Inclusive Excellence Champion

Lisa Venette

Lisa Venette, RRCC

A non -traditional student, Lisa graduated from Denver’s Manual High School in 1981 and describes her first year at Red Rocks as, “Wild Fun!” She likes to say that it took her a little while to get brave enough to explore higher education and she isn’t looking back. Lisa is part of the Bridge to Bachelor’s Degree Program and anticipates transferring to either Metro State University or to Regis University to complete her degree. Feeling like education is the key to an exciting future, she is also enthusiastically considering continuing her education into a Master’s level or beyond.  Lisa brings her heart with her in her work study with the Inclusivity and Diversity department and wants to be a strong ally for persons experiencing injustice.  She is a fifth generation Colorado native (yep, license plate and everything) and feels that her family heritage is part of what connects her to Colorado, it’s past, present, and future, and to the community at Red Rocks Community College.  Her research supporting a land acknowledgement for Red Rocks Community College has been near and dear to her heart and she has loved this opportunity to learn more about our Indigenous peoples and their importance in our beautiful Colorado. 

Rising Star Awards

Chelsea Sandoval

Chelsea has been an active student leader at Red Rocks Community College since she started in 2018. Through roles in Student Government, Phi Theta Kapa, and The State Student Advisory Council, she has found her passion for working with her fellow students as well as working with the administration to help make lasting changes that will affect current and future students. In May of 2021, she will be graduating with a double Associates, an Associates of Science and Arts in Psychology as a first-generation student and will be attending her dream school Colorado State University will she will continue her education and her goal to make a lasting change on how the United States sees community colleges.  

Tristan Strayer

Tristin Strayer, RRCC

Tristan Strayer has been an RRCC student since 2015. He graduated first in 2018 and returned to RRCC in 2020. He is the public relations representative of Red Rocks Student Government as well as the head of the event planning committee. He is hoping to go to pharmacy school once he graduates and become a pharmacologist.  

Phi Theta Kappa All-Colorado Academic Team

Academic Transfer Students

Alena Artemenko

Alena Artemenko, RRCC

Alena Artemenko is a first generation American. Her family migrated from Russia in 1991. She has immense pride in her heritage and feels like it’s her duty to create the life her ancestors and parents fought for. She is a multi-passionate woman and is in love with life. She believes, deep in her core, that once you stop learning you stop growing and if you stop growing you stop living. Her priority is to heal generational traumas and educate her family on mental, spiritual, and physical health. She has a deep calling to create art, love, healing, and support.  

Traci Thompson

Traci Thompson, RRCC

Traci Thompson is an animal- enthusiast who was born and raised along the front range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. She is currently finishing her associate of science degree with a designation in biology and will graduate Red Rocks Community College this summer. In the fall, she will continue her education at Colorado State University in pre-veterinary medicine and earn her Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology. Animals have always been a very important part of Traci’s life ever since she was a little girl, and she greatly anticipates the day she is able to give back by providing them with stellar veterinary care. When Traci isn’t delving in her studies, she can easily be found exploring new trails and National Parks with her Irish Wolfhound.   

State Student Advisory Council Representative

Connor Johnson

Connor Johnson

Connor decided to attend Red Rocks after he read reviews praising the computer science and cyber security programs. He also said that after he took an on-campus tour he felt Red Rocks would be a good fit. Connor is a programming major specializing in cyber security. Besides Connor’s focus on programming he has grown as a student leader. Connor joined the Student Government last year and immediately had a positive impact on the group. He became very involved at the meetings, asking thoughtful and relevant questions. When an opportunity arose to take a leadership position with the State Student Advisory Council (SSAC), Connor immediately stepped up to take on that role. As a SSAC representative for Red Rocks Community College, Connor is involved in advising the State Board of Community Colleges and Occupational Education on matters of interest and concern to all CCCS students. During his time serving the Student Government and SSAC, Connor has shown tremendous growth in his capacity to serve his fellow students and has been intentional in developing his skills and knowledge in that role. 

Chelsea Sandoval

See bio above.