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A Message of Hope and Well-Wishes for the New Year from President Kate Smith

A Message of Hope and Well-Wishes for the New Year from President Kate Smith Rio Salado President Kate Smith

A Message of Hope and Well-Wishes for the New Year from President Kate Smith

Dear Rio Salado Community,

I would like to extend my well wishes to you for a happy and prosperous New Year, and to express my deep appreciation to you for being a part of the Rio Salado College family. Our collective achievements as a community during 2021 truly makes me hopeful about what we will do in 2022.

Like many of you, we have a tradition at the college to use this time of year to reflect on what we have learned and accomplished and what we hope to achieve in the future. 

We celebrated many successes and milestones in 2021 including the creation of a new student-centric forum called RioConnect, as well as college webinars to increase student engagement and conversations about social justice, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. We created new community partnerships with companies such as JBS and other higher learning institutions like the University of Arizona Global Campus and national thought leaders such as the Presidents Forum to increase access to educational opportunities and to advance economic mobility for all, especially the most disenfranchised students. We did this and so much more in the midst of a global pandemic, economic volatility, social tensions and other historic challenges. 

Last year’s greatest success of all was the extraordinary work of Rio Salado students, who in spite of the adversity, pressed forward with determination and tenacity to complete their educational goals and to help make our world a better place. Vera Batista Cespedes, Kaitlyn Rushing, Bryce Cristiano, Jordan Nicole Herrera, Cordero Holmes and the 100+ Xavier College Preparatory dual enrollment graduates who earned a record-number of certificates and degrees in 2021 are a few of the students who shined last year and are featured in our RioNews Blog, where you can learn more about the inspirational accomplishments of students.  We encourage you to share your stories with us.

We recognize the challenges and losses many members of our community have experienced this past year.  As we continue to lift each other up and support one another, we reaffirm our commitment to mindfulness, empathy, happiness, and resilience. We will continue to champion these principles along with our vision to “empower learners everywhere” and mission to “redefine the educational experience by anticipating the needs of our students and future workforce.” 

Last year revealed what we can accomplish together to better serve students, our community and one another. I hope this community spirit gives you a sense of pride and hope for a brighter future. 

With gratitude,

Kate Smith
Rio Salado College

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