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

 

Green River College Service Awards 2018

grc-service-awards-e1535047106512.jpgOpening week is just around the corner! As we prepare to kick off a new school term, we want to take time for celebrating our colleagues and their years of service at Green River. In past years, our service awards have fallen in line with Opening Day. This year, we’re giving the service awards their own day during the opening week activities – Thursday, September 20, 2018 3:30pm-4:30pm. Thank you to our service award recipients, and to all of you, for everything that you do in Service to Education!

See 2018 Service Award Recipients below:

5 Years

  • Patsy Cadwell
  • Laeticia Egesi
  • Rebeka Ferreira
  • Emilee Findley
  • Brian Hansen
  • Aaron Hartzell
  • Scott Hemingway
  • Noah Hensley
  • Richard Hill
  • Jamie McCuaig
  • Bjorn Myhre
  • Niki Nelson
  • Benjamin Orr
  • Monica Paulson-Priebe
  • Melissa Porras-Monroe
  • Deanna Rish
  • Ariadne Rooney
  • Shanna Selvar
  • Shannon Sharpe
  • Yohannes Teferi
  • Chiae Wilder

10 Years

  • Pat Carter
  • Rhonda Daulton
  • Anne Dolan
  • Richard Douglas
  • Kelly Eisenhour
  • Aaron Leavitt
  • Deborah Lynes
  • Gavin Pyle
  • Jane Swenson
  • Benita Walters

15 Years

  • Steven Brumbaugh
  • Rob Jonas
  • Paul Metivier
  • Amanda Schaefer
  • Chitra Solomonson
  • Terry Waagan

20 Years

  • Vik Bahl
  • Steven Black
  • Lansing Bryan
  • Dawn Cleveland
  • Connie Hones
  • Lisa Michalec
  • Jerry Marshall
  • Jennifer Morgan
  • Diane Pelletier
  • Robert Sjogren
  • Sidney Weldele-Wallace

25 Years

  • John Avery
  • Shirlyn Bassard
  • Mark Blaisdell
  • Leslie Moore
  • Patrick Navin
  • Jessica Tichy

30 Years

  • Gary Jones
  • Liz Petersen

35 Years

  • Susan Snow Davis
  • Donnie Hallstone

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

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)

New Employee Spotlight – Yesenia Escoto

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.Escoto, Yesenia
My new title is Program Assistant for Youth Re-Engagement Department. I have taught in a Pre-School program for the last couple of years, worked as a Supervisor in the agriculture business, plus was employed as a server and shift manager at a winery at Lake Chelan.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I have always felt immense satisfaction in helping others. Working with pre-school and school age students gave me the opportunity to learn and empower other students to reach their full potential. I am excited and looking forward to this opportunity to help the Green River students.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
On the car ride to work I enjoy listening to Movin 92.5 with Jubal and Brooke in the morning. I listen to all different music; country, R&B, Hip-Hop, banda, cumbias, corridos, and much more. Music is a getaway for me it takes me to a new world where I can get lost and relax.

What was the very first job you ever had?
The very first job I had was working as a busser/host at the BBQ for Lake Chelan Winery.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I will love the opportunity to work with older students and continuing to help and assist them in any way I can. I enjoy meeting new people and discovering ways to empower their lives.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to master and excel at my position for my first year at Green River. I believe I will be a bigger asset by understanding every part of my position along with learning the programs Green River has to offer.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
The three biggest accomplishments I feel most proud of is being the first in my family to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree, paying for my education, and finally taking a leap of faith and starting my mezcal business in Mexico.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
My office nickname would be Mimi because that is my childhood nickname. My older brother couldn’t pronounce my middle name Noemi and as a result “Mimi” was the new me.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I would showcase touching my nose with my tongue.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
rowing
Resilient
Educate
Enriching
Native

New Employee Spotlight – Holly Nay

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. Nay, Holly 2
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the Natural Resources Program Coordinator, and I am excited to promote and increase awareness of our Forestry BAS degree program.

Formerly, I worked for 16 years in the home improvement industry as an account manager for Fortune 500 companies. I’ve managed and operated multiple sports nutrition stores and managed staffs of 15-20 people. I began my working career as a lifeguard and have always enjoyed working with and helping people!

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Completing a 2-year degree in Park Management, at the Auburn campus, I became highly impressed with the culture of the college. The diversity, community involvement and overall “family” atmosphere that our college fosters help create a very welcoming experience for those seeking higher education. Students are never just a number among many but an important addition to the overall success and achievement of higher learning here.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
A mix of country, alternative rock, top 40 and 90s rap music. I’m definitely one to sing along and look like a lunatic while car dancing, just to survive the commute!

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked as a lifeguard for 3 years at Wild Waves.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Working with the students and faculty of Natural Resources to increase awareness of our Bachelor degree program and our reputation of graduating some of the most highly trained and capable foresters in the field! It is extremely exciting to talk to employers all over the NW that know our student’s reputation of being job ready from day one!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
My number one goal for my first year is to get our BAS program enrollment to 125% of our course capacity. Reaching past graduates of our 2-year program and retaining 50-60% of our graduating 2-year cohorts will allow this to happen.

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

  • Raising such incredible children, that truly seek to help others, is my proudest accomplishment.
  • Completing my 2-year degree at GRC and being within one year of completion of my BAS in Forestry follows second.
  • Third…working in the Tongass National Forest for the US Forest Service, last summer, hiking helicopter units through dense forest and being the most accurate data collector out of a group of 8, while being the oldest crew member, definitely makes me feel accomplished.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
“Happy Holly.” It’s been a long-standing nickname. I rarely have bad days and love sharing my nearly limitless optimism.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
How to climb a cell tower at work without getting caught!

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
enerosity
Resilience
Education
Enthusiasm
Natural

New Employee Spotlight – Katie Markham

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. Markham, Katie

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the Building Secretary for Cedar Hall. I was previously an Office Assistant for Salish Hall, Science Center, Cedar Hall and Technology Center. Before Green River College, I worked for Geico’s Claims department and Mercer University’s Enrollment Services in Central Georgia.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I am drawn to the atmosphere at Green River College. We are blessed to work on a beautiful campus that is filled with interesting and talented people.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I am an audiobook fan! I like to “read” a book or two every week.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was encoding checks with magnetic ink at SunTrust Bank. I loved it!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I think the Math and Technology instructors are so much fun! I also enjoy the interactions with students on a daily basis.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to make the Secretary’s Desk a place everyone feels comfortable stopping by for help. I want each person I work with to know they are welcome and understood.

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

  • I am proud of my volunteer work with Girl Scouts and FIRST Robotics,
  • of the people my teenagers are becoming,
  • and I am proud to be finishing my BS in Information Technology this year.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
They call me “Katie-Bell” or “Katie-May”. I’m not sure why. I think my southern accent explains it, in part, but southerners also call me “Katie-Bell”. I was named for my grandmother. Her name is Katie Nell, so “Katie-Bell” really fits.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Since it doesn’t exist, I will say stand-up comedy. I would be terrified if it did exist.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
et
Ready
Engage
Education
Now

New Employee Spotlight – Brenda Mueller

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.
Mueller, Brenda2
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new Development Specialist in the Foundation office overseeing the scholarship program. Previously, I worked at Charles Wright Academy as the Parent Association and Auction Coordinator and was the Summer Program Coordinator in the International Student Office at Saint Martin’s University. I have also lived overseas in China for two years where I taught ESOL and studied Mandarin.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I was a community college student myself at TCC and have always loved the environment of higher education.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to mostly pop music but enjoy the occasional rock or hip hop station as well. I like to flip between five or six different stations while I fight traffic.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked as a dishwasher at a weekend retreat camp out in Yelm, where I lived in high school. I was thrilled to get a job at 16 and loved every minute of it.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I get to give money away to students! How fun is that?

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to see the awareness for Foundation Scholarships to be increased on campus. We have a lot of scholarship money available, and I would love to see as many students as possible applying and receiving funds for school.

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

  • My two sons, who are 4 and 6 are the light of my life.
  • Additionally, I’m very proud of finishing my BA degree, because I did so after my children were born, and it was very difficult.
  • Finally, getting my first job in higher education at Saint Martin’s University was a very proud moment in my life, because I had finally achieved my professional dream.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
That’s a tough one, but probably something like Ms. Coffee, because I drink a lot of it. LOL.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Well, I can’t sing or dance for anything, but I do enjoy writing. Maybe a poetry reading of something I wrote?

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
I love it here at Green River so far, and I think the GREEN acronym would stand for some pretty powerful words. Genuine, Riveting, Energetic, Equitable, and Natural beauty. I think all these words represent the Green River campus and people beautifully.

New Employee Spotlight – Barry Robinson

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. Robinson, Barry

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new Dean of Health Sciences and Technology. My background is in clinical research and higher education. I studied the effects of viruses in the body, how the immune system responded to the viruses and how multiple viruses seemed to be coordinating their efforts within the same host. I did my research at various institutions: Eastern Kentucky University, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centers, Johns Hopkins, University of Kentucky and University of Washington. I have a bachelor’s degree from Brescia University, master’s degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and Capella University and a PhD from University of Kentucky.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Green River had gone through a rough period in the school’s history and I had heard that they were in the process of rebuilding. During this rebuilding process, they wanted to recruit eager, motivating and high spirited individuals to return to where the school was prior to the rough period; while keeping in mind that the focus was on making sure that students had the best opportunity for success. I love sharing knowledge and have a reputation of setting standards that students can reach but they have to meet me half way because I cannot force them to do anything that they do not want to. I was drawn to apply to Green River because I wanted to be a part of the revitalization of this great school and do all I can to assist in getting everyone back to where they were before the rough period.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
This one is easy because I do not listen to anything but my thoughts…SMILES!!!

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first unofficial job was cutting my grandmother’s and her friends’ grass. My very first tax paying job was working for a catholic restaurant called St. Martin’s Afro-German Tearoom as a busser/entertainer/waiter.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The most exciting part of my new position is meeting all the wonderful people and getting to know them better; not to mention, learning from everyone. I believe that there is an exchange of knowledge whether we realize it or not…we learn from all those that we encounter. So, Health Sciences and Technology be prepared to teach me all that you can…I am here to learn and help you the best that I can.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
The main things that I would love to accomplish within the first year would be to be able to feel more at ease in this position and have gain a strong relationship with the individuals in Health Sciences and Technology. Next, I have set a goal to recognize all the administration, faculty and staff by first name. This will be a great challenge since I am bad with names.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
First, my son…second, my continued education…third, having had the opportunity to find love.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Happy…because I always try to make at least one person smile a day; more is always better but the minimum is one.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
A hidden talent to be showcased at the Annual Green River Talent Show…would be making shadow puppets in a marionette mini-stage. Seriously, I would have to say it would probably be ballroom dancing.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
row continuously
Refresh your mind and thoughts
Explore the world around you
Experience life to the fullest
Never give up on your dreams

New Employee Spotlight – Hedayatullah Qaderi

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. Qaderi, Hedayatullah

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I currently work as Program Coordinator with Washington Integrated Sector Employment (WISE) team in Business Division at Green River College. I have worked as Admin Assistant with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), as Administrative Assistant with Louise Berger Group (LBG) funded by U.S. government, as Program Assistant with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and as Admin Assistant with Conference Services at Green River College.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
GRC is a well-known college for serving a diverse community, I have an Associate degree in business from Green River College, previously worked with Green River, well familiar with GRC compound, and I love the environment at GRC.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Mostly news and sometimes music.

What was the very first job you ever had?
Admin Assistant with JICA.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Yes, definitely. I am very excited and delighted for being promoted from the position of Admin Assistant to Program Coordinator.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Despite of doing my own duties and responsibilities, I would also love to be a good team player where I could cooperate with others and contribute to the best of my abilities in order to achieve our goals.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
First, getting my first Associate Degree in business from Green River College. Second, I am a Senior at Central Washington University (CWU) pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in business with double majors in Finance and Management and will be graduating in Fall quarter 2017. Third, being selected for the position of Program Coordinator at Green River College. These are the three accomplishments that I am really proud of in my life.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I think that would be Raihan and that’s because I go by this name as well.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I can speak five languages and I am a good Soccer, Volleyball, Cricket and Billiard player.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
reat
Representation of
Equal
Employment
Numbers

New Employee Spotlight – Alan Nguyen

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. Nguyen, Alan

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
International Student Advisor in International Programs. I have worked in mostly in higher ed, but have some experience at a boarding school as well. I worked at Everest College in Bremerton, Solomon Christian School in Edmonds and Seattle Central College previous to coming here. I have been working with international students close to 6 years now and hope to continue that trend for a long time.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I actually used to study here when I was in Running Start through Kentwood High School when I was younger. I have fond memories as a student here. Also, the change in responsibilities from my previous position at Central to the one here will probably give me more room to grow professionally.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Podcasts, Sports Radio, Spotify

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked for a catering company for a couple summers while in High School. A lot of big corporate (e.g. Microsoft, Boeing, T-Mobile) summer bbqs were hosted there in North Bend. It was hard grueling work in the hot sun washing dishes in what was basically a metal box.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The fact that this is a homecoming for me is probably most exciting. So much has changed in the last 10 or so years!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to target and create a project that will be hugely beneficial to International Programs, Green River at large, whether it is our processes or to help our students.

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

  1. When I graduated with my bachelor’s degree from WSU, that was probably my proudest moment
  2. When I got my first career job out of college
  3. When I bought my house

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
A student once called me a “General”, like a military officer, because of the tone of voice I have sometimes. He linked it to my upbringing since my father is ex-military. That nickname stuck with a lot of coworkers.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
For the annual talent show, I would have to share my karate skills since I did it for about five years off and on.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
ive
Respect,
Expect
Encouragement and
Nice things will come

New Employee Spotlight – Angelina Benjamin

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. Benjamin, Angelina

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I’m the Program Coordinator for the Auburn Center and the Center of Excellence in Education. My professional background was primarily in the legal field where I worked as a legal secretary for a personal injury attorney for many years, as well as a docket clerk at a public defense agency.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
First, I’ll start by saying I’m Green River Alumni…GO GATORS!! I learned a lot about myself at Green River with the support and guidance of faculty and student affairs. I earned my Bachelor’s degree last year and thought it would be great to work in education and help support other students, so when the opportunity presented itself to return to Green River I jumped on it!

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
On the ride to work I listen to a combination of Sirius Radio stations but I’m not sure what they are. As long as the music is upbeat, I’ll listen to it.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first job was as a cashier at Taco Bell. I’m reminded of my first job on a regular basis, to this day my uncle calls me “Angelina Taco Bell”.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
What is most exciting about my position is that I have the opportunity to experience different perspectives of education. My position is actually two positions in one. In the morning I support the Auburn Center and the Aviation Program, and in the afternoon I support the Director of Center of Excellence for Careers in Education.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I quickly found out there’s a TON of acronyms used in education that I was unaware of. So if I can be in on an acronym-filled conversation and understand what’s being discussed, I’ll be happy!

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

    1. Returning to college after many years and earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from UW Tacoma.
    2. Having raised three focused and goal-oriented children who are accomplishing their higher education and career goals.
    3. My high school Spanish teacher said something that always stuck with me. A student said that a food we were trying for the first time was weird. The teacher told the student, “It’s not weird…it’s different. It’s not better, its not worse. It’s just DIFFERENT.” I’m proud to say I’ve been able to maintain that mentality throughout my life, and it’s shaped how I relate to new people and new experiences.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
My office nickname would probably be Pollyanna. I always approach situations with a positive outlook and positive expectations, and have the ability to find the bright side to situations.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
The hidden talent I would show case in the Green River talent show would be stand-up comedy…actually I don’t think it’s a hidden talent, I just like making people laugh.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
aining
Really
Exceptional
Education
Necessary

New Employee Spotlight – Jessica Chan

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. Chan, Jessica

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the IT Help Desk Analyst at Green River College.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The professor that inspired me to pursue a career in IT told me that Green River College was a great place to work. I always thought working at a school helping people was something I wanted to pursue.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I love listening to video game soundtracks when I am driving to and from work.

What was the very first job you ever had?
The first job that I ever had was a waitress for my family’s restaurant.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am excited for the opportunity to help others and expand my own knowledge and understanding of the world.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to learn Python by the end of the year. I would also like to earn my Cisco Certified Network Associate Security certificate.

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

    1. I earned my Cisco Certified Network Associate Routing and Switching certificate and
    2. Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration through hard work and determination.
    3. I am surviving in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
The most common nickname that I have is “Jess” and “Jackie Chan.” I got the “Jackie Chan” nickname, because I study Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and studied Tae Kwon Do. Also my first initial is “J” and last name is “Chan,” so the nickname stuck.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
My ability to stand awkwardly and uncomfortably on stage.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Be Gracious
Be Respectful
Be Eager
Be Enthusiastic
Be Noble

New Employee Spotlight – Hannah Micona

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. Micona, Hannah

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new cataloger in Holman Library. My professional background is all in libraries, in Washington, Indiana, and most recently, Montana.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The opportunity to work in cataloging and technical services in a local college library with a strong community.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I’ll listen to pretty much any music, usually in the car I’ll have on one of the top 40 or rock stations – I flip through them a lot, I hate listening to commercials!

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was working as a library student assistant in college.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m excited to become part of the library team and the Green River community!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I’d love to be able to get around campus without a map – I’m very directionally challenged!

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
If I have any hidden talents, they’re really well hidden, because I don’t know about them!

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
reat
Readers
Enjoying
Every
Novel – a fiction bookclub

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

New Employee Spotlight – Micki Chikwinya

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. Chikwinya, Micki1

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Senior Director of Financial Services. 20+ years in Accounting Management, including government/fund accounting, ERP (accounting) system implementations, audit and training.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
As a resident of the GRC district I have watched the growth and positive impact the College has for so many people. I want to be a part of something that is bigger than me. Contributing my core competencies to the success of the College allows me to strive for that goal. Also, this commute is beautiful.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Seattle Wolf radio.

What was the very first job you ever had?
Sorting returned bottles/cans (Oregon) at my family’s grocery store.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Being a part of the College.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Learn as much as possible about our current accounting system (FMS) in order to lead our team successfully both in the short term and in the planning for success with the conversion to the new system (cTcLink).

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

    1. Successfully raising my son.
    2. Buying my house and two other investment properties all by myself.
    3. Being a kind and generous person.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Nickname would be Searcher, because I am always looking for information and knowledge and sharing with others to help solve challenges.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
How to sew on a button. Only because so many people never learn things like this any more.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
et
Receipts
Entered
Efficiently
Now!

New Employee Spotlight – Zulfiya Kadimova

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.

KADIMOVA, ZULFIYAPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I have just been hired as the Full-Time Program Assistant in the TSW department (Transitional Studies & Wellness). I worked at this position as an Office Assistant (hourly) employee for four years.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I was introduced to GRC when I came to USA and started as an ESOL student. In the last 10 years I got more involved with GRC. From 2012 I started as an employee. When a new position was available I could not miss being more involved with friendly faculty/staff and a beautiful campus.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
On the way to work I like to listen to the radio, news and “Power Turkey” through the phone.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was in upholstery in a furniture company.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Actually, I worked at this position for the last 4 years in the office with my supervisor and my two other colleagues. I was relying that they can help me with questions. The most exciting thing in my new position is that I’ll be by myself in the KC office, and I must find a way out from any situation on my own. Also, I am excited to meet more students and form new relationships.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I love to help more students who are learning English and going through the path that I passed. I want to provide as much as confidence to the students at Kent Campus, so they do not have to run to Main Campus for their issues. Also, I would love to learn my job well enough and see myself as a Program Coordinator after a year.

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

    1. I raised two beautiful, intelligent and well-educated sons.
    2. I came to USA with zero English and was able to get my AA degree as a Medical Office Assistant.
    3. My career as a Program Assistant.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I do not like to give a nicknames to anyone and would not like to have one. All of us have been given beautiful names by our parents why not to use it instead?

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I have one singer and one poet among siblings, but unfortunately my parents have not presented me with any talents. I do enjoy sewing.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
et
Really
Excited about
Everything
Never stop smiling

New Employee Spotlight – Aileen Mata

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. mata-aileen

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I’ve been hired as a Program Specialist for the Recruitment and Outreach Office. I have my Master’s in Education Policy from the University of Washington. I have worked with college access and closing the opportunity gap for over 5 years now and am excited to join the Green River Community.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I wanted to center my work on community outreach in higher education in South King County Area. South King County has become very diverse over the last couple years and I want to continue working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
On my way to work I listen to my Hip-hop station on Pandora. I need upbeat-feel good music on my way to work to help motivate me for a new day.

What was the very first job you ever had?
When I was 12 years old I worked out in the fields picking strawberries to help pay for school clothes. I still remember the first day of picking, it was very hard work and I told myself that I would make sure that I would never have to endure this kind of work when I got older.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am eager to meet new colleagues, community partners and students! College access work is my passion, and I am excited to see how I can contribute to the Green River Community!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I’d love to help establish new strategies on how to outreach to new communities. I am always up for a challenge and love innovating new ideas and projects that will produce positive outcomes.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
The 3 accomplishments that I am most proud of are my graduations from high school and college. I was the first one in my family to graduate high school and attend college. I knew that my degrees were bigger than me; they were not only for my family but for my community.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
The nickname would have to be Luna “moon”. I am always in the movement night or day; social change is what drives the work I do.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I would perform Baile Folkorico “folkloric dance” from Mexico. I use to dance when I was an undergrad at Western Washington University and it was a lot of fun- not to mention a really great workout!

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
iving
Restorative
Equitable
Education
Needed

New Employee Spotlight – Seth Deister

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. deister-seth

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am a Program Assistant at Foundation for Success. Previously, I was Program Coordinator at South Seattle College’s Georgetown Campus. My department, Corporate & Customized Training, provided employee training to local companies. My roles were marketing, program support, and interfacing with instructors.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I knew I liked working at a college, but I wanted to work more directly with students. I love their energy and creativity. The opening at FFS looked like it would be a lot of fun and so far…it has!

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
The speakers on my car were broken for a long time, so I previously listened to tires rolling. I fixed the speakers, and now I listen to punk rock or classic rock.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I was a Donation Station Attendant for Goodwill. It’s a very fancy title for basically sorting people’s used stuff and putting it in a truck. Separate your linens, clothes, and accessories when you go to Goodwill, people! They will love you.

I quit because lifting books and TV’s was doing a number on my back, and I started studying at the University of Washington anyway.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am most excited to be working with international students, plus I will get my own student worker!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to start taking some language classes at Green River. A long term goal of mine is to learn Chinese.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I don’t like ‘bragging,’ but here are two things I am proud of accomplishing:

  • Riding my mountain bike down one of Whistler’s most difficult biking runs (Goat’s Gully) and surviving
  • Finishing a one month, 12 graduate credit S-TESL course with a 4.0

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Most people try to make my name into something longer, like Setherson or Setheriah.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Probably juggling. I’m not particularly ready for the circus or anything, but with a little (ok, a lot) of practice I could probably put on a decent show.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
ee
Rent is
Excessively
Expensive
Now

New Employee Spotlight – Edrick Goad

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.

goad-edrickPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I have been in the IT world for 20 years, supporting everything from desktops to large virtualized environments. I have worked with databases, systems management tools, and security initiatives. I hold many certifications from multiple vendors.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I recently had my first teaching experience in Honduras and enjoyed it greatly. When I found this position I immediately applied, so that I could continue my teaching experience and pass on what I have learned.

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

What was the very first job you ever had?
Dishwasher at a rib restaurant.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
To be able to continue to learn about new technologies, as well as to share the information with others.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Become a great teacher.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
That guy that drinks all the coffee.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
My ability to watch an entire Netflix series in a single sitting.

New Employee Spotlight – Enrique Hamilton

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. hamilton-enrique

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Hey, everyone. I’m your new evening custodian. Some of you will recognize me from the college lunch room. I have been told I make a mean breakfast burrito. This is my first non-cooking job in a while. I’m looking forward to a new opportunity.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I know some staff members from my time in the kitchen, and they recommended it.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Sports radio. I have to keep up on my Seahawks.

What was the very first job you ever had?
McDonald’s. It definitely was not my favorite job, LOL but it taught me a lot.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I have been cooking for many years, and I felt like I needed a change. It’s also a better job for me and my family. I get to see my girls off to school. It’s great to have that time with them before work.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I want to show I’m a hard worker. I want to grow in the company. That I know will take more than a year.

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

  • Winning a state title in my senior year – Skyline High 3A football champs.
  • Graduating high school.
  • Becoming a father. They’re my world. That, and marrying my wife.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I think Batman. I’m a huge Batman fan! – Since I was 5 years old. I have been called that in the past.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I will be totally real with you. I have none LOL.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
reen
Rainy
Evergreen
Emerald City
Northwest

New Employee Spotlight – Cassandra Knipfing

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.

knipfing-cassandraPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am Green River College’s new IBEST/ESL Career Pathway Navi-“Gator”. My first position within higher education was at GRC’s Assessment Center as a part-time proctor. From there, I transitioned to a full-time Assessment Specialist position at Tacoma Community College working mainly with the Transitional Studies/ABE/ESL/GED department. Feel free to ask me any and all of your ctcLINK questions; I have lived and survived it (and now I kind of like it).

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I left my favorite mug here 2 years ago, and I just had to get it back.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
KIXI radio 880 AM.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked at an outdoor concert venue in New Jersey where I was able to watch concerts for free during the summer season and then dress up as an elf and drink endless hot chocolate during the winter holiday lights drive-thru show.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

  • The opportunity to be help grow and develop the I-BEST programs here at Green River.
  • Also, the opportunity to MAYBE see a wild bear.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I’d love to have created a strong network of communication throughout different departments, so I can confidently direct students to resources on campus that will support them through their educational journey.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I successfully orchestrated a “traditional” Thanksgiving Dinner in Finland for 20 international students, even after completely overestimating the size of a European oven. I also am proud to say that I do not have a “Jersey Accent” from growing up on the “shore.”  As well as my affinity for quotation marks, “apparently.”

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
My previous office nickname was “Princess Cassie,” however I would like to relinquish my throne and perhaps go with something more casual similar to my nickname in college, “Scrappy.”

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I think I could manage a bang-up lip-syncing performance to the Police’s “Roxanne.” I happen to rehearse rather regularly when home, much to the frustration of my downstairs neighbor.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
reen
Reen
Een
En
N
(I am very sorry I couldn’t think of anything. This might correlate with my struggles in Scrabble and Bananagram.)

New Employee Spotlight – Richard Scherer

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.

scherer-richard
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I will be working as a custodian on swing shift at Green River, helping to keep the school looking great at all times. I have worked in the custodial field for about 4 to 5 years in places such as Marshalls, Jack in the Box , Clean as a Whistle company, and Hallmark Manor Nursing Home. I also spent 13 years in the baking industry working for many different companies.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I came to Green River looking to work for a good place, to grow as a top notch custodian and to enjoy the beautiful campus area it offers.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
On the car ride to work , I listen to 710 for all the sports information and current happenings.

What was the very first job you ever had?
The very first job I had was working at the Windmill nursery in Sumner for about 4 months.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am looking forward to learning new ways and styles of cleaning and building care for the campus.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I want to accomplish in year one the routine and ordinary things that are wanted and needed done.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
The 3 top accomplishments in my life are: 1- traveling to a foreign country for the very first time and by myself.   2- Meeting and marrying my future wife from the Philippines.  3- Taking care of my injured mother in 1990 and caring for my father who had a very bad stroke in 2001.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
If I were given a nickname it would ether be FLASH, because I really like thunderstorms, or CRICKET, because I can whistle a cricket-like sound and other whistling sounds

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
My best talent is painting landscape types of pictures in acrylic paint.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
raduation
Reading
Education
Exam
Necessary

New Employee Spotlight – Megan Swanson

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.

swanson-megan
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I will be the Extended Learning Program Manager within Extended Learning and International Programs. My background is in international development and higher education. I have coordinated university-based civic engagement initiatives in Colorado and worked with various NGOs to support international exchange and development activities benefiting communities in Tibet, Afghanistan and Uganda. After graduate school I spent 2.5 years working for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Transition Initiatives, providing support to countries in transition to democracy.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I am a passionate advocate for international education and promoting cultural understanding through exchange, so I was drawn to the robust international program here.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Radio stations: C89.5, NPR, KEXP, or whatever is commercial-free at the time.

What was the very first job you ever had?
As a teenager I cleaned my mom’s quilt shop a few days a week after school.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am most excited to meet and support students from a diverse range of countries and backgrounds.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I hope that I can identify a process or system that needs improvement and can implement concrete changes to increase efficiency.

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

  • Buying a first home with my husband this year
  • Completing my Master’s in Public Administration
  • Maintaining friendships from childhood and places I’ve lived cross-country

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
The Taskmaster. I strive to be efficient and am always eager to assign action items and deadlines in meetings.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Photography. I have a tradition of taking a Photo of the Day and posting it on social media. The tradition began in spring 2011, when I was living in Washington, DC. I just had to get out of my office in the basement, where I usually ate my lunch and rarely saw daylight. I walked out and noticed the tulips had bloomed. It was a refreshing sight amid the concrete jungle of the city. Since that day I have challenged myself to take a brief break during the workday in search of a unique picture. I don’t always do it, and they aren’t always that unique, but I enjoy the hunt and the reminder to look outside of myself once in a while and notice the beauty that surrounds us.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
reat
Reality
Everyday
Enthusiasm
Nonetheless

New Employee Spotlight – Anicah Anderson

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. anderson-anicah

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am very excited to be the new Program Coordinator at the Kent campus! Before coming to GRC, I worked as an international students’ recruiter in a Japanese school in Tokyo, Japan. Then, I worked as an account executive for a telecom company. After arriving in the United States, I was a Chinese language tutor for children and adults. Then, I worked as a buyer for an import/export company. After a few years of being a full time mom (the most difficult job of them all by the way!), I went to work for a non-profit agency, which helps disabled people manage their social security monetary benefits. I’ve also been an assistant teacher for the ESOL program here at GRC, as well as a computer lab assistant. Now I am here full time, and I could not be more excited! I look forward to working with you all and having many rewarding years at GRC.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I was drawn to GRC because it enables me to use my language skills and my experience working with people from many different cultures. I also enjoy the idea of being able to share all of my experiences with everyone.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to everything – my kids’ pop music, to news radio and soft rock.

What was the very first job you ever had?
The first summer after I graduated high school, I worked as a translator for the Pan- Asian games in Beijing.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am most excited about being able to work with so many of the wonderful stuff and students here at GRC, many of whom I know already.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
In my first year at this position I plan on mastering the many aspects of my jobs – there is so much to learn.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I am so proud of my two daughters and my niece. They make me proud every day.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I don’t know…

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 my ability to clear the room when I sing.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Genius
Resource
Education
Environment
National

New Employee Spotlight – Teresa Buchmann

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. buchmann-teresa

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new Director of Student Financial Aid. I started working in financial aid in 1999, back when the FAFSA was on paper and we weren’t sure if computers would work in the year 2000. I have worked at several different colleges in my career which gives me a unique perspective on the many different ways we can help students. Most recently I have been the Financial Aid Supervisor of the Puyallup campus of Pierce College.

I have a strong passion for helping students take their next step and helping them change their family tree through Financial Aid. Financial Aid made my education a reality, and I love being a part of changing so many student lives.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I love how the mission of Green River highlights a student focus. Responsive services is the perfect way to describe my view of customer service. There is no one-size-fits-all answer in financial aid. I’m excited to work for a college that has this viewpoint in its DNA.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I love listening to podcasts. A few that are always downloaded on my phone:

America’s Test Kitchen, Revisionist History, Radiolab, This American Life, Freakonomics, Plant Money, Serial, Reply All, and Homecoming

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was at Subway. I started working when I was just 14, which meant I couldn’t touch the ovens. In my interview I made the joke that the witch from Hansel and Gretel might push me into the oven if I were less than 15. I’m confident this sealed my new job for me and got a lot of laughs. I learned a lot of great customer service skills in my time at Subway (and I can make a sandwich in less than a minute).

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am most excited about leading a new team and leveraging technology to help us serve students faster and better. I have great ideas of how we can minimize barriers for students so they can get enrolled faster and have better support while enrolled.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
My goals are to streamline the process of financial aid for students and decrease the processing time.

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

  • My three boys (8, 16, 19) and the great men they are becoming (and, of course, my husband who guides our family so well).
  • Completing my Bachelor Degree while a single mom, working full-time
  • The changes I made at Pierce Puyallup including decreasing processing time and making the financial aid department the friendliest place on campus.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I asked my former staff at Pierce for suggestions: Sunshine, Bubbles, Financial Aid Guru, Smiley, Sparkles, Pollyanna (because I always see a silver lining), SuperSquirrel (Think “squirrel” in the movie UP, always being pulled in multiple directions, but able to navigate it with grace and get everything done).

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
While it isn’t a hidden talent, I love to cook. So I would offer to cater the talent show and let people with real talents perform.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Guiding
Resources
Education
Equity
Nourishing

New Employee Spotlight – Benjamin Orr

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. orr-benjamin

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Welding Instructor Tenure Track – Fall Quarter 2016. After attending Scott Schreiber’s welding class in 2004. I went out in the real world and began my welding career. I worked for many different companies, some fab shops, manufacturing, and repair shops. In 2013 I was offered a chance to teach for a quarter to fill in for Casper Fox. From that moment on I was hooked on teaching. I then became Casper’s instructional aide for about a year and a half. It was at this point I was offered to teach the weekend welding class as an adjunct. Of course I jumped on it. I’ve been teaching the weekend class for a little over a year now. Since 2013 I have maintained two jobs welding Monday-Friday and Teaching Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Needless to say but I’m looking forward to just teaching in the fall of 2016.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I enjoy the people I work with and all the new people I meet each new quarter.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
On the way to work I like to listen to talk radio and news. This keeps me up to date on current events and what’s going on in the world.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was McDonald’s at the age of 16.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Right now it’s getting down to one job and having more time to spend with my wife and kids. However, I’m also excited to take on more responsibilities and help grow the welding program.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
One thing I would love to accomplish is getting the welding robot class up and running.

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

  • My wife,
  • my four kids and
  • my career as a welder/teacher.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I don’t know – something bad, LOL!

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I don’t know. All of my talents are front and center for everyone to see all the time.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
I got nothing for this one sorry.

New Employee Spotlight – Nathanial Thompson

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. thompson-nathanial

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Help Desk- Desktop Support Team. I spent 5 years at Best Buy, I worked my way up from Seasonal Geek Squad to Geek Squad Supervisor, then got promoted to Best Buy corporate and did Competitive Intelligence and Analysis. From there, I worked for a few smaller businesses. Finally, I settled in at a Business-to-Business IT support company and did Tier1 Support, Dispatch and IT Project Management.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I heard wonderful things about how great of a place this was to work and the fantastic opportunities to learn and grow in a positive work environment.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I like to listen to many different kinds of music on my ride to work. Today, I listened to Bruno Mars, Shinedown, Eric Clapton and Jay Z.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked at Wild Waves and operated the Ring-Of-Fire. I transferred to the Games Department and got really good at playing fair/carnival games.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I love the opportunity to help resolve IT issues for employees and learning from the tougher IT issues that come along the way.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I want to get my CCNA Certification: Routing and Switching.

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

  • I am a proud father of 2 wonderful children.
  • I Beat Cancer!!
  • I learned to play the guitar and have performed Live.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Probably NATE! That is one of my common Email signatures coming from a background of working with a lot of other people named Nate and it was an easy way for people to remember which Nate I was.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I would perform standup comedy. I have always enjoyed making people laugh.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Great attitude!
Ready to learn!
Every day have fun while being the best!
Each day brings something new!
Never stop smiling and laughing!

New Employee Spotlight – Michael Macon

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. macon-michael

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I’ve been hired as a Math Tenure Track Instructor. I have a B.A and M.A. in mathematics, and I have about 10 years experience teaching math at the high school and college levels in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I wanted to work in higher education, and was interested in working in Washington state. I scoped out Green River, and loved the campus and people that I met.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to various podcasts or music from my collection–swing jazz, country blues, Bob Dylan etc.

What was the very first job you ever had?
When I was 12 years old I had a job in a local delicatessen in New Jersey, where I grew up. I washed dishes, did mopping, sweeping up, cleaning tables, etc.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am most excited to meet and work with new people, colleagues and students.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I’d love to give each one of my students an exciting learning experience and motivate them to work towards great success in their studies. I would also love to get to know the people and culture at Green River, and see how I can fit in and contribute.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I’m most proud of my family. I’m a pretty good musician. I’ve also cultivated an adventurous and curious mind.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Lefty–I’m left-handed.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I would sing, play piano, guitar & harmonica. I’ve also been known to bust out some dance moves from time to time.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
As my wife often reminds me, “Greatness rarely entails excessive napping.”

New Employee Spotlight – Michael Wood

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. wood-michael

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Hello, my name is Michael A. Wood, and I have just recently been honored by being allowed to accept the new Engineering Tenure Track position at Green River College. I have been teaching since the first year I left Colorado State University nearly 20 years ago. I began by teaching Mathematics for nearly 15 years at which point my wife and I decided to move to the state of Washington where I spent a year teaching High School Mathematics getting my feet on the ground in the new state, and at which point I began teaching I.T. as an adjunct at GRC. During my adjunct time, while I spent a great deal of time teaching in the I.T. Department, I was also privileged to have a chance to work/teach in both the Engineering/Computer Science department and in the Mathematics division.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
After my time teaching High School, I wanted to shake myself up a little bit and try to stretch my abilities some. So I decided to jump outside my comfort zone of teaching Mathematics and try teaching some computer science/IT at a college setting.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I tend to be very involved with learning new stuff, so it tends to be some sort of podcast about current events or scientific ideas. I will also admit to a bit of a nerd/geek leaning, so there might be a gaming podcast mixed in there as well.

On the rare case it is musical, it tends to be something instrumental without words.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first job when I was 16 was working as an I.T. person for my school technology division. I would spend 2-3 hours after school every day driving to various elementary/middle/high schools fixing computers, and then during the summer going around to clean out the computer of all the gum/gunk/dust.  Let me tell you, elementary students can fit some nasty things inside a computer.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am excited to be able to work with several different departments and try to find a way to work/combine the joy of computer science to the other departments.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to be able to work with the IT department and develop an integrated approach to teaching programming that can bridge both departments and increase the shared load of both departments.

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

  1. Marrying my wife,
  2. going back to get my master’s in applied Mathematics while still teaching, and
  3. the advancements made by my former students.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
The Resource”. I tend not to be too vocal during meetings and activities, but I listen to everything and have the ability to recall a great deal of information, so people in the past have come to me to recall what was said at prior meetings.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I honestly don’t know what I would do at a talent show. I would most likely be the one behind the show making sure that everything occurred in an organized manner, keeping the flow going and the acts in line, and then sneaking out before the bows were taken at the end.

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

Giving
Responsibility
Enough for
Every
Need

New Employee Spotlight – Benjamin Coats

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. coats-benjamin

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Aviation Instructor – Tenure Track with fourteen years of teaching experience as an FAA certified flight instructor and three years of experience teaching chemistry and mathematics in community colleges.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I am a product of community colleges, and I wanted to serve the same community that educated me, a high school dropout. Also, the aviation program we have at GRC attracted me to this specific community college.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
SPEED METAL!!! VERY LOUD!!! Overkill, old Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest are some of my favorite bands. I also listen to techno – anything with energy that sounds great when played loud and fast.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I was working two part-time jobs when I was only fourteen. I flipped hamburgers at McDonald’s in Blue Ridge, Georgia during the evenings and weekends, and I was also a roofer for Blue Ridge Roofing in Morganton, Georgia during the weekdays.  I hated both jobs, because they were both very hot environments, and I was constantly sweating.  Plus, my bosses were mean and uneducated, so this initial work experience was great motivation for me to stay in school. 

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
This position provides me with an excellent opportunity to combine my teaching experiences in community colleges with my teaching experiences on airports into a common mission, which is something I have always sought my entire adult life.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I want to fix the VA funding issues we have for students in our department that want to learn how to fly. While the problem of the funding abuse is a nationwide issue, I want GRC to lead the nation in finding and implementing the solution. We owe it to our veterans to resolve this issue, immediately. With the huge worldwide pilot shortage we are facing, I am committed to ensuring that this void is first filled by those who have served our country and protected its freedom before filling this void of professional pilots by only the wealthy. I view this problem as an emergency situation that demands immediate action from our college’s administration and from our politicians, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to get our veterans in the air as soon as possible. I am willing to take on any politician or administrator that opposes this effort and make their resistance political suicide, if necessary, in order to fight for our veterans and their educational goals. Any support you can offer me with this will be greatly appreciated.

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

  1. Earning my BS in Chemistry with Cum Laude honors from a historically black university,
  2. Earning my MA, Liberal Studies while living below the Federal poverty level, and
  3. Earning my pilot & flight instructor certifications and self-funding that burden.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I have been called “Ben-jammin’“ before because it is word play on my full first name, Benjamin, while recognizing my love and talent for music.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Maybe it should exist! Then, I can play the piano for my colleagues. I can play “The Last Date” by Floyd Cramer, “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven, and a few other songs, some of which are my own creation.

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

Giving
Respect to
Everyone
Encourages
Networking

New Employee Spotlights – Xiaoquan “Lily” Ma

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. ma-xiaoqian-lily

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am so excited to become an Engineering Instructor. I got my Ph.D. degree in Materials Engineering and Science in December 2015, so this will be my first job (and hopefully a lifelong job!). During my study toward Ph.D. degree, I have worked as a research assistant and teaching assistant for the Materials and Metallurgical department, and Math department at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. I have taught a wide variety of engineering courses in college and enjoyed it!  

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I met a very nice HR person from Green River College, Mr. Kirk Walker, at a career fair in Seattle, who introduced Green River College to me. After doing some research about the school, I knew I wanted to work here. Not only because it’s a diverse campus, but also the opportunities it provides for professional growth.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
NPR (National Public Radio), which delivers breaking national and world news. Also top stories from business, politics, health, science, technology, music, arts and culture.
KING FM 98.1, classic music.

What was the very first job you ever had?
Research assistant at Graduate School at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The most exciting thing is that I’m not a teaching assistant any more, I will be a teacher! Teaching is the most rewarding job in the world. You get the opportunity to influence someone else’s life and guide them in making the right choices in life. Isn’t that great?

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Students looking forward to taking my classes.

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

  1. a Ph.D.,
  2. a military spouse,
  3. and a mom!

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I will leave it to them to decide.

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

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

Get
Responsibility
Enthusiasm
Energy
Now

New Employee Spotlight – Kara LaValley

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. lavalley-karalynn

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My name is Kara LaValley, and I just recently accepted the Temporary Full-Time Nursing Faculty position. Prior to this, I worked as an adjunct nursing faculty member here at Green River. I graduated from the University of Washington with my Masters in Nursing focusing on Public Health and Nursing Education, and I am currently a Nursing Ph.D. student and a Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholar at the University of Washington. My dissertation focuses on the impact of adverse childhood experiences on neurologic, biophysical and psychosocial development. When I am not teaching and going to school (which is almost never!), I work per diem as a Nursing House Supervisor and a floor nurse in the CCU and the ER at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw.  

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I am a former Green River student! I obtained my AA and completed all of my nursing pre-requisites at Green River while working part-time in the campus bookstore. For me, Green River feels like home. So naturally, when deciding where I wanted to pursue my career in nursing education, Green River was at the top of the list.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
My drive to work in the mornings is relatively short, and I am not known for being a morning person, so oftentimes I actually don’t listen to anything on my drive to work in an attempt to work through my day and wake my brain up. On the drive home, however, I listen to various radio stations, podcasts or my iTunes-depending on my mood. This is my relaxation time!

What was the very first job you ever had?
The first job I had was working in the Women’s Department at Burlington Coat Factory in the Supermall (back when it actually was the Supermall!). I then QUICKLY transferred to the registers where I worked as a Customer Service Manager for 3 years.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I love teaching and I love nursing, this is the best of both worlds! I get to enrich the minds of future nurses and healthcare leaders.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to see the Nursing BSN program become a reality this next year! Nurses are the backbone of healthcare and with the ongoing complex changes to the healthcare system, advanced nursing education is vital to enhancing patient care. It would mean the world to me to be a part of that!

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

  1. Getting into the number one doctoral nursing program in the country (GO UW!) and earning the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholars Award.
  2. Working full-time as a nurse while going to school full-time to obtain my BSN and MN at UW and graduating a 4.0 GPA.
  3. In High School, I was a member of the Jazz and Chamber Choirs at Auburn Sr. High. In the four years that I participated in choir, the school was awarded a Grammy Signature School Award (from the actual Grammy Foundation) each year!

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Giggles-no questions asked. I have a very boisterous and contagious laugh. You always know where I am when you hear me laugh, which is quite often.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
That depends, do you want actual talent or stupid human trick-because I have both! Actual talent, I would sing. Stupid human trick, I can sound exactly like a crying baby…and yes, it is as creepy as it sounds.

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

Giving
Research
Education
E
quality
Nursing

New Employee Spotlight -David Lewis

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. lewis-david3

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

  • I was an automotive technician for GM/Saturn after Graduating from Green River with my AAS in Automotive.
  • For the last 11 years I have been teaching automotive at Kentlake High School.  

What drew you to apply to Green River?
As a student I attended Green River. And I knew they had an excellent automotive program. For the last 5 ½ years I have been teaching night classes, and knew when the opportunity came to go full time, I would apply.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Anything but commercials. Could be talk radio, Rock, Country, or anything but commercials.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I got my first job when I was 14. I delivered newspapers on my bicycle every morning at 4:30am.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am excited to work with adults that are career bound, not students that are only worried about graduating.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
In my first year, I would like to iron out the bugs that come with a new building, and have a seamless transition from the previous instructor to me, the new instructor.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My Children: Carter (6), Beckett (3 ½) and Roslyn (2)

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Many people know me as “Suberdave”:
Suber: I love Subaru’s, and I am active in the Subaru community.
Dave: That’s my first name.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I have no hidden talents.

New Employee Spotlight – Shaunie Decker

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. decker-shaunie

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I have just been hired as the High School Completion Full-Time Instructor, Tenure Track, having taught at Green River for about 3 years.  I began as the first iGrad instructor at the Kent East Hill location and then began teaching GED, ABE and HS21+ on the main campus.  I have been in the community college system for about 10 years working at North Seattle, South Seattle, Renton Tech and finally, here at Green River.  My bachelor’s degree is in social science and my master’s degree is in adult education and distance learning. Teaching is my passion.  It is a privilege to help students achieve their educational goals. I feel fortunate to have a career that brings me so much personal satisfaction.  

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Even before working here, I heard of Green River’s reputation for having a top notch ABE program and once I arrived, I felt immediately at home. Everyone I work with is so supportive and makes this an enjoyable workplace. I feel a sense of comradery with all of the faculty and staff in my department.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I have recently taken up listening to audio books in the car. My favorite read lately was, “The Boys in the Boat”, about the UW rowing team that competed in the 1936 Olympics.   I am also a sucker for a certain radio station known for making prank phone calls.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was dusting shelves at my father’s grocery store when I was 9 years old.   From there, I worked up to butcher’s assistant and finally, cashier.  While it wasn’t always easy to work for my dad (I recall getting fired once in third grade), it instilled in me a strong work ethic.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am looking forward to spending all day, every day, doing what I love.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I want to get on a first name basis with individuals throughout multiple departments on campus.

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

  1. My 3 children
  2. Completing 10 marathons
  3. Achieving the dream of living in Hawaii for a period

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
One of my previous employers dubbed me, “The Bulldog.” Whether that was because of my height, or my tenacity, I am not sure, but it was probably both!

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I can’t say that I have a stage-worthy talent per se, but I do enjoy sewing and have taught many kids in my community how to sew.

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

Gregarious
Runners
Exude
E
nergy
Naturally

New Employee Spotlight – Tiffany Quatmann

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. quatmann-tiffany

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My name is Tiffany Quatmann and I so excited to join the Green River team as one of the new IT Specialist – Systems Administrators. I have just over twelve years of experience working in technology related positions. The last six of those years working in Academia. Most recently I am coming from Arizona State University where I progressively worked as a Systems Analyst. I currently have two undergraduate degrees and I am working on my Bachelors.  

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I am relocating to Washington state and my passion of working in Acadamia lead me to look for work at the surrounding colleges. I feel in love with the campus at Green River College and when I dived a little deeper into the programs offered I knew it was the place for me.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
News. I know. But it is actually a wonderful way to get my brain up and running, thinking critically and preparing for the day.

What was the very first job you ever had?
Subway at Paradise Valley mall in high school. It was amazing opportunity to for a high school student to work at the mall close to home. Although, I cannot eat Subway anymore.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Learning more. This position offers a broader range of opportunities and room for growth.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Completely immerse myself in the community of Green River.

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

  1. Raising a beautiful and loving family.
  2. Going back to college and completing a degree.
  3. Giving back to my community.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Tiffy. That has always been the one I was given.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I would showcase a range of quilting projects that my daughter and I have worked on over the years. Although, I might have to track some of them down.

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

Generating
Renewable
Energy
E
nvironments
Nationwide

New Employee Spotlight – Denise Lee

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. lee-denise

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I’m fresh out of college with my B.A in Financial Economics and a minor in business administration. My new title of Fiscal Analyst 1 is a great beginning to establishing my professional background in Finance.  

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I was initially drawn to Green River by the job posting for the Fiscal Analyst 1 position because I was being selective in my job search and few positions fit my preferred criteria. But once I visited the campus I was further drawn in by the friendly employees, and the over all culture of the college.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
As of day two, I am still listening to the soothing sound of my google maps, and the beautiful rain of the PNW.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first job was working at McDonalds for $8.00/hr in high school.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m most excited to be working and expanding my knowledge and skill set in my field of passion.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to meet new people, and build new relationships.

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

  1. Growing up,
  2. Going to school and
  3. Getting a job.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I have no idea, because I just met them!

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

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

Get
Ready
E
njoy
E
very
Nanosecond

New Employee Spotlight – Tamara Shilipetar

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. shilipetar-tammy3

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I’m honored to be selected for the HR Consultant 3 – Recruiter role. I spent 25 years at Boeing, 16 years of which were in recruiting. I have a passion for building relationships and developing lasting friendships.  

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I was looking to make a difference in college-age students.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I flip through music channels. Old school and current! (no country).

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked at a daycare – 3 year olds.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The diversity of the partners and customers.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Understand how things work and make a positive impact.

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

  1. My Son.
  2. My love and support for my extended family.
  3. My work at KentHOPE.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Hmmmmmm, hard one- “Tam” I guess.

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

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

Gifted
Relationships
E
veryone
E
nriched
Namaste

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

New Employee Spotlight – Donald Kumpula

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.
Kumpala, Donald

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

I’m Don Kumpula and I’m the new Lead Accountant in the Business Office. Prior to coming to Green River, I was a Fiscal Specialist at the University of Washington in the Department of Family Medicine. I have worked in State Government for a number of years, including auditing positions in the State Auditor’s Office and Employment Security. I was also a Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher!

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I love working in an educational environment in support of students and the community. Specifically, I was drawn to Green River by the good things I have heard about the college.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Well, I have to get used to commuting alone again. I used to take the bus and I would spend the morning chatting with my “bus” friends. In my car, I listen to pop radio stations; I love to hear those traffic reports.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked as a dishwasher in Rogers-Orton Dining Hall at Washington State University.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I love learning, so it is exciting to learn new systems and processes. I also look forward to getting to know my coworkers.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
My short-term goal is to remember all of the names! I hope to become a valuable part of my office and the Green River community as a whole.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I’m proud that I had the courage to get my Master’s in Teaching, it has made me a better person. Because of this I’m more confident and motivated.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
They are already talking about my nickname! There are too many Dons/Dawns in the Business Office. I think I would have to choose DK, because the alternatives are not very appealing (Donald, Donk, Don Juan…).

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I pretty much lack talent. However, I can milk a cow!

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

Green
River
Educational
Excellence
Nomination

New Employee Spotlight – Nicky Khai

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.

Khai, Sokcheath (Nicky)
Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.

I’m your new HR Consultant 3 for Green River College. Over the past 13 years, I’ve been at Seattle Central College working in Human Resources.  I specialize in part time faculty leave and serving employees on many capacities (onboarding, compensation, recruitment, payroll etc.). Way back before my HR profession, I was an academic advisor.  I have a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic & Labor Studies.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The commute time and of course my wonderful soon to be co-workers (Amazing HR profiles)!

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
It all depends on what’s on the radio, but I usually listen to KOMO radio –I try to keep up   with the news.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job ever was at KFC. I think food was my motivator! Who doesn’t love fried food?

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I look forward to learning from my co-workers and getting to enjoy the beautiful green campus!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Hard question. Ask me a year from now. The first year, I like to learn as much as I can    about my position and do a great job. Hopefully from there I can help faculty and staff.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I’m a problem solver – anytime I can help someone find an answer, learn or smile, it’s always an accomplishment.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
Nicknack – because I like to bring snacks to work and share with my coworkers.

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

Great to be alive
Ready to learn
Evolving always
Everyday
Never, never, give up! (Winston Churchill)

 

 

 

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!

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

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.

New Employee Spotlight – Aaron Casad

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.

I am one of the Program Coordinators in the Assessment and Testing Center. I have a professional background in information technology and administrative management.

Casad, Aaron

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I have always loved being apart of Green River’s community whether that be when I was here as a student and when I worked here part time. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to work at Green River as a full time employee!

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

I listen to all different types of music but I usually listen to the radio which consists of 106.1, 92.5, and 93.3 FM.

What was the very first job you ever had?

The first job I ever had was while I was in high school and I was a catering assistant at Longhorn Barbecue.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I get to interact with new and current student’s everyday and help anybody on campus with any testing needs!

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

Bring a positive and relaxed environment for any and all testers in the testing center!

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

  • Graduating Green River College with my Associate Arts Degree
  • Graduating from Central Washington University with my Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Getting a job at Green River College fulltime!!!

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

Griz as in Grizzly because I’m a grown up teddy bear!

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

Building a computer or making banana bread!

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

Greatness

Requires

Endless

Effort

Naturally

New Employee Spotlight – Aileen Arsenio

Arsenio, AileenWe’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.

My new title is Program Coordinator for the Career and Advising Services. I have about 2 years of experience working in student services at Olympic College, first as an Office Assistant for the Multicultural and Student Programs, and later as the Program Assistant for Tutoring Services. Both jobs really solidified my passion to provide students with the essential resources they need to be successful during their time in college.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

When I saw that Green River Community College was hiring for a Program Coordinator in their Career and Advising Services office, I knew I had to apply because I hope to one day become an academic advisor. I knew this would be a great way to get a little taste of the advising life!

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

I can literally listen to anything, but when I’m in the car, it MUST be something I can either sing to or wiggle to (because dancing is dangerous when you’re driving). I do have a “no skip” rule on anything *NSYNC, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Adele, and Beyoncé.

What was the very first job you ever had?

Being the oldest cousin/sibling, my first paying job was babysitting my cousins and siblings, starting at the age of 11. It was a sweet $40 a week!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I think the most exciting thing is being able to meet students in all stages of their academic careers, whether it be students just starting their journey, to those coming back to school to broaden their horizons. It’s always cool listening to someone’s stories and helping them reach their goals and dreams!

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

By the end of my first year, I would like to be a jack of all trades in the office, to the point where my coworkers and even students are comfortable enough to know that they can ask me for help.

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

Three of my biggest accomplishments in life are: Being the first to graduate college in my family, being recognized by my peers for my hard work and leadership, and I promise I am not just saying this, but getting this job was an accomplishment because it’s my first full-time position!

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

I’m going to go ahead and say “Foodie” because yes, I am that girl that posts pictures of her food; I also love to bake and cook.

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

I am not the greatest, but I love to sing and play my ukulele

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

Growing, Resourceful, Equitable, Environmental, Nurturing

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!

New Employee Spotlight -Heidi Sheneberger

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.Sheneberger, Heidi

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

I am the Interim Full-Time Adult Basic Education Faculty, taking Anne Dolan’s position while she is the Interim Basic Skills Director.  I’ve been adjunct at GRC for almost 10 years, and was a classroom aid here in a GED classroom for 2 years before that.  My M.Ed. is from Seattle University’s Adult Education and Training program, so I specialize in teaching a diverse adult student population a broad range of topics.  I’ve also worked at a couple other schools, but for the last two years, GRC has kept me pretty busy, so I’ve been very lucky.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Green River has always been a part of my life.  I grew up a mile away, and I would come do research at the library for assignments for school because it was closer to my house than my school’s or the public libraries.  Then, I was a student here before transferring to Central Washington University.  One of my first jobs after earning my B.A. was back here at Green River as a classroom aid, and then, once I had my master’s degree, I got hired as an adjunct.  Green River is one of the few safe places in the world for me.

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

I used to live 57 miles away, so I’d listen to NPR, books on tape, and calming music on stressful traffic days.  But now I live about 8 minutes away, so I really don’t have time to listen to anything.  I totally love it!!

What was the very first job you ever had?

At 14, I got a job as the Fat Quarter Girl at my mom’s friend’s quilt shop here in Auburn, The Calico Cat.  But pretty soon, I taught myself how to run the cash register, because cutting and folding fat quarters got old really quick.  I worked there after school and on holidays and weekends for almost 11 years.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I’m always excited every quarter to get back in the classroom and work with students, regardless of position.  Adult Basic Education has such a direct impact on student’s lives, so it is always rewarding.  I’m also excited to help grow GRC’s High School 21+ program further, and help develop the capacity to start awarding students high school diplomas in a new and innovative way.

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

As a former adjunct, I’d love to establish an adjunct mentorship and orientation process to our program, so adjuncts feel included and valued here.  Each school they teach at is different, and I feel it’s important that they know where to turn to ask questions that are Green River-ABE-program-specific.

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

First, I’m very proud of my education.  I worked very hard to get where I am, and I believe I’m a better teacher because school didn’t always come easy to me.  I can commiserate with students if they struggle, and I remember what it feels like to be challenged.  Second, I have had clothing that I’ve designed, pattern-drafted, and constructed accepted into juried, international textile shows, and I’m very proud of that.  Lastly, I’ve lived through some very difficult, “out-of-order” events in my life.  I realize I’m not the only one to have done this, but again, I think it allows me to identify with my students’ difficult, and often tragic, life situations.

Also, my dad worked here in the bookstore for ten years after he retired from teaching elementary school.  When he died suddenly in 2001, my family established the John C. Sheneberger Memorial Scholarship here with the Green River Foundation.  I am extremely proud that every year, a student here at GRC can attend school with a little less debt, thanks to this scholarship.  :)

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

I have no idea, but hopefully it would be something that would reflect my hard work and happy attitude with students. J  Sometimes, people call me D, because then it’s easier to say hello = “Hi D!!”  (Get it??  Because my name is Heidi??  Get it??)

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

I can rock a karaoke mic like nobody’s business.  And I quilt, but that would be difficult and boring to watch in a talent show…

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

This is a tough one.  If it’s about the school, I’d say something like:  Generate Rigorous and Energetic (classes for) Engaged (student) learNing, but that’s definitely a stretch…I’d have to think about it a little bit longer.

New Employee Spotlight – Lady Ivory Boyd

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.Boyd, Lady Ivory

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

Hello everyone. I’m Lady Ivory Boyd, and I am excited to join the team of professional staff at Green River College and fill the position of Educational Planner. Prior to joining Green River, I have served professionally in higher education in various capacities. A few of my recent professional endeavors include serving as Academic Advisor for the College of Health Sciences at Boise State University, Assistant Director/Senior Program Advisor for University of New Mexico’s TRIO McNair Scholars and Research Opportunity Programs, and Senior Lead Admissions Advisor at Trident University International. Prior to these positions, I served in roles of advising and program coordinating for the Department of Psychology and the Career Opportunities in Research (NIMH-COR) Program at California State University Long Beach. I also assisted in teaching introductory statistics for the social sciences at Cerritos Community College. Other professional roles I have served outside of higher education include working as a paraprofessional mental health counselor, certified women’s domestic violence facilitator, K-12 tutor, and working with special needs youth as a behavioral therapist and Y-inclusion facilitator for the YMCA.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

When I first researched Green River’s mission statement, departments, programs, student demographics, and published articles from staff members and leaders via the college website; I got a clear sense that collectively, there was a strong spirit of collaboration across the board to work together to engage students and help them achieve academic success. This sense of community is centered on compassionate student service, which is reflected in Green River’s motto “Think Student-Then Decide.” Because I share the same core values of serving the best interest of each individual student; I was naturally drawn to the community at Green River College. Today, I am honored to have this opportunity to join the Green River team, and I look forward to working together via innovative collaboration with the staff and students at Green River to help improve our community through academic excellence.

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

Air 1 Positive Hits

What was the very first job you ever had?

Cashier at KFC

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am most excited about collaborating with awesome and compassionate staff at Green River, and work together with our wonderful students to help them discover their potential and achieve their goals.

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

I want to learn from as many staff and students as much as possible so I can get to know my students and best serve their needs.

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

From a professional career perspective, I would say #1 is using my education to give back by serving others in a way that helps them grow personally and professionally. I would not be in a position to help others today without having received support from others myself, as I persevered through some of the most challenging moments of my academic career. Which leads me to # 2, when I earned my academic degrees (from high school to graduate school), and #3 earning scholarships/awards and or job offers/promotions I applied for and worked hard to achieve.

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

“Max’s mom,” because I have a sweet, calm and loving golden fur child that I was allowed to bring to work; he would follow me around, quietly curl up under my desk, or bring joy to my colleagues who needed a stress break, and even help with program outreach/recruitment at tabled events.

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

I like to dance, write poetry and songs. I can sing my songs but I’m not that good of a singer.

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

Give unconditional love and Respect even when you agree to disagree, in order to build Enriching relationships that Empower and Nurture a positive environment.

New Employee Spotlight – Jacqueline Li

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.Li, Jacqueline

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

Hello! I have recently joined the Green River team as an International Student Advisor. Before Green River, I was spending half my time in the US and half in Taiwan, working to start and run a test prep and college counseling academy in Taiwan. I recently completed a Master’s in Educational Leadership at Penn GSE.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I’m interested in working with international students and cultural exchange, so this position was really my idea of a perfect fit, at least career-wise! I then learned about Green River’s excellent and expansive International Programs department, and met the wonderful advising team at Green River, and knew that this would be a great, supportive, and educational place to work. I’ve only been proven right!

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

Japanese pop or the top hits on the radio. My latest favorite is Shut Up and Dance!

What was the very first job you ever had?

Very first “job” was probably babysitting my younger brother, but my first job with a paycheck was working at the Coldstone Creamery in the mall by my house during high school. I was promoted to Manager after a few months and managed to save a lot of money for college!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I can’t wait to start meeting and forming relationships with students. The students here all seem wonderful, and I’ve found that one of the best things about working in education is that the students continue to amaze year after year. You’ll think you had the best year/experience possible, but the students continue to top that time after time! I’m also excited to be working with such passionate, friendly, happy people in IP Advising!

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

My goal is to help students succeed, whatever that might mean for them and their families. I’d love to be successful at helping as many students as I can. A personal project that I’d like to build is a whole wall of college banners – my goal is to form close relationships with my students, and hopefully assist them to have a transformational time here at Green River; then after they successfully transfer, I hope students will send me banners from their new institutions, which I will display proudly around my office.

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

I come from a low-income family, and neither of my parents attended college. Matriculating into and graduating from college, especially from a school like Harvard, is a huge accomplishment for me. I also had a very rough relationship with my parents growing up; resolving my differences with my dad and building a closer relationship with him is another big accomplishment. Lastly, having the courage to follow my interests, into education, graduate school in education, and now here to Green River also makes me so happy. I faced a lot of pressure to pursue a more lucrative or stable, etc. career, but working with international students and in education makes me happier than anything else!

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

If I were to choose… Hermione! I love Harry Potter and Hermione (and Emma Watson!) is my favorite. I admire her brains, loyalty, and bravery!

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

I love arts and crafts. Perhaps I could make some classy invitations or inspirational posters (I do calligraphy!) for the event, or put together some larger display pieces!

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

Grin Revel Enchant Encourage (Experiment) Now!

New Employee Spotlight -Adam Waters

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.Waters, Adam

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

This year I started as the new full time Professor for the Design and Drafting department at Green River. I’ve been formally trained as an educator and as a drafter. When I was younger, I spent the time studying Electro-mechanical engineering until I discovered I was much more passionate about helping others reach their potential. I transitioned to teaching and that has become a focal point of my life. I spent a few years in teaching math in Arizona but grew disillusioned with the rigors of state testing and moved to Spain to teach English to adults. Though the change was motivating, I returned and started a new career, walking down a familiar pathway, as a drafter. And now, I’m excited to start my new path here as a Professor at Green River.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

It was an obvious choice to apply to Green River. The Drafting program is one of the best in the Pacific Northwest and I loved the atmosphere around the school. Everyone has been friendly, helpful and dedicated to making the school a better place for the students. This is exactly the environment that I have been looking for in a career.

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

I bounce back and forth between keeping up with news on NPR, comedy stations on Pandora, or listening to a song I can’t get out of my head over and over and over again, ad nauseam.

What was the very first job you ever had?

When I was 13 (or possibly 12) I worked as a water slide attendant just across from the beach in Rhode Island. Even though it was exciting to say “Go, stay tucked” repeatedly, while the hot sun and warm chlorinated water rejuvenated my skin, I didn’t think the ‘all clear’ whistle really rounded out my full potential.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The most exciting piece of the new position is the having the ability to interact with many people and help them get back up and on their own feet. The drafting program has an excellent track record of getting students trained and out into the workforce with the tools they need to succeed. I’m excited about helping them achieve what will make them happy.

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

I’d like to start with small goals before expanding to larger long term goals. I’m very interested in collaborating with other departments around campus to integrate the technology in our department with others design ideas to facilitate the critical thinking skills required of our students in the real world. Though this is also a long term goal, I plan to network and begin these conversations this year.

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

I’m proud that this is the most difficult question that I have to answer on this “New Employee” Interview. My father never raised me to be a boastful human being and this has stuck with me, possibly even to a detriment. However I’m most proud that I was able to save his life from cancer with a critical bone marrow transplant, an act I will never forget.

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

I’ve never had a nickname in my life that’s stuck for more than a few weeks or with more than 1 person. I’m not opposed to nicknames but I would have no idea what I would give myself.

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

As I’ve done for most of the talent shows in my life, I would likely sit on the back of the stage and bang out a good rhythm on the drum set while some other very talented people ‘wow the crowd’ with classic 80’s hair band style guitar poses.

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

“Tonight on Master Chef, G.R.E.E.N!” – Gordon Ramsey effectively eats nougat.

Or if you meant it to be more about Green River:

Green River:  Generating Renowned Energetic Erudite Nerds

New Employee Spotlight – Sarah Edwards

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.Edwards, Sarah

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

I’m now full-time faculty in the math department. I’ve spent the last five years as an adjunct here at Green River, and before that I spent a year in Honduras teaching sixth grade to middle schoolers (in English, although my Spanish also got much better during that year!).

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I’d already spent five years here in a great and very supportive department, so applying for a full-time position was the next natural step.

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

On the ride in, nothing, because I am still waking up. On the ride home, usually either the classical station or a podcast. Right now I’m working through one called Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men – if you ever wanted someone to guide you through the ridiculousness that is the X-Men comics universe, I recommend it!

What was the very first job you ever had?

Subway! I still know exactly how many meatballs and pieces of cheese go on a six-inch

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I’m excited to be more involved in my department. We’ve got great people in the math division, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of them and being more in the thick of things.

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

Walk down to the river at least once a week while the weather is nice. I keep meaning to go, and then I never do.

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

Being the first person in my family to finish a bachelor’s degree, writing a science fiction story that was selected for a best-of-the-year anthology, and teaching in Honduras for a year.

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

Sara without the H. It’d be very easy for everyone to remember, and it’d be stealthy, because no one except us would realize it was a nickname at all.

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

I would give a brief lecture entitled Simple HTML as a Relaxation Technique.

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

Gallivanting Reindeer Endeavor Ever North

New Employee Spotlight – John Falconer

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.Falconer, John

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

I am an ABE Instructor working in High School Completion in the TS&W Division. I was a career technical translator (Japanese/Russian to English) and returned to teaching about seven years ago at an area college as an I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training) instructor in phlebotomy. In September 2014, I became an ABE instructor at that same college, coordinating a budding HS21+ program.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

A colleague worked here as an adjunct several years ago and I heard many good things about GRC from her. The beautiful national-park-like setting and hiking trails also make coming to work something I look forward to every day.

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

For Spanish language ear-training, I like to listen to La Gran D (99.3 FM), but when I get out of range, I tune to NPR (88.5 or 94.9 FM) to keep up with current events.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I was a paperboy in rainy Portland, Oregon.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The students, my colleagues and the opportunities for personal and professional growth. There are currently many exciting changes on the horizon in the area of High School Completion.

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

Get to know my students, my colleagues and departmental procedures thoroughly so that I can be most effective helping students to plan out and complete high school and transition to a program or career pathway.

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

My wife, my two sons and my new position here at the college.

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

They already have! We have too many people with the same first name, so I have become “Falconer” or “Falcon” in the TS&W Division.

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

Once upon a time, I was fairly serious about the Japanese bamboo flute (shakuhachi), an instrument that is used to produce long, slow tones for meditation. I could play a couple of melodies from the Tozan repertoire.

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

Give                                        Green

Real                                        River

Excellence,                            Environment:

Enthusiastically                    Endlessly

Now!                                       New

New Employee Spotlight – Nelson Phouphokone

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.Phouphakone, Nelson2

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

I am a One-Year Temporary Math Instructor.  I got my Bachelor in Electrical Engineering at University of Washington and my Master in Mathematics at Washington State University.  I am working as a part-time instructor after I got my Master degree.  When I was a part-timer, I worked for North Seattle College, South Seattle College, Highline College and of course, Green River College.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I have been working as a part-time instructor for Green River College for 9 years.  I love the environment around the school.  Sometimes, I would walk on the trail in the forest.  However, I love the most is the atmosphere of the Math department.  When I come to work, I don’t feel like I go to a working place.  I feel like I am coming back home.  Everyone is like a family.

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

I like listening to Chinese songs and the radio, 106.9.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I was a PC technician.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I think the most exciting thing about the job is I could have a lot of time to know my students and to help them when they needed me.

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

I would like to learn how to be a full time instructor.

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

Receiving my Master degree

Marrying with my wife

Being a Math instructor

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

Polo man, since I love to wear a Polo shirt.

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

I could be a singer.

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

Green River Excellent Education iNstitution

New Employee Spotlight – Ian Sherman-Youngblood

Sherman-Youngblood, Ian3We’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.

I’m a tenure-track English instructor. Currently I work at Olympic College as a tenured English instructor and coordinator of the English discipline. I have been there for eight years–it was my first full-time teaching job, though I taught as an adjunct for a few years, including here at Green River.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

My commute to OC was coming to feel more and more taxing. In addition, I’d been snapped up into leadership positions requiring of me greater and greater presence on campus. It was a really unmanageable combination.

I ran into Jaeney Hoene and some other GRCC staff and faculty at a Community College Humanities Association conference, and she mentioned the new position opening in English. I always looked back fondly upon my time at GRCC, so I applied when the opportunity arose.

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

I’ve been doing a ferry commute for eight years and I usually don’t listen to anything–I read or grade. This will be my first real car commute in over a decade, so it’s time to invest in some equipment. I’m told Amazon has a service that coordinates ebooks with audiobooks–that sounds lovely! Otherwise, blues and soul.

What was the very first job you ever had?

Digging something, but I don’t remember what, for a neighbor. In terms of jobs not paid with pocket change, I processed returns at Toys R Us. I sent broken toys to their deaths, popping a giant yellow “TO BE DESTROYED” sticker on the side of the box. No joke. I’m sure they recycle now.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

In my interview, I asked the panel to talk about the overall feeling of the English division–everyone had something to say, and all of it sounded so welcoming.

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

I have been working on a few article ideas–one on mindfulness in the classroom, and one on native English speakers’ attitudes to their language–and I would like to use the reflective space that the tenure process creates to try to research and write these.

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

You all don’t pull any punches, do you? OK.

1) As I’m from a town of 150 people in Northern Nevada, I’m very proud that I got out–and ended up spending two years teaching abroad (in Russia and Turkey).

2) I’m very proud of all I accomplished at Olympic–I leave there knowing they are in a better place than when I arrived.

3) I am part of a beautiful, complicated, and unique family–my husband and I are both donor fathers to the same couple. Our boys are each related to us in turn, but they are also brothers–they have the same birth mother. We are part of their lives, and our big, complicated family is so beautiful.

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

Nope. Nicknames are earned, never self-generated. You all will have to answer this one for me!

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

I do a mean karaoke rendition of “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” by Georgia Satellites.

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

An acronym for a team of super villains: Get Rid of Each and Every Nice guy.

An acronym for an unusually strict Japanese-ish diet plan: Garlic, Ramps, Eel, Enoki, and Natto. Actually, except for the natto, that sounds delicious.

An acronym for an overly-concerned mother’s note to her daughter, of poor eyesight, leaving home for the first time: Get Regular Eye Exams, Nancy!

New Employee Spotlight – Geoff Palmer

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.Palmer, Geoff3

I am happy to report that I am a full time tenure-track faculty in Sociology. I began teaching college classes in Sociology at the University of Washington in 2010 and I have been teaching at North Seattle College since 2012. I am ecstatic to bring that experience to work for the students at Green River College.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Green River College has a strong reputation for collegiality and a dedication to student success. These values harmonize strongly with my own, and so when I saw that a position opened I had to apply.

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

The answer to this changes all the time because I’m a big fan of variety. Sometimes I listen to the morning news, other times I switch on the Wolf to hear some country pop, and other times I dig deep into the archives to bring some James Brown or some Charles Mingus to the morning ride. When I’m feeling indecisive, I let Pandora do the selecting for me. The one song that will never, ever, ever play during my morning commute is John Cage’s 4’33”.

What was the very first job you ever had?

My first paid position was at Dick’s Drive-In in Seattle on Holman Road. My first task was bun-sorting.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

One of my favorite things to do is to meet new people and share ideas, experiences, and stories. So far, I’ve found the folks at Green River to be most excellent, and I can’t wait to meet and work with all the other students, staff, administration and faculty!

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

This is a tough question because there are a lot of things I would like to do. That being said, a primary goal of mine is to learn about the population at GRC and fine-tailor my curriculum to meet your needs. Sociology is all about the study of the relationship between individuals and society, and I want to make this subject fascinating by connecting it to your lives.

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

Hmmm…another tough question. I don’t always think in terms of pride, but if I had to choose, I would say that the three accomplishments that engender the most pride for me are (not in order) placing third in my age bracket at the Nintendo World Championships Seattle, earning the Master’s Degree, and being selected for the job at Green River College!

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

Oh my gosh. I have no idea. Can I check back in with you in a month? I bet that I’ll have a nickname by then.

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

I would have to play my own interpretation of Disney’s A Whole New World on my guitar. I’d sing both parts.

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

I think GREEN is an acronym for many things ranging from political to business groups. That being said, if I had to make something up off the cuff, I would go with Graze Right: Eat Excess Nutella!

New Employee Spotlight – Josh Archer

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.Archer, Josh2

I am an Information Technology Instructor in Software Development. My research interests include algorithm analysis, graph theory, data structure design, database design and web development.

I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science. After finishing my degree I worked for four years as a web developer for Highline College working on their English as a Second Language (ESL) website. I also taught full-time at Highline for four years, teaching their beginning classes in Java, introduction to Computer Science and Web Development courses

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I heard that Green River has fantastic people working in their IT Department! I’ve known one of them for four years!

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

I listen primarily to talk radio or once in a while an audio-book. I don’t spend much time listening to music.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I had a paper route in Lakewood WA. It was dangerous at times! (ask me about this)

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I will get the opportunity to teach Bachelor’s level classes in software design!

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

I want to get to know my department and the students in our Bachelor’s program. I also want to get to know the layout of Campus. I feel lost so far!

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

  1. Finishing my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree!
  2. Meeting and marrying my wife!
  3. Becoming a teacher and realizing that this is really where my heart is!

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

I already have a nickname “Archer.” This is because we have another Josh in our division.

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

I can play guitar pretty well!

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

G- Graduating!

R- Ready!

E- Energetic!

E- Eager!

N- Networking!

 Good attributes to have when searching for a software development position!

New Employee Spotlight – Rebeka Ferreira


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. Ferreira, Rebeka3

Hello, my name is Rebeka Ferreira and I have just been hired as the new full-time tenure-track Philosophy Instructor beginning Fall 2015. I studied philosophy and received my Master’s degree from San Francisco State University in 2012 where I primarily focused on traditional, religious, and virtue epistemology as well as philosophy of religion. Prior to being hired full-timer, I taught as an adjunct instructor of philosophy here at Green River for three years; as well as at Highline College, South Seattle College, Oregon Institute of Technology, and South Puget Sound Community College (sometimes all at once).

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Green River, by far, has the most extensive course offerings in philosophy at the junior college level. This along with the number of relationships I have made over the course of my adjunct career made Green River very appealing.

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

My radio is broken :( one of the first things to fix with a new salary.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I waited tables towards the end of high school and all through college: at El Camino Community College in southern California, as well as through undergrad and graduate school in San Francisco.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am very passionate about reinvigorating the relevance of philosophy (as well as the Humanities more generally) in people’s everyday lives as well as academic pursuits. I would like to utilize the pedagogical resources available to full-time faculty to assist in pursuit of this goal.

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

I would like to see enrollment in philosophy courses grow to point that we are no longer cancelling classes (and in the future I would like to see the department offer more courses than we already do).

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

Having worked full-time through college to the extent that I paid my own way without having to take out any student loans, having earned my master’s degree and continuing my education at the University of Washington (when I have the time), and having been hired full-time after four years of teaching at numerous colleges.

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

Not sure, maybe smiley. 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 can do the worm… but that is about it :)

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

G – great faculty and staff

R – reactive to change

E – energetic campus

E – enthusiastic students

N – noteworthy programs

New Employee Spotlight – Marshall Jeffries

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.

Employee-MarshallJeffriesPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.

My name is Marshall Jeffries, and I am the newly appointed instructor of sociology. I am also known as Oninewa Itai (Stands Strong), “Itai” (ee-tie-ee) for short. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2009 at Guilford College, a small, Quaker liberal arts college in North Carolina. I went on to pursue a Master’s and Doctorate in Sociology at Georgia State University in Atlanta. I completed my PhD coursework and qualifying exams in 2013, and I am currently working toward the completion of my dissertation. My scholarly interests are in the topics of race studies, American Indian studies, colonialism and culturally accountable institutional practices. I have taught undergraduate sociology since 2013. I love being in the classroom! I have additional professional experience working with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Association of Chronic Disease Directors through the Tribal Support Office and the Traditional Foods Program (a collaboration with American Indian Nations and organizations).

What drew you to apply to Green River?

If I were given the ultimate power to create an ideal professional home for my motivations, values, teaching philosophy and personal interests, it might look something like Green River College. Foremost, I am looking for a place to grow and expand into an excellent teacher. For me, this involves creating a learning environment where students from multiple cultural backgrounds and life experiences can excel. This also involves conscious and impassioned mentoring and engagement with students inside and outside of the classroom. Because of the unique student body and the commitments made by GRC administration and faculty, I believe that GRC is a place where these ideals can manifest into realities. Additionally, I am originally from a rural area and enjoy my time outdoors. For that reason, I quickly fell in love with the natural beauty and splendor of this magical campus.

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

I am a total NPR nerd. 80 percent of the time you will catch me listening to that. When I am not tuned in to NPR, I am mostly likely listening to Indy bands that no one has ever heard of.

What was the very first job you ever had?

At the age of 16, I took my first job folding clothes and cleaning restrooms at the Old Navy clothing store in Durham, North Carolina. Each job that I have held has taught me something useful. That job, in particular, helps me relate to the many students working low-wage jobs while taking classes.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The potential to build constructive relationships with students is the most exciting thing about this new position. Some of the students may be in the process of completing high school, some earning transfer credits, and others looking for terminal options. Regardless of the end goal, the discipline of sociology has the potential to change lives (I can personally attest to this). I want to create educational experiences that are truly trans-formative and participate in and witness this transformation in the lives of students from all walks of life.

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

A solid goal for my first year is to connect and foster relationships with my fellow faculty at GRC. If the faculty community is strong, the students will benefit from that. I look forward to the friendships that can be made here.

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

1) I am the first in my family to go to college. I did not stop until I had earned a doctorate. This required a great deal of persistence (and debt!) but was truly worth it.

2) I have surrounded myself with a network of diverse, educated (in all senses of the word), and compassionate people that offer mutual support and guidance. I am keenly aware of the fact that when I enter a situation, professional or otherwise, I have them with me.

3) I have been able to finish graduate school and move in to the professional world without losing my passion and drive. I am every bit as motivated to creating change through the conscious application of sociology as I was when I first committed my life to the discipline.

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

I don’t know, but it might involve hot tea! I love hot tea, and I offer a hot tea tray for students who visit my office. Perhaps it is my southern hospitality, but I believe if you can offer food and drink to someone, you form a bond and level of comfort that is difficult to achieve otherwise.

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

Though I do not generally consider this to be a “talent,” I am one of a handful of people that speaks the Tutelo-Saponi language, an Indigenous Siouan dialect. If I were to appear in this talent show, I would probably fly my sister here and we would do a Tutelo song together.

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

Growing Responsible Educated Existences Now

New Employee Spotlight – Clay Donley

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.

Employee-ClaryDonleyPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.

My official title is Retail Clerk Lead, but my job is mostly shipping, receiving and internet sales.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

“Bookstore” was in the job listing! Also, I thought it would be fun to work around the energy of a college campus.  It didn’t hurt that GRC is close to my home too.

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

My I-pod mostly.  Sometimes talk radio or a pop music station though.

What was the very first job you ever had?

I was 15 years old and got hired to paint barracks on a military base in the Azores, Portugal.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

The wide variety of people that I get to meet every day!

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

I just want to have a positive impact in my work place while helping the many students I see each day.

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

Raising 2 wonderful children with my wife, getting them into college, owning and remodeling my home.

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

“Cheesehead” maybe?  Because I am a big fan of the Green Bay Packers

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

I happen to be pretty good at archery.

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

Generous Resourceful Enthusiastic Energetic Nice

New Employee Spotlight – Sonia Ramirez

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.

Ramirez SoniaI am the new Progress and Completion Advisor in the Career & Advising Center. My specialty is to provide educational and support services to students with educational and/or personal goals.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

The opportunities it could offer for personal and professional growth.

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

I listen to the radio or to a playlist of different genres.

What was the very first job you ever had?

When I was nine, I used to run errands for people in my neighborhood. I got paid in tips.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

There are too many things I’m excited for this new position. If I had to pick only one would be meeting new people (staff/students).

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

Make a positive impact on students’ lives.

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

Education, home ownership, and my path to citizenship.

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

Icebreaker :) I facilitate icebreakers, energizers, and fun group activities.

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

Good at Zumba :)

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

Getting Ready to Educate and Empower our Nation

New Employee Spotlight – Jordan Tjoelker

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.

Jordan TjoelkerI am the new Bookstore Manager Assistant. Previously I was a manager for McLendon Hardware, a local home improvement store.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

I liked the idea of working at a college, surrounded by people who are trying to improve their lives.

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

I listen to rock, alternative, and folk rock. I tend to switch between whatever local stations are not playing commercials. I sing badly daily, Carpoolers beware.

What was the very first job you ever had?

Starting the summer when I was 13 I picked berries during the day and loaded hay at night.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am looking forward to getting to know the team at the bookstore. I have been working for quite awhile in the home improvement business and am ready to try something else.

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 like to take a class or two.

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

I am lucky to have found my soul mate in junior high and we have been together for 15 years, I put a new engine in my car with only videos from YouTube and online discussion forums, and I make some pretty awesome tacos.

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

Captain Hammer, I’m good at fixing stuff, I’m here to save the day.

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

I enjoy building and gardening. I would build and plant a garden box.

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

Reading Encourages Excellent Nerdfighters.

New Employee Spotlight – Chase Magliocca

Magliocca, ChaseWe’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.

My new title at Green River College is Educational Planner. I have been working in higher education for 5 years. Most recently I held the title of Program Specialist for the 13th Year Promise Scholarship program at South Seattle College where I supported high school seniors from South’s feeder high schools through the college’s enrollment process and throughout their first year at South. In 2014, I obtained my M.Ed in Educational Leadership & Policy from the University of Washington.

What drew you to apply to Green River?

Although I didn’t attend a community college, after working at a community college and as a first-generation college student, I recognize and value the mission and role of the community college in the United States. They provide accessible education and support to a diverse range of students, including traditionally underrepresented student populations within higher education.

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

I listen to music on either my phone or the radio. I’m always listening to 90s throwbacks.

What was the very first job you ever had?

My first job was as a night stocker at a pet store when I was in high school.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am most excited about joining a dynamic team of professionals at Green River where we can collaborate in helping students achieve their educational goals.

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

I enjoy program development and would love to help build upon the work that advising is already doing or to develop new programming that would support student success

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

1) Being the first in my family to attend college and to obtain a bachelors and masters degree.

2) Traveling for 8 months through South America and Asia by myself.

3) Having a great circle of friends and family over the years.

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

My office nickname would be something along the lines of “neat-freak” because my workspace is always organized and I am probably borderline OCD.

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

Unfortunately I don’t have any exciting hidden talents, but I can stare for a really long time without blinking

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

Genuine, Respectful, Equitable, Excellence, Noble

New Employee Spotlight – Shirley Bean

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.

Shirley BeanPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am joining Green River as Vice President for Business Administration. I have 23 years of experience in the community and technical college system in Washington, in the areas of budget, finance, payroll, purchasing, facilities, and auxiliary services. I am coming to Green River from Highline College, where I have served as the college’s Director of Finance and Auxiliary Services since 2006.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
A number of things contributed to my decision to apply; certainly a key reason was the great reputation that Green River has in our system. Along with that, it was sort of the perfect job that came along at the perfect time – a perfect fit with my values, my skills and my career goals. And the best part was the opportunity to join a stellar group of colleagues doing important work in support of student success.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I have always had a fairly long commute, so this is an important consideration for me.  In no particular order: E Street Radio or Little Steven’s Underground Garage (satellite radio); KPLU (jazz and local NPR station); my iPod, which features an eclectic mix of artists and genres – Emmylou Harris, The Partridge Family, and the Lumineers are some on my current playlist. I can’t believe I just admitted to listening to the Partridge Family….

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first real job was selling women’s shoes. I progressed from that to driving a fork lift at a home improvement store. My first job in the community college system was as a student worker in the Purchasing Office at South Puget Sound Community College. I joke that I started in the community college system in 1990 and they haven’t been able to get rid of me yet.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
What has always excited me about working at a community college is feeling that I am contributing to helping people realize their dreams. As someone whose career is administratively focused, I consider it such a privilege to go to work every day and use my skills to make it possible for people to make a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. Along with that, I’m really excited to be part of such a dynamic, student-focused leadership team.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
It’s hard to quantify, because sometimes the biggest accomplishments aren’t readily apparent. At the end of my first year, I’d like to look back and say that I made a strong contribution to the good work that happens every single day in our division and across our campuses. I would consider the year a success if everyone in our division could say that they feel valued, respected and supported in the work they do for students, if our colleagues across campus said that we are a resource and partner that they can rely on, and if our constituents, both internal and external, were satisfied that the physical and financial resources of the college were in good hands.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Raising ethical, kind, responsible sons, completing my master’s degree (with a 4.0 GPA) while working full time and raising a family, and on a far more shallow note, the one moment of athletic prowess I’ve shown in my entire life: the hole-in-one that I got in 1999 at the Village Greens Golf Course in Port Orchard. People who have seen me golf generally demand that I provide proof of that feat.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
I have been called “the Tim Gunn of the Finance Office”, because I have been known to say “it’s another make it work moment people”. This is a reference to the reality television show “Project Runway” which I and a number of my friends and colleagues watch without fail and then thoroughly dissect each week. It’s either that or something slightly sarcastic like “Sunshine” since I am annoyingly perky in the morning.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Darn – I was afraid I’d get asked the hypothetical talent show question. Had I known that this would be a recurrent issue I would have made an effort during my misspent youth to cultivate some form of talent. As it is, I have to say my talents don’t exactly lend themselves to public performance. I am a fairly skilled baker (this summer I am working on perfecting the fruit tart), a dreadful yet earnest golfer (see question #7 under proudest accomplishments) and a darned good speller. Seriously, I was a competitive speller in grade school. Between that and my self-disclosed passion for the Partridge Family, you all are pretty excited I’m here, right?

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Hmmm, how about: “Globally Responsive Excellence in Education Now”…“Guiding Resources to Educate, Empower and Nurture”…or the less gracious but undeniably inspirational “Gator’s Rock, Everyone Else NOT”…

New Employee Spotlight – Jesse Reagan

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.

Jesse-ReaganPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I’m new to the mail room full time but between 2003 and 2007 I have worked here in the mail room on and off part time. I have spent the last six years working in the Auburn School District and in Real Estate

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I applied at GRC because of my previous work experience here. The staff is friendly and a lot of fun.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I like Country mainly, however anything but commercials is OK with me.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was at McDonald’s.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m most excited about being back on campus, it’s a lot of fun seeing old faces and meeting new ones.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Survive Roy and Erik. :)

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Just finished coaching my son’s first year of Tball. Bit of more than I could chew there but pulled through and looking for to next season.

My two kids, it’s amazing watching them grow every day, I think they are turning out quite well.

Maintaining a job, sounds kinda weird but I love being able to provide for my family.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
I think I would like to know what that is.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Not sure I have any talent show like talents. I could deliver a monologue, I have a lot of acting experience.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Great
Recreational
Environment
Effects
Nurtured

New Employee Spotlight -Naomi Lane

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.

Naomi-LanePlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I will be joining Green River College at the Master Achieving Center as Educational Planner Transition Specialist. I have served and volunteered here at Green River as an AmeriCorps member for the past two years. I worked with low-income and non-traditional youth and adults with homework, obtaining their GED, Compass prep, and college transition. I also worked as a classroom support for the IDEA project at Kent Campus.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
A wonderful member here told me about the position :)

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
For my morning commute, I listen to NPR. When it’s raining, I like to listen to jazz.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first job was at Safeway in Auburn. Had to apply twice for a courtesy clerk position back in high school. It was pretty competitive!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am excited to engage with students with their academic and career goals. When students make a decision to go to college, it is a very special moment in their life. Just getting to see them plan out their future and work towards a goal is moving to me and I love being a part of their journey.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
For my first year at Green River, I want to engage with the student body and create a program to help students with high transportation barriers.

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

  1. Ran a half marathon.
  2. Learned how to make some of my favorite dishes from scratch.
  3. Haven’t killed a plant for over 3 years!

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
My nickname would be Chameleon because it’s my spirit animal.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I hate to disappoint, but so far I have not found a special hidden talent of mine. I’m still searching!

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Giving Readiness Equity Education Nemophilist

New Employee Spotlight-Lauren Cline

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.Cline, Lauren

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new director of Nursing. I attended a Diploma nursing program back in Connecticut and I worked on med/surg and critical care units and IV team for 10 years. Following our move to Washington State, I returned to the beside on Oncology and Telemetry units, and IV team. I have spent the last 11 years teaching undergraduate BSN students in clinical and theory. I also worked as a staff development educator and new graduate residency coordinator

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The smaller campus and relationships with faculty, staff, and students.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and Yo Yo Ma

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked on a shade tobacco farm during the summer planting and sewing the leaves.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Working with the diverse student population on campus.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Launching of the LPN-BSN program.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Raising my children, completing two degrees and now pursuing my doctorate, and nurse camp

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Early bird, because I am almost always the first one in the office.

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

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

G- grace

R- respectful

E- ethical

E-encouragment

N-nurturing

New Employee Spotlight – Kari Lutcavich

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.

Lutcavich, KariPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I will be working at Green River College as a Program Specialist in the Financial Aid Department. This is my first time working with numbers and finances, but I have previously worked at a college as a customer service representative in the campus library at Oregon State University, where I received my bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. I have previously worked in many different positions, including an administrative assistant position at a cable company, as a photographer and as an editorial assistant for Seattle magazine.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I applied to Green River after my internship at Seattle magazine ended and I was seeking a company where I could establish a full time career. The open position sounded challenging and rewarding. I was also excited at the opportunity to work with students and help them reach their educational goals. I’m very fond of the beautiful campus and I’m excited to work here.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
It’s always something different! It could be Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Michael Jackson, Kid Ink or Theory of a Deadman.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I started working when I was 16 at the Covington King County Library as a Library Page. This meant that I restocked the shelves with returned books, collected books for patron holds, and organized the library. It was a great first job!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m most excited about the opportunity to make a positive difference in students’ lives by giving them good news about their financial aid.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
By the end of my first year, I’d love to become an expert on all aspects of financial aid to the point that I can answer any student’s question with confidence. I would also love to become known amongst my coworkers as an employee who is a pleasure to work with and one who always works hard.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I am most proud of earning my second degree black belt in tae kwon do, graduating from Oregon State University with high honors (I’m a first generation college graduate), and living and studying abroad in Spain where I published a magazine article in Spanish.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
My office nickname might be Smiley because I’m usually always happy 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?
I could show off some tae kwon do and break boards and bricks.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G – Gators
R – Real
E – Excellent
E – Education
N – Nation

New Employee Spotlight – Leilani Hoglund

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.

Leilani HoglundPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My new title is Budget Coordinator Administrative Assistant 3. I worked in Payroll for several years at Alaska Airlines, Coinstar and SunGro Horticulture. I went back to school to get my Medical Assistant Degree at Highline Community College. I then decided I wanted to go into Nursing, so I enrolled at Green River College, graduated in 2012 and transferred to The Evergreen State College to get my Bachelor’s in Public Administration. I started working for Washington Student Achievement Council in the Gear Up Program and then transferred to Washington State Parks and Recreation and have been there for the past two years, working as an Admin Assistant for the SW Region Capital Program.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I enjoyed my time as a student and part-time employee working at Green River! My time spent in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, as a Peer Navigator and working in the ESOL Program, helped me realize how much I enjoy helping others to succeed. I like to help others and to show others how to help themselves and it is the most rewarding thing to struggle as a student and when you finally pass that class or graduate, it is such a wonderful feeling!

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
While I was still in school and commuting over an hour just to get to work and school, I often would listen to audio books on my way to work. I enjoy listening to all types of music preferably on Pandora or personal CD’s, I don’t really like listening radio station commercials.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first jobs were working for Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt during the week at 14 years of age and working for a Survey company counting cigarette sales around Southern California on the weekends.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Performing complex tasks and detail-driven projects and providing administrative support to the library and media services. Another exciting factor is my commute, I currently drive 62 miles one way to get to work and my new commute will only be 6.2 miles one way!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to accomplish mastering my new job duties and responsibilities so that I can be an asset to my department and team. I would also love to accomplish furthering my own education in Professional Career Development and working on my Master’s Degree.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My first and second accomplishments would be my two daughters LeilahRose and Isabella. My third accomplishment would be the fact that I did not give up on getting my Bachelor’s degree even though I was in two car accidents, scared to drive to school and work every day.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
“Islander” because I love anything having to do with the islands, tropical beach, sun and water!

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Playing a bass guitar, saxophone or water jugs.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Get Rich Easily Education Necessary
Green River Educates Everyone Now

G-get
R-ready
E-energize
E-everyone
N-nearby

New Employee Spotlight – Allen Brewer

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.Allen Brewer
Custodian 2 is my new position. From 2001 until 2013, I worked as a custodian at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.  Most recently I have been working in the same capacity at the Bellevue Club up in Bellevue, Washington.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
My wife and I recently moved from Renton down to the Auburn area and I wanted to feel more connected to the local community. When searching for a potential position in the area I stumbled onto the Green River College web site.  After looking at the available jobs, seeing the custodial listing and a drive up the hill to the campus for a quick look, I felt like this would be a good fit and submitted an application.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Mike and Mike. ESPN sports talk radio.

What was the very first job you ever had?
A dishwasher at a local restaurant.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I like getting to meet new people, like the students I worked for and around at my previous college work experience.  Every year as I say goodbye to current friends, a new group enters my life.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Learn as much as I can from my fellow employees and the students in hopes of making a positive difference in at least one person’s life every day.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Marrying my wife, the birth of my children and seeing them marry the one person who makes them the happiest they could ever be with another person.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Old Reliable. I hardly ever get sick and always show up on time for all of my obligations.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Balance a stack of coins on the back of my forearm and then catch them all before they hit the ground.

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

Growing

Reliable

Environmental

Education

Nationally

New Employee Spotlight – Patricia Chakravarty

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.

Patricia ChakravartyPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the Institutional Research Coordinator. I will be leaving Highline Public Schools where I managed organizational change projects using SharePoint and was a core member of the launch of their new student management system, illuminate. Prior to that, I worked at Renton Technical College and was a data analyst consultant at Skagit Valley, Grays Harbor, and Whatcom colleges. Previously, I worked as an engineer for 15 years at The Boeing Company.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I had worked for Chris Johnson at Renton Technical College and really enjoyed that.  When I found out about the new position, it sounded like an exciting opportunity.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I like to listen to the online radio station, KLOVE. When I drive over to Spokane, my hometown, I get the station, but here in the Puget Sound I don’t. So, I need to listen online.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I was a “bingo-ette” at Big Brother’s Bingo in Spokane. We called the numbers, distributed the paper bingo cards and poured coffee. At that time, there weren’t any casinos, so it was Big business.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The collaboration and conversion of the proprietary legacy system to the Oracle PeopleSoft system environment.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to understand the Green River social and technical environment so I can make the conversion as smooth as possible.

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

I earned a BS in Electrical Engineering and a MBA

I have followed my heart at major life points

I purchased and manage several rental properties in the Seattle and Spokane areas

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Perky – I’m usually pretty energetic and a little hyperactive.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Stand-up Comedy – What it’s been like to be a woman in a tech environment and a techie in an educational environment.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Get Ready Everyone, Engage Now!

New Employee Spotlight -Marc Milsten

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.

Milsten-MarcPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
My new title is Coordinator of International Recreation & Activities. As a student, I studied abroad 6 different times. After graduating from PLU with a degree in Business Administration, I eventually found my way to Japan where I taught English on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Program. I continued teaching in Japan for a total of 7 ½ years in a variety of positions, most notably as part of a pilot program placing native English teachers in public schools. After returning to the US, I’ve been working in the International Programs office at North Seattle College coordinating the Short-Term International Programs.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The opportunity to combine two things I love: recreation/athletics and international education was incredibly appealing.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Usually Sports Talk Radio or a Podcast, but sometimes I’ll listen to Country, Classic Rock or 90’s Hip-Hop.

What was the very first job you ever had?
As a student, I worked at a moving company during summers and weekends.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
Creating activities and events to help international students enjoy their college experience at Green River is something I’m very excited about. I know first-hand how much of an impact a positive international experience can be in a person’s life, so I hope to create amazing opportunities for the international students at Green River.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
To create a variety of recreational and athletics programs that fill a gap in the college experience for international and domestic students alike. The first of which is a competitive soccer program that continues to grow in size, quarter after quarter.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
1) Having an incredible relationship with my immediate and extended family.
2) Traveling and living abroad in Finland at the age of 15.
3) Creating a lasting connection with so many of my students and coworkers in Japan.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Marc-san, because I tend to talk about my time in Japan a bit too much.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I can whistle like a fire cracker.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G – Genuine (Genuinely care for the students, their well-being and success)
R – Resources (Providing resources for success: educational, professional & personal)
E – Exciting (In and outside of the classroom)
E – Educational (Also, in and outside of the classroom)
N – Nexus (The point where different things or ideas come together and intersect)

New Employee Spotlight -Dan Hodges

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.

Hodges-DanPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I will be the new Facilities Manager. I have more than 30 years of experience working in facilities management. I have a wide-range of experience in construction, maintenance, HVAC, fire sprinkler systems, building and mechanical codes. Most of my years of experience have been in banking facilities management, retirement / independent care / assisted living environmental services, and most recently retail mall operations management.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I have heard great things about Green River Community College. I applied here because I have the experience and skills to make a direct contribution at GRCC and desire to grow and challenge myself while making a difference in a diverse workplace.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
KIRO Talk Radio. I am an information junkie and love to learn about new things. The talk radio station talks about current events, controversial topics, economic issues, and world news.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked at Wick’s lumberyard in Reedley, California. I was a “Green Stacker”. I stacked the green lumber that was very heavy, and no one else wanted the job.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am excited about the opportunity to share my knowledge and to establish facilities processes that will benefit the facilities team and the organization. I am also excited about the opportunity to develop and be a part of the facilities team.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to do a complete analysis of all facilities and equipment, create and standardize a Preventative Maintenance program, set up processes and procedures that will increase efficiency and effectiveness of the facilities team while maintaining budget.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I earned my U.S. Citizenship when I was 17 years old,I got married to my first wife, and have continued to be married to her for the last 32 years, and I am a father of one daughter and one son.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
My nickname would be “Mr. Particular”, because I like to have things done right, and I have a high standard.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I could do some “Black-Smith” work.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
row Respect Every Environments Needs

New Employee Spotlight – Gregg Sapp

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.

Gregg SappPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I was hired as the Manager of the Washington Integrated Sector Employment (WISE) grant, a Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant. Therefore, my official job title is WISE Grant Manager. Hey, if the acronym fits, wear it.

Prior to accepting this position, I was the manager of another TAACCCT grant at Clover Park Technical College, this one for training in fields related to health information technology. Most of my background is in library administration and management, and I’ve worked in academic libraries from Montana State University, to the University of Miami (FL), to the State University of New York in Albany.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Primarily, I was attracted to the opportunity that this job provided. Upon doing some research, I became very impressed with Green River’s close linkages to the Auburn/ Kent communities and the breadth of it programmatic offerings.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I drive all the way from Olympia. On the way to work, I toggle between sports radio, National Public Radio, and (guilty pleasure) Howard Stern. Returning home, I listen to audio books (currently, “Atlantic” by Simon Winchester), until I cross the Nisqually Bridge, then listen to Bluegrass Junction on satellite radio the rest of the way.

What was the very first job you ever had?
At twelve, I was a paperboy, delivering the Columbus (OH) Citizen Journal.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I strongly believe in the opportunities provided by the Department of Labor’s TAACCCT program and look forward to continuing to work to provide training for in-demand, living wage jobs. It makes a real difference in peoples’ lives.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
The WISE grant has an ambitious timeline which, during the first year, will result in the creation of a new certificate program for technical Customer Service Representatives. I like to provide value-added to these programs, and along those lines I have a particular interest in online curricula and Open Education Resources.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My father used to say that you should try to do three things every day – something practical, something helpful, and something fun. If I live up to that philosophy every day, then I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
I have been called “Scoop,” which I hope is due to my journalistic and editorial experience and not an ironic reference to anything that might be disposed of by “scooping.”

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I’d like to play the lead role in the one-man show “Mark Twain Tonight.”

Also, as a shameless plug, I’d like to mention that my first novel, “Dollarapalooza,” was published in 2011 by Switchgrass Books of Northern Illinois University Press. I’ve just finished a new novel based upon the life of Johnny Appleseed, and I’m looking for a publisher.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Great Resources for Educating and Enlightening Neighbors? Or, since the first three letters of “GREEN” are the first three letters of my name, so, as I start this new job, I can hope that GREgg Enters Nirvana.

New Employee Spotlight – Brian Chan

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.

Brian Chan

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Web Application Developer. I was a technical consultant for little over a year after college at UW before deciding I needed a change.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I did running start at Green river during high school, so when I saw that they were hiring, I thought that it’d be a good fit.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Usually classic rock or whatever is on the radio, I’m not too picky. Sometimes NPR if I’m feeling intellectual.

What was the very first job you ever had?
During high school one summer, I got a job as a warehouse associate at a bicycle parts supplier. Basically walking down aisles and putting parts in a box to be shipped.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m most excited about learning new things.

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

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
1. Getting out of school without a mountain of debt.
2. Correctly betting that the Seahawks would make it to a 2nd consecutive super bowl.
3. Being there for my family.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
B-ry. It’s a family guy reference.

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

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Great Rebel Energetic Eccentric Ninja.

New Employee Spotlight – Howard Valenzuela

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.

Valenzuela-HowardPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the Equipment Technician Lead for the Trades Division. My professional background consists of Commercial Driving, Roofing, Landscaping, Management, maintenance, as well as others. In all the fields of employment I have taken on the responsibility of maintaining equipment and revisions for a more productive environment.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I found the diversity of the college to be enthralling.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
The B.J. Shay show on KISW

What was the very first job you ever had?
I was an equipment technician/loader of a Grain distribution plant.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The unknown challenges that lie ahead as well as the opportunity to expand my knowledge in my personal/professional being by working with students and staff.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
My goal is to be a voice within the many diversity and equity programs offered here at the college in hopes of being a part of positive change.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I have been happily married to my beautiful wife for almost 16 years (in August), blending and raising my 5 wonderful children (with 3 grandsons). Last, but not least, being the first person in my family to obtain a degree.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
It would probably be Mr. O.C.D. I tend to strive for perfection in all things I do.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I would say the talent not many know is my ability to track game. (I am talking wildlife here, lol!)

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G – Goal-Oriented
R – Reputable
E – Enriching
E – Empowering
N – Noetic

New Employee Spotlight – Kowsar Abshir

Abshir-KowsarWe’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.
My name is Kowsar Abshir and I’m a Program Support Supervisor with the Outreach and Service Learning Department. I am committed to the power of Education in transforming lives.

Prior to coming to Green River Community College my professional life was centered on empowering my community through employment, educational training and housing resources. I have always been blessed with support from exceptional mentors, family, friends and community. My desire is to give back the same support and encouragement to the students of Green River College.  I come to Green River College with more than three years of advocacy, outreach and recruitment experience and have a degree in English, Professional and Technical Writing from the Washington State University.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
My commitment to student success aligns with Green River’s core themes of increasing student Access, Success and Equity.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Some days I listen to the Quran and other days I play random stations on Pandora.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I got my first job when I was 14 years old as a Community Mapper.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
My new job allows me to utilize my already established non-profit partnerships while broadening my network with all service providers and academic institutions. I am excited about my new position because there are always new opportunities and projects to engage in and new things to learn.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to increase Full Time Enrollment numbers for the college.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
1) Earning the College Success Foundation Achievers Scholarship during high school.
2) Earning my Bachelors Degree.
3) Learning the first couple of chapters of the Holy Quran.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Great question, you would have to ask them.

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

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Global. Robust. Engagement. Envision. Network.

New Employee Spotlight – James Mascenik

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.

James MascenikPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Hi! My name is Jim Mascenik and I’m the new Director of Institutional Assessment, Evaluation and Analysis at GRC. Most of my professional experience has been institutional research and assessment. With no doubt, my true passion is in the assessment of student learning. To prepare myself for this type of work, I completed graduate degrees in both Educational Research and Psychology.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I was drawn to Green River because of the wide range of educational opportunities that the college provides to the region. Community colleges play a major role in improving the quality of life for so many individuals and this is a mission that I always greatly respected.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to both alternative and classical music – interesting dichotomy!

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was the painting of bleachers for the Parks and Recreation Department in Linden, New Jersey. This was a summer job I had between the 7th and 8th grades. In retrospect, it’s a funny realization that many people sat on my best work.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
My position enables me to work with so many different types of individuals across the campus – administrators, faculty and staff. It is my hope that I am helping others to better understand and implement meaningful assessment activities.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to improve upon the assessment activities that are already taking place at the college. These improvements will include greater clarity, consistency, and use of results to improve future student learning outcomes. I also would like to reduce the amount of “mystery” and unneeded complexity that still persists in some assessment processes.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
(1) Completing college (2) Convincing my wife to marry me (3) Escaping from New Jersey

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
For ironic reasons, it would be “Loudmouth Jim” because of my quiet demeanor.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I enjoy acting. For some reason, introverts still need to have their time in the spot light :-)

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for? Genuine Reasonably priced Educational Experiences Needed by all, provided only at GRC!

Employee Spotlight – Allison Warner

We’d like to take a moment and recognize the following employee for their years of service and dedication to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

Allison Warner

What do you love about working at Green River?
The students – I am inspired each day by the students I serve. It is such a privilege to be part of their academic journey. I also love working in such a beautiful environment. The trees, trails and natural setting of our campus are breathtaking. Last year I was walking to my car near the LC after dark and a large owl flew past me and landed on a light post in the parking lot. It was an amazing moment to witness.

What does working in higher education mean to you?
Education and attainment of a college credential is like no other in its ability to unlock doors – doors that lead to increased knowledge and self-awareness, to better paying jobs, to social justice and to an overall better quality of life that can be passed down to future generations. We have a responsibility to our increasingly diverse community to offer these opportunities.

Where is one spot on campus you find relaxing?
The trails!

Of all employee benefits, which one do you appreciate most?
Tuition support

In your role, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
Advising students

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I worked with primates before choosing a career helping humans!

If you could swap places with any other position on campus just for one day, what position would that be?
Natural Resources faculty!

What on campus makes you smile the most?
The students

What classes on campus have you taken or would you like to take in the future?
I would like to take Humanities 224, Women and World Religions.

What advice would you give to a brand new employee?
To meet others and learn what they do in different departments. Don’t spend all of your time in your office, explore the campus!

Who is one person at Green River you’d like to thank for contributing to your success?
Jessica Gilmore

New Employee Spotlight – Jean Sauvion

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.

Jean Sauvion

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the IESL (Intensive English as a Second Language) Student Advisor for International students in IESL levels 1-3 at Kent Campus. I have been working in International Education for over 15 years, both here and in the UK, and I love it. I taught ESL in London, Warsaw, Milan and Seattle, in traditional class room settings, and in summer camps. When an administrative role opened up and it was suggested I apply, I discovered I also enjoyed interacting with students in a different capacity and I haven’t looked back. I enjoy learning and embracing the new.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I knew about Green River, as my previous school had a relationship with Green River and I was always impressed by the staff’s responsiveness and care for their current students as well as prospective ones. On a tour of the college a few years ago, I was impressed with all the services and activities available to students, and the lively Student Life department.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to NPR and KEXP depending on my mood. I also have a few Flamenco CDs in my car, as I love Flamenco music and find it very relaxing. Sometimes I just want to be in the Flamenco zone.

What was the very first job you ever had?
The first job I had was working for the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists as a life model. The artists worked mostly in charcoal and pastels. I learned the art of patience and endurance, and enjoyed seeing different approaches and styles.

What about your new position is most excited for you?
Working with students is very rewarding, and I enjoy my frequent meetings with them. The most exciting thing is seeing them grow and try new things, and knowing I may have played a part in that.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I’d like to be able to organize a volunteer fair at the Kent Campus for students who want to volunteer in and around Kent. A number of students have told me they want to be more involved, so I’d like to make this happen.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I am proud of giving birth to 2 vivacious girls, performing in numerous plays, and for the positive ways I have been able to touch the lives of the colleagues I work with and students I serve.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Hmm… that’s a difficult one! ‘That lady over there’? – as the only IESL advisor in Kent, they all know who ‘that lady’ is. But typically, it’s just Jean.

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

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Global – Rewarding – Envisage – Enterprising — Nurture

New Employee Spotlight – Melissa Archuleta

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.

Melissa ArchuletaPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new Program Coordinator in Student Life. I work mainly with clubs and organizations in handling paperwork and budgets. Prior to coming to Green River, I worked as the Graduate Assistant in the International Student Center at Seattle University and in the Student Life office at Tacoma Community College.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
What drew me to Green River was the opportunity to work with a diverse population of students and alongside colleagues who are dedicated to serving students.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I am a radio-channel surfer. I scan for a song that I want to listen to. But if I give up on that, I’m usually listening to a Justin Timberlake album.

What was the very first job you ever had?
The first job I have ever had was on a military base in Germany. I was in high school and worked in an office that housed boxes and boxes of old maps. My job was to catalogue them and file them away.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I’m excited for the opportunity to work with students and to encourage them to reach their goals.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
An overall goal is to continuously improve my leadership and advising skills.

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

  •  I’m proud to be the first college graduate in my family.
  • Of seeing how hard my siblings work to be successful in their educational goals.
  • And of my parents who work hard to support the family and who also are both continuing their education.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
I’m not sure. In prior positions my coworkers called me “Archie.” How that came about, I’m not sure, but it stuck.

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

I’m fluent in movie lines. I can recite the entire “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with Jim Carey.

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G-gratitude. R-rewarding. E-educate. E-enjoy. N-network.

New Employee Spotlight – Casper Fox

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.

Casper FoxPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am a tenure track welding instructor. My career in welding has allowed me to work on fishing boats with Marel industries to working on CAT equipment with NC Machinery. To this day I still work construction from time to time with Chet Williams Construction. I still enjoy working in industry to stay current in my field.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I graduated from GRCC in 2003 with Scott Schreiber as my instructor.  My cousin and I were Scott’s first two year program students to graduate with our AAS in welding technology. When I graduated I told Scott that one day I would like to come back and teach. Scott provided me with a career path to strive for to pursue my goal of teaching.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Country, KISW and sports talk

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked for a company called Ropak. I worked for Ropak before I graduated high school and eventually became an inventory specialist. Being an inventory specialist was exciting because it allowed me to travel quite often to places like Canada, Texas, New Jersey and Atlanta. After 10 years of working for Ropak my division here in Washington closed down so the company offered to move me to Atlanta but instead I chose the lay off and became a full time student here at GRCC.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I like to make a difference in people’s lives.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
It would be nice to finish my Professional Technical Instructor Certification Plan (PTICP). Wishful thinking I’m sure.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
1. Seeing my daughter get married. 2. Becoming a tenure track welding instructor. 3. Purchasing a wedding store with my soon to be fiancé (Shhh, don’t tell her) in Olympia called Weddings with Joy.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
My coworkers probably think Casper is already a nickname. lol

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
No significant hidden talents but I do own two snowmobiles that I like to drag race in the quarter mile and Pacific Raceways. It’s not every day you see a snowmobile race on asphalt.

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Great
Reinforcement
Encourages
Everyone’s
Nobility

New Employee Spotlight – Mouy-Ly Wong

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. 

Wong,-Mouy-LyPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new Basic Skills Transitions Advisor at the Master Achiever Center (MAC). After graduating from Western Washington University with a Bachelor’s in Business Management, I worked for Boeing as a Financial Analyst. While pursuing my Master’s in Curriculum and Instructions from Lesley University, I worked as an ESL Coordinator for Americorps.  After receiving my Master’s, I started my advising career as an Educational Planner at Green River and worked ten years at Highline College where I served as an Academic Advisor and Phi Theta Kappa Advisor during the first six years. I also had the opportunity to work with ESOL, GED, and ABE students as a Transition Advisor for four years.

I started working at the MAC in January and have already met many amazing staff, faculty and students.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I have always enjoyed working with ESOL, GED and ABE students and I feel that the MAC advisor position is the right fit for me at this time.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I enjoy listening to 95.7 (The Jet) and National Public Radio for fun music and current events.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was working at my parents’ bakery. The best perk of the job was eating all of the freshly made donuts to my heart’s content!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The most rewarding part of my work is helping students to achieve their educational goals and seeing them successful while overcoming the many challenges and barriers they face.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
During my first year, I would like to assess the needs of our students and work collaboratively with staff and faculty in developing resources/services that will support student transition.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Three things that I am most proud of accomplishing are: being first in my family to receive a Master’s Degree; my Americorps experience; and my experience in working with students.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
I don’t have a nick name, but many people said that I am cheerful.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I don’t have any hidden talent, but I enjoy nature photography.

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

Great Results = Engagement + Encouragement + Nourishment

Employee Spotlight – Marisela Fleites-Lear

This week we take a moment to recognize a recent accomplishment of one of our very own faculty, Dr. Marisela Fleites-Lear.

Marisela Fleites-Lear

Can you tell us about your recent accomplishment and the how the process began?
I have been doing research for a while on the underground movement of Independent Libraries in Cuba and its literary price and I presented a paper at the 2010 conference “Imagining America” that was held at the University of Washington. Out of the panel came the idea to put together a volume edited by Julie Shayne dealing with academic activism and the difficulties of doing research about sensitive issues related to Human Rights and social justice in different countries and political environments. The book Taking Risks. Feminist Activism and Research in the Americas is the result of the re-writing and re-working the contributions to that panel and we were very lucky to have Margaret Randall writing the Foreword. She is a very noted scholar on both feminism and Cuban studies. Our library has purchased the book and it is available for our GRC community.

How would you describe the process of getting published?
Getting published is both exhilarating and very hard work. It is a very rewarding experience, particularly when you publish in peer reviewed publications, since it means a committee of your peers looked at your work and thought that it was interesting.

Marisela Fleites-Lear

Why is writing personally important and necessary to your profession?
I see writing essays, presenting at conferences and publishing as part of my teaching and preparation to be a better instructor, mentor and a better example for my students. Writing and presenting at academic conferences forces us to be updated about the scholarship of the subjects we teach; allows us to establish connections with colleagues from other institutions (many of which receive our students); and to think and re-think issues we teach about in different ways. It also levels the playing field with the students: we are asking them to constantly write academic essays. If I am doing the same, while teaching and taking care of family and trying to take care of all aspects of my life, I am demanding from them the same thing I am demanding from myself. Sometimes people don’t realize that teaching is not just the time we spend in the classroom or grading papers: teaching is part of a life style of constant learning and studying to be able to convey updated information to our students. We don’t stop working when we finish a lesson plan or when we get out of the classroom. Reading, studying, writing is part of our teaching and work. That is hard to put into numbers but it definitely improves the quality of our work and the prestige of our institution.

What are some of your own favorite books?
I love to read and I am constantly trying new authors and genres. I particularly like to read historical novels, and in general works of fiction that reflect on complex social and psychological issues. Amongst my favorite books are The General in His Labyrinth and The Autumn of the Patriarch, both by Gabriel Garcia Márquez; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Dominican author Junot Díaz; The Kingdom of this World, by Alejo Carpentier; Here’s to You, Jesusa, by Mexican Elena Poniatowska; The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver; The Youngest Doll, by Rosario Ferré; Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos; The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss and many more.

Marisela Fleites-Lear

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

“Cuban Transgressions: Ofelia Rodriguez Acosta and the independent lesbian woman/nation.” (Currently under revision by the Journal of Literature and Linguistics of the University of Costa Rica.) 

“Reinventando a Tina Modotti desde la escritura massmediática: La mujer infinita de José Ignacio Valenzuela.”   Hispanic Journal 35. 2 (2014). 131-146.

“Violencia y papas fritas: Cuba en la oscuridad en Posesas de la Habana de Teresa Dovalpage.” Romance Notes 53.3 (2013). 353-365.

“Navigating the Cuban Ideological Divide: Research on the Independent Libraries Movement,” in Taking Risks: Feminist Stories of Social Justice Research in the Americas, ed Julie Shayne.SUNY Press; Praxis: Theory in Action series.

“Mirrors in the Kitchen: The New Cuban Woman Cooks Revolutionarily.” Food Culture and Society. Volume 15, Issue 2, June 2012.

New Employee Spotlight – Lionel Candido

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.

Lionel CandidoPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new addition to the iGrad family. My official title is iGrad Case Manager. After graduating from the University of Washington in 2010, I started working for a non-profit in the area called Friends of Youth. I started as a Residential Bilingual Youth Counselor and was shortly promoted to the Program Supervisor for one of their residential programs. While working at Friends of Youth, I also worked at Auburn Youth Resources as an on-call staff for a couple of their shelter programs.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I loved residential work but the hours were crazy. Having to be on-call every minute of the day and getting called in to cover a shift for one of my staff members was taking a toll on my personal life. I wanted a new job that would allow me to work more traditional hours so that I can have more time to spend with my now 4 year old son and 2 month old daughter; while at the same time working with young adults to help them figure out this thing we call life.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Well staying true to my Latino roots, I love myself some bachata music. If I’m not listening to that then my radio is most likely on 92.5 getting a good laugh in with their morning prank calls that they do.

What was the very first job you ever had?
Both of my parents were agricultural workers so they would always take me and my siblings to the fields to help them out. I have very fond memories of picking cherries every summer while working on my tan!

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
What I’m most excited about is directly working with the population that our program works with. Our population is so diverse that you never really know what situation is going to walk through the door. I like it….keeps my job exciting!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to continue to build my rapport with our students so that they eventually know that they have a support system in place that truly wants to see them succeed. I’m really excited to see them achieve their goals.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Two of them would be my two beautiful kids, Lionel Jr. and Anali. The third would be being the first to go to college and to graduate. I wanted to show my siblings that it could be done, with our background, and the potential lifestyle that they can live if they choose to pursue higher education.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
I’m not quite sure what it would be. I asked them and they couldn’t think of anything.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I love to dance so I would probably show off some of my dance moves.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G.ive , R.espect, E.ducate, E.quity, N.ourish

Employee Spotlight – Denise Bennatts

We’d like to take a moment and recognize the following employee for their years of service and dedication to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

Denise Bennatts

What do you love about working at Green River?
I love the people contact. I work with students, staff and faculty and I enjoy the mix.

What does working in higher education mean to you?
I have worked in higher education for more than 35 years. Everyone deserves an education and Green River has many opportunities to help educate our community.

Where is one spot on campus you find relaxing?
Green River has beautiful walking trails through the woods. It is a wonderful and relaxing experience.

Of all employee benefits, which one do you appreciate most?
The WA state space-available waivers for college classes. It’s a great deal for staff to earn a degree or build their job skills.

In your role, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
Our motto is “Think Student, Then Decide!” and I am very proud to say we live this motto every day in my office.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I am an animal lover. Especially cats!

If you could swap places with any other position on campus just for one day, what position would that be?
I know the positions I would not want…Deb Casey, Derek Brandes, Dr. Ely…too much stress! I have to say, I love my position as registrar. It is the perfect position assisting students and faculty alike.

What on campus makes you smile the most?
Students! Also, our bookstore contains some pretty neat stuff for students and staff.

What classes on campus have you taken or would you like to take in the future?
I received my AA degree from Green River many ions ago.

What advice would you give to a brand new employee?
Green River offers many opportunities for students and staff. Take advantage of the opportunities! Go to workshops, join committees, get involved.

Who is one person at Green River you’d like to thank for contributing to your success?
Dick Barclay and Mike McIntyre. Two great men very dedicated to community college.

Employee Spotlight – Jeff Perlot

We’d like to take a moment and recognize the following employee for their years of service and dedication to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

Profiel Pic 2What do you love about working at Green River?
I get to work each day knowing that I have a purpose and that my work improves the lives of our students.

What does working in higher education mean to you?
It means giving students the professional and personal skills to reach their potential. I like helping people reach their potential in just about any area of their lives.

Where is one spot on campus you find relaxing?
My office. Has a great view of trees and sky. I also enjoy my clean, uncluttered space (which earns me mocking from fellow faculty who like to keep their offices more “cozy” for lack of a better word).  :)

Of all employee benefits, which one do you appreciate most?
Reasonably priced health care is awesome.

In your role, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
More than tripling enrollments in a program that was truly struggling.
Helping build and launch a bachelor’s degree in marketing and entrepreneurship.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
Most people don’t know anything about me, which is fairly intentional on my part.

If you could swap places with any other position on campus just for one day, what position would that be?
Derek, because he apparently has access to a cloning machine. Which seems cool.

What on campus makes you smile the most?
Sunshine and green trees. And Josh Gerstman.

What classes on campus have you taken or would you like to take in the future?
Would love to take archery because I need it for my ninja training.

What advice would you give to a brand new employee?
Meet as many people across campus as possible, as soon as possible. Helps in so many ways.

Who is one person at Green River you’d like to thank for contributing to your success?
Can’t choose one. Leslie Moore gave me my start at Green River. Sidney Weldele-Wallace (and our former dean Krista Fox) provided guidance and leadership when I transitioned to a faculty role. Working here the last 10 years has been such a blessing to me and my family in so many ways – I’ll always be indebted to Leslie, Sidney, and Krista for making it possible.

New Employee Spotlight – Shweta Parajuli

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.

Shweta ParajuliPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
नमस्ते, मेरो नाम श्वेता पराजुली हो। Namaste, my name is Shweta Parajuli. I was born and raised in Lalitpur, Nepal. I am excited to join the International Admissions and Business Operations team as a Program Specialist at Green River College. I have worked in international programs for almost seven years in various capacities. At my previous job, I started my career as a Student Assistant, and worked my way up to becoming International Admissions Assistant. Over the years I have worked with colleagues and students from around the world and have gained new insights and perspectives on how we can improve operations of the department. Having grown up speaking four different languages, diversity is a necessity and way of life for me. Working with international students and higher education system fulfills my professional and personal goals of being involved in the global community.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?What drew you to apply to Green River?
Large international student population, diversity and student based innovative programs and resources drew me to apply to Green River.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
I listen to NPR on my way to work. It keeps me well informed about current news and events from around the world.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was at Aptech Computer Education, Nepal, as a telemarketing assistant.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am very excited about becoming a Designated School Official (DSO). It will give me an opportunity to enhance my knowledge about international student visa rules and regulations and allow me to help international student pursue their goals.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
During my first year, I would love to improve my global competency. By learning more about other cultures, understanding their expectations, and the way they do business, I will find new and innovative ways to reach out to the students.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My three accomplishments that I am most proud of are:

  • Being the first member from my family to travel overseas for higher education.
  • Having a successful career in the United States.
  • Contributing to my family’s wellbeing.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Ms. Congeniality; because I have had good relationship with all of my colleagues in the division.

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

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

  • G – Gratitude
  • R – Respect
  • E – Educate
  • E – Excel
  • N – Network

New Employee Spotlight – Shane Daetwiler

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.

Shane DaetwilerPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new Director of Judicial Affairs and Compliance.  I spent the last 18 years as the Director of Residence Life and Off-Campus Student Services at the University of Puget Sound.  Prior to that I also held positions at The Art Institute of Seattle, Pacific Lutheran University, California State University, Chico and The University of Redlands.  The majority of my work was in Residence Life, however, I was a Conduct Hearing Officer at Puget Sound and spent some time as the Chief Judicial Officer at Pacific Lutheran.  My work experience has also covered being a member of the Student Alert Group, BHERT (Bias Hate Education Response Team), MARSSH (Mandatory Assessment Risk of Suicide and Self-Harm), Sexual Assault and Harassment Review team and the Orientation and First Year experience review team. He also served as a staff representative to the Budget Task Force and Staff Senate.   I am very excited about the opportunity to be at Green River and have already in the first month found the work to be very challenging and rewarding.                                                                                                                    

What drew you to apply to Green River?
The student-centered approach to the work we do and the diversity of the campus were attractive to me. It also provided me the opportunity to work with a lot of students and provide the campus and our students with the support it needs handling challenging situations.                                                                  

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Pandora or KJR Sports Radio. On Pandora, lately I have been listening to either the Avett Brothers station or Modest Mouse.

What was the very first job you ever had?
Filling bags of ice in a small town supermarket with I was 13 years old. I have been working ever since.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
The opportunity to work one on one with students and discuss the challenging decisions made and those ahead.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would like to get to know as many students, staff and faculty as possible. As the Director of Judicial Affairs it’s easy to become a “duck-and-hide-from” person on campus. However, I am confident that the way I look at my job and the way I go about my work will allow for some pretty solid connections with our students. I am very excited about that.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My three children come to mind right away.

If your former coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why? 
“Is what it is”. I used that phrase all of the time with my staff. Some in the division called me Weird Al Shankovich, as I often would have my guitar at staff functions and would develop songs for staff members’ birthdays to celebrate in a humorous way.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Singer. Somewhat song writer. I also am also incredibly deadly behind the 3-pt line in basketball.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G-Getting
R-Ready
E-(to) Encourage
E-(and) Empower
N-(the) Nameless

New Employee Spotlight – Amanda Owen

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.

Amanda Owen

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new Financial Aid Program Coordinator and will work as one of the faces of the Financial Aid Office. I am recent graduate of University of Washington Tacoma and received my degree in Business Management with a minor in Education. However, for three years as an undergrad, I also worked in UWT’s writing center as a writing consultant. I worked one on one with students through consultations about their academic writing and grew to love working in higher education.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I applied for Green River because I have a desire to work in higher education. I want to work with students and help them throughout their pursuit of their degrees. Additionally, I grew up in Auburn so I have seen how important Green River is for the Auburn community. I am excited that I get to help further that impact.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
If I am not listening to my iPod then my radio station is most likely on 103.7 reliving all of the songs I grew up with.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My first job was working as a cashier/clerk at Bartell Drugs. It was my first and last retail job ;)

What about your new position are you most excited about?
I am most excited to interact with students each day and to help them receive financial aid that they may not have known existed.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to increase student satisfaction with the help and information they receive at the financial aid office.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
The three accomplishments I am most proud of is graduating cum laude in four years at UWT, being promoted to Lead Writing Consultant at my previous job, and giving a presentation at the PNWCC about a white board project that I had implemented.

If your former coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
I’ve never been a nickname person so I can’t come up with anything, sorry!

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any of the typical talents that are often displayed in talent shows, but I can do some jump rope tricks, so I would probably showcase those.

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Giving  Really  Enthusiastic  Explanations  Now

New Employee Spotlight – Kimberly Wilson

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.

KimPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Instruction and to the Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness. I have worked in higher education for many years at Tacoma Community College, The University of Texas – Prairie View, A & M University and Saint Martin’s University respectfully.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Wonderful opportunity, college setting, location.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
R&B, jazz, or nothing at all. I like to be silent sometimes.

What was the very first job you ever had?
A college workstudy job in the Learning Resource Center.

What about your new position are you most excited about?
Meeting new people, learning my job and campus processes, putting my own touches on my responsibilities, updating and organizing.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Paperless! I would love to have files electronically.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
College graduation, my kids, me!

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Not sure. I hope it would be something nice or an accurate reflection of my work style and ethics!

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I just try to be the best person I can be at all times. I don’t sing or tap dance or anything like that but it sounds good.

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Green  River  Education  Excellence  Northwest!

Employee Spotlight – Julie Moore

We’d like to take a moment and recognize the following employee for their years of service and dedication to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

Julie-Moore-webWhat do you love about working at Green River?
I love the opportunity to continue to grow and learn. My position as English Instructor continually allows me to teach new and innovative classes, take on new aspects of leadership, and collaborate with a variety of others on campus.

What does working in higher education mean to you?
Working in higher education — and especially community college — to me means opportunity. It is the opportunity to learn what you are capable of, grow in new ways, try new things, and get access to places within the professional and social spheres that might not have been available before. I like to think that we are giving this opportunity to students as well as exercising it ourselves.

Where is one spot on campus you find relaxing?
My office on a quiet afternoon after 4 when most of the bustle of morning classes is over. I also love the trails.

Of all employee benefits, which one do you appreciate most?
I suppose the matching benefits for retirement, but health insurance is great, too!

In your role, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
Collaborating with others to bring about innovation and to try new things that are aimed at helping improve student success.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
Dare I tell? :)

If you could swap places with any other position on campus just for one day, what position would that be?
President of the College.

What on campus makes you smile the most?
When a student who has been struggling gets a concept. I also love the trees and landscape of our college.

What classes on campus have you taken or would you like to take in the future?
I’d love to take some art classes — photography and ceramics especially.

What advice would you give to a brand new employee?
Be courageous and tenacious. Listen and learn but also be brave enough to voice your own opinions. Look for allies and partners who support you and share your vision. Believe in yourself and in the goodness of those around you.

Who is one person at Green River you’d like to thank for contributing to your success?
Marcie Sims. She has tempered me when my temper flared, taught me when I needed to learn, listened to me when I needed to be heard, and always challenged me to keep reaching to be my best self so I could better serve those around me.

New Employee Spotlight – Zachary Smith

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.

Zach SmithPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Title:  Executive Assistant to Vice President of HR and Legal Affairs
Background:  US Army Medic

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I began my education at Tacoma Community College, and I appreciated the diverse and welcoming environment of the community college setting. I found the opening at GRC, and was happy to start!

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

What was the very first job you ever had?
I gave classical guitar lessons to my neighbor.

What about your new position are you most excited about?
I get to learn about an aspect of business that will truly help me in any position I might have in the future.

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 our other employees.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My army career, my education and my son.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Zack is just fine. “Zachary” brings me back to moments of childhood bad behavior.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I am a yo-yo master.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Get Ready to Enjoy Eating Nuts

New Employee Spotlight – Suzanne McCudden

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.

Suzanne McCuddenPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Executive Assistant to Dr. Ely. I came from Helping Hands for the Disabled. Worked there for 16.5 years in a variety of positions – Caregiver, Supervisor, HR Administrator, Executive Assistant & Event Coordinator.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Close to home and heard great things from family who had attended school & worked here at Green River.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Linkin Park, Avril Lavigne, oldies, country – just about anything!

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked at Elk Run Stables in North Bend – I worked in exchange for horseback riding lessons.

What about your new position are you most excited about?
Learning from the people around me – there is so much knowledge to share!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I would love to remember everyone’s names & something unique about them. I would also love to learn all of the trails here.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Being a mom; getting back into horseback riding after a terrible fall; & stepping out of my comfort zone to leave my job of 16 years to try something new!

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Candy? I keep a basket of candy bars on my desk to share (and eat!) but my coworkers do the same so it’s just not me!

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

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Grateful  Relationships  Environment  Exceptional  Nice

New Employee Spotlight – Angela Rambo

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.

Angela RamboPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am one of the new Progress and Completion coaches. I’m housed in Financial Aid.  I am coming from the UW: School of Social Work where I’ve worked for the last 13 years. I have a Master’s degree in Social Work from the UW.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I started out working at Tacoma Community College and wanted to return to the community college setting as opposed to the university. It’s also closer to my home.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
Christian music, urban gospel

What was the very first job you ever had?
I worked in the Student Services office of Evergreen State College during the summer of my junior year as part of the Upward Bound program.

What about your new position are you most excited about?
Working with underrepresented groups and helping them achieve their goal of graduating and receiving their degree.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I’d love to become familiar with all aspects of Green River so that when I’m helping students I am giving them the best information possible.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Working in my community to impact change; using my skills and knowledge to help others navigate child welfare; seeing my children become productive adults

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Not sure, I haven’t been there long enough.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
:-) I would be helping behind the scenes.

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Gaining Resources that Encourage Everyone to Never give up!

New Employee Spotlight – Liliana Godinez

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.

Liliana GodinezPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I am the new Diversity and Equity Completion Advisor at the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I have over 7 yrs experience assisting students from all walks of life, preschool to higher education. I spent the last 3 yrs as a mental health counselor, serving at risk youth and mentoring them to achieve a college education.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Working under a diverse group of staff and offering my skills and strengths to help students break down barriers towards college graduation. I am highly resourceful and enjoy new challenges.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
During my morning ride, I listen to 92.5 Brooke and Jubal. My favorite segment is the Second Date Update. On my way back home, mostly salsa, bachata and Mexican cumbia and banda.

What was the very first job you ever had?
My very first job in an educational setting was at 14 yrs of age, teaching Microsoft Office to Latino mothers, and translating for parenting classes. This experience determined my choice of career.

What about your new position are you most excited about?
Assisting students solution focus and problem solve challenges, emphasizing that anything and everything is possible with determination.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
To get to know the students, staff and resources as well as see the new Project Finish Line succeed and be an exemplary example of what team work can accomplish.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
1) Being the first and only college graduate in my family of six; 2) Being a mother; 3)My family, friends and spirituality.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
Maybe something along the lines of my culture, because my face lights up when I talk about my Mexican-American experience, e.g. “Chica”.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I am an artist at heart. I have been painting children since high school. I love kids and I enjoy painting with the imagination of one. I paint children in surreal environments, e.g. the Safari, clouds, etc.

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Go big   Re-invent   Educate   Equality   Never give up

Employee Spotlight – Tom Evans Krause

We’d like to take a moment and recognize the following employee for their years of service and dedication to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

Tom KIOAWhat do you love about working at Green River?
I enjoy directly working with students at KGRG-FM and KGRG-1.

What does working in higher education mean to you?
During my professional broadcasting career, I enjoyed molding young talent and helping them reach their goals. Working in Higher Ed for the past 20+ years has allowed me, in partnership with our adjunct instructors, to instruct, train, and coach students from Day One. Our students have the freedom to try new things and sample a variety of radio experiences – much more so than they would in a professional environment. We preach that learning is a lifetime proposition, and the community will benefit from well-rounded, innovative, new talent, who will develop compelling content as the next generation of broadcasters.

Where is one spot on campus you find relaxing?
My office.

Of all employee benefits, which one do you appreciate most?
The retirement plan.

640x375-Tom2

In your role, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
Student successes. Several hundred of our students have collected or are collecting a paycheck in radio broadcasting or a related field. This includes students working at virtually every major radio station in the Seattle-Tacoma market as well as in some of the largest markets in the U.S. such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, and more.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I was inducted into the Men’s Senior Baseball League National Hall of Fame in 2012.

If you could swap places with any other position on campus just for one day, what position would that be?
Groundskeeper.

What on campus makes you smile the most?
My students – sometimes they even make me laugh out loud. Radio broadcasting is show business, and we have many talented students who can entertain.

What classes on campus have you taken or would you like to take in the future?
None.

What advice would you give to a brand new employee?
Show up – not just physically, but in every way – 90% of success is “showing up.”

Who is one person at Green River you’d like to thank for contributing to your success?
There are a number of people to thank, but I would especially recognize former Director of Public Information John Ramsey for his support and collaboration in building the Broadcasting Program over the 18 years we worked together.

640x375-Tom1

New Employee Spotlight – Benjamin Lealofi

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.

Benjamin LealofiPlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Talofa, my name is Benjamin Lealofi. I was born and raised in Seattle, WA. I am excited to apply my extensive experience in program management, development and success!

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Green River is a remarkable campus that serves a diverse population. As a staff member of ODEI, I want to help students get acclimated to student life and ensure that they get the services/resources they need for retention and graduation.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
It depends on my mood. I mostly listen to inspirational and upbeat tunes to give me the energy I need to start the day.

What was the very first job you ever had?
I was a weed remover, removing weeds from local elementary schools in the Tukwila School District.

What about your new position are you most excited about?
I am excited to celebrate the diversity programs we have on campus, but also serve students and recognizing their struggles to help them navigate college and be successful in school & life!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Produce a system of organizing programs, improve our services, add more partnerships and resources and find a cohesive relationship for staff and students to work towards a common goal and accomplish what was initiated.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
Graduating 4th in my high school class; attending UW Seattle and being a Gates Millennium Scholar; and loving God and loving people.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
“Strictly Bickly”:  I mean business and take NO exceptions, and “Benny”: Because I’m a big teddy bear.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
Poetry, acting singing, dancing, modeling and emceeing :-).

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G – Give
R – Respect
E – Everyone/Educate
E – Equity
N – Never (give up)

New Employee Spotlight – Alexa Plourde

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.

Alexa PlourdePlease tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
Program Specialist in International Programs.  After studying Finance & International Business at Penn State University, I worked for International companies both in Spain and the US in diverse sectors such as IT software, fashion, and digital stock photography, and have helped to expand their presence in international markets. I also have a Master’s in Marketing & Sales from ESADE in Spain.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
Very marketing and service oriented International Programs department in higher education.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
KOMO news and KLCK.

What was the very first job you ever had?
International Marketing Assistant at Paul Fredrick Menstyle in PA.

What about your new position are you most excited about?
Working with International students and agencies.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
Help increase international students and agencies.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
My daughter, son and husband :-).

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be?
No idea. Sorry!

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

If G.R.E.E.N. where an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
Go – Reach – Excel – Endeavor – Nourish

Spot Recognition – Ovations

Green River’s Spot Recognition is your opportunity to recognize an individual, work group, department, team, or committee that has performed work at Green River that merits recognition. It’s easy. It’s quick. It’s on the Spot. Simply complete the form and the Employee Recognition Committee will do the rest.

You may ask, “What does my nominee receive?” Each nominee receives a Spot Recognition Certificate that captures your nomination comments during a team or participatory governance meeting.

Ovations Spot Recognition

Ovation’s Kiymat Mursalovam, Malalai Rahim, John Mason, Kyle Harland, Cathy Smith Spot Recognition

I personally want to commend you for your customer service response today, February 3, 2015 at 12:50pm. As I was talking to another colleague in the kitchen area and watching how the flow of students were navigating the lunch lines, I observed a number of staff IMMEDIATELY respond to a student who accidently knocked over her tray of food including her sandwich, drink, and condiments. Immediately, I saw Kyle, one of the front line staff leave the grill to pick up her sandwich and tray and tell her it was okay. He asked her, what did you have for food? I then saw the cashier Cathy go over to the kitchen and ask John to come out to clean the spilled drink so no one slipped as the cashier quickly returned to the line to cash out students. The student then proceeded back to the sandwich line with tears in her eyes only to be acknowledged by the sandwich preparer, Malali with its okay no need to cry positive interaction. She said, what can I make you? Then continued with a sweet and sincere smile to make her sandwich and serve it to her again reinforcing it was okay and no problem to remake her sandwich. As the student was waiting for someone else to collect her second drink, one of the front line staff, Kimon come around and almost hugged the student telling her it was okay to go enjoy her lunch. It is that kind of service that makes up for all the small complaints (or feedback) that come to us as ways to improve our food services. I am grateful to each employee who took the time to stop what they were doing to serve our students. I am honored to have an Ovations team such as this one serving our College community. NICE JOB! That is what community engagement and student success is all about! With deep appreciation for your service and commitment to student success! CHEERS TO THE OVATIONS TEAM!

Spot Recognition – Mish Kruszewski

Spot Award

Green River’s Spot Recognition is your opportunity to recognize an individual, work group, department, team, or committee that has performed work at Green River that merits recognition. It’s easy. It’s quick. It’s on the Spot. Simply complete the form and the Employee Recognition Committee will do the rest.

You may ask, “What does my nominee receive?” Each nominee receives a Spot Recognition Certificate that captures your nomination comments during a team or participatory governance meeting.

Mish's Spot Recognition

Mieszko Kruszewski’s Spot Recognition

Mish is a wonderful Help Desk professional. He knows what he is doing, and even when it’s something he has not dealt with before, he does the extra research to find a solution. His kind and helpful attitude is especially nice when we’re dealing with something that’s frustrating about our system or equipment. Thank Mish for the great work and creating a supportive environment and helping troubleshoot our IT challenges.

Employee Spotlight – Zach and Heather Lambert

We’d like to take a moment and recognize the following employee(s) for their years of service and dedication to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

Zach and Heather Lambert

What is one of the first memories you have of each other?
According to Heather: Zach and I have been together since high school, it will be 20 years on Feb 14th. Zach and I first met each other in Middle School on a band trip to Canada. I knew who he was but we didn’t really start talking to each other until my senior year, his junior year. Zach and I sat next to each other in Physics and he would talk to me about one of my friends that he liked. We ended up becoming really good friends and over Christmas break (1994) he asked me to go to the movies. Two months later on Valentine’s Day, he sent me a rose to my classroom asking me to be his girlfriend.

According to Zach: We met in High school. We started dating over winter break of my junior year, her senior year. I remember telling my swim coach at the end of practice that I was going to ask her out. He said “Heather the cheerleader, she’ll never go out with you.” I don’t recall our first date you’ll have to ask her.

What five words would you use to describe your partner?
Heather: Friendly, caring, supportive, handsome, funny.

Zach: Kind, Loving, Thoughtful, Organized, Persistent.

Zach and Heather Lambert

What is your favorite thing about your partner?
Heather: Zach is so much fun and he is a great father. He is always there when I need him and I love that he thanks me every night for cooking dinner and tells me how good it was even if it was just a can of soup.

Zach: She is my best friend and a wonderful mother.

How often do you get to have lunch together and who gets to choose where you go?
Heather: We eat lunch together every day on the run. Our daughter is in the Montessori preschool on campus. During our lunch break, we run her to daycare at the bottom of the hill.  If we are lucky, we go to subway.

Zach: Our daughter attends the Montessori pre-school here so we use our lunch to take her back to daycare. If we do go out it’s only on the one day she has off and it’s usually at Subway.

What about your partner makes you laugh?
Heather: When Zach finds a new hobby, he takes it very serious. I just go along with it and support him because it’s all he (we) will talk about for months.

Zach: She can never get the words right to songs. Also when we were younger she believed me when I told her the orange balls on power lines were filled with peanut butter.

Where is the most romantic spot on campus?
Heather: During the summer when we don’t have to run kids around at lunch, we like to walk the trails.

Zach: Hmmm…sounds like a loaded question.

Zach and Heather Lambert

What is the best part of working at the same institution?
Heather: I love seeing him at work, I know he is always around when I need him, we have the same holidays off, we can carpool and I always seem forget my debit card at home so I know I can call him for money.

Zach: Being able to take a break and see my wife, especially if I’m having a stressful day. Also we are both able to spend time with our daughter at lunch. Carpooling is nice too!

What is one question everyone asks you when you tell them that you work at the same place?
Heather: Don’t you get sick of him? I don’t. Zach and I like to be together. Before we got married, we worked in the same office. The dean at the time was a little worried but she later told us we were a great team.   Zach and I work really hard at keeping work and family life separate.

Zach: Don’t you get tired of being around her all day? I don’t, but I have one rule…no talking about work on the drive home.

If you could take one class at Green River, what would that class be?
Heather: Spanish classes.

According to Zach: Not sure, but we did take a knitting class together and that was fun.

Employee Spotlight – Josh Gerstman

We’d like to take a moment and recognize the following employee for their years of service and dedication to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

FeaturePic-JoshGerstman

What do you love about working at Green River?
Working with a broad range of people, including co-workers, students, and community members and the diverse experiences and opportunities available on campus and in the community. I love working in a multifaceted organization with many moving parts and the opportunity to be involved in a variety of projects and efforts.

What does working in higher education mean to you?
Working in Higher Ed means we are providing amazing opportunities to members of our local community and students from around the globe to advance their lives through education. I love the ideal that we will meet a student where they are at, whether that is basic skills, high school completion, career and technical education, advanced academic topics, or even a single course to get ahead in a job. I have worked at Green River for just over 15 years and lived in our service area. I am frequently meeting people who share a Green River story, either about themselves or a family member. And yet I also frequently have the opportunity to clear up myths or assumptions about the college and open people’s eyes to the amazing opportunities available here.

Where is one spot on campus you find relaxing?
Walk out on the nature trails, less than a ½ mile from the parking lot is the Mt. Rainer Overlook. One clear day, you have one of the most spectacular views of Mt. Rainier. Even better, are the remaining 200 acres of trails, from easy walking to getting a true alpine feel, access to the Green River, and amazing forest. (alternatives include the water-wall and stone sphere, and the new waterfall by the AD Bldg.)

Of all employee benefits, which one do you appreciate most?
The opportunity to work in an educational environment with frequent learning opportunities, such as lectures, workshops, speaker series, concerts, cultural events, and activities like the Engineering student trebuchet pumpkin launch or walking across campus and AJ Narayan having telescopes or special glasses available to view an eclipse. You don’t find opportunities like most work environments.

In your role, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
Hearing from alumni and past scholarship recipients and learning of the cool things they are doing professionally and in life. To see that the students we have been working so hard to help are now leading amazing lives and impacting others. To go to my son’s scout meeting and see three parent leaders are former scholarship recipients from my time at Green River. Also, to continue to see the Water-wall and stone sphere be a center peace of campus 10 years after we worked to raise the funds, spread the vision, and help make the Kennelly Commons rebuilding project happen.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
In addition to frequent public speaking on behalf of the college or on campus, that I enjoy storytelling and would like to participate in actual storytelling workshops or opportunities such as the Moth Radio hour on NPR. Even better would be a forum for storytelling on campus, with the chance to listen to others stories and share my own.

If you could swap places with any other position on campus just for one day, what position would that be?
For one day, would love to swap with Tom Trindl’s grounds crew, have the chance to run some machinery and have a hand in shaping one of the outdoor spaces and have a spot on campus I could walk by every day and know I had a hand in making. Alternatively, would love to guest lecture in a class and interact with students in a direct academic capacity.

What on campus makes you smile the most?
Watching new students interact with the water-wall and stone sphere sculpture and enjoying sunny days on the Kennnelly Commons or other gathering spots. These are areas we worked hard to make possible to provide students the opportunity to gather and spend time on campus and help set Green River apart from other CTC campuses.

What classes on campus have you taken or would you like to take in the future?
I haven’t enrolled in any quarter long classes but I love to take advantage of faculty lectures, staff brown bags and workshops, and student presentations such as the recent First Peoples Conference or Who Are We Sessions.

What advice would you give to a brand new employee?
Enjoy the beautiful campus and natural environment. Get out and walk the campus, view the art in the building, and talk to the people. Introduce yourself to co-workers, listen to their stories and favorite aspects of the college. If you see a student or prospective student trying to find a building or walking with trepidation, stop and ask if they need help. Learn the campus and where things are so you can help direct people, but even if you don’t know, help the student ask or stop in an office and ask how to find the location or service the student is looking for.

Who is one person at Green River you’d like to thank for contributing to your success?
Green River is about so much more than one person, but the first person I’d thank is Clark Townsend. Clark was the founding executive director of the Green River Community College Foundation. Clark was a role model for community engagement, innovative and visionary thinking, and laying the groundwork for the foundation, for which we benefit from today. Fortunately I was able to spend a lot of time with Clark in the years prior to his passing and was able to thank him in that time. I would also thank the faculty and long time faculty and staff who have taken the time to share the early stories of Green River.

Employee Spotlight – Alan Carter

We’d like to take a moment and recognize the following employee for their years of service and dedication to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

Alan CarterWhat do you love about working at Green River?
I love working with all of the great people that work at Green River College. I really like our motto of Think Student, Then Decide.

What does working in higher education mean to you?
Learning and education is very important to me. I love to help people learn IT, and get prepared for a rewarding career in the field.

Where is one spot on campus you find relaxing?
To relax on campus, I love to take a hike on our extensive trail system.

Of all employee benefits, which one do you appreciate most?
Our health care benefits.

In your role, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
Launching the first Bachelor of Applied Science degree at Green River College.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
Most people don’t know that I love to read science fiction.

If you could swap places with any other position on campus just for one day, what position would that be?
If it were just for one day, and I could pick the day, I would swap positions with Dr. Ely for Commencement. That has to be the most fulfilling part of our job – seeing the students succeed.

What on campus makes you smile the most?
Watching students working together on projects!

What classes on campus have you taken or would you like to take in the future?
I have taken a Fly Fishing class from continuing education.

What advice would you give to a brand new employee?
Think Student, Then Decide!

Who is one person at Green River you’d like to thank for contributing to your success?
I would like to thank Jeff McCauley for mentoring me and helping me to grow as a teacher and a leader.

Employee Spotlight – Marcie Sims

We’d like to take a moment and recognize the following employee for their years of service and dedication to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

Marcie SimsWhat do you love about working at Green River?
The people: I love the students and working with my amazing colleagues.

What does working in higher education mean to you?
As someone who started my own higher education / college journey at a community college, it felt right and important to me to come back to teaching in a community college and follow my passion.

Where is one spot on campus you find relaxing?
The trails alongside campus are a relaxing place to walk (if it is not pouring outside).

Of all employee benefits, which one do you appreciate most?
I appreciate my medical and retirement benefits that will help both me and my children in the future.

In your role, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
As a long-time tenured faculty member at GRCC I am most proud of the hundreds of students over the years who I have watched get the spark that education, a study of literature, and working on critical thinking and verbal and written communication has brought them.  They shine with these new tools and move forward to a better future.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
One thing most people don’t know about is my hobby of stand-up paddle boarding.

If you could swap places with any other position on campus just for one day, what position would that be?
I would swap with the head of the cafeteria so I could create a fun speciality menu for the day: I am a foodie.

What on campus makes you smile the most?
My crazy English Division department meetings make me smile.

What classes on campus have you taken or would you like to take in the future?
I have taken two photography classes, one Chinese class from a visiting Chinese professor, and I would like to take ceramics.

What advice would you give to a brand new employee?
Make time in your busy day to get to know the people on campus and spend some time with them.

Who is one person at Green River you’d like to thank for contributing to your success?
I would like to thank Hank Galmish, who was there when I was hired, served on my tenure committee, and remained an intellectual and teaching mentor for me my entire career–even now though he retired this last ​summer!

Employee Spotlight – Bob Kickner

We’d like to take a moment and recognize the following employee for their years of service and dedication to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

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What do you love about working at Green River?
The opportunity to share my passion for learning, physical activity, competition, and service on a daily basis.

What does working in higher education mean to you?   
Higher Education is about sacrifice, growth, and personal improvement.  Higher education is not a right or a requirement to living a good life.  Those that take the step to invest in themselves through the sacrifice of time and resources to learn how to communicate, think critically, and solve problems are advancing our communities one person at a time.

Where is one spot on campus you find relaxing?
The gymnasium.

Of all employee benefits, which one do you appreciate most?
Vacation

In your role, what accomplishment are you most proud of?
Serving over 800 students over the past ten years as an academic advisor and as a shaper of extracurricular activities and athletic opportunities.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? 
I appreciate the skills needed for music, art and drama as much as I do athletics.  I have a deep respect for the work necessary to be skilled enough to perform anything at a high level.

If you could swap places with any other position on campus just for one day, what position would that be?
Landscaper.  You control the outcome, receive immediate feedback, and work with nature (who doesn’t talk back).

What on campus makes you smile the most?
Watching the new student life building going up and knowing how big of an impact it will make to the campus.

What classes on campus have you taken or would you like to take in the future? 
The Economics of Sport, Sport Psychology 202, Intro to Kinesiology and Lab, Care and Prevention of Athletic Related Injuries would all be great classes to take

What advice would you give to a brand new employee? 
Don’t take your work home with you, find a positive in each day, and give yourself three years to decide if you really enjoy your work.

Who is one person at Green River you’d like to thank for contributing to your success?
Bart Dowd for giving me the keys to the kingdom.

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