New Employee Spotlight – Aaron Casad

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 am one of the Program Coordinators in the Assessment and Testing Center. I have a professional background in information technology and administrative management.

Casad, Aaron

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I have always loved being apart of Green River’s community whether that be when I was here as a student and when I worked here part time. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to work at Green River as a full time employee!

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

I listen to all different types of music but I usually listen to the radio which consists of 106.1, 92.5, and 93.3 FM.

What was the very first job you ever had?

The first job I ever had was while I was in high school and I was a catering assistant at Longhorn Barbecue.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I get to interact with new and current student’s everyday and help anybody on campus with any testing needs!

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

Bring a positive and relaxed environment for any and all testers in the testing center!

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

  • Graduating Green River College with my Associate Arts Degree
  • Graduating from Central Washington University with my Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Getting a job at Green River College fulltime!!!

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

Griz as in Grizzly because I’m a grown up teddy bear!

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

Building a computer or making banana bread!

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

Greatness

Requires

Endless

Effort

Naturally

New Employee Spotlight – Aileen Arsenio

Arsenio, AileenWe’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.

My new title is Program Coordinator for the Career and Advising Services. I have about 2 years of experience working in student services at Olympic College, first as an Office Assistant for the Multicultural and Student Programs, and later as the Program Assistant for Tutoring Services. Both jobs really solidified my passion to provide students with the essential resources they need to be successful during their time in college.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

When I saw that Green River Community College was hiring for a Program Coordinator in their Career and Advising Services office, I knew I had to apply because I hope to one day become an academic advisor. I knew this would be a great way to get a little taste of the advising life!

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

I can literally listen to anything, but when I’m in the car, it MUST be something I can either sing to or wiggle to (because dancing is dangerous when you’re driving). I do have a “no skip” rule on anything *NSYNC, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Adele, and Beyoncé.

What was the very first job you ever had?

Being the oldest cousin/sibling, my first paying job was babysitting my cousins and siblings, starting at the age of 11. It was a sweet $40 a week!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I think the most exciting thing is being able to meet students in all stages of their academic careers, whether it be students just starting their journey, to those coming back to school to broaden their horizons. It’s always cool listening to someone’s stories and helping them reach their goals and dreams!

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

By the end of my first year, I would like to be a jack of all trades in the office, to the point where my coworkers and even students are comfortable enough to know that they can ask me for help.

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

Three of my biggest accomplishments in life are: Being the first to graduate college in my family, being recognized by my peers for my hard work and leadership, and I promise I am not just saying this, but getting this job was an accomplishment because it’s my first full-time position!

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

I’m going to go ahead and say “Foodie” because yes, I am that girl that posts pictures of her food; I also love to bake and cook.

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

I am not the greatest, but I love to sing and play my ukulele

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

Growing, Resourceful, Equitable, Environmental, Nurturing

New Employee Spotlight -Heidi Sheneberger

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.Sheneberger, Heidi

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

I am the Interim Full-Time Adult Basic Education Faculty, taking Anne Dolan’s position while she is the Interim Basic Skills Director.  I’ve been adjunct at GRC for almost 10 years, and was a classroom aid here in a GED classroom for 2 years before that.  My M.Ed. is from Seattle University’s Adult Education and Training program, so I specialize in teaching a diverse adult student population a broad range of topics.  I’ve also worked at a couple other schools, but for the last two years, GRC has kept me pretty busy, so I’ve been very lucky.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Green River has always been a part of my life.  I grew up a mile away, and I would come do research at the library for assignments for school because it was closer to my house than my school’s or the public libraries.  Then, I was a student here before transferring to Central Washington University.  One of my first jobs after earning my B.A. was back here at Green River as a classroom aid, and then, once I had my master’s degree, I got hired as an adjunct.  Green River is one of the few safe places in the world for me.

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

I used to live 57 miles away, so I’d listen to NPR, books on tape, and calming music on stressful traffic days.  But now I live about 8 minutes away, so I really don’t have time to listen to anything.  I totally love it!!

What was the very first job you ever had?

At 14, I got a job as the Fat Quarter Girl at my mom’s friend’s quilt shop here in Auburn, The Calico Cat.  But pretty soon, I taught myself how to run the cash register, because cutting and folding fat quarters got old really quick.  I worked there after school and on holidays and weekends for almost 11 years.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I’m always excited every quarter to get back in the classroom and work with students, regardless of position.  Adult Basic Education has such a direct impact on student’s lives, so it is always rewarding.  I’m also excited to help grow GRC’s High School 21+ program further, and help develop the capacity to start awarding students high school diplomas in a new and innovative way.

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

As a former adjunct, I’d love to establish an adjunct mentorship and orientation process to our program, so adjuncts feel included and valued here.  Each school they teach at is different, and I feel it’s important that they know where to turn to ask questions that are Green River-ABE-program-specific.

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

First, I’m very proud of my education.  I worked very hard to get where I am, and I believe I’m a better teacher because school didn’t always come easy to me.  I can commiserate with students if they struggle, and I remember what it feels like to be challenged.  Second, I have had clothing that I’ve designed, pattern-drafted, and constructed accepted into juried, international textile shows, and I’m very proud of that.  Lastly, I’ve lived through some very difficult, “out-of-order” events in my life.  I realize I’m not the only one to have done this, but again, I think it allows me to identify with my students’ difficult, and often tragic, life situations.

Also, my dad worked here in the bookstore for ten years after he retired from teaching elementary school.  When he died suddenly in 2001, my family established the John C. Sheneberger Memorial Scholarship here with the Green River Foundation.  I am extremely proud that every year, a student here at GRC can attend school with a little less debt, thanks to this scholarship.  :)

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

I have no idea, but hopefully it would be something that would reflect my hard work and happy attitude with students. J  Sometimes, people call me D, because then it’s easier to say hello = “Hi D!!”  (Get it??  Because my name is Heidi??  Get it??)

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

I can rock a karaoke mic like nobody’s business.  And I quilt, but that would be difficult and boring to watch in a talent show…

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

This is a tough one.  If it’s about the school, I’d say something like:  Generate Rigorous and Energetic (classes for) Engaged (student) learNing, but that’s definitely a stretch…I’d have to think about it a little bit longer.

New Employee Spotlight – Lady Ivory Boyd

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.Boyd, Lady Ivory

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

Hello everyone. I’m Lady Ivory Boyd, and I am excited to join the team of professional staff at Green River College and fill the position of Educational Planner. Prior to joining Green River, I have served professionally in higher education in various capacities. A few of my recent professional endeavors include serving as Academic Advisor for the College of Health Sciences at Boise State University, Assistant Director/Senior Program Advisor for University of New Mexico’s TRIO McNair Scholars and Research Opportunity Programs, and Senior Lead Admissions Advisor at Trident University International. Prior to these positions, I served in roles of advising and program coordinating for the Department of Psychology and the Career Opportunities in Research (NIMH-COR) Program at California State University Long Beach. I also assisted in teaching introductory statistics for the social sciences at Cerritos Community College. Other professional roles I have served outside of higher education include working as a paraprofessional mental health counselor, certified women’s domestic violence facilitator, K-12 tutor, and working with special needs youth as a behavioral therapist and Y-inclusion facilitator for the YMCA.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

When I first researched Green River’s mission statement, departments, programs, student demographics, and published articles from staff members and leaders via the college website; I got a clear sense that collectively, there was a strong spirit of collaboration across the board to work together to engage students and help them achieve academic success. This sense of community is centered on compassionate student service, which is reflected in Green River’s motto “Think Student-Then Decide.” Because I share the same core values of serving the best interest of each individual student; I was naturally drawn to the community at Green River College. Today, I am honored to have this opportunity to join the Green River team, and I look forward to working together via innovative collaboration with the staff and students at Green River to help improve our community through academic excellence.

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

Air 1 Positive Hits

What was the very first job you ever had?

Cashier at KFC

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am most excited about collaborating with awesome and compassionate staff at Green River, and work together with our wonderful students to help them discover their potential and achieve their goals.

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

I want to learn from as many staff and students as much as possible so I can get to know my students and best serve their needs.

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

From a professional career perspective, I would say #1 is using my education to give back by serving others in a way that helps them grow personally and professionally. I would not be in a position to help others today without having received support from others myself, as I persevered through some of the most challenging moments of my academic career. Which leads me to # 2, when I earned my academic degrees (from high school to graduate school), and #3 earning scholarships/awards and or job offers/promotions I applied for and worked hard to achieve.

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

“Max’s mom,” because I have a sweet, calm and loving golden fur child that I was allowed to bring to work; he would follow me around, quietly curl up under my desk, or bring joy to my colleagues who needed a stress break, and even help with program outreach/recruitment at tabled events.

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

I like to dance, write poetry and songs. I can sing my songs but I’m not that good of a singer.

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

Give unconditional love and Respect even when you agree to disagree, in order to build Enriching relationships that Empower and Nurture a positive environment.

New Employee Spotlight – Jacqueline Li

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.Li, Jacqueline

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

Hello! I have recently joined the Green River team as an International Student Advisor. Before Green River, I was spending half my time in the US and half in Taiwan, working to start and run a test prep and college counseling academy in Taiwan. I recently completed a Master’s in Educational Leadership at Penn GSE.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I’m interested in working with international students and cultural exchange, so this position was really my idea of a perfect fit, at least career-wise! I then learned about Green River’s excellent and expansive International Programs department, and met the wonderful advising team at Green River, and knew that this would be a great, supportive, and educational place to work. I’ve only been proven right!

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

Japanese pop or the top hits on the radio. My latest favorite is Shut Up and Dance!

What was the very first job you ever had?

Very first “job” was probably babysitting my younger brother, but my first job with a paycheck was working at the Coldstone Creamery in the mall by my house during high school. I was promoted to Manager after a few months and managed to save a lot of money for college!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I can’t wait to start meeting and forming relationships with students. The students here all seem wonderful, and I’ve found that one of the best things about working in education is that the students continue to amaze year after year. You’ll think you had the best year/experience possible, but the students continue to top that time after time! I’m also excited to be working with such passionate, friendly, happy people in IP Advising!

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

My goal is to help students succeed, whatever that might mean for them and their families. I’d love to be successful at helping as many students as I can. A personal project that I’d like to build is a whole wall of college banners – my goal is to form close relationships with my students, and hopefully assist them to have a transformational time here at Green River; then after they successfully transfer, I hope students will send me banners from their new institutions, which I will display proudly around my office.

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

I come from a low-income family, and neither of my parents attended college. Matriculating into and graduating from college, especially from a school like Harvard, is a huge accomplishment for me. I also had a very rough relationship with my parents growing up; resolving my differences with my dad and building a closer relationship with him is another big accomplishment. Lastly, having the courage to follow my interests, into education, graduate school in education, and now here to Green River also makes me so happy. I faced a lot of pressure to pursue a more lucrative or stable, etc. career, but working with international students and in education makes me happier than anything else!

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

If I were to choose… Hermione! I love Harry Potter and Hermione (and Emma Watson!) is my favorite. I admire her brains, loyalty, and bravery!

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

I love arts and crafts. Perhaps I could make some classy invitations or inspirational posters (I do calligraphy!) for the event, or put together some larger display pieces!

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

Grin Revel Enchant Encourage (Experiment) Now!

New Employee Spotlight -Adam Waters

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.Waters, Adam

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

This year I started as the new full time Professor for the Design and Drafting department at Green River. I’ve been formally trained as an educator and as a drafter. When I was younger, I spent the time studying Electro-mechanical engineering until I discovered I was much more passionate about helping others reach their potential. I transitioned to teaching and that has become a focal point of my life. I spent a few years in teaching math in Arizona but grew disillusioned with the rigors of state testing and moved to Spain to teach English to adults. Though the change was motivating, I returned and started a new career, walking down a familiar pathway, as a drafter. And now, I’m excited to start my new path here as a Professor at Green River.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

It was an obvious choice to apply to Green River. The Drafting program is one of the best in the Pacific Northwest and I loved the atmosphere around the school. Everyone has been friendly, helpful and dedicated to making the school a better place for the students. This is exactly the environment that I have been looking for in a career.

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

I bounce back and forth between keeping up with news on NPR, comedy stations on Pandora, or listening to a song I can’t get out of my head over and over and over again, ad nauseam.

What was the very first job you ever had?

When I was 13 (or possibly 12) I worked as a water slide attendant just across from the beach in Rhode Island. Even though it was exciting to say “Go, stay tucked” repeatedly, while the hot sun and warm chlorinated water rejuvenated my skin, I didn’t think the ‘all clear’ whistle really rounded out my full potential.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The most exciting piece of the new position is the having the ability to interact with many people and help them get back up and on their own feet. The drafting program has an excellent track record of getting students trained and out into the workforce with the tools they need to succeed. I’m excited about helping them achieve what will make them happy.

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

I’d like to start with small goals before expanding to larger long term goals. I’m very interested in collaborating with other departments around campus to integrate the technology in our department with others design ideas to facilitate the critical thinking skills required of our students in the real world. Though this is also a long term goal, I plan to network and begin these conversations this year.

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

I’m proud that this is the most difficult question that I have to answer on this “New Employee” Interview. My father never raised me to be a boastful human being and this has stuck with me, possibly even to a detriment. However I’m most proud that I was able to save his life from cancer with a critical bone marrow transplant, an act I will never forget.

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

I’ve never had a nickname in my life that’s stuck for more than a few weeks or with more than 1 person. I’m not opposed to nicknames but I would have no idea what I would give myself.

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

As I’ve done for most of the talent shows in my life, I would likely sit on the back of the stage and bang out a good rhythm on the drum set while some other very talented people ‘wow the crowd’ with classic 80’s hair band style guitar poses.

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

“Tonight on Master Chef, G.R.E.E.N!” – Gordon Ramsey effectively eats nougat.

Or if you meant it to be more about Green River:

Green River:  Generating Renowned Energetic Erudite Nerds

New Employee Spotlight – Sarah Edwards

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.Edwards, Sarah

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

I’m now full-time faculty in the math department. I’ve spent the last five years as an adjunct here at Green River, and before that I spent a year in Honduras teaching sixth grade to middle schoolers (in English, although my Spanish also got much better during that year!).

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I’d already spent five years here in a great and very supportive department, so applying for a full-time position was the next natural step.

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

On the ride in, nothing, because I am still waking up. On the ride home, usually either the classical station or a podcast. Right now I’m working through one called Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men – if you ever wanted someone to guide you through the ridiculousness that is the X-Men comics universe, I recommend it!

What was the very first job you ever had?

Subway! I still know exactly how many meatballs and pieces of cheese go on a six-inch

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I’m excited to be more involved in my department. We’ve got great people in the math division, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of them and being more in the thick of things.

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

Walk down to the river at least once a week while the weather is nice. I keep meaning to go, and then I never do.

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

Being the first person in my family to finish a bachelor’s degree, writing a science fiction story that was selected for a best-of-the-year anthology, and teaching in Honduras for a year.

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

Sara without the H. It’d be very easy for everyone to remember, and it’d be stealthy, because no one except us would realize it was a nickname at all.

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

I would give a brief lecture entitled Simple HTML as a Relaxation Technique.

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

Gallivanting Reindeer Endeavor Ever North

New Employee Spotlight – John Falconer

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.Falconer, John

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

I am an ABE Instructor working in High School Completion in the TS&W Division. I was a career technical translator (Japanese/Russian to English) and returned to teaching about seven years ago at an area college as an I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training) instructor in phlebotomy. In September 2014, I became an ABE instructor at that same college, coordinating a budding HS21+ program.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

A colleague worked here as an adjunct several years ago and I heard many good things about GRC from her. The beautiful national-park-like setting and hiking trails also make coming to work something I look forward to every day.

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

For Spanish language ear-training, I like to listen to La Gran D (99.3 FM), but when I get out of range, I tune to NPR (88.5 or 94.9 FM) to keep up with current events.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I was a paperboy in rainy Portland, Oregon.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The students, my colleagues and the opportunities for personal and professional growth. There are currently many exciting changes on the horizon in the area of High School Completion.

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

Get to know my students, my colleagues and departmental procedures thoroughly so that I can be most effective helping students to plan out and complete high school and transition to a program or career pathway.

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

My wife, my two sons and my new position here at the college.

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

They already have! We have too many people with the same first name, so I have become “Falconer” or “Falcon” in the TS&W Division.

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

Once upon a time, I was fairly serious about the Japanese bamboo flute (shakuhachi), an instrument that is used to produce long, slow tones for meditation. I could play a couple of melodies from the Tozan repertoire.

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

Give                                        Green

Real                                        River

Excellence,                            Environment:

Enthusiastically                    Endlessly

Now!                                       New

New Employee Spotlight – Nelson Phouphokone

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.Phouphakone, Nelson2

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

I am a One-Year Temporary Math Instructor.  I got my Bachelor in Electrical Engineering at University of Washington and my Master in Mathematics at Washington State University.  I am working as a part-time instructor after I got my Master degree.  When I was a part-timer, I worked for North Seattle College, South Seattle College, Highline College and of course, Green River College.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I have been working as a part-time instructor for Green River College for 9 years.  I love the environment around the school.  Sometimes, I would walk on the trail in the forest.  However, I love the most is the atmosphere of the Math department.  When I come to work, I don’t feel like I go to a working place.  I feel like I am coming back home.  Everyone is like a family.

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

I like listening to Chinese songs and the radio, 106.9.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I was a PC technician.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I think the most exciting thing about the job is I could have a lot of time to know my students and to help them when they needed me.

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

I would like to learn how to be a full time instructor.

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

Receiving my Master degree

Marrying with my wife

Being a Math instructor

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

Polo man, since I love to wear a Polo shirt.

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

I could be a singer.

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

Green River Excellent Education iNstitution

New Employee Spotlight – Ian Sherman-Youngblood

Sherman-Youngblood, Ian3We’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 tenure-track English instructor. Currently I work at Olympic College as a tenured English instructor and coordinator of the English discipline. I have been there for eight years–it was my first full-time teaching job, though I taught as an adjunct for a few years, including here at Green River.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

My commute to OC was coming to feel more and more taxing. In addition, I’d been snapped up into leadership positions requiring of me greater and greater presence on campus. It was a really unmanageable combination.

I ran into Jaeney Hoene and some other GRCC staff and faculty at a Community College Humanities Association conference, and she mentioned the new position opening in English. I always looked back fondly upon my time at GRCC, so I applied when the opportunity arose.

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

I’ve been doing a ferry commute for eight years and I usually don’t listen to anything–I read or grade. This will be my first real car commute in over a decade, so it’s time to invest in some equipment. I’m told Amazon has a service that coordinates ebooks with audiobooks–that sounds lovely! Otherwise, blues and soul.

What was the very first job you ever had?

Digging something, but I don’t remember what, for a neighbor. In terms of jobs not paid with pocket change, I processed returns at Toys R Us. I sent broken toys to their deaths, popping a giant yellow “TO BE DESTROYED” sticker on the side of the box. No joke. I’m sure they recycle now.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

In my interview, I asked the panel to talk about the overall feeling of the English division–everyone had something to say, and all of it sounded so welcoming.

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

I have been working on a few article ideas–one on mindfulness in the classroom, and one on native English speakers’ attitudes to their language–and I would like to use the reflective space that the tenure process creates to try to research and write these.

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

You all don’t pull any punches, do you? OK.

1) As I’m from a town of 150 people in Northern Nevada, I’m very proud that I got out–and ended up spending two years teaching abroad (in Russia and Turkey).

2) I’m very proud of all I accomplished at Olympic–I leave there knowing they are in a better place than when I arrived.

3) I am part of a beautiful, complicated, and unique family–my husband and I are both donor fathers to the same couple. Our boys are each related to us in turn, but they are also brothers–they have the same birth mother. We are part of their lives, and our big, complicated family is so beautiful.

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

Nope. Nicknames are earned, never self-generated. You all will have to answer this one for me!

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

I do a mean karaoke rendition of “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” by Georgia Satellites.

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

An acronym for a team of super villains: Get Rid of Each and Every Nice guy.

An acronym for an unusually strict Japanese-ish diet plan: Garlic, Ramps, Eel, Enoki, and Natto. Actually, except for the natto, that sounds delicious.

An acronym for an overly-concerned mother’s note to her daughter, of poor eyesight, leaving home for the first time: Get Regular Eye Exams, Nancy!

New Employee Spotlight – Geoff Palmer

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.Palmer, Geoff3

I am happy to report that I am a full time tenure-track faculty in Sociology. I began teaching college classes in Sociology at the University of Washington in 2010 and I have been teaching at North Seattle College since 2012. I am ecstatic to bring that experience to work for the students at Green River College.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Green River College has a strong reputation for collegiality and a dedication to student success. These values harmonize strongly with my own, and so when I saw that a position opened I had to apply.

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

The answer to this changes all the time because I’m a big fan of variety. Sometimes I listen to the morning news, other times I switch on the Wolf to hear some country pop, and other times I dig deep into the archives to bring some James Brown or some Charles Mingus to the morning ride. When I’m feeling indecisive, I let Pandora do the selecting for me. The one song that will never, ever, ever play during my morning commute is John Cage’s 4’33”.

What was the very first job you ever had?

My first paid position was at Dick’s Drive-In in Seattle on Holman Road. My first task was bun-sorting.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

One of my favorite things to do is to meet new people and share ideas, experiences, and stories. So far, I’ve found the folks at Green River to be most excellent, and I can’t wait to meet and work with all the other students, staff, administration and faculty!

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

This is a tough question because there are a lot of things I would like to do. That being said, a primary goal of mine is to learn about the population at GRC and fine-tailor my curriculum to meet your needs. Sociology is all about the study of the relationship between individuals and society, and I want to make this subject fascinating by connecting it to your lives.

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

Hmmm…another tough question. I don’t always think in terms of pride, but if I had to choose, I would say that the three accomplishments that engender the most pride for me are (not in order) placing third in my age bracket at the Nintendo World Championships Seattle, earning the Master’s Degree, and being selected for the job at Green River College!

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

Oh my gosh. I have no idea. Can I check back in with you in a month? I bet that I’ll have a nickname by then.

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

I would have to play my own interpretation of Disney’s A Whole New World on my guitar. I’d sing both parts.

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

I think GREEN is an acronym for many things ranging from political to business groups. That being said, if I had to make something up off the cuff, I would go with Graze Right: Eat Excess Nutella!

New Employee Spotlight – Josh Archer

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.Archer, Josh2

I am an Information Technology Instructor in Software Development. My research interests include algorithm analysis, graph theory, data structure design, database design and web development.

I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science. After finishing my degree I worked for four years as a web developer for Highline College working on their English as a Second Language (ESL) website. I also taught full-time at Highline for four years, teaching their beginning classes in Java, introduction to Computer Science and Web Development courses

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I heard that Green River has fantastic people working in their IT Department! I’ve known one of them for four years!

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

I listen primarily to talk radio or once in a while an audio-book. I don’t spend much time listening to music.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I had a paper route in Lakewood WA. It was dangerous at times! (ask me about this)

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I will get the opportunity to teach Bachelor’s level classes in software design!

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

I want to get to know my department and the students in our Bachelor’s program. I also want to get to know the layout of Campus. I feel lost so far!

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

  1. Finishing my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree!
  2. Meeting and marrying my wife!
  3. Becoming a teacher and realizing that this is really where my heart is!

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

I already have a nickname “Archer.” This is because we have another Josh in our division.

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

I can play guitar pretty well!

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

G- Graduating!

R- Ready!

E- Energetic!

E- Eager!

N- Networking!

 Good attributes to have when searching for a software development position!

New Employee Spotlight – Marshall Jeffries

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.

Employee-MarshallJeffriesPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.

My name is Marshall Jeffries, and I am the newly appointed instructor of sociology. I am also known as Oninewa Itai (Stands Strong), “Itai” (ee-tie-ee) for short. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2009 at Guilford College, a small, Quaker liberal arts college in North Carolina. I went on to pursue a Master’s and Doctorate in Sociology at Georgia State University in Atlanta. I completed my PhD coursework and qualifying exams in 2013, and I am currently working toward the completion of my dissertation. My scholarly interests are in the topics of race studies, American Indian studies, colonialism and culturally accountable institutional practices. I have taught undergraduate sociology since 2013. I love being in the classroom! I have additional professional experience working with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Association of Chronic Disease Directors through the Tribal Support Office and the Traditional Foods Program (a collaboration with American Indian Nations and organizations).

What drew you to apply to Green River?

If I were given the ultimate power to create an ideal professional home for my motivations, values, teaching philosophy and personal interests, it might look something like Green River College. Foremost, I am looking for a place to grow and expand into an excellent teacher. For me, this involves creating a learning environment where students from multiple cultural backgrounds and life experiences can excel. This also involves conscious and impassioned mentoring and engagement with students inside and outside of the classroom. Because of the unique student body and the commitments made by GRC administration and faculty, I believe that GRC is a place where these ideals can manifest into realities. Additionally, I am originally from a rural area and enjoy my time outdoors. For that reason, I quickly fell in love with the natural beauty and splendor of this magical campus.

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

I am a total NPR nerd. 80 percent of the time you will catch me listening to that. When I am not tuned in to NPR, I am mostly likely listening to Indy bands that no one has ever heard of.

What was the very first job you ever had?

At the age of 16, I took my first job folding clothes and cleaning restrooms at the Old Navy clothing store in Durham, North Carolina. Each job that I have held has taught me something useful. That job, in particular, helps me relate to the many students working low-wage jobs while taking classes.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The potential to build constructive relationships with students is the most exciting thing about this new position. Some of the students may be in the process of completing high school, some earning transfer credits, and others looking for terminal options. Regardless of the end goal, the discipline of sociology has the potential to change lives (I can personally attest to this). I want to create educational experiences that are truly trans-formative and participate in and witness this transformation in the lives of students from all walks of life.

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

A solid goal for my first year is to connect and foster relationships with my fellow faculty at GRC. If the faculty community is strong, the students will benefit from that. I look forward to the friendships that can be made here.

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

1) I am the first in my family to go to college. I did not stop until I had earned a doctorate. This required a great deal of persistence (and debt!) but was truly worth it.

2) I have surrounded myself with a network of diverse, educated (in all senses of the word), and compassionate people that offer mutual support and guidance. I am keenly aware of the fact that when I enter a situation, professional or otherwise, I have them with me.

3) I have been able to finish graduate school and move in to the professional world without losing my passion and drive. I am every bit as motivated to creating change through the conscious application of sociology as I was when I first committed my life to the discipline.

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

I don’t know, but it might involve hot tea! I love hot tea, and I offer a hot tea tray for students who visit my office. Perhaps it is my southern hospitality, but I believe if you can offer food and drink to someone, you form a bond and level of comfort that is difficult to achieve otherwise.

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

Though I do not generally consider this to be a “talent,” I am one of a handful of people that speaks the Tutelo-Saponi language, an Indigenous Siouan dialect. If I were to appear in this talent show, I would probably fly my sister here and we would do a Tutelo song together.

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

Growing Responsible Educated Existences Now

New Employee Spotlight – Clay Donley

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.

Employee-ClaryDonleyPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.

My official title is Retail Clerk Lead, but my job is mostly shipping, receiving and internet sales.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

“Bookstore” was in the job listing! Also, I thought it would be fun to work around the energy of a college campus.  It didn’t hurt that GRC is close to my home too.

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

My I-pod mostly.  Sometimes talk radio or a pop music station though.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I was 15 years old and got hired to paint barracks on a military base in the Azores, Portugal.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The wide variety of people that I get to meet every day!

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

I just want to have a positive impact in my work place while helping the many students I see each day.

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

Raising 2 wonderful children with my wife, getting them into college, owning and remodeling my home.

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

“Cheesehead” maybe?  Because I am a big fan of the Green Bay Packers

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

I happen to be pretty good at archery.

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

Generous Resourceful Enthusiastic Energetic Nice

New Employee Spotlight – Sonia Ramirez

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.

Ramirez SoniaI am the new Progress and Completion Advisor in the Career & Advising Center. My specialty is to provide educational and support services to students with educational and/or personal goals.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

The opportunities it could offer for personal and professional growth.

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

I listen to the radio or to a playlist of different genres.

What was the very first job you ever had?

When I was nine, I used to run errands for people in my neighborhood. I got paid in tips.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

There are too many things I’m excited for this new position. If I had to pick only one would be meeting new people (staff/students).

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

Make a positive impact on students’ lives.

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

Education, home ownership, and my path to citizenship.

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

Icebreaker :) I facilitate icebreakers, energizers, and fun group activities.

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

Good at Zumba :)

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

Getting Ready to Educate and Empower our Nation

New Employee Spotlight – Jordan Tjoelker

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.

Jordan TjoelkerI am the new Bookstore Manager Assistant. Previously I was a manager for McLendon Hardware, a local home improvement store.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I liked the idea of working at a college, surrounded by people who are trying to improve their lives.

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

I listen to rock, alternative, and folk rock. I tend to switch between whatever local stations are not playing commercials. I sing badly daily, Carpoolers beware.

What was the very first job you ever had?

Starting the summer when I was 13 I picked berries during the day and loaded hay at night.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am looking forward to getting to know the team at the bookstore. I have been working for quite awhile in the home improvement business and am ready to try something else.

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

In my first year at Green River I would like to take a class or two.

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

I am lucky to have found my soul mate in junior high and we have been together for 15 years, I put a new engine in my car with only videos from YouTube and online discussion forums, and I make some pretty awesome tacos.

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

Captain Hammer, I’m good at fixing stuff, I’m here to save the day.

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

I enjoy building and gardening. I would build and plant a garden box.

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

Reading Encourages Excellent Nerdfighters.

New Employee Spotlight – Shirley Bean

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.

Shirley BeanPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am joining Green River as Vice President for Business Administration. I have 23 years of experience in the community and technical college system in Washington, in the areas of budget, finance, payroll, purchasing, facilities, and auxiliary services. I am coming to Green River from Highline College, where I have served as the college’s Director of Finance and Auxiliary Services since 2006.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
A number of things contributed to my decision to apply; certainly a key reason was the great reputation that Green River has in our system. Along with that, it was sort of the perfect job that came along at the perfect time – a perfect fit with my values, my skills and my career goals. And the best part was the opportunity to join a stellar group of colleagues doing important work in support of student success.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I have always had a fairly long commute, so this is an important consideration for me.  In no particular order: E Street Radio or Little Steven’s Underground Garage (satellite radio); KPLU (jazz and local NPR station); my iPod, which features an eclectic mix of artists and genres – Emmylou Harris, The Partridge Family, and the Lumineers are some on my current playlist. I can’t believe I just admitted to listening to the Partridge Family….

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first real job was selling women’s shoes. I progressed from that to driving a fork lift at a home improvement store. My first job in the community college system was as a student worker in the Purchasing Office at South Puget Sound Community College. I joke that I started in the community college system in 1990 and they haven’t been able to get rid of me yet.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
What has always excited me about working at a community college is feeling that I am contributing to helping people realize their dreams. As someone whose career is administratively focused, I consider it such a privilege to go to work every day and use my skills to make it possible for people to make a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. Along with that, I’m really excited to be part of such a dynamic, student-focused leadership team.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
It’s hard to quantify, because sometimes the biggest accomplishments aren’t readily apparent. At the end of my first year, I’d like to look back and say that I made a strong contribution to the good work that happens every single day in our division and across our campuses. I would consider the year a success if everyone in our division could say that they feel valued, respected and supported in the work they do for students, if our colleagues across campus said that we are a resource and partner that they can rely on, and if our constituents, both internal and external, were satisfied that the physical and financial resources of the college were in good hands.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Raising ethical, kind, responsible sons, completing my master’s degree (with a 4.0 GPA) while working full time and raising a family, and on a far more shallow note, the one moment of athletic prowess I’ve shown in my entire life: the hole-in-one that I got in 1999 at the Village Greens Golf Course in Port Orchard. People who have seen me golf generally demand that I provide proof of that feat.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
I have been called “the Tim Gunn of the Finance Office”, because I have been known to say “it’s another make it work moment people”. This is a reference to the reality television show “Project Runway” which I and a number of my friends and colleagues watch without fail and then thoroughly dissect each week. It’s either that or something slightly sarcastic like “Sunshine” since I am annoyingly perky in the morning.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Darn – I was afraid I’d get asked the hypothetical talent show question. Had I known that this would be a recurrent issue I would have made an effort during my misspent youth to cultivate some form of talent. As it is, I have to say my talents don’t exactly lend themselves to public performance. I am a fairly skilled baker (this summer I am working on perfecting the fruit tart), a dreadful yet earnest golfer (see question #7 under proudest accomplishments) and a darned good speller. Seriously, I was a competitive speller in grade school. Between that and my self-disclosed passion for the Partridge Family, you all are pretty excited I’m here, right?

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Hmmm, how about: “Globally Responsive Excellence in Education Now”…“Guiding Resources to Educate, Empower and Nurture”…or the less gracious but undeniably inspirational “Gator’s Rock, Everyone Else NOT”…

New Employee Spotlight – Jesse Reagan

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.

Jesse-ReaganPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I’m new to the mail room full time but between 2003 and 2007 I have worked here in the mail room on and off part time. I have spent the last six years working in the Auburn School District and in Real Estate

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I applied at GRC because of my previous work experience here. The staff is friendly and a lot of fun.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I like Country mainly, however anything but commercials is OK with me.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was at McDonald’s.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m most excited about being back on campus, it’s a lot of fun seeing old faces and meeting new ones.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Survive Roy and Erik. :)

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Just finished coaching my son’s first year of Tball. Bit of more than I could chew there but pulled through and looking for to next season.

My two kids, it’s amazing watching them grow every day, I think they are turning out quite well.

Maintaining a job, sounds kinda weird but I love being able to provide for my family.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
I think I would like to know what that is.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Not sure I have any talent show like talents. I could deliver a monologue, I have a lot of acting experience.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Great
Recreational
Environment
Effects
Nurtured

New Employee Spotlight -Naomi Lane

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.

Naomi-LanePlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I will be joining Green River College at the Master Achieving Center as Educational Planner Transition Specialist. I have served and volunteered here at Green River as an AmeriCorps member for the past two years. I worked with low-income and non-traditional youth and adults with homework, obtaining their GED, Compass prep, and college transition. I also worked as a classroom support for the IDEA project at Kent Campus.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
A wonderful member here told me about the position :)

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
For my morning commute, I listen to NPR. When it’s raining, I like to listen to jazz.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first job was at Safeway in Auburn. Had to apply twice for a courtesy clerk position back in high school. It was pretty competitive!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am excited to engage with students with their academic and career goals. When students make a decision to go to college, it is a very special moment in their life. Just getting to see them plan out their future and work towards a goal is moving to me and I love being a part of their journey.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
For my first year at Green River, I want to engage with the student body and create a program to help students with high transportation barriers.

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

  1. Ran a half marathon.
  2. Learned how to make some of my favorite dishes from scratch.
  3. Haven’t killed a plant for over 3 years!

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
My nickname would be Chameleon because it’s my spirit animal.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I hate to disappoint, but so far I have not found a special hidden talent of mine. I’m still searching!

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Giving Readiness Equity Education Nemophilist

New Employee Spotlight-Lauren Cline

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.Cline, Lauren

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new director of Nursing. I attended a Diploma nursing program back in Connecticut and I worked on med/surg and critical care units and IV team for 10 years. Following our move to Washington State, I returned to the beside on Oncology and Telemetry units, and IV team. I have spent the last 11 years teaching undergraduate BSN students in clinical and theory. I also worked as a staff development educator and new graduate residency coordinator

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The smaller campus and relationships with faculty, staff, and students.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and Yo Yo Ma

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked on a shade tobacco farm during the summer planting and sewing the leaves.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Working with the diverse student population on campus.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Launching of the LPN-BSN program.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Raising my children, completing two degrees and now pursuing my doctorate, and nurse camp

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Early bird, because I am almost always the first one in the office.

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

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

G- grace

R- respectful

E- ethical

E-encouragment

N-nurturing

New Employee Spotlight – Kari Lutcavich

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.

Lutcavich, KariPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I will be working at Green River College as a Program Specialist in the Financial Aid Department. This is my first time working with numbers and finances, but I have previously worked at a college as a customer service representative in the campus library at Oregon State University, where I received my bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. I have previously worked in many different positions, including an administrative assistant position at a cable company, as a photographer and as an editorial assistant for Seattle magazine.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I applied to Green River after my internship at Seattle magazine ended and I was seeking a company where I could establish a full time career. The open position sounded challenging and rewarding. I was also excited at the opportunity to work with students and help them reach their educational goals. I’m very fond of the beautiful campus and I’m excited to work here.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
It’s always something different! It could be Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Michael Jackson, Kid Ink or Theory of a Deadman.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I started working when I was 16 at the Covington King County Library as a Library Page. This meant that I restocked the shelves with returned books, collected books for patron holds, and organized the library. It was a great first job!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m most excited about the opportunity to make a positive difference in students’ lives by giving them good news about their financial aid.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
By the end of my first year, I’d love to become an expert on all aspects of financial aid to the point that I can answer any student’s question with confidence. I would also love to become known amongst my coworkers as an employee who is a pleasure to work with and one who always works hard.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I am most proud of earning my second degree black belt in tae kwon do, graduating from Oregon State University with high honors (I’m a first generation college graduate), and living and studying abroad in Spain where I published a magazine article in Spanish.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
My office nickname might be Smiley because I’m usually always happy and have a smile on my face.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I could show off some tae kwon do and break boards and bricks.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G – Gators
R – Real
E – Excellent
E – Education
N – Nation

New Employee Spotlight – Leilani Hoglund

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.

Leilani HoglundPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My new title is Budget Coordinator Administrative Assistant 3. I worked in Payroll for several years at Alaska Airlines, Coinstar and SunGro Horticulture. I went back to school to get my Medical Assistant Degree at Highline Community College. I then decided I wanted to go into Nursing, so I enrolled at Green River College, graduated in 2012 and transferred to The Evergreen State College to get my Bachelor’s in Public Administration. I started working for Washington Student Achievement Council in the Gear Up Program and then transferred to Washington State Parks and Recreation and have been there for the past two years, working as an Admin Assistant for the SW Region Capital Program.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I enjoyed my time as a student and part-time employee working at Green River! My time spent in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, as a Peer Navigator and working in the ESOL Program, helped me realize how much I enjoy helping others to succeed. I like to help others and to show others how to help themselves and it is the most rewarding thing to struggle as a student and when you finally pass that class or graduate, it is such a wonderful feeling!

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
While I was still in school and commuting over an hour just to get to work and school, I often would listen to audio books on my way to work. I enjoy listening to all types of music preferably on Pandora or personal CD’s, I don’t really like listening radio station commercials.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first jobs were working for Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt during the week at 14 years of age and working for a Survey company counting cigarette sales around Southern California on the weekends.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Performing complex tasks and detail-driven projects and providing administrative support to the library and media services. Another exciting factor is my commute, I currently drive 62 miles one way to get to work and my new commute will only be 6.2 miles one way!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to accomplish mastering my new job duties and responsibilities so that I can be an asset to my department and team. I would also love to accomplish furthering my own education in Professional Career Development and working on my Master’s Degree.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My first and second accomplishments would be my two daughters LeilahRose and Isabella. My third accomplishment would be the fact that I did not give up on getting my Bachelor’s degree even though I was in two car accidents, scared to drive to school and work every day.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
“Islander” because I love anything having to do with the islands, tropical beach, sun and water!

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Playing a bass guitar, saxophone or water jugs.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Get Rich Easily Education Necessary
Green River Educates Everyone Now

G-get
R-ready
E-energize
E-everyone
N-nearby

New Employee Spotlight – Allen Brewer

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.Allen Brewer
Custodian 2 is my new position. From 2001 until 2013, I worked as a custodian at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.  Most recently I have been working in the same capacity at the Bellevue Club up in Bellevue, Washington.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
My wife and I recently moved from Renton down to the Auburn area and I wanted to feel more connected to the local community. When searching for a potential position in the area I stumbled onto the Green River College web site.  After looking at the available jobs, seeing the custodial listing and a drive up the hill to the campus for a quick look, I felt like this would be a good fit and submitted an application.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Mike and Mike. ESPN sports talk radio.

What was the very first job you ever had?
A dishwasher at a local restaurant.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I like getting to meet new people, like the students I worked for and around at my previous college work experience.  Every year as I say goodbye to current friends, a new group enters my life.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Learn as much as I can from my fellow employees and the students in hopes of making a positive difference in at least one person’s life every day.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Marrying my wife, the birth of my children and seeing them marry the one person who makes them the happiest they could ever be with another person.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Old Reliable. I hardly ever get sick and always show up on time for all of my obligations.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Balance a stack of coins on the back of my forearm and then catch them all before they hit the ground.

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

Growing

Reliable

Environmental

Education

Nationally

New Employee Spotlight – Patricia Chakravarty

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.

Patricia ChakravartyPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the Institutional Research Coordinator. I will be leaving Highline Public Schools where I managed organizational change projects using SharePoint and was a core member of the launch of their new student management system, illuminate. Prior to that, I worked at Renton Technical College and was a data analyst consultant at Skagit Valley, Grays Harbor, and Whatcom colleges. Previously, I worked as an engineer for 15 years at The Boeing Company.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I had worked for Chris Johnson at Renton Technical College and really enjoyed that.  When I found out about the new position, it sounded like an exciting opportunity.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I like to listen to the online radio station, KLOVE. When I drive over to Spokane, my hometown, I get the station, but here in the Puget Sound I don’t. So, I need to listen online.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I was a “bingo-ette” at Big Brother’s Bingo in Spokane. We called the numbers, distributed the paper bingo cards and poured coffee. At that time, there weren’t any casinos, so it was Big business.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The collaboration and conversion of the proprietary legacy system to the Oracle PeopleSoft system environment.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to understand the Green River social and technical environment so I can make the conversion as smooth as possible.

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

I earned a BS in Electrical Engineering and a MBA

I have followed my heart at major life points

I purchased and manage several rental properties in the Seattle and Spokane areas

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Perky – I’m usually pretty energetic and a little hyperactive.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Stand-up Comedy – What it’s been like to be a woman in a tech environment and a techie in an educational environment.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Get Ready Everyone, Engage Now!

New Employee Spotlight -Marc Milsten

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.

Milsten-MarcPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My new title is Coordinator of International Recreation & Activities. As a student, I studied abroad 6 different times. After graduating from PLU with a degree in Business Administration, I eventually found my way to Japan where I taught English on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Program. I continued teaching in Japan for a total of 7 ½ years in a variety of positions, most notably as part of a pilot program placing native English teachers in public schools. After returning to the US, I’ve been working in the International Programs office at North Seattle College coordinating the Short-Term International Programs.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The opportunity to combine two things I love: recreation/athletics and international education was incredibly appealing.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Usually Sports Talk Radio or a Podcast, but sometimes I’ll listen to Country, Classic Rock or 90’s Hip-Hop.

What was the very first job you ever had?
As a student, I worked at a moving company during summers and weekends.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Creating activities and events to help international students enjoy their college experience at Green River is something I’m very excited about. I know first-hand how much of an impact a positive international experience can be in a person’s life, so I hope to create amazing opportunities for the international students at Green River.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
To create a variety of recreational and athletics programs that fill a gap in the college experience for international and domestic students alike. The first of which is a competitive soccer program that continues to grow in size, quarter after quarter.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
1) Having an incredible relationship with my immediate and extended family.
2) Traveling and living abroad in Finland at the age of 15.
3) Creating a lasting connection with so many of my students and coworkers in Japan.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Marc-san, because I tend to talk about my time in Japan a bit too much.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I can whistle like a fire cracker.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G – Genuine (Genuinely care for the students, their well-being and success)
R – Resources (Providing resources for success: educational, professional & personal)
E – Exciting (In and outside of the classroom)
E – Educational (Also, in and outside of the classroom)
N – Nexus (The point where different things or ideas come together and intersect)

New Employee Spotlight -Dan Hodges

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.

Hodges-DanPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I will be the new Facilities Manager. I have more than 30 years of experience working in facilities management. I have a wide-range of experience in construction, maintenance, HVAC, fire sprinkler systems, building and mechanical codes. Most of my years of experience have been in banking facilities management, retirement / independent care / assisted living environmental services, and most recently retail mall operations management.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I have heard great things about Green River Community College. I applied here because I have the experience and skills to make a direct contribution at GRCC and desire to grow and challenge myself while making a difference in a diverse workplace.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
KIRO Talk Radio. I am an information junkie and love to learn about new things. The talk radio station talks about current events, controversial topics, economic issues, and world news.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked at Wick’s lumberyard in Reedley, California. I was a “Green Stacker”. I stacked the green lumber that was very heavy, and no one else wanted the job.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am excited about the opportunity to share my knowledge and to establish facilities processes that will benefit the facilities team and the organization. I am also excited about the opportunity to develop and be a part of the facilities team.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to do a complete analysis of all facilities and equipment, create and standardize a Preventative Maintenance program, set up processes and procedures that will increase efficiency and effectiveness of the facilities team while maintaining budget.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I earned my U.S. Citizenship when I was 17 years old,I got married to my first wife, and have continued to be married to her for the last 32 years, and I am a father of one daughter and one son.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
My nickname would be “Mr. Particular”, because I like to have things done right, and I have a high standard.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I could do some “Black-Smith” work.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
row Respect Every Environments Needs

New Employee Spotlight – Gregg Sapp

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.

Gregg SappPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I was hired as the Manager of the Washington Integrated Sector Employment (WISE) grant, a Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant. Therefore, my official job title is WISE Grant Manager. Hey, if the acronym fits, wear it.

Prior to accepting this position, I was the manager of another TAACCCT grant at Clover Park Technical College, this one for training in fields related to health information technology. Most of my background is in library administration and management, and I’ve worked in academic libraries from Montana State University, to the University of Miami (FL), to the State University of New York in Albany.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Primarily, I was attracted to the opportunity that this job provided. Upon doing some research, I became very impressed with Green River’s close linkages to the Auburn/ Kent communities and the breadth of it programmatic offerings.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I drive all the way from Olympia. On the way to work, I toggle between sports radio, National Public Radio, and (guilty pleasure) Howard Stern. Returning home, I listen to audio books (currently, “Atlantic” by Simon Winchester), until I cross the Nisqually Bridge, then listen to Bluegrass Junction on satellite radio the rest of the way.

What was the very first job you ever had?
At twelve, I was a paperboy, delivering the Columbus (OH) Citizen Journal.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I strongly believe in the opportunities provided by the Department of Labor’s TAACCCT program and look forward to continuing to work to provide training for in-demand, living wage jobs. It makes a real difference in peoples’ lives.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
The WISE grant has an ambitious timeline which, during the first year, will result in the creation of a new certificate program for technical Customer Service Representatives. I like to provide value-added to these programs, and along those lines I have a particular interest in online curricula and Open Education Resources.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My father used to say that you should try to do three things every day – something practical, something helpful, and something fun. If I live up to that philosophy every day, then I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
I have been called “Scoop,” which I hope is due to my journalistic and editorial experience and not an ironic reference to anything that might be disposed of by “scooping.”

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I’d like to play the lead role in the one-man show “Mark Twain Tonight.”

Also, as a shameless plug, I’d like to mention that my first novel, “Dollarapalooza,” was published in 2011 by Switchgrass Books of Northern Illinois University Press. I’ve just finished a new novel based upon the life of Johnny Appleseed, and I’m looking for a publisher.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Great Resources for Educating and Enlightening Neighbors? Or, since the first three letters of “GREEN” are the first three letters of my name, so, as I start this new job, I can hope that GREgg Enters Nirvana.

New Employee Spotlight – Brian Chan

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.

Brian Chan

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Web Application Developer. I was a technical consultant for little over a year after college at UW before deciding I needed a change.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I did running start at Green river during high school, so when I saw that they were hiring, I thought that it’d be a good fit.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Usually classic rock or whatever is on the radio, I’m not too picky. Sometimes NPR if I’m feeling intellectual.

What was the very first job you ever had?
During high school one summer, I got a job as a warehouse associate at a bicycle parts supplier. Basically walking down aisles and putting parts in a box to be shipped.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m most excited about learning new things.

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

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
1. Getting out of school without a mountain of debt.
2. Correctly betting that the Seahawks would make it to a 2nd consecutive super bowl.
3. Being there for my family.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
B-ry. It’s a family guy reference.

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

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Great Rebel Energetic Eccentric Ninja.