New Employee Spotlight – Carel Neffenger


We’d like to take a moment and recognize our newest employees to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.

I’m a new full-time faculty member with the Communication Studies department. I’ve been teaching communication studies courses at GRC for 10 years, and at Highline College for 18 years as an adjunct. Previous professional excursions have included advertising and graphic design, a dot-com startup with my twin brother, as well as working line service at a regional airport.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Having taught as an adjunct at Green River for 10 years, I’m familiar with the comradery among faculty and staff – they’ve always made me feel very welcome. In addition, the newer facilities, the opportunity for professional growth, and, of course, the diverse student population, make Green River an attractive place to work..

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?

I’m an NPR and podcast addict. I like the morning talk shows, listening to conversation. For podcasts, I especially like any of the language-inspired shows, such as Lexicon Valley, A Way With Words, and the Mortified Podcast.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I worked the layaway counter as a stockboy for an old Midwestern chain called Zayre’s. They were a precursor to the Targets and Wal-Marts of today. My friend’s mom got me the job so that I could make some extra cash to go on a trip the following summer. The layaway counter was part of the home electronics department which offered commissions on sales. The head of that section, a very kindly older man on the verge of retirement, took me under his wing, taught me how to sell, and helped me earn some pretty hefty commissions.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

That would be the ability to slow down from the hectic life of an adjunct, where I was always running off to the next class or campus, to spend more time with students and class development.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?

I know it might sound corny, but it’s the same thing I like to try to accomplish every year – be the best darned teacher that I can be. That means conducting continuous evaluation of my courses, assignments, and class activities.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?

  1. Coordinating my dad’s 90th birthday party and having every living descendant attend.
  2. Playing the piccolo part to Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” as a duet with my twin brother for the United States Collegiate Wind Band at concerts throughout Europe.
  3. Making 2 summit attempts with the Climb for Clean Air on Mt. Rainier and raising $8000 for the American Lung Association

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?

Mr. Handout. I just seem to have a handout for everything.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?

Neffenger, Carel2

I play ukulele, so I would probably get them all dancing to a hukilau.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?

Gratitude

Respect

Enthusiasm

Education

Neighbor

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