Alumni Stories of Success

For more than half a century, thousands of students have charted their path to success at Mesa Community College. Here we feature a compendium of their inspiring stories and reflections. Check back occasionally to see updated and new feature stories from alumni on the impact MCC has had on their lives and the communities we serve.

The most recent stories appear below the photo bar. To view all stories of success, click through the photos and select a person or scroll to the bottom of the page. 

Benjamin Rundall
Monica Trejo
Tim Werner
Angel Ruvalcaba
Renae Blackwater
photo of Lyle Jones
photo of Hannah Cheloha
photo of Marvin Scott
photo of Kyana Young
picture of Tom Arviso Jr.
photo of Shachi Kale
Tim Kaufman
Merri Stafford with family and instructor
Xavier Patten
Patrick McGarey
Wayne Balmer
Mike Brown
Thomas Patzner
Jessica Lake
Zona Bailey
Karina Aguilar
Courtney Waxman
Kevin Keleher
Aaron Holtz
Wendy Nessl
Gilbert Orrantia
Geoff Coppola
Dave Schneider
Tom Kusek
James Abbott
Stephen Morgan
Jennifer Duff
Charles A. Finch
Arlen Sykes
Kimberly Wise
Rosaline Dye
Phil Reese
Brian Koeneman
Monique Griego
Garry Weiss
Tina Carroll
Michelle and Melanie Craven
Scott Mackey
Scott Everett
Ron Colburn
Joel Cranson & Kevin Herrmann
Nikelle Mackey
Molly O’Dwyer
Kelley Stewart
Karl Schroeder
Joan Sullivan Garrett
Jacy Smith
Robin Wilson
Harmony Colella
Brad Hull
Danette Key
Stephanie R. deLusé
Andy Bridges
Nancy Donsbach
Deborah Bateman

All Stories of Success

Aaron Holtz
Aaron Holtz’s passion for international relations began on Sept. 11, 2001, as he watched planes crash into the World Trade Center in New York City on a television at Mesa Community College. After watching the chaos on the screen, he walked to his next class taught by Brian Dille, Ph.D., professor of political science. “No one knew what was going on,” Holtz said. “I went to Dille’s class and he... Read more about Aaron Holtz
Andy Bridges
Mesa Community College biology student Andy Bridges has really had a “hands on” experience working in Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park. In the past two seasons at the park he captured, marked, measured and weighed more than 1,200 lizards, snakes, toads and small mammals.   In his paid position as a Seasonal Biological Technician in the park, Bridges gathered data to contribute to a long-... Read more about Andy Bridges
Angel Ruvalcaba
Throughout his early life and as a first generation college student, Angel Ruvalcaba was captivated by comics and movies, and loved to tell stories through his digital art and drawings. Today he is a production assistant at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, California, a career move that he said could not have happened without Mesa Community College. Born into a large Latinx family in... Read more about Angel Ruvalcaba
Arlen Sykes
When Arlen Sykes retired from the U.S. Navy, he decided to attend Mesa Community College to become a physics teacher. It didn’t take him long to switch his major. “I wasn’t doing well in math, and I went to Dr. Ewing, and she said maybe it’s a good thing, because what kind of teacher would you be when it’s hard to associate with those struggling in class,” he said of his math studies. “She made... Read more about Arlen Sykes
Benjamin Rundall
“Sorry if my phone gets disconnected–the cell reception might go in and out up here,” says MCC alumnus Benjamin Rundall on a return trip from the Navajo Nation. A civil rights attorney, Rundall speaks of bidding on a proposal to do work on the reservation, a contract supporting the rights to tribal sovereignty under Federal Indian Law. It’s part of the demands of the job, yet fulfillment of the... Read more about Benjamin Rundall