Thursday, December 18, 2014

Edmonds CC alumnus Chester Curtis honored with fourth annual Transforming Lives award

Alumnus Chester Curtis
Edmonds Community College alumnus Chester Curtis is one of five community college students statewide to earn a $500 “Transforming Lives” award from the Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges.

The fourth annual Transforming Lives award — which will be awarded to Curtis at a ceremony on Jan. 28 in Olympia — honors students and graduates who overcome barriers to achieve their higher education goals, demonstrating how Washington's 34 community and technical colleges help transform lives through education and support.

Each college fielded a nominee. In addition to Curtis, others selected were Raymond Power, Bates Technical College; Angela Gates, Lower Columbia College; Yadira Rosales, Skagit Valley College; and Sukhdip Singh, Whatcom Community College.

A year after graduating from high school, Curtis joined the U.S. Army. He left his hometown of Crestview, Florida at 19 and spent four years in the U.S. Army as a Combat Engineer, including a 12 month deployment to Afghanistan — where he went on hundreds of missions and earned a Combat Action Badge.

"I have found that veterans are very unique in character and have a great deal of versatility," said Curtis. "They're accustomed to uniform policies and structure but can adapt to dynamic situations. They tend to possess leadership and teamwork skills and are committed to the organizations to which they belong."

While in the military, Curtis sustained combat injuries resulting in hearing loss and back pain. He realized he would not be able to return to construction work after he was discharged.

Curtis decided to take advantage of education benefits and enroll in the Energy Management program at Edmonds CC to learn skills that would augment his construction knowledge and lead to a new career. His first year was a reality check, as he learned that in addition to his physical injuries, he also suffered from PTSD and other invisible wounds.

"Rather than focus on my injuries, I sought the help I needed and looked for opportunities to lead and make a difference," said Curtis, who served in leadership roles in student associations and was the first community college student to serve on the National Student Veterans Council.

Curtis happily volunteered to participate in the Edmonds CC Foundation's Boots to Books and Beyond fundraising campaign. Through his work in the campaign, he helped improve the college's Veterans Resource Center and encouraged the college to implement gap funding to support student veterans financially during breaks between quarters.

"I knew that this posed a significant financial challenge for all student veterans," said Curtis.

"In generously sharing his experience and knowledge, Chester was able to articulate his struggles as a student veteran into a framework for change," the Edmonds CC Board of Trustees wrote in a letter nominating Curtis. "Current student veterans at Edmonds CC are already benefiting from Chester's vision and work — 18 students have already received almost $14,000 to cover their living expenses during the breaks between spring and summer and summer and fall quarters this year."

In addition to being a leader, Curtis was a quiet and purposeful advocate for change. He helped change policies in the Edmonds CC Math department for student veterans who were taking Bridge math classes and also lobbied to allow ornamentation for student veterans during the annual commencement ceremony.

Curtis graduated in 2013 with an Associate in Applied Science-T degree in energy management and a certificate in project management. He works as a Project Engineer at McKinstry and has plans to earn a bachelor's degree and a Master's in Business Administration in Leadership from the University of Washington.

"When I first set foot on campus, I never imagined I'd have such a positive experience," said Curtis. "Edmonds CC not only gave me stability and camaraderie, it gave me an outlet where I could serve, lead, and make an impact."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014 Ethics Challenge Snapshots

The 2014 Ethics Challenge commences


Paralegal students, Tony Hart, Crystal Edwards Neal, Keith Landis, Carrie Lim, and Sara Reed (left to right)

Accounting students, Yi Fan Zhang, Chia-Hsuan Shih, Dan Zahlmann, Shu Su, and Jin Chang (left to right)

             Business Management students, Gabriel Ludlum, Simon Yabowerk Haile, Christian Clarete, Leah Carter, Michael DiGiovanni (left to right)  


The students intently discuss ethical solutions

The participants toured Boeing Dec. 5


Friday, December 12, 2014

Bravo to Information Security and Digital Forensics students!

Kudos! Students Richard Leickly, David Angell, Rob Matthews, Kyle Derrick, Leslie Berntson, Donna Robeck, Braden Heil, and Quincy Powell worked literally hundreds of hours of their time to retrieve data from Oso mudslide victims' personal technology items. Read more about the story in the Everett Herald.

2014 Ethics Challenge Winners Announced

Here's an update to a story published 11/6 about an Ethics Challenge: 

Five teams face off during the Ethics Challenge.

The winning team discusses an ethical dilemma.
Twenty-five Edmonds Community College students from various academic programs recently competed in an Ethics Challenge sponsored by the college’s Business Management program and Workforce Development and Training, in partnership with The Boeing Company.

“This hands-on exercise allows students to immerse themselves into real-life scenarios they could potentially encounter in the business world,” said Edmonds CC President Jean Hernandez. “I want to thank Boeing for its great partnership in this event.”

In the competition at the Black Box Theatre on campus, five teams of five students discussed ethical strategies through two rounds of live scenarios. Each team — using teamwork, communication, and critical thinking skills —  was given seven minutes to discuss its given scenario and three minutes to present solutions.

Both Edmonds CC and Boeing supplied the 10 judges.

The winning team consisted of Debbie Ryden, Mika C. Rozenberg, Maria L. Smith,
Herman Velasco, and Marcus Martinez all from Business Information Technology.

Michael DiGiovanni, Gabriel Ludlum, Leah Carter, Simon Yabowerk Haile and Christian Clarete all from Business Management took second place.

Other students who participated — all who had ethics lessons this fall quarter — were:

  • Accounting: Yi Fan Zhang, Jin Chang (alternate in place of Anne Mulholland), Chia-Hsuan Shih, Dan Zahlmann, Shu Su
  • Hospitality and Tourism: Benjamin Kong, Tyler Long, Nancy Travis, Leandra Dicken (alternate in place of Abdirazaq Abdulla), Chris Dresnek
  • Paralegal: Carrie Lim, Joe McArdle, Tony Hart, Sara Reed (alternate in place of Sajia Salehin), Crystal Edwards Neal

Participants toured Boeing in Everett on Dec. 5.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Edmonds Community College honored as a Champion of Sustainability by McKinstry and Seattle Seahawks

Kevin McKay and Stephanie Teachman accepting the award
Edmonds Community College will be recognized as a Champion of Sustainability at the Seattle Seahawks game on Nov. 23 for demonstrating a commitment to sustainability by the Seattle Seahawks and McKinstry, a Seattle-based consulting, construction, energy, and facility services company.

According to McKinstry, Edmonds CC has demonstrated actions to upgrade buildings' infrastructure and reduce energy consumption.

"Through our partnership with Edmonds CC and the Washington Department of Enterprise Services, we have been impressed with the college's continued investment in energy conservation projects," said Stephanie Pitts, Brand Manager for McKinstry. "The college is not only reducing its carbon emissions, but it is providing safer, more comfortable learning environments for students and staff."

Kevin McKay, Vice President for Finance and Operations at Edmonds CC, will receive the award prior to kick-off this Sunday on behalf of the college. All recipients are hosted by McKinstry at each Seahawks home game this season and presented with an award.

"We are honored to receive this recognition, " said Dr. Jean Hernandez, Edmonds CC President. "We are committed to infuse environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable practices throughout all aspects of the college's operations."

McKinstry has partnered with the Seattle Seahawks to recognize local companies and colleges who have committed to doing their part to reduce the global impact of their facilities. Some examples of this include innovating sustainable practices, driving out waste, influencing positive changes in behavior, and acting as community stewards.

The recognition program is a part of the Defend Your Turf campaign initiated by the Seahawks and Sounders FC in 2012. The campaign grew out of an energy efficiency upgrade and solar array installation that McKinstry performed at CenturyLink Field and Event Center in 2011. It reinforces the teams' commitment to operating a sustainable community asset that can serve as a model for sports stadiums across the country.
Learn more about the college's commitment to sustainability at www.edcc.edu/sustain. Find out more about McKinstry's Champions of Sustainability program and the Defend Your Turf campaign at www.centurylinkfield.com/defendyourturf.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Art gallery features an interactive and collaborative exhibit Jan. 5-March 13


A blind user traces the outline of a stag beetle paper embossment.
Edmonds Community College’s art gallery this winter will feature work from Jim Ballard in an exhibit titled Please Touch.” It opens Jan. 5 and continues through March 13 in the college’s art gallery on the third floor of Lynnwood Hall, 20000 68th Ave. W.

A reception with the artist is 3:30-6:30 p.m., Fri., Jan. 23 in the college art gallery.

The exhibit is interactive and collaborative and explores the themes of air, earth, the human form, and sound through a variety of media.

Ballard and his colleagues, sculptors Richard Hestekind and David Varnau, along with various teams of people will create an experiential art installation that focuses on touch, sound, and motion.

Collaborative aspects of the exhibit took place during fall quarter as part of Ballard’s artist-in-residence program. The program involved Edmonds CC students and instructors, blind or visually impaired local community members, and others who shared their ideas. They worked together to develop methods of executing the art and created tactile works.

This exhibit invites children and adults who want to discover more about the world to “Please Touch.”

"I attempt to show through detailed paper embossments and other tactile illustrations aspects
of the world that might remain unknowable to a person who is blind or visually impaired,” said Ballard. “I hope that through my work both children and adults can discover more about the world through touch."

The exhibit is sponsored by the college’s library, Visual Arts department, and the Center for Student Engagement and Leadership as well as the Edmonds Art Festival Foundation Board.

The gallery is open 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday; and 1-5 p.m., weekends. For more information about the exhibit, call 425.640.1744 or go to www.edcc.edu/gallery. For directions to the college, see www.edcc.edu/campus.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Edmonds CC students to resolve real-life scenarios in Ethics Challenge

Twenty-five Edmonds Community College students from various academic programs will compete in an Ethics Challenge sponsored by the college’s Business Management program and Workforce Development and Training, in partnership with The Boeing Company.

The competition — free and open to the public — will be 1:30-3:45 p.m., Thurs., Nov. 20 in the college's Black Box Theatre on campus, 20000 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood. The event will have door prizes.

In the competition, five teams of five students will discuss ethics strategies through two rounds of live scenarios. Each team — using teamwork, communication, and critical thinking skills — will be given seven minutes to discuss its given scenario and three minutes to present solutions.

Both Edmonds CC and Boeing will supply the judges. Students to participate — all who had ethics lessons this fall quarter — are:
  • Accounting: Sergey Ptachik, Marcus Lynch, Chia-Hsuan Shih, Dan Zahlmann, Shu Su.
  • Business Information Technology: Debbie Ryden, Mika Rozenberg, Maria Smith, Herman Velasco, Marcus Martinez.
  • Business Management: Michael DiGiovanni, Gabriel Ludlum, Leah Carter, Simon Yabowerk Haile, Christian Clarete.
  • Hospitality and Tourism: Benjamin Kong, Tyler Long, Nancy Travis, Abdirazaq Abdulla, Chris Dresnek.
  • Paralegal: Carrie Lim, Joe McArdle, Tony Hart, Anne Mulholland, Crystal Edwards Neal.
All participants have been invited to tour Boeing in Everett on Dec. 5.