Friday, October 2, 2015

Edmonds CC honeybees yield honey with program collaboration

Edmonds CC students and faculty extract honey
Edmonds Community College’s honeybees had a fruitful summer and yielded a bumper crop of delicious honey. The honey was extracted on September 10th with some assistance from the engineering department’s recent contribution of a hand-crank extractor.

“We are now in our fourth year of beekeeping at the college and I think it is now safe to say the program is a success. We love all of the partnerships that have been formed across campus as a result,” said Mary Whitfield, Edmonds CC Chemistry instructor. “We're involved in undergraduate research, with the community garden and we recently partnered with the engineering club to build an extractor.”

Students built a hand crank extractor using a 3-D printer, recently acquired as a result of a deal that the Boeing Co. made with the state to execute the assembly of the future 777X jetliner in Everett. As a part of the deal, the state injected $17 million into education and training of future aerospace workers.

The engineering department is not the only one to get involved in assisting with the honeybees — former Edmonds CC graphic design student, Ryan Neff designed the label for the jars that are used to sell the honey.

Edmonds CC students get involved in the honey sale that takes place as a part of the campus sustainability day and learn about pricing and marketing the honey.

“Of course our annual honey sale is widely anticipated across campus and beyond, and it's been fun to get students involved in the process. They do a great job selling the product,” said Whitfield.
“All of this takes place within our broader mission of promoting sustainability on campus and beyond. Bee populations are still in decline, so it's important to keep people aware of the role that honeybees and other native pollinators play in our agricultural system.”

The honeybees have assisted with research projects for the college’s biology department, provided service-learning opportunities, and have provided hands-on experience for students.

“Having honeybees on campus has been a rewarding experience, not only because I learned about them, but I also became part of the community and had the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research,” said Jessica Pal, Edmonds CC alumna.

“Having the honeybees in our community college garden has helped me learn about the environment, bringing me closer to the community and allowing me to conduct two undergraduate research projects, for which posters were made and presented at the University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium in 2014 and at the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) in Portland in 2015, giving me the opportunity to meet students from around the nation who came together and presented their research.”

Whitfield, Edmonds CC chemistry instructor and hobbyist beekeeper, helped bring the honeybees to campus in April 2011 as part of its Earth Month celebration. The two hives are located near the college’s vegetable garden.

“Bee populations are still in decline, so it's important to keep people aware of the role that honeybees and other native pollinators play in our agricultural system,” said Whitfield.

“What many people don't realize is that many store-bought honeys are processed, pasteurized and even contain high fructose corn syrup,” said Stephanie Bostwick, Edmonds CC Engineering Instructor and beekeeping partner.  “The health benefits of consuming raw, unprocessed honey are enormous and here at Edmonds CC we produce the real deal. Our students maintain the hives by frequently monitoring for pests and by ensuring the bees are fed in the fall.”

Facts about Edmonds Community College’s honeybees:
  • The honeybees may travel up to two miles in search of food.
  • Honey can be harvested from the hives once or twice a year; the college’s hives may produce as much as 40-50 pounds of honey per hive.
  • The starter honeybee colonies cost $80 each and the hives and set up equipment about $400.
  • The honeybees come from California, where bees are seasonally in demand to pollinate the state’s extensive almond crops.
  • Maintaining the honeybee colonies takes about an hour a week to inspect the condition of the hive and make sure the queen is laying.
  • Each hive has a starter colony of 10,000 bees including a queen. The colonies can produce honey in time for a fall harvest.
  • Honeybees travel in a swarm to move to a new location if they outgrow their hive or dislike their home. They will rest in a swarm and send scouts out to look for a new home. Bees are typically docile when swarming. Spot a swarm? Call 425.640.1272.

Find out more

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Edmonds CC students, staff and faculty attend the Global Leadership Summit in South Africa

Global Leadership Summit 2015 in South Africa
Edmonds Community College expanded its horizons by sending seven students, two staff members and one faculty member to the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) held at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein, South Africa from July 5-17.

More than 100 international delegates from various universities in Asia, the United States, and Europe, as well as 40 student delegates from the University of the Free State were in attendance.

Edmonds CC was the only community college in attendance at the GLS.

The international conference was an exchange of ideas and experiences regarding diversity, racism, racial integration, social justice, and reconciliation within the higher education system.
Panel discussions and workshops focused on gender issues, citizenship and leadership, race relations, and interfaith leadership.

Keynote speakers included: Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, professor at the UFS;  Zelda la Grange, former private secretary to Nelson Mandela; and Donna Walker-Kuhne, Vice President for Marketing at New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Dr. Tonya Drake, Edmonds CC Vice President for College Relations and Advancement; Marisa DuBois, Edmonds CC Director of ABE and ESL Student Services; and Gem Baldwin, Edmonds CC anthropology instructor and seven Edmonds CC students were all in attendance.

Dr. Drake and Baldwin presented on deconstructing race. “I felt a level of honor and privilege to be presenting at the GLS,” said Dr. Drake.

How did Dr. Drake describe her experience at the GLS? “I loved that South Africa was intentional about building community and that is something I strive to continue to build here at Edmonds CC.”

Through the generous funding of the Associated Students of Edmonds CC (ASEdCC),  Edmonds CC students were provided the opportunity to travel to the GLS. As a part of this opportunity the students were to create a project reflecting their time at the GLS.

The students were placed into cohorts where they debriefed and debated after lectures to deconstruct what they had heard and experienced.

The cohorts also created videos about leadership and diversity. The videos were then judged and cohort one won for best video.

“My time at the Global Leadership Summit completely opened my eyes to many shared social justice issues between South Africa and the U.S.,” said Andrew Ruiz, Edmonds CC student.  “Beyond the lectures, hearing real stories from South Africans and how the stories shaped their lives was my greatest take away from the Global Leadership Summit.”

DuBois is responsible for the relationship between Edmonds CC and the UFS. In 2012, DuBois went to Bloemfontein as a visiting student affairs scholar, to support the Leadership For Change (LFC) initiative. 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.

What did DuBois think of the Edmonds CC students experiences at the GLS? “They were so excited and grateful for the opportunity. Their world has been broken open and I want them to continue that.”

What does the future hold for this beautiful new relationship that has been formed? Edmonds CC will be hosting students from the UFS in January 2016.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Tim Bramsen: an Edmonds CC construction management graduate success story

Tim Bramsen enrolled at Edmonds Community College in 2006 to work toward earning a degree in Construction Management. At the time he was working full-time at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). He started as a materials tester, then became an inspector, and finally the Chief inspector, managing the construction of projects.

"It was then that I bumped into the 'ceiling' where I could go no higher without a degree," said Bramsen. "I knew that my skill set lay not in the engineering side of project, but in the communication and coordination of the actual construction of the project and I was not sure what my path forward was supposed to be."

Bramsen knew that he had skills, but they were not necessarily in Engineering.

One day he saw an article in the paper about Edmonds CC’s Construction Management program. He made an appointment and spoke with Dave Jacobson, Edmonds CC Construction Management Adviser. Bramsen asked Jacobson what Construction Management was.

"When he told me, I knew that this was what my whole career had been working toward," said Bramsen. "I joined the program with the goal of learning more about this career path and seeing where it would lead."

Ultimately, why did Bramsen select Edmonds CC to pursue a degree in Construction Management? 

"Edmonds CC had one of the only four accredited two-year construction management programs in the country, when I started attending. It was important to me that the program have an accreditation, so that I could get my diploma and also so that I could add to my education if I decided to pursue that route."

After working full-time while going to night classes, Bramsen ultimately graduated from Edmonds CC in 2011 with his Associate of Science in Construction Management.

How did Edmonds CC help Bramsen acheive his goals?

"Edmonds CC showed me the path forward when I could not find it myself. My career has exploded since my graduation, and having a diploma in construction management has been key to this.

There are other Edmonds CC construction management program graduates that I took classes with who are doing well also; a recent graduate of Edmonds CC’s construction management's program became a successful superintendent with PCL and is now looking to start his own construction management company in Western Washington.

Another graduated with me and is now the construction manager in charge of building out Starbucks throughout the midwest. The diplomas that we received from Edmonds CC’s construction management program was the fulfillment of the requirement that has allowed us to continue on to bigger things in our careers that we would not have been able to achieve otherwise.

I will always feel indebted to Ed Van der Bogert, Dave Jacobson, and Edmonds CC for giving me the path toward success."

What is Bramsen doing now? 

"I am very thankful to work for Bowers + Kubota Consulting, a great Construction Management company in Hawaii. We are a local and well-respected consulting firm in Hawaii, managed by leaders with great vision, and supported by staff who are proud to be a part of something bigger than the sum of our parts. We are fortunate to be involved in a lot of the big projects going on in Hawaii. We have won the Hawaii Best Place to Work Award the last three years in a row, and have placed either 1st or 2nd in the Best Civil Engineering Firm to work for every year since 2011, and Best Multi-Disciplined Firm to work for since 2012 (for companies under 300 employees.)

Currently, I am the Chief Inspector on the island of Oahu’s Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART) Rail project — the largest public works project in the state’s history. Going to work every day is like living on an episode of "Modern Marvels".  I love being onsite as we build, working through the issues that present themselves each day, and trying my best to deliver the best value possible to the taxpayers who fund my project. I have learned that for every low point, where you cannot seem to figure out the path forward, there is a high point of equal magnitude – that feeling of accomplishment when you do figure it out (and you always figure it out) as a team.

I am living my dream out here. To get here I had to put my head down and have done the best that I could do every single day for the last 25 years, but doing that alone would not have gotten me here. I needed the degree to open doors that otherwise would have stayed closed for me. Thank you Edmonds CC for showing me the path."

In addition to working for Bowers + Kubota Consulting, Bramsen works with Honolulu Community College as a guest lecturer and serves on their Construction Management Advisory Committee, helping them mentor students and new graduates who are entering the field.

In 2014, he also served as the President of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Hawaii, where he helped to grow their membership to almost 200 members. The CMAA Hawaii chapter also won Chapter of the Year and he received the Chapter Leader of the Year award.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

“Women as Political Change Agents: From the late 1800’s to the Present” with Jeanne Kohl-Welles on Oct. 10 at Edmonds Community College

Jeanne Kohl-Welles 
Join us for a presentation from Jeanne Kohl-Welles on October 10 at 10 a.m. at Edmonds Community College, Woodway room 202, as she discusses the development and influence of women’s leadership roles in politics.

What sparked decisions by Washington state women in the 19th and 20th centuries to buck societal norms and laws to pursue political leadership roles? What fueled their confidence and abilities to push for change in attitudes and practices associated with women's roles?

In this thought-provoking presentation, Kohl-Welles engages with the audience to examine and understand what and who have played parts in the development and influence of women's leadership roles, historically and in modern times.

The conversation will include a parallel examination of male leadership roles and a discussion about what is needed to increase representation of women and women of color in politics today.

Kohl-Welles has served in the Washington State Senate since 1994. She served as Assistant Dean/Coordinator of Women's Programs at U.C. Irvine, and as Educational Specialist for the U.S. Department of Education.

She is a global presenter on the topics of women in politics and human trafficking, and a co-founder of Win With Women, which supports the election of women to the Washington State Legislature.

Kohl-Welles lives in Seattle and serves on the University of Washington's Human Trafficking Task Force, the Washington State Arts Commission, and represents Washington on the Western Commission of Higher Education.

She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology of Education from UCLA. Since 1985, she has taught women's studies, sociology, and education courses as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Washington.

This presentation is hosted by the Edmonds SnoKing and Everett branches of the American Association of University Women and Edmonds CC. Kohl-Welles is a member of the Speakers Bureau of Humanities Washington.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Edmonds CC students, faculty, and staff participate in tribal canoe journey

Edmonds Community College students, faculty, and staff took part in a transformative tribal canoe journey from the Samish nation in Anacortes to the Muckleshoot Tribe via Golden Gardens in Seattle, from July 31 to August 7.

This was the fifth year that Edmonds CC participated in a tribal canoe journey. Although the entire journey was 100 miles, many people completed portions of the journey.  

“I have always believed that education is always most effective when it is connected to the community,” said Tom Murphy, Edmonds CC chair for department of anthropology and instructor.

There were more than 30 students involved, with half of the students from the Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) school’s Anthropology 201: Human Ecology class. Other students signed up through the Center for Service-Learning as one of their service-learning assignments for their classes (Diversity Studies, Biology, and Anthropology).

“Although this year's canoe journey was my first time participating, the experience will stick with me always. I learned much about canoe culture and the people around me and it was such an engaging experience,” said Megan McDermott, Edmonds CC student.  

“I was challenged physically, mentally, and spiritually and have grown so much introspectively, as well as watching my peers grow too. Being welcomed to participate in the canoe journey is truly touching — to feel the love and warmth of canoe families is unforgettable! I'm hoping to participate in the foreseeable canoe journeys,” said McDermott.

The LEAF school partners with local tribes to offer intensive service-learning experiences for students in field-based courses in human ecology and archaeology, while the Center for Service-Learning helps engage students from across campus in service-learning activities that serve local tribes and the greater community.

Murphy started the LEAF school in 2006, and the Center for Service-Learning in 2007.  

“Rather than sitting in a classroom I am replicating ways of learning before we had the modern educational institutions. It is not just one person teaching the class — it was a community that raised the children; I try to take that philosophy and apply it,” said Murphy.

“Students are taught to observe, listen, watch, and learn how to correct your mistakes.”

Opportunities for staff and faculty involvement included: attending a landing event, volunteering with host tribes, assisting ground support, traveling in a support vessel, and/or pulling in a canoe.

Edmonds CC staff member Maizy Brown got the privilege of joining the canoe journey.

“You can’t stop, you can’t give up. If you don’t pull — you don’t do your weight,” said Brown, Edmonds CC, Edmonds Career Access Program (EdCAP) Case Manager. “Our students impressed me with their strength and stamina on so many levels.”

Students who are interested in the canoe journey, should sign up for ANTH 201: Human Ecology, Spring quarter 2016 for the paddle to Nisqually.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Edmonds CC hires new Director of Development for Foundation

Andrea Potter
Edmonds Community College has hired Andrea Potter as the new Director of Development for the Edmonds CC Foundation.

“Andrea’s new role as the Director of Development for the Edmonds CC Foundation will allow the Foundation to grow our community support for student success by expanding our annual, major, and corporate giving programs plus help us launch the new alumni association, while increasing our support from public and private foundations,” said Brad Thomas, Edmonds CC Foundation Executive Director.

Potter’s role will entail:
  • Creating a corporate sponsorship program
  • Coordinating/growing the employee giving campaign
  • Growing campus partnerships
  • Overseeing donor/stewardship
  • Helping launch the alumni association
  • Generating foundation support for the college, and
  • Assisting with fundraising events

“I would love to be able to generate diversified support for the college and create opportunities for people to support the college,” said Potter.

“I believe in higher education as one of the very highest civic values.”

Potter has more than 20 years of fundraising experience working with Lussier Community Education Center, The Progressive Magazine, and East Madison Community Center.  

Potter has taught in higher education at Edgewood College and Madison Area Technical College in areas such as: Race and Diversity; Understanding Caribbean Culture Through Art and Music; Studies in Change; Alcohol 101 — The Culture of Use/Abuse in Wisconsin; Prison and Incarceration; Immigration; Chernobyl/Post-Soviet Social Reconstruction; Families in Transition; and Community Change — Media and Social Justice.  

Potter holds her Master of Arts in Rhetoric from the University of California and her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Gonzaga.

Why is Potter passionate about her role? “Seeing someone who may not be able to afford college, that receives support, goes through school, and walks across the stage — it never gets old.”

Potter began her new role on July 6.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mel Cossette, of Edmonds CC’s MatEdU Center presented at the Gordon Research Conference

Mel Cossette, Executive Director and Principal Investigator of the National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU), housed at Edmonds Community College, was invited to present at the Gordon Research Conference at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine on June 24.

Cossette’s presentation was based on MatEdU’s research and was titled, “Recruitment and Retention Practices for Women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.”

The presentation consisted of:
  • Statistics about jobs from the Department of Labor
  • Effective strategies to recruit women into STEM fields
  • Outreach and retention strategies

According to the Department of Labor, women make up close to half of the workforce, yet hold an estimated one in four STEM jobs.

“You can still be who you are and hold onto what you are,” said Cossette. “You don’t have to give up your passion to go into a STEM field as a woman.”

There were 165 attendees with 36 states and 17 countries being represented and only three community colleges attended. MatEdU and Edmonds CC were the only community college invited to present. 
The annual conference held in the northeast has an international following and invites experts in their respective fields to attend and present.

The Gordon Research Conference promotes discussions and the free exchange of ideas. Scientists with common professional interests come together for a full week of intense discussion and examination of the most advanced aspects of their field.

“It was quite an honor to be recognized and invited to present at such a conference,” said Cossette. “I found the conference very impressive and the experience to be able to learn about cutting-edge research was phenomenal.”