A Golden Legacy

Greg Golden
Greg Golden

Some would say Gary Golden truly left a legacy at San Juan College. He always had students’ best interest at heart. He served as Vice President for Student Services at San Juan College from 1991 until his unexpected passing in 2004.  He worked with and served students in his administrative roles both at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and at San Juan College.

“Everyone loved working with Gary,” says Gayle Dean, executive director of the San Juan College Foundation. “He laid the foundation for student services at the College.”

Gary’s widow, Kathy Jo Golden Myers, and youngest son, Greg, currently work in education. They credit Gary’s role in education for inspiring them to also serve students.

Kathy Jo serves an adjunct instructor at the San Juan College Dental Hygiene program and is a member of the San Juan College Foundation Board.  “Gary’s active involvement in the community and in education shaped us as a family,” states Kathy Jo. “His passion for students and education greatly influenced us.  In my role at the College, I understand how important education is for students and how it can change their lives.”

Kathy Jo Golden Myers
Kathy Jo Golden Myers

Kathy Jo has served on the Foundation Board since March of 2014. In addition, she teaches second year dental hygiene students. “I didn’t major in education, but am drawn to it through my profession.  I love seeing the ‘lights come on’ in students when they learn something new. Teaching is rewarding and also an opportunity for me to serve.”

Greg didn’t anticipate making education his career. When tasked with declaring his major in college, Greg found himself torn between education, psychology and business. “My dad always enjoyed his job,” recalled Greg. “In the back of my mind, I wanted to enjoy my career, just like my dad, while also serving others.”

As fate would have it, Greg has worked in two of the same positions at UNM his father once held. One of which was working with fraternities and sororities. Most recently, he was hired as the Assistant Dean of Students.  “Our titles are the same. In fact, my office is currently the same space where my Dad once worked,” says Greg. “I guess you could call me a chip off the old block.”

Greg’s role as the Assistant Dean of Students involves working with student conduct, new student orientation, budgeting and the Center for Financial Capability. Ironically, he is serving as an advisor to the students of the parents that Gary once advised.

Kathy Jo, along with Greg and his older brother, Eric, a sales and service representative for Metro Path in Denver, Colorado, created The Gary Golden Memorial Scholarship, through the San Juan College Foundation as a tribute to Gary’s love for education.

“Every dollar plays a part in enriching lives and transforming families for generations,” Dean adds. “The Gary Golden Memorial Scholarship is just one example of creating opportunities for our students.”

The Foundation exists solely to support San Juan College students, staff and programs. As a 501(c)3, tax exempt corporation, its mission is to provide resources to advance and support the college – from assisting students with scholarship funding and state-of-the-art technical equipment, to enhancing programs and supporting educational and cultural opportunities.

For more information on the Gary Golden Memorial Scholarship or to donate to the San Juan College Foundation, go to sjcfoundation.org or call 505-566-3200.

Welcome Home! – Student Housing is coming to San Juan College

New housing renderingsAfter much anticipation, student housing will soon become a reality at San Juan College in the fall of 2020. This is one more step in the college’s commitment to enhance student success.

The facility will be located west of Education Drive.  The approximately 376-bed facility will be constructed on a portion of the existing Fire Tower Training Facility. The tower is being relocated to the Hutton Street Campus.

In the first phase, the three-story, fully furnished apartment units will feature two- and four- bedrooms.  An indoor commons area includes a student lounge, on-site laundry facilities, a reception area, restrooms and a conference area for student groups to study.  Students will also will appreciate an outdoor commons area where they can meet up with friends or study.

In a survey conducted by the Scion Group, one of North America’s leading owners, operators, and advisors of student housing, 96 percent of full-time single student respondents indicated they would be interested in student housing.

“Housing helps students to achieve a greater level of success,” says San Juan College President, Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass.  “Students in campus housing demonstrate above average persistence and retention rates. They also have improved peer interactions, enjoy additional mentorship opportunities as well as academic engagement, all of which contribute to higher grade point averages and graduation rates.”

The San Juan College Board of Trustees approved the housing project in July utilizing Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions as the P3 development team. A P3 team consists of a developer that works in conjunction with an architect, a finance unit, a construction contractor and a housing management group.

Balfour Beatty has hired Stantec Architect for design and architectural services and FCI Constructors of New Mexico as the building contractor. They have also brought Collegiate Housing Foundation (CHF), a 501 (c) (3), into the project as the company who will provide the funding.

“Following governmental approvals, San Juan College will grant CHF a ground lease for the land where the student housing will be built,” explains Ed DesPlas, San Juan College executive vice president.

“CHF will issue the investment grade tax exempt bonds that will finance the roughly $23 million dollar project,” DesPlas continues. “Because CHF is providing the capital, they will serve as the project owner until the financing is repaid, which will take approximately 32 years. CHF will repay the financing from the rental revenues the housing generates. When the financing is repaid, the ground lease ends and the ownership of the facility will be transferred to San Juan College.”

During the first three to five years of the student housing operations, Balfour Beatty will act as property manager and provider of residence life programs. After this period the college will assume responsibility for property management and residence life programs.

Students are excited about the upcoming housing project. “On-campus housing is a great opportunity for both students and SJC to grow,” says Fernando Maqueda, San Juan College student government vice president.  “I like the idea of a place where students can stay engaged.”

The project is expected to break ground this spring.

Developing Pathways for student success 

San Juan College is creating new pathways to benefit students and ensure their success.

In the spring of 2016 San Juan College was selected as one of 13 community colleges to participate in the American Association of Community College’s (AACC) Pathways 2.0 project.  Pathways 2.0 institutions are committed to designing and implementing structured academic and career pathways for their students.

Participation in the project will help San Juan College redesign the college experience by structuring and streamlining it to improve the way students enter college, how they move through college, and how they move from college to careers or further their education. Students will begin by exploring career and college options based on their interest and aptitudes.

“San Juan College is making significant changes that will benefit all students and ensure their success,” explains Vice President for Learning, Dr. Adrienne Forgette.  “Pathways is focused on ensuring that all students have clear pathways for these “in,” “through,” and “out” experiences at college.  Colleges with Pathways give attention to the entire student experience.”

A Pathways team comprised of staff, administration and faculty, has been created to support this project and identify barriers to student success.  From the team,  sub-groups will be created to implement the changes. SJC teams will train alongside other Pathways 2.0 institutions to bring ideas and enhance the success of the program.

San Juan College Foundation has provided $135,000 in financial support, which allows employees to secure the training necessary to develop the new Pathways 2.0.

Look for updates on Pathways 2.0 in future Communicator issues.

San Juan College is makin’ it!

The first group to use MAKE Four Corners Makerspace was Intel Future Skills.
The first group to use MAKE Four Corners Makerspace was Intel Future Skills. Intel Future Skills is part of a grant from Intel that is being coordinated by Central New Mexico Community College (CNM). CNM is using the grant to support makerspaces across New Mexico. The idea is to introduce students to technology as well as life skills such as creative problem solving with the goal of encouraging them to pursue careers in technology and/or entrepreneurship. The curriculum for this course was developed by Intel and the course was under the direction of San Juan College Instructor Brian Seavy.

“MAKE”- Four Corners Makerspace – a place to create and invent.

Since 1956, San Juan College has helped grow innovation in the community by providing opportunities for educational enrichment. San Juan College is continuing to look toward the future with the creation of a makerspace.

A makerspace is a shared workspace for those who simply want to make things can come together and share their creative and technical expertise. The makerspace provides a variety of equipment that may be used to prototype or build items from a variety of materials using many techniques.  Equipment will include 3D printers, graphic design studio, metal and woodworking equipment, a technology station for robotics and other technology-based products, and fiber arts equipment.

The new makerspace will be located in the San Juan College Quality Center for Business.  A 3,000 square-foot area will be separated into two sections (1000 sq. ft. “clean space” and 2000 sq. ft. industrial machine work area).

Classes, workshops and trainings will be offered to teach makers how to use the various tools or do specific projects. This hands-on approach to learning fosters collaboration on projects beyond students enrolled at San Juan College, as the makerspace will be available to community members, entrepreneurs, industry, families and youth.

A membership structure will be put in place for individuals, students, families, and industry.  In addition, fees will be charged for camps, workshops, and trainings.  Makers will be charged for consumable supplies.

Partners in the makerspace include Northwest New Mexico Arts Council, the San Juan College Digital Media Arts and Design program, the San Juan College Enterprise Center, College Underserved Community Partnership Program (CUPP), Drexel University, Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX), Strategic Energy Innovations, Studio G NMSU Arrowhead Center, and FUSE Makerspace CNM. San Juan College’s makerspace is also in the process of working to establish partnerships with area high schools.

San Juan College Foundation donors for makerspace include Merrion Oil and Gas and Raytheon. Funding also was provided through an Intel grant through Central New Mexico Community College and the Economic Development Administration POWER grant.

For more information on makerspace, contact Luke Renner at 505-566-3792 or Judy Castleberry at 505-566-3699.

A ‘Grande’ Success

Joe and Monica Gurule, Owners of the Oso Grande Coffee Co.
Joe and Monica Gurule, Owners of the Oso Grande Coffee Co.

For the Gurule Family, owning a coffee shop was a long-awaited dream. It started as a Sunday morning routine of trying various coffee recipes with their home expresso maker.  In May of 2018, their dream turned into a “grande” reality.

“We love coffee and we love the science behind making coffee,” states Joe Gurule, co-owner of the Oso Grande Coffee Company. “We wanted to create a coffee shop for customers who love coffee.”

So rather than open their business and invest their time, energy and money without any formal preparation, the Gurules knew they wanted to meet with the staff at the San Juan College Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

“Opening a business can be a scary step for a family,” says Joe Gurule.  “We knew the Center had some of the answers to our questions.”

“Working with the staff at the SBDC helped us to make good choices for our business,” says Monica Gurule, co-owner of the Oso Grande Coffee Company. “They talked with us on every topic from picking a logo, finding a location, creating a business plan, discussing profit/loss, how to run a sustainable business and much more.”

The SBDC helps new businesses, as well as existing businesses, with understanding local, state and federal regulations, including taxes; developing a comprehensive business plan and creating an effective growth strategy; determining a suitable legal structure for the business or developing and marketing new products and services for existing businesses and assistance in estimating business value.

“Monica was a pleasure to work with,” says Carmen Martinez, director of the SBDC. “She knew what she wanted and put in the work to make it happen. She was well prepared when approaching a lender for financing. Our SBDC team is grateful for the opportunity to assist. I personally enjoy Oso Grande’s coffee and Italian sodas every chance I get!”

Not only did the Gurules work with the SBDC for almost a year, they also bought a house through San Juan College’s Building Trades Program that was constructed by students.  “We fell in love with the house when the Coordinator of the Building Trades Program, Chad Triplett, showed it to us,” states Monica.  “It was a perfect fit for us.  We only had to make a few modifications to meet industrial standards, but we knew this house would become the home for Oso Grande.”

The Oso Grande Coffee Company is located at 2214 San Juan Boulevard and serves loose leaf tea along with a variety of coffee drinks.  To tie in with the bear themed logo, all of the drinks are named after bears and bear behaviors.  The large drinks are called “grizzly” and the smallest size cups are “cub.”  It can be found on social media through Facebook and Instagram under Oso Grande Coffee Company.

For more information about beginning a business, contact the Small Business Development Center, at 505-566-3528, or visit them at Quality Center for Business, located at 5101 College Boulevard in Farmington.  Contact the Building Trades Program for more information on the homes built by students at 505-566-3365.

2018 Vote on GO Bond D, November 6

Go Bond D posterThis November, San Juan County voters will have an opportunity to vote on General Obligation Bond D (referred to as GO Bond D). Voting “yes” will not increase property taxes. Passage of the bond would result in more than $128 million to be used for renovations, upgrades and improvements at New Mexico colleges and universities.

Approval of the Bond will mean an allocation of $5,520,000 for San Juan County. At San Juan College, passage of this bond would fund roof replacements and fire tower demolition, where campus housing will be located. The tower is being relocated to the Hutton Street Campus.

For many of New Mexico’s colleges and universities, GO Bond D will serve as an essential source of funding to re-invest and modernize current facilities, improve safety and technology, and boost degree or certificate programs that give students the knowledge and skills they need to pursue high-paying, in-demand careers.

Absentee voting begins on October 9. Early voting begins on October 20, and Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, with polls open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

For additional information about GO Bond D, visit www.nmbondd.com.

KSJE Radio goes visual

Grand opening of KSJE Visual Radio Studio.
Grand opening of KSJE Visual Radio Studio.

What is a visual radio station?  For KSJE, the new element is an opportunity to gain visibility – literally. This summer an additional studio was created from an office space and now passersby can view Studio A through the window.  In addition, new software and equipment was installed to enable the radio station to broadcast live video and audio through the internet.

KSJE General Manager, Scott Michlin, is excited for the changes at the radio station. “KSJE’s new visual Studio A is an exciting new way to interact with our current and future listeners,” says Michlin. “We hope that by adding video to our radio interviews, people will be more engaged with the stories, news and events we share on KSJE. This project would not be possible without the support from KSJE members and San Juan College.”

The project was paid for by KSJE members, grant funds, and San Juan College. For more information on KSJE or to view radio interviews, visit KSJE.com.

BHP Billiton Youth Camp in its fifth year

students at BHP campWhat do you want to be when you grow up? Kids enrolled in the fifth year of the BHP Billiton Youth Camp, had an opportunity to explore an answer to this question.

Campers, who included sixth and seventh grade students from Aztec, Bloomfield, Farmington, Kirtland and Shiprock, experienced workshops throughout the week focused on 15 careers and college courses.

For instance, campers explored veterinary medicine with San Juan College’s Dr. Debra Reed, who also is a professor with SJC’s Veterinary Technology Distance Learning Program. One camper said, “It was amazing because I got to wear a surgeon’s uniform while learning about dogs’ skeletons and muscles from the life-like models at the College.”

Students also had the opportunity to explore a career in carpentry. Campers built birdhouses using power tools and learned the importance of math in everyday projects. “I loved making bird houses,” one camper said. “It was so much fun to learn how to use the tools and then see what I had made!”

At the 6th grade-closing event, Sincere Antonio, who attended the first-year camp shared how the camp helped him decide what he wants to study after high school graduation. He aspires to be a mechanical engineer after experiencing building a catapult in LEGO Robotics and using tools and measurements in the woodworking session.

“We cannot thank our Camp instructors enough,” said Elaine Benally, director of San Juan College West. “By sharing their career knowledge and passion, they, in turn, are motivating our youth to pursue their dreams.”

Those who were involved this year included David Mayeux, San Juan College Planetarium director; Qinqin Schoser, School of Energy Instrumentation and Controls Technology instructor; Luke Renner, San Juan College Digital Media Arts and Design professor; staff from the Kirtland Fire Department; the Navajo Nation Fish and Wildlife Department and Dr. Don Hyder, San Juan College Biology instructor.

The BHP Billiton Youth Camp is funded by the BHP Billiton Foundation through a permanent endowment at the San Juan College Foundation.

Meet Dr. Boomer Appleman New Vice President of Student Services

Dr. Boomer Appleman
Dr. Boomer Appleman, Vice President of Student Services

Dr. Boomer Appleman recently joined San Juan College as the Vice President of Student Services. Dr. Appleman comes to San Juan College from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, where he has been employed for the past six years.

Dr. Appleman has an associate degree in Business Administration from Northern Oklahoma College, a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from Oklahoma State University, and a master’s degree in Adult Education from the University of Central Oklahoma.  Appleman also earned his doctoral degree in higher education from Oklahoma State University.

During Dr. Appleman’ s nearly 20-year career in higher education, he has served as a faculty member, Dean of Students, and as an Assistant Vice President for Student Development.

“He has a wide breadth of experience in strategic enrollment management, student affairs, case management, housing, and residential life,” says President Toni Hopper Pendergrass.  “We are excited to welcome Dr. Appleman to the San Juan College team.”

On a personal note, Dr. Appleman enjoys DIY outdoor projects. He and his wife Andrea love to travel, where they have visited 41 of the 50 states.  In conjunction with his wife’s short-term studies abroad, they also have traveled the world. Their latest trip abroad was to Ireland, Scotland and England.

This fall, Andrea Appleman will join Koogler Middle School in Aztec, teaching eighth grade Science. The Applemans have one son, Vaughn, who is a sophomore at University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) and plays defensive end for the UCO Broncos.

The Applemans have experienced a warm welcome to the area and are looking forward to exploring all the wonders of the Four Corners

Student film garners state, regional and national attention

The work of Digital Media Arts and Design (DMAD) students recently received attention when their documentary film, Navajo Youth Build, was entered in the New Mexico Film Office Showcase.  It can be seen on YouTube by searching Navajo Youth Build.   Directed by DMAD student Macee Hunt, several DMAD students including Maurice Johnson, Jonah John and Tyrell Etsitty played a key role in producing the film.

Hunt has been working as an intern for the Farmington based non-profit agency, Capacity Builders.  The agency houses the Navajo Youth Build program, which offers an alternative educational and learning experience for youth who want to earn their high school equivalency while learning a trade.

“The overall objective was to show how this program, Navajo Youth Build, helps these kids to re-write their stories and build better lives,” claims Hunt.  “In doing this film, I wanted to create an emotionally candid movie that any at risk youth could relate to after they viewed it.”

“The 10-minute film showcases the lives of the Navajo Youth Build participants and staff,” Hunt explains. “The documentary, which was filmed in Kirtland and Shiprock, features testimonials from the students who share their stories of abuse, alcoholism, and drug addiction.”

“Their stories are powerful and inspiring in how they have grown and overcome these challenges through their involvement in the program,” Hunt added. “We loved working with the participants and it was rewarding to share their feeling of accomplishment and success as they viewed the film for the first time.”

The documentary created by Hunt and Johnson was also viewed by the Regional Youth Build Leadership Development office in Dallas, Texas and at the Department of Labor office in Washington, D.C.  In addition, the film was selected as a featured film for the Santa Fe Network, a streaming media platform built to showcase the extraordinary cultural, artistic and intellectual resources of the Santa Fe region and all of New Mexico.

Navajo Youth Build project
Participants of the Navajo Youth Build project walk with Macee Hunt, second from left, as she and other students from the Digital Media Arts and Design program film the documentary sharing inspiring testimonials.