MESA, Arizona — Oct. 11, 2019 — Eleven outstanding alumni, employees and community members will be welcomed into Mesa Community College’s Hall of Fame during a reception and ceremony hosted by the MCC Alumni Association on October 24 in the MCC Theatre at the Southern and Dobson Campus (1833 W. Southern Ave., Mesa, 85202).
The MCC Hall of Fame honors alumni, community members, and MCC employees whose personal and professional accomplishments, and positive contributions to the college and community set them apart.
The program begins at 7 p.m., preceded by a reception at 6 p.m. on the MCC Art Gallery Patio. The public is invited to attend; however, RSVPs are requested as seating is limited.
The 2019 Honorees, by category, are:
Alumni Achievement Award – F. Rockne “Roc” Arnett, John Meza, Mark Milliron, Ph.D., Sasan Poureetezadi and David Udall
Service Award – Ann Tway Ewing, Ph.D.
Excellence in Teaching Award – Scott Russell, Ph.D. and David Schultz
Distinguished Staff Award – Garrison Tahmahkera
Outstanding Athlete Award – Pau Tonnesen
Outstanding Coach Award – Sandra Stultz
Alumni Achievement Award Recipients:
F. Rockne Arnett, retired East Valley Partnership CEO/president, first MCC student body president
In 1963, Arnett became the very first MCC student body president. Adding to his MCC legacy, he is a founding member of the MCC Alumni Board and lifelong advocate for education. While at MCC, he started his nearly 40-year career as an insurance agent.
Raising his family in the East Valley, he participated on local and state boards including the Arizona State Board of Transportation from 1996 through 2002, and, for 18 years, the Board of the Maricopa Association of Government. In 2002, he became president of the East Valley Partnership, which at the time was in need of funding and a champion. He served five governors, recommending East Valley candidates for the Board of Regents. Arnett is renowned as a leading voice for economic development in the East Valley and fierce advocate for K-12 education.
John Meza, 30-year career with the Mesa Police Department
Currently Inspector General for the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Meza retired as Mesa Chief of Police after a 30-year career. While with the Mesa Police Department, he was lead developer of the "Mesa Police Department's Response to the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing" report and was instrumental in the implementation of notable MPD innovative programs, particularly the CompStat approach to data-driven policing.
An adjunct instructor at Maricopa Community Colleges for 20 years and currently teaching justice studies at Mesa Community College, his many honors and awards include the MCC Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society 2013 Mentor of the Year, 2016 Maricopa Community Colleges College Hero Leadership Award, 2017 AZ Gang Investigators' Association Lifetime Achievement Award and 2016 East Valley NAACP Judicial Equality and Law Enforcement Leadership Award.
Mark Milliron, Ph.D., award-winning leader, author, speaker and consultant
Dr. Mark David Milliron is an award-winning leader, author, speaker, and consultant who works with universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, foundations, corporations, associations, and government agencies around the world. He co-founded and serves as the chief learning officer of Civitas Learning. He is also executive director of the Next Generation Leadership Academy (NGLA) and is a Professor of Practice at the University of Texas at Austin College of Education. In addition, he serves as a board member for the Trellis Foundation, the Global Online Academy, and the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice.
Milliron's more than 500 national awards and honors include being listed by EdTechDigest as one of the 2018 Top Influencers in the education technology field, chosen by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the 2016 Top Technology Innovators in higher education, inducted into the United States Distance Learning Association’s Hall of Fame in 2013, presented in 2007 by American Association of Community Colleges with its prestigious National Leadership Award.
Sasan Poureetezadi, Chief Technology Officer, Town of Gilbert
As the first Chief Technology Officer for the Town of Gilbert, Sasan Poureetezadi is responsible for strategic planning, implementation and stewardship of information technology services for the town. With administrative leadership and teaching experience at the university and community college level spanning more than 20 years, Poureetezadi has also served as an information technology consultant for private, sports and higher education entities.
Before joining Gilbert, Sasan served as Chief Strategy Officer for Economic Development and Strategic Partnerships at the Maricopa Community Colleges, and as interim president and vice president of Information Technology at Mesa Community College.
David King Udall, Maricopa County Superior Court judge
A Maricopa County Superior Court Judge since 2001, David King Udall also served as a deputy county attorney for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and worked in the firm of Killian, Nicholas, Fischer, Wirken, Cook & Pew in Mesa.
Earning his Associate of Arts degree from MCC in 1983, he was chair of the MCC Alumni Association in 2004-2005 and he was honored with the 2005 Distinguished Service to MCC Alumni Association award.
Udall's community service includes J. Reuben Clark Law Society/AZ Greater Phoenix Chapter Board member 2012-18; chair of JRCLS 2014-16; elected to the Central AZ Water Conservation District Board; and a member of the City of Mesa Subcommittee on Gang Prevention, 1993.
Service Award Recipient:
Ann Tway Ewing, Ph.D., MCC faculty emeritus, psychological science
Ann Tway Ewing has distinguished herself as a gifted psychology professor as well as an engaged scholar who has brought national fame and acclaim to Mesa Community College. Earning her doctoral degree in educational psychology from Arizona State University, she anchored her career at MCC until her retirement in 2018. Ann founded the MCC chapter of Psi Beta, a national honor society for students attending two-year colleges. She served as president-elect, president and past-president of the National Psi Beta organization. Ewing was also Western Regional Vice President of Psi Beta. She is a founding member of the Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges and was instrumental in setting up a national undergraduate research competition.
She earned a wealth of awards and accolades including being the first community college faculty member in the 55-year-history of the Western Psychological Association to be named Faculty Member of the Year. The American Psychological Association honored her with the Teaching Excellence Award of the Year for two-year colleges.
Excellence in Teaching Award Recipients:
Scott Russell, Ph.D., MCC faculty emeritus, anthropology
Dr. Scott Russell, retired faculty emeritus, taught anthropology at Mesa Community College from 2003 through 2015 and was involved in activities and mentoring to foster student success and retention. As a cultural anthropologist, Russell worked to enlighten his students on cultural difference in the united states and around the world.
He chaired the Title III Committee and helped write a grant that brought $2 million dollars for developmental education. He co-directed the MCC Honors Program and chaired the Arizona Honors Council, an organization of honors directors from colleges and universities in the state. Scott was selected as one of only 20 recognized as a Distinguished Advisor at a Phi Theta Kappa International Convention and received the John and Susanne Rouche Award from the League for Innovation in Community Colleges.
David Schultz, MCC residential faculty, mathematics
David Schultz teaching mathematics at MCC for 21 years, is known for working collaboratively with his peers on the college’s planning committees and groups such as undergraduate research, honors and the MCC Math Club.
His research on Japanese mathematics, Wasan, is recognized globally. For more than 200 years, when Japan was isolated from the world, Wasan was developed unique to that culture. March 2018, Schultz co-authored an article about Wasan for the national journal, Mathematics Teacher. In April 2019 Schultz invited a Japanese researcher to MCC to talk about Sangaku, Japanese calculation tablets used in Wasan. As part of the college’s Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrations, the workshops hosted more 120 students, staff, and faculty to learn about Japanese mathematics, culture, art and history.
Outstanding Athlete Award Recipient:
Pau Tonnesen, MCC Track and Field, NJCAA, 2016 Olympics
A Tempe, Arizona native, Pau Tonnesen excelled in what many consider the ultimate athletic endeavor– the decathlon. As a freshman at Mesa Community College, he took gold in the decathlon at the 2012 NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. At MCC, he became the only athlete in NJCAA history to win all four of the multi-event championships during his career.
Attending the University of Arizona, he won the PAC-12 decathlon title in 2016 and still holds the UA points record for the event. Pau competed for Spain (he holds dual citizenship because his mother is Spanish) in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, placing 17th in the decathlon. He also participated in the bi-annual 2015 and 2017 World Championships placing 18th and 14th respectively.
Outstanding Coach Award Recipient:
Sandra Stultz, MCC softball and basketball
Sandra Stultz was the Mesa Community College assistant basketball coach from 1976 to 1987. A year after joining the MCC Athletics coaching staff, she was named head softball coach, leading the team for nine seasons with a record of 325-125. Helping build on the foundation of women's athletics at Mesa, she took on the additional roles of director for women and sports information director for women, while serving as adjunct faculty in exercise science. From 1984-1995 she was the athletic director for women’s sports and, after a sabbatical, returned to MCC for three years to counsel students in the Advisement Center.
While serving on the Maricopa Community Colleges Athletic Counsel, Stultz helped create the Athletic Specialist position, which provides a way for MCCCD colleges to hire full-time coaches. She has served on many national and regional boards and committees for the NJCCA. In 1992, when a hurricane devastated Florida, she stepped in to save the NJCAA national volleyball tournament, which had been scheduled for Miami. In a week, she secured facilities at Arizona State, found volunteers and successfully ran the championship event.
Distinguished MCC Staff Recipient:
Garrison Tahmahkera, MCC retiree, American Indian Center
Garrison Tahmahkera’s vision and leadership has created a legacy at Mesa Community College that now serves as a foundation for success among American Indian students. He led the founding of the American Indian Center in 1986 and served as the first director until 2003, continuing to contribute for additional years as an Elder in Residence.
Tahmahkera has been recognized with a multitude of honors including the MCC 1987-1989 Adviser of the Year; 1990 Chief Manuelito Appreciation Award from the Navajo Nation; 2006 Native American Recognition Days Man of the Year; and 2006 Outstanding Haskell Alumnus Award. Currently, he works with the American Indian Alliance collecting food and clothes to distribute to people living on reservations in remote locations.
# # #
Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, MCC, firstname.lastname@example.org, 480-461-7892
Mesa Community College is nationally recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College and is known for service learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. The college serves as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 30,000 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs online, at its two campuses, the Mesa Downtown Center and additional locations. Through the implementation of Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services, MCC is transforming ways it champions student success; college completion, university transfer and career attainment for all students. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution. The diverse student body includes more than 400 international students representing over 60 countries. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training to empower MCC students to compete locally and globally. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, MCC is one of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Learn more at mesacc.edu.
Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit www.maricopa.edu/non-discrimination.