Randy’s Greatest Hits!

As President Grissom, prepares for his retirement, the college would like to thank him for his commitment to SFCC. Students, faculty, staff and the community have all reaped the rewards of his dedication and accomplishments. We are sharing some of the highlights of his tenure. We would love it if you could share some of the reasons you are grateful for President Grissom. Let us know. We’ll feature responses in next week’s issue.

• President Grissom has led a unified, campus-wide commitment to increase student success. As a result, the college has almost doubled its graduation rate. Last spring 725 graduates earned a total of 874 certificates and degrees. Additionally, the 2017 retention rates have increased 11 percent to a historic high for the college. This increase should lead to more stable enrollment numbers and future graduates.

• Under President Grissom’s leadership, the college became the lead institution for a $15 million U.S. Dept. of Labor grant (SUN PATH, the New Mexico Skill Up Network), which has improved lives while strengthening health care across the state. More than 300 participants have landed jobs, while 647 participants received a wage increase. Notably in Santa Fe, all of the SUN PATH participants in the EMT program had a 100 percent licensure success rate.

 • President Grissom established SFCC’s Early Childhood Center of Excellence, whose mission is to enhance all aspects of the early childhood education sector by providing affordable high-quality education and professional development. An endowment of $1.4 million is comprised of funds from several foundations as well as the State of New Mexico. The center was awarded a matching grant of about $400,000 — the highest amount given to a community college — from the New Mexico Higher Education Endowment Fund.

• President Grissom is a national leader in sustainability issues. He was recognized with the “2017 Leadership Award: Preparing the Next Generation of Workforce for Green Jobs” from the American Association of Community Colleges. The college established sustainability programs in 19 high schools and has outreach efforts in place with local tribes and rural communities. Collectively, SFCC is making a positive impact on its community and students by becoming a showcase for sustainability and alternative energy, as well as training a workforce to meet the growing job demands.

• Through President Grissom’s support, the college has just received a $200,000 Environmental Protection Agency Grant to operate environmental job training programs to prepare people for green jobs that reduce environmental contamination and provide more sustainable futures for the communities most affected by solid and hazardous waste contamination. The college will recruit Native Americans, veterans and underserved youth. The college will train approximately 70 unemployed people and work to place them in jobs.

• President Grissom supported the college’s partnership with Santa Fe County and the Northern Area Local Workforce Development Board for the Professional Readiness for Technical Careers (PROTEC) accelerated film and media education program. PROTEC included 100 intensive hands-on classroom and on-the-job training hours for Santa Fe County residents looking to apply their skills in the local film industry. Participants worked with industry professionals, film industry career advisers to apply their skills in grip/electric, camera, editing and social media marketing.

best for vets awards • President Grissom has supported veterans through the expansion of the Veterans Resource Center on campus. The center serves all area veterans, not just students. For the past three years, Military Times magazine has cited SFCC a “best for vets” college.


• President Grissom has established an Innovation Center at the college. Housed in the Trades and Advanced Technology Center, the Innovation Center has forged partnerships with Santa Fe start-ups including: NTxBio (a research company that is identifying compounds to potentially identify and develop new drugs such as antibiotics that could fight resistant bacteria) and Apogee Spirulina producing artisan-grown, hand harvested spirulina (nutrient-rich algae that is a food source).

• President Grissom worked to get certificates and an associate degree in hospitality and tourism. Last year, economists reported a 7.7 percent employment growth statewide in the tourism and hospitality sector. SFCC’s program is preparing graduates to move into management positions that were often filled by people from out of state.

• Under President Grissom’s leadership, SFCC’s nursing program was able to collaborate with NMSU and UNM to offer a pathway to earn a BSN without leaving the community. Following the sudden closure of ITT Tech, Grissom and the nursing department led an effort to help displaced students complete their studies. These efforts are helping to fill vital and in-demand positions in the health care sector.

• President Grissom has provided strong leadership through a time of severe budget cuts from the state. He worked closely with Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center to secure $250,000 received through the SFCC Foundation to continue the respiratory therapy program for two years. The initiative will save jobs and offer advanced training to health care workers, who want to advance their careers and stay in our community.

 • President Grissom has worked to meet the demands of the growing controlled environment agriculture field. New certificates and a degree in controlled environment agriculture reflect the college’s expanded focus on food production, either indoors or within greenhouses, using soilless techniques such as aquaponics and hydroponics. Students will have access to the almost 12,000 square foot greenhouse, which is currently under construction. Students will participate in setting up climate control systems within the new greenhouse to create a year-round growing facility on campus. Additionally, students continue to operate hydroponic and aquaponics systems in the Dome Greenhouse and the FarmPod, producing food on a continuous basis.

• Through various initiatives, President Grissom has supported educational training in microgrids. The U.S. Economic Development Administration has granted the college $351,000 in federal funds, which will support the purchase of critical equipment for the campus Building Energy Automation and Microgrid Training Center (BEAMTC). The two workforce training labs on the campus will provide specialized hands-on training in the fields of building automation and microgrid energy distribution systems. The college is leveraging an additional $326,000 in state appropriations, and $111,661 in donated equipment and engineering expertise from Siemens Industries and other industry partners to support this project. This investment will create a research environment to support product development, testing and workforce training, and business attraction and is projected to support up to 750 jobs in the next 10 years. Globally, the microgrid market is rapidly expanding and is expected to rise to $35.1 billion in 2020.