Exempt Staff Professional Development


Our Exempt Staff Training and Development Sub-Committee has made a few updates to the professional development process for Admin/Exempt employees! At the below link, you can now do the following:

  1. Learn more about the eligibility requirements
  2. Discover how the application process works for all types of professional development (credit classes, non-credit classes, etc.)
  3. Find out how much funding is available
  4. Apply!!

The new Exempt Staff Professional Development page now also includes the application as a web form (no more downloads!). Check out the link below!

Exempt Staff Professional Development

Personality Traits and the Workplace


We all want to be the best employee we can be, right? Of course we do. Each of us also brings a variety of skills to the positions we currently hold. Beyond skills though, being successful in our current and future positions at Green River requires an understanding of oneself. Don’t worry, I’m not about to ask you to hold hands with the person next to you and begin chanting. That’s for another blog post.


This post is dedicated to gaining a better understanding of one’s own personality traits. Why is this important (you ask)? Well, these traits play an important role in the way we operate, interact, and engage with those around us. An understanding of traits is important for both individual and team success. Whether we prefer to think critically before making decisions, enjoy the thrill in taking a leap of faith, or consider forming a cross-campus committee to tackle an issue…chances are your traits (even unconsciously) are driving those decisions. Other factors of course also play into decisions, such as environment, past experience, and personal goals.


Below are four possible pairs of personality traits, popularized by Myers-Briggs Type Indicator:

  • Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E)
  • Intuition (N) or Sensing (S)
  • Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
  • Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

Free, Online Personality Test

Enough mumbo-jumbo already. It’s time to take a quick, free online test to determine our own personality traits! Remember, this is just the first step to understanding who we are, why we do things the way we do, and what this means in the workplace.

Take the 16 Personalities test now!


On-Campus Resources

Did you know that on-campus resources are also available for anyone interested? Our own Josh Staffieri, Education & Career Planner in the Welcome Center, provides in-depth professional career assessment? While online tests, like the one above are quick and easy to take, Josh excels at personalized consultations related to industry evaluations like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Strong Interest Inventory, and StrengthsQuest. If interested, simply contact Josh for additional details or start by viewing the linked Professional Career Assessments PDF flyer.

Lastly, thanks for your help Josh in answering our own questions related to personality traits and assessment tools! We look forward to exploring these in more detail with you, through a personalized consultation.

Ideas Worth Spreading…Before Summer Quarter

It’s quite on campus. Too quiet. Sure, the squirrels are frolicking and there is plenty of parking available, but something is missing. Gone are the familiar sights and sounds of students migrating to and from every building on campus. Now however, is the perfect chance to focus on yourself and get inspired before summer quarter starts!


TED is the perfect place to get inspired this summer.

TED (short for Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a platform for “ideas worth sharing.” Topics range from science to business to global issues and are provided in a variety of languages. What are you waiting for? Get inspired by:

Summer Professional Development: Google Cultural Institute

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


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

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


View collections from around the world.

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

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

Google Cultural Institute

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

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

Free Online Writing Class!

Posted on behalf of Jean Sheadel. Thanks for sharing Jean! 

Wordsmithing, various style guides, grammar police, punctuation problems, not to mention spelling mistakes – there’s so much involved in writing, and writing correctly! Some of us have a hard time not proofing periodicals and books while we’re reading.

AP Style Highlights

Some of the many tools in my AP arsenal.

One of the best training sessions I ever attended was a writing class I took while working for the Kent School District. The class reviewed the most common writing mistakes – including grammar, punctuation and commonly misused words. The content was similar to the book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, by Lynne Truss.

AP Style Thinking

Who wrote this stuff anyways..? Oh, that would be me.

Knowing this, I don’t think it would surprise you to know that I occasionally search the internet for training to improve my writing skills. I recently found a gem: Poynter. News University’s FREE, online class, “Cleaning Your Copy: Grammar, Style and More.” Based on the AP Style Guide, the style guide used by Green River’s marketing department, I’m finding this course to be not only a refresher, but a useful learning tool. I’m certain that this class will help me in my day-to-day writing for the website, and for proofing college-related material.

Course Website Screenshot

This $29.95 course is free of charge thanks to the support of Knight Foundation.

If someone finds another (free) training course, I’d love to know about it!

Stress in the Workplace Activity

Stress in Workplace

Fact: Cookies, snacks, and short presentation all help reduce stress.

Workplace stress is a common part of interacting with customers. In our case customers include our colleagues, vendors, students, parents, and even community members.

The key is how we handle stress under pressure. We need to be able to maintain our composure while serving our wide variety/range of customers. Using established best practices and techniques, we can deescalate others people’s emotions and focus on the facts to work towards a resolution.

Stress in Workplace

Participants getting into character (stressed employee, neutral third party, and upset customer).

The Financial Aid department interacts frequently with students and family members who have concerns regarding their financial aid. In some cases the conversations become emotionally charged and responding in a calm and effective manner is the key to transitioning towards the next step. Most recently this department took advantage of a collaborative group workshop, where they learned techniques to handle stress in the workplace.

Stress in Workplace

Using simple techniques, the situation was quickly deescalated.

Common Techniques Include:

  • Acknowledge person’s emotion and describe impact
  • Invite person to share thoughts and feelings
  • Determine whether continuing conversation is appropriate
  • Listen to understand
  • Probe to uncover underlying issues
  • Help the person move on
  • Tag a team member
  • Avoid internalizing emotions
  • Reach for fish in tackle box (personal method used by Financial Aid staff member)
Stress in Workplace

The happiest (and stress-free) department at Green River!

If any department is curious about beginning this same conversation or collaborative group activity, feel free to contact training@greenriver.edu.

Basic Mediation Training Course this June

Posted on behalf of Green River Community Mediation & Peacebuilding Institute.


Register today for our Basic Mediation Training (BMT) course.

If you are interested in enhancing your communication and conflict resolution skills, Basic Mediation Training (BMT) helps develop the skills needed to better resolve disputes and other issues for your students and others.

This coming June 22, 23, 24 and 29 & 30 a Basic Mediation Training (BMT) course will be held at our Kent campus. Completion of the BMT earns you 4 CEUs.

In the BMT course you will learn how to analyze and resolve disputes in a variety of contexts focusing on work and home situations.

(Completion of this course is a pre-requisite for a practicum which prepares graduates for certification as mediation practitioners.) Fee (after May): $695.00 CEUs: 4.0

Topics include: Conflict Resolution Concepts, Mediation Process, Qualities and Role of Mediator, Mediation Process, Communication Skills, Listening, Emotions, Power Imbalance, Conflict Styles, Being Aware of Our Biases, Ethics of Mediation.

Successful BMT graduates who complete a practicum and are willing to volunteer as mediators on school or college campuses, can be designated a ‘campus mediator’.

We limit the number of participants to ensure a high quality learning experience for all. Click on this link www.greenriver.edu/mediation for more information.

Registrations can be made to Cynthia Lemberg clemberg@greenriver.edu
Course information is available from Rich Elfers relfers@greenriver.edu

Register by 1 May and save with the Early Bird rate of $595.

I look forward to welcoming you to the BMT and to our Institute at Kent.

Barry J. Bannister PhD, Director
Green River Community Mediation & Peacebuilding Institute

Building Bridges Technology Conference

Building Bridges Technology Conference

Building Bridges Technology Conference

One of the first professional development opportunities I became aware of, when starting at Green River this past November, was the Building Bridges Technology Conference. This conference was of particular interest to me because it combined the teaching and learning side of training with the technology of eLearning and encouragement to collaborate across the institution. It perfectly aligned with training initiatives at Green River (such as VAWA, Participatory Governance, SafeColleges, MSDSOnline, HR mandatory training, and onboarding of new employees. And so, I was off to Spokane.


I’m off to Spokane! Only 3,972 miles to go!

The great news of a road trip across the State of Washington, is that I have family in Moses Lake. Granted, there were a few rest/candy/gas/coffee/bathroom breaks along the way, but getting a chance to surprise my own mother with a bag of goodies from her favorite store was priceless.

Moses Lake

Green River, meet my mother. Mom…Green River.

The great thing about conferences now-a-days is that they usually have a companion app, the ability to view profiles, and links to download presentations. This makes planning your personalized schedule an informed decision. Even better, I was able to do all my planning before I even arrived and had a mobile link to view complete details throughout the entire event.


At a technology conference all attendees must carry around 3.5 connected devices. It’s like the law or something.

A great thing about local, Pacific Northwest, conferences is that the connections you make are with people at other institutions that you will continue to engage with. In my case I had the chance to meet up with former colleagues and compare teaching and learning practices to gauge progress at my own institution. As it turns out, we’re just as far…or behind…as everyone else is.


Awesome former coworkers from Edmonds Community College. You rock Tim, Tina, and Eva!

The event overall was perfect for someone like me (interested in teaching and learning, eLearning, and training initiatives across campus). By the time next year’s conference rolls around, Green River will have at least two training initiatives worthy of presenting on. Stay tuned for that in future posts though. For now, feel free to check out all of my conference notes and key takeaways via the link below. If you’ve attended a conference yourself and have notes or great resources, holler at me to collaborate and share those across campus!


The great wall of Washington…near Wild Horse Monument.

My last photos have nothing to do with the conference. I admit I got sidetracked by how beautiful our state is. Be sure to check out Wild Horses Monument for yourself! A special thank you also goes out to Jennifer Warden on campus for getting me hip to travel regulations within the state. Note to self…photo-op and other distractions do not count towards mileage claims.


See how beautiful our state is!

Arbinger Adventures at Kent Campus

My first trip to Kent Campus!

My first trip to Kent Campus!

What better reason to visit the Kent Campus, than to participate in an Arbinger Institute from our very own Mediation Center. Arbinger training is just one of the many professional development opportunities available through this great resource! I even downloaded the audiobook “Leadership & Self-Deception” to mentally prepare to be a part of this training.

I present Dr. Barry Bannister (our fearless leader).

I present Dr. Barry Bannister (our fearless leader).

Throughout the day (this is actually a multi-day workshop), I found myself taking notes as fast as I could write them down. I appreciated how Arbinger focuses on the way we interact with others and our role in helping those around us. It posed great self-reflective questions, such as:

  • How am I a problem for others?
  • How can I be more helpful to others?
  • How can I help things go right?
Being surrounded by other Green River employees made the event a blast.

Being surrounded by other Green River employees made the event a blast.

The focus of the training is meant for workplace application and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in improving their professional life. However, the training applies to all personal interactions and I found myself utilizing the principles covered with my own family members as well. I would definitely suggest this workshop (and others) provided through the Mediation Center. For complete details on all of their offerings, simply contact Dr. Barry Bannister or visit www.greenriver.edu/mediation.

Just one of the many reasons to visit Kent Campus!

Just one of the many reasons to visit Kent Campus!

In case you have never been to the Kent Campus, you’re missing out! There are many, many reasons (besides Barry and the Mediation Center) to drop by. I can’t wait until the next professional development workshop!