Cochise College hosts Pharmacy Camp

Cochise College hosted “Pharm” Camp this past week in collaboration with UA Pharmacy School.  The Pharmacy Camp was a five-day event where students participated in hands-on activities like making hand lotion and lip balms. Students also had the opportunity to learn about the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. At the camp, the Sierra Vista Herald came by to ask the students “Is this summer’s Pharmacy Camp motivating you to pursue a career in a STEM related field?” Watch the video to find out what students had to say!



Paramedicine program changes leadership

This summer, the Cochise College Paramedicine program welcomes a new director to the team, and it’s a prospect that has been bittersweet for the department.

The move was decided after Cochise College saw room for growth in the program, which is an endeavor that could potentially lead to more opportunities for students but would mean a larger time commitment for the Director of the Paramedicine program.

Joshua Meeker is the former Paramedicine Director who worked part time at Cochise College. The former director also serves at Sierra Vista Fire and Medical Services as the fire captain and has worked there for the past 25 years. He says the change was needed.

“The program has really gained a lot of momentum in the last several years to the point where it needs growth that a part-time person cannot give it. It needs more attention than that so I’m really excited about handing it off and seeing it grow further,” said Meeker.

Since 1970 the program has educated many of the local emergency response EMTs and paramedics including the new Paramedicine Director, Bruno Talerico.

Talerico has a long history in the community as he comes to the position with more than 40 years of experience. The new director earned his EMT license at Cochise College in 1977 and before he accepted his position as full time Director of the Paramedicine Program, Talerico worked at the college as an instructor in nursing.

Talerico and Meeker learned last year that the program was up for accreditation. Talerico said the preparation process is like a continuing self-study report containing a top to bottom, front to back, analysis of the program which goes over faculty’s qualifications, enrollment numbers, student success rates and the post-graduate success rates.

“They told us we were up for accreditation and our site visit would be in about a year so we needed to start preparing,” said Meeker. “We submit the report, it gets their executive analysis; the site visitors come to the facility to verify the report.”

Although the process could have potentially been difficult during this transition period, Talerico said it was quite the contrary, and instead, he made use of the in-depth analysis, required by the accreditation process, in order to learn about the program.

“I am coming in with a lot of strengths that I would have to learn on my own in other circumstances. From a learning standpoint, I got to go through the whole process with Josh, so I have a much more solid understanding of how the program works,” said Talerico.

The accreditation process will continue on through this year, with final results to be dispersed in early 2018. Meeker says the accreditation site visit went extremely well as they received zero violations.

“As an observer, I can say that I appreciate all of Josh’s hard work. That is going to make my job a lot easier because I am coming into a program on solid ground,” said Talerico.

“He is bringing a lot to the table too. For the last 40 years, he has bookends of EMT certification and in the middle there has been nothing but emergency medicine and teaching to paramedics who want to continue education. Bruno’s resume is very impressive so he is going to be bringing a lot to the program. Just him alone,” said Meeker.

Though Meeker admitted to feeling bittersweet about leaving his position, he stressed the fact that he believes Talerico is the right guy for the job. The two hope to continue to keep in contact as they both guide students and paramedics in the workforce.

Students get lesson in small engines


For more than 10 years, the Summer Campus program at Cochise College has offered academic and skill-based camps for fun in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Recently, the Summer Campus program coordinated a special project that allowed campers to transform regular bicycles into motorbikes. The project was part of the Small Engine Mechanics Camp which aims to help students learn the basics of small engine operation.

The bikes were donated to the Summer Campus program by Sun ‘N Spokes Bicycle Shop. Students worked throughout the week to build the engines for the bicycles and then test drove the motorbikes last Thursday at Cochise College.

“I went down to Sun ‘N Spokes and talked to the owner of the shop and mentioned what we were doing. He said he would be very happy to help out the Summer Campus program and that Cochise College could use (the bikes) for whatever we wanted,” said Summer Campus coordinator Angela Moreno.

Moreno is now hoping to sell or auction off the motorbikes and use the money to create a Summer Campus scholarship fund.

“It will bring in students that cannot currently pay for the camps,” said Moreno. “This year we set more records in attendance than ever before because we had online registration but with a scholarship fund, even more kids could afford to come.”

Students can expect to participate in projects like these and more at the Cochise College Summer Campus program. July camps are filling up fast, but there’s still time to sign up! All four-day camps take place at the Sierra Vista Campus, Monday through Thursday from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Each camp is $100/week, which includes all fees and materials. More Summer Campus information can be found at or by emailing Angela Moreno at


What Cochise College students found in Belize

In this day and age, students are looking for a special leg up or advantage to help strengthen their life skills and build their experience in order to give them a competitive edge once they enter the workforce. At Cochise College, students are finding that traveling abroad brings just that, an upper hand in a competitive workforce along with life-long lessons that won’t be found in a textbook.

Traveling abroad gives students the opportunity to experience different cultures, learn about different histories and build relationships.

Over the past few years, Cochise College has provided students with opportunities to study abroad including one trip to Costa Rica last summer and a trip to Sonora, Mexico, this past spring.

In one of their most recent trips, Cochise College students flew from Arizona to Florida and then nearly 2,000 miles south for a week-long stay in Belize. The small nation is a country located on the eastern coast of Central America with Caribbean Sea shorelines to the east and thick jungles to the west.

The trip was coordinated by the science department and was led by Edmund Priddis, a Cochise College science instructor.  

“It was a chance to experience a new climate, culture and landscape. I loved seeing the students as they interacted with people and the environment and that I got to experience it with them,” said Priddis.

Students who went on the trip got to know many of the cultures and people who live in Belize like the Maya, which are people descended from Kriol, and Mestizo, a group of people mixed with a Spanish and Native American heritage.

“Our eyes were opened and our perspectives broadened through this trip. Belize is such an interesting mix of many different cultures and a unique environment with beautiful (plant life and animals). The students loved it, and I would go again in a heartbeat,” said Priddis.

Gaia Schrimpsher is a sophomore at Cochise College who went on the trip to Belize. She is majoring in biology to eventually become a pharmacist. She has lived in Sierra Vista most of her life, and she has visited Mexico, Canada, Germany and Switzerland.  

Schrimpsher found that visiting the native tribes in Belize gave her a new perspective in the world of pharmaceuticals.

“Some of the people there live in unique environments. Their houses have mud floors, wood ovens and thatched roofs. They provide for themselves by hunting and farming,” said Schrimpsher. “They don’t use what we would consider top-of-the-line medication. For example, they use soursop, which is a fruit, and it’s really delicious. This fruit is used to help treat cancer there. Seeing how they live actually solidified the fact that I want to be a pharmacist,” said Schrimpsher.

Lindsay Romo, another student who went on the trip to Belize, was also raised in Sierra Vista, and during her time at Cochise College, she double majored in philosophy and psychology. Romo recently completed both her degrees at Cochise College and walked with the Class of 2017 this May. She said her trip to Belize was eye opening.

“Traveling to Belize was my first experience outside of the country. Our main tour guide showed us the ins and outs of Belize since he has lived there his entire life,” said Romo. “We had a Mayan tour guide who showed us what a cacao tree is, and what it looked like and how to make chocolate by hand using a modern mono and a metate. We had tour guides take us on a jungle hike and show us how to survive in the jungle by making a shelter to sleep in and how to find water in the vines to drink. Our cave tour guide was able to tell us about the (plant life and animals).”

Romo said she was excited to be able to apply what she had learned in the classroom to what she saw in Belize.

“…this trip has made me a better student,” Romo continued. “Instead of sitting in the classroom going over theories, I was able to be out in the real world, experiencing the very things that were being taught in my classes. Now that I have my undergraduate degrees in philosophy and psychology, I plan on going into criminal law to eventually, one day, become a judge, and I think that this trip has expanded my understanding of how different life can be in other parts of the world and will only help me achieve my future goals.”

Two Cochise College students place in top 11 at CNFR

Six students represented Cochise College and the Grand Canyon Region this past week at the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR), in Casper, Wyoming.

Jake Burwash, Ty Everson, Jalen Joaquin, Rio Lee and Wyatt Nez were all part of the nearly 400 competitors that participated in multiple events at the finals.

“The men’s team did much better this year,” said head coach Rick Smith. “Jalen Joaquin and Rio Lee placed into the top 11 in the nation.”

Haley Dalton-Estes went solo at nationals to represent the Cochise College women’s rodeo team.

“I competed to the best of my ability to get to the point where I could represent Cochise College at finals with honor,” said Dalton-Estes.

This was the fourth consecutive year that the Cochise College Rodeo team competed at CNFR.

Jake Burwash and Jalen Joaquin took on the Saddle Bronc Riding event. Burwash earned a 59.5 average score placing him in the top 30 saddle bronc riders. Joaquin beat his national average from the previous year and improved to an average score of 145, placing him in the top 11 saddle bronc riders in the nation for the Saddle Bronc Riding event.

Rio Lee qualified for all three rounds of the Bareback Riding event averaging out to 218.5 points and placing him among the top 11 bareback riders in the nation.  

The Tie Down Roping competition was another event completed by Jake Burwash as he finished with an average score of 45 and was placed in the top 25 competitors.

Ty Everson was one of the top 35 steer wrestlers in the Steer Wrestling event. This particular event can carry a high risk of injury to the rider, but that was the last thing on Everson’s mind.

“I think it’s like any event, there’s a lot of risks involved in all of them, but I just try to go out and do everything the right way, every time. As long as you make sure that you do everything right, that lowers the risk quite a bit,” explained Ty Everson. “I think that at the college level and especially at (nationals), the risks are usually the furthest thing from the rider’s mind. I try to focus on making the best possible run that I can.”  

Bull riding was attempted valiantly by Jalen Joaquin and Wyatt Nez, but they both came up short finishing with a “no score” along with 21 other riders.

Joaquin explained the challenges of riding a bull are overcome with experience.

“It’s not really that difficult to ride a bull, but it’s more of a mindset because as soon as the chute gate cracks open it feels as though everything is happening in the blink of an eye,” said Joaquin. “This moment can dissipate with countless hours of practice both in and out of the arena. However, you have to rank the caliber of bulls as well as they can range from just a ranch raised bull to the best bloodlines in the business today.”

Haley Dalton-Estes competed in two separate events, Breakaway Roping and Goat Tying. She received an average score of 14.3 for the Breakaway Roping event, which placed her in the top 25 breakaway ropers in the nation. Her average score in the Goat Tying event was 20.7, placing her in the top 20 competitors at the Goat Tying event.

Out of all the colleges that participated this year in CNFR, Cochise College was ranked in the top 40 of the men’s rodeo teams and top 30 of the women’s rodeo teams.

Complete 2017 CNFR results can be found at



Apaches compete at College National Finals Rodeo

 The Cochise College Rodeo team kicked off their fourth year at Nationals this Sunday, June 11, at the College National Finals Rodeo to represent the Grand Canyon Region.

Almost 400 contestants traveled to Wyoming after qualifying by competing at rodeos in 11 different geographic regions.

In the Cochise College Men’s Rodeo Team, representing the Grand Canyon Region as Champions are Jake Burwash, Ty Everson, Jalen Joaquin, Rio Lee and Wyatt Nez.

On the Women’s Team, also representing the Grand Canyon Region, is Hayley Dalton-Estes.

Each contestant will have three chances in their events to earn a spot among the top 12 that advance to the Championship Finals on Saturday, June 17, where national champions will be crowned.

Bareback riding, bull riding, and breakaway roping were the first competitions to take place on Sunday.

In the first round on Sunday, Ty Everson earned at 6.6 in the steers wrestling competition, Jake Burwash completed the Tie Down Roping in 16 seconds and Hayley Dalton-Estes tied her goat in 6.9 seconds.

In the second round, completed Monday, Cochise College Rodeo scores were as follows: Rio Lee placed 6th in Bareback Riding with a ride of 74.5 points and Jalen Joaquin placed 6th in Saddle Bronc Riding with a ride of 72.5 points.

These results are from Bulls Broncs and Breakaway at the College National Finals Rodeo, June 11, 2017, courtesy of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. Complete results are available at


Veterans connect at Cochise College Ceramics Class

Tim Brown at the Cochise College Douglas Campus ceramics studio.

Cochise College Center for Lifelong Learning and the college art department are partnering with to bring free ceramics classes to veterans.

The classes are intended to not only teach creative skills, but to utilize the process as a medium to connect veterans with each other and the community. The class is also said to bring creative and healing support to veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as well as to their families.  

The class, located on the Cochise College Douglas Campus, is taught by college art instructor, Tate Rich.

“I think this is a great opportunity, being able to offer a class with all the materials, training, and the firing for free. I think it’s really amazing to provide this to people who serve our country,” Rich explained.

The class is helping veterans like Tim Brown. Brown is a retired Chief Petty Officer and served 20 years in the military. Currently, Brown works as an insurance adjuster and lives in Tucson. He makes the drive down to Douglas every week to get his hands dirty and get in touch with his creative side.  

“Right now we are molding pots. We learned about coiling and slabs, and we tried sculpting,” Brown explained. “Next Wednesday we are going to start learning about the glazing process.”

“Part of the reason I attended this class was because, let’s just say, I needed a kind of distraction in my life, and it was time to kind of try something new. I sit behind a desk a lot, so I thought it would be good to do something creative,” Brown said.

The ceramics class is also helping Sarah Makin, the spouse of a retired helicopter pilot, Makin says that the class creates a great atmosphere to try something new.  

“The first day of the class all we did was go around the room and introduce ourselves and tell a little about why we were taking the class, and it really kind of got us to get to know each other,” Makin explained. “We don’t really talk about our experiences with the military, but we laugh together, and it’s a great group of people.” began in 2009 when Steve Dilley offered military veterans free classes in ceramics at Grossmont College. Eighteen months later, he left Grossmont and established the Veterans Art Project, which since 2011 has helped more than 200 veterans, free of charge, at five locations in San Diego and Arizona. The entire program is underwritten by an anonymous donor who Dilley said is committed to helping other military vets like him.

“Art is nonverbal, so you don’t have to talk to anyone and tell them how you’re feeling,” Dilley explained. “Your work shows me how you feel. Also, it’s very process-oriented. It requires you to make a lot of choices and decisions every step of the way, so it keeps your brain focused. Also, there’s an ambiguity to art. You never know how it will come out, and that’s the same with the military. Making new discoveries as you go along is a way to find something within yourself.”

Complete financial aid application

The Cochise College Financial Aid Office is reminding students who are planning to attend college in the fall that now is the time to complete the 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The fall semester begins Monday, Aug. 21. Financial aid processing may require several steps and can take six to eight weeks to complete. Additional documentation may be required from students who have already begun the form. Students can check their college account to find out if additional documentation is needed.

For more information, call the Financial Aid Office at (520) 515-5417 or (520) 515-5462.


Budget meeting June 13

On June 13 the Governing Board of Cochise County Community College District will consider the proposed Fiscal Year 2017-18 budget in a special meeting open to the public.

The meeting will be held on the college’s Sierra Vista Campus at 6 p.m. in the Governing Board Room in Building 300. The FY 2017-18 budget is available for viewing here.

Questions about the budget should be directed to the college’s Vice President for Administration Affairs, Mr. LaMont Schiers, by calling (520) 515-5468 or emailing