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Living the Mission: Don Sanford

Dec. 21, 2011


What began four years ago as two friends casually trading books is now a two-campus lend-fest, at the center of which is one smiling, book-loving man, Don Sanford.

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An avid reader since childhood, Don began trading books with fellow bibliophile (and former Pierce Puyallup staffer) Bonnie Tiffault. Linda Gulbransen soon joined in, and, before long, a network of readers were donating and borrowing a growing collection of books. When Don was moved to Fort Steilacoom two years ago, he extended the Employee Book Exchange and began building a library there. Fort Steilacoom President Denise Yochum provided the bookshelves, and the exchange took off.

Now, there are about 100 books in the Puyallup collection and about 60 at Fort Steilacoom. There are no rules for participating; everything is done on the honor system. Donate a book. Borrow a book. There are no sign-out sheets or due dates.

The variety of books is extensive at both campuses, but Don gets one request more than any other.

“Everybody asks about romance,” he said. “We definitely have romance.”

“We have some of everything. Blood and guts. Murder mysteries. Romance,” added Linda Gulbransen, who oversees the Puyallup exchange. “There is educational reading, too, but that’s not very popular.”

Don’s favorites are the mysteries, but since he reads so many books, he dabbles in a bit of everything. He’s read 82 books this year. He knows exactly how many because he keeps a journal of everything he reads with a rating of how much he liked it.

“It’s something my mom had me do when I was a kid,” he explained. “I have journals going back to 1985. I push to read 100 books a year, but I’ve only done that once.”

In fact, at any one time, Don says he’s read at least four or five of the top 10 bestsellers. Sharing his love of books with others is a way for him to give back to the college community. Don lives the Pierce College mission by contributing to a positive and diverse environment, where employees feel valued and respected.

At Fort Steilacoom, the Employee Book Exchange is divided between the two employee lounges in CAS 225 and CAS 362.

At Puyallup, the exchange is located in the employee lounge at ADM 150.

Donations are always welcome.

Latest News

Wings down, the world’s cutest turkey

Dec. 21, 2011


At the center of Terri Mitchell’s Thanksgiving table was a turkey so adorable, it had to be shared. Terri’s granddaughter, Clara Mitchell, is just 11 months old and already hamming (or birding?) it up for the camera. She loved her costume and sat smiling for a number of photos. (To see a larger version of the photo, click on More.) Thanks, Terri and Maria Camilon-Price, for sharing the picture!

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At the center of Terri Mitchell’s Thanksgiving table was a turkey so adorable, it had to be shared.

Terri’s granddaughter, Clara Mitchell, is just 11 months old and already hamming (or birding?) it up for the camera. She loved her costume and sat smiling for a number of photos.

Thanks, Terri and Maria Camilon-Price, for sharing the picture!

Latest News

Open Course Library moves into second phase

Dec. 21, 2011


Faculty members Emily Wood (library) and David Lippman (math) have been selected to contribute to the second phase of the state’s Open Course Library project, which seeks to make low-cost educational materials openly accessible to students. Both contributed to Phase 1 of the project, which was rolled out to students in October. For Phase 2, Lippman will write a textbook for Math 107 (Math in Society). Wood will continue her work as an instructional designer, working with faculty to develop holistic instructional programs.

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Faculty members Emily Wood (library) and David Lippman (math) have been selected to contribute to the second phase of the state’s Open Course Library project, which seeks to make low-cost educational materials openly accessible to students. Both contributed to Phase 1 of the project, which was rolled out to students in October. For Phase 2, Lippman will write a textbook for Math 107 (Math in Society). Wood will continue her work as an instructional designer, working with faculty to develop holistic instructional programs.

In Phase 1 of the project, Lippman co-wrote (with Melonie Rasmussen) a pre-calculus textbook. Lippman had previously prepared the initial version of an open math textbook, which was the foundation of his proposal for the Open Course Library. He has since been an advocate of open source course materials and is considered a resource on the subject for local and regional faculty members.

For her part in Phase 1, Wood provided instructional design support for algebra, pre-calculus, library science, geology, and biology classes.

“Specifically, I helped faculty course designers revise course outcomes, integrate assessments into their courses, and design effective learning activities in order to meet established instructional design best practices,” she explained.

She will do similar work for classes in Phase 2.

The state's Open Course Library is an effort by the state Board of Community and Technical Colleges to create low-cost textbooks and other course materials for students all over the world. In October, the state officially rolled out materials for 42 of the state's highest-enrolled community college courses. An additional 39 courses (Phase 2) will be finished by 2013. The project is funded with $750,000 in state money and a matching grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

All materials in the Open Course Library (textbooks, syllabi, activities, readings and assessments) are $30 or less per course for hard copies. If all community-college faculty members adopted open-source texts, it is estimated students could save as much as $41 million a year. By helping ensure all students have access to comprehensive and affordable educational offerings, the Open Course Library aligns with Pierce College’s mission and institutional outcomes.

Latest News

Fall Pride of PY: Christine Richtig

Dec. 21, 2011


Christine Richtig (Running Start) was recognized for her excellent customer service, positive attitude, and professional demeanor. In the Running Start office, Christine comes into contact with more than 600 students every quarter, and she greets each of them with kindness, consideration, and a commitment to the college’s core values. Said one nominator, “I believe that Christine reflects all of the core values that Pierce College is about. When I see the words Learning, Integrity, Respect, Accountability, and Sustainability, I think of Christine, believing we could all learn from her example.”

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Latest News

FS Employee Excellence Award: Tony Grace

Dec. 21, 2011


Tony Grace (eLearning) was recognized for his commitment to innovation and continued progress in the area of student retention. Tony has been a champion of Tegrity, a class-capture system that addresses different learning styles and students’ need for in-depth review of course materials. He has also been integral to Academic Early Warning, SmarterMeasure (a readiness tool), a math cohort implementation, and a virtual office for increased access to students. According to his nominators, “Tony is always willing to try new approaches. He is very student success focused. He works across the district to assist all eLearning students, and works well with faculty to launch and employ technology where it will help facilitate student success.” Tony is living the Pierce mission through his efforts to improve access and create an environment that encourages learning and success!

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Latest News

FS Employee Excellence Award: Kristi Kelly

Dec. 21, 2011


Kristy Kelly (IT) was recognized for her work on the eSchedule. During a hectic time and with a lot of changes coming at her from every direction, Kristi stayed cool and focused, and used the experience to learn new skills. “Not only was she unfamiliar with all the SMS coding, she had to learn this new schedule process and make all kinds of changes and adjustments along the way to creating a functional and working schedule for summer and fall,” explained her nominator. Kristi is living the Pierce mission with her commitment to excellence and her willingness to work towards continuous improvement.

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Latest News

FS Employee Excellence Award: Mary Meulblok

Dec. 21, 2011


Mary Meulblok (International Ed) was honored for her compassion, commitment to students, leadership, and tireless optimism. Said one nominator, "No matter how busy she is, she will not hesitate to help anyone…She is always ready with a hug, a solution, and a sympathetic ear. She handles hundreds of disasters with a positive ‘can do’ attitude and with amazing haste.” Another nominator pointed out a recent example of Mary’s dedication. When a student was seriously ill, Mary took her home and took care of her for an entire weekend. “She consistently goes above and beyond to help students improve themselves and to help them get what they need to be successful. They all love her and come see her regularly even after they have graduated and gone on to university.” Congratulations to Mary for living the Pierce mission and contributing to the positive environment of the college and the local community!

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Latest News

FS Employee Excellence Award: Margaret Phillips

Dec. 21, 2011


Margaret Phillips (cashiering), who was recently named the Fall Quarter Short STTACC Award winner, was honored for her efforts to help students facing crisis. Her nominator relayed a specific incident when a student was desperate for his financial aid check. She immediately went to the folks in finance to work out a solution for the student, ensuring he would get his check that day. “With her showing patience and taking the time to resolve his issue, the student left that day with a financial aid check in his hands and commended Margaret for caring enough to help fix his problem,” said his nominator. Margaret is living the Pierce mission by demonstrating the core values of integrity and respect, and by helping remove some of the barriers to student access.

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Latest News

Be flood-savvy this winter

Dec. 21, 2011


Flooding is the most prevalent natural hazard facing Washington residents. Pierce County recently released a list of flooding resources and information to keep in mind as flood season goes into full flow.

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Flooding is the most prevalent natural hazard facing Washington residents. Pierce County recently released a list of flooding resources and information to keep in mind as flood season goes into full flow.

· To report flooding 24/7 on roadways, call (253) 798-6000.
· Pierce County Flood Information Hotline (recording with flood updates) and to report all other flooding problems: (253) 798-4274.
· Visit the Pierce County flooding website for continuous flood alerts.

Prevent street flooding by cleaning up leaves. If it's safe to do so, rake leaves off storm drains in your neighborhood to avoid clogging.

Residents living near river and floodplains and other flood-prone areas are encouraged to watch the latest forecasts on flooding potential.

If it does flood, there are several health concerns to keep in mind. Floodwaters can be dangerous, so do not try to walk or drive through them. If you come into contact with floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and clean water to avoid bacteria. After the floodwaters recede, clean up wearing gloves and boots. Wash all clothes and linens in hot water and discard mattresses or stuff furniture that had contact with floodwaters.

Food that had contact with floodwaters is not safe to eat and should be discarded, although canned food is safe if the cans are thoroughly washed. If your well is flooded, your tap water is probably unsafe for use. If you have public water, the Health Department will let you know when your water is safe to drink. Septic systems do not function when there is standing water on the ground around it, so should not be used until the soil has dried. For more information about health issues related to floods, please visit the health department website.

Commander of the Pen

Stay safe this holiday season

Dec. 21, 2011

It’s the holiday season and, before you all set out to celebrate and relax (hopefully) with loved ones, I just want to take a minute to remind you that the holidays should be good for you. Because I care about you and want to see you all back on campus in January with as many working parts as you left with, here are a few holiday safety tips to keep in mind. (Notice none of these address the danger of getting run over by reindeer. That one is much too obvious.)

• Don’t drive tired or drunk. Reaction times for overly tired drivers rival those of drunk drivers; both are dangerous to everyone. So, pass on the eggnog and get your full eight hours. You’ll improve your health and keep yourself safe on the roads.

• Be careful hanging holiday lights. Falls are the most common holiday accident. Whether from a roof, ladder, or tree, hanging holiday lights is dangerous business. So, be safe (look to Clark Griswold for details on what not to do), have a buddy hold the ladder, and try not to land on your head.

• Be fire-safe with candles, holiday lights, and Christmas trees. Turn off holiday lights when you leave, and don’t use indoor extension cords for outdoor displays. Buy either a fire-resistant fake tree or get a fresh real tree (no brown spots or dry needles), and keep both away from heat sources and vents. Candles are the most dangerous, so be sure not to leave them unattended or near anything flammable (such as curtains or Uncle Lewis’ toupee and stogie). The safest option is the fake LED candles that actually flicker. Fancy stuff.

• Fruitcake is not the only poisonous item lingering about for the holidays. Be careful with mistletoe, holly berries, and Christmas cactus, all of which are especially poisonous if ingested. Also, if you have pets, poinsettias can be deadly. The same is true for onions, garlic, grapes and raisins, chocolate, and sugarless gum. (Incidentally, if you decide to eat a poinsettia yourself, you probably won’t die, but you may wish you were dead. Poinsettias can cause serious gastrointestinal distress. Yikes!)

Be safe out there, Raiders, and we’ll see you right back here in January. Happy Holidays!