Thursday, November 19, 2009

Advice for students: Speak with an adviser

"It helped me to speak with an adviser. Go talk to someone in the department and see what classes they offer. It takes a lot of dedication to both work and go to school, but it’s really worth it. I say that not only because I have a great job now, but also because I feel personally enriched by all that I learned at Edmonds CC."

—Business Management alumna, Michele Libin

Michele Libin was looking to get ahead and make a change when she came to Edmonds Community College through the worker retraining program. She already had a bachelor's degree and 10 years of office management, but classes in Business Management and Project Management at Edmonds CC updated her skills. After an internship with the City of Mountlake Terrace, she landed a job as Director of Government & Community Relations at UW Bothell and now works as a Program Coordinator for the University of Washington’s Civil and Environmental Engineering department.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Advice for students: Seek out the people who will give you opportunities

"You have to be focused and know what you really want to do, then get in there, reach out, and ask for help. Seek out the people who will give you opportunities. They are out there." — Christiani Cates, Paralegal alumnus



Chris is a paralegal for the King County Bar Association and program coordinator for the Future of the Law Institute, a mentoring program for high school students encouraging them to consider careers in law. It's a perfect fit for Chris, who earned his paralegal degree at Edmonds Community College, completed an internship for the King County Bar Association, and then gained experience working at a criminal law firm in Bellevue. Chris points out that a career in law wasn't an easy trajectory for him, "I served in the U.S. Marines where I took some college classes and spent time in the Persian Gulf, afterwards I had trouble adjusting to civilian life." But he asked for and received help and it got him where he wanted to go.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Advice for students: Try things out to see what you like

"For those who are not sure what they want to do, use community college as a time to try things out to see what you like. Take advantage of opportunities that come up along the way. It is never too late." — Edmonds Community College alumnus Jeff Smoot.

Jeff wasn't sure what he wanted to do in college until instructor Anne Martin suggested he try the legal assistant program. It clicked, and his career began an upward trajectory. He completed a legal assistant (paralegal) degree in 1987 and went on to complete a bachelor's degree and the four-year Washington State Bar Association Law Clerk program while working full-time and supporting his family. He passed the bar exam on his first attempt is now a practicing attorney with the law firm of Lasher Holzapfel Sperry & Ebberson in Seattle. An avid wilderness adventurer, Smoot has written several guidebooks about hiking, rock climbing, and mountaineering in Washington state and the Cascade Range. He will receive a 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Edmonds Community College Foundation in December.

Advice for students: Worry more about learning than grades

"Worry more about learning and understanding than grades." — Edmonds Community College alumnus Alan Howard.

Alan earned his electronics degree at Edmonds Community College in 1982 and now works as a senior engineer at Huntron, Inc. in Mill Creek. He serves on the college's Computers, Electronics and Networks advisory board and will receive the Edmonds Community College Foundation's 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award at a ceremony in December..

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Anthropology 101: How to Change the World by Tom Murphy

Anthropology instructor Tom Murphy wrote a great article, "Anthropology 101: How to Change the World," about service-learning for Yes! Magazine, an ad-free, nonprofit publication that supports people’s active engagement in building a just and sustainable world. The article talks about the learning experiences students engage in (and includes some great quotes from students Victoria Quezada and Jacklyn Wardlow) as part of the Learn-n-Serve Environmental Anthropology Field School (LEAF), a series of three anthropology classes, Human Ecology 201, 202, and 203, with a focus on hands-on service-learning activities in partnership with local agencies.
LEAF students practice participant observation, the primary method of investigation in cultural anthropology, while learning about the social and ecosystems of Western Washington. In other news, LEAF School students are part of a new watershed education teacher training program. They will assist teachers and serve as mentors to K-12 students learning about local watersheds.