Mazade heading to UofA for Ph.D.

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Reece Mazade is graduating from Arizona State University in May with a bachelor of science degree in biological sciences: animal physiology and behavior with honors from Barrett, The Honors College.

He was co-author on a scientific article on the honey bee, which was published in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. He defended his honors thesis and presented his thesis at the Barrett Honors Symposium, was awarded the School of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Program Fellowship and presented his research at three School of Life Sciences Undergraduate Poster Symposiums. He was also a laboratory teaching assistant for General Biology I for three semesters.

This fall Mazade will attend the University Medical Center at the University of Arizona for his Ph.D. in physiological sciences with a minor in neuroscience.

Mazade is a 2006 graduate of Desert Vista High School.

Experts discuss eco-friendly careers with Altadena seventh-graders

Professionals from the Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce recently spoke to students from Team 7A at Altadena Middle School about their eco-friendly careers.

The panel members all have careers in sustainable businesses. Speakers were Carrie Leary, Schuster Graphics (green printing); Leslie Lindo, sustainability coordinator for Arizona State University; Cathy Palasz, environmental consultant; Doug McCord, architect; Jonce Walker, sustainability manager for Maricopa County; and Matthew Bingham, environmental attorney.

The event was organized by the Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce, after Holly O'Brien, communications chair and owner of Ahwatukee Foothills-based Marketing Matters, contacted Kyrene District Superintendent David Schauer's office about its Go Green Kyrene initiative.

After brief introductions by O'Brien, the panel fielded student questions. Seventh-grade teacher Susan Fountain said she "hopes her students will take their learnings, make green choices and perhaps pursue great jobs that will help save the planet."

Hagler finishing 10,000-mile bike ride to save forest

After a 10,000-mile, 15-country bicycle tour that involved hailstorms, robberies, tent-eating ants and a killer bee attack, Phoenix-native and 2001 Desert Vista High School graduate Samuel Hagler will soon reach the final leg of his journey at the Mexico/Arizona border in Nogales at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 15.

Hagler officially began his journey Jan. 1, 2009, in San Rafael, Paraguay, to raise awareness for endangered forests and to support conservation efforts in Paraguay's endangered San Rafael Reserve.

In addition to raising awareness for endangered forests, Ride For The Trees is raising funds. The fundraising goal is $100,000 and will support conservation projects under way in Paraguay's San Rafael Reserve. So far, about $23,000 has been pledged.

Hagler has ridden most of the ride solo, but he isn't alone. Friends and family have been cheering him on from their homes in the United States, and new and old friends alike have joined him for smaller stretches of the ride throughout Latin America.

In addition to the website at, Ride for the Trees may also be found on Facebook.

Girl Scouts win Bronze Award

Members of Junior Girl Scout Troop 2163 finished earning their Bronze Award April 10. The girls made homemade dog biscuits to donate to the Arizona Animal Welfare League and also put together an animal supply drive with the items benefitting the AAWL. Co-leaders Joanna McCollum and Lynda Hartzler estimated the girls collected items with a value of at least $1,000.

Ahwatukee Foothills National Charity League honors its Class of 2010

The Ahwatukee Foothills Chapter of the National Charity League introduced its Class of 2010 at its Senior Recognition and Awards Luncheon at the Arizona Grand Resort May 2.

The Class of 2010 includes Tinsley Andrews, Jenna Bigham, Melanie Black, Alison Connell, Maggie Delaney, Kelly Fellows, Gina Gemma, Hayley Guy, Morgan Harris, Jordan Hedeby, Jacey Jones, Jaimie Kerpan, Molly Laughlin, Caitlin Lentz, Dana Lerch, Brittany Lincoln, Danica Melosi, Kendyll Miller, Megan Mongelli, Ashley Owens, Bridget Proulx, Paige Pyper, Emily Rath, Ashlyn Sala, Becky Saunders, AJ Walton and Nika Zahedi.

These active young ladies and their mothers have contributed nearly 7,000 hours of volunteer service during their six years in National Charity League, Inc., a mother-daughter service organization.

The Ahwatukee Foothills Chapter includes students from grades 7 through 12 in local schools and is one of 155 chapters nationwide.

Locals recognized for academic achievement

Ahwatukee Foothills residents Megan Andrews-Sharer and Kayla Peterson were among more than 1,000 St. Olaf College students that were recognized for academic achievement at the college's annual Honors Day convocation May 7.

Honors Day recognizes students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.60 or higher on a 4.0 scale. The convocation also recognizes students who have been awarded scholarships and fellowships, including Fulbright scholars, Goldwater scholars and senior members of leadership and academic honor societies.

Both Andrews-Sharer and Peterson are graduates of Desert Vista High School.

Sweet graduates with honors from NMSU

Johnny Sweet graduated with honors from New Mexico State University on May 8 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He majored in marketing with a specialization in PGA golf management. He achieved an overall GPA of 3.976 and a major GPA of 4.0.

In addition to his exemplary academic achievements, Sweet also completed internships at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.; Carnoustie Golf Links in Carnoustie, Scotland; and Charlotte Country Club in Charlotte, N.C.

Sweet has accepted a golf industry account manager position with automatik (a Tempe-based company) and will reside in a home he purchased in Ahwatukee Foothills.

Sweet is the son of Dave and Kathy Sweet and is a 2005 graduate of Valley Christian High School.

Kyrene Foundation receives 12 Who Care award

Members of The Kyrene Foundation recently received the 12 Who Care award from Channel 12 News for their work in opening a Family Resource Center for Kyrene families in need. Foundation members were featured on Channel 12's Arizona Midday show on May 4.

Each month the 12 Who Care volunteer recognition program honors a non-profit agency doing extraordinary work in the community and encourages others to volunteer.

APU students graduate, make Dean's List

Ahwatukee Foothills residents Molly Caldwell, Courtney Crawford and Christopher Tansey graduated from Azusa Pacific University on May 8. They were joined by more than 1,300 graduates at the spring commencement ceremonies.

Kylie Crawford, Hannah Danielson and Daniel Fanelli were named to the academic Dean's List for the fall 2009 semester.

Hollis honored for volunteer work

Salt River Project employee and former employee volunteers have donated countless hours and offered invaluable expertise to community causes. Thirteen SRP employee and retired employee volunteers were recently recognized for their exemplary commitment by the SRP Presidents' Volunteer Spirit Awards, including Ahwatukee Foothills resident and SRP Senior Computer Analyst Roy Hollis for his work with the Boy Scouts of America.

Hollis has been a Boy Scout mentor, instructor, leader and friend to thousands of scouts for 23 years. Besides serving as a rifle, archery, CPR and first-aid instructor, Hollis also works as a district trainer, mentoring hundreds of other adults and giving them the tools they need to have an impact on generations of scouts. His information technology background adds a special resource - he maintains a website where he shares his experiences and encourages youth and adults alike to join scouting.

Corbett to participate in summer program at Naval Academy

Mountain Pointe High School student Andrew Corbett will travel to Annapolis, Md., to participate in the United States Naval Academy's Summer STEM Program. The overnight academic camp is designed for rising eighth- to 11th-grade students in good academic standing who have an interest in math and science.

Approximately 375 students from around the country were selected to participate in this summer's program, which will give students the opportunity to experience real-life applications of math and science principles through hands-on practical learning. Students will learn from distinguished Naval Academy professors in world-class lab facilities that provide a unique learning environment outside the traditional classroom. The academy's current students, known as midshipmen, will help run the program and act as counselors and tutors to students.

For more information about the Summer STEM Program and the application process, visit or call (410) 293-4361.

Strucks celebrate 25 years of marriage

Darcy and Dan Struck were married in 1985 in West Des Moines, Iowa, and will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on June 8.

They were high school sweethearts and graduated from the University of Iowa together. Dan is also a graduate of the Arizona State University School of Law.

The Strucks live in Ahwatukee Foothills with their three children.

Beiler finishes cross-country bike ride for charity

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Linda Beiler recently returned home safely after a cross-country bicycle ride. During her 58-day trip, she traveled 3,081 miles from San Diego, Calif., to St. Augustine, Fla., to raise $10,000 for the Phoenix-based non-profit organization Connecting to Serve to help further its goals of promoting volunteerism.

Connecting to Serve ( identifies, connects and mobilizes passionate, skilled individuals and organizations to deliver practical solutions to unmet needs in their communities. It delivers solutions related to health, education, finances and housing and in the process, transforms lives and communities.

The bike ride was coordinated through Woman Tours (, and the participants traveled through the southern United States.

Their longest one-day ride was 111 miles in Texas. Her most memorable ride was in Emory Pass, NM, where they rode 48 miles climbing to 8,228 feet. The day started sunny, but as the riders progressed upward clouds became more prevalent and just as they crested the peak, snow began to fall. One of the most humorous parts of the trip occurred in Louisiana, where Beiler was chased by a very determined three-legged black and white Chihuahua.

Now that Beiler is back home, she will continue to travel to area church and civic groups to talk about Connecting to Serve and share her experiences cycling on their behalf.  To book Beiler as a speaker for your group, e-mail her at

Contact writer: (480) 898-7924 or


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