What Really Matters

Academic advisors on our campus work under a great deal of pressure and for the most part go largely unrecognized for the good work they do. There aren’t enough of us to go around, and very few on campus understand the volume of information needed to be an educated and effective advisor, not to mention the breadth of skills we must hone and use on a daily basis. Research indicates that the relationship between students and advisors has a significant correlation to student success, nonetheless, academic advisors at GCC are  not sufficiently appreciated.

With waits frequently exceeding an hour or two to see an advisor, everyone does their best to help students in the shortest time possible. Despite the challenge of time constraints, it is my belief that the most important part of an advisement conversation begins with an understanding of each student’s motivation for being in college. If you want them to be successful, you need to know where they are coming from and where they want to end up.

My advice to those new to academic advisement is to start advisement sessions with a few important questions. It isn’t enough to simply ask what you can help them with today, they often don’t really know what they don’t know. For example the young woman who came in to ask for Nursing courses. I could have given her a schedule of classes and never known that the student really loved Math but was going into Nursing because her mother thought that would be the best and most secure career. It took quite a bit of effort on my part to encourage this young woman to explore another possibility and to discover that most people with a degree in Mathematics make more than nurses and love their work. In part, because I took the time to ask and to listen, that student is now at ASU and a very happy Math major.

Students need someone in their corner. It isn’t easy to understand higher education pathways especially when students tend to be given inaccurate or incomplete information at almost every level of transition. Most are confused and not sure who to trust. As a result, I do my best to teach advisees how to verify information I offer and to show them options so that they can make an informed choice that reflects their own best interests.

One last thing, I’ve found that treating students as if they were a friend or family member allows me to keep focus and do a better job advising. I try my best to give them all a VIP experience. Going the extra mile does not make me the fastest advisor on campus, but I see my fair share and know that I’m helping in a meaningful way. Even if others on campus haven’t a clue how hard I work, I know for sure that my students are aware and appreciative.  And isn’t that what really matters? Go Gauchos!


When Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where Central Mall
El dÍa de los NiÑos/El dÍa de los Libros (Day of the Child/Day of the Book) is a celebration based on childhood and literacy that began in 1997. Borrowing from the traditional Mexican holiday “El dÍa de los NiÑos,” the American version expanded to include literacy when acclaimed author Pat Mora took up the cause in 1997. A year later, the U.S. Congress officially designated April 30 as “Day of the Child.”

Members from GCC’s MEChA Club will set up games to celebrate this event.





When Thursday, April 21, 2016, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where SU-104A,SU-104B,SU-104C
Event Title Dumpster Dive Results and Speaker
This event celebrates our ninth annual dumpster dive, with a presentation of this years dumpster dive results, followed by our guest speaker,  Thomas Williams, Chief Sustainability Officer, Maricopa County Community College District.

Pei’s Photography is STEAM


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I recently discovered Pei Ketron and her photographs while browsing FB. When I stumbled upon her photos, I was intrigued and captivated. It was here that I finally understood and appreciated the art of photography. I was fascinated with understanding how easy it is to tie art in with science, it’s a paradigm of the interdisciplinary actions wedged into STEAM.

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In reading some of the other articles, interviews and blogs about Pei, I discovered she is connected to Arizona. Pei actually grew up in Tuba City, AZ; my hometown. Then it resonated with me that Mr. Ketron is her dad! Mr. Ketron was an art teacher at Tuba City High School. Mr. Ketron was one of the coolest teachers there, he connected on a different level with the students, and he is truly an educator. I was in his class, I can tell you, he was a tough grader…lol! I remember spending our lunches during the winter time by his classroom door. Students line up and down the hallway by his door to spend their lunch breaks with him (I was one of them), he would just hang out with us; have fun, be smart, be argumentative, be silly, be informative, etc. Mr. Ketron retired not too long after I graduated high school.

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As you can see, Pei’s photography screams simplicity, geometric shapes, patterns, symmetry, lines, and beauty. There is beauty in mundane spaces and unexpected spurts of vitality jump at you through the photos. I have never had that experience. And to be completely honest, I have since started looking at photography in a more enlightening process, I am evolving. 🙂

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Pei mentions in an interview that she grew interested in lines and vanishing points from reading one of her father’s books while growing up. Pei sees lines and symmetry in almost everything she targets for her next snapshot. When a snapshot looks symmetrical and aligned, that is when Pei finds relief in capturing the true essence of the moment through photos. I find the use of lines and symmetry fascinating and I believe it ties in with the principles of STEAM. What is even more amazing is that Pei uses mostly her phone when taking pictures.


Isn’t that incredible?! All this beauty comes from a small teensy camera with (“probably”) generic optics. Pei mentions that other professional photographers “diss” the concept of using a phone for photography. In a time of futuristic technology and innovative concepts, this is striking information. Pei continues to say that the people who tend to reject phone usage for photography are the older folks, people who have less knowledge of new technology. However, she did say, those folk are coming around trying to figure out this new genre of photography and sadly, because of time lost, they’re being passed on for employment opportunities. Enjoy Pei’s photos.


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Having evolved from her background as a public school teacher, Pei has taught has taught photography  classes privately and through companies such as Skillshare, Edelman, The Compelling Image, Creative Live, and the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. In addition to her experience with DSLR and medium-format film photography, Pei is also an accomplished mobile photographer and has amassed a following of nearly a million users on Instagram. She has also helped to develop photography apps. Pei specializes in commercial, travel, and humanitarian work worldwide. Clients include: Adobe, American Express, Apple, All Nippon Airway, Bloomingdale’s, Canadian Tourism Commission, Discover Tasmania, Jordan Tourism Board, Mercedes, Michael Kors, NewYork.com, Pfizer, Save the Children, Square, Starwood Hotels, Tourism Whitsundays, Travel Alberta, Travel & Leisure Magazine, Turkish Airlines, and UNICEF  (http://www.pketron.com/about/).

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