Winter Weather Alerts

It’s that time of the year again when we all hope that mother nature does her magic so we can get a few days “off” to cozy up to a warm fire or spend some time with family. While we work hard with our fingers crossed, please keep in mind the following information when the weather changes.

winter weather

 Severe Inclement Weather – This term signifies extreme/significant weather conditions that may have an impact on travel to or from any campus location. This term will be used on days when weather conditions either significantly worsen as the day progresses or are anticipated to improve as the day progresses.

 Campus open – This term indicates that one (1) or more campus locations are open to the public and that employees should be either at their place of duty or on their way. Specific department hours are set by the department supervisors.

 Late start – The college resumes normal operations at a time later than the usual posted hours of operation.

 Early closure* – The college ends normal operations at a time earlier in the day than the normal posted hours of operation for the college. The only personnel that will be allowed to remain on campus are employees listed as essential personnel.

*This should not be confused with suspended operations as early closure does not necessarily prevent work from being accomplished. Suspended operations has a catastrophic effect on most employees’ ability to perform their duties.

 Campus closed – This term is used to signify that one (1) or more campus locations are closed to the public and that employees should either be departing or already departed from their place of duty. The only personnel that will be allowed on campus are employees listed as essential personnel.

 Suspended Operations – The President or the President’s designee(s) may declare a temporary suspension of any or all College operations at one (1) or more campus locations due to an emergency situation that adversely affects College operations, public health, or the well-being and safety of employees and students.

Events which might require suspending operations include, but are not limited to:

  • Severe weather or natural disaster.
  • Spread of a communicable disease.
  • Fire or related hazard.
  • Immediate threat to the safety of the campus community.
  • Damage to or failure of GRC infrastructure, equipment or mechanical systems.

 First day of total suspended operations – Term used in conjunction with applicable state law and collective bargaining agreements that deals directly with compensation

Essential Personnel – Essential personnel are employees who are required to report to work even when (1) or more campus locations is declared closed because of suspended operations.

Campus location – Each campus will be referred by its location if not all locations are affected. If all locations are affected, notice will refer to all locations as “the college”.

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New Employee Assistance Services!

YOUR EAP, WASHINGTON STATE EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM HAS ADDED SEVERAL GREAT NEW SERVICES TO SUPPORT YOU IN YOUR WORK AND LIFE NEEDS.EAP

In addition to the free counseling and consultation already available to you, EAP now offers free legal consultation and financial counseling services, as well as a comprehensive work-life website that includes resources, articles, webinars and e-learning, financial calculators, legal documents, self-search provider databases for eldercare, childcare, and more.

All of these services can be accessed 24/7 by visiting the web portal and entering our organization code: GRC. A legal or financial counselor can also be reached anytime by calling 1-888-728-1408. If you have any questions, please contact the EAP by visiting www.eap.wa.gov.

When you visit the site, you will notice that there are two buttons on the top left of the page describing the legal and financial benefits. As you explore the website, you will find thousands of resources available by topic.

Visit the EAP web portal today to learn what new features are available and what is covered!

New Employee Spotlight – Lina Pittser

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.Pittser, Carolina

Hi, I’m a new Tenure-Track English Composition instructor at Green River. The year I graduated with a B.A. in English in my native country of Chile, I worked as an exchange instructor of Spanish at Central Washington University. While there I obtained a Master’s degree in English Literature and worked in several community colleges until I was hired by Green River College 13 years ago.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I applied as an adjunct at Green River for its proximity to my new home back then. I stayed for its people, both students and colleagues; for its beauty; and for its excellence.

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

Anything NPR, podcasts like Fresh Air, StoryCorps, Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! And lots of books.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I worked as a tour guide at a museum in Frutillar, Chile.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

Working with wonderful colleagues, both Full-time and adjunct. Being more directly involved in decisions concerning the school, such as committees, curricular decisions, etc.

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

Tenure!

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

My children!

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

They already do. My birth name is Carolina, but in grad school my classmates started calling me Lina because my name was often mispronounced as the salad dressing (Catalina) by those who found rolling their r’s a bit of a challenge.

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

I can knit scarves for the show judges!

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

Great

Rad

Excellent

Evergreen

Nonpareil!

New Employee Spotlight – Nelson Phouphakone

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.

Phouphakone, Nelson

I am a One-Year Temporary Math Instructor.  I got my Bachelors in Electrical Engineering at University of Washington and Masters in Mathematics at Washington State University.  After my Masters program, I worked as a part-time instructor 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 a part-time instructor for Green River College for 9 years.  I love the environment around the school.  Sometimes, I walk on the trails in the forest.  However, what I love the most is the atmosphere of the Math department.  When I come to work, I don’t feel I go to a job.  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 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 have a lot of time getting to know my students and to helping them when they need me.

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

I would like to become a full-time instructor.

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

Receiving my Masters degree

Marrying my wife

Becoming a math instructor

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

Polo man, since I love to wear Polo shirts.

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. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?

Green River Excellent Education iNstitution

New Employee Spotlight – Candis Eckert

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.Eckert, Candis

My name is Candis Eckert, and I am the new Director of TRiO. Prior to this role, I served as a TRiO program manager for a nonprofit organization in Tacoma working with the Tacoma, Bethel, and Franklin Pierce school districts.  In addition, I also served as a K-12 teacher in the public school system for over four years.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Green River was an appealing campus community for many reasons.  For one thing, the campus is extremely lush and beautiful!  It’s definitely a calm and peaceful atmosphere.  More importantly, I appreciated the fact that Green River is extremely focused on being student-centered.  In addition, knowing that diversity and equity was on the forefront of the college’s mission was something that really resonated with me and the work I hope to do.

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

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit but I listen to a podcast that discusses paranormal and crime activity around the world.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I had two first jobs at the same time – one was as a front desk associate for a children’s museum and the other was a cashier at Panera.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

There are a few reasons why it’s exciting for me. First and foremost, I’m excited to work with a community of students who are hoping to pursue higher education and a path that they are passionate about.  I’ve always loved being a mentor and guide to students with regards to their academic and career journey so continuing that work here at Green River is exciting!  This position also allows for a lot of creativity and innovation so the potential possibilities are endless.

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

In my first year, I would love to build many relationships with staff and faculty in the hopes of creating collaborative partnerships.  We all have the common goal of supporting our students’ success, and I think by joining forces, we can be a powerful network to create positive ripples within our student population.

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

My three accomplishments are:

  • I’m the first in my family to graduate from a 4-year university
  • I used to be the kid who thought I wasn’t smart enough and wouldn’t get far in school. Now I’m pursuing my doctorate degree and am halfway done.
  • Getting this job!

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

Probably the snack fairy – I like to bring in treats when I can, and I’m a firm believer that food can bring people together.

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

I would showcase my rusty piano skills. While I haven’t played in over 12 years, I used to play piano for quite some time!

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

Gator

Ran

Everyday

Eating

Nachos

Don’t forget No-shave November!

Last month, we told you about a way that you can help raise funds for Gators Feeding Gators (No-Shave November). While the list of shave-testants has changed a bit, you can still donate to choose who you think should be clean shaven next month! Who would you like to see witIreland, Joshuah no beard? The nominees are:

Marshall Sampson, VP of Human Resources and Legal Affairs

Chernenko Wheatley, Employee and Labor Relations Manager

Joshua Ireland, Executive Assistant for the VP of Instruction

Korland Simmons, Executive Assistant for the VP of Human Resources and Legal Affairs

Matt Swenson, Director of Grants

Joshua Gerstman, Director of Philanthropy

Timm Lovitt, Dean of Instruction: Career and Technical

Vote for one of these gents with your dollars. Look for tables across campus!

Interested in joining the challenge? As an incentive, the winning “shavee” will receive a professional shave at The Art of Shaving. Who’s with us?!

Stress Management at GRC

Posted on behalf of the Environmental Health and Safety Committee. The Environmental Health and Safety Committee evaluates and recommends ways to make our work environment safer for employees and students.

stressWhile stress may not be a physical or visible safety concern, it is still a concern. Everyone deals with some level of stress on a daily basis. Sometimes work pressures can increase an already high stress level. The approaching holiday season can also compound stress levels, making even simple tasks seem overwhelming. If left unchecked, stress can have many effects on our mental and physical well-being. The good news is that there are many resources to help manage stress and daily steps you can take to minimize its effects.

Getting outside for just a few minutes and breathing fresh air can make a big difference in how we handle stressful situations. Just getting up from your desk and walking around anywhere can help. Interacting with co-workers, eating lunch together and having a chance to laugh or smile can boost your mood immediately.

One of the many benefits to working at Green River College is the amazing setting. There are several miles of trails right outside the doors of our buildings. Walking along those trails is a great way to reduce stress levels. On sunny days, you can even walk out and see Mt. Rainier!

If you are feeling stressed please visit some of the following links to get tips on how to cope. There are many other resources not included here, and Green River College also makes counseling services available to both employees and students.

https://www.greenriver.edu/campus/campus-resources/counseling-services/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/coping-with-stress/art-20048369

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/work-stress.aspx

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-in-the-workplace.htm