Cross-departmental Collaboration Builds Job Skills at ACC

Are you looking for a college that will give you real world, unique experiences working not only cross-departmentally, but also with other colleges? ACC takes pride in giving our students the opportunity to learn in a multitude of ways, thus increasing their job skills and their confidence in those skills.

One recent project allowed biology students to work with the University of Denver and our own multimedia, graphic design and illustration students to create work that was both scientifically and visually compelling.

Dr. Nia Bauer, ACC Biology Faculty:

To increase scientific literacy, problem solving skills, student interest and success in STEM courses, ACC Biology students are being exposed to a real-world hands-on research experience. Engaging students in a meaningful research experience early in their academic careers can have lasting implications for both initial student success and long-term development of a community of innovative, problem solving citizens.

Through a partnership with Randall Cohrs, Ph.D., Department of Neurology at the University of Denver, ACC BIO 111 students are working on a research project to map possible promoter regions in the Varicella Zoster Virus DNA, responsible for Chickenpox and Shingles.  These regions will help researchers understand how the virus become activated and latent (deactivated). Ultimately, this information could lead to the design of treatment for chickenpox and shingles.

I believe that this is where education is going, away from canned labs to more open-ended projects that allow students to understand how science is really done.  Since we did things a bit ‘differently’ this year in BIO 111 labs, I was looking for a way to visually represent the project that was more engaging than just words in a lab.  This is why I asked Tom to help fulfill this vision and his class did an outstanding job!

Tom DeMoulin, ACC Multimedia, Graphic Design and Illustration Department Chair:

A cross-department faculty collaboration between the Biology and Multimedia/Graphic Design departments provided advanced opportunities for students in both departments last semester.

In the fall of 2015, Biology 111 students were to embark on an undergraduate research project in collaboration with a University of Denver researcher.  This ongoing work allows ACC students to map the Varicella Zoster Virus DNA, responsible for Chickenpox and Shingles, looking specifically for regions that activate and de-activate the virus. Dr. Bauer wanted a visually dynamic tool to engage BIO 111 students from the outset. Nia reached out to me and my students to create a unique, animated introduction to the process. 

My Motion Graphics class, MGD 143, took up the challenge as I incorporated this project into the course’s curriculum for a month of the term. Acting as both the client and technical advisor, Dr. Bauer was interviewed on multiple occasions by the Motion Graphics class to ensure both technical accuracy and her satisfaction with the project’s direction. The five-minute animation was delivered on time in a relatively short turnaround of five weeks and has subsequently been used in multiple sections of General Biology 111.

View the video of this project on ACC’s YouTube Channel.

Fermentation Science Program on Tap for Fall 2016

Biology faculty Jessica Blatecky with homemade kombucha

Biology faculty Jessica Blatecky with homemade kombucha

Beginning in Fall 2016, ACC students will have the option to enroll in a new Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Fermentation Sciences. The program launches with its first fermentation-specific course, FER 101: Craft Beer Brewing.

Colorado continues to be at the forefront of the craft beer industry, ranking first in the country in terms of economic impact per capita (Brewers Association). A report conducted by the CU Leads School of Business notes a 178 percent growth in the number of breweries in the state since the recession ended in 2009.  This 2014 report further explains, “Craft breweries, and especially brewpubs, are inherently labor intensive, making the economic impacts fundamentally local.”

Indeed, as the brewing market has grown in Colorado, so has the industry’s demand for well-educated professionals who are knowledgeable in the field.  The malting process, the selection and management of yeast, the hop products, and the various possible sources of contamination – it’s all very science intensive, and the quality and consistency of a product is dependent on accurately implementing this science.

To ensure that graduates from ACC’s new associates program have a foundational understanding of such processes, the degree includes basic coursework in biology, chemistry, and physics. The two fermentation-specific courses are designed with direct, practical application in mind. There are also no science prerequisites for the two fermentation-specific courses, so anyone who is driven to learn about the science and art behind fermenting is encouraged to enroll.

“So…a degree in beer?!” you ask. Not quite!

Fermentation refers to a metabolic process through which yeasts or bacteria convert carbohydrates to alcohol and carbon dioxide. While beer, wine, and liquors are all made through fermentation, the process is not limited to making libations.

The list of food products made through fermentation processes is extensive and includes: cheese, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other pickled vegetables. Many such products are chock-full of probiotics, or good bacteria. Due to the widely- publicized benefits of probiotics on gut health and physical well-being, there has been a tremendous spike in the consumption of fermented products.

Take kombucha, as one example of the growth in these “functional foods.” Who would have thought we’d see the day when a bacteria-and-yeast fermented tea would be commonplace in your typical grocer?!  According to a 2015 market report, there was a nearly fivefold increase in global kombucha sales from 2013 to 2015, to about $600 million a year. Sales are projected to hit $1.8 billion by 2020 (MicroMarket Monitor, 2015). This is a trend that far exceeds that established by your typical fad diet!

Students who fulfill the requirements for the A.S. degree and wish to further their education will be eligible to transfer to Colorado State University’s B.S. in Fermentation Science and Technology program.

Those not interested in pursuing an associates degree may opt to enroll in an individual fermentation course with their own personal development in mind.  If you have an interest in the health benefits of fermented food products, or have ever wanted to learn how to prepare your own kombucha or yogurts at home, then FER 203: Fermented Foods Sciences would be a perfect fit.

Maybe you’d like to learn how to better your home-brewing techniques or simply wish to gain a deeper appreciation for the expansive variety of beer styles and the different ingredients and processes that lead to this diversity.  If that’s you, then we hope you’ll join us for FER 101 this fall.  We are excited to have partnered with Breckenridge Brewery and have some field trips in store to their impressive facility just down the street!

by Jessica Blatecky, Biology Faculty

Students Shine at ACC Parker

Visit ACC Parker where passion meets opportunity and students shine in the classroom and beyond.

Whether you are a first time or returning student, we have a passionate staff to help you Move Mountains!

We’ve also been told we are very fun and have a reputation for doling out copious amounts of coffee and cookies (and sometimes fresh fruit).

But enough about us, let’s hear about our students! Enjoy some words of wisdom from our Fall 2015 ACC Parker Student Spotlight Rosalyn Klasinksi and take a peek at some of our programs and offerings that let our students shine!

Fall 2015 ACC Student Spotlight Rosalyn Klasinski

Fall 2015 Student Spotlight Rosalyn Klasinski

Fall 2015 Student Spotlight Rosalyn Klasinski

Professor Shannon Roybal nominated Rosalyn for ACC Parker Student Spotlight and highlighted her contributions to the classroom, dedication to learning, and compassion and work in the larger community. Professor Roybal shared that Rosalyn is an inspiration and stated “our class is made better with her presence, as are any of the students who are lucky enough to have such a gentle, warm-hearted, dedicated person at their side.”

Rosalyn wrote:
 “After many years of being out of school, I have returned to earn my teaching degree in Special Education.  My Advisor, instructors and staff at both the Littleton and Parker ACC campuses have been most helpful in making me feel special and important in support of my goal to return to college.  Both the in-classroom and online classes I have taken so far have been a fun, challenging yet rewarding experience.  My advice to new students is to move forward toward your goals one day at a time.  Life will throw curve balls at you as you pursue your dreams, but keep going anyway.  You are worth achieving your dreams! “

Rosalyn, we are proud of your hard work at ACC and beyond!

Check out our photos below for glimpse of our students that shine at ACC Parker.

BIO 202 students Penny Jackman and Deidra Stewart conducting experiments during their hematology lab.

BIO 202 students Penny Jackman and Deidra Stewart conducting experiments during their hematology lab.

EMT students get ready for an evening of ambulance work and simulations.

EMT students get ready for an evening of ambulance work and simulations.

CNA students Halana Causey and Bynkha Dene taking vitals as they prepare for practicals and state certification.

CNA students Halana Causey and Bynkha Dene taking vitals as they prepare for practicals and state certification.

Want to learn more and see how you can shine with ACC?
Call 303.734.4822 or email parkercampus@arapahoe.edu and be sure to check out our ACC Parker website for the latest information on course offerings and events.

Stay tuned, too, for updates on our ACC Parker Campus expansion and renovations!

ACC Parker. Where passion meets opportunity.

by Stephanie Flores, ACC Parker staff

ACC Parker: Connecting Passion with Opportunity

Parker Campus Cookies with the Manager

ACC Parker Campus Cookies with the Parker Campus Manager, Gwen Young

Day or night, our ACC Parker Campus bustles with activity. Early birds arrive at 8am while night owls work late into the night. With offerings to pursue a variety of certificates and Associates degrees, you can connect your passion to opportunity at our ACC Parker Campus. We have the talent and drive to help you meet your goals, regardless of what career and academic path you pursue. With a variety of student services, Guaranteed Transfer Courses and exciting new course offerings, our ACC Parker Campus staff can help you Move Mountains at the right place and right time for you!

Whether you are studying Business, Early Childhood Education, Computer Information Science or are taking electives for your degree plan, you’ll find ACC Parker to be a great spot to grow and learn.

ACC Parker - Pizza with the President

Pizza with the President at ACC’s Parker Campus

Our ACC Parker Campus is growing too! We are happy to offer more Health and Science offerings, preparing students and community members to thrive within the growing health care and science fields. With offerings such as Emergency Medical Technician Certification, Medical Terminology, Certified Nursing Assistant, Human Nutrition, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Pathophysiology, you can pave your path with our classroom to career courses.

Stay tuned for more Health and Sciences offerings as our ACC Parker Campus expands. Renovations will begin next year and will include more space for specialty programs, labs, and study areas!

Spring registration has started.  Give us a call at 303-734-4822 or visit us online, and let us help you connect your passion with opportunity!

Together, we can Move Mountains!
Team Parker