Harvest Festival is just around the corner!

On behalf of the Classified Staff Training and Development Committee:Harvest Festival 2019

Don’t forget that the annual Green River College Harvest Festival is just around the corner! See below for this year’s festival information:

Thursday, October 31

11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Cascade Hall, Student Affairs & Success Center

 

This event is open to all Green River College employees.  Come for the full time or drop in when you have a moment. 

 The Classified Staff Training & Development Committee is happy to provide dessert, coffee, and water service again this year.  Please bring a brown bag lunch or stop by the cafeteria on your way.

Before the event:

  • Donate food to the Auburn Food Bank bins in your building
  • Help your team decorate the collection bin to win a coffee break
  • Carve, paint, or otherwise decorate a pumpkin to bring to the event

 

Come dressed to impress in one of these categories:

Best Large Team Costumes          Most Unique                Funniest

Best Small Team Costumes          Scariest

 

Ballots will be available on all tables for voting on costume winners, bin decorations, and pumpkins.  Prizes awarded!

Employee Spotlight -Yuliya (Julie) Kotelevskaya

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. 

Kotelevskaya, Yuliya (Julie)

Yuliya Kotelevskaya

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

My name is Yuliya (Julie) Kotelevskaya  and my title is Program Coordinator in the Career and Advising office. I’ve worked in the Career and Advising office for about four years. I first started as a work study, then worked part-time in CAC as well as Running Start and the Welcome Desk. I recently graduated from Gonzaga University with my Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Criminal Justice and Sociology. In the fall, I will start my Masters in Criminal Justice at Seattle University.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

During my time as a student at Green River, I fell in love with the beautiful campus, environment and the people here. I had a great experience here at GRC and I wanted to be able to share my experiences and struggles with current and prospective students.

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

Whatever is playing on my Spotify, which consists of Adele, James Arthur, Kane Brown, Dan & Shay, Halsey, Khalid, Sam Smith, and Calum Scott.

What was the very first job you ever had?

My work study position in Career and Advising.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am really excited to be working with students again. I enjoy making connections with students and being able to help them. It’s also great to be back and working with an amazing team!

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

I would like to find more ways to help students and prepare them for GRC. I want to help students feel welcome, comfortable, safe and part of the Green River community.

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

  • Graduating from Gonzaga University with my Bachelors
  • My senior thesis which focused on mass shootings in the media, and how the media’s coverage of these attacks is linked to copycat attacks.
  • Being accepted into Seattle University. I’ve always wanted to attend, and now I have the chance to!

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

Princess or diva, I’ve been called that many times in the office. I love the color pink, glitter and all things that sparkle.

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

I would sing, or make French macarons.

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

Genuine

Reliable

Energetic

Empathetic

Nice

 

New Employee Spotlight – Juan Cabrera

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. Cabrera, Juan

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

I am employed as a Maintenance Mechanic 3 in facilities at Green River

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I like the friendly atmosphere

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

I listen to Jubal in the morning on my ride into work.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I worked on the weekends selling tools at a swap meet.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I get to work with air handler units around campus.  I try to make sure that everyone has a comfortable environment to work in

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

I’m looking forward to getting past my 6 months probation.

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

I haven’t had a car accident and I enjoy fatherhood

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

My nickname would be “Beans” because I love chili beans

 

 

New Employee Spotlight – Kelsey Barrans

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. 

Barrans, Kelsey

Kelsey Barrans

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

I’m the new Violence Prevention Center Program Manager in Student Affairs. For 12+ years I have worked in intimate partner violence prevention and survivor advocacy services.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I wanted to find a position that allowed me to create something new while continuing to work as a part of the large intimate partner violence movement.

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

Podcasts mostly. It’s generally a mix of comedy, current events and TV show re-watches.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I was a dry kiln spotter at the lumber mill in my hometown.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

Getting to build something that will hopefully have a positive impact on everyone that comes to campus.

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

In my first year, I would love to make connections with all of the different departments and groups on campus so that everyone knows what the Violence Prevention Center is, and how to be involved.

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

I’m proud to have been an advocate working alongside survivors, getting my MSW and to be a proud auntie to four phenomenal nieces and one amazing nephew.

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

“Mother hen” because I am constantly trying to make sure everyone has what they need.

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

My hidden talent would be knitting, but I give away all of my projects so I’m not sure I would have anything to showcase!

 

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

New Employee Spotlight – Annemarie Vinson

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.Vinson, Annemarie

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

My new title is manager of The Paper Tree Bookstore. I spent 10 years as a retail store manager at JC Penney.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I wanted to work in an educational setting and make a positive impact on people.

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

Audible – currently Me Before You

What was the very first job you ever had?

Dishwasher at 13 ½ years old

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

Working with my store

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

Get to know faculty and staff in school to promote sales

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

  • First in my family to attend college and graduate with 4 year
  • Married 20 years to Curtis Vinson.
  • Managed stores like my Grandfather did.

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

Woody Woodpecker- sometimes I laugh a lot .

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

Dress and act silly / comedy

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

River

Educational

Experience

Newsletter

New Employee Spotlight – Don Thomas

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.

Thomas, Don

Don Thomas

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

My new title is Health Occupations Educational Planner. I have worked in higher education as an academic advisor for approximately 7 years, with extensive experience on-boarding, retaining and preparing students who are seeking entry into competitive admissions programs.  I  graduate from  Kentwood H.S. and have a master’s degree in Counseling and Student Personnel from Minnesota State University.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

The opportunity to work with more non-traditional students and the beautiful campus.

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

Podcasts on finances and positive thinking.

What was the very first job you ever had?

The movie theater in Auburn.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

Working with health care students again in an advising capacity.

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

  • Going to graduations in May and June for students
  • Received a master’s degree and started a Ph.D. program
  • Traveled to 30 of 50 US states

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

G– Guidance

R– Resilience

E– Engagement

E– Empowerment

N– Nature

New Employee Spotlight – Ryan Tipper

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.Tipper, Ryan

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My new position is Project Coordinator for the Extended Learning Program at the Auburn Campus. I have been actively involved in all forms of digital media and arts since I could first hold a marker. I have been working towards my AA in Digital Media Arts at Bellevue College and also have experience with office administration / support as well as social media coordination.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I have been an active student at community college since I first graduated high school in 2010. While enrolled at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham for a short while, I worked as a student researcher, reporter, writer and editor on the Horizon newspaper staff -the school’s student lead publication. During that time, I covered numerous on-campus topics and learned so much about what made the school run and grow. Since that time, and seeing the benefits of attending smaller, community-based colleges as opposed to the traditional 4-year universities, I have always wanted to find the perfect fit that allows me to use my formal education in digital media arts and my personal passions to combine them into an exciting future and career. This position at Green River sounded like the perfect first step.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
If I’m not listening to alternative or 80’s music, I usually have KIRO or KOMO news playing. My radio stops working if a country song tries to play…

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first true job was working in a kitchen at the Lake Wilderness Gold Course and Country Club in Maple Valley my senior year of high school. I learned so much about the customer service industry and a ton about cooking in general. Now, cooking is something I love to do and I can look back on all I learned at the job and the things I still use and do today in my own kitchen.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
It’s the step towards a career path that allows me to be the person I want to be and contribute to Green River’s growth and success. To apply all I have learned professionally and personally up to this point on top of the formal education I have received in the digital media arts field and in the end work as hard as I can.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
To show my incredibly hard work ethic, learn as much as I can and be as creative as I can. There is also a vintage type writer that I will be getting to use and I hope to master it as it has always been a goal to do so.

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

Baseball is one of my biggest passions in life and is something I am still playing today after 20 years. When I was in 5th grade I made the Issaquah Little League All-Star team after setting out to do so at the beginning of that season and it’s still something I look at as one of my greatest accomplishments.

Another would be the nearly 4 years I have spent working towards my personal goal of becoming a published author. The novel I have been working on in my spare time currently continues to grow and develop with each chapter I write and I am extremely proud of how far I have come with it and where I will continue to take it.

Finally, I have never faltered in settling for things I didn’t want out of life. Life itself it too short to do so and it’s what motivates me to spend every minute following my passions and pursuing my goals.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Undoubtedly, it would be my last name of “Tipper”. No matter if it’s school, work, sports teams or the like, I feel like at this point I naturally expect to go by my last name more than my first.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I have always loved cooking and would most likely put on a Food Network-style cooking show or perhaps a reality show in which I played the host, the cook and the judge.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Green
Reminds
E
veryone (of)
E
nvironmental
Nuances

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.

2017 Summer Business Hours

Effective Monday, July 10, 2017, the hours of college business operations will be from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, with the campus closed on Fridays.

summer-photographer-pier-adventure

What does this mean to the public and our students? We will continue to provide support and services through the summer, but limited to a Monday to Thursday work week.

What does this mean to you as an employee? Although the college will be open to the public from 8am to 5pm, work days will consist of four, 10 hour days from Monday to Thursday.

*Note: The 30-minute meal and 15-minute rest breaks must still be taken in compliance with our respective collective bargaining agreements, and/or state and federal regulations. Please contact Barbara Iribarren or Chernenko Wheatley if you have any questions about the revised schedule or alternate work schedules.

Who should I contact if I have questions? Please reach out to your supervisor first. Supervisors should contact the appropriate Employee & Labor Relations Manager in the Human Resources office to make sure that any proposed schedule changes meet with federal, state, and local laws as well as negotiated agreements.

When will it end? Normal business hours will resume Monday, September 4, following the Labor Day holiday.

New Employee Spotlight – Maciej “Matt” Witwicki

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. Witwicki, Maciej

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Website Designer/Developer – I have been building websites and website content since 2002. Worked with REI, HSN, and AutoNation.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The location.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Usually morning radio shows like Brooke and Jubal. 92.5 FM.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was at age 16 working for Eric’s Landscaping.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I like the idea of a new website around the corner and would like to be a part of the transition process.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to see the new website finished and up online.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I’m most proud of being a home owner, my career, and my travels.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Probably something like forward slash or something code and computer related.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Haha. I guess I would play a song on my guitar.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
reen
River
Essential
Education
Northwest

Workplace Injuries

Accidents happen at work and can sometimes lead to debilitating injuries like stubbed toes or worse!workplace-injury

Here are a few key points to keep in mind when this occurs:

  1. Seek medical attention if needed!
  2. Report your injury to your supervisor and Campus Safety or HR as soon as humanly possible.
  3. Complete an Accident/Incident Report Form, and forward it to Campus Safety.

Our College is insured through the Department of L&I, and your physician will initiate the worker’s compensation process. During your first visit, request copies of the following, and deliver them to Human Resources:

  • Completed Report of Industrial or Occupational Disease
  • Completed Activity Prescription Form (APF)

If you need to miss work, it is your responsibility to contact your supervisor and payroll to coordinate appropriate leave.

Please contact Chernenko Wheatley, Employee & Labor Relations Manager, with any questions.

And remember:

Safety First

Doughnut Fundraiser for Court Reporting

Posted on behalf of Lori Rapozo, Computer Reporting Technologies Faculty

krispy-kreme-court-reportingHello all Krispy Kreme fans!

It’s time for the Court Reporting Student Association Annual Krispy Kreme Doughnut sale Monday, January 23, 2017. The students thank you very much for all of your past support. It has enabled students to attend both the National Court Reporting/Captioning Conference and the Washington State Court Reporting Conference. In years past, our program has had national award recipients, and thanks to your support of CRSA, they were able to attend and receive the award in person. They truly learn so much at these events and are able to share this information with the whole Court Reporting/Captioning student body.

The sale takes place in the Student Union lobby beginning at 7:00 a.m., but you can preorder your doughnuts now by placing an email to me.  I will confirm your order.
lrapozo@greenriver.edu

Here are the details:

One box (doz.) of doughnuts is selling for $12 this year – same price as last year.  Just let me know how many boxes you’d like and then what time and where you’d like them delivered.  You can then either send me a check in campus mail (Mailstop: SH2) or have payment ready upon delivery.  If paying by check, please make it out to:  CRSA.
If paying by cash, please have the exact amount. 

So get your orders in, and spread the word. Treat yourself, your colleagues, your students, and family.  The students are waiting to sweeten your day!

 

Whistleblower Act 101

We are state employees, stewards of government resources, and have a duty to report improper government action.

The Whistleblower Program is the means by which the Washington State Auditor’s Office investigates issues like:whistle1

  • Gross waste of public funds or resources
  • Violations of federal or state law
  • Substantial and specific dangers to public health and safety
  • Gross mismanagement
  • Alteration of technical findings or the prevention of the dissemination of scientific opinions.

Under the Whistleblower Act, RCW 42.40, any current employee who suspects improper action by another state employee or agency may file a report, and are protected from retaliation.

The first step is to complete a Whistleblower Complaint Form. Include as many details as possible, and file it with the State Auditor’s Office within one year of the date the asserted action occurred and within good faith. You can also submit the form to GRC’s designated whistleblower contact, the Vice President of Human Resources.

This is a confidential process – once you file a report, your identity is not subject to public disclosure, even if the State Auditor’s Office does not proceed with an investigation.

For more information, please take a look at the State Auditor’s Office website or call at (360) 725-5358. You may also contact Green River’s Office of Human Resources and Legal Affairs at ext. 3320.

*Please note that Whistleblower Program is not the place for filing a complaint or grievance, which follows a different process depending on the employee type. For grievance or complaint related questions, please contact Human Resources, ext. 3320.

New Employee Spotlight – Chris Boudreaux

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. boudreaux-chris

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I will be a full time professor of engineering (or instructor if you prefer).

I have been, in chronological order: A part time instructor at multiple institutions, * a sensor specialist on a giant airborne laser resembling a smaller version of the death star, * a research engineer in revolutionary technology programs at LM Skunk Works (* at Lockheed Martin: ), an amateur stand-up comedian, a lifeguard / swimming instructor, and a commercial actor.  

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The great facilities and the outstanding people who work here!

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I generally listen to NPR on the way to work to get my news fix. If that’s not interesting, I’ll listen to James Brown.

What was the very first job you ever had?
The very first job I ever had was as an actor doing commercials. (I was a cute kid!)

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Frankly, finally having an office so I’ll have a place to meet students!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Helping to grow the Engineering Department, which will get me hired on a permanent basis.

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

  1. Finding the love of my life.
  2. Beating cancer.
  3. Traveling to 4 of the 7 continents (mostly Europe).

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Gentle Ben (remember that old show?) because I’m as big as a grizzly bear, but I’m gentle and most everyone tells me that I’m sweet. (FYI: most giant guys are).

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I am a fabulous dancer and singer! If that fails, I can always do my patented “finger pop”. (can’t describe it, you’ll have to see it for yourself).

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

Great
Resource for
Education and
E
vergreen
Nature

Election Etiquette

voteIn the lead up to election day on November 8th, many employees are engaging in water cooler conversations regarding candidates and issues. Our internal Ethics Policy (GA-23) as well as RCW and WAC speak to where the line is drawn. While we all want and should encourage civil discourse, please familiarize yourself with the state and college guidelines so no one inadvertently runs afoul of them.

Excerpt from Green River’s Policy, GA-23:

“Use of Public Resources for Political Campaigns

Employees and officers of the college are prohibited from using college facilities to assist a political candidate’s election campaign or to promote or oppose a ballot proposition. The law broadly defines the term “facilities” to include, but not be limited to, stationery, postage, machines, equipment, office space, vehicles, publications, and the use of state employees during working hours, and clientele lists of persons served by the agency. For example, the use of e-mail to encourage letter-writing campaigns to promote candidates or a ballot measure is prohibited.

An employee may also violate the ethics law if she/he lets someone else use public resources for political campaigns.

An exception to this rule permits activities that are the normal and regular conduct of a state agency, such as renting property under customary rental arrangements or providing a college ‘neutral forum’ for political presentations.”

New Employee Spotlight – Amanda Thomas

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.

thomas-amanda

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am a Workforce Coordinator. In my previous position I was an Office Assistant at Workforce Education. Most of my professional jobs have dealt with retail.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I already enjoyed working part-time as an employee in the Workforce Education Department. When I found out about the new position, it was a no-brainer to apply.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
It depends on my mood in that moment. It could be: Sports Talk Radio, Podcasts, Country Music, 90’s Hip-Hop, Motown, Classical Music, Soft Rock, Pop, Christian Music and NPR.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I started working when I was 16 at TJ Maxx as a cashier.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am excited to inspire students to reach their full potential.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I want to engage, listen and find solutions to students’ barriers that prevent them from reaching their goals.

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

  1. My close relationship with my family
  2. My experience in working with challenging students
  3. DIY projects

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I have no idea.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I would say my talent would be a dance number.

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

God
Rise Up
E
ducation is the most powerful weapon (Nelson Mandela)
E
ncounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated (Maya Angelou)
Nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you (Marianne Williams)

New Employee Spotlight – Jenee Stanfield

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.

stanfield-jenee

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My new title is Program Assistant for IESL on the Kent Campus. I started my career in education as the lead writing consultant for Highline College’s Writing Center. I continued working in higher education as a housing coordinator for Kaplan International English, placing international students with American host families. Most recently, I taught English to K-12 students at a learning center in Bellevue.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I’m passionate about connecting with and serving students. I love helping to support others in their educational goals, especially international students, and Green River is the perfect opportunity for me to do that.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
When I’m driving into work, I’m usually listening to NPR. I’m a big news-junkie. It’s important to me to know what’s going on in the world.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was running concession stands for Kent Little League. I loved watching the games, and getting free hot dogs was definitely a plus!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
It’s always exciting to meet people from all over the world and learn more about their cultures. That’s something that I loved about working with international students before and that I’m looking forward to enjoying in my new position in the IESL office.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I’m in a very unique position as the first full-time program assistant for IESL on the Kent Campus, so it’s important to me in this first year to make this job my own and to learn how to best support a team working across multiple campuses.

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

  1. The first accomplishment I am most proud of is being the first person in my family to receive a bachelor’s degree.
  2. The second accomplishment is receiving my MFA in Creative Writing and being able to finish my thesis during a particularly chaotic year, which involved leaving my job, getting married, and moving.
  3. The third accomplishment I am most proud of is the meaningful relationships that I’ve been able to build with students.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
My office nickname would probably be something like “smiley.” I’m a habitual smiler, even when I’m not paying attention.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I’m a prose writer, so I suppose I could tell everyone a story.

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

Genuine
Responsiveness
E
ducational
E
ncouragement
Nurturing

Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights

Posted on behalf of Chernenko Wheatley, Employee & Labor Relations Manager

pres-obamaPresident Barack Obama signed the Survivors Bill of Rights Act into law on Friday, October 7, 2016, after it was passed by Congress on Wednesday, October 5, 2016.

Amanda Nguyen, a 24 year old White House Deputy Liaison for the US State Department and survivor of sexual assault, founded the sexual assault survivor advocacy organization Rise and not only helped draft this federal bill and lobbied for it, but also helped draft a similar bill for Massachusetts.

The bill was drafted in support of providing sexual assault survivors with specific rights (specifically those who are survivors of rape) in terms of law enforcement, counseling and how rape kits are handled.

The new legislation means that survivors will have access to sexual assault counselors and more information about their rights and will be able to track when and where their rape kit is tested by law enforcement, if they choose to submit one.

Survivors can no longer be charged fees or prevented from getting a rape-kit examination, even if they have not yet decided to file a police report. The kits must be preserved, at no cost to the survivor, until the applicable statute of limitations runs out. Also, survivors will now be able to request that authorities notify them before destroying their rape kits, and if they choose to keep the evidence, it has to be preserved. Survivors will also have the right to be notified of DNA-profile matches if a hit comes up on the kit, toxicology report, or other information collected as part of a medical forensic examination (if such disclosure would not impede or compromise an ongoing investigation).

PEBB Health Coverage Changes

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon, Benefits ManagerInsurance1095

The Public Employee Benefits Board (PEBB) program is instituting several changes next year, beginning January 1, 2017. The changes will include:

  • New life insurance benefits and premiums
  • Medical plan benefits – including Telehealth or “virtual” office visits!
  • Uniform Medical Plan (UMP) Plus expanded into new counties
  • Medical plan premiums
  • Individual contribution amounts for health savings accounts (HSA)
  • Optional long-term disability (LTD) insurance premiums
  • PEBB Program rules and policies

Check out the following flyer to find out more details about the above changes:

PEBB Health Coverage Changes 2017

*And don’t forget that open enrollment for MetLife starts November 1, 2016.

Harvest Fest – 2016

Posted on behalf of Niki Nelson and the Classified Staff Training & Development Committee

harvest-fest-logo-2016-002

The Classified Staff Training & Development Committee (CSTDC) is proud to present the Annual Fall Harvest Fest at Green River College.  This event is for employees.  Buy your lunch from the cafeteria or bring your own and join us!

The River Room
Student Union Dining Area
Look for the decorated tables!
Monday, October 31, 2016
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Featuring:

Costume Contest: 
  Prizes awarded for:

  • Best Team Costumes,
  • Most Creative Costume,
  • Funniest Costume,
  • The Perfect Pair, and
  • Spookiest Costume

This year, we will not be using the stage for the costume contest so be sure you mix and mingle during the event to show off your costume. As a reminder, a culture is not a costume.

Food Drive:  Donations will be delivered to the Auburn Food Bank in early November. Collection boxes or tubs will be delivered to departments on or around October 14th. Human Resources is sponsoring a coffee break to the department that best decorates their food collection receptacle.  We encourage everyone to visit all campus locations prior to the Harvest Fest in preparation for voting.

Pumpkin Carving Contest:  The IT Department challenges all other departments to a pumpkin carving contest!  Bring your entries to lunch with you for all to see.

Ballots will be provided to collect votes on costumes, decorated food collection receptacles, and pumpkins.  All ballots will be tallied after the event.  Prizes delivered by the CSTDC.

New Employee Spotlight – Sean Taggart

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. taggart-seanPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My name is Sean Taggart, and I am the new Assistant Director of Campus Safety, Parking and Transportation. My professional background spans 20 years and includes security, safety and transportation experience in a wide range of environments including educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, 5 star hotels and resorts and many others. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and will complete my Master’s Degree in Security Studies in October. I also hold a Certified Protection Professional certification through ASIS.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The campus and the people are what drew me to Green River College. From the moment I stepped foot on the campus I was made to feel welcome. In addition, the opportunities that this position has to offer are a perfect match to my experience, training and education.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Being from Texas, I tend to listen to a lot a country music traveling back and forth to work.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first job was working as a camp counselor for a large Boy Scout camp in Bastrop, TX.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The fact that this is a new position is very exciting. Along with that, the fact that I will be able to work with a wonderful group of individuals was an incentive to accepting this position.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
In my first year I would hope to gain a deep understanding of the school’s culture and people and how in my role in Safety, Parking and Transportation I can best serve them.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My biggest 3 accomplishments in life would have to first be my wife and our marriage, second would be obtaining my master’s degree this fall, and third would be where I am in my professional career

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Chef, because I love to cook.

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

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

Great
Ripe
E
nvironment
E
ducating
Nations

New Employee Spotlight – Ryan Hawes

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. hawes-ryanPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My new title is Program Support Supervisor. I have been in customer service my entire professional life. Most of that time has been spent working in casinos from frontline to management positions.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Working in casinos sounds fun, right? No. After 10 years of “hustling” (as we called it) I was done. I saw this position and thought I’d be a pretty good fit. I received my Bachelor’s in Sociology in 2008 because I really wanted to help others. I felt like this would be a position where I felt I could give back to others and the community.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?hawesselfie
I live close enough to walk to work!!! It’s awesome! But in the shower I listen to 950 KJR. I am a Slickhawk fan boy. I got a selfie with him at the USMNT match at Centurylink earlier this summer.

What was the very first job you ever had?
Cashier at Burgerville.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The most exciting part for me is that I finally have a position where I have the ability to help others. I’ve been in this position for 3 weeks now and every day I feel like I am making a positive difference in other people’s lives.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I haven’t really thought about it. I just want to come to work, do my job, and go the extra mile for the people I work with and the students.

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

  • Being the first person in my family to attend college and graduate.
  • Getting married to the best person I have ever met.
  • Being true to myself. (Don’t know if that’s an accomplishment.)

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I asked my coworkers about this and Joshika said, “Bear!” which is actually what my wife calls me. So there you go.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I guess I could give them really solid fantasy football advice. I used to write my own blog (pretentious face).

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

Goblins Rarely Ever Engage in Nurturing……I’m bad at acronyms.

The Red Flag System Explained

suspicious

Situations occur on campus, which may be suspicious or potentially harmful to members of the college community or its property. Often it is unclear whether or not these situations warrant a call to the police.

The Red Flag Information Reporting System exists for these cases.

It allows faculty, staff and students to “send up a red flag” for “anything that is witnessed, observed, or participated in.”

Green River’s Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) will receive the notice, assess the situation and take appropriate action.

Remember, this system does NOT serve as a replacement for emergency notification systems. In a true emergency, please call 9-1-1 from any phone on campus before you submit a red flag.

To submit a red flag, go the main greenriver.edu webpage:

  1. Go to Home » About Us » Campus Safety » Red Flag Information Reporting System
  2. Click on the red flag icon: redflag-icon
  3. Fill in the details of the incident to the best of your ability. The right side of the page contains useful hints regarding the information the system is looking for.
  4. Follow the directions at the bottom in order to provide attachments, information about the parties involved, and your own contact information.
  5. You can also log back in to update a red flag that you previously submitted in the event that the situation has changed.

*Again, this system is NOT a replacement for dialing 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. If you are unsure, feel free to contact campus safety at extension 3350 for further guidance.

 

MetLife and PEBB Life Insurance

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon

MetLife is the PEBB Program’s new life insurance carrier in 2017

The Health Care Authority (HCA) recently partnered with MetLife to provide increased life insurance benefits to eligible Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program members starting January 1, 2017.

Concurrent with the PEBB Program’s open enrollment, MetLife will hold a special, one-time open enrollment opportunity that will allow many PEBB Program subscribers to enroll in or increase their supplemental life insurance or supplemental accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance from November 1-30, 2016.

Some of the benefit changes for 2017 include:

  • Employer-paid, basic life insurance for employees will increase from $25,000 in 2016 to $35,000 in 2017. Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance will remain at $5,000. This increase is at no cost to the employee;
  • Many PEBB members will be able to enroll in or increase their amount of life insurance during MetLife’s Open Enrollment (up to $500,000) without health questions and/or medical exams;
  • Eligible employees can apply for amounts over $500,000 up to $1,000,000 with health questions and/or medical exams;
  • Also changes in supplemental life insurance options for children and for retirees.You will receive much more information in your PEBB Program “For Your Benefit” newsletter which PEBB will send out on September 13th to all PEBB Program members.

You will receive much more information in your PEBB Program “For Your Benefit” newsletter which PEBB will send out on September 13th to all PEBB Program members

OR READ MORE NOW

New Employee Spotlight – Brian Mitchell

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.mitchell-brianPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new Junior Web Application Developer on the Web Team. I have a BS in Computer Science and previously worked in Seattle for a small web development company. Go (CWU) Wildcats! I mean…Go Wildcats and Gators!

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The area and the campus itself. The campus is gorgeous and only a jump from home.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Star 101.5 or my Spotify playlist, which includes bands like Skillet or Thousand Foot Krutch, as well as classical music by the Piano Guys!

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first job was delivering weekly newspapers and ads as a teenager in Germany.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Learning new things! Also, working professionally (previous jobs at colleges were student jobs) in an educational setting.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Be an asset to my team and help people on the campus.

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

  • Getting married to my best friend,
  • moving back to the US by myself and establishing myself over here, and
  • getting my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
B-Three or B3. There are two more Brians here in the IT department. I was the last one to arrive. I have also heard Brian M before from a co-worker.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Do a comedy routine in German.

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

Getting a
Rockstar
Engaging
Education
Now

New Employee Spotlight – Aileen Velasquez-Soto

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.
velasquez-soto-aileen
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My name is Aileen Velasquez-Soto, and I am the new administrative assistant for the facilities department. I just graduated from the University of Washington with my degree in Communications, and I am beyond excited to start working at Green River.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I used to be a student at Green River. I started right after high school and graduated in 2014. When I saw the position open I knew I had to apply. Being part of a college, though, has taught me so much and is what made me apply.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I like to start my morning with something that gets me excited for the day. It can be country, pop, or anything in between.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was in high school. I worked at a McDonalds close to my home. I met some great people there, and it taught me the fundamentals of what it takes to be a great employee.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I think the most exciting part about my new position is being back on campus. I love the environment at Green River and can’t wait to be back.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I can’t wait to just learn. I know I am going to be working with some great people in the facilities department, and I can’t wait to learn from them and help them in anyway I can.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My greatest accomplishments so far are:

  1. Being the first in my family to graduate from college.
  2. Going to school and working full time while managing good grades.
  3. Being chosen to study abroad in Spain and experiencing a new culture, meeting new people, and interning at a great place

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
People usually call me A or Velasquez. It’s just something that has stuck with me since I was younger.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I love to take pictures. Photography is a new hobby of mine. So, if we had a talent show, I would showcase some images.

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

Great school
Respectable people
Energetic students and staff
Exciting environment
New place for opportunities

New Employee Spotlight – Eun Hee “Clara” Park

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.
Park, Eun Hee (Clara)2

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My title is IESL Student Advisor, and I am working within International Programs. For the past year, I’ve been in this role part-time and am excited to be coming aboard full-time. Before I came to Green River, I was at the University of Pennsylvania pursuing an M.S. Ed. in Higher Education while working at Haverford College as an academic consultant. Before that, I taught math in middle school and worked at a test prep center!

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I had applied for an AmeriCorps position at Green River years ago – I had been accepted for the position, but the grant fell through at the last minute. Even though the position didn’t work out, I remember having really good feelings about the atmosphere and the people!

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Podcasts – ranging from recent news in higher education to Korean comedy.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first job was probably a tutoring job. I tutored almost half my life!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The most exciting part of my job is coming up with new ideas with our team. We are currently working on student engagement within the IESL program, and we’re excited to get students active and involved outside of the classrooms!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I’d like to collaborate across campus and get to know more faces outside of International Programs.

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

  • Getting my graduate degree! The ten months I spent in Philadelphia were probably the most emotionally draining ten months of my life – I think there was a point in the final stretch where I wanted to come back home, but with the support of family and friends, I was able to complete the program. Being the first to attend graduate school in my family was a huge accomplishment for me.
  • Changing majors in college! My parents thought I was going to medical school ever since I was a baby, so the day I told them I wanted to pursue education was not a good day. I had studied natural sciences (without much interest) all throughout the first couple years of college, but then decided to pursue psychology and music – one of the best decisions of my life. I remember feeling as if I had let them down, but now, they are my biggest supporters.
  • Getting married! My friends thought I would be the lonely cat lady yelling at kids on the front porch, so it was a huge surprise when I started dating my husband. We recently got married and spent a week in Bali for our honeymoon!

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
“Neat-freak” is the go-to nickname that I’ve been given everywhere else. I’m not crazy neat, but I do like to have things placed in a certain way, especially on my desk.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I would probably set up shop and write everyone’s names with a pointed pen. I picked up calligraphy a year ago, and I’ve been doing commissioned work for the past six months!

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
A Gentle Reminder that Equity in Education is Needed.

New Employee Spotlight – Laura Lowe

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.
Lowe, Laura2
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My new title is Director of Procurement. I’ve worked in procurement for the State of Washington for over 25 years.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I’ve always been impressed with our state’s community college system. I’m inspired by people who study and learn.  I just had to apply for a job where I could use my professional skills and work in a learning environment!

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I like audio books, NPR and 107.7 The End.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked in food prep at the University of Washington student union building.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m excited to get to know, and work with my new co-workers.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Along with continuing to provide excellent procurement services, I’ll work hard to become an accomplished ctcLink user.

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

  • Raising my two sons
  • Helping my older son become an Olympic athlete
  • Being a good family member and friend

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
It would have to be something to do with smiling. 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’d discover an unrealized talent for the fiddle or banjo and play some bluegrass.

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Grow and Reach every day. Educate yourself. Enjoy life.  Nurture family and friends.

Opening Day is (Almost) Here

Posted on behalf of Kirk Walker

Jumping

Green River’s Opening Day starts on Tuesday, September 13, at 8:00 am sharp in the Student Union Grand Hall. The events will begin with a campus message from our Interim President Scott Morgan, staff awards, and a presentation from the keynote speaker, Dr. Derek Greenfield, titled, “Today is the First Day of the Rest & Best of Our Lives: Believe & Achieve Together!”

Check out this year’s vast array of workshops led by a variety of departments including Human Resources, Campus Safety and Workforce Education!

Questions? Feel free to send an email to Kirk Walker, Training Manager.

 

 

Summary of Benefits and Coverage

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon

Q&A

WHAT DO YOU CALL AN EASY-TO-UNDERSTAND AND CONCISE SUMMARY OF YOUR HEALTH BENEFITS?

You call it your Summary of Benefits and Coverage!

Need to know what’s covered under your health plan and what services may not be, what’s included in your plan’s “out-of-pocket” limit, or what your overall deductible is?

You can find all that and more in your plan’s Summary of Benefits and Coverage. Summaries of Benefits and Coverage (SBC’s) are required under the federal Affordable Care Act to help plan members understand plan benefits and medical terms.

The PEBB Program and/or medical plans provide SBCs, or notice of how to get one, at different times throughout the year (like when you apply for coverage, renew your plan, or request an SBC). SBCs are available (upon request) in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, and Navajo.

You can find your Plan’s Summary of Benefits and Coverage here:

Summaries of Benefits and Coverage

Summaries of Benefits and Coverage aren’t the only useful tool when comparing plans; PEBB also offers a handy side-by-side Medical benefits comparison tool for researching your plan options.

OPEN ENROLLMENT IS COMING SOONER THAN YOU THINK —NOVEMBER 1 THROUGH NOVEMBER 30!

New Employee Spotlight – Jingzhu Guo

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.
Guo, Jingzhu2
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.

My new title is Program Specialist 2. I would be engaged in two main roles. For part of the year (STP – 20%) I would be the key activity and event planner for visiting international students, which are here for just a short while. For the other part of the year (Housing – 80%) my focus would be on the International Student Housing Program. Duties would include consulting with students regarding their housing choices, interviewing host families and home visits, facilitating move-in, tracking, coordination, and attending host family meetings.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I immigrated to the U.S from China 5 years ago. I graduated from Green River College in 2013. I got lots of help and support from instructors and other staff. Now I want to pay back and help other students.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I like to listen to Spirit 105.3, which is a Christian music radio.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first job was an employee in an international travel agency in Beijing, China.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I work with international students, which is very exciting for me.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to know all the host families in my first year at Green River.

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

  • I met my wife and got married in China.
  • I have two wonderful children.
  • I got my Bachelor of Science degree from University of Washington, Tacoma. 

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I prefer “Beatles” because my name is Jude.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I probably would sing a Chinese song.

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

Gentle
Respectable
Experienced
Exploratory
Nutritious

New Employee Spotlight – Andrew Turgeon

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.
Turgeon, Andrew
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am an International Student Advisor. Before working at Green River, I was Assistant Director of Enrollment Services at Associates in Cultural Exchange and then worked as an International Student Advisor at Seattle Central College.  I also wrote reference content for National Geographic Education, covering topics ranging from typhoons to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Currently, I am completing a master’s degree in International Education from the School for International Training.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I worked in international student advising in Seattle before and met many Green River employees and attended their workshops at conferences. I always appreciated their friendliness, their innovative ideas, and their clear commitment to international student success.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to KUOW, KEXP, and podcasts like Risk, Invisibilia, and 2 Dope Queens. I also love pop music and classic rock.

What was the very first job you ever had?
At 14, I started working at the Vermont Confectionary. I made chocolate pops, filled candy jars, scooped ice cream, and cut cheese.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am most excited to collaborate with my fellow advisors and other Green River staff to support international students in their academic, social, and personal development.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to work on programming that connects international students with local students.

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

  • Winning a slam poetry competition at 15. I was a very shy student and I found my voice through poetry. I will never forget the loud cheers ringing in my ears after I finished presenting my poem. After that experience, I went on to write and perform more poetry and also performed in plays and musicals.
  • Completing a year as an international exchange student in Lima, Peru. As a teenager from a rural town, I found it difficult to adjust to life in a large foreign city. I am so glad that I stayed for the entire year; I learned so much about myself, my own cultural background, and the amazing people and places of Peru.
  • Giving a speech at my sister’s wedding. My sister was just recently married and she means the world to me.  We both love music so I wrote a speech that incorporated short clips from some of our favorite songs.  People laughed! They cried! But I cried the most. 

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
My nickname would “Zen Master” because I remain calm during difficult situations and I am a patient listener. On the other hand, they may name me “DJ Andrew” because I love to throw dance parties and encourage people to move and have fun.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I was part of a whistling acapella group in college. I can whistle the entirety of “Bohemian Rhapsody” if you ask me nicely.

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

Gracious
Resilient
Energetic
Engaged
Natural

Interim President – Scott Morgan

Who is Green River’s Interim President?

Prior to joining Green River College as interim 7625kentScottMorgan.jpgpresident, Scott Morgan was the president of Spokane Community College from 2012 until his retirement in 2015. He also served as the chief executive officer for the Institute for Extended Learning, as well as chief operations officer since 2003.

Morgan has served as the operating budget director and director of financial services at the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges in Olympia. He also has worked as a fiscal analyst and senior research analyst for the Washington State House of Representatives.

In addition, Morgan served as interim vice president of administrative services at Lake Washington College, Kirkland, and vice president for administrative services at Clark College, Vancouver.

He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration from the University of Puget Sound.

 

Common Myths & Misconceptions about FMLA at Green River College

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon

UNRAVELING SOME COMMON MYTHS & MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT FMLA AT GREEN RIVER COLLEGE

 

Myth #1 – FMLA (Family & Medical Leave) is a separate “paid” leave.FMLA2

  • No, FMLA is unpaid leave; FMLA is a “designation” not a leave type. When approved, FMLA provides up to 480 hours or about three (3) months of job-protected (unpaid) leave, but employees must use their own appropriate leave type in order to continue being paid while out on FMLA. Shared leave may also be an option.

Myth #2 – The employer can’t ask for any medical information.

  • Wrong – FMLA regulations allow employers to get sufficient proof of the medical need in order to be able to make an FMLA determination.

Myth #3 – It’s okay for me to talk about my coworker’s FMLA or email details about the medical condition to my fellow employees.

  • So wrong – Employees who go on medical leave are protected by confidentiality laws to prevent the nature of their or their families’ medical condition from being disclosed.  You should not convey specifics of other employees’ (or their families’) medical conditions to others at work, even if the affected employee is disclosing the information to others at work. It is not okay to use Green River College email or any other college resources to pass along confidential medical information.

Myth #4 – My coworker shared with me that she is on approved FMLA leave for a serious medical condition, but I saw her shopping at Costco yesterday. Isn’t that a violation or abuse of FMLA?

  • There is no “stay-at-home” policy associated with the receipt of leave benefits at Green River. The answer to this question is going to depend on whether the employee is unable to do her job, but capable of stopping at a store and running an errand. In other words are her actions inconsistent with the medical reason she took FMLA, and only the employee’s doctor can determine what her limitations or restrictions are.

Myth #5 – My supervisor can decide that it’s too much of a hardship on our department for me to be gone, and the college can deny my FMLA request for leave.

  • Wrong – Under the FMLA you cannot be denied FMLA leave if
    • (1) you are an eligible employee
    • (2) of a covered employer
    • (3) requesting leave for a reason covered by FMLA
    • (4) you have provided sufficient information for your employer to determine that you have made a request for medical leave that is covered by FMLA
    • (5) the request has been made thirty days prior to the required leave (or as soon as reasonably possible if thirty days’ notice cannot be provided) and
    • (6) you have not already exhausted your protected leave for the current FMLA period.

Myth #6 – Holidays don’t count towards my FMLA (480-hour) entitlement while I’m gone on approved leave.

  • Wrong –if you’re gone an entire week during which a holiday falls, the holiday counts as part of your FMLA 480-hour designation. If you worked part of that week, the holiday will not count towards your 480-hour FMLA entitlement.

FMLA3

Myth #7 – I can use FMLA just to spend time with my eligible family member when she/he is sick:

  • Wrong – FMLA to care for a family member means that your presence is required to care for your family member. In the medical certification, your doctor must specify what care you are providing to your family member and why your absence to perform that care is necessary during your working hours.

Myth #8 – I can take FMLA to care for my elderly grandparents.

  • In most cases, no. The FMLA does not recognize grandparents as immediate family members for FMLA purposes and Green River’s FMLA policy does not include them either. Unless your grandparent acted in loco parentis (had legal responsibility to take on some of the functions of a parent), they will not be considered a family member for FMLA purposes.

Myth #9 – I just use my FMLA “intermittently” and so I don’t need to let my supervisor know when I’m going to be gone.

  • Wrong – Unless your supervisor has agreed otherwise, you must follow the appropriate sick leave notification process each day during “intermittent” FMLA use and report your absence to your supervisor. You should never include any medical facts or describe physical events; just specify you will be out for FMLA approved reasons.

Myth #10 – I was approved for FMLA to care for my seriously ill family member who passed away. My FMLA will continue throughout my “grieving” period.

  • No, even though the employee will experience a period of grieving unless there is a qualifying event that makes the employee eligible for FMLA, the “Care for a Family Member” FMLA ends with the passing of the relative. The employee may be eligible for several days of paid bereavement leave however.

 

You can read more about FMLA at Green River College in our Policy HR 13 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and at https://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/.

New Employee Spotlight – Michelle Fujimoto

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.
Fujimoto, Michelle2
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.

Title: Graphic Designer

I have decades of experience as a graphic designer graphic here in Greater Seattle. For 13 years I owned a graphic design studio based in Fremont, “the center of the universe”. I am passionate about great design and spent several years working with our community on pro-bono work while raising my three children. Brand work is where I excel and look forward to contributing to Green River’s marketing efforts.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Two things: 1) Location 2) Community. I’ve spent several years offering my skills to elementary and primary education. So it just seamed fitting to continue with higher education.

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

What was the very first job you ever had?
Pulling weeds over the summer.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The people.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Meeting a new person every day.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Marissa my daughter. Mikko my son. McKenzie my daughter. 

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Coach. I’m a volleyball coach.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
My ability to know when it’s a full moon.

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

Green
River
Exceeds
Expectations
Naturally

New Employee Spotlight – Supacha Thongsuwan

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

My new title is Program Specialist 2- International Programs Business Manager Assistant. Prior to joining Green River, I worked in the international education industry in Bangkok, Thailand and the Online Travel industry in Bellevue, WA.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
What drew me to Green River was the strong international programs department and my passion to work with diverse student population.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to pop and electronic music. My favorites are Taylor Swift, Calvin Harris, and Maroon 5.

What was the very first job you ever had?
The first job I had was being a cashier at the University of Oregon Bookstore (The Duck Store).

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
My favorite part is getting to work with students and very friendly office environment.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Make a positive impact on a student success or take an interesting class at Green River.

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

  • Built a house for a family in need in Mexico.
  • Been a foreign exchange student at the age of 15.
  • Got 2 job promotions in 1 year at the previous company I worked at. 

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Panda, because they can look serious but they are actually playful.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I play a Thai instrument called Khim.

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

Great
Remarkable
Enthusiasm
Energy
Natural

Update Your Profile Picture in Outlook

Posted on Behalf of the IT Department

How do I update my profile picture in Outlook 2010?

In the IT department, we recently received the following question:

“When I logged into my new Outlook account, I quickly noticed there was a photo attached to my emails. That’s cool, except it was an old headshot, and I didn’t know how to change it.”

Luckily it’s pretty easy. You can follow the same steps if you haven’t added a headshot yet:

  • Go to your Outlook contacts (labeled “People” in Office 2013).Outlook Post 1
  • Select the View tabOutlook Post 2
  • In the Current View section, drop down the “Change View” option.Outlook Post 3
  • Select Business Card view from the menu.Outlook Post 4
  • Click on your own business card.Outlook Post 4
  • Click on your photo to the right of your name and company information.Outlook Post 5
  • Select the new photo you would like to use, and click OK.Outlook Post 6

Alternatively, you can double-click on your name in the “contacts” section, the editing field will open up, and from there you can click on your image to change it.

Have fun and keep it clean!

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Courtesy of US HealthWorks

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

____________

Reduce the Risk!

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful and progressive condition of the hand and arm. It causes numbness, tingling and other symptoms as a result of a pinched nerve in the wrist. A number of factors contribute to CTS, which may include anatomy of the wrist, repetitive motion and certain underlying health problems.

If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, you have a greater chance of getting CTS. Fortunately, there are specific hand and wrist exercises that can reduce the risk of being afflicted by this syndrome.

CTS

Do these exercises every hour. Exercising, taking breaks and stretching can minimize the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

  • Finger Push Ups: Firmly press each fingertip to its counterpart on the other hand. Spread fingers as far apart as possible. “Steeple” the fingers by separating your palms while keeping your fingertips together.
  • Hand Bends: Hold one hand in front of you with your elbow straight and fingers extended. Use the other hand to apply pressure to your outstretched hand until the wrist and fingers are pointing down at the floor. Hold that position for 20 seconds.
  • The Shake: Shake your hands vigorously as if you are trying to dry them off. This will help to prevent cramping.

Learn More

Source: 3 Wrist Exercises to Prevent Carpal Tunnel, HealthLine.com

New Employee Spotlight – Mary Starr

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.
Starr, Mary
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the Natural Resources Coordinator. I graduated with 3 Natural Resources (Forestry, Water Quality, and Park Management) AAS degrees from Green River. I have worked for the College part-time on a Woodland Detention project since fall of 2011. I provide nature walks, introduce pre-kindergarteners to the forest, collect data, and write annual monitoring reports for local, state, federal, and tribal agency review.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Working part-time at Green River College for over the past 4 years, I have acquired a deep respect for nature found both on our urban campus and in our back yard forest. I was also drawn to the positive working atmosphere in the Facilities Department and the support I have received from the Business Affairs.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I started working when I was 14 years old at Burger King with a work permit because I was so young.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I get to go outside look at the trees, hear the birds, and monitor the forested storm water Woodland Detention Facility, which includes Gator Pond.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to write a comprehensive urban forestry plan focusing on the main campus. I would like to reach out to the campus community and start the conversation regarding the current state of ecosystem health found on campus and in the Woodland Detention study site.

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

  • Continuously accomplishing building a great life with my Husband.
  • Putting off my career to raise my 4 children.
  • While taking care of a family of 6, I have completed 3 degrees along with further study at the University of Washington. In addition, I am working on completing the last few remaining credits of my Natural Resources undergrad degree at Oregon State University. 

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I have been called Pollyanna at the office due to my sunshine personality.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I have trained my bloodhound Sara to do tricks other than searching for lost things.

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

Green is the beauty I see on a dew drop resting on conifer needles.
Ready to serve my community and take pride in the stewardship of our beautiful forest.
Energy that is renewed by nature every day.
Education for the general community, disabled or nontraditional persons who may not   otherwise get a chance to walk in a forest.
Nitrogen fixers are plants that draw nitrogen from the air and return it to the soil, which helps other plants grow.

SmartHealth and the Seahawks

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon

Win Tickets to a Seahawks Game!

Football

Earn your chance to win Seahawks vs. Panthers tickets*!

You’ve been the 12th MAN (or WOMAN) on the Seahawks team for years. Now, you can win Seahawks tickets by taking care of their MVP: You!

The SmartHealth program is giving away Seahawks tickets!  Two lucky winners will each receive two tickets to the Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on December 4, 2016. To be automatically entered into the drawing, eligible PEBB Program subscribers must complete the following steps by September 30, 2016:

  1. Visit www.smarthealth.hca.wa.gov and select Get started.
  2. Complete the SmartHealth Well-being Assessment.
    If you don’t have Internet access, you can complete the Well-being Assessment by phone (1-855-750-8866), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time.
  3. Join and complete activities to earn total 2,000 points.

Winners will be announced the week of October 3–7, 2016. Eligible PEBB Program subscribers can complete the following SmartHealth activities and more to reach 2,000 points:

  • Mindful Eating. Be mindful during meals for weight control.
  • The Magic Hour. Unplug from technology up to an hour before bed for better sleep.
  • Protect Your Back. Restore your back with strength-training exercises and by stretching regularly.
  • Blast Fat Fast. Combine cardio and strength training for better heart health.

*For drawing details and rules, visit www.hca.wa.gov/pebb.

New Employee Spotlight – Philip Denman

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.
Denman, Philip
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My name is Philip Denman and I’m the new Assistant Director of College Relations. I earned my BA in Communications from Washington State University (Go Cougs!) and my Masters in Public Administration from the University of Colorado. Prior to joining the Green River team, I served as the Assistant Director of University Communications and Media Relations team at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
While I loved Colorado, my wife and I were both anxious to return to Washington. My wife – who is originally from Kent – accepted a new position in Tacoma so we packed up and headed west. I knew I wanted to stay in higher education and at the time my brother-in-law was attending Green River after his time in the military. Once I visited campus and saw how beautiful it was, I was hooked.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Either a podcast (Top 3: Nerdist, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, and the Adam Savage Project) or an audiobook (Currently: A Song of Ice and Fire).

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked at a Coldstone Creamery throughout highschool. And before you ask, no, I don’t remember any of the jingles!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m really looking forward to getting to know the faculty and staff that make this campus such a wonderful place for our students to attend. I love meeting new people, and the only way to be successful in this position is to throw yourself out there and start making those connections.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Remember everyone’s names! Kidding aside, we’re in the process of giving the CommuniGator a facelift and I’m excited to highlight all the wonderful things our faculty, staff and students are doing.

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

  • Earning my MPA: Neither of my parents graduated college so it was a big deal to attend and complete graduate school.
  • Being a Division I NCAA sports photographer: There is no better place to watch a game than from the sidelines! Though I did lose a pair of prescription sunglasses after evading a USC defensive lineman running out of bounds. If you think those guys look big on TV, you should see them in person.
  • Studying abroad: During my junior year of college I packed up and moved to New Zealand for 6 months. It was a life changing experience. The country is as beautiful in person as the Lord of the Rings movies make it out to be, and the people are so welcoming. 

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Probably “that nerd” because my desk is covered in a variety of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Portal action figures and Legos.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I brew my own beer, so I’d bring a case of that in and hope it sways the judge’s into giving me first place.

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

Got
Recommendations for
Exciting
Eateries?
Nom nom nom

Public Records – Archiving Updates

Posted on behalf of Jessica Tichy, Public Records Manager

Records-Retention

Summer quarter is typically when archiving is done, so all of you tasked with this responsibility should know that our friends at Washington State Archives have finally approved and published a State Records Retention Schedule.

The schedule is a great resource to be used in tandem with our own state board’s version. Washington State Archives approved the new State Government General Records Retention Schedule v.6.0 by the State Records Committee on June 29th, and is now available on the Washington State Archives website.

The site also contains a comprehensive list of the various records retention schedules; including the SBCTC version (that’s us).

Washington State Archives has also created a new “How to Use Records Retention Schedules” page for state agencies with new “Advice Sheets” and links to training materials.

Please feel free to send your questions to WA State Archives at recordsmanagement@sos.wa.gov.

Happy archiving!

Health and Wellness

Posted on behalf of Julie French, Health Services Coordinator

Wellness means different things to different people. Sometimes it’s taking that 10 minutes to de-stress or its eating fresh from the farmers market. If you are deciding that you need a break from sitting too long at your desk there are a few healthy options for your wellness.

Fitness center and Weight room (in the gym)Weight

Summer Hours:

Monday – Thursday 12pm-12:50pm

Free and open to all employees during this time

Form or join a walking group; take the stairs; walk the trails; conduct a walking meeting; or take a stretching break!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

exerciseThe RAC is open too!

Hours:

Monday – Thursday  10am-7pm,

Friday 12pm-4pm,

Sunday from 12pm-4pm.

The hours will remain the same until the start of fall quarter.

We anticipate that the number of students using the facility will be much lower than what we have seen in previous quarters so it would be a great time to come and test out a RAC quarterly pass! A quarterly pass is $50.00 and can be purchased for summer quarter starting Monday June 13th from the Cashiering Office. We also offer a $5.00 day pass for those just wanting to drop in occasionally for a group fitness class or to shoot some hoops.

Please send an email to mjones@greenriver.edu if you have any questions about the RAC!

 

Julie French
Health Services Coordinator
Prevention Education
Health Services
Green River College
12401 SE 320th ST
Auburn WA  98092-3699
jfrench@greenriver.edu
253-833-9111 ext. 2430

Breathe easy – Green River is now tobacco-free!

New Employee Spotlight – Lenzi Penaranda

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.Penaranda, Lenzi
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the part time Human Resource Consultant Assistant. I have my master’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology and am just getting started in the Human Resource field.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The idea of working for the college where I get the opportunity to see people learn and grow.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
A little bit of everything but usually old school rap to wake me up.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked seasonal customer service at Emerald Downs Race Track.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am excited to learn from my HR Team.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to learn more about the general Human Resource practices our office works with.

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

  • Getting my Master’s degree
  • Having and getting to raise my children
  • Building a house

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Tammy calls me “the kid,” because I have a lot of energy and am always moving.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I don’t think I have a hidden talent, so I guess yoga.

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

Give
Receive
Earn
Entitle
Never quit

New Employee Spotlight – Michael Clark

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.Clark, Michael
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I was hired as a Custodian 2 after working for 7 years at TCC as a Custodian 1, but before that I’ve worked for DOT (Department of Transportation). Also, I worked on the tide flats at Pennwalt Chemical Company for several years.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The opportunity to work as a Custodian 2 and take on more responsibilities and be of more assistance.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Believe it or not, classical music. It calms me as people cut me off in traffic. Also, the usual 104.9 KUBE and 89.9 KGRG.

What was the very first job you ever had?
Working at my grandfather’s restaurant Bob’s BBQ. Stacking wood and balling up newspaper for the fire pit. I also bottles sauce which he would sell at the local Safeway store and a few small mom and pop markets.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
We have an amazing management team which allows for me to be part of a team and to grow and learn new equipment to help our job be more efficient. Thanks Rob, Dan, and Mack. Oh yeah, Pie-Yon and Bart too!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
To continue to work and get to know as many people her at GRC and assist the college by doing my job to the best of my ability.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Owning and operating my family restaurant, my mother, myself and my brother for 27 years. Painting over 500 cars and trucks And first and foremost my relationship with Jesus Christ, and family and friends.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Well I really enjoy working for him — mini Mack would be cool.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Wow, so when I was younger I loved Evil Knievil, so one day I jumped a Volkswagen that was abandoned in the woods, I made the ramp myself and charged my school mates to watch.

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

Great
Reason to
Educate you for
Employment advancement and
New beginnings

Presidential Matters

GRC Logo

Dr. Eileen Ely Resigns as President of Green River College

(AUBURN, WA—June 16, 2016) After six years of service, Green River College President Dr. Eileen Ely announced Thursday, June 16, 2016, that she will step down as president, effective immediately. The Board of Trustees for Green River College accepted her resignation and is working with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) to identify and retain a suitable candidate for interim president, as the College prepares to launch a national search for a successor. The Board has appointed Shirley Bean, Vice President for Business Administration, and Marshall Sampson, Vice President of Human Resources and Legal Affairs, to share the duties of acting president at Green River, until the interim president is appointed.

The Board of Trustees extends their thanks to Dr. Ely for her efforts on behalf of Green River College. “We wish the best for her, as she prepares to move on to other endeavors,” said Pete Lewis, chair of the Green River College Board of Trustees. “We are confident our presidential search will attract the best and brightest candidates.”

The College will host open forum Community Town Hall meetings this summer and early fall to hear feedback from the college community about the presidential recruitment plan, as well as to provide an opportunity for faculty and staff to voice their requirements and preferred characteristics for a new president at Green River. A detailed timeline regarding the upcoming presidential search will become available as the process develops.

Operations at Green River College will continue as usual, with summer quarter beginning Monday, June 20, 2016.

Allison Friedly
Executive Director of College Relations
Green River College | 12401 SE 320th St | Auburn, WA 98092-3622
afriedly@greenriver.edu | Office (253) 288-3360

 

New Employee Spotlight – William “David” Jackson

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.Jackson, William (David)
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Hi everyone, my new title is Information Technology Support Manager for Green River Community College. I’m very excited to be offered this position and I’m thrilled to become a member of the GRCC team!

As for my background, I come from 15 years (give or take) in information technology. I began my career at the helpdesk representative at PACCAR years ago.  I was then picked up to do IT consulting and training for their network of truck dealerships across the country.  Yes, you read that right, I was teaching IT to truck dealers, service technicians, etc… So if you ever feel silly with your technical questions, first of all, please don’t feel that way, and be assured I’ve heard most of them.

After dealer consulting, I had the choice to move into a more corporate facing role, or into management in the IT operations realm. I decided to go back into operations and manage the helpdesk team that I had originally worked in.  Helping people has always been close to my heart and I enjoy assisting in “keeping the lights on” from an IT perspective.

Since that time, I have held jobs with increasing responsibilities in the realm of IT operations, management, and support. Managing internal groups, IT vendors, in both large and small scale environments.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I wanted work that was bigger than just getting a paycheck. Growing up I was one of those underachievers, a smart kid that had a mediocre experience in high school.  I wasn’t very motivated to continue my educational journey.

My grandmother, eventually, took me under her wing and drove me up to Seattle Central Community College one day. She told me, “It is time to get you enrolled back in school.  I don’t care what you take, but you’re going to enroll”.  I wasn’t convinced at that time, but after starting my classes I began to realize that I wasn’t just learning academic subjects.  I realized that the process of learning could be engaging, interesting, and fun.  This really changed my outlook on education and my future.

Community colleges have a place in my heart. I believe that they really meet people where they are at.  I would not be where I am at today without meeting some very talented instructors along the way.  I wanted to be a part of that process, and when I saw the job for Green River, my thought from the very beginning was I want that job.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
LOL, ok well you wouldn’t know it to look at me but I’m a dance music person. So depending on the day I might be listening to Cazette, Morgan Page, David Guetta, or something like that.

I’m also a news junky so I usually have KOMO, NPR, or some such programmed on the radio dial as well. It just depends on the day, my energy level, and usually the state of the sunshine in Seattle.

I know, I know, it’s a weird combination.

What was the very first job you ever had?
It certainly wasn’t fancy. My first job was working as a grocery bagger at Kroger’s in San Antonio, Texas.  I went to “bagging class” for two days to learn basically don’t put the heavy stuff on the top.  A lesson mind you that I have continued to use to this day.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m working at a respected educational institution, doing my small part to help people learn, that in and of itself is awesome! Information Technology isn’t always something that you think about when you sit down to take a class, but it is the IT groups that make sure your PC is working, that the connection to your resources is functioning, etc.  We really do touch everything.  I’m glad that the results of my work, and the work of the overall IT teams, enable people to expand their knowledge and grow in their lives and careers.  That is exciting to me.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Hmmm, what is the one thing? I happen to know that I’ve got a few deliverables already queued up.  I won’t speak to those, however, until I’m a little more familiar.

My personal goal is to get to know and create a great working relationship with my GRCC teammates, capitalize on what’s working well in the support team and implement a plan to enhance things that could be improved. I’m cheating a bit because that’s more than one thing, but to me that all rolls up.  If we can accomplish that, I’ll definitely consider my first year successful.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My number one is easy. I’m most proud of my 27-year relationship with my partner.  We still enjoy each other and have fun after so many years together.  It is my biggest blessing and my foundation to be sure.  The second would have to be receiving my degree.  The third are the relationships I’ve formed with the many of the people that have worked for me in previous positions.  I really enjoy helping people advance in their careers.  It really is rewarding to watch people grow their skills, and move into new more complex positions within an organization.  It’s one of the things I truly love about what I do.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Oh, good grief do we have to go there? Ok, full disclosure, I was once given a coffee mug with “Tigger” on it from one of my teams, in reference to my character.  So I’ll go with that one.  I suppose that is because I like to have fun, joke a bit, and keep the energy moving during my work days.  I’m quick, a little goofy, and I’ve been told my energy can be infectious.  Now that is why “I” think I was given the mug and nickname.  It is one of those strange life events where in fact it could be because I was wearing orange or bounced as I walked in a new pair of shoes or some such.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
It has been said, that on select nights, with the right ambiance, and likely a little inebriation that I am a decent singer. I have some vague memories of singing “love is a battlefield” with one of the directors from a previous position at a Karaoke bar in Seattle.  At least, I hope it was a Karaoke bar.  It is still talked about in hushed tones.  No, I won’t be trotting that out during the next GRCC event, maybe in a few years, or maybe not.

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

Gratifying
Robust
Educational
Experience
Now

New Emloyee Spotlight – Kathryn Stuart

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.Stuart, Kathryn
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am Program Site Manager for the Natural Resources BAS Degree. I earned my B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington School of Forest Resources and studied conservation and ecology of the Western Gray Squirrel in the North Cascades for my dissertation. I have worked as a teaching assistant for several natural resources classes, a Park Ranger at Mount Rainier National Park, an environmental educator at Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and an outdoor school instructor for REI.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
One of the field assistants I hired for my doctoral research in the North Cascades was a student in the Natural Resources program at Green River. He was a fantastic assistant and had great things to say about the Green River program.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I toggle between classic rock and dance. I also teach group fitness so sometimes I’m practicing choreography on the way to and from work.

What was the very first job you ever had?
Adventure Zone (Kids Club) Attendant and Lifeguard at the YMCA.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Getting to work in a fast paced college environment again and wear many hats. Every day has been a fun new learning experience so far!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Help recruit a full cohort of students to the Natural Resources BAS program.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
One: Completing my doctoral degree.
Two: Summiting Mount Chopicalqui in Peru: 20,817 ft.
Three: My family: husband Ben and 2 kids: Ellinor 4, Henry 2

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Squirrel girl because of the 5 years I spent studying squirrels for my doctoral degree. I always have a random squirrel fact on hand!

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Piccolo. I played in the Husky Marching Band in college.

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

Growth: I am always striving to grow as a person
Rainier: My favorite place, where I got married, my son’s middle name
Ellinor: The first mountain I climbed and my daughter’s name
Energy: I am active and energetic
Natural Resources: My home at Green River College

New Employee Spotlight – Rebecca Jarvis

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.Jarvis, Rebecca
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new Program Coordinator of the Welcome Center. I have been working at Green River since June of 2015 working in Assessment and Testing. I studied Sociology at Seattle Pacific University where I received my Bachelor’s degree. My hopes are to pursue a career in higher education. I am blessed with the opportunity Green River has given me and am excited for this new chapter of my professional career.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I knew I wanted to work in higher education and Green River seemed like it would be the perfect fit. I remember coming to campus as a high school student and thinking that this seemed like a great environment for both students and faculty. Out of all of the colleges in the surrounding area, there is something special about Green River. Our campus is unlike any other in the sense that we are located on acres and acres of forested land. Seeing as how I am an outdoorsy person, this is very appealing to me.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
It depends on my mood, but more often than not I am listening to Movin 92.5.

What was the very first job you ever had?
Other than babysitting, my first real job was at Hallmark in the South Hill Mall. Although that’s not a place you would imagine a high schooler wanting to work at, it was fun because both my mom and sister worked with me as well.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The most exciting aspect of my job is getting to work with a variety of students every day.

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 love to be able to have a concrete understanding of all the programs we offer in order to be able to best serve our students and to be able to develop good relationships with employees in other departments across campus.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
One: Graduating with Honors from Seattle Pacific University
Two: Winning Regionals and Placing 5th at Nationals with my fastpitch team.
Three: Marrying my Husband

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
It would have to be Lil Fella. One of my old co-workers used to call me that and still does call me that all the time. She was my work mom and I was her lil fella.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I am not sure if this really counts as a talent (some may call it an injury), but I can pop my right shoulder on command.

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
iving
Radiant
Energy
Explore
Nature

New Employee Spotlight – Christopher Moe

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.Moe, Christopher
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My new position at Green River College will be Custodian 2. In the past I have worked many different professions ranging from Union painter, newspaper pressroom worker, as well as working as custodial / building maintenance for one of the largest motorcycle dealerships in Washington state.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Being a previous student of Green River College, I have always considered it to be a dream of mine to become a faculty member of a campus I care deeply about, so when I seen the job posting, I couldn’t help but to try and make that dream a reality.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
My current commute is less than 3 miles so I usually just listen to the sound of my car(modified 2007 Subaru Impreza). However, my commute to Green River will be a little bit further so I will probably just turn Pandora on shuffle.

What was the very first job you ever had?
The very first job I ever had was at the age of fifteen working at Johnny Rockets as a fountain drink runner.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I believe the most exciting part of my new position will be the ability to contribute to the upkeep and cleanliness of a campus that myself and many of my friends and family members have attended in the past. As well as the ability to attend classes and further my education without an additional commute.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Within my first year at Green River I’d love to memorize the campus and as many faculty members names as possible. I would also love to start attending classes again and furthering my education.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
-Being married to my beautiful wife of eight years
-Becoming a new home owner as of May 2015
-Becoming a full time staff member of Green River College

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
More than likely my nickname would probably end up being “Smiley,” simply because I always have a smile on my face and try my best to get everyone around me to smile as well.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I have a feeling that my talent showcase would consist of me cooking something. Probably, it would be one of my favorite pasta dishes like “home made beef stroganoff” or my favorite breakfast dish, “Bacon, egg and cheese toast cups,” or maybe even my famous tater tot casserole.

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
reat
Resources
Every
Employee
Needs

2016 Distinguished Faculty Award Recipients

The votes are in, and the 2016 Green River College Foundation Distinguished Faculty Award Recipients are:
2016 Distinguished Faculty2

  • Tim Broxholm, Business Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship
  • Marisela Fleites-Lear, Spanish
  • Tonya McCabe, Business Technologies and Administrative Careers (BTAC)

The 2016 nominees also included Joy Crawford, Ken Hang, Adriana Mendoza, Michael Moreno, Tina Ostrander, Geoff Palmer and Chitra Solomonson.

Faculty members will receive their awards at commencement, Friday, June 10th at the Kent Showare Center.

Please extend your congratulations to the award recipients and nominees!

2016 Summer Hours

Effective Monday, June 27, 2016, the general hours of business operations will be from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8:00 a.m. to noon on Friday. Green River College will be closed to the public after noon on Fridays.

summers--1038x576

What does this mean to the public and our students? It means that we will be here as we always are and in some cases, more than we are now.  We will continue to provide support and services through the summer, but we will not guarantee that we will make appointments after noon on Fridays.

What does this mean to you as an employee? Honestly, it may not have a direct impact on you.  Your regular work schedule will only change if you and your supervisor agree to change your schedule.  If you and your supervisor agree to alter your schedule, then your hours may be different.

*Note: The 30-minute meal and 15-minute rest breaks must still be taken in compliance with our respective collective bargaining agreements, and/or state and federal regulations. With respect to the Friday schedule, classified employees must be allowed a 15-minute rest break, but the 30-minute meal break is not required unless the employee works more than five hours on Friday. In that event, the 30-minute meal break is also required and would extend the day by 30 minutes. Please contact Barbara Iribarren or Chernenko Wheatley if you have any questions about the revised schedule or alternate work schedules.

What if I do change my hours? There are certain rules that we have to follow.  Your supervisor will check with one of the Employee & Labor Relations Managers in the HR office to make sure that your proposed schedule meets with federal, state, and local laws as well as negotiated agreements.

When will it end? Summer hours will run through Friday, September 2, after which we will return to our regular hours of operations schedule on Tuesday, September 5, after the Labor Day holiday.

New Employee Spotlight – Janee Sommerfeld

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.Sommerfeld, Janee
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Director of Budget. I come from Bellevue College where I worked for 5 years. I started as a Budget Analyst and worked my way to Budget Manager

What drew you to apply to Green River?
It was a rare opportunity that was the perfect storm. This position was the next progression in my career, I wanted to stay within the public sector/higher ed, and I reduced my commute from 3.5 hrs a day to about 30 minutes. I am also an alumni: running start and transfer student, many years ago.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
My kids talking away. I have a 3 year-old and a 2 year-old, and they like to tell me how to drive and where I should go. Common phrases I hear: “go faster; what are you talking about; and I’m not listening to you.” I also enjoy rock music, preferably 70’s rock.

What was the very first job you ever had?
Summer camp counselor with YMCA.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The opportunity to learn the unique differences between schools and institutions and develop a budget based on those nuances; Being a part of CTCLink.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Being part of a successful CTCLink implementation, and having a clean balanced budget cycle.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Maintaining a healthy work/life balance through many changes in my career and personal life.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I have often been called “Juh-nay-nay.”

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I sometimes bartend on the side and can make a tasty libation.

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
I am not creative enough to do this. Give me a mathematical equation and I can kill it. :) Numbers are my game, not words.

 

New Employee Spotlight – Darlene Oathout

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.Oathout, Darlene
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am thrilled to be the new Program Assistant for iGrad! After graduating college many moons ago, I worked in staffing for 11 years then retired to become a stay-at-home mom. Fifteen years later I took a seasonal position with Target and ended up working there for 3 years. When I finally tired of working nights, weekends and holidays, I was hired as a part-time Program Assistant in the Assessment and Testing Center. I have enjoyed working with the students and staff at Green River so much that I feel extremely fortunate to finally be a full-time employee.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
While helping my son apply for admission to Green River, I noticed a part-time job opening in the Assessment and Testing Center. I wanted to get back to office work and the idea of working in education was very exciting. I also thought it would be awesome to carpool with my son to school/work. Him, not so much.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I use the ride to work for reflection and gratitude. If the radio is on, it’s very low so that I’m not distracted by Adele’s ‘Hello’.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked in a knife shop in Bellevue Square while I was in college. It was great, except that at the time ‘Crocodile Dundee’ was a popular movie, and every male that came into the store would say, “that’s not a knife, this is a knife” in a terrible Australian accent.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m most excited to meet the students enrolled in iGrad. I love building relationships with students and learning their stories.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to learn my job well enough in the first year to be considered a valuable asset to my team and our students.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My two children and my 28 year marriage. Cheesy, but true.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
My former coworkers in Assessment and Testing call me ‘mom’. Not only am I old enough to actually be their moms, but I also adore them like they were my own children.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
My bargain hunting skills would amaze and delight the entire audience.

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

Great
Relationships
Encourage and
Empower
Naturally

2016 Outstanding Staff Awards

The Employee Recognition Committee is calling for nominations for the 2016 Outstanding Staff Award!

The Outstanding Staff Award is “designed to provide formal recognition of Green River employees who, by their noteworthy performance and accomplishments during the year, contribute significantly to Green River. The award also recognizes staff members for modeling behavior that furthers Green River’s Mission and Values.”

The awards were first presented in 1989, starting with Shirley Benson, Green River’s original switchboard operator.

Last year’s award recipients were:

  • Carla Kane, Business Office
  • Cindy Olson, Custodial Services
  • Lois Ermish, Faculty Support Services
  • Richard “Doug” Douglas, Technology Division

You can find the nomination form here: 2016 Outstanding Staff Award

The Employee Recognition Committee will continue to call for nominations in a variety of ways. Nominations are due by Friday, June 24th and will be awarded Opening Day this Fall.

Please respond to recognition@greenriver.edu with questions and suggestions.

Employee Assistance Program

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon

Employee Assistance Program Services – How Can EAP Help You?

EAP

The Employee Assistance Program helps employees and their family members resolve personal or work-related issues. You qualify for this benefit because you are a Washington State Government employee.  EAP offers it’s services at no charge; you’re entitled to three face-to-face visits (per each type of incident) and your visit to EAP is confidential, except where state or federal laws provide for exception, such as in cases of abuse or when a person is a threat to themselves or others.

EAP can help with a wide range of issues including, but not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Addictions
  • Anger
  • Marital or relationship issues
  • Parenting issues
  • Grief & loss
  • Caregiving
  • Eldercare
  • Coping with change
  • Workplace issues
  • Self-improvement

You can subscribe to receive EAP News; when you sign-up, you’ll get monthly updates by email or text from EAP and receive publications, announcements and information like Monthly EAP Tip Sheets and Employee Frontline Newsletters.

EAP services are available both out of the Olympia office and by EAP providers across the state. For information, to schedule an appointment, or for a consultation, please call the EAP toll-free 1-877-313-4455 or visit their website WA State Employee Assistance Program.

 

GRC 2016 Retirement Social

GRC Logo.jpgOn Wednesday, May 25th, Green River will honor twenty-four faculty and staff members who are retiring this year, who have given a total of 569 years of service to our College:

Invitaion Page 2a

Retirees will enjoy delicious food courtesy of Conference Services and receive their service plaques and pins. Following a brief introduction, each retiree will have the opportunity to share their personal experiences at Green River. Please attend, listen to their delightful stories and help us celebrate their careers!

New Employee Spotlight – Deborah Tugaga

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.Tugaga, Deborah.jpg
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Talofa (hello in Samoan)! My new title is Program Navigator for the Washington Integrated Sector Employment (WISE) grant, a U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant. Prior to this position, I have worked with non-profit organizations in the Seattle area that focused on supporting underrepresented populations to pursue higher education, and worked as a Teaching Assistant for the American Ethnic Studies Dept. and the School of Social Work at the University of Washington.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
It’s an amazing campus that serves a diverse population of students, as well as provides opportunities for professional growth.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to a little bit of everything.

What was the very first job you ever had?
When I was in middle school, I was a babysitter for two of my neighbors.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
There are several exciting things about this new position – one of them is that I am excited to create and navigate resources and programs to help our students become successful.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Help build a collaborative and supportive community of resources for students.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Being the first generation in my family to graduate with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, my amazing family and my friends, and being a pescatarian!

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
That’s a great question for my coworkers.

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

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

Gain
Resources for
Enrichment
Engagement and
Nourishment

New Employee Spotlight – Jenna Park

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.Park, Jenna
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My new title is iGrad Case Manager. I have over 7 years of case management experience working for various agencies including City of Seattle, Neighborhood House, and YWCA.  I have worked with a diverse population of clients from children, youth, young adults and elderly of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Green River is a reputable and diverse community college that has been providing great educational opportunities for the community around.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
MOVIN 92.5, KUOW 94.9, and Air1 88.1

What was the very first job you ever had?
JCPenney in Bellingham as a sales associate in the junior’s dept.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The most exciting thing is to be a part of students making positive change in their life by attaining their GED and entering into post secondary education.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to help, assist, and guide all the students I encounter in the iGrad program to accomplish their educational and life goals.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Being a mom, graduating from college, and being a part of helping young people make positive change in their life.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Shorty, because I’m short.

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

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

Get
Ready to
Excel in
Education
Now

The Morgan Challenge: You Are the Target and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)

This Week’s Videos

This week we move to the next two videos in our contest:  Simply click below and complete the following videos:

  1. You Are the Target
  2. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)

https://sso.securingthehuman.org/greenriver

New to the Morgan Challenge?

In case you haven’t heard, our very own Camella Morgan (Executive Director of Information Technology) is giving away 100 Grand (chocolate bars) to the first 10 people to complete the challenge below!

Take the Morgan Challenge - Win 100 Grand!

All faculty and staff at Green River College are eligible. If asked, simply plug in your campus credentials (username and password) to get started. Completion is auto-magically tracked and winners will be personally notified. Game on!

Student Success Series Workshops

Posted on behalf of Counseling and Health Services

Counseling and Health Services is pleased to announce our Student Success Series Workshops! These workshops can help students succeed in their educational goals and beyond. We’ve found that students who attend the workshops most frequently hear about them from their instructors. Please let students know about these informative and practical workshops by announcing them in class and/or e-mailing the attached flyer to your students.

  • Tuesday, April 26th – Stress Management
  • Wednesday, April 27th – Mastering Time and Procrastination
  • Thursday, April 28th – Study Skills of Successful Students 

All of the workshops will be in RLC-131 from 12-12:50pm

For more information about our workshops, please visit: http://www.greenriver.edu/student-affairs/counseling-and-health-services.htm

 

Thank you!

Counseling and Health Services (CHS)

Lindbloom Center (LC) 230

Green River Community College

253-833-9111 ext. 2460

12401 SE 320th Street | Auburn, WA 98092

 

Counseling and Health Services Mission Statement

Counseling and Health Services fosters student success and retention by teaching emotional coping techniques, informing and educating students on relevant health and wellness topics, and developing effective self-care skills for optimal lifelong psychological and physical health.

Return of the Honeybees

Posted on behalf of Daniel Najera, of GRC Biology

We are excited to see a project started through the GRC Foundation Faculty Excellence Program live on. Check out this information about the Honeybee Installation Event on Friday.

We will be installing our honeybees to replace our winter losses FRIDAY at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. These will be NUC (Nucleus Colony) installs, which are different than the PACKAGE installs we have done in the past. We will meet on the North side of the SC (Science Center) building by the Bee Mural (see pic below), then walking into the forest to their new home locations. You can join midway and leave at any time.

 

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The Bee Mural (North side of the SC Building)

 

I realize this may conflict with many things, but if you are interested, feel free to join us. You don’t need a suit. Have a Happy Friday EITHER WAY!

New Employee Spotlight – Erin Tyler

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.

Tyler, Erin
I will be a lab technician 2 for the sciences department. I graduated with a Master’s degree in Marine biology in 2007 from the University of West Florida. I focused much of my early career on fish physiology, however, my work was heavy in biochemistry and led me to a position with the US EPA. After 2 years with them, I moved to Virginia and worked as a lab manager in a biogeochemistry lab at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences for 6.5 years. I recently moved across the country to Seattle and I’m excited to continue working in a laboratory environment.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

While working in Virginia, I did some adjunct teaching and realized how much I liked the community college environment. When I learned about Green River and how reputable the science department was, I was immediately drawn to the school.

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

I am a rock music fan so I mostly listen to the radio station 99.9

What was the very first job you ever had?

When I was 14 I started teaching swimming lessons to kids and did that, along with lifeguarding, all through high school.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am excited that my position works with many different science classes. It’s exciting to be able to work in some aspects of science that I haven’t had a chance to since school, such as physics and astronomy.

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

I hope to find some ways to become more involved in the campus community. I would like to find some clubs or committee’s to become involved with.

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

I am very proud of my graduate school research that I was able to present at an international conference, completing my first Ironman in 2012, and swimming 7.5 miles across the Potomac River, twice.

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

Why? I’m not much of a nickname person, and haven’t had one since high school, so I’m not sure.

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

My talents aren’t usually something I can do at a talent show. I am tone deaf and can’t dance, but I can drop a mountain bike off an 11ft drop.

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

Goal Driven

Respect

Environmentally friendly

Education

Never Give Up

New Employee Spotlight – Derek Ronnfeldt

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.Ronnfeldt, Derek

My new title is Director of Campus Safety and Parking/Transportation. Before coming to Green River, I worked at the Illinois State University Police Department for over 27 years as the Detective Commander for Criminal Investigations.  I’ve also been an instructor for a class called Verbal Judo for the last 8 years, which trains professionals on how to communicate with people in high pressure encounters.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

The community and the extracurricular activities for my family. I was looking for a college setting that was situated in a good community for my family.  The Auburn area fit all of our criteria plus some.  With all the outdoor activities:  hiking, biking, sightseeing, etc., we couldn’t have asked for a better place than Green River.

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

I listen to several stations on Sirius….Country, Talk Radio, ‘70s.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I was a lifeguard from 15 yrs. old through college.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I love working in a college setting and having new responsibilities and being part of a team.

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

Being that my department is oftentimes the first contact our guests and students have, I would like them to view their time with us as inviting and feeling genuinely welcomed.

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

I have no way of ranking my accomplishments. God has blessed me a multitude of ways in regards to my family and my work.

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

I can think of two that I’ve actually been called over the years. The first is “Ofc Friendly”, because I was always given the phone calls of irate “customers” to calm them down and help with rectifying situations.  The second is “cereal guy”, because I’ve been known to have several boxes of cereal stashed in my office for my lunch/breakfast break.

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

I have a pretty solid K/D ratio for Call of Duty on Xbox (my wife says this isn’t a talent!)

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

Greatest

Ranked

Educational

Establishment

‘Nuff said!

April is Records and Information Management Month (RIMM)!

Posted on behalf of Jessica Tichy

Folders

Join us in celebrating April as “Records and Information Management Month (RIMM)!  This internationally recognized month spotlights and promotes the records and information management profession and the importance and value of organizing and managing records to the organization.

Follow the news link, “Archives News” on the Washington State Archives page.  Watch for the title  “April is Records and Information Management Month.” There is a link in the news article for a copy of the Proclamation issued by Governor Inslee declaring April to be RIMM for the State of Washington.  This RIMM proclamation is in recognition of the critical need for agencies to organize and manage public records and also recognizes of the role and efforts made by the hardworking and diligent records professionals who endeavor to preserve, protect and manage our public records.

As those of you who deal with records maintenance get hit by the spring cleaning bug, keep in mind that there is a new “2015 DRAFT” version of the state’s general records retention schedule here. 

Bridges: Building a Supportive Community

The Elimination of Campus Sexual Violence Act (Campus SaVE Act) — passed as part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 — requires training that covers state law definitions of sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence for faculty and staff.

GRC is using the Bridges Training program (follow the link to access the training as often as you like) to cover this information in detail as well as explain consent and explore its many complexities in sexual assault cases.

This is an ongoing campus wide coordinated effort, and we were proud to see such a strong presence from various departments throughout the training so far. (Over the three days of training, over 150 employees successfully completed the training.)

As a reminder, our Title IX coordinators are:

  • Student related concerns: Vice President of Student Affairs, Deborah Casey
  • Faculty & Staff concerns: Vice President of Human Resources and Legal Affairs, Marshall Sampson

Additionally, the following individuals are our Confidential Counselors and are all located in the Student Affairs and Success Building:

  • Liz Becker
  • Devon Klein
  • Min Lee Booth

Thank you again to everyone who made an effort to attend and complete the training! If you weren’t able to attend, please don’t worry as we will be sending out updates for new time slots in the coming months. Please keep in mind that this is mandatory training as well as an important topic.

The Morgan Challenge: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: Educational and Red Flags Rule

This Week’s Videos

This week we move to the next two videos in our contest:  Simply click below and complete the following videos:

  1. Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: Educational
  2. Red Flags Rule

https://sso.securingthehuman.org/greenriver

New to the Morgan Challenge?

In case you haven’t heard, our very own Camella Morgan (Executive Director of Information Technology) is giving away 100 Grand (chocolate bars) to the first 10 people to complete the challenge below!

Take the Morgan Challenge - Win 100 Grand!

All faculty and staff at Green River College are eligible. If asked, simply plug in your campus credentials (username and password) to get started. Completion is auto-magically tracked and winners will be personally notified. Game on!

New Employee Spotlight – Jayme Kaniss

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.Kaniss, Jayme

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

As the incoming Director of Workforce Education, this opportunity will bring me full circle in my career, and I couldn’t be happier! My first professional position was as an Assistant Professor at Catawba College, a small liberal arts college in North Carolina, and, during my time there, I also served as Director of Career Planning and Placement. With stops in between at the Office of Personnel Management in Atlanta, the Nonprofit Center and Read2Me in Tacoma, WorkSource offices in Lakewood, Auburn and Tacoma, and WorkForce Central, a part of the Workforce Development Council in Pierce County, I am now looking forward to returning to the academic arena.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

While I was at the Auburn WorkSource affiliate, I worked with numerous clients who were pursuing degrees or certifications from Green River, and all of them were very complementary about the college’s programs and staff. Coupled with my missing the atmosphere and camaraderie of campus life, I decided to apply when the right position came along. And, after talking with various faculty and staff here at Green River, I absolutely knew that this was the place I wanted to be.

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

I alternate between the morning show with Dave Ross on 97.3, 710 ESPN or SiriusXM, 80s on 8.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I was a bagger at a small grocery store in my hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida. I actually applied to be a cashier at the store, but was told I had to work my way up in order to do so. To this day, I still remember being trained in the correct way to load groceries into a bag . . . and it’s not putting the tomatoes or bananas in first!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am a researcher by nature and, in exploring Workforce Education at Green River, I quickly realized the amazing group of talent that exists with the current staff. I am looking forward to getting to know each and every one of our team and seeing how their strengths contribute to the successes of our students and school.

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

I would like to continue the outstanding work we perform at the college, while promoting what we do and how well we do it even further. What that means in practical terms is collaborating and partnering with as many for-profit, governmental, nonprofit and educational institutions as possible, whether locally, statewide and even nationally.

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

On a personal basis, I am most proud of my son, daughter and husband. All three are healthy, accomplished and have a work ethic that is second to none. On a professional level, I am proud of being the first in my immediate family to graduate from college with advanced degrees, receiving a national grant for my doctoral research that resulted in my dissertation being in the Library of Congress and developing an electronic resume kit for Pierce County job seekers that was recognized as a statewide Best Practice.

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

I was actually given the nickname of “Mamacita” a few years ago by a colleague of mine from WorkSource Pierce, and when I asked him why, he told me that I was like everyone’s little work mom . . . interested in what they were doing and supportive of their efforts. I was very touched when he told me that.

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

I could demonstrate how to make Southern dishes like Brunswick Stew, turnip greens and hushpuppies.

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

Gators

Relish

Education’s

Empowering

Nature

New Employee Spotlight – Fredrisha Bennett

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.
Bennett, Fredrisha (Trish)2

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

Hello all! My name is Fredrisha but I prefer to be called Trish. I will be the new Office Assistant 2 for the Lindbloom Student Union. My professional background involves several positions that I’ve held with Ashford University in Clinton, IA. I first started out as an Enrollment Advisor and held this position for 1.5 years. I then moved into the Student Services department working as an Academic Advisor. After some organizational change, the Academic Advisor position became the role of Student Advisor. As a Student Advisor I was responsible for assisting students with both their academic and financial progression through their program. After being in the Student Advisor position for almost a year, I was promoted to a Lead Student Advisor.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I applied with Green River College because of its sound history in education. In addition, working at Green River would give me the opportunity to work on campus and have face-to-face interaction with students. This differed from my roles with Ashford University as I worked primarily in an online environment.

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

On my commute to work I listen to either Movin 92.5 or KISS 106.1. Great stations to get me pumped up for the day!

What was the very first job you ever had?

My first job was a Sport Recreation Lead for Metro Parks Tacoma. During the summers I would travel from park to park leading kids through recreational activities. I had an absolute blast while in this role and was able to hold the position for 2 consecutive summers while attending Washington State University.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

Again, to have the ability to work in a campus environment with interaction with students and members of my team and other departments is what I find exciting. In addition, I’m excited for the opportunity to work in the newly constructed Lindbloom Student Union building.

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

I would like to gain a thorough understanding for the traditions, processes, and procedures that Green River has and see if my previous experiences in education can provide further assistance and/or insight into these areas.

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

The first accomplishment that I’m proud of is graduating from Washington State University with a BA in Sports Management. I have been the first person in my family to graduate from a college or university since my father. In 2011 I was honored to receive the 1st Quarter and March awards for IESA (Integrity, Ethics, Service, and Accountability) with Ashford University. This was a huge accomplishment for me at the personal and professional level. The last accomplishment that I’m proud of is receiving my first MA in Organizational Management in 2011, followed by a second MA in Education in 2014.

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

One nickname that my coworkers would call me is Fred or Freddy based off of my full name, Fredrisha.

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

I would showcase “Trish, the Pet Whisperer”.

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

Gratitude

Resourceful

Ethical

Educational

Navigational

GRC Foundation 50th Anniversary Gala

Posted on behalf of the GRC Foundation

Please join us as we raise a glass to toast Green River’s First 50 Years and raise a paddle in support of Green River’s next 50 years!

Green River College Foundation 50th Anniversary Gala!

Saturday, April 16, 2016 Reception at Six o’clock followed by Dinner, Program, and

Raise the Paddle at Seven o’clock Lindbloom Student Union

Registration is now open

If you would like a printed invitation or have questions, please contact the Foundation Office at 253-288-3330 or foundation@greenriver.edu.

Printed invitations have been sent to Green River friends and alumni in the community.

Feel free to share this e-mail with your friends and alumni who may be interested in attending.

New Employee Spotlight – Mollie Jones

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.Jones, Mollie

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

My new title is Coordinator for Recreation and Athletics. I graduated in May 2015 with a Master of Science in Organizational Management with a focus in Sports Management. I have held many different recreation/athletic positions including Graduate Assistant of Athletics at Chadron State College in Chadron, NE, Building Supervisor and Rec Assistant with the City of Longmont, Recreation Leader I with the City of Fife, and I also have 8 years of customer service experience that I gained working as a barista in many different coffee shops.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I applied to Green River because I have wanted to work in higher education since I graduated. I was on a college campus for six years as an undergrad and graduate student and had amazing experiences. Because of that, I decided I wanted to pursue a career on a college campus to become part of a team. The position was exactly what I have been looking for and I love the campus. I just recently moved to Washington in July, so I had never been to the campus before but I was definitely excited when I visited for the first time.

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

On my car ride to work I listen to something different every day. I honestly love a wide array of music. Growing up I always listened to country music and that hasn’t changed. Right now I love Tim Mcgraw, Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry, and Miranda Lambert. If I am not in a country music mood I will turn on Pandora and listen to 80’s Rock Radio, Journey Radio, Coffee Shop Soundtrack Radio, 90’s Pop Radio, 90’s Country Radio, Kesha Radio, and more. No matter what I am listening to it is going to be loud in my car!

What was the very first job you ever had?

The first job I ever had was working as a barista at Ziggis Coffee in my hometown, Longmont, Colorado. I started when I was 16 years old and my boss put my name in the computer as “Shy Girl.” This name printed on the receipt of every customer I helped until I could finally prove to my boss that I wasn’t shy anymore. This took me awhile but I will never forget the day I logged in and it actually said my name. That was a great day!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

What I find most exciting about my new position is the fact that I get to work in a brand new recreation facility. It sounds like the students are very excited about having a space like this on campus that all students can use and that is something I can really relate to. As a student, I spent a ton of time in our recreation and athletic facilities not only as a student athlete, but even when I finished my volleyball career. Being in this type of environment feels like home to me and I am so excited to bring this to the students at Green River.

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

In my first year at Green River a major goal I have to is to get as many students into the RAC as possible, whether that is an environment they would normally come to or not. In order to do this I will have to provide many different kinds of programs to reach out to everyone. I also want to focus on building relationships with my colleagues. I believe that my success depends on how well I am able to work with others.

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

Three accomplishments I am most proud of in my life are one, maintaining close relationships with my family and friends even with a lot of distance between us, finishing my Master’s Degree by the age of 24, and finishing my collegiate volleyball career and exhausting my NCAA eligibility.

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

An office nickname I have had in the past was “Jolly” instead of Mollie. This is because I try not to take life too seriously and I often like to laugh things off 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?

A hidden talent that I would showcase would be my ability to put down a very large Chipotle burrito without any struggle at all.

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

Grow                           I chose these words to describe how I feel about my new position.

Rise

Energy

Excitement

Nestled

New Employee Spotlight – Sherry Felchlin

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.Felchlin, Sherry

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

I have more than 15 years as a project manager in investment banking, clinical research and database development and deployment. Business development, client engagement and problem or issue resolution along with innovative organizational transition and change management have been the focus of my endeavors. In 2015 I received certification as a Project Management Professional.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

It is important to me to work for projects that I anticipate will provide a value to the recipients of the “work” and are also challenging, interesting and represent more than simply a job. I believe in supporting higher education and the opportunities it provides, the implementation of this new software should be rewarding for students, faculty and the academic organization.

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

Pandora – which “station” will depend on the mood and the drive. I have a diverse and eclectic taste.

What was the very first job you ever had?

Either a car wash or a waitress at a specialty dessert shop, both distasteful in their own way and apparently not memorable enough to recall if it was the first.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The opportunity to work with a new challenge in a new environment. I have always enjoyed the chance to be part of a team resolution to “problems” with the goal to improve the situation and the perception of those involved. Technical improvements to how work is done can be invaluable and the ability to assist in a transition which should benefit so many is exciting.

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

As a project manager the goal is always to serve the stakeholders, to accomplish the defined “project” task in the best way possible, within the timeline and parameters expected with clear identification of risks.

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

As a parent I was involved in volunteer activities within the local school community. I received recognition by the school district for my work to development and support a science fair program as well as holding a position within the school board committee for talented and gifted students. I also worked with at risk children, at a 6th grade graduation one of the students with whom I worked was delivering a speech as the recipient of a student award for making the greatest positive transition in her academic endeavors, during which she commented that she would not be where she was without my involvement.

I worked for an ethics committee regarding the evaluation of the safety and protection of clinical research subjects. One of my responsibilities was to address subject concerns or complaints. I was able to assist a subject who had either failed or was not considered eligible to participate in a clinical trial to find an alternative opportunity to have their medical issue evaluated, considered and treated with no cost to them for a therapy that provided a life changing outcome.

I coordinated highly complex international studies with multi-national regulatory and compliance components to ensure acceptance of clinical research data by international regulatory agencies eliminating potential of drug approval delay for needed third world therapies., thus improving a critical timeline for drug delivery.

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

Daenerys Targaryen, good at uniting diverse people and goals for a common objective, and the mother of dragons.

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

Honestly, I don’t believe that I have any and would be a grand disappointment to the talent show. My children disagree and say that I am very artistic but I am sure they are biased, I mean, fancy sugar cookies and things painted at a ceramic shop probably don’t count.

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

G: Green, this is Washington and everything is green. But also because the implications of the color green which generally imply success and environmentally aware, both of which are appropriate for Green River College.

R: Responsible. My impression of the college, its mission and goals are to be responsible to the community and students to provide opportunity to grow.

E: Environment. The location and the endeavors to be aware of the natural environment are evident throughout Green River Campus.

E: Education. As the website states, Green River is a place where an educational environment is expected and encouraged.

N: Nurturing. Green River College, a place where dreams are found and given a solid foundation.

The Morgan Challenge: Protecting Your Home Network & Protecting Your Kids Online

This Week’s Videos

This week we move to the next two videos in our contest:  Simply click below and complete the following videos:

  1. Protecting Your Home Network
  2. Protecting Your Kids Online

https://sso.securingthehuman.org/greenriver

New to the Morgan Challenge?

In case you haven’t heard, our very own Camella Morgan (Executive Director of Information Technology) is giving away 100 Grand (chocolate bars) to the first 10 people to complete the challenge below!

Take the Morgan Challenge - Win 100 Grand!

All faculty and staff at Green River College are eligible. If asked, simply plug in your campus credentials (username and password) to get started. Completion is auto-magically tracked and winners will be personally notified. Game on!

Smart Health Wellness Program

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon

smart health

Time is running out to earn your Early Bird Bonus through the SmartHealth Wellness Program. When you complete the SmartHealth Well-being Assessment you’ll earn 800 points; if you complete it by March 31, 2016, you’ll earn 100 bonus points toward a $125 wellness incentive in 2017.

If you haven’t already completed the SmartHealth Well-Being Assessment, follow the instructions below:

  1. Visit www.smarthealth.hca.wa.gov and select Get Started to walk through the activation process.
  2. Take the SmartHealth Well-being Assessment.

Earn 800 points, plus 100 bonus points if you complete it by March 31, 2016. We will award bonus points on April 8, 2016.

  1. Join activities that interest you.

After completing the Well-being Assessment, complete activities on the SmartHealth website to earn more points. When you reach 2,000 total points by September 30, 2016, you’ll qualify to receive a $125 wellness incentive in January 2017 (if you meet PEBB eligibility requirements in January 2017).

Don’t delay, get started today! It’s easy! You can access SmartHealth from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

No internet access? You can participate by phone. Contact SmartHealth Customer Service toll-free at 1-855-750-8866 (Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time).

Zika & Spring Break Travel: What Travelers Need to Know

Posted on Behalf of Julie Graham of the Department of Health

Zika and spring break travel: What travelers need to know

If you’re planning to travel for spring break, find out if your destination is one of the many popular travel spots where Zika virus is being spread by mosquitos by checking here: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo 

While only women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should consider postponing travel to Zika-affected areas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have an “alert level 2”in effect, urging all travelers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Sexual transmission of Zika virus from a male partner is possible, so people are also encouraged to use condoms while traveling or with a man who recently returned from traveling to a Zika affected area.

To prevent Zika or other mosquito-spread diseases, travelers should avoid mosquito bites:

  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535. Always use as directed.  –moved to first
  • Cover skin – wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Most repellents, can be used safely by most people, but be sure to check the label and follow instructions.
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.
  • Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.

For more information visit www.doh.wa.gov/zika

Julie Graham
Strategic Communications Consultant
Center for Public Affairs
Washington State Department of Health
360-236-4078 | www.doh.wa.gov

Understanding IRS Form 1095

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon

The New 1095 Tax Form Related to Health Care -Do you know what it is?Insurance1095

Many employees have started getting a new mandated tax form related to health care reform measures in the mail. In Green River’s case, the Washington Health Care Authority (PEBB) is mailing the forms to employees on our behalf.

The Affordable Health Care Act, sometimes referred to as “Obamacare,” mandated a new tax form (actually three new forms) to be used as a kind of proof of health insurance so taxpayers can avoid paying a penalty for failure to be covered. The 1095 form is really the mechanism that the IRS is going to use to assess whether or not each person has the required minimal essential coverage, and it’s what the individual is going to use to demonstrate that they’ve got the coverage.  If you had multiple insurance sources, you may get more than one form.

You might think of the 1095-C form as the healthcare W-2. Employers use the W-2 to report to the IRS their employees’ wages and taxes deducted from their paychecks. Employees get a copy with important information needed for filing their tax returns.

In the same manner, large employers will use the 1095-C to report to the IRS that they offered their employees affordable health insurance, which is now required through the Affordable Care Act.

It’s IMPORTANT to note that Form 1095-B or 1095-C is NOT REQUIRED for filing 2015 tax returns. According to the IRS, an employee may use an insurance card, W-2, or other documentation when filing their taxes. As with all other tax documents, however, you are encouraged to keep all 1095’s you receive.

If you were enrolled in PEBB’s employer-sponsored Uniform Medical Plan during 2015, you will receive Form 1095-C; if you were enrolled in PEBB’s employer-sponsored Group Health Plan during 2015, you will receive a Form 1095-B from Group Health AND a Form 1095-C from the WA Health Care Authority (mailed on behalf of Green River College). Retirees of Green River College (even if they retired years ago) who are covered under PEBB Retiree Coverage (and their covered spouses/eligible partners) will also receive a Form 1095-C from the WA Health Care Authority. (Another Form 1095-A is mailed by the state exchange (WA HealthPlanFinder) to persons who purchased insurance through the exchange)).

The appropriate 1095 form will come to you, and employers and insurance companies will file other versions (1094 forms) directly with the IRS. These will serve as your proof of coverage, and you will put information from them on your tax form. Information about the 1095-C and its separate instructions are at www.irs.gov/form1095c.

ACT Award Nominations

Forwarded on behalf of ACT Awards Committee Chair Joanne Schwartz (Centralia College), Diana Clay, (Edmonds CC) Karen Seinfeld, (Bates Tech. College) Jackie Rosenblatt, ( Pierce District) and Lisa Parker, (Yakima Valley CC)

SBCTC_LogoGood afternoon!

Our Community and Technical colleges touch the lives of thousands of people throughout our state. It’s impossible to count the ways the colleges affect students, graduates, employees, volunteers, employers and members of the community  This is your opportunity to nominate someone who has been outstanding in our CTC system and deserves special recognition;  these awards are ACT’s way of saying ‘thank you’ for the fantastic job people do day in and day out in service to these colleges and their students.  A special awards ceremony and dinner will be held on May 12, 2016 during ACT’s spring convention hosted by Bellevue College.  Additionally all nominees will be forwarded to ACCT for consideration  of national recognition at the ACCT Congress this year in New Orleans.

On behalf of your ACT Awards committee I am pleased to announce we are now accepting nominations for the following awards:

  • The Trustee Leadership Award recognizes an individual trustee who has made a significant contribution to promote the community and technical college system.
  • The Equity Award recognizes exemplary commitment to achieve equity in the development, administration and delivery of educational programs and services in the community and technical college system.
  • The Chief Executive Officer Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in furthering the mission of community and technical colleges.
  • The Partner of the Year Award recognizes a business, company, agency, organization or elected official for donating time and/or resources in support of the community and technical college mission.
  • The Faculty Member Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in teaching in the community and technical college system.
  • The Professional Staff Member Award recognizes an individual who provides exemplary service in the community and technical college system. 

I invite you to contact me at 360-269-4968 (c), members of the Awards Committee (listed below), Kim Tanaka (360-704-4307 or ktanaka@sbctc.edu), or Nanette Angel (360-704-4317 or  nangel@sbctc.edu) you have questions, comments, or suggestions. By working together, we can continue to recognize those who deserve our thanks for helping to make the community and technical colleges a smart investment.

The deadline for submission of nominations is April 8 2016.

ASGRC Meet & Greet Luncheon

Lavina Tang, the current Vice President of ASGRC has extended an invitation to Green River administrators and staff to join students for a luncheon on Wednesday, February 24th from 12 pm to 1 pm. According to Lavina, the event is intended to, “allow administrators to better understand students and to give students the opportunity to get to know their administrators and ask questions.”handshake-1239869

The luncheon will be held in the River Room of the new Lindbloom Student Center and will feature food and refreshments.

Lavina has provided a few questions to help facilitate conversation:

  • How long have you worked at Green River?
  • Why did you choose to work at Green River?
  • What places to visit are on your bucket lists?
  • If you were an animal, which one would you be and why?
  • What were some of the challenges you faced as a college student, and how are these challenges different now?
  • What would you do differently if you could go back to college?
  • Are there things outside of Green River you are passionate about, and what are they and why?
  • How would you describe your leadership or teaching style?
  • What was your major in college?
  • Why did you choose that major?

Lavina has also advised that staff may be met with some tougher questions about finances and tensions with faculty. However, the event is meant to be positive and will hopefully result in a closer connection between staff and students overall.

 

Consequences of a Missed a Deadline

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon

The state of Washington, through the PEBB Program provides medical, dental and other insurance coverage to state employees (that’s us folks)!    The PEBB Group in Olympia (Public Employee Benefits Board) works very hard to negotiate plans to keep you and your family healthy.  When you get an email from your HR Office that notifies you of eligibility for employer benefits, you should respond, because in the PEBB system not taking action can result in some unwanted consequences.  The following question from a current staff member illustrates this . . .

Question: I’m a newly eligible employee, but I have health coverage through another employer group.  I didn’t fill out or submit the health insurance forms you sent me by the “due date,” and the college defaulted me into the Uniform Plan and to the Smoker Surcharge, for which I now have to pay $84 + $25 per month and can’t make changes until next fall’s Open Enrollment.   I didn’t sign anything or give permission for you to do this.  Is this legal?

Answer:  The default for “non-response” is supported in both RCW and WAC. Here are the citations:

  • RCW 41.05.065(4) gives the PEBB board the authority to determine terms and conditions of employee and retired employee participation and coverage, including establishment of eligibility criteria subject to the requirements of RCW chapter 41.05.065.

 

  • RCW 41.05.065(8) states “Employees shall choose participation in one of the health care benefit plans developed by the board and may be permitted to waive coverage under terms and conditions established by the board.” Those terms and conditions include submitting a form within 31 days to choose to waive medical coverage.

 

  • WAC 182-08-197(1)(b) states “If a newly eligible employee’s employing agency does not receive the employee’s required forms indicating medical, dental and LTD elections and the employee’s tobacco use status attestation within 31 days and life insurance elections within 60 days of the employee becoming eligible, his or her enrollment will be as follows: (i) Uniform Medical Plan Classic; (ii) Uniform Dental Plan; (iii) Basic life insurance; (iv) basic long-term disability insurance; (v) Dependents will not be enrolled; and a tobacco surcharge will be incurred as described in WAC 182-08-185(1)(b).

 

As a state entity, we must follow state-mandated requirements (i.e. those outlined in the RCWs and WACs). Our office will continue to send out notifications in an effort to avoid missed deadlines, so please keep an eye out!

Employee Spotlight – Gayle Larson

This week we take a moment to recognize a recent accomplishment of one our very own faculty members, Gayle Larson of Continuing Education.Lawrence2

Can you tell us about your recent accomplishment and the how the process began?

I have always been an avid reader and writer. Over the years, I created courseware for classes at the colleges that did not have appropriate books and published online articles and tips at software websites, but had not pursued book publishing until this year. What started the ball rolling was a client that wanted a Kindle eBook published from a printed book I had edited and formatted for him a few years earlier. Deciding it would be a great opportunity to see how it all worked, I walked the path; editing, formatting, cover design and the actual publishing. This turned into an amazing (and sometimes hair-pulling) journey to create my own eBooks.

A big believer in getting things done the quick and easy way, I have always taught tips and shortcuts in my classes. Realizing that everyone could benefit if they had them in one place, this spring I published “21+ Tips and Tricks: Must have Shortcuts for Microsoft Word 2013″, the first in a series directed at the Microsoft Office Suite. The second of the same title for Excel was published in October. The third, on PowerPoint, will be published soon.

How would you describe the process of getting published?

A lot of research and digging! The client eBook was a great training ground but my books were going to require more screenshots and graphics. Knowing that I wanted to start with Amazon Kindle and that it is a proprietary format, additional study was needed. There are so many surprising moving parts, but after much reformatting and testing, I had the courage to press the “Publish” button.

Why is writing personally important and necessary to your profession?

I see so many people struggling with features of software that they have to use daily, when a little targeted knowledge would help streamline a project, whether in the classroom or the boardroom.  Providing solutions to the common and sometimes baffling problems of ever increasing complex applications, brings purpose and meaning to writing and teaching technology.

The purpose behind my books is to show people how to save time and frustration in the future. Many users suspect there must be a faster way to do a task but don’t have time to figure it out or maybe are not aware the six mouse clicks they have always used for a command could be done in one mouse click. People don’t know what they don’t know and I love to see the light come on!

What are some of your own favorite books?

I love a wide variety of literature; from the latest about innovative technology to historical novels, biographies, mysteries and science fiction, and even some of the classics. I belong to a book club that chooses a book every two months that spans all genres, and in the meantime I keep Amazon in business with Kindle downloads.

Do you have any other writings (journals and book articles) that others may be interested in learning more about? 

The third eBook in the “21+ Tips and Tricks” series is due to be published shortly and will also be available on Amazon.

I have also contributed to editing of the Microsoft Office Suite series and the QuickBooks series courseware for Labyrinth, a major developer of printed and digital courseware that strives for clearer exercises and understanding for the student.

Being a dual-personality author, I write short stories, poetry and have a novel in the works. Now that I know death does not occur during the production process, I may publish some right-brain missives!

The Morgan Challenge: Encryption and Data Destruction

This Week’s Videos

This week we move to the next two videos in our contest:  Simply click below and complete the following videos:

  1. Encryption
  2. Data Destruction

https://sso.securingthehuman.org/greenriver

New to the Morgan Challenge?

In case you haven’t heard, our very own Camella Morgan (Executive Director of Information Technology) is giving away 100 Grand (chocolate bars) to the first 10 people to complete the challenge below!

Take the Morgan Challenge - Win 100 Grand!

All faculty and staff at Green River College are eligible. If asked, simply plug in your campus credentials (username and password) to get started. Completion is auto-magically tracked and winners will be personally notified. Game on!

The Morgan Challenge: Cloud and Personally Identifiable Information

This Week’s Videos

This week we move to the next two videos in our contest:  Simply click below and complete the following videos:

  1. Cloud
  2. Personally Identifiable Information

https://sso.securingthehuman.org/greenriver

New to the Morgan Challenge?

In case you haven’t heard, our very own Camella Morgan (Executive Director of Information Technology) is giving away 100 Grand (chocolate bars) to the first 10 people to complete the challenge below!

Take the Morgan Challenge - Win 100 Grand!

All faculty and staff at Green River College are eligible. If asked, simply plug in your campus credentials (username and password) to get started. Completion is auto-magically tracked and winners will be personally notified. Game on!

TIAA-CREF Notice to Interested Parties

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon

Of interest to participants of the State Board Retirement Plan (TIAA-CREF) . . .

According to John Boesenberg, Deputy Executive Director of Human Resources at SBCTC (State Board of Community and Technical Colleges), the State Board has, “filed a request for plan review with the  IRS.” Two notices, linked at the end of this post, allows employees to comment about whether the TIAA-CREF meets the tax qualification requirement of the regulations.TIAACREF

The State Board adopted restated/new plan documents governing the State Board Retirement Plan (funded through TIAA-CREF) in November. There were no policy changes made, however, adopting updated plan documents is a required first step towards seeking IRS review and a favorable determination letter. A favorable determination letter expresses the IRS’ opinion that the plan terms meet its tax-qualification requirements. It provides the plan sponsor and participants advance assurance that plan contributions and earnings are entitled to favorable tax treatment (i.e., tax deferred until funds are drawn). The next step is to file both plan documents with the IRS later this month.

The State Board received favorable determination letters from the IRS in 1998 and 2011. In 1998, the IRS approved the Plan Document without reservation. Although the overall plan was approved in 2011, the IRS withheld opinion on plan provisions providing for the supplemental benefit. In follow-up discussions, IRS representatives indicated that the supplemental benefit was considered a defined benefit (rather than a defined contribution) and provisions should be pulled into a separate plan document. As a result of the IRS guidance, provisions addressing supplemental benefits have been pulled out of the State Board Retirement Plan (SBRP) Document and included in a new “State Board Supplemental Retirement Plan (SBSRP) Plan Document. Although in a separate plan document, State Board policies governing the supplemental benefit and related processes remain unchanged.

You can preview the State Board’s Notice to Interested Parties:

The Morgan Challenge: Week 7 Winners

Green River College continues “The Morgan 100 Grand Challenge,” and we’ve already had many employees across campus participate and win some delicious chocolate. Below are our latest winners. Don’t forget – we have some more videos this week and everyone’s got a new chance to win!

TeamLovitt

From Left to Right: Manila Mercurio, Julie French, Timm Lovitt, Camella Morgan, Jean Carlson, Jamie Hatleberg, Sarah Franz, Annalee Dunn, Sandra Matthews & Betty Vera (not pictured, but still a winner: Chelsie Ciscell)

Week 7: Way to Go Team Lovitt!

Not only did every member of Timm Lovitt’s Student Success and Retention Team complete ALL the Morgan Challenge training videos, they also challenged Campus Life to do the same, even directly calling  out Director of Athletics Bob Kickner.

TeamLovittChallenge

Stay tuned to see how Team Chang of Campus Life responds…

And don’t forget to check out this week’s challenge and follow the entire series as it progresses.

4th Annual African American Leadership Conference

CaptureThe Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in collaboration with the Black Student Union is hosting the 4th Annual African American Leadership Conference right here at Green River College next Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

The keynote presenters at the conference are Bellevue College’s Yoshiko Harden, Chief Diversity Officer, and Aaron Reader, Director of Multicultural Services.

The conference will begin with check-in at 11 am in the Student Affairs building and end at 7 pm. Attendees will have the option of a number of workshops to include:

  • Skills Development
  • Social Justice & Leadership
  • Awareness of Others
  • Professional Development

Find out more and Register here.

Confused About Medicare Part B?

Medicare.govPosted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon, Employee Benefits.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 3.08.41 PM

Qualify for Part A Medicare and you generally pay no monthly premium, but enrolling in Part B will mean you pay a monthly premium (currently $104.90). Many employees believe they have to enroll in Medicare Part B when they turn 65, or pay a penalty to enroll later and/or experience a delay in coverage. This is not correct. If you are enrolled in a group health plan based on current employment when you turn 65, you can “defer” enrolling in Part B Medicare until you retire or otherwise lose your employer plan. When you retire or your employment ends (and thus your employer group coverage), you have an 8-month Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare Part B without paying a penalty.

Note: Employees enrolled in PEBB or other retiree coverage, TRICARE, or those receiving Veterans’ benefits may be required to have Part B coverage or Part B may offer additional benefits or services.

Learn more at Medicare.gov

Open Enrollment Through November 30th

Posted on behalf of Sheryl Gordon, Employee Benefits.

Open Enrollment continues through November 30, and there are new plans available for 2016. If you haven’t taken the time to review your plan, now is the perfect time!

Jumping

In case you need to catch up on the conversation, in our last post we detailed information on the following:

  • Register Online
  • Add Family Members
  • Stay Up to Date
  • Compare Plans
  • Re-enroll in FSA or Dependent Care Programs
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing a Medical Plan

Here are some things to think about when choosing a medical plan…

http://www.hca.wa.gov/pebb/Documents/Checklist_50-005.pdf