly three months since my return from Japan and I can say with confidence I have gratefully accepted how a study abroad trip to Japan has changed me.  

by Savannah Lewis-Sweed