​​​​​​​National student success organization honors Mesa Community College faculty 

MESA, Arizona -- May 5, 2022 -- Two Mesa Community College employees, Leanna Hall, Ph.D., English faculty, and Melissa Carpenter, Foundations for Student Success director, are recognized by the National Organization for Student Success (NOSS).

Hall was recently inducted into the office of secretary for NOSS at its 46th annual conference in Atlanta. Primary responsibilities during her two-year term include creating and maintaining NOSS meeting minutes, agendas, official documents and correspondence. She also will produce the monthly NOSS newsletter and disseminate the monthly Letter from the President, among other duties.

“I am grateful to be able to help the organization and its members to continue their great work at supporting students nationwide,” said Hall. “Throughout my educational career, I have been passionate about helping Woman with shoulder length dark hair parted on the side wearing a blue long sleeve shirt. Leanna Hall, Ph.D., MCC English faculty students succeed, affirming that they belong in college and seeing them achieve their academic and professional goals.”

Hall has been especially focused on helping students needing additional support to thrive in college-level courses, which is why she joined the National Organization for Student Success many years ago. “I have been an active member of the organization and served as the president of our regional chapter, so when I was nominated as the NOSS secretary, I was excited about the prospect of serving in a new and purposeful way.”

She added that she’s looking forward to working with other educational professionals across the country and internationally to learn and share ideas related to student success in higher education. ”I have already learned so much about how other institutions are teaching and supporting students that can be incorporated into my work and shared with others at MCC, and I am excited about how much more I can learn.”

Also during the conference, Carpenter accepted the 2021 NOSS Programs of Promise award on behalf of her team for MCC’s First Year Experience (FYE) program. Because NOSS did not hold an awards ceremony in 2021 due Smiling woman with chin length sandy brown hair Melissa Carpenter, director, MCC First Year Experience program to the pandemic, the team was recognized at this year’s conference. MCC faculty and staff also presented a “First Year Experience: Dealing a Better Hand to First Generation and Foundational Students” session to conference attendees.

The Programs of Promise award recognizes programs using effective and promising practices promoting student success and development. According to NOSS, FYE “exemplifies its mission to assist education professionals in making a positive difference in the lives of students.”

FYE is a supportive, year-long engagement program for first-year college students. Carpenter said the team, consisting of herself; Hall; Pandi Bromley, student learning facilitator in the Developmental Education Department; and Bianca Altamirano-Kelly, Ph.D., former learning facilitator, is excited to receive the honor. “The team felt appreciative of the recognition as it acknowledged all of the hard work we had put into the creation and sustaining of the program since its inception. It also increased awareness of the program at the college and within the Maricopa Community Colleges system which is a win for our students.”

Carpenter points out that the FYE team has created a five-year vision for the program which includes program improvements and plans to expand services to more students. “In spite of the pandemic, we are seeing these plans gradually fall into place,” she says. “Since the award was announced, we have received additional donations and commitments from our community partner, TruWest Credit Union, and interest/pledges from new donors. These generous donations of money and time allow us to provide scholarships and financial literacy education to first generation college students and those in need of foundational coursework so they can experience success in their first year of college.”

Also during the conference, Carpenter was honored as the 2021 William G. White Graduate Study Scholarship recipient with a $500 scholarship for graduate school. Carpenter is a second-year doctoral student at the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Leanna Hall, Ph.D. and Melissa CarpenterLeanna Hall, Ph.D. and Melissa Carpenter

“I was thrilled to receive the scholarship and used it to pay for part of my summer tuition last year. It is fantastic to belong to an organization that offers support to members who are undertaking doctoral studies,” said Carpenter.

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, 480-461-7892, dawn.zimmer@mesacc.edu

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. 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 mesacc.edu to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) -- hlcommission.org.

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 maricopa.edu/non-discrimination.

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Publication Date: 
Thursday, May 5, 2022