New Employee Spotlight – Abigail Hecht

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.

Hecht, Abigail

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

I am a new Program Coordinator here at the Assessment and Testing Center. I actually graduated with my AA here at GRC and then transferred to UW Tacoma afterward where I just received my Bachelor’s in Art, Media, and Culture with a focus in Literature in June of this year. Prior to coming here, I used to work in primary education as an After School Program Leader.

What drew you to apply to Green River? 

I thought it would be nice to come back as an employee to help students who may be struggling, looking for guidance, and paving their way for a better future, just like I was when I was a student here. Being in the assessment and testing center, I hope to be a happy and welcoming face for those coming in stressed out and nervous before taking their test.

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

I mostly listen to Korean and Japanese music in the car, but the genres I listen to range from hip-hop, ballad, R&B, acoustic, instrumental to alternative.

What was the very first job you ever had?

The very first job I had was when I was 16, and it was in the mall. It was at a place called Daiso, which is a $1.50 Japanese store!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The most exciting thing about my position is getting to interact with students. I look forward to meeting all kinds of students and becoming acquainted with them throughout their journey here at GRC.

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

The thing I want to accomplish the most this year is just remembering all of the passwords, procedures, departments, and names of my colleagues here at GRC.

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

  • The first would be having my family see me walk during my graduation.
  • The second one is actually not my own, but is for my husband. I am always proud of his successes and the progress that he has made being a 1st generation immigrant here in the U.S. It can be difficult living in a new country, so I am always proud of his perseverance and ability to maintain a positive mindset.
  • Lastly, I am proud of the bracelet I made with my elementary students during summer camp. You’ll probably see me wearing this around campus most days.

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

That’s a good question. I am not sure what kind of nickname they would give me yet! I guess I’ll have to wait and find out.

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

I’m pretty good at picking stuff up with my feet, but is that even a talent? Other than that, I make all sorts of miniature things out of clay! If you want a mini clay animal or piece of food, just let me know.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Get
Ready to
Educate and
E
nrich
New Students

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MetLife Advantages

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon, Benefits Manager

Metlife MotherChild

MetLife Advantages

By now most of us are aware that our life insurance company changed to MetLife during the last Open Enrollment, but are you aware that if you are enrolled in MetLife life insurance through Green River – as an eligible employee – you have access to free services for support, planning and protection when you need it most?

MetLife Advantages” is a comprehensive suite of valuable services that offers free product services to you and your family, such as will preparation and estate resolution services.

The services are offered by third-party vendors, but free for those enrolled in MetLife.*

Find out more about the program here, MetLife Advantages Program. Scroll down and click on the green “Sign in to MyBenefits” link.   (Note: you do not need to sign in –just click on the “Group Life Insurance” tab at the top of the page, then click on the “MetLife Advantages link).

*Note: some services require that you be enrolled in “supplemental” life insurance (more than just the employer-paid basic coverage) in order to utilize the particular resource.

New Employee Spotlight – Gustavo “Tavo” Gutierrez Bernal

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.Gutierrez Bernal, Gustavo_4

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My name is Gustavo (Tavo), and I work in the student life office as a program assistant. I am ecstatic to begin my professional career at Green River College and embark on new adventures and challenges.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I was a community college student at one point and always had the desire to inspire, in others, a passion for a higher education as my mentors once did with me.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
My car ride to and from work is rather long, so music is always important in my car. I am a fan of many different music genres, but some of my all-time favorites include- Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Carol King, Frank Sinatra, Kelly Clarkson and of course, Broadway showtunes!

What was the very first job you ever had?
The very first job I had was as a reading tutor. I worked with elementary school kids to ensure they were being exposed to literature and had the proper resources to explore all kinds of literature.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
What I am most excited about is connecting with students and staff. Getting to know my community is very important as it will allow me to better assist others and make a greater impact all around.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
During my first year at GRC, I’d love to build connections and get to know people from different departments on campus. I believe that greater things are achieved when you work together and collaborate with others.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
One of my biggest accomplishments has been graduating college. I am a first generation graduate, so this was a very important event in my life.  Second, stepping out of my comfort zone and joining a cheer squad.  Third, waking up this morning…hey, waking up is always an accomplishment for me!

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Currently, my coworkers call me “Tavo.” It’s a shortened version of my name and is fun to pronounce.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I guess I would consider dancing and singing my hidden talents. Also, making people smile – smiling is essential!

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Generosity
Responsibility
E
fficiency
E
mpowerment
Neighborly

Green River College 2017 Service Awards

Posted on behalf of Claire Gorenstein, Human Resources ConsultantCyndi Rapier Service Award2

Green River College’s service awards presentation is just around the corner — on Opening Day, Tuesday, September 19th.  Over fifty employees will be honored for their service to Green River College, ranging from five to forty years.

Many of our service award recipients began as part-time hourly employees and adjunct faculty. Cyndi Rapier, who began her International Programs career as a temporary part-time hourly Housing Assistant and Host Family Coordinator, appreciated the flexibility her hourly positions provided at that time in her life. Later, in October of 2001, she was hired into a permanent appointment working full-time, managing the International Student Housing Placement Program. Cyndi now serves as Director of International Housing. Green River is grateful to Cyndi and all our award recipients for their many years of service!

See 2017 Service Award Recipients below:

5 Years

  • Corey Alix
  • Edward Bloch
  • Crystal Bolt
  • Robin Bowles
  • Natalya Bronitskiy
  • Adam Brown
  • Tim Broxholm
  • Sheila Capps
  • Srey Chea
  • Heather Cornelius
  • Sarah Dillon Gilmartin
  • Lisa Finnsson
  • Jamie Fitzgerald
  • Kendrick Hang
  • Kirsten Higgins
  • Pam Kikillus
  • George “Joey” Kissel
  • Samuel Le
  • Krishnan “Krish” Mahadevan
  • Douglas Moran
  • Kim Mucke
  • Catherine Ushka
  • Anthony Warnke

10 Years

  • Darla Abraham
  • Barry Bannister
  • Mary Butcher
  • Stephenie Cheng-Laboyne
  • Jackie Easley
  • Linda Flanigan
  • Jeremy Hawks
  • Cynthia Lemberg
  • Lindsey Morris
  • Erin Fernandez-Mommer
  • Inja Parker
  • Ron Riley
  • Joshua Staffieri
  • Catherine Wells
  • Jamie Wells

15 Years

  • Cynthia Rapier
  • Patty Sherman

25 Years

  • Crystal Gilliland
  • Diana Holz
  • Steve Kinholt
  • Tawnya McLavey
  • Shirley Quenga
  • Harry Rosemond
  • Socorro Trapp

30 Years

  • Michael McVay
  • Laura Moore-Mueller

40 Years

  • Joe Baker

The Washington State Budget and You

GRC Logo

The Washington Legislature passed Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increases for the 2017-2018 budget year at the conclusion of this year’s session. The budget funded a 2% increase for state employees for the coming year. While there are still some nuances to the budget, it is my pleasure to share with you how Green River College is implementing the increase.

Faculty

  • Because faculty working in the summer are on a contract that began before the increase was effective, the easiest way to process the increase was to do so for the entire summer quarter. The 2% increase for the summer quarter will be paid as a lump sum on the final summer payroll which is September 11, 2017.
  • All faculty (tenure, tenure-track and adjunct) not teaching in the summer will see the increase when they return this fall.

Classified

The salary schedule for classified employees was updated in the system. The increase will be reflected on the July 25th payroll.

Exempt/Administrative

The salaries for exempt and administrative employees were updated in the system. The increase will be reflected on the July 25th payroll.

Temporary/Hourly

  • Employees making the state-mandated minimum wage of $11.00 have received adjustments as the minimum wage has increased.
  • Employees making more than the state-mandated minimum wage of $11.00 have been updated via modification to PEN forms. As the employment data is re-entered each year in June, payroll entered the 2% increase into the system when performing the annual update.
  • The WFSE has negotiated a $12.00 minimum wage for its part-time hourly members. Those represented, hourly employees making less than $12.00 per hour will have their rates increased to this negotiated minimum. Those above $12.00 will receive the 2% increase.
  • Supervisors do not need to submit a new PEN form. HR will auto-correct the rate on forms submitted.

If you have specific questions after you review your Employee Earning & Leave Statement after the July 25 payroll cycle, do not hesitate to contact the Payroll Office at payroll@greenriver.edu.  Shirley, Elizabeth, and Dawnell are happy to assist you.

– Marshall Sampson
VP of Human Resources & Legal Affairs
Green River College

Cookies & Coffee for Classified Staff

Cookies and CoffeeBefore its annual retreat on Tuesday, July 18th, the Classified Staff Training & Development Committee is holding an “Open House” from 12:30 – 1:30 in the Administrative Building Boardroom. All classified staff members are invited. Stop by for cookies, coffee, soda and juice, and while there, learn more about what the college can do for you as part of your training and development.

They will also share what you can do to help the committee in its important work that goes beyond training and development—food drives, college spirit events and more!

– Marshall Sampson
VP of Human Resources & Legal Affairs
Green River College

New Employee Spotlight – Joseph Becker

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.Becker, Joseph

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the New Media Specialist on the College Relations team. I most recently worked in the private sector building and managing websites along with managing social media as a Digital Communications and Marketing Specialist. Prior to that I worked as a Digital Communications Specialist at the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona where I managed the zoo’s social media, website, and communications efforts.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
After working in the private sector I really wanted to return to a position working for a public facing organization that was making a positive impact in people’s lives.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I like to station hop and will find whatever suits my current mood.

What was the very first job you ever had?
The first paid job I ever had was working in the promotions/events department for a local chapter of Radio Disney. We would go out to events to entertain crowds, play games, and do giveaways.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m excited to be working for an organization that is impacting so many people.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I’d love to succeed in amplifying content and increasing engagement across Green River’s social media channels.

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

  • Recently becoming a father and welcoming my twin daughters into the world,
  • moving back to the Pacific Northwest (to stay!) after seven years away living in Phoenix,
  • and finding a career that I enjoy and am truly passionate about.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I’d be known as “Zookeeper” because of my history working as a professional zookeeper with a variety of animals, along with ten years working within zoos & aquariums.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
With two seven-week-olds at home my current talents seem to be drinking lots of coffee and functioning on little sleep.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Grevy’s Zebra
Reticulated Giraffe
E
lephants
E
land
N
orth American Sea Otter – Ask me about some of the animals I’ve worked with!