New Employee Spotlight – Fen Chen

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.

Chen, Fen

Fen Chen

My new title is Instructional and Classroom Support Technician II for Chemistry and Physics. Prior to this position, I held the same title as a Technician I at Tacoma Community College. I’ve also worked at a Veterinary Tissue Bank and volunteered at the Tacoma General Hospital.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I was drawn to the beautiful campus. I love that we’re basically a campus on a hiking trail.

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

I usually will keep changing stations until I find a song that I like. I sometimes end up spending more time changing stations than listening to music. But I generally listen to 106.1, 92.5, 93.3, 107.7, 98.9, and 106.9.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I started my first job working in the front counter of my family’s restaurant.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I’m most excited about working with my team to make Green River a great place for our students.

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

I’d love to work with our instructors and to help promote Green Chemistry in our labs, to reduce waste and substitute hazardous with non-hazardous reagents without affecting lab results.

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

The first accomplishment would be getting accepted into my dream school at UW and graduating with a Bachelor’s in Biology. Second would be getting my first job as a Chemistry Lab Technician after college. The last would be the house that I’m currently in the process of buying.

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

I’ve never had an office nickname but my friends call me FenFen.

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

Everyone’s so talented at Green River, I don’t want to embarrass myself haha.

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

Growth, Respect, Education, Encouragement, Nature

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New Employee Spotlight – Shawn Warner

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.

Warner, Shawn

Shawn Warner

Financial Aid Program Coordinator

I’ve had a few different professional “lives” from customer service, to trainer, to chef and have always most enjoyed the chance to help others.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I was drawn to Green River’s commitment to diversity across the board – its students, programs, and support.

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

I like to ease into the morning with classical music or jazz, or maybe get my brain working with a podcast.

What was the very first job you ever had?

My first job was as a counter salesperson and sometimes delivery driver for an auto parts store. I still don’t know why they trusted me to drive a company car.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I’m most excited about being able to act as a resource to students navigating the many parts of their academic careers. I hope to be able to help solve for their Financial Aid questions and needs so they can focus on the work of reaching their goals. I love the feeling of all of the potential that exists in a learning environment.

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

If I can help to alleviate stress or concerns for students and help them move forward, I will consider that a huge win. I’d love to also become better versed in all of the support programs available to help connect folks to resources whenever possible.

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

I’m most proud of the work I’ve done over the years teaching, training, or facilitating – helping others with their goals in some form. I was also pretty proud of my first decent croissant after taking a chance on a culinary school dream.

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

I have never really had a nickname stick. The challenge has been created.

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

I’m an amateur singer – in the shower.

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

Great team

Ready

Engaged

Enthusiastic

Now

New Employee Spotlight – Joshua Little

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.  Little, Joshua

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

Program Coordinator: Assessment and Testing

Before coming to Green River, I worked for Valley Cities, a mental and behavioral health organization. I was a part of a unique treatment program called Wraparound, which supports youth with complex needs. In my role as a Youth Peer, I provided support to youth to ensure their ‘voice’ was present in all decisions effecting them.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I was drawn to apply to Green River College because I grew up not too far from the campus. Giving back to my community has been a guide in my career development so being able to support students in achieving their educational and career goals was an opportunity I could not pass up.

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

I love this question. Music is life for me. I listen to Hip-Hop/Rap mainly, but I also listen to some R&B, Indie, and Reggae. On my way to work today, I listened to some Lil Uzi, Curren$y, Gunna, Kodak, Berner, Dom Kennedy, and others. I have a long commute.

What was the very first job you ever had?

My very first job was at Burger King in Covington, WA. It has now been replaced with Chick-fil-A.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

What is most exciting for me is simply working at the college. I want to develop a career in higher education, so being in this environment feels like a big step in my life. My plan is to become a psychology professor. I also look forward to interacting with students and helping them navigate their college career.

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

I would like to show my value to my coworkers, supervisors and most importantly the students.

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

Graduating college was a great accomplish of mine. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college.

I am also proud that I have had the opportunity to share my life story with young men to give them guidance and hope for their future.

I’m proud to be alive.

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

Well my friends just call me J, L, or LJ. In my last office I worked with a lot of older ladies and they called me Joshy all the time. The nicknames my friends call me are just based off my initials. Joshy started from one of the ladies saying “I look like a Joshy”.

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

I would DJ for the event.

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

Each letter would stand for one of my favorite artist.

G- Game

R- Raz Simone

E- E-40

E- Earl Sweatshirt

N- Nas

New Employee Spotlight – Arden Furukawa

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. Furukawa, Arden

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

New Title: Educational Planner for the Running Start Office

Professional Background:

Academic Advisor at Edmonds Community College

College & Career Specialist at Mariner High School

Regional Admissions Advisor at Eastern Washington University

What drew you to apply to Green River?

The academic programs, student support services, and resources that the college offers, along with the affordability of the courses.

The size and location of the college, and how beautiful the trees and greenery are that  surround the college campus.

The desire to stay within the community and technical college system, because of how strong the CTC system is in Washington.

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

  • Adele
  • Norah Jones
  • Maroon Five
  • Coldplay

What was the very first job you ever had?

Food server at a retirement home

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

Working with the Running Start students to accomplish their educational goals.

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

Increase persistence and degree completion with the Running Start students.

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

Earning my Bachelor’s degree in 2011, and being 3 months away from earning my Master’s degree. (Will earn it in June 2019)

Serving students in a variety of capacities in different professional and volunteer roles including an advisor, college & career specialist, student teacher, mentor, and parks & recreation volunteer.

Running over 130 races in my lifetime.

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

Snacker, because I love to snack all day!

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

Traditional Filipino candle dance.

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

Get Ready – Energize & Empower New students

 

New Employee Spotlight – Anna Kolesnikov

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.  Kolesnikov, Anna

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

Instructional & Classroom Support Technician 3. Wow that’s a mouth full, or simply a Lab Tech 3. I moved here from Florida last year, where I worked as a Chemistry Lab Supervisor for Valencia College.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I’ve loved my job back in Florida and enjoyed working with students and professors. So this position at Green River College was available in the perfect moment for me to continue my work in the chemistry laboratories.

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

I like to listen to NPR news and Moving 92.5 morning show.

What was the very first job you ever had?

My first job as a 12 year old was a dog walker at Cascade Kennels.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The most exciting thing about my job is the team I get to work with. And maybe that fact that I can wear a white lab coat J

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

My biggest challenge this year would be to set up a web-based online chemical inventory.

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

Attaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry

Traveling to over 15 different countries

My family

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

I don’t Zinc so!

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

My musical abilities.

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

Go

Read

Explore

Engage

Nature

New Employee Spotlight – Deborah Diggins

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.Diggins, Deborah

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

Waterworks Professional Growth Program Manager (Program Manager A) for Washington Certification Services

I have a Masters in Teaching and BS in Cell and Molecular Biology, I was a high school science teacher for 5 years and a small business owner for 3 years.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I always wanted to work in a college atmosphere. I enjoy the energy, motivation and ambition of staff and students here.

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

Mostly 90’s Rock and Stand-up Comedy.

What was the very first job you ever had?

Tennis Instructor

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The people I work with are amazing and everyone here has been very welcoming.

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

Learn ALL the acronyms associated with my program.

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

Raising a brilliant and energetic little 4-year old; staying close with my family and friends; and purchasing our first home with my husband, which took years to accomplish.

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

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

I can play Rockband Guitar (it a video game) on Expert level.  It would be cooler if it was the real thing I know, but still a “skill”.  Maybe not J

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

 

New Employee Spotlight – Iqbal Halimi

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. Halimi, Iqbal

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

My name is Iqbal Halimi. I work as the Workforce Education Coordinator at Green River College. I joined the team a week ago and am looking forward to working with my new colleagues to accomplish our goals and contribute to the overall missions and objectives of the college.

I began my career in 2002 as a teacher and moved on into leadership and management positions at different international organizations. In the past 16 years, I managed and implemented 14 basic education and workforce education projects. These projects touched the lives of many low-income families.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

A major reason that I applied for work at Green River was that I really admired the college’s vision and values, which focus on student success and programs that address the needs of different communities. These mesh well with my past work endeavors and my future goals.  I want to see students from all parts of society overcome barriers and achieve their dreams.

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

When I am in the car alone, I like to listen to different radio stations and hear the songs they play. When it’s raining, I just want to listen to the rain. However, if my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter is in the car, as soon as she sees a few drops of rain, she sings the well-known song that says “Rain, rain go away, little Johnny wants to play.” She is very much an outdoor person!

What was the very first job you ever had?

I started serving people as a teacher. I made mistakes, but I learned from those. One lesson that I have drawn from my work as a teacher and from working with teachers is that not only do teachers matter more than any other single factor in delivering quality education but that a teacher can also play a crucial role in initiating bottom-up reforms in a school. I have seen it happen many, many times.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am really pleased that I am in direct contact with students. I already frequently see them and am learning from them. Honestly, they are our allies and we are their allies.

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

I want to help as many eligible students as possible through my department to get workforce education funding and complete their education.

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

I have had several notable accomplishments in my life. Probably the most notable was that I completed my master’s degree in international education at the University of Massachusetts and in the course of that work made many new friends of different nationalities with whom I am still in touch professionally and personally. Although we are in different countries, we rely on each other’s knowledge, skills, and expertise.  Another accomplishment that I happily look back on is that I have managed to travel to eight different countries and learn a great deal about a wide range of issues from people that I had never met before. Each different cultural experience taught me an important lesson. Finally, one other accomplishment that stands out is that I learned how to play cricket. I applied different strategies to learn this sport and managed to play some serious games. The secret for learning this game, and I am sure for other sports, is to spend time with your team members and learn from their expertise. Each team member has their own unique sets of skills.

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

I will go with Iqbal or Ikbal. Iqbal means luck and it’s good to have some luck in life. That will serve as springboard.

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

When I was student, I was good at preparing short photo films (video presentations) that complemented the group presentations that I led at my school. My classmates liked those pictures and the background music that I chose. I like to use metaphors and images because they are powerful communicators.

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

I don’t know how good I am at this, but I will give at try. I would say “Go Run with Ease and Energy Now.”