New Employee Spotlight – Alexandra Reyes

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.

Reyes, Alexandra

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

My name is Alexandra “Alex” Reyes. I am joining Green River College as a Workforce Education Coordinator. I have worked in higher education since 2007, having held positions as an Administrative Assistant, Financial Planner, and Registrar. At my previous campus, I was a WFSE Shop Steward, Employee of the Year nominee, and created campus-wide prototypes for the tenure notebook process.

What drew you to apply to Green River? 

There were multiple things that drew me to apply to GRC. The campus is beautiful and peaceful! I wanted to work in an environment that was dedicated and passionate about working with students. I firmly stand by GRC’s mission and vision to ensure student success through comprehensive educational programs and support services responsive to our diverse communities and to be ranked among the very best in student completion and success and be an invaluable community partner with robust and diverse revenue streams (www.greenriver.edu).

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

Lately I have been listening to Spotify’s “Acoustic Covers” station. I’ll also listen to Hot 103.7 for some great throwback songs.

What was the very first job you ever had?

My very first “real” job was as a sales associate at the Navy Exchange Fine Jewelry Department. I learned a lot about providing excellent customer service, sales, and inventory… even how to read diamonds and other gems.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The most exciting part of being in my position is getting to work one-on-one with students, and helping them change their lives! Giving back to the community and watching students succeed in their goals is exciting, and if we can help them fund their education, that’s even better!

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

One thing I would love to accomplish in my first year at GRC is watching the first GRC students I have worked with in Workforce Education graduate. When working with students, you work with them through their ups and downs, and watching them walk on stage to get their diploma is the most fulfilling thing about working in higher education.

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

The three accomplishments I am most proud of are:

  • Working on my master’s degree
  • Continuing to raise the coolest kid ever while working full-time and going to school full-time
  • …Saving 15% or more by switching to Geico… :-)

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

“Central” because I am coming to GRC from Seattle Central College.

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

Hmm… I can sing any Disney princess song *perks of having a five year old*

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Great
Remarkable
E
ncourage
E
ngage
Nourish

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New Employee Spotlight – Abigail Hecht

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.

Hecht, Abigail

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

I am a new Program Coordinator here at the Assessment and Testing Center. I actually graduated with my AA here at GRC and then transferred to UW Tacoma afterward where I just received my Bachelor’s in Art, Media, and Culture with a focus in Literature in June of this year. Prior to coming here, I used to work in primary education as an After School Program Leader.

What drew you to apply to Green River? 

I thought it would be nice to come back as an employee to help students who may be struggling, looking for guidance, and paving their way for a better future, just like I was when I was a student here. Being in the assessment and testing center, I hope to be a happy and welcoming face for those coming in stressed out and nervous before taking their test.

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

I mostly listen to Korean and Japanese music in the car, but the genres I listen to range from hip-hop, ballad, R&B, acoustic, instrumental to alternative.

What was the very first job you ever had?

The very first job I had was when I was 16, and it was in the mall. It was at a place called Daiso, which is a $1.50 Japanese store!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The most exciting thing about my position is getting to interact with students. I look forward to meeting all kinds of students and becoming acquainted with them throughout their journey here at GRC.

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

The thing I want to accomplish the most this year is just remembering all of the passwords, procedures, departments, and names of my colleagues here at GRC.

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

  • The first would be having my family see me walk during my graduation.
  • The second one is actually not my own, but is for my husband. I am always proud of his successes and the progress that he has made being a 1st generation immigrant here in the U.S. It can be difficult living in a new country, so I am always proud of his perseverance and ability to maintain a positive mindset.
  • Lastly, I am proud of the bracelet I made with my elementary students during summer camp. You’ll probably see me wearing this around campus most days.

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

That’s a good question. I am not sure what kind of nickname they would give me yet! I guess I’ll have to wait and find out.

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 picking stuff up with my feet, but is that even a talent? Other than that, I make all sorts of miniature things out of clay! If you want a mini clay animal or piece of food, just let me know.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Get
Ready to
Educate and
E
nrich
New Students

New Employee Spotlight – Gustavo “Tavo” Gutierrez Bernal

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.Gutierrez Bernal, Gustavo_4

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My name is Gustavo (Tavo), and I work in the student life office as a program assistant. I am ecstatic to begin my professional career at Green River College and embark on new adventures and challenges.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I was a community college student at one point and always had the desire to inspire, in others, a passion for a higher education as my mentors once did with me.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
My car ride to and from work is rather long, so music is always important in my car. I am a fan of many different music genres, but some of my all-time favorites include- Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Carol King, Frank Sinatra, Kelly Clarkson and of course, Broadway showtunes!

What was the very first job you ever had?
The very first job I had was as a reading tutor. I worked with elementary school kids to ensure they were being exposed to literature and had the proper resources to explore all kinds of literature.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
What I am most excited about is connecting with students and staff. Getting to know my community is very important as it will allow me to better assist others and make a greater impact all around.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
During my first year at GRC, I’d love to build connections and get to know people from different departments on campus. I believe that greater things are achieved when you work together and collaborate with others.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
One of my biggest accomplishments has been graduating college. I am a first generation graduate, so this was a very important event in my life.  Second, stepping out of my comfort zone and joining a cheer squad.  Third, waking up this morning…hey, waking up is always an accomplishment for me!

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Currently, my coworkers call me “Tavo.” It’s a shortened version of my name and is fun to pronounce.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I guess I would consider dancing and singing my hidden talents. Also, making people smile – smiling is essential!

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Generosity
Responsibility
E
fficiency
E
mpowerment
Neighborly

New Employee Spotlight – Joseph Becker

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.Becker, Joseph

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the New Media Specialist on the College Relations team. I most recently worked in the private sector building and managing websites along with managing social media as a Digital Communications and Marketing Specialist. Prior to that I worked as a Digital Communications Specialist at the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona where I managed the zoo’s social media, website, and communications efforts.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
After working in the private sector I really wanted to return to a position working for a public facing organization that was making a positive impact in people’s lives.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I like to station hop and will find whatever suits my current mood.

What was the very first job you ever had?
The first paid job I ever had was working in the promotions/events department for a local chapter of Radio Disney. We would go out to events to entertain crowds, play games, and do giveaways.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m excited to be working for an organization that is impacting so many people.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I’d love to succeed in amplifying content and increasing engagement across Green River’s social media channels.

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

  • Recently becoming a father and welcoming my twin daughters into the world,
  • moving back to the Pacific Northwest (to stay!) after seven years away living in Phoenix,
  • and finding a career that I enjoy and am truly passionate about.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I’d be known as “Zookeeper” because of my history working as a professional zookeeper with a variety of animals, along with ten years working within zoos & aquariums.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
With two seven-week-olds at home my current talents seem to be drinking lots of coffee and functioning on little sleep.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Grevy’s Zebra
Reticulated Giraffe
E
lephants
E
land
N
orth American Sea Otter – Ask me about some of the animals I’ve worked with!

New Employee Spotlight – Jeremy Mauck

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.
Mauck, Jeremy
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I’m the new Small Business Advisor for Green River’s Small Business Development Center down on the Kent Campus.

Before I joined Green River, I most recently helped run marketing for Weyerhaeuser’s Wood Products business. Reaching farther back, I have a history in education too as I served as the Assistant Director in charge of marketing and membership for WWU’s Alumni Association.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I currently serve as an adjunct in the BAS in Marketing and Entrepreneurship program, and saw this as a great opportunity to take it to the next level, and better serve my community, by joining the Green River team in a full-time role!

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Usually nothing … the car ride is my time to think.

What was the very first job you ever had?
Lifeguard at the local YMCA.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The ability to work with individuals as they pursue their dream of starting a new business!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Sometimes the simple things are the most important … and truthfully, I just want to learn everyone’s name!

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

  • First and foremost, that I have a happy family, and healthy 2-year old daughter.
  • I’ve been lucky enough to travel the country and see so many great sights along the way.
  • That I’ve been able to make it this far in my career with never having to put on a tie.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I don’t know why, but everyone at every job I’ve ever had has always just called me “Mauck” (my last name … I guess it’s fun to say or something). But I also answer to “hey you” pretty well, too.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
It’d be hard to show on the stage at a ‘talent show’, but take me to the river and I’d show everyone that I’m a pretty darn good kayaker!

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
You know, it is really hard to write an acronym like this … so, here’s the best I can do …

Green River is Excellent for Education Necessities

New Employee Spotlight – Marty Warden

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.
Warden, Marty
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I have done a little of everything. I have been a substitute teacher, a bellman/concierge, a real estate salesman, a tax pro for H&R block, a messenger for Brinks, Inc. riding in the back of an armored truck delivering cash and valuables. Marty currently works as a mail carrier in the GRC Mailroom.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
My wife alerted me, and she also works here. It has been a great first day.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
105.3FM or 950 sports or 98.1 classical.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I was a pizza cook for Straw Hat Pizza. (home of the deep dish pizza for those of us seasoned enough to remember the 70s and 80s).

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
It’s not my old position. Seriously, everything is fresh and exciting, and everyone is so polite and friendly!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Being the best I can be and doing my job at a high level.

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

  • Making the good choice to marry my wife.
  • Handling over 100 billion dollars in cash for brinks and never losing a dollar.
  • I got a hole in one at Christy’s golf club in Milton (course no longer exists).

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Not sure. I guess we’ll be surprised!

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
My ability to listen and encourage someone.

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

Great Responses Encourage Everyone Nicely

New Employee Spotlight – Robert Pedicone

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.
Pedicone, Robert_2
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the Coordinator of Recreation & Athletics. I will be managing the Recreation & Athletics Center (RAC) and be responsible for the operations and programming associated with the RAC. I have been doing collegiate recreation for 7.5 years. The past two years I was the Facilities & Operations Graduate Assistant in the Campus Recreation Department at Missouri State University.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I am from Puyallup, and I wanted to start my career near home. Additionally, Green River has an excellent reputation, beautiful campus, diverse student population, etc. I felt like I fit in ever since I took my first step on campus.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I am a hip hop/rap/R&B guy. Also, I am a podcast guy. Everything from the Bill Simmons Podcast, Joe Rogan Experience, etc.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I was a baseball umpire for youth baseball when I was 16. I umped the machine pitch league for the Puyallup Cal Ripken League.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The people! I love working with students and with university staff/faculty. Green River’s diverse population is definitely a plus!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
To grow our program offerings at the RAC. This includes more intramural programming, more group fitness opportunities, partnering with other Student Affairs departments, etc.

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

  • Overcoming hearing issues and a speech impediment when I was younger.
  • Receiving my master’s degree.
  • Getting this job.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I have been called the “Godfather” before . . . probably because I am Italian and have “presence”. That’s what people tell me…

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

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

Green (so many trees)
Revitalizing (vibrant campus climate)
Energetic
Ethical
Noble (school/campus community doing a lot of great things)