Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Edmonds CC to send seven students to the Global Leadership Summit Conference in South Africa

Marisa DuBois, Edmonds Community College Director of Student Services for Adult Basic Education/English as a Second Language, has made the world seem a bit smaller by bridging the gap between the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein, South Africa and Edmonds CC.

Edmonds CC has been invited to send seven students to the Global Leadership Summit conference at UFS in Bloemfontein, South Africa from July 5-18.

The international conference will be an exchange of ideas and experiences regarding diversity, racism, racial integration, social justice, and reconciliation within the higher education system.

“I am hoping that on a student-to-student level, they can see themselves in each other and continue to support each other as students, working professionals, and community members,” said DuBois.

International delegates from institutions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia will have an opportunity to understand South African society, and how university students are being looked to as the country’s future leaders.

In 2012, DuBois took a two-quarter leave of absence and went to Bloemfontein as a visiting student affairs scholar, to support the Leadership For Change (LFC) initiative, which was instituted in 2010. LFC aims to get a select group of students into a short term educational two week experience, along with a year-long leadership development program.

As a result of DuBois’s visit, Edmonds CC brought students from UFS here to visit classes, departments and areas within the community in September 2013.

“I was proud of our campus for embracing the students,” said DuBois. “There was a mutual fascination on both sides.”

The UFS students also connected with our Center for Student Engagement and Leadership (CSEL) leaders. A pivotal point was when they visited the Race exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. There was a pre-workshop and a post- workshop for the students to discuss racial inequality.

DuBois earned her Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington in 2011. 

The support of the college has been amazing. Jean Hernandez, President; International student services; Center for Student Engagement and Leadership; David Cordell, Vice President of International Education; Tonya Drake, Vice President for College Relations and Advancement, and Jesse Aspree, Associate Director for Global Engagement and Contracted Services whom without his support and guidance, this would not have happened.

When asked what inspired her to bring the Global Leadership Summit as an opportunity to Edmonds CC students, “My experience in South Africa was so profound there. I didn’t want it to be another thing on my checklist and I wanted to see how I could help facilitate change,” said DuBois. “This partnership has been a part of my growth — to see the experience that the students had here, I thought ‘it worked!’ and want it to continue to impact student’s lives.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Edmonds CC student Alexandra Serdyuk to attend the 29th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research 2015

Alexandra Serdyuk, student at Edmonds Community College, had her research paper accepted at the 29th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), to be held April 16-18 and hosted by Eastern Washington University.

Serdyuk’s research paper, “Experimental and Theoretical Determination of Geometric Dependence of Townsend Coefficients in Paschen's Model of Dielectric Breakdown in Gases,” focuses on voltage breakdown, more specifically lightning in a controlled chamber.  

“Basically, it is a study of cold static plasma that occurs in a low pressure environment (vessel) with applied to electrodes inside the vessel high voltage,” said Serdyuk.

She has been investigating this topic for one year and has discovered a plethora of conflicting research.

“The idea for my paper started in my General Physics I class where I had to measure the voltage breakdown from the coil,” stated Serdyuk.

Tom Fleming, Physics instructor has helped Serdyuk a great.

“He helped me to realize what I was doing wrong and what I was doing right,” said Serdyuk. “Tom made me like what I am doing.”

Serdyuk is an international student from Russia who came here three years ago and did not know English. Her original area of study was business, but she made the switch to physics, fittingly so, as her parents are both engineers.

Serdyuk is currently in her last quarter at Edmonds CC, studying Mechanical Engineering while pursuing her Associate in Science-T Track 2 degree and is planning to transfer to University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Ultimately, Serdyuk wants to construct planes.

Serdyuk was competing against students at two and four-year schools from all over the country and was selected out of 3,700 submissions.

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and its affiliated colleges, universities, and individuals share a focus on providing undergraduate research opportunities for faculty and students at all institutions serving undergraduate students, according to the CUR website.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Scholarships awarded to Edmonds CC 2014/2015 Community Read winners

As part of the eighth annual Edmonds Community College Community Read, five Edmonds CC students — Megan McDermott, Denica McMillan, Shabina Pal, Ilene Ong, and Kathryn Severson — were awarded scholarships for their project submission inspired by the 2014/2015 Edmonds CC Community Read book, “You’ve Got It All Wrong.”
From left: Megan McDermott, Ilene Ong, Shabina Pal, and Denica McMillan. Kathryn Severson not pictured.
Two $1,300 scholarships, which covers spring quarter tuition; one $600 scholarship, which covers partial spring quarter tuition; and two $350 scholarships were all funded by the Edmonds CC Foundation.

The students of Scriber Lake high school and authors of “You’ve Got It All Wrong”, will be at the annual Community Read event on April 29, 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Black Box Theatre on campus, 20000 68th Ave. W., to discuss their book. The Community Read scholarship recipients will be recognized at this event. The community is invited to both times.

McDermott’s project is a painting titled, “Blue Lotus”. The painting shows eyes which are the windows to the soul. “The flower is like people — they are delicate and they bloom out of pain,” said McDermott. “The proverb ‘to hope to live like the lotus and bloom out of mud’ is similar to the stories in the book, which ended with students wanting to start anew.” McDermott is obtaining her Associate of Arts degree and hopes to transfer to an art school. McDermott serves on the college’s Powwow committee as a vendor coordinator.

McMillan created a 60 inch by 40 inch self-portrait painting titled, “Chameleon”, which depicts different sides of herself: a women's right advocate; a school girl; a worker; and a mother with a daughter. Her inspiration was drawn from writing a reflective essay for her CPR health class on what set herself apart from others in the class. “Different vignettes were centered around labels,” said McMillan. “All of us are a chameleon in the different places that we live and work – we blend in with our surroundings.” McMillan works as a peer advocate for the Health and Wellness department at Edmonds CC. She is pursuing her Associate of Arts degree. After Edmonds CC, she plans to double major in women's studies and communication at the University of Washington.

Pal’s project is a train titled, “The Wagons of Life,” where each wagon has two or three quotes and the name of a student. Her inspiration for the project came from watching her cousins play with trains. “Each student has their own journey and their own story,” said Pal. “Much like a train, once you reach the end you have to decide if you want to start over or keep going.” Pal is earning her Associate of Science degree and will be applying to University of Washington, Seattle University, John Hopkins University and Stanford University. Ultimately, she wants to be an orthodontist for kids.

Ong created a website, “youhavegotitallwrong.blogspot.com/.” The first page has one quote per day from the book, the second contains an introduction to the book, and the third contains a video titled, “You are more,” which is dedicated to the authors of “You’ve Got It All Wrong.” “Each of their stories were open about their lives,” said Ong. “I was able to relate to them and look at it from an open perspective. The website has a strong power to share with people; it is a good form of communication and offers a platform to share the people in the book.” Ong is studying international business and wants to be an entrepreneur. “I hope the website will be shared with as many people as possible and serve as encouragement for people to speak up more,” said Ong.

Severson’s project is three styrofoam heads: a blue head wrapped in chains to represent depression, a green head covered with barbed wire to represent jealousy, and a red head with vines to represent anger and cutting. The heads start with black at the base of the neck and fades up toward the top of the head into its color. “At the end of each section in the book they are currently in a better place, which is why the colors fade up from black,” said Severson. “No matter how bad it gets, it can always get better.” Severson is pursuing her Associate of Arts degree. She would like to study fashion design at Seattle Pacific University.   

Previous Edmonds CC Community Read books are “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” by Rebecca Skloot; "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," by Jamie Ford; “The Big Burn,” by Timothy Egan; “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer; “Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World,” by Dan Koeppel; “Middle Passage,” by Charles Johnson; and “Zaatar Days, Henna Nights, Adventures, Dreams, and Destinations Across the Middle East,” by Maliha Masood.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Edmonds CC students build an environmental educational facility in Florence, Italy

Two graduates from Edmonds Community College, Antonio and Kiersten Baiamonte, are building a sustainable educational study abroad facility named, Bio-Monte, “Retreats, Tours, and Education in Tuscany, Italy.”

The Baiamontes, a married couple, want to connect with students and educators to transform the land they have found in the Chianti region of Italy into educational organic vineyards, olive groves, vegetable gardens, fruit orchards, and medicinal herb gardens.

The profit gained from the products they produce will go towards scholarships to bring students to study at their facility.

They are currently running one-week tours and retreats for students and eco-minded tourists, but plan on expanding their program to provide a longer and more in-depth study abroad experience.

The Baiamontes signed up for the Edmonds CC study abroad program spring quarter 2011 with assistance from Jesse Aspree, Associate Director for Global Engagement and Contracted Services for the International Student Services department.

“Jesse helped make our study abroad possible through endless encouragement and a plethora of options on how to make study abroad affordable and attainable in our careers as students,” said Kiersten Baiamonte.

While studying abroad, the Baiamontes were inspired by the landscape and the culture. When they returned to the U.S., they immediately wanted to go back to Florence.

With perseverance, they returned to Florence in May of 2013 and found an agriturismo (a combination of the words for "agriculture" and "tourism" in Italian - a style of vacationing in farm house resorts) which consisted of three charming farmhouse style apartment buildings or mini villas and a grand main house. The property was run by a knowledgeable Tuscan married couple, who loved their idea of turning the facility and its forty acres into a place for people to come and learn about the Tuscan way of life and how their direct relationship to the earth is such an essential part of this life style.

The Baiamontes knew they had found the perfect location to bring students and guide them in a life changing experience like the one they had been blessed with.

Part of the program will consist of specialized retreats and eco tours of the Tuscany region including wine, cooking, yoga, and wellness, which are all focused on giving their guests authentic, cultural interactions and experiences so that they leave Italy having learned the universal languages of food, wine, and culture.

They are both currently seniors at Western Washington University completing their studies in urban planning and sustainable development.

“Our end goal is to become a completely self-sustaining facility and leave zero carbon impact/footprint,” said Antonio Baiamonte. 

Contact Antonio or Kiersten about study abroad oppurtunities at aebaiamonte@aol.com

Friday, March 27, 2015

Katie Johnson: a success story

Katie Johnson was born in Seattle and attended Inglemoor High School. Katie found herself in a similar situation as many other young teenage girls do nowadays. She was faced with being a teen mom. She had her first daughter at the age of eighteen and was working as a bartender. By 2009 she had three children.

She decided to go back to school and began talking to Karen Townsend from the social/human services department with Edmonds Community College about her dreams and aspirations. Karen said, “if you have the opportunity, go on and continue - you are plenty capable so if you’re gonna do it, do it.”

In Winter of 2010 she enrolled at Edmonds CC. During her time at Edmonds CC, there were a few teachers, namely, Tui Lindsey, Paul Anconca, and Townsend who really went out of their way to answer questions and to reassure me if I had self doubt.  “Their belief in me was what gave me the confidence. I had a passion there that I didn’t know was there; that passion is what carried me through when I didn’t think I could go on anymore,” said Johnson. “Karen, Tui, and Paul were instrumental in me realizing that I had the drive, passion, and brains to achieve my dream of being the first college graduate on both sides of my family!”

In addition to being a teen mom, she has had to face other adversities while pursuing her degree. She barely walked away from a near-fatal car accident that left her unable to walk for three years along with five surgeries to repair the damage. She also had a spinal cord stimulator implanted in her back. She went through all of this while raising her three daughters and three step kids, and helping her disabled Iraq veteran fiancee.

Amidst all of this adversity, her daughters kept her going. She never wanted to be a statistic. “The whole point of life is to improve the life of your children. If I wanted to give my children the life I never had, I knew I had to wake up and sacrifice for them. That was what drove me- to show them that you have to work hard- you have to go to school and college there is no other option,” said Johnson.

Johnson graduated from Edmonds Community College in June 2012.

Johnson graduated Magna cum Laude in August 2014 from Central Washington University with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minor in Family Studies!

Johnson plans on applying to Seattle University to earn her Masters of Arts in Existential and Phenomenological Psychology (counseling) and wants to be a licensed mental health counselor.

Now accepting applications for the Global Leadership Summit at the University of the Free State in South Africa July 4-19

Edmonds Community College has been invited to send seven students to the Global Leadership Summit conference at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein, South Africa from July 4-19.

The international conference, will be an exchange of ideas and experiences regarding diversity, racism, racial integration, social justice, and reconciliation within the higher education system. International delegates from institutions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia will have an opportunity to understand South African society, and how university students are being looked to as the country’s future leaders.

International airfare (roundtrip Seattle – Bloemfontein), travel insurance, and some meals are funded by the Associated Students of Edmonds Community College (ASEdCC). The University of the Free State is covering all remaining costs — housing, most meals, local transportation, and summit fees.

The deadline to apply is April 17, 5 p.m. To review conference requirements and begin the application process, go to: http://goo.gl/forms/Wa25fziu1B.

For students that are transferring to University of Washington, Bothell, beginning summer quarter, there is an opportunity to apply through their program. The Global Leadership Summit is offered as a Summer Term A course, which requires tuition and all international travel costs (financial aid and scholarships are available on a case-by-case basis). The deadline is April 3. To apply go to: http://www.bothell.washington.edu/globalinitiatives/abroad/featured/southafrica-summer2015

If selected students do not have a passport, they will need to apply immediately.

Specific conference components include:
  • introducing international delegates to challenges and successes at the University of the Free State;
  • faculty/departmental lectures, research seminars, and discussions regarding collaborative projects;
  • dialogue groups for students and staff hosted by various UFS units/divisions;
  • two to three day visit to the UFS rural campus in Qwaqwa (in the Eastern Free State region); and
  • excursions to local attractions.