The Arizona Western College Alumni Association will work to develop pride in Arizona Western College and promote the educational, professional, and personal development of alumni and friends of AWC. The Alumni Association operates to increase resources by raising funds for scholarships and creating partnerships that support the mission of AWC.
Associate Superintendent, Gadsden Elementary School District
Olivia Elizondo Zepeda, an immigrant child and binational migrant farm worker from the age of 10 moved from Mexico to San Luis, AZ when she was 14. With over 39 years of experience in education, Zepeda has taught elementary through university levels and served as the Associate Superintendent of the Gadsden Elementary School District for 17 years. She has a passion and track record for service and education. Zepeda was appointed to the AWC District Governing Board in March, 2012 and has worked to support successful student outcomes and a college-going culture. Her diverse board service includes Learning Forward, the Yuma Education Foundation, Campesinos Sin Fronteras, the Yuma Education Access Council, Arizona Community Foundation Board, American Beginnings Board, Arizona TESOL, and Yuma Fine Arts. Zepeda is frequently called upon to give national and international presentations on the successes of the students in South Yuma County. In 2012, Zepeda received the OHTLI award, a designation of distinction for a successful Latino/a by the Mexican Consulate in the United States. Zepeda has made a lasting contribution to the communities she serves, especially in the South Yuma County, by transforming student learning opportunities.
C. Candy Camarena
C. Candy Camarena’s determination and consistent efforts to achieve success have firmly established his solid reputation as an attorney and community benefactor. Camarena has been instrumental in the development and sponsorship of the La Cosecha Banquet at Arizona Western College. At the La Cosecha Banquet, graduates from all walks of life are recognized for their perseverance in attaining an Associate’s degree, many times in the face of obstacles. Students are encouraged to transfer to a university to continue their studies toward bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees and to return to this community as professionals. Over the years, Camarena has planted the seed to raise funds for over 250 scholarships and has made it possible for over 1700 graduates and their families to be recognized at the La Cosecha Harvest Dinner event. Camarena’s other philanthropic efforts include Gethsemani Food Ministries, Crossroads Rescue Mission, Amberly’s Place, and Young Life. Because of his own journey, overcoming obstacles to achieve his dream, Camarena resembles many AWC graduates. He recently celebrated his 25th year of practicing both civil and criminal law in Yuma courtrooms. Camarena says, “I learned early to work hard to sustain myself, but also to accept help when I needed it, and to help whenever someone else needed it.”
Honorable Juan Manuel Guerrero
Judge Guerrero joined the U. S. Navy and served ten years as a Navy Hospital Corpsman with the 1st Marine Division Camp Pendleton, California and the Marine Corp Base, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
After his military service, Judge Guerrero returned to Yuma and joined the Yuma County Sheriff’s Department where he served the community as a Patrol Deputy and a Narcotics Detective. He has also served as a Patrol Commander for the Cocopah Tribal Police Department. Judge Guerrero has further served as a criminal investigator for the State of Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections Internal Affairs Division and the Executive Director with the Tribal Gaming Commission. Judge Guerrero has been a Law Enforcement Instructor for the AWC Police Academy and a State Certified Private Investigator.
In addition to his extensive background in law enforcement at the State and Federal levels. In 2008, he was recognized as ‘One of the Ten Most Influential Hispanics of Yuma County’ and was nominated for the ‘Heart of Yuma for Outstanding Leadership’ award.
Judge Guerrero was elected on November 4, 2014, as Justice of the Peace, Precinct #2, and took office on January 1, 2015.
Kim chose AWC due to its convenience and quality of education. She was able to complete all her degrees and certifications in the town where she grew up. She enjoyed all her professors and the support given.
As an educator in the community, Kim felt AWC prepared her for NAU by offering rigorous educational courses. Her counselors were supportive and helped her map out an educational course plan that was smooth and successful. She has served Yuma County education in various capacities: 6 years as a teacher, 4 years as an instructional coach, 5 years as district curriculum director, and 10 years and counting as principal.
The biggest lesson learned at AWC was perseverance and taking responsibility for her own education. Woven into this lesson was the ability to build relationships with the faculty and learning organizational skills that have supported her career to this day.
AWC is a great place to begin and achieve your educational goals! The faculty and course offerings are supportive to any stage of life you may be in: working parent, high school graduate, or mature student coming back to earn a degree- all are welcomed and can find success at AWC. The Yuma area is always in need of educators that are passionate for the children in our community and AWC can set you on the right track towards success as an educator.
Yuma County Board of Supervisors District 5
Lynne Pancrazi has helped to change the face of education in Yuma and Arizona for the better. She did this through her work as an elected member of the Arizona House of Representatives (2007–2013) and the Arizona Senate (2013–2017), where she influenced legislation and policy at the state level and beyond on issues related to education, natural resources, public safety, and budget. She’s also known for her dedication to a safe and secure border, managed growth, adequate infrastructure and rural community issues. A product of Yuma public schools, Pancrazi spent 28 years as a teacher, instructor and athletic coach in Yuma Elementary School District One. She studied Criminal Justice at Arizona Western College and received her bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Point Loma Nazarene College. Pancrazi also received her master’s degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University. She currently serves District 5 on the Yuma County Board of Supervisors after being elected to the position in 2016.
Frequently Asked Questions
An AWC alumnus is a graduate or former student of Arizona Western College.
Go to foundation.azwestern.edu and click on Alumni. Complete the online registration form and pay $20 fee for the Alumni Perks Card. We’re thrilled to welcome former students and recent graduates alike into our AWC Alumni Association. Get excited, because you’re a part of a BIG community with amazing accomplishments. Expect to receive various discounts on goods and services, Constant Contact newsletter with networking and upcoming events, and involvement opportunities that will keep you connected. Be sure to submit your current contact information, and update it if you move. With your support of $20 a year, keep your pride and appreciation for the College alive by sharing your story with others.
To obtain a new copy of your diploma, visit the College's Student Records and Registration Department to fill out a back order diploma form.
AWC has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to provide transcript ordering online. You can order transcripts using any major credit card. Your card will only be charged after your order has been completed. Visit Student Records to request your transcript.
The College's Student Records department handles degree verification. AWC has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to provide enrollment and degree verifications to employers and student loan servicers. If you have a specific form that needs verification of enrollment, you will need to contact the Admissions and Registration office to obtain verification.
If you are an employer or background screening firm requesting this information, visit www.degreeverify.org.
Contact Info Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (928) 344-7550
Fax: (928) 344-7543
Location: 3C - Top Floor
Hours: Monday - Thursday: 7:00am - 5:00pm
Make a gift online or visit our website for more information about ways to give.
Call the AWC Foundation Office at 928-344-1720 for information about Named Scholarships, Gifts of Stock and Planned Giving.
Email the following contact information to email@example.com
Name, Address, Date of Birth, Program of Study, Years attended
The AWC Alumni Association (AWCAA) works to develop pride in AWC and promote the educational, professional, and personal development of alumni and friends. AWCAA operates to increase resources by raising funds for scholarships and creating partnerships that support the mission of AWC.
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