New Employee Spotlight – Joanne Veltung

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.

Veltung, Joanne

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

I am a Secretary Lead for the Science Department. I have 20 years of patient care in healthcare with a strong background in Radiology.

What drew you to apply to Green River? 

I’ve wanted to work in a school or college environment for a long time. I saw this as a chance to do so.

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

The Blend on Sirius XM

What was the very first job you ever had?


What about your new position is most exciting for you?

This position is a different environment than I have worked in for years. The transition from healthcare to school is very exciting to me.

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

I would like to immerse myself in the college community. I believe this will help with my transition into working at Green River.

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

  1. Being hired at a higher education school
  2. Raising my children to be good, moral, upstanding adults.
  3. I’ll need to see what accomplishments are still waiting for me.

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

Probably Monica Geller. I love to organize everything and have a tendency to be a perfectionist.

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

Organizing closets

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

Cultural Competency Recommendations


Our Fifty-Year Legacy

As the college acknowledges the many achievements we have been a part of, the people who made those achievements possible, and the next fifty years as an institution of higher learning, what will our legacy reflect? Were we the first? In what areas did we advance most? Did we set the example? What could we have done differently?

One opportunity directly tied to our Strategic Planning goal of equity and diversity, also vocalized by students during recent campus events, is meeting the needs of our diverse community by focusing efforts on cultural competencies. Our students need to know that we take this challenge seriously, are committed to advancing this cause, and that we value this key issue. A demonstrated commitment to cultural competency would be a meaningful addition to our college legacy and the next fifty years ahead.

The Challenges We Face

In investigating this topic at our institution and seeking out ways in which meaningful collaboration can result in tangible results, several offices and entities were contacted (ODEI, Student Life, IP, Student Government, DSS, and GDEC). An open session was held for anyone interested in exchanging ideas, discussing key themes, and brainstorming desired outcomes. Additional functional areas throughout campus will be asked to contribute to the conversation as we continue to seek direction from the college.

A Multifaceted Model

There are no quick fixes or magic pills to address concerns regarding diversity and cultural competence. Such deep­rooted issues require a commitment that goes beyond words and includes awareness of key issues, attitudes and behaviors towards the world around us, the ability to openly exchange ideas, and identification of specific cultural competencies.

Stakeholders Needed

Collaboration across campus will ensure that this effort is inclusive, meaningful, and sustainable. Ideas should represent faculty, staff, and students and involve experts, departments, and committees.

View the Recommendations

The presentation below was given to the Board of Trustees and written as an executive summary to outline specific recommendations to begin addressing cultural competencies at Green River College. Training by itself is never the answer and to support meaningful change across campus, training must compliment existing efforts.

Summer Professional Development: Google Cultural Institute

Summer is (almost) upon us! Now is the perfect time to begin making summer plans for yourself or your entire familia (family). Sometimes those plans involve trips around the world, involvement in a community event, taking a class, or simply a good book on a comfy sofa.


We live in the present, look to the future, but learn eternal truths from the past.

Regardless of your individual summer plans, Google can help. They have a great resource called Google Cultural Institute, which provides diverse art collections from around the world, online historical exhibits detailing significant moments in human history, and virtual exploration of ancient world heritage sites across the globe. These can be used in the classroom as well, to support instruction by providing supplemental content for your students. Instructors can even create their own galleries specifically designed for their courses!


View collections from around the world.

The best part of course professional development resource is that Google Cultural Institute doesn’t cost a thing. Everyone has complete access 24×7. To begin, simply click on one of the previously stated categories (Art Projects, Historic Moments, or World Wonders) and find something that interests you…or perform a search for something very specific.

In my case, we’re preparing for a family trip to Japan this summer. Performing a simple search for “Japan” resulted in locations of interest, 112 Japanese virtual exhibits, and 57,364 individual artifacts. Before visiting Japan I’ll be diving deeper into topics such as the Dawn of TV Animation, Introduction to Manga, Mobile Suit Gundam, and Hiroshima. That, and brushing up on the language itself.

Google Cultural Institute

A simple search for “Japan” resulted in a variety of things to explore.

Don’t let summer pass you by without devoting yourself to at least one learning opportunity. Google makes it that much easier to return to fall quarter with a fresh perspective on the world around you. Summer plans…check!