Thursday, August 4, 2016

Pokémon Go fans come to campus, build community

Edmonds Community College student Lia Andrews’ face lit up with a smile as she caught a rare Pokémon on July 27 outside of the campus library.
Edmonds CC students Choi Jae and Scott Tan

Andrews wasn’t alone. Richelle Thompson caught a wild Butterfree, too, and held out her phone to show a group of students in the courtyard.

Since the launch of Nintendo’s augmented reality game Pokémon Go on July 6, Edmonds CC students and employees, and community members have been spotted using the free cellphone app to explore the campus and catch virtual creatures, called Pokémon.

“It’s really fun to go out and see people playing the same thing,” Andrews said. “It creates instant solidarity.”

Center for Student Engagement and Leadership Summer Events Coordinator Andrew Prom organized a campus meetup on July 27.

“A lot of people are playing it – college students, young people, old people – everyone is playing it,” Prom said.

“Pokemon is like a game mostly nerds play, but I know friends with social anxiety who would never go out in public to talk to people, but as soon as this game came out, they’ve been all over the place, catching Pokémon, traveling, and talking to people.

“It was really an eye opener, because you’d never think this could get people out and talking.”

Thompson agreed and said the game brings people together and builds a sense of community.

The game uses GPS and cellphone cameras to lead players, or Pokémon trainers, to places where Pokémon could be caught.

Prom said players are lead to spots, or PokéStops, on campus that they might not have been to or noticed before. There are about 10 stops on campus and many nearby. The Lynnwood Ice Center and the Elks Lodge are both stops.

Notable stops on campus include: the Veterans Boots to Books and Beyond Memorial, artist Lorna Jordan’s Reach sculpture, and even shrubs on campus that attract certain Pokémon.

The campus courtyard serves as a PokéGym, where trainers go to battle their Pokémon against others for control of the site.

Scott Tan gathered in the courtyard with other trainers on July 27. He is taking summer classes online and said the game and the meetup drew him onto campus.

“It’s nice for online students, because it gets you out,” Tan said.

The game has been known to drain cellphone batteries, rendering the phones useless for catching Pokémon, but Tan has a solution.

He started carrying a spare charger and even purchased an extra battery so he could continue to play.

Tan said the game blew up fast, and he would continue to play if Nintendo keeps it interesting by adding new features.

Playing alongside Tan on Wednesday was his friend Choi Jae. Jae lives in on-campus housing and was quickly heading back to his apartment to recharge his phone when it ran out of battery.

While his phone was temporarily dead, Jae said the Pokémon hype “won’t ever die off.”

Want to catch your own Butterfree Pokémon at Edmonds CC? Head to campus at 20000 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood, WA.

After you catch’em all, remember to refuel with a stop at Triton Espresso in Mukilteo Hall or Mountlake Terrace Hall for Pokémon-themed drinks like a Zapados, Articuno Mocha, Electabuzz Latte, or a Pikachu Italian soda.

Edmonds CC to launch The Facility, a makerspace for the community

Edmonds CC will launch the Rapid Proto Lab on Aug. 15.
Edmonds Community College embraces the maker and Do It Yourself movements with its official launch of The Facility, a DIY space for the community.

The Facility will host a free launch event from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, to debut the Rapid Proto Lab, which offers DIY access to laser cutters, 3D printers, 3D scanners, and a CNC router.

“There’s a lot of money invested in this building, and it’s a really great set of equipment,” said David Voetmann, designer of The Facility.

The event will include a tour of the 11,000-square-foot space that houses over $1 million in state-of-the-art high-end technical equipment used in the production of composites, aerospace, and consumer products.

There will be equipment demos, hors d’oeuvres, and the chance to connect with other makers –  artists, inventors, entrepreneurs, students, educators, hobbyists, side-giggers, tinkerers, and world changers.

“The college’s mandate is two-fold,” Voetmann said, “We’re custodians of public resources, so our job is to promote those resources and the utilization of those resources as efficiently as we possibly can, which means making them available to more people.”

The Facility is housed in Monroe Hall, Edmonds CC’s on campus training center for students in the college’s Engineering Technology programs. The building will continue to serve, first and foremost, as a learning environment for students, and second, as a makerspace.

“Edmonds CC really introduced me to the idea that this could be a gym for people who make things,” Voetmann said. “The reason I go to the gym is because I don’t want 10 ellipticals in my garage, right?

“The reason I come here is because I don’t want $1 million of equipment in my garage, so it’s very much the same concept.”

As a maker himself, Voetmann said The Facility offers access to equipment that is not affordable for most individuals to own.

The goal of The Facility is to be a place where individuals, or makers, can turn thoughts into things. Makers will learn how to convert pen and paper ideas into 3D concepts using modeling software, and complete two-hour introductory classes on how to safely operate the equipment.

Voetmann said it’s a place for entrepreneurs to take the next step and rapidly prototype and refine a concept.

If you don’t have an idea yet, Voetmann said that’s even better. Come in with a problem and work to create a solution. Become a maker.

“The future belongs to makers,” Voetmann said.

If you’d like to attend The Facility launch, RSVP by Aug. 8 to The Facility is at Edmonds Community College, Monroe Hall, 6606 196th St. SW, Lynnwood, WA.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Edmonds Community College celebrates 50 years with new logo, look

Edmonds Community College is proud to announce the launch of its new logo and look as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

A fresh, updated logo, featuring the Edmonds CC trident, will replace the classic “E” logo, which has been used for almost 30 years.

"Our new logo and look captures the values and mission of the college in a distinctive and memorable way," said Dr. Jean Hernandez, Edmonds CC President. "I am excited for our new brand to carry the mission and work of the college forward as we celebrate 50 years of student success."

Designers of the logo from Red Rokk, Inc. of Bellingham, Wash. said “The Trident” logo consists of welcoming arms, a strong foundation, and a sharp pinnacle to guide all students, faculty, employees, and community members to success. Red Rokk, Inc. facilitated the college’s rebranding process using campus and community input through surveys and focus groups.

The logo earned an “Oooooohhhhh snap!” from Edmonds CC Assistant Director of the Center for Student Engagement and Leadership Dennis Denman when it was unveiled on June 30 on the college’s Facebook page.

It will be used on all college materials, including diplomas, stationery, flash drives, T-shirts, EdPasses, and more. It also will be featured on key campus signage and all digital and print media.

The Triton Mascot also has a new look in hues of blue. It features Triton, the mythological Greek sea god, inside of a powerful shield and proudly wearing the trident on his crown. He is modern, fierce and looks his competitors in the eyes.

The Edmonds CC Tritons Athletics logo will incorporate a variation of “The Trident” with a custom typeface, called “Tritones,” that was created exclusively for Edmonds CC Athletics. An athletic “E” logo also was created for the college’s baseball and softball teams.

The college is in the midst of a soft launch of the new brand this summer and will be rolling it out this fall and throughout the commemorative school year.

Join us for the Edmonds CC 50th Anniversary Kickoff event at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, on Triton Field and see if you can spot the new logo around campus. Come enjoy live music from local bands and food truck fare with a no host beer and wine garden.

For more information about the kickoff event, visit or contact Elaine Hall at

Monday, July 18, 2016

Edmonds CC Foundation awards over $300,000 in scholarships, grants

Edmonds CC student, scholarship recipient Flavia Olivares Medici 
The Edmonds Community College Foundation awarded over $300,000 in scholarships and grants for the 2016-17 academic year.

“Our scholarships transform the lives of those students who need financial assistance,” said Brad Thomas, executive director of the Edmonds CC Foundation.

The Foundation awarded about $270,000 in scholarships to 192 students and provided $34,992 toward 15 innovation and program grants. Scholarships typically range from about $1,000 to $4,500. Grants are for a maximum of $3,000.

Five 2016 summer quarter students also received a total of $5,000 as recipients of the Foundation’s Complete the Dream scholarship, which helps students who have experienced a recent financial hardship complete his or her last quarter.

Edmonds CC student Flavia Olivares Medici received a $1,000 Complete the Dream scholarship to complete her final quarter toward a degree in Computer Information Systems.

Medici, who is from Brazil, said studying as an international student here in the U.S. can be financially difficult. The scholarship will help her and her parents, who are her sponsors.

“The economy in Brazil is very unstable,” she said, “and the monetary currency has been changing a lot compared to [the U.S.] dollar. It's very expensive to send money compared to three years ago when I first started my classes.”

Medici applied for the scholarship due to extra expenses she incurred from taking concurrent classes during the spring and summer quarters.

“I could never have imagined I would be awarded,” Medici said. “I am very happy for this opportunity. Every day I wake up feeling thankful for being able to receive a degree from Edmonds CC.

“A chance like this doesn't happen for a lot of people, and I want to make sure to express my gratitude.”

Upon completing her degree, Medici hopes to stay in the U.S. and begin an internship. She plans to return to Brazil eventually, and said adding an international education and work experience to her resume would be valuable.  

Thomas said scholarships are made possible by contributions from individual donors, employee giving, local and regional foundations, and local companies, like Boeing. Fundraisers, like the annual Foundation Gala and Auction and the annual Scholarship Dinner, and endowed funds also contribute to scholarship funding.

“Donating to the Foundation allows more of our students access to outstanding educational programs that will help them secure living wage jobs and careers to build a strong community,” Thomas said.

“We are creating our region’s future leaders today, so please join us for a campus tour here in the weeks ahead, and you’ll see students of all ages who have been inspired to reach for and achieve their potential.”

If you’re interested in making a donation and would like a campus tour, contact Brad Thomas of the Edmonds CC Foundation at 425.640.1884 or For more information on ways to donate, visit

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Edmonds CC dean earns doctorate to better serve underrepresented students

For Edmonds Community College Dean Sy Ear, earning his doctorate brings him one step closer to his goal – removing barriers to higher education for marginalized or underrepresented students.

Sy Ear, Dean for Student Success

Ear was one of the first to receive the new Doctor of Educational Leadership degree from the University of Washington Tacoma at its June 10 commencement.

Ear’s journey toward higher education began in Cambodia, where his family endured the Khmer-Rouge era. His dad, who was a college professor, was imprisoned and tortured for four years.
When he was released, the family escaped to a refugee camp in Thailand. Two years later, they emigrated to the U.S.

“Once we arrived, my dad worked as a janitor and completed his GED and eventually his college degree,” Ear said. “This instilled into me that anything is possible.”

As a first-generation college student, Ear said, at times, he felt helpless and frustrated when navigating the American college system.

Although it was difficult, Ear endured and earned an undergraduate degree from UW Seattle and a master’s degree from Seattle University.

Ear has worked in higher education for 16 years, and previously worked at South Seattle College and Green River College. He has been at Edmonds CC for a year and serves as the Dean for Student Success.

Student success is always first and foremost for Ear, who will use his new knowledge to evaluate the impact of college policies on Edmonds CC student access and success.

Ear said he would be reviewing the college’s processes, especially entry processes, and looking at them from a student’s perspective and asking, “‘How is this impacting a student’s experience?’ ‘Is it difficult?’ ‘Is it easy?’ ‘Is it difficult to navigate?’”

Those questions will help Ear and his team breakdown and evaluate college processes and identify unintended barriers.

One barrier Ear has already identified is within the admissions process.

“Right now, we have many different programs, and we have many different applications,” he said. “This is one of the barriers, and hopefully, we can have one common application.”

Ear said the $35 admissions application fee and the $40 program completion or graduation fee also present challenges for some students.

“The admissions application fee will impact some students ability to enter our college,” Ear said. “To us working people, $35 is probably not a lot of money, but to some students that’s gas or money for groceries for a whole week.”

Ear is working on removing the fees and replacing them with a matriculation fee, a one-time fee charged to all newly admitted, degree seeking students to cover the costs associated with admissions, student orientation, transcripts, web, and other services associated with enrollment.

“That can tie into improving access for students and removing unneeded barriers,” he said.
Ear is a champion of community colleges and of Edmonds CC’s mission to strengthen its diverse community by helping students access educational and career opportunities in a supportive environment that encourages success, innovation, service, and lifelong learning.

For Ear, equity and inclusion and social justice rank high on his list of priorities for his career and his daily life.

“I believe if you work at a community college, you, by default, are addressing social justice issues, because you’re looking to improve the lives of students,” he said, “from students who are improving their English and basic skills to those who are coming here to complete a degree/certificate or those that are here to take one or two classes."

“My values and beliefs are why I’m here, because I want to make society a little bit better.”

Edmonds Community College Summer Highlights 2016

Check out what's been happening at the college this summer with Edmonds CC President Dr. Jean Hernandez!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

ESL volunteer teaches ‘world’s nicest students’ at Edmonds Community College

Alan Biné
When boredom set in six months into retirement, Alan Biné began to search for a meaningful way to fill his days. A poster at a local library asking for English as a Second Language volunteer teachers sparked his interest, and after five years of volunteering at Edmonds Community College, Biné has written an essay about what he’s learned from his students.

“My life was never as interesting as it has been the last five years since I’ve been helping students from all over the world learn to speak English,” Biné wrote in his essay titled “My Turn: An ESL volunteer’s story.”

You can read his essay published on June 22 on here.

Biné has been “hugely impressed” by the motivation of students who have immigrated to the U.S. and their commitment to learning English.

“They are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed,” he said. “They know that improving their English is a key to a better life here.”

Although Biné has been the teacher, he has learned just as much from his students who have immigrated to the U.S. from more than 50 different countries, including South Korea, Ethiopia, India, Belarus, Colombia, Cambodia, and more.

Biné was surprised to learn from an Ethiopian student that while it is 2016 throughout most of the world, it is 2009 in Ethiopia.

After a bit of disbelief and a Google search, Biné confirmed that his student was right. Read more about it in his essay.

From trivia facts to stories of students’ home life, he said he has “gotten to know some folks really well.”

“There’s the eager young man from Belarus who now bakes cheddar cheese biscuits at Red Lobster, and the bright new mom-to-be from El Salvador,” Biné said. “I remember the articulate children’s doctor from Pakistan, along with the gentleman from Mexico who keeps winking at everyone.”

Biné plans to continue volunteering, and said if he doesn’t get to travel abroad again, he will be happy with the life he’s “been blessed to have.”

“Just as long as I can keep meeting the world’s nicest students at their busy campus near my home,” Biné said. “Some people believe Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth.

“To me, that place is Edmonds Community College.”

The Edmonds CC Adult Basic Education ESL class provides ESL classes to non-native-English-speaking immigrants, refugees and citizens. For more information on the program or volunteering, visit