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Gina Saladino named Student of the Month for December 2013

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Gina Saladino has been named Palo Alto College Student of the Month for December 2013. She is an exceptionally bright Business major, who excels in all of her classes. She is putting herself through college by working late nights, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Gina moved to Texas two years ago and is an active member in the community. In addition Gina is extremely motivated, sets out to accomplish her goals, and is determined to be a great asset in her pursuits after graduation.

Congratulations Gina!


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PAC’s alumna recognized for making a difference

Tabatha Cruz, a 2005 Palo Alto College cum laude graduate, was recognized in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier as one of Cedar Falls’ (Iowa) “20 Under 40 Class of 2013” and was featured in the Cedar Valley Business Monthly’s November issue. The “20 Under 40” list recognizes young people who have made a difference in their work to make their community a better place.

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After graduating from Palo Alto College with an Associate of Arts in Psychology, Cruz transferred to the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Family Service and continued to earn a Master of Science in College Student Personnel Administration from Illinois State University. For Cruz, the importance of promoting diversity at UNI encouraged her to apply for a position that would allow her to engage with students, faculty, and staff.

“Things are not going to change overnight, and somebody’s got to do the job and get people invested in change,” said Cruz.

As the program coordinator at UNI’s Center for Multicultural Education, Cruz assists in the development and coordination of multicultural programs, activities, and services. In addition, she serves as the liaison to numerous multicultural-based student organizations, such as Hispanic Latino Student Union, and assists them in their program planning efforts.

Aside from her regular duties, Cruz is actively involved on campus in a variety of other roles related to diversity education. She serves on the Diversity Matters Fund Committee, encouraging student organizations to collaborate with each other in various ways. Cruz is also the newly elected chair of the Student Affairs Diversity Team, which provides specialized educational programming for staff at UNI who work with diverse teams or students.

“UNI was such a wonderful place that opened so many doors of opportunity for me,” said Cruz. “As a former student of color [at UNI], I have a responsibility to give back, especially being part of the Bridge Scholarship Program.”

The UNI Bridge Scholarship Program at Palo Alto College began in 2000 as a unique opportunity for students to transfer to a university out of state. As part of the program, scholarship applicants visit UNI to tour the campus, learn about degree programs, meet former Palo Alto College students who have transferred to UNI, and interview for the opportunity to earn the Bridge Scholarship. Over 125 students from Palo Alto College have earned their bachelor’s degree from UNI since the Bridge Scholarship Program began in 2000.


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Geoffrey Gonzales named PAC Student of the Month for November 2013

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Geoffrey Gonzales has been named the Palo Alto College Student of the Month for November 2013. He will be graduating this Fall with an Associate of Arts in Kinesiology and has been accepted to UTSA’s Kinesiology program and will be starting this Spring. He is planning to pursue a Doctorate in physical therapy at UT Health Science Center.

Geoffrey has distinguished himself through service activities on and off-campus, from the time Geoffrey started his education at Central Texas College in The Marines, to the current year at Palo Alto College.

While in the Marines, Geoffrey visited numerous orphanages in Africa and South America handing out mattresses, hygiene gear, clothes, and toys to needy children and burn victims volunteering through the Toys for Tots program. While in Bolivia, he also volunteered to train the police department in defensive tactics, handcuffing, and baton techniques. Geoffrey was then honorably discharged with a perfect fitness score, expert rifleman badge, and then promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

As a civilian, Geoffrey volunteered for Viva Verde at Palo Alto College for spring 2013. He spent 10+ hours, along with other students, going through all the recycle bins and trash cans to help keep Palo Alto College green. Geoffrey is currently a member of Phi Theta Kappa and also maintaining a 4.0 at Palo Alto College. He is expected to graduate Fall of 2013 after completing an accumulated total of 14 months of school. Throughout his life, Geoffrey has been able to maintain a clean record with not even a single speeding or parking ticket on his record.

Geoffrey Gonzales exemplifies the kind of student Palo Alto College is proud to honor with Student of the Month by not only his achievements in school but throughout his life as well.

Congratulations Geoffrey!


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Gallery100 features PAC alum

PAC alum, Alfonso Espronceda’s art is currently being displayed in Gallery100 until Nov. 28. Passionate about art and the education of art, Alfredo completed his degree at PAC and went on to receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts and teaching certification from the University of Texas San Antonio in 2008. The exhibit displayed is one he created in 2012 as he was finishing graduate school at Alfred University in New York.

Espronceda stated “it’s a labor of love, challenging and you just have to stick with it, fight to find a way for things to happen.” Espronceda also provided advice to PAC students who want to become a professional artist.

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The different foods and the way he incorporated them into his artwork may be viewed as provocative. However, the primary goal is not shock the viewers but instead keep them intrigued and wanting more. For more information on Alfonso Espronceda and his art please visit www.alfonsoespronceda.com.

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PAC hosts Dual Credit Luncheon

Palo Alto College hosted a luncheon on Nov. 13 for the 23 school districts with which they currently have partnerships to introduce the new Dual Credit team at PAC. Over 50 guests were in attendance, including superintendents, principals, administrators, counselors, and program coordinators.

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The presentation included updates about AlamoEnroll for dual credit students, how faculty can apply for positions to teach CTE course, and other important information.

The Rising Star Awards were presented to school districts for most improved enrollment, most sections offered, and most students enrolled in dual credit. The awardees are listed below:

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 Tier I – large school districts

• Most Improved Enrollment: Jourdanton High School

• Most Sections Offered: Harlandale High School

• Most Students in Dual Credit: Floresville High School

 Tier II – mid-sized school districts

• Most Improved Enrollment: Comfort High School

• Most Sections Offered (TIE): Ingram Tom-Moore High School

• Most Sections Offered (TIE): Lytle High School

• Most Students in Dual Credit: Marion High School

 Tier III – smaller school districts

• Most Improved Enrollment: John Paul II Catholic High School

• Most Sections Offered: Charlotte High School

• Most Students in Dual Credit: John Paul II Catholic High School

Congratulations to all our dual credit partners!


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The First but not the Last Homecoming

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This highly anticipated week was filled with fun festive student activities to help celebrate Palo Alto College’s first Homecoming. The kick-off reception was held on Tuesday, to present the Homecoming Alumni Award to former outstanding student Patricia Galan-Cisneros followed by an introduction of the PAC Homecoming Royalty.

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Palomino Pride Day

Students showed off their school spirit with teal pride, wearing Palo Alto gear on Wednesday for the Palomino Pride Day. Not only were students showing off their school spirit but faculty and staff joined in on the fun by competing in the Dec-A-Door competition.

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Spirit Day

From the golf cart parade, to the dance off in the courtyard, Thursday’s Spirit Day was a fabulous turn out. Students were able to enjoy the day with live music from DJ Jovan, some watched with smiles on their faces as others got down and showed off their dance moves to the beat.  Racing against each other in the bungee run and boxing with the inflatable fun gloves were just a few other activities that brought excitement to the courtyard. University of Texas San Antonio’s Road Runner Rowdy (mascot) and a few cheerleaders also came out to pump things up and get people in the spirit for this weekend’s game.  Later that evening it was time to put the game face on in the Students vs Staff/Faculty coed basketball game. The stands were filled with a mix of fans rooting for their team. Although the Staff/Faculty gave it their all the students came out on top with the win.

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BBQ and Movie Night

All students were encouraged to come out this weekend for Friday’s Homecoming BBQ and Movie Under the Stars. Two movies were featured, Now You See Me was shown in the Convocation Meadows and Despicable Me 2 in the Performing Arts Center room 101.

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Tailgate Party

Saturday brought an end to this years Homecoming week at the UTSA tailgate party and football game. The party started at 9am tailgating prior to the game. At 1pm the partied continued inside the Alamodome to watch the UTSA vs.Tulane game. The success of this year’s Homecoming is now the beginning of a new Palo Alto College tradition.

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Student showcases talent in citywide face-off

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Ed Escobedo, a current Palo Alto College student, recently placed second in the 26 and older category in a city-wide contest looking for the next artwork to be displayed on San Antonio’s B-cylce’s bikes.

“I’m really proud,” said Escobedo. “I’ve been into art since I was little.”

Escobedo is the only student of the Alamo Colleges to place in the creative competition.

Dr. Alba Deleon, Professor of Art and mentor to Escobedo, said that this was a result of his hard work and dedication. “Palo Alto has provided him with the opportunities and he has followed through with them making him an inspiration for other students to follow.”

The contest theme was “Spirit of San Antonio” and took place as a result of a joint collaboration between Artpace. Supporting Multiple Arts Resources Together (S.M.A.R.T.) and San Antonio B-cylce.

Deleon described his work as “the spirit of San Antonio captured in a humoristic way that fuses Mexican and American cultures together.”

In explaining his inspiration, Escobedo credits his depicted peddling skeleton as a result of his fascination of “calaveras artwork” with bright colors, showcased through colored pencils and ink. His work will soon be on a half-year exhibit on the side of the B-cycle baskets.

To view his work in person, Escobedo invites the community to attend a reception at the 1906 Gallery on Saturday, November 9, at 7 p.m.

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