Film

Behind The Scenes

Learn more about screenings, the students and making of No Greater Odds here as you go behind the scenes of this groundbreaking documentary.

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UPCOMING SCREENINGS

Join us for one of our upcoming screenings as we travel the country sharing the story of No Greater Odds. We will be appearing at film festivals and conferences around the nation and invite you to become part of the No Greater Odds family. Please Contact Us to inquire about scheduling a screening or speaking opportunity near you.


Republican National Convention – Cuyahoga Community College
July 20th, 11:30 a.m. – Cleveland, OH

Screening of the film and panel discussion featuring Executive Director of tnAchieves Krissy DeAlejandro, Rural Community College Alliance President Randy Smith, Jaklin Guyumjyan, a CSN alumna featured in “No Greater Odds,” and CSN Communications & Government Affairs Director Michael Flores. Special thanks to Innovative Educators for their sponsorship, and Civic Nation and College Promise for coordinating this event.


Democratic National Convention – Community College of Philadelphia
July 25th, 2 p.m. – Philadelphia, PA

Screening of the film and panel discussion featuring American Federation of Teachers Executive Vice President Mary Cathryn Richter, White House Social Secretary Deesha Dyer, President Donald Generals, Community College of Philadelphia, Monique Makhlouf, a CSN alumna featured in “No Greater Odds,” and CSN Communications & Government Affairs Director Michael Flores. Special thanks to Innovative Educators for their sponsorship, and Civic Nation and College Promise for coordinating this event.

Cast Bios



Barbara Ayarza has lived a life filled with challenges. From failed marriages, to health concerns, to being a single mother of six children, she felt like she never deserved a chance at education. After being accepted at the College of Southern Nevada, yet another challenge emerges that makes her realize that she won’t be able to go to college after all – but she attends the orientation day anyway, knowing that she can’t stay but wanting just for one day to have felt like a college student. Who she ends up meeting on that day ultimately changes her college journey – and her life.

Barbara Ayarza

Carlos Holguin

Carlos Holguin faces family hardships that culminate with the realization that a semester before graduation, he is pursuing a degree that doesn’t align with his passion, which is music. With the encouragement of an instructor, he decides to change his path right before graduation. When an unfortunate turn of events leave his future career hanging in the balance, the help that comes from unexpected sources ensures Carlos can still make his dreams come true.

Jaklin Guyumjyan had one birthday wish as a child – to move to the United States from Armenia with her family to have a better life. They arrive to the United States full of hope on September 10th, 2001. What happens the next morning not only changes the course of her family, but also that of the entire nation around her – leaving her to struggle to find both her place and her future with a family whose culture is very different from everyone else around her.

Jaklin Guyumjyan

Monique Makhlouf

Monique Makhlouf began working at the age of fifteen after her mother broke her back while on the way to see Monique in her first play. Working multiple jobs to try to take care of her mother and save enough for school, she struggles to make ends meet. Foreclosure, family health issues, and missed school all threaten to derail Monique’s future after graduation…until a conversation – and a visit from faculty and administration at her job – ultimately change the direction of her life.

Tyrone Foster, a sexual assault victim also diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type II, walked out of a college classroom one day and never looked back – breaking a promise to his mother that he would be the first in his family to graduate from college. Twelve years later, he decided to go back to school to become a victim advocate and motivational speaker. While facing the challenges of working full-time and battling a mental disorder, his life would be changed – by six words written on a piece of paper.

Tyrone Foster

Crew


John C. Aliano is the Producer and one of the Cinematographers for the documentaryNo Greater Odds.  He is an experienced filmmaker, instructor and Program Director for the College of Southern Nevada’s Videography & Film Program.  He is the founder and producer of the annual CSN Short Film Showcase, a compilation of the highest quality CSN student films in a competitive festival.  His students have won numerous awards, including five Student Production Emmy Awards in 2015.  John has been nominated twice for Emmy Awards and won an Emmy Award for Location Lighting.  In 2014, he was honored with the Faculty of the Year award at CSN.

 

With a background in academia, urban planning, and photography, director Patrick Wirtz entered filmmaking four years ago at the College of Southern Nevada. While working in production on studio films, television commercials, and a feature documentary, Patrick has directed several short films and has produced for other rising directors many shorts which are currently screening at film festivals around the country.No Greater Odds is his first major project as director.  He is grateful for this experience to use the filmmaker’s craft to tell an important story of equal access to education and the opportunities it inspires in individuals.

James R. McCoy is the Co-Creator and Executive Producer of the acclaimed documentary No Greater Odds and currently serves as the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the College of Southern Nevada.  Since joining the institution in 2003, he has served as the Associate Vice President for Academic Success, as Chair and Lead Faculty for the Department of Communication, and is a tenured Communication Professor.  James has also taught at several community colleges in California where he taught several different communication courses. Prior to working in academia, he worked in radio broadcasting as a radio morning show host and radio station program director. A highly sought after keynote speaker and presenter, James often talks about the important work that community colleges do in the United States. James is excited to share No Greater Odds with the world!

Charlene S. Gibson is Co-Creator and Associate Producer of No Greater Odds. She currently works as an instructor in the Department of Communication and serves as Faculty Leader for Achieving the Dream at the College of Southern Nevada. Known as an incredibly passionate, dynamic, and engaging instructor, Charlene challenges her students – known as #TeamGibson – to find their passion and reach their fullest potential through excellent public speaking that opens doors and changes lives. Charlene also shares her passions for public speaking and excellent teaching as a motivational speaker and trainer. Frequently asked to speak to students and train faculty and corporate clients, her inspirational specialties include the art of creating community in the classroom, fostering student engagement and success, creative teaching methods, customer service, relationship building, and of course, No Greater Odds. Additionally, Charlene loves sharing her stories of teaching and working overseas in Japan, Germany and the Netherlands while traveling all over Asia and Europe, which she did for eight years before joining the College of Southern Nevada.

charlene

UPCOMING SCREENINGS

Join us for one of our upcoming screenings as we travel the country sharing the story of No Greater Odds. We will be appearing at film festivals and conferences around the nation and invite you to become part of the No Greater Odds family.  Please Contact Us to inquire about scheduling a screening or speaking opportunity near you.



PAST SCREENINGS

College Board–Accuplacer & CLEP Conference June 22, 2016 @ 4:45pm – Las Vegas, NV
Screening of the film and panel discussion featuring the cast and the producers
Special thanks to The College Board for sponsoring this screening and panel discussion.

The League Learning Summit June 12th @ 4:00pm – Paradise Valley, AZ
Screening of the film and panel discussion featuring the cast and the producers
Special thanks to The League for Innovation for being the exclusive sponsor for this screening and panel discussion.

Capitol Hill Tour June 8, 2016 – Library of Congress – Washington D.C.
Screening of the film and panel discussion featuring the whole cast, the director and the producers. Special thanks to Ellucian for sponsoring the film and Innovative Educators for sponsoring lodging for the Capitol Hill Tour and to Achieving the Dream for coordinating this screening.

Big Bend Community College June 3, 2016 – Moses Lake, WA
Screening of the film and panel discussion featuring selected cast and the producers

Achieving the Dream Conference: February 23-26, 2016 in Atlanta, GA
Screening sponsored in part by Ellucian

League for Innovation Conference:  March 20-23, 2016 in Chicago, IL

NISOD May 30, 2016 @ 1:30pm – Hilton Austin, TX
Screening of the film and panel discussion featuring the cast and the producers
Special thanks to Innovative Educators for being the exclusive sponsor for this screening and to NISOD for coordinating the event.