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.
My name is Iqbal Halimi. I work as the Workforce Education Coordinator at Green River College. I joined the team a week ago and am looking forward to working with my new colleagues to accomplish our goals and contribute to the overall missions and objectives of the college.
I began my career in 2002 as a teacher and moved on into leadership and management positions at different international organizations. In the past 16 years, I managed and implemented 14 basic education and workforce education projects. These projects touched the lives of many low-income families.
What drew you to apply to Green River?
A major reason that I applied for work at Green River was that I really admired the college’s vision and values, which focus on student success and programs that address the needs of different communities. These mesh well with my past work endeavors and my future goals. I want to see students from all parts of society overcome barriers and achieve their dreams.
On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
When I am in the car alone, I like to listen to different radio stations and hear the songs they play. When it’s raining, I just want to listen to the rain. However, if my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter is in the car, as soon as she sees a few drops of rain, she sings the well-known song that says “Rain, rain go away, little Johnny wants to play.” She is very much an outdoor person!
What was the very first job you ever had?
I started serving people as a teacher. I made mistakes, but I learned from those. One lesson that I have drawn from my work as a teacher and from working with teachers is that not only do teachers matter more than any other single factor in delivering quality education but that a teacher can also play a crucial role in initiating bottom-up reforms in a school. I have seen it happen many, many times.
What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am really pleased that I am in direct contact with students. I already frequently see them and am learning from them. Honestly, they are our allies and we are their allies.
What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I want to help as many eligible students as possible through my department to get workforce education funding and complete their education.
What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
I have had several notable accomplishments in my life. Probably the most notable was that I completed my master’s degree in international education at the University of Massachusetts and in the course of that work made many new friends of different nationalities with whom I am still in touch professionally and personally. Although we are in different countries, we rely on each other’s knowledge, skills, and expertise. Another accomplishment that I happily look back on is that I have managed to travel to eight different countries and learn a great deal about a wide range of issues from people that I had never met before. Each different cultural experience taught me an important lesson. Finally, one other accomplishment that stands out is that I learned how to play cricket. I applied different strategies to learn this sport and managed to play some serious games. The secret for learning this game, and I am sure for other sports, is to spend time with your team members and learn from their expertise. Each team member has their own unique sets of skills.
If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
I will go with Iqbal or Ikbal. Iqbal means luck and it’s good to have some luck in life. That will serve as springboard.
For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
When I was student, I was good at preparing short photo films (video presentations) that complemented the group presentations that I led at my school. My classmates liked those pictures and the background music that I chose. I like to use metaphors and images because they are powerful communicators.
If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
I don’t know how good I am at this, but I will give at try. I would say “Go Run with Ease and Energy Now.”