New Employee Spotlight – Rebeka Ferreira


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. Ferreira, Rebeka3

Hello, my name is Rebeka Ferreira and I have just been hired as the new full-time tenure-track Philosophy Instructor beginning Fall 2015. I studied philosophy and received my Master’s degree from San Francisco State University in 2012 where I primarily focused on traditional, religious, and virtue epistemology as well as philosophy of religion. Prior to being hired full-timer, I taught as an adjunct instructor of philosophy here at Green River for three years; as well as at Highline College, South Seattle College, Oregon Institute of Technology, and South Puget Sound Community College (sometimes all at once).

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Green River, by far, has the most extensive course offerings in philosophy at the junior college level. This along with the number of relationships I have made over the course of my adjunct career made Green River very appealing.

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

My radio is broken :( one of the first things to fix with a new salary.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I waited tables towards the end of high school and all through college: at El Camino Community College in southern California, as well as through undergrad and graduate school in San Francisco.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am very passionate about reinvigorating the relevance of philosophy (as well as the Humanities more generally) in people’s everyday lives as well as academic pursuits. I would like to utilize the pedagogical resources available to full-time faculty to assist in pursuit of this goal.

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

I would like to see enrollment in philosophy courses grow to point that we are no longer cancelling classes (and in the future I would like to see the department offer more courses than we already do).

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

Having worked full-time through college to the extent that I paid my own way without having to take out any student loans, having earned my master’s degree and continuing my education at the University of Washington (when I have the time), and having been hired full-time after four years of teaching at numerous colleges.

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

Not sure, maybe smiley. I smile a lot.

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

I can do the worm… but that is about it :)

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

G – great faculty and staff

R – reactive to change

E – energetic campus

E – enthusiastic students

N – noteworthy programs

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

New Employee Spotlight – Chase Magliocca

Magliocca, ChaseWe’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 at Green River College is Educational Planner. I have been working in higher education for 5 years. Most recently I held the title of Program Specialist for the 13th Year Promise Scholarship program at South Seattle College where I supported high school seniors from South’s feeder high schools through the college’s enrollment process and throughout their first year at South. In 2014, I obtained my M.Ed in Educational Leadership & Policy from the University of Washington.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Although I didn’t attend a community college, after working at a community college and as a first-generation college student, I recognize and value the mission and role of the community college in the United States. They provide accessible education and support to a diverse range of students, including traditionally underrepresented student populations within higher education.

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

I listen to music on either my phone or the radio. I’m always listening to 90s throwbacks.

What was the very first job you ever had?

My first job was as a night stocker at a pet store when I was in high school.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am most excited about joining a dynamic team of professionals at Green River where we can collaborate in helping students achieve their educational goals.

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

I enjoy program development and would love to help build upon the work that advising is already doing or to develop new programming that would support student success

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

1) Being the first in my family to attend college and to obtain a bachelors and masters degree.

2) Traveling for 8 months through South America and Asia by myself.

3) Having a great circle of friends and family over the years.

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

My office nickname would be something along the lines of “neat-freak” because my workspace is always organized and I am probably borderline OCD.

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

Unfortunately I don’t have any exciting hidden talents, but I can stare for a really long time without blinking

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

Genuine, Respectful, Equitable, Excellence, Noble

New Employee Spotlight – Howard Valenzuela

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.

Valenzuela-HowardPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the Equipment Technician Lead for the Trades Division. My professional background consists of Commercial Driving, Roofing, Landscaping, Management, maintenance, as well as others. In all the fields of employment I have taken on the responsibility of maintaining equipment and revisions for a more productive environment.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I found the diversity of the college to be enthralling.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
The B.J. Shay show on KISW

What was the very first job you ever had?
I was an equipment technician/loader of a Grain distribution plant.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The unknown challenges that lie ahead as well as the opportunity to expand my knowledge in my personal/professional being by working with students and staff.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
My goal is to be a voice within the many diversity and equity programs offered here at the college in hopes of being a part of positive change.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I have been happily married to my beautiful wife for almost 16 years (in August), blending and raising my 5 wonderful children (with 3 grandsons). Last, but not least, being the first person in my family to obtain a degree.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
It would probably be Mr. O.C.D. I tend to strive for perfection in all things I do.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I would say the talent not many know is my ability to track game. (I am talking wildlife here, lol!)

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G – Goal-Oriented
R – Reputable
E – Enriching
E – Empowering
N – Noetic

New Employee Spotlight – Kowsar Abshir

Abshir-KowsarWe’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 name is Kowsar Abshir and I’m a Program Support Supervisor with the Outreach and Service Learning Department. I am committed to the power of Education in transforming lives.

Prior to coming to Green River Community College my professional life was centered on empowering my community through employment, educational training and housing resources. I have always been blessed with support from exceptional mentors, family, friends and community. My desire is to give back the same support and encouragement to the students of Green River College.  I come to Green River College with more than three years of advocacy, outreach and recruitment experience and have a degree in English, Professional and Technical Writing from the Washington State University.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
My commitment to student success aligns with Green River’s core themes of increasing student Access, Success and Equity.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Some days I listen to the Quran and other days I play random stations on Pandora.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I got my first job when I was 14 years old as a Community Mapper.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
My new job allows me to utilize my already established non-profit partnerships while broadening my network with all service providers and academic institutions. I am excited about my new position because there are always new opportunities and projects to engage in and new things to learn.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to increase Full Time Enrollment numbers for the college.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
1) Earning the College Success Foundation Achievers Scholarship during high school.
2) Earning my Bachelors Degree.
3) Learning the first couple of chapters of the Holy Quran.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Great question, you would have to ask them.

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

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Global. Robust. Engagement. Envision. Network.

New Employee Spotlight – James Mascenik

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.

James MascenikPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Hi! My name is Jim Mascenik and I’m the new Director of Institutional Assessment, Evaluation and Analysis at GRC. Most of my professional experience has been institutional research and assessment. With no doubt, my true passion is in the assessment of student learning. To prepare myself for this type of work, I completed graduate degrees in both Educational Research and Psychology.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I was drawn to Green River because of the wide range of educational opportunities that the college provides to the region. Community colleges play a major role in improving the quality of life for so many individuals and this is a mission that I always greatly respected.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to both alternative and classical music – interesting dichotomy!

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was the painting of bleachers for the Parks and Recreation Department in Linden, New Jersey. This was a summer job I had between the 7th and 8th grades. In retrospect, it’s a funny realization that many people sat on my best work.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
My position enables me to work with so many different types of individuals across the campus – administrators, faculty and staff. It is my hope that I am helping others to better understand and implement meaningful assessment activities.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to improve upon the assessment activities that are already taking place at the college. These improvements will include greater clarity, consistency, and use of results to improve future student learning outcomes. I also would like to reduce the amount of “mystery” and unneeded complexity that still persists in some assessment processes.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
(1) Completing college (2) Convincing my wife to marry me (3) Escaping from New Jersey

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
For ironic reasons, it would be “Loudmouth Jim” because of my quiet demeanor.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I enjoy acting. For some reason, introverts still need to have their time in the spot light :-)

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for? Genuine Reasonably priced Educational Experiences Needed by all, provided only at GRC!

New Employee Spotlight – Jean Sauvion

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.

Jean Sauvion

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the IESL (Intensive English as a Second Language) Student Advisor for International students in IESL levels 1-3 at Kent Campus. I have been working in International Education for over 15 years, both here and in the UK, and I love it. I taught ESL in London, Warsaw, Milan and Seattle, in traditional class room settings, and in summer camps. When an administrative role opened up and it was suggested I apply, I discovered I also enjoyed interacting with students in a different capacity and I haven’t looked back. I enjoy learning and embracing the new.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I knew about Green River, as my previous school had a relationship with Green River and I was always impressed by the staff’s responsiveness and care for their current students as well as prospective ones. On a tour of the college a few years ago, I was impressed with all the services and activities available to students, and the lively Student Life department.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to NPR and KEXP depending on my mood. I also have a few Flamenco CDs in my car, as I love Flamenco music and find it very relaxing. Sometimes I just want to be in the Flamenco zone.

What was the very first job you ever had?
The first job I had was working for the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists as a life model. The artists worked mostly in charcoal and pastels. I learned the art of patience and endurance, and enjoyed seeing different approaches and styles.

What about your new position is most excited for you?
Working with students is very rewarding, and I enjoy my frequent meetings with them. The most exciting thing is seeing them grow and try new things, and knowing I may have played a part in that.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I’d like to be able to organize a volunteer fair at the Kent Campus for students who want to volunteer in and around Kent. A number of students have told me they want to be more involved, so I’d like to make this happen.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I am proud of giving birth to 2 vivacious girls, performing in numerous plays, and for the positive ways I have been able to touch the lives of the colleagues I work with and students I serve.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Hmm… that’s a difficult one! ‘That lady over there’? – as the only IESL advisor in Kent, they all know who ‘that lady’ is. But typically, it’s just Jean.

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

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Global – Rewarding – Envisage – Enterprising — Nurture