Colonial Quarterly - Summer 2015
Letter from the Alumni Relations Coordinator
Dear Alumni and Friends:
As the new Alumni Relations coordinator for Community College of Philadelphia, I look forward to taking the Alumni Association to new heights. We have re-launched the Alumni Association this year, with a reorganized Alumni Council and updated objectives. To serve you better, we have also enhanced benefits for lifetime members that include access to the Library and computer labs, discounts on insurance products and theme parks, career coaching, special event invitations, and so much more.
This College has had nearly 700,000 students pass through its doors during the past 50 years, and the Alumni Association is another resource to improve personal and professional growth. We will provide networking opportunities to help you build those personal and professional connections, workshops and lectures to help sharpen your skills in the workplace, and newsletters that will keep you up-to-date with news and events at Community College of Philadelphia
If you are currently not a lifetime member and would like more information, please visit www.ccp.edu/alumni or contact our Alumni office at 215-751-8015.
Please let me know if you are visiting the campus, need more information, or have comments and suggestions. I look forward to helping make your experience at the College very enjoyable!
Alumni Relations Coordinator
Alumni Spotlight - Mindy Solkin
Mindy Solkin is the founder and CEO of The Running Center, a training company that specializes in running and strength conditioning for the casual runner to the experienced marathoner. She has coached more than 12,000 runners since 1992 and founded The Running Center in 1999.
Mindy comes from a working-class family in Northeast Philadelphia. She always had aspirations of getting a college degree, but her parents could not afford to send her to a traditional four-year institution, nor were her grades up to par as a high school student. Despite those challenges, Mindy found the open access and low tuition at Community College of Philadelphia to be her answer.
Mindy attended Community College of Philadelphia when it was located on 11th and Chestnut streets. She recalled, "The College was in the old department store building that we called ‘Snellenburg University.’ I appreciated the diversity of the school, which allowed me to connect with people from all types of backgrounds. I also have fond memories of my professors, especially art professors Dan Evans and Valerie Seligsohn, who helped me get in touch with my creative side and encouraged me to take up fashion design, which I later studied at Drexel University."
After she received her bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design at Drexel, Mindy decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship at age 23 by starting her own fashion line. Despite support from Jim Burton, Community College of Philadelphia’s then-athletic director, her first business endeavor failed. She joined the corporate world and thrived there for two decades. Even though she was excelling, she still yearned for entrepreneurship and decided to start a new company focused on her love of running, The Running Center. “I was always a workaholic and had a true passion for athletics. I loved to run, and coaching is what I knew best, so I decided to give it a try.” She established an office in New York and gradually grew the company and expanded her operations to Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Her advice to current Community College of Philadelphia students is simple, “Don’t let anyone put you down for going to a community college. It is very affordable and gives you a great start. Get involved and try various activities on campus to broaden your horizons and experiences as well. You never know where these experiences might take you.”
If you would like to know more about Mindy Solkin and The Running Center, please visit her website at www.therunningcenter.com.
Notable Alumni: Moving Philadelphia Forward
Get to know some of our outstanding alumni.
Drs. Joseph and Gwen Williams
Elena Tsizer, Esq.
Discover more alumni that help Move Philadelphia Forward.
Faculty Spotlight - Kathleen M. Smith
Kathleen M. Smith currently serves as the coordinator of the Paralegal Studies program at Community College of Philadelphia and has earned the academic rank of professor. She also founded and directs the College's Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society, which provides interdisciplinary events, collaborations with other academic and nonprofit organizations, student service learning projects, and reentry support. Her work with the Center has been acknowledged with awards from the League of Innovation, the Freedoms Foundation and the Pennsylvania Bar Association and as a finalist for the National Bellwether Award. In 2015, she was awarded a Presidential Award for service to the College. From 2002 to 2013, she also served as the chair of the Social Science department. She serves as commissioner on the American Bar Association Commission for the Approval of Paralegal Programs. Prior to entering academia full time, she practiced law in PA and NJ in the areas of civil litigation and employment discrimination. She graduated cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross and has earned a J.D. from Antioch College School of Law.
Tony Payton, Jr., ’09. Payton is an associate at the public affairs firm Malady and Wooten, LLP. He has spent most of his career in government representing of the 179th Legislative district in Philadelphia. His six-year tenure in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives has allowed him to develop the skill and relationships needed to deal with the complexities of government. Elected in 2007, Mr. Payton has served on the Health and Human Services, Professional Licensure, Transportation and State Government committees. Prior to his public service, Mr. Payton worked with low-income families to improve their personal finances and achieve the dream of homeownership as a housing counselor and in the mortgage industry. Since being a student at Community College of Philadelphia, Payton has aspired to attain his bachelor’s degree, and he is currently working toward his goal at Temple University.
Uriel Rendón, ’80. Rendon attended Community College of Philadelphia in 1979 and transferred to Temple University where he graduated in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Currently he is a partner and serves as vice president and general manager of Aztec Capital’s El Zol Media, where he oversees all marketing, operations and production efforts. Mr. Rendón joined a team of media innovators that introduced Spanish-language television to the region. Since then, he has served as market manager for Univision and general manager and senior executive vice president for Telemundo. He was also responsible for co-founding the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Juanita Watson-Traore, ’10. Watson-Traore is the epitome of determination and willpower. She first attended Community College of Philadelphia in the early 70s with the goal of becoming a nurse. Due to some unfortunate family circumstances, she had to take some time off from her college education and join the workforce. She began working for the city of Philadelphia as a stenographer and was promoted to administrative services supervisor until she retired after 41 years of service. She then decided to return to Community College of Philadelphia and study Culture, Science and Technology, successfully completing her associate’s degree.Juanita Watson-Traore, ’10. Watson-Traore is the epitome of determination and willpower. She first attended Community College of Philadelphia in the early 70s with the goal of becoming a nurse. Due to some unfortunate family circumstances, she had to take some time off from her college education and join the workforce. She began working for the city of Philadelphia as a stenographer and was promoted to administrative services supervisor until she retired after 41 years of service. She then decided to return to Community College of Philadelphia and study Culture, Science and Technology, successfully completing her associate’s degree.
Community College of Philadelphia Family Fun Days at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom
With our Community College of Philadelphia Family Fun Days Program, the excitement of Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom is yours, all for a price significantly lower than the regular rate. Tickets are available for purchase online.
One Low Price
$28 per person (plus applicable taxes and fees)
Offer valid for any of these dates: July 24, 25 and 26. Ticket provides a one-day admission for the selected weekend date.
The College as an Ivy League Pipeline
Alumna Named Paralegal of the Year
Read about recent College events and how the College’s staff and students are positively impacting our community.
Visit the College Newsroom for more news about the College.