Thunderbird Tech Studio selected as the MCC Innovation of the Year

MESA, Ariz. – May 5, 2021 – Mesa Community College (MCC) Thunderbird Tech Studio is selected as the college’s Innovation of the Year. The virtual resource provides real-time assistance for MCC students using technology for class participation and course assignments.

The Studio is a model of collaboration and innovation on behalf of student success. Services are provided by individuals from multiple areas of the college: Computer Information Systems, Foundations for Student Success, eLearning, Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Learning Enhancement Center.

“The Thunderbird Tech Studio is a great resource for my students who are currently working on presentations for their final projects,” said Elizabeth Simpson, MCC English Faculty. “They can answer quick questions, or provide more in-depth explanations of things like how to add a voice-over or music to a powerpoint. I'm glad we are providing this much-needed area of student support, and the link in Canvas [a web-based learning management system used at the college] means students don't even need to search for it."

The MCC Thunderbird Tech Studio provides support and training to develop and enhance a student’s digital literacy skills to aid in their success when learning in an online or virtual classroom. The Studio is seperate from the college’s Help Center which assists with access to systems and hardware issues. Tech Studio staff work one-on-one with students needing assistance with Windows and Mac operating systems, Microsoft Office and Google Suite for Education, Canvas and other college-supported technology tools.

The MCC Computer Information Systems department, inspired by the success of the project, is developing a Virtual Front Office for the college. Upon completion, the new virtual office will aid students in enrollment and general departmental questions.

The Thunderbird Tech Studio is available for MCC students to access at

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Media Contact: Dawn Zimmer,, 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

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: 
Wednesday, May 5, 2021