Eleven alumni, employees and community members have been inducted into Mesa Community College’s Hall of Fame in recognition of their professional and personal accomplishments, and notable contributions to the college and the community.
The 2020 alumni achievement honorees have each reached the pinnacle of accomplishment in their chosen professions and are selected based on professional accomplishments such as leadership and impact, innovation, mentoring, awards and honors, as well as service and volunteerism, according to a release.
Honorees in alumni achievement are:
- Edward Bufford, M.Ed. a respected marketing and education professional. He taught at several Maricopa Community Colleges and was department chair at Phoenix Union High School District for 12 years. In retirement he has become a tireless advocate for animal welfare.
- Shela Levante, M.P.A. From a childhood in foster care to director of development at Berkshire Community College, she is a strong advocate for community colleges and a champion for education.
- Jeffrey M. Mendoza, Ph.D. An aerospace scientist with more than 25 years of developing innovative technologies has earned awards from organizations such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Raytheon Technologies.
Excellence in teaching
The excellence in teaching category recognizes residential faculty members who, over a number of years, have distinguished themselves as exceeding expectations in their contribution to the classroom, the college, the Maricopa County Community College District, the profession and the community.
The 2020 honorees in this category are:
- Wynn Call, Ph.D., a professor for 30-plus years, chair of the MCC Psychological Sciences Department, a leader at MCC and in his field.
- Mona Scott, Ed.D., n award-winning professor and educational innovator advocating for indigenous and underrepresented communities.
- Elizabeth “Betsy” Hertzler, Ed.D., M.A., M.C. counseling, with more than 25 years of teaching and a founding member of the MCC Center for Teaching and Learning.
Outstanding MCC athletes
This year’s outstanding MCC athlete honorees were chosen based on their contributions to sports while at MCC, including earning All-American honors as well as All-Conference and All-Region; helping teams to national honors and earning NJCAA All-Academic recognition; and for athletic accomplishments post MCC. They are:
- Rashad Armstrong, the 2001 NJCAA football Offensive Player of the Year who placed third in the nation in rushing yardage and earned athletic honors at Baylor University.
- Hakeem Rollins, M.B.A., the 2003 lead Arizona Community College Athletic Conference scorer, First Team all conference with the Washington Huskies and an international basketball player.
Outstanding MCC coach
- Steve Jacobs is the honoree for outstanding MCC coach. He is an Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, has produced 43 national champions and 507 All-Americans, consistently ranking Mesa Community College Track and Field as one of the top teams in the nation.
Distinguished MCC staff
The distinguished MCC staff honorees are recognized for sustained, outstanding contributions in areas such as development of programs at MCC, enhancement of the college’s reputation, excellence in serving students and their commitment to shaping the future. Honorees in this category are:
- Ken Costello, M.Ed., for going beyond expectations in teaching and leading educational technology innovations.
- Jonathan Valpey, M.F.A., an award-winning scenic designer, professor and cultural venue creator.
Additional information on each of these honorees is available online at mesacc.edu/alumni/hall-fame/2020-hall-fame.
A ceremony honoring these outstanding MCC Thunderbirds will be held in 2021 when it is safe to gather as a large group.