Promoting a healthy lifestyle — SNAPP hosts drug and alcohol forums

SNAPP San Juan College

The San Juan College Social Norms & Alcohol Prevention Program (SNAPP) recently hosted two informational forums, regarding issues of Underage Drinking and the Misuse & Abuse of Prescription Painkillers.

SNAPP, a grant funded program housed in the Student Activities Department, aims to promote healthy lifestyles free from alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.  They work closely with Student Activities and community organizations to educate San Juan College (SJC) students on the consequences of unsafe, excessive drinking practices, as well as the risks of providing alcohol to minors.

The primary goals of the informational forums were to provide education and prevention.  “The forums also provided a chance to inform the community and students about the serious risks associated with underage drinking and misuse of prescription painkillers,” says Nileta Pioche, director of the SJC SNAPP Program.

“The forums were designed to raise community awareness, deliver prevention messages and present collected data to community members, public officials, prevention professionals, parents, educators, students and youth,” continues Pioche.

The first session presented local and statewide underage drinking data and the risks associated when underage youth consume alcohol. The second session included information about local and statewide data on the misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers.

Students were encouraged to attend as part of the SJC Welcome Back Week. The free sessions were held in the San Juan College Henderson Fine Arts Center Performance Hall. The forums also marked the kick-off of the academic year for other prevention activities that SNAPP will host.

For more information, contact the San Juan College Social Norms & Alcohol Prevention Program at 505-566-3294.

Posted in General News

What’s the big dill with Pickleball?



SJC Pickleball

Opening celebration and ribbon cutting of the new Pickleball courts


Pickleball is a mix of table tennis, paddle tennis, badminton and tennis.  Without the mobility required for tennis, it uses an underhand serve and is easy to learn.  San Juan College Health and Human Performance Center (HHPC) now has more courts available for Pickleball players to enjoy the game year round.

Pickleball was first invented in 1965 by three families from the Seattle, Washington, area.  The parents needed an activity to entertain their children during the summer. They claim the name was suggested because one of the family dogs, named Pickles, would chase the stray balls and hide in the bushes – thus the sport, Pickleball, was born!

Avid Pickleball player, Joe Archuleta, approached Ed DesPlas, San Juan College Executive Vice President, earlier this year about adding more courts at the HHPC.

“We have more players than ever and many travel from out of town,” says Archuleta.  “With the multiple courts, the teams are able to split according to their level of play, so a beginner doesn’t have to be intimidated by an advanced player.”

“During the gym floor resurfacing this summer, we designated additional courts,” explains Cody Elledge, director of the HHPC.  “We’re excited to provide more courts to accommodate this popular growing sport that promotes exercise and overall health.”

San Juan College’s Encore Program has been offering Pickleball classes for over 10 years, with both beginning and intermediate classes. “We love the enthusiasm of our Pickleball students,” says Liesl Dees, director of the Community Learning Center, adding that classes are frequently full, and Encore has included more classes to meet the demand. “We love to see the sport continuing to grow in popularity in the area, and we’re excited for the playing opportunities the HHPC is providing, thanks to additional courts.”

Within the 130,000-square-foot facility, the HHPC houses a climbing tower, an indoor elevated track, a three-court gymnasium, a dance studio, a group exercise studio, an assessment lab, a wellness resource center, and an outdoor equipment rental center.

Open Play time for Pickleball:

Mondays, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. - 3 courts

Tuesdays, 6 p.m. - 8:45 p.m. - 3 courts

Thursdays, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. - 3 courts

Fridays, 4 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - 3 courts

Saturdays, 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. - 3 courts

Please note: Credit classes and special events may alter available play times.

For more information on Encore classes, call 505-566-3214 or visit  For more information on Pickleball at the HHPC, call 505-566-3410 or visit

Posted in General News

SJC Transfer Students Are Now Eligible for In-state Tuition at Fort Lewis College

Fort Lewis CollegeBeginning in the fall of 2019, Fort Lewis College is launching a reciprocal program with San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico, for transfer students with an associate degree and a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher. The majority of FLC transfer students come from SJC.

Students in reciprocal programs attend Fort Lewis through a merit-based scholarship that meets the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition.

“We want to make Fort Lewis College as accessible as possible, and we want to support the local relationship as well,” says Katie Nester, associate director of Admission. “We’ve built a great relationship with San Juan College, and that’s laid the foundation for us to be able to have this program.”

Currently any first-time undergraduate degree-seeking New Mexico resident can attend FLC at an in-state price under the New Mexico Reciprocal Scholarship. The change in GPA requirements for SJC students is part of a revamped transfer student enrollment strategy in the Admission Office, but it’s also an outcome of a close partnership.

“This partnership with Fort Lewis College not only contributes to the future success of our students, but also provides an additional component to the quality of education we provide at San Juan College,” explains San Juan College President Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass. “These scholarships offer an opportunity for our transfer students to further their education in a wide variety of programs.”

FLC recognizes that transfer students are more likely to be commuters, adult learners, or juggling jobs while attending class. Accordingly, FLC offers support for their academic studies, along with family housing and a child care center on campus.

Included in the San Juan College Reciprocal scholarship program is an award for honors students. Any student from SJC with honors (minimum 3.25 GPA) will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship for their first year at Fort Lewis College.

For more information on the reciprocal scholarship, contact Abby Calcote, director of San Juan College Admissions and Recruitment at 505-566-3572 or

Posted in General News

New 30th Street Education Center Coming Soon

30th Street Education CenterThe building, which will be known as the 30th Street Education Center, was approved for purchase by New Mexico Higher Education Department Capital Outlay Committee earlier this year.  This approval was contingent on the receipt of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department’s affirmative opinion report on the independent appraiser’s report and the Department of Finance and Administration’s approval of the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA). 

The Joint Powers Agreement was approved by the Farmington Municipal School District Board and the San Juan College Board at their separate board meetings.  The agreement outlines the responsibilities of owning the building, including the remodeling, the utilities, and the maintenance of the common areas.

If the building purchase is completed by March 31, the gross purchase price of the building will be $6 million, if the deal is closed by April 30, then the price increases to $6.25 million. Both the school district and the college will fund the purchase and renovation using bond funding. 

San Juan College will own 53 percent of the building and Farmington Municipal Schools would own the remaining 47 percent.  The College will occupy the second and third floors, while the school district will operate on the first and fourth floors.  Each entity will have their own entrances to their respective floors.

FBT Architects was approved by the College Board to provide architectural design services for the building.  The renovation work includes six new classrooms and new restrooms to accommodate the anticipated occupancy of students.

Farmington Municipal School District plans to move in starting in July.  The College plans to occupy the second and third floors by August.  The school district will relocate all of their Administrative departments, into the newly acquired space.

The San Juan College Center for Workforce Development, the ACE Center and the Veterinary Technology program will be located in the 30th Street Center along with the College Board room and work session space.  Additionally, plans include hosting the state’s Workforce Solutions Farmington office as a long term tenant and partner.

“Collaborative ventures like this appropriately leverage our communities’ resources,” says Executive Vice President Edward DesPlas.

Posted in General News

International Visitors Discuss Language Preservation

A Russian group visited the United States to discover efforts of indigenous language preservation and stopped at San Juan College to participate in a discussion. How various communities are preserving indigenous languages was the topic of discussion when 10 guests from Russia visited San Juan College this fall.

The Russian natives were in the United States to explore successful efforts of indigenous language preservation, including how the language is researched, how people learn the indigenous language and even how others advocate for the preservation of the language.

Preserving the Navajo Language is an important aspect of San Juan College’s Native Studies and Navajo Language program, which was instrumental in the decision to visit San Juan College. 

University professors, representatives from cultural and ethnic agencies, researchers and various municipality representatives from Russia, met with San Juan College staff, instructors, Native American students and fluent Navajo speakers and community members to discuss the promotion of indigenous culture, heritage, music, and folk art. They shared ideas despite the language barriers; the Russian visitors were assisted with an interpreter. 

Lorraine Manavi, a Navajo language professor, was among those involved in the dialogue. “Heritage languages provide diverse pathways of thought and structure for thinking and solving problems,” states Manavi.  “It is also a way of interpreting the world such as; astronomy, psychology, geology, education, history, etc. Languages are also set in within the ceremonies, tradition, and culture. If we lose languages, we lose ancient knowledge. There is an urgency to save the endangered languages around the world and it begins with discussions like this.”

In addition to the Four Corners area, their stops also included Washington D.C., Tulsa, Oklahoma and New York City.  The international group’s visit was arranged through the U.S. State Department’s largest professional exchange program. 

Pictured from left to right standing: Karin Elliott Whitney, John Boggs, Harry Walter, Barbara Billey, Gregory Begay, Elaine Benally, Desmon Tippeconnie, Lorraine Manavi, Byron Tsabetsaye, Kari Deswood, Elida Atlasova, Marlinda Kaulaity, Alena Togacheva, Gilbert Brown, John Scigliano-International Visitor Liasion Sitting from left to right: Clarissa Bowman, Galina Kravchenko, Nadezhda Musatova, Elena Nesterova, Olga Radosteva, Marina Ivanova

Posted in General News