Just A Minute Archive

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We know your time is valuable, so I promise this will always be a quick update of something interesting happening at Trinidad State. Expect to see it around the 10th of each month.

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JANUARY 10, 2016

Happy New Year to you!  Please take Just a Minute to catch up on what's happening at Trinidad State.

Open House for hands-on programs happens January 7
TSJC Open House
Community Colleges typically excel at hands-on training and we 're no different at Trinidad State.  From aquaculture to welding, from heavy equipment to our world famous gunsmithing program we know how to teach trade skills.

In the college world this is called Career and Technical Education. On January 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on our campuses in Trinidad and Alamosa we'll show off what we have to offer.  Many of these skills can be learned relatively quickly and the future is bright for those graduates.  That night we'll have staff members ready to explain our programs and help with the paperwork.  The Workforce Centers will also bring expertise in programs that might help pay for school.  And remember full time, local area residents now get an extra 20 percent off tuition with our Learn Local Scholarship!  This could be a life changing event for some attendees.  Please pass the word if you know someone who might be ready to learn new skills.

Don't miss the State of the College address

Coming up next week I'll present State of the College addresses to community members, as well as faculty and staff members, in both Trinidad and Alamosa.  I'll share our highs and lows as well as goals for the future.  Plans include cross country teams with men and women athletes on both our campuses.  We're also beginning to plan a new building on the Trinidad Campus which would include an indoor shooting range and a student recreation center.  We'll share those ideas and many more, including some potential new programs during this time.  Please join us for one of these two important meetings.

  • Valley Campus:   Tuesday, January 12, 6:00 p.m. in the new addition
  • Trinidad Campus:  Wednesday, January 13, 6:00 p.m. in the Massari Theater

Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State


FEBRUARY 10, 2016

We're off and running in the New Year!  Please take Just a Minute to catch up with us at Trinidad State.

Several staff members spent a week in Las Vegas recently at the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show.  It's a huge event in the industry and our Trinidad State Gunsmithing instructors always show up early to make sure every firearm at the display is modified so it cannot fire.

Some of our group at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas last month

How big is this show?  If you walked every aisle at the Sands Convention Center you would cover 12 miles!  This is a great opportunity to network with manufacturers in the field, plus we got a chance to meet with the National Advisory Council for our storied Gunsmithing Program.  To give you an idea of the dedication of our Gunsmithing students, 18 of them made the trip at their own expense.  


Cross Country Coach

Lauren Martin - TSJC Cros Country Coach
Lauren Martin
We are so excited to announce we've chosen a coach for our new Cross Country Teams!  She is Alamosa native Lauren Martin, who brings impressive running credentials to the job.  Not only is she an eight-time All American during her college career running for Adams State University, she's also a two-time individual National Champion.  And yes her father coaches the Adams State Cross Country Team.   Lauren will immediately begin to recruit for the fall when we plan to have 20 men and women athletes between Trinidad and Alamosa representing us at area cross country meets.

Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State

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MARCH 10, 2016

Can you believe spring is almost here? Even though time is flying, please take Just a Minute to catch up with Trinidad State!

Outstanding Phi Theta Kappa students

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We were proud this week to introduce our outstanding Phi Theta Kappa student from the Trinidad Campus at a luncheon in Denver. Though still in high school, Dusty Meyers is in her third year of concurrent classes at Trinidad State. She's a junior at Rocky Mountain Digital Academy and is also in the band at Trinidad High School. She plays the piano, trumpet and several percussion instruments and someday she wants to be a composer. She's on track to receive three associate's degrees in May, but won't graduate from high school until next year!

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Danielle Armstrong, another PTK member from our Valley Campus, will travel to Washington, D.C. in a few days to attend a conference of the American Student Association of Community Colleges. She'll represent Trinidad State and the Colorado Community College System on issues including Pell Grants, student loan interest rates, Federal work-study funding, Perkins Funding for community colleges, textbook prices, and student debt relief. This is the second time Danielle has been to this conference.
We are so proud of our students!

Support us with your purchases

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As you may have heard, we've started the process of trying to raise $1.3 million for an endowed faculty member in our nationally acclaimed gunsmithing program. We're accepting donations now through our Educational Foundation, but here's another easy way for you to help. When you buy through smile.amazon.com a half cent from every dollar on most purchases will go to our endowment fund. Just select Trinidad State Junior College Educational Foundation as your charity. This is a simple way to support the College and help us grow the number of faculty working with our students.
Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State

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 APRIL 7, 2016

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Graduation is just over a month away!  Can you believe it?  Please take Just a Minute to catch up with us at Trinidad State.

We did it!

Months of work culminated with the recent announcement from the Higher Learning Commission that Trinidad State will be accredited for another decade!  For those of you outside the academic world, this declaration underscores everything we do here at the College and is necessary as we continue to build for the future.  It isn't lost on us that the next time we'll be reviewed by the HLC this great college will be over 100 years old!  I want to thank everyone at Trinidad State who worked so hard to make this accreditation process successful!

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Nursing Accreditation

Our Nursing Program got equally exciting news a few days ago with a five-year initial accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).  This was a huge project, spanning three years.  Nursing graduates, as you may know, must take extensive testing to become certified and ours are passing on their first try 95 percent of the time.  That speaks well of our faculty and our programs on both our campuses.  I could not be more proud of our team at Trinidad State!

Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State

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 MAY 9, 2016

We're almost there!  Take Just a Minute and learn about our biggest day of the year -- graduation!

Graduation ceremonies will happen Friday

TSJC Graduation
All the hard work pays off this Friday when we'll honor our 2016 graduates in ceremonies in both Trinidad and Alamosa.  This is an exciting time when we'll publicly celebrate the accomplishments of about 250 hard working students decked out in traditional caps and gowns.  The Trinidad ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. in "The Pit," a grassy area just south of the Berg Administration Building.  In Alamosa, graduation will happen on the campus of Adams State University in Plachy Hall starting at 6 p.m.  Everyone is welcome to attend!

Trinidad State in Review

Coming up later this month Trinidad State will present highlights of the past year to the public in presentations scheduled in both Trinidad and Alamosa.  Please consider coming to one of these events at our Valley Campus on Tuesday, May 24 at 5:30 in the auditorium, or in Trinidad on Wednesday, May 25 at 5:30 in the Pioneer Room.  We'll talk about where we've been as an institution over the years and share recent highlights with attendees.  Everyone is invited.

Gunsmithing national publicity

Predator Nation
Two weeks ago we hosted a video crew from the TV show Predator Nation.  They'll feature our Gunsmithing Program on an episode to air in December or January on the Sportsman Channel.  Our thanks to show host Fred Eichler for making this happen.  Fred spoke at our annual Fun and Friendraiser in February, an event that raised $18,000 to support an endowment for a future faculty position in the Gunsmithing Program.  Here's a way you can get involved:  When you buy online, go to smile.amazon.com and select Trinidad State Junior College Educational Foundation as your charity.  A portion of your purchase price will go into the endowment fund.

Click now

Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State

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 JUNE 13, 2016

It's summer and our summer session is in full swing.  It will take Just a Minute to catch up on what's happening at Trinidad State.

Region IX Champions
"Threepeat" for Baseball

Region IX Champs Our own version of the Boys of Summer topped the field in NJCAA Region IX Baseball again!  This year the tournament was held at Central Park in Trinidad.  In fact, one of the games happened just a few hours after the Trinidad graduation ceremony.  We then moved on to the District level of competition, also hosted in Trinidad the following week, where we finished third.  We saw some great baseball action and we were able to show off our campus and our beautiful Colorado weather.  We are so proud of our baseball team!  

Summer Series -- Gunsmithing and Archery

We are already in week three of our traditional nine-week NRA Summer Gunsmithing Series at the Trinidad Campus.  This fairly unique program brings together specialists from here and across the country to teach gun modification and maintenance skills as well as artistry like holster making and scrimshaw.  Most of the classes are a week long and we still have openings in some of them.  Click here if you are interested in taking a week to learn a new skill. A new addition this summer is Archery at the Valley Campus.  Watch our website for more details as this fledgling offering takes flight.

TSJC Bookstore
Bookstore changes

As we begin gearing up for fall, we have partnered with BBA Solutions at our bookstores on both campuses.  Textbooks for fall will be arriving soon and other changes are in the works.  Our bookstores will continue to offer supplies for student projects as well as branded Trinidad State apparel.  We also plan to move the bookstore on the Valley Campus to a more prominent location.  Watch for these exciting changes.

Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State

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 SEPTEMBER 9, 2016

The students are back and we're settling in for the semester. Please take Just a Minute to catch up on what's happening at Trinidad State.

Flags welcome students

Downtown Alamosa flag project
You may have noticed an abundance of flags on display on Main Street in downtown Alamosa recently. The green flags of Adams State and blue and gold representing Trinidad State were there to welcome students to the downtown area and remind everyone we're back in session. The flags graced both sides of Main Street spaced out over a two block area the last two weeks of August.

We're watching enrollment closely with a continued goal of matching our numbers from a year ago. We're very close and hoping that trend holds as students adjust their schedules in these first few weeks of class.

Labor Day Parade in Trinidad
As usual, our athletes were out in force at the Labor Day Parade in Trinidad. We also had an enthusiastic entry in the Ski Hi Parade in Monte Vista in July. Coming up Saturday at noon watch for our Robotics Team and their "Bugs Bot" entry at the downtown Trinidad ArtoCade!

Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State

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OCTOBER 10, 2016

We've made it to October, one of the most beautiful times of the year in Colorado. We're busy, but it will take Just a Minute for you to read about the action here at Trinidad State.

BEST Robotics is back

Mark your calendar for the SOCO BEST Robotics Game Day on October 22, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ten high school and middle school teams from Branson to Monte Vista have spent weeks designing and building remote control robots that will tackle timed challenges on a custom-built game field at Scott Gym. BEST stands for Boosting Engineering Science and Technology and we know these young people are learning a lot in a very fun and competitive environment. Hundreds came to watch last year.
Come join us if you can.
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Enrollment up

Several months ago we set out to match our fall enrollment numbers from a year ago. We've worked for every student and we're thrilled to report we're tracking about one percent higher when compared to last year. This is a small but satisfying victory which serves to uphold the changes we've had to make the last couple of years.

Board members visit Trinidad State

Last week we welcomed the President of the Colorado Community College System as well as a couple of members of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education to our Trinidad Campus. This group oversees 13 community colleges in Colorado. President Dr. Nancy McCallin and Board Members Dr. Russ Meyer and Theresa Pena heard presentations from our student government associations, toured some campus facilities and got a preview of the BEST Robotics event. We're always happy to show off our students and staff to our partners at the system office.

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L-R: Dr. Nancy McCallin - Dr. Russ Meyer - Trojan Mascot - Dr. Carmen Simone -Theresa Pena

Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State

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NOVEMBER 10, 2016

Thanksgiving is almost here and our students are settling in for the home stretch. But things aren't slowing down for us. Please take Just a Minute to catch up on what we've been up to at Trinidad State.

Homecoming with Adams State

We continue to build a closer relationship with Adams State University in Alamosa. So many of the things we both do help build better lives for the people of the San Luis Valley. On October 29 we dressed up our Trojan mascot for the Adams State Homecoming Parade. Our friendly message was "Go Grizz!"

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Oldest High School Basketball Tournament in Colorado

As the first community college in Colorado we understandably have a few dear traditions. One of the oldest is the TSJC Invitational Basketball Tournament, now in its 81st year! Up until 2011 it was a boys only competition -- we added girls teams in 2012. This tournament means all basketball all the time at venerable Scott Gym on the Trinidad Campus. As we return this event to its original intent, there will be no Princess or Cheerleading competitions this year. What we will have is loads of basketball -- a total of 24 games in just three days! Mark your calendars for December 1, 2 and 3.

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BEST Robotics

The SoCo BEST Robotics competition on October 22 was a big success. We hosted 10 high school and middle school teams from Antonito to Manzanola. You could literally see, hear and feel the learning happening all day. We've already heard from another school in New Mexico that wants to participate next year. Keep in mind part of our funding for this program came from a grant which is ending, so we may ask for your monetary support in the coming months.

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DECEMBER 12, 2016

We're pushing toward Christmas break with great hopes for the new year. Here's an update on what we've been doing. It'll take Just a Minute!

Cross Country success

It isn't easy to start a new sport and then end the season at the national championships, but we did it! Our Women's Cross Country Team finished in 27th place and our Men ended up 20th at the national meet in Kansas on November 12. We had two young men in the top 25 individual runners in the country! Elias Gedyon finished 11th and Daniel Haymes came in 23rd. This is our first sport at our Valley Campus in Alamosa. Congratulations to our team and first-year coach Lauren Martin.

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Men's Soccer

Our Men's Soccer Team was one of 12 chosen to compete in the NJCAA National Tournament in Tyler, Texas last month. In the first match our Trojans, with a number 8 seed, defeated Hill College by a 2-1 score. But in the second match we were defeated 2-1 by Tyler, the top ranked team in the country and did not advance to the final four. Our team finished with a record of 18 wins and five losses and was once again crowned Region IX Champions. Congratulations to our team and Coach Aaron Miller on a very successful season!

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Community Council gathering

On December 20 our dedicated Valley Community Council members will travel to Trinidad to get a campus tour and share ideas in a face-to-face format with their counterparts from Trinidad. We're looking forward to some great conversation and idea sharing.

Help us when you shop on Amazon

This is the busiest shopping time of the year and we have an innovative way you can help us while shopping online. Simply click this link when you are ready to shop at amazon.com. Amazon will then give a portion of the purchase price to our Educational Foundation. We're putting all that money in an endowment fund to support a future faculty position in our Gunsmithing Department.
Thank you in advance!

Until next time,

Carmen M. Simone, Ph.D.
President, Trinidad State

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