Oct 232014

Wright Walking InWright College’s extensive work with the Higher Learning Commission’s Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) supports City College’s Reinvention Goals and works to build a community centered on student completion. Wright has been holding the AQIP Retreat every semester to reflect and focus on quality improvement planning and efforts.

The Fall 2014 AQIP Retreat is scheduled for October 24, 2014, with mandatory participation required of full-time faculty and staff for the morning session from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

With support from the Title V Professional Development Fund, the Fall Retreat will feature speaker Dr. Mary Beth Love, chair and professor of health education at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and the founder of the Community Health Works of San Francisco partnership between SFSU and City College of San Francisco (CCSF).

The Metro Academy educational initiative grew out of this partnership.  This project is a unique program that has demonstrated significant gains in student retention and completion. For four semesters, approximately 140 students enrolled in Metro through SFSU or CCSF are part of block enrollment cohorts providing collaborative support to each other.

Metro Academy components include faculty-developed, culturally and socially relevant curricula that emphasizes the development of problem solving and analytical skills.  Course curricula also reinforce foundational skills needed for college and career success, including writing, public speaking, critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning.   Student support services are embedded in block courses to provide a strong foundation for student retention, persistence, and an expedited timeline toward graduation and transfer.

In addition to speaking on the Metro Academy Initiative from 9:15 – 10:15 a.m., Dr. Love will participate in the working groups and sessions scheduled until 11:45 a.m.

After the scheduled CCCTU Local 1600 lunch/meeting, faculty are encouraged to participate in an additional, optional workshop offered specifically for faculty by Dr. Love on engaging learners and developing socially and culturally relevant curriculum for the classroom. This will take place from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.  This is an opportunity for faculty to collaborate and assist in customizing a similar program for Wright College.  Please join us to learn more about this innovative initiative!

The AQIP Steering Committee and the Executive Council will meet with Dr. Love from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Below is the AQIP Retreat Agenda for Friday, October 24, 2014. Attendance in the morning is mandatory for all full-time faculty and employees.


Time Agenda Location
9:00 AM – 9:15 AM Welcome and Introduction : Dean Li Theater
9:15 AM – 10:15 AM Speaker – Dr. Mary Beth Love: Metro Initiative Program Theater
10:15 AM – 11:45 AM – Improving Communication (3 working subgroups)– Block Enrollments, Co-Requisites, and College Success Courses: Strategies for Creating a Structured, Cohesive First-Year Experience with Dr. Mary Beth Love (4 working subgroups) A324, A327,  A328,
A312, A313, A314, A315
11:45 AM – Noon Break NA
Noon – 1:30 PM(1600 Meeting) Lunch (for 1600 Faculty and Professional Employees Only): Retirement Investment Options with Certificated Financial Advisors Atrium
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM(Optional Faculty Meeting) Engaging Learners:  Strategies for Infusing Socially and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in the Classrooms with Dr. Mary Beth Love S-247
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Dr. Mary Beth Love meeting with Executive Council and AQIP Steering Committee:Key Elements for Innovative Programs (How to Apply Promising Concepts/Practices to our Local Realities) President’s Conference Room


Oct 172014

President David Potash addressed Wright College students, faculty and staff at the Fall 2014 State of the College gathering on October 17, 2014.

Please share your opinions and feedback by taking this State of the College Survey.

Thank you for your participation!



Oct 172014

DSC_0498The hard work and dedication of several of our staff and faculty members has resulted in an exciting new partnership that is already greatly benefitting Wright and its surrounding community. On October 17, Wright College began serving as a community distribution point for fresh fruits and vegetables provided by the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD)’s “Producemobile.” This pilot partnership was initiated through Wright’s Service Learning Committee – which originated as an AQIP initiative – as a way to increase support for our students and engage the broader community, particularly as a way to address food insecurity and hunger.

On the third Friday of each month, on the 1st floor of the Parking Garage, the GCFD Producemobile will provide free fresh fruit and vegetables to those in need – whether students, faculty, staff or community members. Distribution dates are October 17, November 21, and December 19, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Volunteers support this effort by receving and distributing the produce, beginning at 7:45 a.m. on distribution days.

DSC_0500Maureen Fitzpatrick’s persistence and professionalism was essential in developing and solidifying the partnership. Professor Alicia Anzaldo has been the key contact spearheading this initiative with faculty. Katie Ordinario has served as the key liaison with students volunteers. Professor Kurt Leslie has offered to compost food scraps in the Dunning Community Garden on the Wright College campus. Others contributing their time and energy in this effort include: Timothy Andriano, Michael Dompke, Doris Espiritu, Kevin Li, Jackie Lonquist, Merry Mayer, Jack Murphy, Maureen Heffern Ponicki, and Kenneth Santiago, as well as other student, faculty and staff volunteers. In addition, 26 faculty members who are part of the service learning committee participated in the GCFD planning meeting in August during Faculty Development Week.

I am grateful for their efforts and impressed with the way they have collaborated in this effort. Please join me in thanking all those who have worked to make this possible, especially all of the volunteers. I am certain that many in our community will find great value and benefit in this initiative.

Please share the information about the GCFD Producemobile and Producemobile Flyer with your contacts in the community.

With all best wishes,


David Potash, President

Wilbur Wright College

Oct 072014

Sendy SotoSendy Soto is a Wright College alumna who graduated in 2002 and now works as the District Director for the Office of U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08). Sendy’s journey took her from her native Guatemala to Chicago’s Logan Square, and eventually, to the United States Congress.

Q: Where are you from and why did you decide to attend Wright College?

A: I was born in Guatemala, and my family and I moved to Logan Square when we moved to Chicago. We then moved to Albany Park, where I still reside. When I thought about going to Wright College, I really didn’t know what I was doing. All I knew is that a lot of my friends took that leap and so I figured I should give it a try. My family couldn’t quite guide me in this process, since their image of the road to success was working long hours and not spending much time in school. But I still attended, and Wright College was affordable for me.

Q: What were your impressions of Wright College, the classes, the professors and your schedule? Were you balancing a job and school at the same time?

A: I absolutely enjoyed my time at Wright College. I found a compassionate career counselor who really understood my challenges growing up and seeking a better life for myself. If it wasn’t for her, I would have not been able to motivate myself to complete my associate degree. I also developed a passion for photography there. Overall, the environment that Wright College provided for me felt safe and inspiring. My schedule was easy to manage even though I worked full-time. I was able to finish in a timely manner.

Q: What was your next step after Wright College?

A: I didn’t see the need to continue my education at the time, so I continued working. It wasn’t until four years later that I became inspired to pursue a career in social justice. I finally knew what I wanted to major in and found Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) to be the most affordable school to attend that was designed for commuters. Like I did at Wright, I enjoyed my time at NEIU. The professors were just as personable and also possessed an infinite amount of knowledge.

Q: How did you find your first career after college? How has your career grown since? 

A: At NEIU I heard Senator Dick Durbin speak about his work in immigration and domestic violence. My interest in his work led me to meet his staff and stay in touch with them well after graduation. One day, his Chief of Staff mentioned they were hiring and quickly I submitted my resume. I worked for Sen. Durbin close to four years. After my time at Sen. Durbin’s office, I moved on to the Office of the Governor. Now, I am the District Director of the Office of Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08).  In my current role, I help make sure district staff execute the Congresswoman’s outreach strategies, manage constituent services, foster working relationships with stakeholders, and uphold the Congresswoman’s legislative priorities.

Q: Do you have any advice for incoming students at CCC?

A: Education might not get you the dream job right away, but it will absolutely open your eyes to the complex world that we live in. Keep an open mind to subjects that might not be so interesting from the start!

CCC and Wright College gave Sendy her start in higher education and we look forward to seeing her excel in her future endeavors!

Sep 242014

Wright College students, faculty and staff gathered during Wilburpalooza festivities to celebrate the opening of the beautiful new Dance & Fitness Studio and the renovated gymnasium floor. Speakers at the celebration included Wright College president David Potash, SGA president Will Whitmore and Dean of Continuing Education Alba Pezzarossi. Fitness instructor Amanda Lopez-Betanzos and her students performed a dance demonstration for the dozens of people who turned out for the celebration.

Dance Studio Opening

Dance instructor Amanda Lopez-Betanzos and students

The gym floor is composed of maple wood and comes from Swedish company Bona. The Dance & Fitness Studio is 1,316 square feet and features a Taraflex Sports Flooring, a force-reducing, shock-absorbing flooring ideal for multi-purpose use floors. The Dance & Fitness Studio also features a brand-new audio system, with touch-screen controls, two monitors and a Blu Ray player.

The successful completion of these projects resulted from the hard work, creativity, time and talents of Wright College staff, faculty and students, City Colleges staff and project managers and contractors, including:

  • Broderick Banks, Dance & Fitness Studio Project Manager, City Colleges of Chicago
  • Hector Castillo (and team), Conecta Architects
  • Mike Dompke (and team), Chief Engineer, Wright College
  • Jackie Lonquist (and team), Director of Facilities, Wright College
  • Pete Lucio (and team), Mundo Electric
  • Pat Mannix, Chief Engineer (retired), Wright College
  • Christine Marriott, Visual and Performing Arts Co-Chair and Faculty, Wright College (Dance & Fitness Studio design)
  • Diane Minor, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, City Colleges of Chicago
  • John McDonnell, Athletic Director, Wright College
  • Stevo Petkovic (and team), AGAE Contractors
  • Tom Petrie (and team), Bona floor installation and finishing
  • Erik Sover, PACE
  • John Sugrue, Associate Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services, City Colleges of Chicago
  • Kathy Thalmann, Gymnasium Floor Project Manager, City Colleges of Chicago
  • Sean White (and team), Robe Construction
  • Kevin Williams, Executive Director of Construction Infrastructure, City Colleges of Chicago
  • Wright College students, who helped select the colors for the Dance & Fitness Studio!

Help us name the new Dance & Fitness Studio! Vote on name suggestions by visiting www.allourideas.org/namewrightdancestudio. Vote on as many names as you’d like or submit your own for consideration! The selected name will be announced during the State of the College gathering on October 17.

Be sure to stop by and check out the new facilities!

(Video Credit: David McDowell, Wright College Media Services)

Sep 192014
Math on Demand Lab

Title V grant funding supports the Math on Demand program in Wright’s Math Lab

In recognition of Hispanic-Serving Institutions of higher education, President Barack Obama issued a presidential proclamation naming this “National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week.” Wright College is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the federal government. For Fiscal Year 2014, Wright’s student population was 52 percent Hispanic/Latino and serving this community is a very important part of who we are and what we do.

As an HSI, Wright was eligible to apply for (and subsequently received) Title V grant funding, which supports a variety of our programs and resources for all students and the entire Wright College community, including:

At Wright College, we’re working to continuously improve the educational value we offer, as well as grow and provide opportunity to all we serve in our special role as an Hispanic Serving Institution.

With all best wishes,



President David Potash
Wright College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago

Sep 102014

As part of Welcome Week and the annual Wilburpalooza celebration, Wright College President David Potash joined thousands of people around the world who have taken the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and millions of dollars in donations for ALS research and care services. ALS – Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The ice bucket challenge was designed to “wake up” the public concerning ALS and the need for further research to help fight the disease.

Assisting in the challenge were Wright College Student Government Association president Will Whitmore, vice-president Louis Cedeno, and treasurer Edwin Medina. Special thanks to David McDowell in Media Services for producing the video.

Thanks to all who joined in to support this important cause!

Sep 092014

Dr GuiuWright College Professor Adrian Guiu has added a new title to his many accomplishments: Ph.D!

Adrian Guiu – now, Dr. Adrian Guiu – has been awarded a doctorate by the University of Chicago. As a student in UC’s School of Divinity, he wrote a dissertation on Johannes Scotus Eriugena, 9th century Irish theologian.

“This is a major accomplishment,” said Wright College president David Potash. “It represents untold hours of work, great patience, and a deep commitment to intellectual and academic values. Dr. Guiu’s doctorate is a significant marker of substantive research and scholarship.”

At Wright College, Dr. Guiu teaches Ethics, Introduction to Religion, and Comparative Religion. He is the faculty adviser for both the Reading for Wisdom series and the Philosophy Club, and is a member of Wright’s Assessment Committee.

Dr. Guiu encourages Wright students to set and accomplish their academic goals, using his experience as an example. “Students need to be both focused on the goal but should also try to enjoy the journey and be careful to learn the lessons along the way,” said Dr. Guiu. “One should never give up and should always ask for help…there are many good, willing ‘angels’ around.”

Congratulations, Dr. Guiu!


Sep 052014

DijanaDijana Demirovic recently joined the Wright in Your Corner team as an Academic Support Specialist, a position funded by the Title V grant. Dijana will work closely with WiYC Director Brad Elwood, as well as WiYC Peer Mentors and Student Ambassadors. Welcome, Dijana!

WCN: How does the Academic Support Specialist work with Wright students?

Dijana: As the new Academic Support Specialist, my goal is to ensure that Wright in Your Corner continues to remain a place where students feel comfortable to study, meet new students, attend events, ask questions, and inquire about available resources.


WCN: What would you like to accomplish in your new role at WiYC?

Dijana: Collaborating with my team, our students, and different departments at Wright College, I plan to develop workshops and host events that not only speak to students’ interests, but that will also support their academic, career, and life goals. These workshops will also support Wright’s goals for helping students complete their degree or certificate and guiding them toward further educational or career pursuits.


WCN: What fuels your passion for working with students?

Dijana: I most enjoy drawing on my psychology background to engage, motivate, and encourage students from diverse populations, and helping them realize individual success.


WCN: What past experiences prepared you to work with and counsel students?

Dijana: During my undergraduate studies at Northeastern Illinois University, I had the opportunity to work in different schools through a U.S. Department of Education grant program called GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). The goal of the program is to better prepare low-income students to succeed in postsecondary education. As part of the program, I worked in ASPIRA Haugen Middle School, Foreman High School, and others. After I earned my master’s degree from Loyola University, I worked as a school counselor for CPS.


WCN: What are some of your outside interests?

Dijana: When I am not working, I like to spend time with my family and friends, as well as read. I also enjoy being in nature and love to travel.  This summer, I traveled to Germany, Bosnia, Croatia, and Switzerland. Other countries that I had the opportunity to visit include: Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Slovenia, and Netherlands.

I’ve lived in Albany Park and currently live in nearby Portage Park. I enjoy exploring Chicago’s neighborhoods, festivals, and restaurants, and particularly love to eat Columbian food.


WCN: How do you plan to contribute to Wright’s vibrant community?

Dijana: I look forward to sharing both my professional and personal experiences with the Wright community, as well as learning from our students, staff, and faculty. It is my hope that by working together, we can provide the necessary resources that will foster our students’ academic, career, and social development and help them reach their goals.


Be sure to welcome Dijana! You will find her in the Wright in Your Corner student center (S-100), or you can email her at ddemirovic3@ccc.edu or call 773.481.8148.



Sep 042014
CTL.Kurt Leslie

Prof. Kurt Leslie kicked off the Fall 2014 CTL season with a fascinating discussion about Earth’s biodiversity.

Discover learning and development opportunities for CCC faculty and staff!

Wright College’s very own Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) kicked off its Fall program series with professor Kurt Leslie’s presentation: “From the Cryosphere to the Amazon Cloud Forest: Endangered Species and Global Warming.” Prof. Leslie and participants engaged in a lively discussion about the challenges and potential solutions concerning the loss of Earth’s biodiversity.

Future CTL topics will address curriculum development, website creation for the classroom, creativity and expression, soft skills, using mobile apps for teaching, games/role-playing in the classroom, and more; along with such special interest topics as Civil War battlefields, cannibalism and community, Batman, fungi, and Nicaragua’s biodiversity, among others.

  • Monday, September 8, 2pm:
    Curriculum Development Workshop – Creating and Revising Courses (Maria Jaskot-Inclan)
  • Tuesday, September 9th, 2pm:
    Whistling Vivaldi – How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (Mira Kolodkin)
  • Wednesday, September 10th, 12:30pm: Teaching Ike Reilly (Vincent Bruckert)
  • Thursday, September 11th, 11am: Amazingly Easy Website Creation for the Classroom (Andrew Kruger)

Click here for the Fall 2014 Program Guide.

ALL City Colleges faculty & staff are welcome to participate in CTL sessions. Participants will receive credit through continuing education and a certificate of participation. Most importantly, participants will learn new things while spending time with friends and colleagues.

Sessions take place in the CTL’s recently dedicated space in Room S-243 (Science Building) at Wright College. For more information about the Center for Teaching and Learning, please contact co-chairs Alicia Anzaldo or Tracy Mitchell.

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