My Experience as an ACC Student

ACC main building - Littleton CampusTwo years ago, I came to this beautiful state (Colorado) in the United States of America from my home country, Nepal. I did my Master’s in Medical Microbiology from Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu Nepal. As I was new to this state, I started search for a job opportunity. During my search online, I found a Medical Laboratory Technology course at Arapahoe Community College which I found related to my subject. Then, I applied for the MLT program, but I needed to do prerequisites for this program to fulfill its criteria. From there, I started my journey at Arapahoe Community College to complete my prerequisite courses. In January 2018, I started studying here and now my prerequisites are almost complete. After completing all my prerequisites, I will be applying for the MLT program next year. Hopefully, I will get admission and pursue my dream in the field of medicine.

In my opinion, Arapahoe Community College is great college to pursue education for a student like me, as I was new for this country with a completely different background. The best thing I like about this college is its friendly and very cooperative environment. I found all instructors and students are welcoming and helpful in all possible ways. Whenever, I get stuck in anything, I can openly ask for help without any hesitation. Similarly, the instruction at ACC is very fruitful, as the study pattern focuses on both theoretical and practical knowledge. Personally, I have improved a lot and learned many new things during my course of study.

While analyzing the difference between online and face-to face courses, as per my experience, I found both courses have their pros and cons. In online courses pros are in its flexibility with time and accessibility whenever we want. Whereas cons are not getting a response of our queries in real time and lack of peer interaction. Similarly, in face-to-face courses, the pros are that we can asks questions to our instructor in real time and can discuss the course-related problem with peers. Whereas, cons are it takes lot time for traveling. So, it all depends on us what course will be manageable in a particular time according to our needs.

Overall, as an Arapahoe Community College student, I have had a wonderful learning experience and feel proud  to be part of this prestigious institution.

by Nabina Jha, ACC student

ACC Welcomes New Group of International Students

Arapahoe Community College is proud to welcome its newest group of international students on campus! Students from China, Nepal, South Korea, Thailand, the UK, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe joined us for international student orientation and are ready to start their semester at ACC. They are part of an impressive and diverse group of international students on campus who are eager to Move Mountains. International students bring a unique perspective to our campus and in the process enhance our understanding of other cultures and global educational systems.
ACC International Students 2019
Our international students are already feeling part of the ACC community. Yao Zheng, a new student from China, had this to say about her experiences on campus: “I used to study in a language center with a partnership with ACC. When my teacher recommended ACC to me and my friends as the future college, I hadn’t realized how amazing this college is. After I met the international student advisor, I decided to study in this college because I know it’s going to be the great college of my next two years. And I came to ACC several times for visiting and getting information, the employees here are so helpful and nice.”

by Lucy Daberkow, ACC International Student Recruitment and Retention Specialist

Succeed in your Biology Courses

Did you know how many amazing resources there are to get help in your biology courses? The biology department has a study lab in the library that is staffed by ACC biology faculty to help you with your courses. This study lab room is stocked not only with instructors, but with models, microscopes, slides, and lab equipment. We can also help with scientific writing and lab reports! The main library desk also has these items if you’d like to check them out and study on your own for a couple of hours.

For those students in BIO111, our Student Success Center also has S.I. (Student Instructors) that meet throughout the week for help with that course.

These resources are entirely free and the schedules can be found online:
Biology Study Lab Schedule | Student Success Center S.I. Schedule

by Rachel Willard, ACC Biology Faculty

Why You Should Check Out the ePortfolio Feature in D2L

Arapahoe Community College theme available in ACC’s ePortfolio in D2L

Imagine having your own gallery where your work over several years is displayed in a beautiful arrangement. At the entrance is a short bio about you. Around the room are posted papers you’ve written in various classes over the years, presentations you’ve given, photos and reflections from a service learning or community service event that you participated in, documentation of the fine work you did in internship in the field. A resume and cover letter is also displayed along with any honors or awards you’ve received. The exhibit is multimedia with text, photos, video, and embedded social media posts. And it’s fully available online.

The new ePortfolio feature in Desire to Learn (D2L), our course management system, offers us this robust storage and presentation capability, terrific for students and beneficial for everyone else too. We know that you have other places where you can store and post collections of your work (Google+, One Drive, Tumblr, Instagram), but we think you’ll find the ePortfolio offers an easy-to-use, readily accessible option with rich multimedia tools. You also have the option to choose a unique ACC theme for your presentations like the one shown at the top of this page or just below this paragraph…

Arapahoe Community College theme available in ACC’s ePortfolio in D2L

Say you’re a professor and you need to write a letter of recommendation for a student you haven’t seen in a couple years. The student sends you the link to her ePortfolio where the papers she wrote in your class and her current information is available. The link can be private, sent only to you.

Say you’re a department chair overseeing students’ internship work. Students can post forms, weekly updates, performance reviews, and reflections in an ePortfolio presentation.

Sample Resume

Say you’re a student, workstudy, instructor, or staff member seeking a job or making a career move. You can include a link to an ePortfolio Presentation on your cover letter or in your LinkedIn profile. This link can be a public, external link available on the web.

Say you’re a student preparing for a presentation at the end of the semester, and you’re burned out on PowerPoint. Why not shake things up by creating your presentation in ePortfolio? The result will be fresh and professional. It’s also very easy to create a stunning presentation quickly and easily using  themes. Here’s an example:

Sample Presentation

Faculty can also create assignments using the ePortfolio feature such as having students create a presentation that they then share with a student group or with professionals in the field for feedback. In addition, faculty can use the “Reflect in ePortfolio” feature in Content to have students record reflections on each assignment.

Students in AAA101 will now develop an ePortfolio from the start of their time at ACC. We hope faculty will support its use throughout all classes by encouraging students to upload papers and presentations into the ePortfolio. eLearning staff are happy to visit classes and lead students through the process. ePortfolio training sessions are also being offered weekly in eLearning or stop by eLearning for a quick one-on-one tutorial.

Video Tutorials

To learn more about ePortfolio and how to use it, watch these D2L training videos.

by Josie Mills, Associate Vice President for Instruction at Arapahoe Community College

A Year-Long Project: Project Homeless Connect

“Project Homeless Connect was the most inspiring event of humanity that I have been part of in a while. We need more compassion and acceptance in our world today, and being at the event reminded me of all I have and all I can give to others. Thanks to everyone who organized and was a huge to small part of this tremendously valuable event!”

This quote from one of our 35 ACC volunteers at Project Homeless Connect says it all.

Sponsored on November 15, 2018 by Mile High United Way, Denver’s Road Home, and the City and County of Denver, over 750 volunteers helped connect those in need to an array of offerings, ranging from ID services, housing information, resume workshops, haircuts, legal assistance, and various healthcare service—like massage and diabetes testing—to specific help for veterans, children, and pets. Plus, 157 people were offered jobs on the spot. ACC is proud to have been a provider and sponsor for this remarkable event, each of us becoming more educated about homelessness, as well as better understanding issues of diversity since culture, race, age, learning and physical challenges, gender, sexual orientation, and religion were all represented in one day.

On that sunny, unseasonably warm, 60-degree day, ACC helped our most vulnerable population access much-needed resources to become self-sufficient for themselves and their families. But this annual, one-day event—open to people of all ages who are experiencing homelessness or facing housing instability—did not begin and end on November 15.

Beginning back in Fall 2017, ACC’s Service Learning Center began collaborating with Phi Theta Kappa, Student Life, our Library, and various other departments to collect 1,000 coats for the Fall 2018 event. We fell short of our coat count, but our community did step up, and generous students, staff, and faculty donated 450 coats right up to the night before the event took place.

Phi Theta Kappa students Savannah Lewis-Sweed, Carli Rodriguez, Josephine Thibodeau, and Ryan Holmes.

Phi Theta Kappa students Savannah Lewis-Sweed, Carli Rodriguez, Josephine Thibodeau, and Ryan Holmes.

It was quite daunting to collect and store hundreds of coats for two and a half semesters, but it was worth it to know some of our teachers were planning worthwhile Service Learning assignments for their students. Dina Hornreich’s Interpersonal Communication student, Rachel Anderson, and Karen Rojenko’s Nursing student, Josh Mickelson, spent time volunteering at our ACC Coat Table at the event by showing up at 7:30 a.m. to help set up and staying through the morning to hand out coats while learning about the many families looking to stay warm this winter. Chris McKellip’s AAA assignment focused on Service Learning, helping Jonathan Rumley and Carol Capuano learn first-hand about the homeless situation by guiding guests through the many services offered, while Tamara Haynes, being a licensed cosmetologist, adorned 15 guests by cutting their hair.

ACC students Rachel Anderson and Josh Mickelson

ACC students Rachel Anderson and Josh Mickelson

If collecting and storing hundreds of coats was a task, how did we plan to get them to the Denver Convention Center 10 miles north of ACC? That was easier than realized, knowing how helpful and collaborative our departments are across campus. Brendan Bieker and Adrian Medina from our Facilities Department drove us and our dozens of trash bags filled with coats of all sizes in two enormous pick-up trucks to the event center in the middle of afternoon traffic—and back—with no complaints at all.

Loading up the ACC coat donations the day before the event. Pictured are Brandon Bieker, Diana Hornick, Josie Mills, and Adrian Medina

Dropping off the ACC coat donations the day before the event. Pictured are Brandon Bieker, Diana Hornick, Josie Mills, and Adrian Medina

But at 10 a.m. on November 15, it was show time, so we had to have our coat area set up and ready for the more than 1,400 guests who would soon be arriving at our table, planning for another Colorado winter. Good thing a small group of our volunteers entered the event center nearly three hours earlier that morning energized because we needed a lot of time to tear apart those bags and organize the coats neatly in sections on our 24 tables for men, women, and children—along with a miscellaneous items’ table of hats, gloves, and even t-shirts. We instantly knew we had more tables than coats, but then we introduced ourselves to Linda and her staff of three from Coats for Colorado who brought another 750 coats. We also worked also alongside Juanita from Servicios de la Raza and two friendly folks from Home Aid Colorado who dispensed 1,000 pairs of socks. We even gave away over 20 of those plastic bags that originally held the coats—without rips or holes—to some guests asking for ways to store their new coat or socks or whatever else they were procuring for themselves.

English and Literature faculty Juliet Hubbell and Assistive Technology Specialist for Student Access Services Enrique Castro Franco volunteered at ACC’s Coat Table. Their blue volunteer t-shirts tell guests that they are bilingual.

ACC Library and Learning Commons Director Lisa Chestnut and eLearning Specialist Cherri LaMarr volunteered at the ACC Coat Table

ACC’s Workforce and Community Programs staff volunteered at the ACC Coat Table. Pictured: Kelly Locascio, Amber Toliver, Julie Beggs, Anthony Silio, and Shao Yeung

But serving the community while hearing people’s stories about living in Denver without a place to call home is more than supplying coats to those in need. Brad Bartholomew, a member of our photography faculty, incorporated a unique and valuable Service Learning project for his class by bringing 12 students out to their own booth so they could learn to take high-quality portraits and communicate with the public. Brad had this to say: “We had a wonderful and positive experience. I had many students say that it was one of the most positive things they have ever done. They thanked me for getting them involved. I set it up, but they did all the work. We were all proud to represent ACC as we helped our neighbors.” And ACC was not alone in educating students about poverty and inequity, as Regis University’s Service Learning students worked the Welcome area to pair up volunteers with over 1,400 guests that day.

ACC Photography professor Brad Bartholomew and his Commercial Photography students

ACC’s Portrait Studio at Project Homeless Connect

Humans were not the only ones receiving care and support that day. Quite a few dogs—small and large—were getting checkups and immunizations, picking out toys and snacks and bags of food, taking time to be petted by volunteers representing non-profit animal shelters, and even getting baths. And one or two got to have their portraits taken by Brad’s students while posing with on their humans’ laps.

Some dogs accompanied their humans to Project Homeless Connect this Fall 2018

By 3 o’clock, the event was over and people were meandering out the door with smiles and new outlooks on life. At our now-empty coat tables, the remaining five volunteers had only three coats left that Servicios de la Raza—which serves as an integral chamber in the heart of Metro Denver’s Latinx community—took with them for their upcoming Thanksgiving event.

Reflecting back on the event just a few weeks after it ended, it felt good to leave knowing so many people that we live alongside in our communities would be warm this winter, because in spite of the balmy temperatures we had for the event, a big cold front with lots of snow was heading towards Denver in the next few days. It was also sad to think so many individuals, especially the children and dogs we saw, needed to have those resources in the first place and couldn’t simply spend that day nestled in their own, safe homes. Sometimes, we take what we have for granted, but it’s good to know we can help again in other areas of support next year. Any ideas? See you next Fall at Project Homeless Connect 2019!

ACC Service Learning Center Coordinator/Communication faculty Diana Hornick and Math faculty Heidi Barrett

by Diana Hornick and Josie Mills

Service Learning at Project C.U.R.E.

Front of Project C.U.R.E. Denver Warehouse

Front of Project C.U.R.E. Denver Warehouse

Entrance to Project C.U.R.E.

Entrance to Project C.U.R.E.

I learned so much during my time at Project C.U.R.E. I discovered how much I enjoyed being out in the community. I was skeptical at first because it was the first time I had done something completely by myself without taking someone with me. I ended up liking going in alone. It allowed me to open up to others, which meant the most to me. I realized how much I genuinely cared about my community and being an active member. Although it was a little intimidating at first because many of the volunteers were already established, they made me feel a sense of belonging and answered every single question I had. I found that I am an effective communicator when I focus and try to understand what the task means on both macro and micro levels of society. Being a part of something bigger than myself allowed me to see the bigger picture and look at why the others were volunteering and why this work meant so much to them.

“Mid-sorting” table inside Project C.U.R.E. Warehouse

Warehouse full of medical supplies waiting to be sorted or shipped

“Dual-sorting” area where items are sorted again.

I worked with Michelle for my first experience service learning at Project C.U.R.E. in the “mid-sort” section of the warehouse. This station was dedicated to determining what we need to keep from the medical supplies donated to Project C.U.R.E. from medical offices. Since many of the items may not be used in the countries that may not need them or they do not have access to electricity we ended up throwing away many supplies. Michelle had been volunteering at the organization every Wednesday for the past year. She’s a retired nurse who knew how to effectively communicate with someone like me who had never volunteered before or knew what any medical supplies were when we sorted through everything. Michelle’s communication skills helped me focus and work on my communicating and listening skills.

“Kits for Kids” medical kits are assembled in this area

She gave me the confidence to make decisions regarding things that I thought were acceptable to keep without asking. All the volunteers at Project C.U.R.E showed me how selfless my community is and how the work being done is just as important as interacting with others in the community. I saw the same volunteers every Wednesday at the time. I now understand why they do it and I will be back to help because of the positive experiences I had there.

“Mid-sort” boxes on pallets prepared for sorting

Wall that tells people what trash is. There are so many items donated that cannot be used.

Boxes that have been sorted through and others that need to be sent out.

During my experience service learning at Project C.U.R.E, I learned that I am a better communicator than I had initially thought. I went into the situation with something I wanted to work on such as listening and showing people I am listening attentively. It all came so naturally when we all started talking and asking questions about the work and each other which brought us together. Being in an environment where I wasn’t afraid to ask for help showed me how my community supported me and others they had never met before.

by Leah Buchart, ACC Student

ACC Distinguished Faculty 2018-2019 Profile: Dawn Viola

Dawn ViolaDepartment
Interior Design

Years teaching at ACC
13

Total number of years teaching
16

Undergraduate degree
BA Studio Arts – University of Colorado

Graduate degrees
Master of Architecture, University of Colorado; Master of Science, Construction Management with an emphasis in Historic Preservation.

Professional awards & published work
As ACC’s NKBA Coordinator (National Kitchen & Bath Association), our program has won national awards for program of excellence eight times and our students have placed nationally in the student design competition nine times.

Current committee work
Perkins committee

Fun fact about me
I couldn’t decide between teaching Art and going into architecture upon graduating with my undergraduate degree. I chose architecture but ended up teaching design – I guess I found a way to do both

My most memorable moment at ACC
I am hoping it will be the June 2019 Study Abroad trip to Italy. I can’t wait to explore the architecture and interiors with my students!

Congratulations, Dawn Viola, one of ACC’s Distinguished Faculty for 2018-2019!

ACC Distinguished Faculty 2018-2019 Profile: Denice Pardee

Denice PardeeDepartment
Accounting, both as a faculty member and program chair.

Years teaching at ACC
14; I was a part-time instructor for nine years and have been full-time faculty for the last five.

Total number of years teaching
I have been teaching for 14 years. Teaching is my second career; my first – for over 15 years – was in financial management at various healthcare organizations in Colorado.

Undergraduate degree
BS, Accounting, MSU Denver.

Graduate degree
MS, Health Administration, CU Denver

Professional honors & credentials
Leadership Academy, 2015-16; Master Teacher, 2017; Distinguished Faculty, 2018-19.

Current committee work
Outside of ACC: member of American Accounting Association (AAA), Teachers of Accounting at Two-Year Colleges (TACTYC) and Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). At ACC: Professional Development Advisory Board, Faculty Senate Executive Team, Workload Committee and Peer Review Committee.

Fun fact about me
My favorite color is purple. For those that know me, this is no surprise.

My most memorable moment at ACC
When my students visit to inform me about a new job, a job promotion or how they’re doing at a four-year university. Hearing about my students’ success is why I teach at ACC.

Congratulations, Denice Pardee, one of ACC’s Distinguished Faculty for 2018-2019!

Get a Human Approach to Biology in Spring 2019

Biology students at ACC during labDid you know…?

The biology department has a course that covers basic human anatomy and physiology with a focus on wellness, nutrition, and disease prevention? It has lots of amazing labs like blood typing, EKGs, DNA fingerprinting, urinalysis, and even a CADAVER WORKSHOP!

It’s BIO104 Biology – A Human Approach.

There is a traditional version and a hybrid version. Both have a lab that meets once a week. There are two sections running Spring 2019:

BIO 104 101
Lecture: Monday/Wednesday, 9 – 10:15am
Lab: Wednesday, 10:30am – 12:20pm

BIO 104 301
Lecture: Online
Lab: Tuesday, 4 – 5:50pm

It’s a GT (guaranteed transfer) science class. This would be great for you if you are in one of our healthcare programs or need a transferable lecture/lab science course. Talk to your advisor about how to apply this class to your degree or certificate!

by Rachel Willard, ACC Biology Faculty

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!