Apply for Scholarships by March 31

Applications for thousands of dollars in Cochise College Foundation scholarships to be awarded for 2020-21 are now being accepted. 

Maximize your chances by applying by March 31. Start at the Financial Aid Office website (, and consider these suggestions:

1. Visit the Financial Aid Office or website and complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by March 31. You’re automatically considered for thousands of dollars in need-based scholarships.

2. Complete the online Cochise College Scholarship Portal Application to compete for another approximately $20,000 in scholarships. Be sure to upload all required documents, and stay tuned for reminders to complete your application. The application is available under the Scholarships tab on the Financial Aid website. The deadline to apply is March 31.

3. Explore the Scholarships tab on the Financial Aid website, where you’ll find applications for the Fry Foundation Scholarship and many other opportunities offered by the Cochise College Foundation and other organizations.

The Cochise College Foundation awarded $400,000 in scholarships last year and anticipates similar awards for 2020-21. 

For more information, contact the scholarship navigator or Financial Aid.

Douglas Campus | Student Services/1000 Building | (520) 417-4045

Sierra Vista Campus | Student Union/1000 Building | (520) 515-5417 

Creative Writing Celebration accepting contest submissions

The 2020 Cochise Community Creative Writing Celebration is officially accepting submissions for its annual writing contest. Participants are invited to enter the writing contest in three categories: poetry, short story (fiction) and memoir (nonfiction). Cash prizes will be awarded.

Both artists and writers are also invited to the annual Creative Writing Celebration, set for Friday, April 17, and Saturday, April 18, 2020, at the Cochise College Sierra Vista Campus. This yearly event brings published writers in several genres, such as poetry, novels, creative nonfiction, juvenile fiction, and screenwriting, to present hands-on workshops to aspiring writers from Cochise County.

Visiting authors representing at the Creative Writing Celebration includes publisher J.L. (Jessica) Powers, Chera Hammons, Leo Barron, and Ahmed Yusuf. Artist Marcela Lubian will be participating.

The writing contest deadline is Monday, April 6, 2020. To enter the writing contest, authors must also register to attend the 2020 Creative Writing Celebration. For more information about the Creative Writing Celebration, visiting authors, and registration, you can visit the creative writing website at You can also contact Beth Orozco at (520) 255-6060 or email at

Volunteers exemplify college commitment to community

By J.D. Rottweiler, Ph.D.

J.D. RottweilerFor the past few years, Cochise College board members, staff and students have participated in the Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign by ringing the bell outside of local establishments during the holiday season. The college is also connected to the Salvation Army through the work of culinary arts faculty Lora Miller, who was tapped to establish a Legacy Foundation-funded culinary program for kids, an activity on which she spends about 16 hours per month planning and teaching. Despite the time commitment, Miller finds being with the kids and watching them learn and develop skills immensely rewarding.

Miller isn’t alone as a college representative volunteering in the community. Civic and service organizations, non-profits, education and environment support groups, and others have found in the college a resource for volunteers, expertise and the energy to move things forward. Until recently, the college has not formally tracked or quantified its many relationships with these types of groups. Thanks to an effort by doctoral candidate Jenn Wantz, recently appointed director of community relations and an active volunteer herself, self-reported data is now available for the year 2018 and part of 2019.

In 2018, 88 staff, students, faculty, friends and alumni reported 2,047.5 volunteer hours with 38 community organizations. In the first eight months of 2019, 59 individuals reported 1,436.5 volunteer hours with 54 organizations.

Last year was the first in which the college presented Volunteer of the Year awards. They went to students Conner Fletcher (Sierra Vista) and Sarah Ntifu (Douglas) and to faculty member Rebecca Orozco.

Orozco, who teaches history and anthropology full time, currently puts her passion to work with six community organizations: Cochise County Historical Society, Naco Heritage Alliance (Camp Naco), Friends of Warren Ballpark, Boys & Girls Club of Bisbee, Bisbee Rotary Club, Copper Queen Community Hospital. She spends between 216 and 300 hours per year on four of those activities, and there are two for which she hasn’t tracked time.

Why does she do it? “I am committed to history and archaeology and especially to saving the sites important to our local history. I am also extremely blessed in my own life and want to give back to my community.”

The college’s mission describes academic opportunities that lead not just to meaningful careers, but also to constructive citizenship and lifelong learning. Some faculty involve students with community projects through their classes. Formal student clubs also participate or spearhead activities on behalf of the community. An example is the Digital Media Arts Club’s upcoming Comic Con event, the proceeds of which will go to CANTER.

You can explore Cochise College volunteer data in more detail at On that website, organizations seeking volunteers also can register their needs for short-term event assistance and browse the list of active college clubs to identify students who might help. The page includes an organization connection that prospective volunteers can browse for volunteer opportunities with local organizations.

The non-profit community in Cochise County aims to make meaningful contributions that benefit others. When people with common interests work together, they can really get things done. Cochise College is proud to be part of it.

J.D. ROTTWEILER, Ph.D., is president of Cochise College. Contact him at

Scholarships available for high school students

Cochise College is once again offering scholarships to Cochise County high school seniors who will be graduating this year and attending Cochise College the fall semester after they graduate. Homeschool and GED students are eligible.

This $500 Senior Scholarship can be combined with financial aid and other awards.

Scholarship link:

How to participate:

  • Apply to Cochise College
  • Complete Senior Scholarship application
  • Meet with a Cochise College advisor
  • Register for classes

Learn more at

Stars to Appear at Fourth Annual Comic Con at Cochise College

Cochise College’s Digital Media Arts Club (DMAC) invites the public to the fourth annual DMAC comic convention on Saturday, February 8th and Sunday, February 9th at the Cochise College Sierra Vista Campus from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Cochise College Comic Con (C4!!) is a multi-genre entertainment convention featuring content from across the spectrum. Panelists and exhibitors will represent television shows, movies, comic books, graphic novels, art, literature, anime and video games. 

Special guests will include Paul St. Peter (the voice of Xemnas in the Kingdom Hearts video game franchise), Derek Stephen Prince (the voice of Vexen in Kingdom Hearts, Uryu Ishida in Bleach, etc.), Quinton Flynn (the voice Axel in Kingdom Hearts as well as characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic), authors Yvonne Navarro (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Aliens), Weston Ochse, and other writers. Also appearing will be Phoenix-area comedian Kid Ever, as well as the Society for Creative Anachronism, Amtgard, the Star Wars 501st, and Star Trek USS Coyote, AZ Powergirl, among others. 

Tabletop role-playing games and live-action role-playing will also take place. A half a dozen college clubs will exhibit at the event. Guests will also be able to participate in costume contests and photo ops with writers, celebrities, and cosplayers. 

Admission will be $12.00 each day or $20.00 for both days. Military discount is $10.00. Kids 12 and under are free. Proceeds will be donated to CANTER. Tickets can be purchased at the event or in advance through the event website .

To find out more information contact Digital Media Arts Club advisor, Ron Hyde, at or check out DMAC’s website .

Cochise County and Cochise College to host special Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. events

Cochise County and Cochise College will co-sponsor special events to commemorate the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Members of the public are encouraged to attend.


On Tuesday, January 21, both organizations have invited special guests to read the letter, written by Dr. King, in response to criticism of nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, in April 1963. Dr. King penned the letter after his arrest and imprisonment for participating in the protests.


The first event will be held at 10 a.m. at Cochise County at the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 1415 Melody Lane, Building G, Bisbee. The second event will be at 2 p.m. at Cochise College in the Library Horace Steele Conference Room, 901 Colombo Ave., Sierra Vista, with a connection to classroom 1108 on the Douglas campus.


Hosted by the Cochise County Attorney’s Office, the readers at the County event will be Chief Civil Deputy Attorney Britt Hanson, Civil Deputy Attorney Christine Roberts, County Human Resources Director Elda Orduno, County School Superintendent Jacqui Clay, and Lt. Ken Foster of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.


Participating in the reading at Cochise College will be President J.D. Rottweiler, Sierra Vista Student Government Association President Larry White, Douglas Student Government Association President Samantha Gonzales, Douglas Student Government Association Vice President Luis Estrada, and Civil Deputy County Attorney Christine Roberts.


To read the letter takes approximately an hour, and light refreshments will be served after both events.


Hanson said, “The County Attorney’s Office is honored to sponsor the reading of Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and to be co-sponsoring the second reading at Cochise College. We’d also like to thank our guest readers for their participation in this important event.”


Roberts added, “Dr. King was not only a great voice for civil rights, but also for the importance to society of treating our fellow human beings with dignity and respect. His letter from a Birmingham Jail was, and remains, an extraordinarily powerful and moving statement of how we all benefit when everyone is viewed as equal and treated with fairness.”


Jennifer Wantz, Cochise College Director of Community Relations, said she hoped the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend would inspire people to serve their communities.


“This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the MLK Day of Service, a nationwide event in which Americans come together to improve their communities,” she said. “I encourage all who live in Cochise County to serve their community in some way during the holiday weekend in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘Make it a day on, not a day off.’”

Screening Event — Vietnam Stories, Memories and Honor

Cochise College ESL and Video Production Students collaborate to produce a video documentary to honor Vietnam Veterans from our community.

How can storytelling become a central part of second language acquisition and video production? Two college instructors at Cochise College brought their students together to tackle an ambitious community project this semester that highlights the oral histories of Vietnam Veterans in Douglas, AZ.

For ESL instructor Margarita Ramirez-Loya, storytelling has been part of her curriculum development since 2011 when her students began interviewing elders of the community and retelling their stories as a way to practice English. These experiences have turned into digital stories and publications co-authored by instructors and students and presented at important international conferences.

Digital Media Arts instructor, Mary Jenea Sanchez, wants her students to experience every aspect of the highly creative process of video production through her student-led approach. Students are provided the skills to take on creative and leadership roles in the decision making process of video production from storyboarding to editing.

Students and instructors, with the goal of capturing and preserve the stories of Vietnam Veterans from the community, collaboratively created the curriculum and trajectory of the project. Together, Ramirez-Loya, Sanchez, and their students embarked on an inspiring learning experience that gathered students and elders to share space in conversation about war, honor, loss, and hope. The documentary highlights emotional stories by war veterans, Juan ‘Johnny’ Perez, Don Jordan, Yolanda Gastelum Nora, Frank V. Palma, Hector Leon, Joe Bono, and family member Hector Salinas, plus a special interview with Ginny Jordan, founder of the Wall of Faces Museum in Douglas.

On January 23, “Vietnam Stories, Memories and Honor” will be screened at 6:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Gadsden Hotel in Douglas. The event is free and open to the general public.

Cochise College Instructors: Margarita Ramirez-Loya and Mary Jenea Sanchez
ESL Students: Ismail Pontiac, Evgenii Korliakov, Sheries Poleth Rosales, Cendy Abril, Nicole Laborin, and Adilene Velasquez
Video Production Students: Wyatt Hershberger, Claudia Peralta, Javier Lafon, Angel Vazquez, Jose Chavez, Sebastian Medina, Daniela Salas, Stephanie Adams,, Diego Vazquez John Tanner, Xavier Aguirre, and Reyes Lopez.

Extended registration hours in January

Spring semester starts Jan. 13. If you haven’t already, take some time to plan out your spring semester. Meet with your academic advisor to get started.

Late registration hours start Jan. 6-9 and Jan. 13-14 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Students must be signed in by 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 11 registration hours are 9 a.m. -1 p.m. Students must be signed in by 12:30 p.m.

Don’t wait to enroll! Walk-in advising is available.

Call (520) 515-5483 in Sierra Vista or (520) 417-4038 in Douglas or come and see us! Regular office hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m – 4:30 p.m.

Wishing you hopeful holidays, Cochise County

By J.D. Rottweiler, Ph.D.

J.D. RottweilerCochise College is changing the lives of our students and the communities we serve by fulfilling their hopes and dreams. This holiday season, we want to share our hopes and dreams for the New Year with you. I hope for health and prosperity for the students and communities we serve, and that all your hopes for the next year come true.

We are fortunate to live in a society where there are no limits to what one can hope for and achieve. Students, in particular, are hopeful people; if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be here! Oh what fun it is to guide them on their way. Below is what a few of students, faculty and staff hope for in the New Year.

Harim Manzanares, employee: “What I hope for the upcoming year is a successful school year.”

Angie Bustamante, employee: “For this year, I hope to continue to travel.”

Andy Espinosa, employee: “I hope the New Year brings blessings, prosperity and opportunity for all.”

Margarita Fate, employee: “What my hope is for the next year is that we have less hate, more love, more understanding, more compassion, more empathy.”

Dante DuPriest, student: “I hope to show kids if you work hard, do what you’re supposed to do, you’ll be where I’m at or farther than me and travel the world and see bigger and better things that you might not have seen before.”

Gabriel Lewis, student: “This year, I hope for the success of my classmates and that they achieve the goals that they aspire for.”

Starr Walker and Jahnisha Brown, students: “We hope for the new year to win regionals and conference.”

Denise Hoyos, employee: “My hope is that in the New Year, more students will take advantage of the Senior Scholarship.”

Maricarmen Breazeale, student: “Next year I hope to have an apartment near the University of Arizona.”

Gabriela Amavizca, employee: “My hope for the next semester is that we are able to renew our TRiO grant.”

Jessica Trevizo, student: “For next year I hope to finish my general studies and go into a radiology program.”

Marilyn Molina, student: “I hope to graduate in May and then transfer to Northern Arizona University.”

Luis Estrada, student: “I hope the New Year is going to be an amazing year for all of us and I hope to graduate.”

Thiaza Gancalves, student: “I play soccer for Cochise College. I really love being here and wish everybody a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope for happiness, good health, and peace, and it has been a pleasure getting to know everyone.”

Our students inspire faculty and staff daily. In closing, I wish all of you, as the song says, “prospero ano y felicidad,” from the bottom of my heart!

J.D. ROTTWEILER, Ph.D., is president of Cochise College. Contact him at