New Employee Spotlight – Jennifer Branstad

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.

Branstad, Jennifer

Jennifer Branstad

My title is Institutional Research Analyst and I work in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. I recently earned my Ph.D. in Sociology from UW Seattle where I studied the transition to adulthood for young adults coming of age in the 1980s and today. I also worked a Research Assistant for a center that conducted program evaluation for NSF (Nat’l Science Foundation) funded projects focusing on increasing diversity in STEM education.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

After deciding that I did not want to pursue an academic position, I knew that I wanted to find a way to support institutions of higher education using my research and methodological skills and training.

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

Podcasts. I love everything from NPR’s Embedded to and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me to WNYC’s Two Dope Queens.

What was the very first job you ever had?

Camp Counselor at an all-girls sleep-away camp in California.

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

Earning my Ph.D. and buying my first house—within the same six months.

 

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New Employee Spotlight – Zachary Williams

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.

International Student Advisor.

Williams, Zachary

Zachary Williams

I worked in the International Programs office as a drop-in advisor for a little more than a year before moving to my current position.  Previous to GRC, I lived and worked in Japan for eight years.  First, I spent 3 years as an Assistant Language Teacher on the JET (Japanese Exchange and Teaching) Program in Shiga, Japan. Following that, I spent 5 years as the Director of International Education at Chuo University private high school in Yokohama, Japan.

Needless to say, I love Japan, and I love education!

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I was an exchange student myself when I was in high school and college.  When I saw the opportunity to give back to this community as an advisor, I knew it was my calling!  It has been a long road, but I’m so excited where it has taken me.

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

I actually have only driven to work 2 times in the last year and a half.  Normally I ride my bike, or I bring my bike on the bus and ride home.  Regardless, I listen to a variety of Japanese bands (Jam Project, AKB48, Linked Horizon) and also enjoy listening to movie sound tracks (Gladiator, The Last Samurai, pretty much anything Hans Zimmer).

What was the very first job you ever had?

My very first job was as a paper boy.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The opportunity to have an impact on the lives of my students is the most exciting.

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

I would love to learn as much as I can about the entire process of recruiting, educating, and ultimately transferring our great students, and how I can improve that process for all parties.

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

I’ve learned to speak and write Japanese at a high level, although I still have a long ways to go.  I’ve educated myself about personal finance to a high degree, so I know how money works.  Finally, I’ve developed a philosophy where I don’t really let life get me down even when things aren’t going my way.

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

I can’t even imagine. J

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

I’m pretty good at Rocket League. J

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

Great Respect Eventually Earns Notice

 

New Employee Spotlight – Elizabeth Rangel

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.

Rangel, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Rangel

  • Coordinator for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion-Retention & Community Relations.
  • I worked almost 5 years at Highline College in Outreach and Admissions
  • Before Highline, I worked in various ways in education from Kindergarten to the University.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I have always been an advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. My dream is to one day be a Director of a Diversity or Multicultural Center. I was drawn by the position, but the day I walked on campus I felt like I was home.

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

K-Love. My car is one of my sanctuaries and I spend a lot of time praying there.

What was the very first job you ever had?

My very first job I had was picking raspberries in the fields when I was 14 years old.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I love people! So the most exciting part is the ability to work alongside others that are just as passionate about loving others and being able to use my strengths in helping others.

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

Meet others across campus and be foundationally strong in my department in order to be able to stretch, grow and develop my responsibilities in new ways.

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

My stronger relationship with God.

My Daughter

The blessing of seeing those that I have worked with thrive and succeed more than they thought possible.

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

I have been called Passion, Hope, and Light. I imagine it is because I love and encourage.

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

I would paint.

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

Greatness Requires Eternal Elevation Needed

 

 

New Employee Spotlight – Staci Whitehouse

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.

Whitehouse, Staci

Staci Whitehouse

My new title is Human Resources Consultant 3/Classification and Compensation.  I came from working in the Kent School District, both in the classroom and for the administration. I have helped run our family construction and rental property business for the last twenty years and am a contributor to the Kent, Auburn and Renton Reporters.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Green River is a great school with a beautiful campus that is ten minutes from my house—it doesn’t get any better than that!

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

Country or rap or rock … okay, mostly country—I’m on a Sam Hunt kick right now.

What was the very first job you ever had?

In Cowiche — the little town where I grew up — students got a week off every fall to help the orchardists pick apples during harvest time; our paychecks coincided perfectly with the Yakima Valley Fair.  We made our money and blew it on corn dogs and haunted houses!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I can organize the fun out of any activity, and that is what this position needs:  organization.

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

Just making it through the first year will be an accomplishment in itself, full stop.

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

The way my son and daughter love each other (they are 16 and 19), the longevity of my marriage (22 years) and the relationships I have in my life with friends and family.  Life is good.

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

The “Questioner” because I never stop asking questions!

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

I can still do a death drop on the bars…

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

Go

Reach

Each

Expectation

Now

New Employee Spotlight – Amanda Martin

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.

Martin, Amanda

Amanda Martin

Fiscal Technician 3/Cashiering

I spent 13 years working in retail, mainly management, and I have my cosmetology license.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I grew up on the campus. My dad is the carpentry instructor and my mom worked here as well. I also got my degrees and certificates from GRC!

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

Movin 92.5, music

What was the very first job you ever had?

Lab technician for a camera store – I developed film and pictures for customers. 1-hr photos are slim-to-none these days.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

Consistent schedule and weekends off to spend more time with my daughter.

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

Personal growth in a different environment than retail.

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

  • Birth of my daughter
  • Graduating college
  • Becoming the first Target manager to be recognized as a Starbucks manager of the year (I ran Starbucks while at Target)

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

“Mrs. Graham” for my love towards Seahawks tight end, Jimmy Graham!

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. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?

Get

Ready for

Exciting and

Entertaining

New career

 

New Employee Spotlight – Noah Avirom

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.

Avirom, Noah

I am a Systems Administrator (IT Specialist 3). I’ve been working with computers in higher education for almost all of my working life, starting with working in my college music computer lab and recording studio. From there, I’ve moved on to bigger and better things, but I still enjoy putting my computer skills to use helping others learn.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I wanted to be in a bigger, more complex environment while still working in education; applying to Green River helped me meet those goals.

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

Almost always music, but beyond that it really varies based on the day, my mood, the weather… I try to listen to a diverse mix of things to keep one genre or style from getting too stale.

What was the very first job you ever had?

 

I worked as a legal assistant and sometimes computer tech for my aunt.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I’m really looking forward to working with a new team on new technologies in a much bigger environment than I have before.

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

I’d like to get to know all of the coffee shops in the area.

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

  • Achieving the Boy Scout rank of Eagle
  • Graduating from college
  • Being selected to perform with a Southern California honor orchestra

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

Though I work with computers, I have a fair amount of musical experience; I could perform some musical selections on my main instrument family, percussion instruments.

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

Good

Robots

Enter

Every

Network

New Employee Spotlight – Janet Hollier

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.

Title:  Instructor, Software Development

Hollier, Janet

Professional Background:  I was a software developer at NCR Corporation in Dayton, Ohio and Sophia-Antipolis, France for 10 years, primarily writing marketing and help desk applications.  More recently, I did a short stint as a UW research analyst working on accessible mobile applications before becoming an independent web and application developer.  Three years ago, I started teaching software development courses as an adjunct at Highline College and then at Green River College.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

My former instructor, Tina Ostrander, had a strong influence on my decision to apply.  She is a fantastic ambassador for the college and its IT BAS – Software Development program, and she introduced me to the amazing faculty, staff and students with whom I now work.  Also, there’s a huge need for qualified software developers in the industry right now and I really wanted to be a part of a bachelor program that is chartered with helping to meet that need.

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

KCMS SPIRIT 105.3.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I had a small house cleaning / yard work “business” when I was in high school.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

Getting to help students learn about something that I’m passionate about — software development — and to see the skills and knowledge they develop make a positive impact in their lives.

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

Finding a successful, happy balance between work and play!

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

  • My three children, two of whom are at the UW and the other is a Running Start student at GRC.
  • My marriage (we just celebrated our 24-year anniversary).
  • Earning a Computer Science (second) BS degree at UW-Seattle while a full-time mom of three.

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

Maybe Indy since I’m an independent software developer from Indiana.

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

I love to sing. ♫

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

Graphics,

Robotics &

Engineering

Enthusiasts

Network