New Employee Spotlight – Diana Betancourt-Macias

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.

Betancourt, Diana

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

 

I am the new Program Coordinator for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

 

I recently graduated from the University of Washington as a Political Science and American Ethnic Studies double major.

My professional background includes a lot of work with programming. From organizing a national conference to planning yearly conferences for high school students, I enjoy putting on events and working with students.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

One of my really good friends worked at Green River at the time and sent me the job posting. I looked through it and thought it would be a great fit for me. I didn’t know much about Green River but I thought it would be an awesome opportunity for me.

 

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

I usually blast SZA and put her Ctrl album on repeat.

What was the very first job you ever had?

 

My very first job was being an orientation leader at the UW. I really enjoyed working with students and being able to connect with them and their families. I also got to eat delicious food every day and meet many really cool people.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I love how much I get to interact with students, especially underrepresented students, because I can personally relate to many of the things they are going through. I am also excited to work for ODEI because I have a lot of experience doing work that ties to diversity, equity and inclusion so I’m excited to put my knowledge and experience to use.

 

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

After the first year, I hope many of the students that come to our office will see me as someone they can trust and come to when they need help. Whether it’s having a conversation or coming in to ask about resources, I hope students feel safe and comfortable coming to me.

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

 

  • Getting into college with $80,000 in scholarships
  • Graduating college
  • Planning a 700+ person national conference

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

Lil’ D because I’m the youngest one in the office.

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

 

I would perform a spoken word poem. It’s not much of a hidden talent though because I do performances as a side thing.

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

Green

River’s

Energy is

Exciting and

Never-ending

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New Employee Spotlight – Margarita Conger

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.Conger, Margarita

I am the new TRiO  office assistant. I came to TRiO from International Programs at GRC, where I was a part-time program assistant for the Business & Admissions office. (Miss you guys!)

In another life, before I had kids, I worked for the Prosecuting Attorney’s office. I also worked as a Russian/English interpreter, an insurance agent and have a strong interest in social media management.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I have always liked college campuses. I really enjoy the atmosphere of learning, new ideas, and looking towards the future. I wanted to work in higher education & looked for jobs at GRC. It is inspiring to be around people, young and not so young, who are pursuing their dreams. GRC has a beautiful campus and the people I have worked with have been amazing.

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

I use Google Play app to listen to my music playlists or to podcasts. Some recent favorites are Financial Fientist, Philosophize This and The Science of Social Media.

What was the very first job you ever had?

Every kid’s dream job – the candy store. I worked for Columbia Candy Kitchen in Columbia, CA, in Gold Rush country. Handmade candy made from old recipes passed down from a Norwegian grandfather. Stop by if you are ever on your way to Yosemite! I still buy their candy.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I get to learn about another program and more about how the college works. I met more amazing people and am excited to be a part of a, mostly, all new team and help implement the new vision for the TRiO program at GRC. I enjoy meeting all the students that come to us too.

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

I plan to learn as much as I can about the different departments and programs. I hope to be able to add something valuable to the TRiO program and to help make it an even greater success. Also, I have been inspired to go back to school myself. So maybe take a class and experience the college as a student as well.

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

Making it through the competition to become an AFS exchange student when I was 16 – the first high school exchange between the US and the USSR. That year has changed the course of my life. And from then on, I am very happy with everything that I was able to build in the USA: family, friends, work and opportunities.

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

Hmm, now I am curious myself. Perhaps I will ask.

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

I am an open book. I would have to quickly research and learn a talent, then hide it.

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

Great

Resources

Excellent

Education

Network

It’s Open Enrollment Time!

OPEN ENROLLMENT RUNS FROM NOVEMBER 1st – 30th

Changes you can make:Open Enrollment

  • Change your medical or dental plan, including waiving for an eligible reason;
  • Add or remove an eligible dependent;
  • Enroll or re-enroll in Medical Flexible Spending or Dependent Care Assistance Program

For more detailed information, see the latest For Your Benefit Newsletter:

https://www.hca.wa.gov/assets/pebb/state-higher-education-newsletter-1710.pdf

 

Get Your Flu Shot!

Student Affairs and the Office of Human Resources & Legal Affairs are teaming up to bring you the annual flu immunization clinic by the Seattle Visiting Nurse Association.  The clinic will be held on Thursday, November 9th from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in theFlu Shot Emerald Room in the Student Union.

You don’t need to sign up for your flu shot, just show up with your completed Patient Consent Form on the day of the clinicSVNA also recommends you bring your insurance card to the clinic.  Completion of the Patient Consent Form prior to the clinic helps for a smooth flow and decreased wait time.

SVNA provides the standard Trivalent (three strains) or the Quadrivalent (four strains). The nurses carry a small amount of Thimerosal-Free (preservative free) which they offer to pregnant women as required by WA State regulations. The nurse may accommodate a request by non-pregnant participants for the T-Free vaccine if there are enough doses available at the time of the clinic.  SVNA generally gives the standard Trivalent vaccine to all non-pregnant participants unless requested otherwise.  SVNA does not offer the high dose vaccine for those over 65 years old, the egg-free vaccine, flu mist (nasal spray) or pneumonia vaccine.

Download a Patient Consent Form:  http://www.seattlevna.com/2017_Patient_Consent_Form_8-15-2017.pdf

What are the payment options?

  1. SVNA can bill directly for nearly all major insurance plans (they will be able to bill your PEBB Uniform or Kaiser plans).  The insurance information will be provided by you on the Patient Consent Form.  SVNA recommends you bring your insurance card to the clinic.
  2. Pay cash/check – If a participant is uninsured or if it’s a plan SVNA does not bill, the participant may pay in cash or by check at the time the vaccination is given.  SVNA does not take credit cards.  The standard Trivalent is $30; Quadrivalent is $40 and Thimerosal Free is $35.

 

If you have questions:  email sgordon@greenriver.edu or jhatleberg@greenriver.edu

New Employee Spotlight – Emily Beals

Beals, EmilyWe’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.

Greetings!  My name is Emily Beals, and my new title at GRC is “Accelerated Composition Specialist: English Faculty.”  I am certainly excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work!  I graduated with my Masters of Arts degree with Distinction in Composition Theory from California State University, Fresno in May 2016 where I was part of a dynamic teaching pedagogy training program.  For my three years working on my graduate degree, I was able to work as the instructor of record for numerous transfer-level composition courses, as well as the university’s meaningful Summer Bridge and Early Start programs.

My thesis, The Contemplative Composition Classroom: Ontological Pedagogy for Meaningful Reading and Writing, continues to guide the Contemplative and Compassionate pedagogical practices I implement within each of my classes.  This study includes qualitative and quantitative data research from actual composition courses that reveals the incredible benefits of such implementation, especially within the first year writing classroom.  By creating these contemplative spaces within the writing classroom, the NCTE’s Framework for Success in Post-Secondary Writing is advanced in practical and surprising ways.  This can especially be seen when examining the Framework’s “Habits of Mind”:  Curiosity, Openness, Engagement, Creativity, Persistence, Responsibility, Flexibility, and Metacognition (NCTE 4-5).  In fact, the research I’ve done on this topic has led to my more recent and current areas of study: 1. The applications of contemplative practices for the composition instructor, and 2. The adaptation and inclusion of mindfulness-based practices to the grading contract construct.

My academic involvement has provided an excellent platform for social justice activities especially during my graduate school career when I worked as the Statewide President for UAW Local 4123, the union that represents all the Teaching Associates, Graduate Assistants, and Instructional Student Aides within the entire California State University system (24 universities!).  During my tenure as the president of the Local, I led the organization of membership to the eventual contract negotiations and implementation of Teaching Associate Tuition Waivers for the Cal State, Fresno campus – a first time in the school’s 100+ year history.  This monumental event started a grassroots movement for the inclusion of same policy throughout the other Cal State Universities – a movement that is changing the equitability and fair labor practices for graduate student employees throughout the state.  I continue to look for ways I can become involved in the advocacy of equitability and rights especially throughout the academic arena.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Not only does the job completely reflect me and my experience, but GRC is in the area of the country where my husband and I have been longing to relocate.  This is especially true since my youngest son, Tyler, plays football and is attending Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.  I’m a football mama down to my core, so being only 3 hours away from him will allow me to attend those games on Saturdays.  I could keep listing all the ways GRC drew me in, but, simply put, everything I read about, all the staff I’ve met, and all the students I have been privileged to speak with ALL radiate with the energy and purpose that aligns with my teaching and my personality.  I can’t wait to get up there and get to meet everyone!

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

What I listen to on my way to work varies greatly on what kind of mood I’m in that morning.  Sometimes I prefer silence as I use that time to focus my thoughts for the day ahead; other times I feel like l need to know what’s going on in the world, so I might tune into NPR or BBC News; then other times, I might want to sing my heart out, in which case, you’ll find me listening to (and singing along with) Michael Franti & Spearhead, Train, or Alanis Morissette (Michael Franti is my all-time favorite!).

What was the very first job you ever had?

My first literal job was as a professional singer when I was only 9-years old – I continued singing professionally all my life (but that’s another story and is best told over a few glasses of wine or a couple beers!).  My very first traditional job, however, was as a babysitter.  Babysitting earned me all my spending money from the time I was 12 until I got my first “real” job at The House of Fabrics – a fabric store in the local mall in Huntington Beach, California, where I grew-up.  As an interesting side note, I actually received my very first paycheck as a professional singer when I was only 9-year old!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

There are so many exciting things about this new position.  I should probably say a bunch of pedagogical stuff here, but, in all honesty, the MOST EXCITING thing about it is that it’s actually a tenure track position at an AMAZING college where I know I can learn, grow, and evolve in my teaching and leadership skills.

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

In my first year at GRC, I’d love to start a faculty mindfulness meditation group AND a student mindfulness and self-compassion group.  I’d also like to accomplish a strong start for my first year in my tenure process, gain some insights about how to implement a service-based writing course, and engage in several meaningful committees on campus.

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

My three accomplishments:  1.  My two amazing sons, Garrett and Tyler;  2. Overcoming incredible adversity after the death of my first husband; and 3. Completing my undergraduate and graduate degrees with high honors as a non-traditional student all while raising two children and working several jobs (if I had a 4th – taking a risk on an online dating site where I met my fabulously wonderful current husband of 9 years – without his encouragement I would not have had the courage to complete my degrees).

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

(I had to actually ask my coworkers about this one!)

One of my coworkers, who shared an office with me for 3-years and then we continued adjuncting together, always calls me “Mama B.”  When I asked him why he calls me that, he responded with this kind remark, “You have a very nurturing spirit and you are always there to listen and give advice to both your colleagues and your students.”  Another coworker responded to this statement by saying, “Yep, Jacob has dialed in perfectly to your nickname!”  So, I’m sticking with it, even though it kind of makes me feel old, let’s go with “Mama B!”

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

As mentioned previously, I was (and occasionally STILL am) a professional singer.  What I didn’t mention was that I also play piano and write songs. And, for the record, I think it totally SHOULD exist!

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

G – Green

R – River:

E – Excellent

E – Education

N – Non-stop!!!!

New Employee Spotlight – Daniel Najera

Najera, DanielWe’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.

Full-Time Biology Faculty. I am a lover of nature, in particular the insects. I got my Ph.D from the University of Kansas.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I was a student here and I loved the forest. I moved back to this area because of the mountains and Green River was the perfect place to want to land.

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

103.7 ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Suga Rae all day every day!

What was the very first job you ever had?

Working at Diary Queen, making myself the thickest Oreo blizzards possible.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

Having the benefits of a permanent position, specifically making community connections and becoming part of the community on and off campus. .

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

Start undergraduate research on honeybees.

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

  1. I have been the best man in 4 of my friends’ weddings.
  2. My two children
  3. Never losing sight that all life is connected, physically.

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

The Bee Man. I think it is already there.

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

I would play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on the piano.

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

Green River Ecology and Evolutionary Nexus.    BELIEVE IT!

No Shave November Leads to Clean Shaved December!

movThis November, we’re giving a twist to the month of no shaving! As a challenge to raise funds for Gators Feed Gators, the Admin building gentlemen have offered to be shaved clean at the end of November. Who would you like to see with no beard? The nominees are:

Marshall Sampson, VP of Human Resources and Legal Affairs

Chernenko Wheatley, Employee and Labor Relations Manager

Joshua Ireland, Executive Assistant for the VP of Instruction

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

Matt Swenson, Director of Grants

George Frasier, Executive Director, Foundation

Joshua Gerstman, Director of Philanthropy

Vote for one of these gents with your dollars. Voting will begin in November. Look for tables across campus!

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