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!

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!

ACC Distinguished Faculty 2018-2019 Profile: Doc Viola

Doc Viola, ACC Automotive Service Technology facultyDepartment
Automotive Service Technology

Years teaching at ACC
10

Total number of years teaching
10

Undergraduate degree (please list school)
AAS in Automotive Service Technology – ACC

Professional honors & credentials
ASE Master Certified (A1-A8), ASE Advanced Level Specialist in Engine Performance (L1), General Motors Master Certified in Electrical/Electronics, Mechanical/Body Systems, Automatic Transmissions, Manual Transmissions and Engine Performance. SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year (2012-13).

Fun fact about me
I love to golf.

My most memorable moment at ACC
One of my first years at ACC, our Auto Tech students had a competition with the high school classes to see who could collect the most for the Thanksgiving canned food drive. It got very competitive and borderline out of hand. The college students ended up losing, but between the two groups, we donated numerous pallets of food to the Littleton food pantry. We donated so much food that Littleton could not house all of it at their pantry and had to re-donate some to other local food pantries.

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

ACC Staff Spotlight: Tia Le

ACC IT Technician Tia LeIn the mid 1990s Tia and her family migrated here from Vietnam. She had the opportunity to take classes at ACC and graduated with an associate’s degree in computer information systems.  Tia has enjoyed this profession so much that she has already completed 15 years of service.

The best things about being a part of the ACC community is helping students, instructors, and staff, said Tia. “I love assisting them with their technology needs!” Tia prides herself in helping her colleagues find efficient solutions to their work requests, and she enjoys the wide array of destinations – and challenges – that any given day may bring.

Tia lets others know that ACC is a place that allows you to begin your college adventures that would help you to be successful in life. “I feel honored to have been a student and very happy to be an employee at ACC. I feel my contribution is well received,” said Tia.

Coming from a different culture, ACC gave her the opportunity to improve upon her communication skills. ACC also helped with education costs through the grant program. She values ACC as a place to develop relationships with students, colleagues, and the community to make this her new home. Tia is ACC!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

ACC Faculty Spotlight: Danielle Staples

ACC Math faculty Danielle StaplesIn June 2011, Danielle started teaching at ACC as an adjunct math instructor, which was the perfect introduction to the college. The students were so welcoming and so excited to learn – she was hooked! Then in January 2013, she was hired on full-time and accepted the challenge with enthusiasm. She enjoyed seeing all of the exciting behind the scenes work that make our courses great. After five years of being at ACC, Danielle stepped into the role of Math Department Chair and this has been the most exciting job so far for her. When asked why, she replied, “I get to hear from students daily on what they love and what change they hope to see.  It is great to get that feedback and the math department always does a great job responding to student requests.”

The best part of ACC by far are the students and the staff. Danielle loves sitting one-on-one with students, listening to their dreams, goals, and helping them make a plan. Her colleagues are always looking for a way to improve instruction, stay on top of technology, and they truly care about the students that walk through these doors. Our diverse population has made her a better teacher and a more compassionate person. “I am so happy that each day I get the opportunity to interacting, teach, and work with such a great group of people – ones that care.”

Danielle said that the students keep her grounded. “There are days I think to myself, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done.’ These days I look to my students.” So many are working full-time, going to school full-time, and raising a family or taking care of loved ones in need. Knowing that our students can balance all of these responsibilities really helps her believe she can too.

“This job makes me want to learn more.” Every day Danielle reflects about the students she was able to reach with her lesson and the student she wasn’t able to. She strives to find new ways to reach everyone. The challenges of the classroom cause her to read, research, reflect, and even write in hopes of helping other instructors. Danielle is ACC!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

ACC Staff Spotlight: Dawn Stratton

ACC Testing Center Director Dawn StrattonIn 2007, Dawn was with her son in the Testing Center as he did his GED. She asked one of the staff if she could help with anything since she would be sitting there for a while. Lyn Smith replied, “Well we actually have a part time position if you are interested.” Three months later Dawn was the Coordinator for the Center.

She is now in her 10th year working at ACC and feels like part of a family. “We have come a long way in those years and I am deeply grateful for the friendships made and the support for my growth at ACC,” said Dawn. As a team we work through all the processes in making ACC a place for all students to be welcomed and successful and for the professional development of staff.

Dawn said the best about being a part of the ACC community is:

  • The vision and accessibility of leadership
  • The wide variety of students
  • The respect we have of our sister colleges and the higher education community.

Along with the three most valuable benefits she has received from ACC are:

  • The opportunity to work with and encourage students
  • The professional development offered
  • The modeling of leadership

The faculty and administrative support and resources that are made available to ensure success for our students make working at ACC a great place for Dawn. She feels the college has top notch programs that are aligned with 4 year institutions. Dawn commented her time here truly demonstrates the ACC mission statement, “To provide innovative and responsive educational and economic opportunities in an accessible, inclusive environment that promotes success for students, employees and the community.” Dawn is ACC!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

ACC Faculty Spotlight: Adam Shelffo

ACC Business faculty Adam ShelffoAdam has reached his 6th year at ACC as a business faculty member. Additionally, he is a Littleton native and a proud graduate of Columbine High School. So in many ways he has always considered ACC home and is honored to serve in the community he was raised.

The best thing about being a part of the ACC community is the relationships Adam has developed with the ACC student body. “I love hearing stories from my students, whether it is my 14 year-old student talking about product placements in Twilight movies or a 60 year-old student discussing employee motivation,” said Adam. Day in and day out, he just loves getting to know each of them to better serve their needs.

He would recommend ACC to others because this is a place that allows you to grow and flourish in a safe and nurturing environment that prepares you to confront life. “I feel honored to work at ACC, where I am able to serve the needs of our students; while allowing to capitalizing on my strengths and engage my passion,” commented Adam.

Faculty get a chance to know students by name. Employees get the opportunity to cultivate their strengths as a teacher and as a person. And ACC provides a space to foster relationships with students and colleagues alike. Adam Moves Mountains!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

ACC Staff Spotlight: Tim Eberly

ACC IT Technician Tim EberlyTim came to school here in 2010 after losing his job. He wanted to learn something that could translate into a new career, with a new direction. His first stop, an ACC internship, then non-student hourly employee, next contract work, and finally transitioned into fulltime employment. He has been full-time now for 3 years as an Information technology Technician.

When asked about what he liked best about being a part of the ACC community, Tim replied, “It is my Community College in that I live in this community, I went to school here and I am now a part of the “community” as a whole.” He believes we are here to serve, all that choose to come here, a quality education or a quality place to work. ACC is Tim’s community.

Three most valuable benefits Tim has received from ACC: an education, a career, and a group of new friends to work with. He would highly recommend ACC if someone is in need and looking for the offerings that ACC can provide. Adding that it may not be for everyone but for those that choose ACC and take advantage of what is offered, there can be a world of opportunity.

Tim Eberly was voted as ACC’s 2016-17 Classified Employee of the Year. He will continue to Move Mountains each and every day!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

ACC Instructor Spotlight: Laura Kjosen

Laura KjosenLaura has been teaching at ACC for eighteen years. Her discipline is in English composition and literature, while also tutoring at the ACC Writing Center. The main reasons she has taught at ACC for so long are the rewarding professional relationships with colleagues and our fantastic, inspiring students.

She observes how important it is that different services of the college all work together to help students succeed. As an instructor, Laura can count on the many college services that ACC offers, such as the librarians, tutoring, advisors, Veterans Services, and Student Life to help her students achieve their goals.

The opportunity to work with a diverse body of students, is just one of the many benefits Laura has experienced here at ACC. The availability of professional development opportunities offered by the college and the opportunity to work a flexible schedule that has allowed Laura to raise her two sons while working at ACC are the reasons why she values ACC. “It has been my privilege over these past several years to work with the professional staff and faculty at ACC, and it has been a joy to see so many students grow as learners and progress in their career goals,” said Laura.

To fellow professionals, she would say that ACC is a rewarding environment in which to teach. To parents and students, she would say that ACC is a great place to explore different interests and possible career paths. ACC is a place for students to gain confidence and work towards goals in a supportive environment. Laura is ACC!

by Karen Browning, ACC Marketing Project Manager

Staff Spotlight: Jennifer Dena, Disability Services / Student Life

Jennifer Dena, ACC Student Support Specialist

Jennifer Dena, ACC Student Support Specialist

Hi!  My name is Jennifer Dena.

I have a pretty unique role at ACC. My official title is Student Support Specialist; I split my time between the Disability Services office (65%) and the Student Life office (35%). In Disability Services, I serve as a Specialist: determining students’ eligibility to receive support services, certifying that documentation of a disability is complete and appropriate, resolving conflicts that arise throughout the semester, acting as an advocate when needed, making referrals to appropriate services, and maintaining student records. In the Student Life office: I coordinate New Student Orientation for incoming students and their families; assist in the preparation of orientation events and materials; follow up with incoming students through phone calls, e-mails and/or other communication methods; and oversee the creation and implementation of various activities and events offered through the Student Life office. It is a well-rounded position, which gives me a lot of variety, and an opportunity to work with lots of different people around campus.

If you are interested in receiving accommodation services through Disability Services, schedule an intake appointment with one of our specialists as soon as possible. We will discuss options with you and collaboratively determine your accommodation needs. Every student is different and what works for one student may not work for another, so in Disability Services, we make decisions on an individual case-by-case basis.

Our mission is to collaborate with members of the ACC campus community to assist in providing student support services to create a learning environment that promotes access and encourages success for all students.

To request accommodations, contact the Disability Services office to schedule an appointment, disability.services@arapahoe.edu or 303.797.5937. The time needed for implementation of services can vary based on the services requested.

Appointments can be scheduled at the Littleton Campus Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.  You can also schedule an appointment to meet with me at the Parker campus, Tuesdays from 2pm-4pm, or the Castle Rock campus, Wednesdays 3pm-5pm.

Want to know a little secret? We will be changing our department name from Disability Services to Student Access Services during the summer.

I look forward to meeting you soon!

by Jennifer Dena, ACC Student Support Specialist