Tag Archives: West Campus

PCC’s ‘birth certificate’

I had the pleasure of gathering with employees, Governing Board members and other longtime friends of the College earlier this week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of an important event in our history.

On Sept. 19, 1966, Earl E. Horrell, chairman of the Arizona State Board of Directors for Junior Colleges, signed a resolution paving the way for a junior college district in Pima County.


East Campus

The anniversary was marked at each campus and the District Office with a 1960s-themed event marking the milestone. The resolution constitutes Pima College’s “birth certificate,” if you will.

At District, I noted that what was true in 1966 remains true today: The people of Pima County need the programs and services that PCC is uniquely positioned to provide.

After the signing of the document, the rest, as they say, is history. In 1969, Pima College officially opened its doors. We held classes at Tucson Medical Center, Villa Maria and at a hangar at Tucson International Airport.  Since then, hundreds of thousands of students have taken advantage of a PCC education. Our community has benefited immeasurably.

So it’s important to recognize the accomplishment of those civic-minded individuals from the College’s early days. Some of those pioneers, such as S. James Manilla, president of PCC from 1979-1988, attended the District Office celebration.

Now, you may be asking if our 50th anniversary celebration is a little premature, as the College didn’t open its doors until 1969.  I’ll just say that this week’s commemoration is only a taste of a bigger celebration to come in 2019.

I want to thank Vice Chancellor of External Relations Lisa Brosky, Special Assistant Christy Camargo and their teams for hosting a day of fun and remembrance.



New VP of Instruction, West Campus

Here is a message I sent to the College community regarding PCC’s new Vice President of Instruction at our West Campus:

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Gregory T. Busch is the College’s new Vice President of Instruction at West Campus.

Head Shot - G Busch

Dr. Gregg Busch

Gregg, who fills a vacant position at West Campus, has more than 16 years’ community college experience as an adjunct faculty member, assistant professor, program coordinator, director, honors college dean, and as a member of  the West Virginia University at Parkersburg board of trustees.

Most recently, Gregg has served as Dean of Academic Affairs: Liberal Arts at North Central State College, a two-year college in Mansfield, Ohio. As Dean, he has led college-wide initiatives in articulation and transfer, diversity and social justice, international education, and has built relationships that encourage college-going with high schools.  He also served as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Washington State Community College, located in Marietta, Ohio where he also led extensive program and curriculum development.

Gregg also has experience elsewhere in the public and private sectors, having served 21 years as a certified forensic and death investigator for the Wirt County, W.Va., Medical Examiner, and as president and chief executive officer of the Busch Professional Group, an organization of several small businesses.

Gregg’s postsecondary education began at Parkersburg, W.Va., Community College. He has a Doctorate of Education – Higher Education Administration and Leadership focusing on community colleges from West Virginia University, a Master of Science – Community Medicine from West Virginia University, School of Medicine, and a bachelor’s degree in Mortuary Science from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science at Xavier University.  He has additional graduate work in clinical psychology and sociology from Marshall University, Graduate College.

I want to thank the members of the search committee for their work. Also, Trina Felty should be commended for her leadership in the position in an interim capacity.

Gregg’s first day at the College will be Sept. 12. He reports to Dr. Morgan Phillips, President of the West and Desert Vista campuses. Please join me in welcoming Gregg to the College.


West Campus update

Lumen print

Student Life, our catch-all term for student clubs, student government, advocacy and other enrichment opportunities, is critical to the development of students at PCC. During office hours at West Campus last week, I sat down with Advanced Program Manager Dr. Daisy Rodriguez Pitel, Support Technician Shawn Graham, Student Life Coordinator Jennifer Wellborn and Bécalos Program Coordinator Yvonne Perez to talk about the role that co-curricular activities have in fostering a well-rounded student.

Student Life encompasses a broad range of initiatives involving civic engagement, service learning and cross-cultural awareness. Student Life improves students’ ability to work well in a team, obtain leadership skills, and communicate effectively. It also has a key role to play in achieving greater diversity, inclusion and global education, a key goal for PCC. That is the impetus, for example, behind the requirement that the 50 college students from Mexico studying at PCC this semester join one of the more than 30 student clubs at West. Interacting in a variety of settings with people who are not like you benefits everyone. [The West Campus community, including the President’s Office, the International Student Services Office and Student Life, has given a great welcome to the students from Mexico, whose semester here is being supported by the SEP-Bécalos-Santander Universidades International Program.  I will be writing more about this great international initiative very soon.]

My West Campus office hours also included a tour of the classrooms and industry-standard labs of our Photography program. [I’d like to thank Photography Instructor Ann Simmons-Myers, Lab Specialist Karen Hymer and Acting Dean of Arts, Communications and Humanities Trina Felty for the tour.] PCC offers an Associate of Applied Arts degree with a concentration in Photography, as well as an Associate for Fine Arts for transfer. Students taking our classes are pursuing a variety of education goals. Some intend to transfer to The University of Arizona to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the discipline. Others are budding entrepreneurs who hope to open their own studios. Still others are taking photography courses as part of their Digital Arts or Fashion Design studies at PCC.

Excellence in photography has been a hallmark of PCC for more than four decades. The renowned Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery is named for the father of photography education at PCC, who died in 1989. The program has since been expanded and enhanced to stay ahead of the technology curve. Our community partners include UA’s Center for Creative Photography, the Tucson Botanical Gardens and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, among others.

One of the fascinating aspects of the tour: It revealed that even in this digital age, the relevance of “old-fashioned” photography – creating art with the help of darkrooms and chemicals – remains strong. Our students, while learning cutting edge digital photography, are also exploring 19th-century techniques such as cyanotype printing. They are even experimenting with printing that requires neither chemicals nor camera.  [The accompanying photo is by student Ryan Dillon, a former Bernal and Gabe Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship winner currently enrolled in our Radiologic Technology program.] And they are mixing digital and darkroom photography to produce a wealth of creative mash-ups.

One student said she finds photography stimulating because it pushes her to change the way she looks at the world. And, when you come to think about it, that’s an eloquent description of what we at Pima Community College, through our classroom and extracurricular offerings, seek for all our students.