MCC inducts honorees into Hall of Fame Oct. 27

MESA, Arizona — Oct. 25, 2022 — Ten notable alumni, employees, athletes and faculty members are being inducted into the Mesa Community College (MCC) Hall of Fame in recognition of their professional and personal accomplishments, and significant contributions to the college and the community.

The traditional induction ceremony begins with a reception at 6 p.m., Oct. 27, 2022, on the MCC Art Gallery patio. The ceremony followed at 7 p.m. The event is at the Southern and Dobson Campus, 1833 W. Southern Ave., Mesa 85202. The celebration is free and open to the public with an R.S.V.P. The event will be live streamed at

2022 Hall of Fame Inductees:

The following Alumni Achievement honorees have each accomplished distinguished levels in their chosen professions and were selected based on professional success such as leadership and impact; innovation; mentoring; awards and honors; and service and volunteerism.

Tommy Arviso Jr., nationally and locally awarded journalist, mentor, Navajo Nation business and community leader

Jacob A. Chavez, Ed.D., recognized for innovative elementary school diversity programs, teacher support and parental engagement

Gerardo E. de los Santos, Ph.D. a renowned leader in higher education attainment strategies, inducted into the American Association of Community College's Hall of Fame

Aaron D. Franklin, Ph.D., Duke University Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Chemistry; holds 50+ patents and received Duke’s 2021 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring

Dennis Pirch, Arizona Coaches Association Hall of Fame for 30 years in the Payson High School wrestling program he founded; 1997 U.S. High School Coach of the Year; Arizona Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Distinguished MCC Staff honorees are non-faculty employees recognized for sustained, outstanding contributions in areas such as development of programs at MCC, enhancement of the college’s reputation, excellence in serving students and their commitment to shaping the future.

Greg Reents, U.S. Air force veteran and global advocate for cultural diversity; always goes beyond expectations to reach out to the marginalized in the community and foster students to higher education success

The Excellence in Teaching category recognizes residential (full time) faculty members who, over a number of years, have distinguished themselves as exceeding expectations in their contribution to the classroom, the college, the Maricopa County Community College District, the profession and the community.

Charles Keith Evans, MCC’s first Theatre Arts professor, over many decades directed award-winning theatre productions, held college and MCCCD leadership positions, helped establish the Theatre Outback (currently MCC Theatre) as well as the Mesa Center for the Arts

Outstanding MCC Athlete honorees are chosen based on their contributions to MCC including earning All-American, All-Conference and All-Region honors and championships; helping the Thunderbirds to national honors and earning NJCAA All-Academic recognition; and for athletic accomplishments post MCC.

Michelle Amete-Saleaumua, Top MCC All American winner with 10 Track & Field awards in hammer, discus, weight, and shot-put; broke the MCC school indoor weight throw mark, established a new junior college national record in the hammer throw and competed internationally.

Mike Brown, Head coach for the Sacramento Kings, led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA finals in 2007, named NBA Coach of the Year 2008-09 season, and coached the Golden State Warriors. He also coached the Nigerian national basketball team in the Summer 2021 Olympics.

Dave Collins, All-American on Mesa's 1972 NJCAA national championship team; 16-year Major League Baseball career playing for seven teams, primarily the Cincinnati Reds.

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, MCC,, 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. For more than 50 years, the college has served 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 at its two campuses, additional locations and a combination of online formats. Through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, MCC is transforming how it champions student success, college completion, university transfer and career attainment and advancement. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution and nearly 50% of its students are the first in their families to attend college. Its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized tribes of Arizona as well as out-of-state tribes. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges. The diverse student body includes more than 300 international students from 55 countries. Award-winning faculty is dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to successfully transfer to a university or compete in the workforce. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

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

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Publication Date: 
Tuesday, October 25, 2022