Paramedicine Training Program celebrates recent graduates

Front row from left to right is Craig Labanow, Michelle Knodle, Joseph Guimond and Damian Austin. Back row from left to right is Nicholas Hauser, Isaac Hughes, Brent Madden, Bryan Dukes and Aaron Helton. Not present: Ashley Randolph.

Nine Cochise College students recently completed the paramedic training program and participated in a graduation ceremony this Thursday at the Cochise College Downtown Center.

Paramedicine is a specialty whose practitioners respond to emergencies before a patient reaches a hospital, rendering basic and advanced medical treatment before and during transport to a medical facility.

Each student spent more than 500 hours in the classroom and 500 hours in clinical time to earn their certificate, and after completion, most students landed a local position in Cochise County.  

Michelle Knodle, one of the recent graduates of the Paramedicine Program, said she went back to school to better herself and help the community. After completing the 16 month program, the young paramedic recently accepted a position at Sierra Vista Fire Medical Services.

“I feel grateful that I’m done,” she said after the ceremony on Thursday. “It was a very challenging program but was extremely worth it.”

Bruno Talerico, the new program director of the Paramedicine Program, says he’s excited about what these recent grads will do for the community.

“It feels good to see these students complete this program and to see that they are all successful,” said Talerico. “…It means that more talented healthcare-practitioners are out there helping the community. So when you make that 911-call, you know that somebody there has been trained well and has been successful in our program.”

Cochise College’s paramedicine program saw a surge in enrollment in 2013 after becoming one of only a handful of nationally-accredited programs available in Arizona.

The application window for the Cochise College paramedicine program is open between January and May each year for classes that start in August.

Cochise College provides both a certificate and an associate of applied science degree in paramedicine certified by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (ADHS-BEMS).

For more information, you can visit


Cochise College helps Hurricane Harvey victims

Cochise College’s Rotaract Club and Student Government are collecting funds to support victims of Hurricane Harvey.  

Harvey was a disastrous flood in southeast Texas. It made landfall as a Category 4 Hurricane bringing winds of 130 mph.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long calculated that 30,000 people may need shelter, and 450,000 people may qualify for federal flood victim assistance.

Cochise College responded by partnering with McAllen North Rotary Club to open an emergency relief fund.

Andi De Bellis, Cochise College student activities manager, says the decision to open the emergency fund was a way for one community to help another.

“This is a very real disaster that devastated a lot of friends and family of those who live here in Cochise County, and while going to Texas and helping rebuild might not be a practical way of assisting, students, staff and faculty can forego their morning coffee and contribute a few dollars to help make sure the basic needs of those affected by Hurricane Harvey are being met,” said De Bellis.

De Bellis also says it’s important for students to be able to experience the impact of charitable giving.

Angelica Calanog, a sophomore biology student at Cochise College said, “I think it’s a great way to reach out to others. As human beings, helping each other is an essential part of being who we are and what it means to be human.”

Donations can be made at the Cochise College Business Office at the Sierra Vista Campus and will be collected through September 25. The fundraiser will conclude with the Fall Blood Drive occurring from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Union.

To register to donate blood, visit and use sponsor Code: ccsv. For additional information, contact Andi De Bellis, the Cochise College student activities manager at (520) 452-2618.

Rotaract brings together students to take action in their communities, develop their leadership and professional skills and have fun.

The Student Government Office (SGA) is a vital member of the Student Life at Cochise College. Student Government serves as the liaison between students and staff of the college.



Alum film work focuses on untold cultural stories

Roberto Gudino, (’04) a long-time filmmaker, is sharing his production of “Below the Fold,” a film about Southern California’s Latino communities, to help commemorate Mexican Heritage Month this September.

Gudino is a native of Cochise County and was born and raised in Douglas, Arizona. The now successful filmmaker is a first-generation college student. He says at the beginning of his young-adult life he was someone without much ambition to pursue higher education and had found little success throughout his high school career.

But then something changed when he found his passion for film in his hometown, at the local community college and landed a job working as a student-aid photographer for the Cochise College Creative Services Office. Since then, he says his passion for film has only grown.

Gudino’s fascination with the film industry eventually led to academic success. He earned a bachelor of fine arts in film and television from the University of Arizona in 2007 and a master of fine arts in film production from the University of California, Los Angeles, one of the top film schools in the country, in 2012. He also earned a master of science from Florida International University in 2015.

Currently, Gudino is a faculty member at the Scottsdale School of Film and Theatre at Scottsdale Community College. He’s also an avid filmmaker and a winner of the prestigious Jury Prize from The Directors Guild of America.
Recently, Gudino’s work has aimed to tell the untold stories of Mexican culture that are generally “not featured in the media,” says Gudino.

“Below the Fold” chronicles the efforts of a team of reporters from the Los Angeles Times who banded together in 1983 to counter distorted reportage about Hispanics and addresses the distorted, narrow reportage that characterized the media’s previous coverage of Latinos.

“The film is about Latinos, written by Latinos but not just for Latinos but for everyone, because there were a lot of people who didn’t know who this population was… I think today that’s still true in our culture,” said Gudino. “It’s important because it shows that minorities can be not only represented in media, but they can be the creators of that media. They can have a voice in telling their own stories.”
Critics consider the series a milestone in enhancing inclusion in news coverage.

Gudino says his experience growing up in a border community and his Mexican heritage has led him to share these stories in order to give back to the community and to help enrich the lives of students. He hopes that “Below the Fold” will be one of many productions that will help bring awareness to Mexican culture.

“These ’stories’ are represented not just in ’Below the Fold’ but are being retold generation after generation, in lives of students, mothers, fathers and teenagers,” says Gudino. “And it’s important that these stories are told.”

Gudino identifies his time as a Cochise College student as pivotal to his success.

“I am a product of mentorship,” said Gudino. “…and really don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t gone there. So I’m lucky, because now I get to share my story and stories like mine, and that’s a pretty big thing.”

Nonprofit Management Certificate returns to Cochise College

Sierra Vista—The Nonprofit Management Certificate Program, offered through Cochise College’s Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL), is set to launch a new cohort of classes beginning September 8, 2017.  

The Nonprofit Management Program teaches the skills and strategies individuals need to become an integral part of an organization.

“We are very pleased with the success of this program. Since it began in summer 2015, over 40 students have completed the certificate,” said Center for Lifelong Learning Director Sharon Gilman, adding that majority funding for the program is provided by the Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona.

Each class is led by instructor Rachel Gray. Gray began teaching the courses in summer 2016 under the mentorship of previous instructor Ann Morrison. Gray has been a resident of Sierra Vista for 17 years and served in various nonprofit roles spanning from volunteer to executive director. She currently serves as a council member for the City of Sierra Vista and is executive director at Premier Alliances.

Participants in this non-credit program are awarded 1.4 CEUs (continuing education units) per class. Courses include:

  • Non-Profit Management Theory and Practice
  • Board Effectiveness and Strategic Planning Basics
  • Non-Profit Marketing and Communications

CLL also offers courses to help complement the Nonprofit Management Program:

  • Development and Fundraising
  • Finance for Nonprofits
  • QuickBooks for Nonprofits I
  • QuickBooks for Nonprofits II
  • Grant Writing Series

Applications should be submitted by September 5, 2017. For a complete schedule of information or to apply, visit, or call (520) 515-5492.



College closed for Labor Day

Cochise College will be closed Monday, September 4 in observance of Labor Day. The normal class schedule and regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, will resume Tuesday, September 5 at all campuses and centers.

Cochise named 2nd best community college in the country

Cochise College 2017 Best Community College Badge By WalletubCochise College is the second-ranked community college in the nation, according to a new analysis conducted by WalletHub.

The analysis, which was called the best and worst individual community colleges in the U.S., compared more than 700 community colleges around the nation across 14 key indicators of cost and quality in order to determine where students receive the best education at the lowest price.

College indicators were devised by taking into consideration tuition financing, educational outcomes and career outcomes.

Drawing on the findings of the analysis, WalletHub also included a state-by-state ranking of community-college systems with Arizona ranking 13 out of 25.

“Community colleges offer a perfect solution — and a better alternative to forgoing higher education altogether,” WalletHub wrote in its blog post. “Individual community colleges, however, vary in performance and affordability.”

“We are honored to have received another national recognition of the amazing things happening at Cochise College,” said Dr. J.D. Rottweiler, president of Cochise College. “This ranking underscores the college’s efforts to balance costs while improving retention and completion. And, driving all of this is students’ return on their educational investment.”

Cochise College continues to be a nationally-recognized institution, including recent accolades for affordability by and economic mobility by

WalletHub is dedicated to helping people efficiently attain top WalletFitness™ so they may enjoy life instead of worrying about money. To that end, it strives to make the complex simple and to provide each user with a personalized level of care.

Award honors librarian’s effort to expand student access

John Walsh, director of library services at Cochise College, was recently chosen to receive the 2017 Community College Learning Resources Leadership Award.

This award, which was presented by the Association of College and Research Libraries, recognizes significant achievement in the areas of community college leadership.

Walsh has been at Cochise College for 16 years and has worked as director of library services for the past 4 years. Currently, he manages the everyday operations of Cochise College libraries.

“The main reason I received this award was because of the role I played in the development of the Arizona Community College Library Consortium,” said Walsh.

Walsh established the Community College Library Consortium to help Arizona community colleges work together and increase students’ access to information and to improve library services. The consortium took 18 months to finally form before the group held their first meeting under the leadership of Walsh in April 2017. Walsh says the partnership has definitely paid off.

“The initial motivation for forming a consortium was to pool buying powers so we could get discounts from library vendors. Library resources are acquired by so many dollars per FTE. When you buy with the small FTE like Cochise College you pay about $15 per FTE, but when you buy with an FTE of 90,000, like all the community colleges in Arizona, you pay about $2 per FTE. For instance, we used to have about seven bibliographic data-bases, and now we have over 100 thanks to the consortium,” said Walsh. “…And I believe that having access to this quantity and diversity of resources will be one of the variables that improves student success.”

More than 10 members of the consortium nominated Walsh for the award because of his demonstration of hard work and leadership.

“The committee members were immediately impressed by the 10 letters of support that John Walsh received, all of which praised him for the initiative he showed in the creation of a community college consortium in Arizona,” said award co-chairs Abbie Basile of Tidewater Community College and Sandra McCarthy of Washtenaw Community College. “The fact that he was successful in bringing every community college together in a consortium to improve library buying power and other collaboration opportunities demonstrates his impressive leadership, communication, and organizational skills. The committee is pleased to offer Walsh this award in recognition of this great achievement.”

Walsh was presented with the $750 award and plaque, donated by EBSCO Information Services, at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

“It was an honor to receive the award,” said Walsh. “However, the college and our leadership are just as deserving of this award as I am, if it weren’t for the reputation and integrity of the college and the advocacy of our president, the consortium would still be an idea instead of a formalized organization.”

Cochise College operates two physical libraries with a robust online collection of ebooks, streaming media, and articles. Both of the libraries are open to the public and there are community outreach events that take place all throughout the year. You can find out more about Cochise College library services at

Cochise takes the spotlight for economic mobility

Cochise College was recently named one of the top online colleges for student economic mobility by

More than 2,000 colleges were initially analyzed, and only 97 made the cut. All annual tuition rates were manually researched and calculated by a content team, and mobility rate data was provided by The Equality of Opportunity Project. Cochise had an 86.6 percent mobility rate. Mobility rate is the percentage of students from the bottom fifth of income distribution in the United States who rise to the top fifth. The Mobility Rate Percentile is a measure of how schools’ mobility rates compare to other eligible schools.

Students at Cochise College can pursue two-year associate degrees in more than 60 subjects; of these, 30 are designed for university transfer, and 12 can be completed entirely online. Students who attend online classes are well-supported by Cochise’s academic advising, counseling and financial aid departments.

College President J.D. Rottweiler says that providing affordable education resources is one of the college’s top priorities.  

“We pride ourselves at Cochise College in helping students and communities enhance their quality of life. This recognition demonstrates the college’s commitment to remaining affordable while providing high quality learning opportunities beyond the boundaries of time and place. The ability for students to succeed regardless of their socioeconomic status and to live the American Dream is the hallmark of community colleges around the country. We are proud to be recognized by the Guide to Online Schools for the work our Virtual Campus performs in providing the resources our students need to succeed. The credit goes to our faculty and staff who put students first in all that they do!” said Rottweiler.

The college provides accessible educational opportunities that are responsive to a diverse population and lead to constructive citizenship, meaningful careers and lifelong learning. Cochise College has an average tuition of $1800; that’s 77 percent less than the average Arizona University. It’s estimated that 78 percent of students receive financial aid. The college also receives $350,000 in scholarships annually through the Cochise College Foundation.  

Guide to Online Schools has been publishing rankings of online colleges since 2009 and awarding scholarships since 2010. They pride themselves on thorough research and fair assessment of all available online programs, with the goal of helping students make educated decisions when choosing an online program.

Adult Education classes offered in Benson, Willcox

Cochise College Adult Education helps adult learners acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to enter the workforce or postsecondary education. The program focuses on academics, technology and communication. Classes provide instruction for foundational skill building, high school equivalency test preparation, or English language acquisition for non-native speakers in job and college contexts.  

The registration date, at both centers, is Tuesday, Aug. 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. Applicants must register in person and must be at least 16 years old. Enrollees, age 16 to 18 need to bring a copy of high school withdrawal paperwork and have a parent or guardian with them.

There is a fee for the eight-week class session, which is on a sliding scale based on household income and the number of residents in a household. Fees range from $20 to $50.

Students complete a self-reported income survey as part of registration. Applicants need to bring a government-issued photo ID for proof of residency at the time of registration.

For more information, please call the Cochise College Adult Education Department at 520-515-5456.  

College to be closed for convocation

All Cochise College offices will be closed Monday, Aug. 14 when faculty and staff gather on the Sierra Vista Campus for convocation.
The following day, the college will resume regular hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.