Pierce College News

February 26, 2009

Former Army chaplain James Yee to discuss his time at Guantanamo Bay prison camp

Filed under: General — Amanda Haines at 1:23 pm

In the wake of President Barack Obama’s decision to close the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Pierce College Puyallup is honored to welcome James Yee, former Army captain and Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay.

Yee will speak on his experiences at Guantanamo, the aftermath of his speaking out against abuses there, and Obama’s decision to close the prison camp. He will speak at 10 a.m. March 5 in the College Center multipurpose room, Pierce College Puyallup, 1601 39th Ave. SE.

All are welcome and the event is free.

Yee was stationed at Guantanamo Bay and advised camp commanders on the religious practices of Muslin detainees. He opposed how those detainees were treated and spoke out against those practices. He was later arrested and imprisoned for 76 days in September 2003 after being falsely accused of spying, espionage, and aiding Taliban and Al-Qaeda prisoners.

The criminal charges were dropped after a military investigation and Yee’s record was cleared. He was reinstated to full duty at Fort Lewis. He resigned from the Army and received an honorable discharge in 2005.

Yee now lectures on his experiences, Islam, Asian-American and religious issues, diversity, and the balance between protecting civil liberties and national security. His visit to Pierce College Puyallup is sponsored by the Office of Student Life.

For more information, call (253) 840-8487.

February 18, 2009

Indulge your creativity, save cash by making your own baskets at Pierce College this spring

Filed under: General — Amanda Haines at 12:03 pm

Baskets are a fun, stylish way of keeping your home or office organized, but who can afford the high prices at home décor stores? Well, if you’re long on style, but a little short in the pocketbook, Pierce College can help.

Pierce College’s new basketry class will have you crafting your own beautiful baskets for a fraction of what you’d pay in a store. Within hours, you’ll be well on your way to creating your own exquisite works of art. Give them to friends and family as low-cost, heartfelt gifts, or keep them for yourself to add style and character to your home or office.

“Basketry: Paper Rush and Round Reed Twining” classes are held from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays starting April 13 at Pierce College South Hill Park, 716 South Hill Park Drive, Puyallup (near the South Hill Mall off State Route 512). Cost is $159 and includes all materials. Simply show up and start weaving the very first night!

Instructor Peeta Tinay has 18 years experience in basketry, caning, weaving, and wicker furniture. She now owns her own studio, Tinay Studio, in Tacoma.

Class size is limited and early registration is required. For more information, call (253) 964-6616 or visit www.pierce.ctc.edu/conted.

February 13, 2009

Author and journalist Jack Hamann to speak at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom on Feb. 19

Filed under: General — Amanda Haines at 3:24 pm

Award winning journalist and author Jack Hamann will speak of journalism’s power to expose truth and bring about justice at a special discussion at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom.

The  event will be held at noon Feb. 19 in the Cascade building, room 332. The event is free and open to the public.

Hamann is the author of “On American Soil: How Justice Became a Casualty of WWII.” This award-winning book chronicles Hamann’s investigation into the 1944 lynching death of an Italian prisoner of war at Fort Lawton in Seattle. Under pressure to convict the soldier’s killers, the War Department convened a criminal trial, charging three African American soldiers with murder and lynching. Forty other black soldiers were charged with rioting for allegedly storming the barracks where the Italian war prisoners were housed. Twenty-eight soldiers served time in prison.

Hamann’s investigation into the case uncovered secret government documents and other evidence that proved the black soldiers were innocent. His book on the case was directly responsible for a 2007 decision by the US Army Board for Correction of Military Records to overturn the convictions of all 28 men jailed in 1944. A year later, former Pres. George W. Bush signed legislation mandating that the surviving defendants, or their estates, receive back pay plus compound interest.

Hamann has been a journalist for more than 28 years, and worked a decade as a network correspondent and documentary producer for CNN and PBS. He has won numerous awards, including 10 regional Emmy awards. He lives in Seattle.

Hamann’s visit to Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is part of the ongoing Roland Weis History Lecture Series. For more information on the Hamann visit or any other speakers in the series, contact Randy Leifson at (253) 964-6734.

Share ‘Three Cups of Tea’ with Pierce College

Filed under: General — Amanda Haines at 1:51 pm

Pierce College is hosting three special events to help the community enjoy “Three Cups of Tea,” this year’s featured selection in the Pierce County READS program.

The program invites thousands of people to read, share, and discuss the same book at the same time, and includes more than 40 free programs and events on such topics as literacy, mountain search and rescue, mountain climbing, and volunteerism, all key themes in “Three Cups of Tea.”

Pierce College is participating by hosting two open discussion groups. The first will be at 2 p.m. Feb. 18 at the library classroom, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, 9401 Farwest Drive SW, Lakewood. The second will be at 3 p.m. March 5 in the library at Pierce College Puyallup, 1601 39th Ave. SE.

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is also hosting a conversation with “Three Cups of Tea” co-author David Oliver Relin at 11 a.m. March 13 at the campus Health Education Center. Relin will discuss his experiences with travel and personal development.

All of these events are free and open to everyone.

“Three Cups of Tea” is the story of mountain climber Greg Mortenson, who was injured in 1993 after climbing K2. He wandered into a nearby village, where the residents there nursed him back to health. He promised then to help them build a school. Four years later, he built that school and his subsequent organization, Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute, has since built nearly 80 other schools in impoverished villages in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The book is available at Pierce County libraries, as well as in both campus libraries and at the college bookstores. For more information on Pierce County READS, visit www.piercecountylibrary.org/reading-books/2009-pierce-county.

Pierce College Theatre presents ‘The Fantasticks’

Filed under: General — Amanda Haines at 8:26 am

Pierce College Theatre is celebrating a month of love and romance with a production of the wacky romantic musical “The Fantasticks.”

Shows will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 20, 21, 27, and 28. Tickets are $10 for the general public, and $5 for Pierce students and seniors. The shows will be held in the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Health Education Center, Room 302, 9401 Farwest Drive SW, Lakewood.

“The Fansticks” is the longest-running musical of all time. It’s been running for 42 years off Broadway and is widely considered one of the most popular and fun romantic musicals ever performed. It tells the story of two fathers who use trickery and deception to encourage their children to fall in love. They pretend to hate each other and even go so far as to build a wall between their houses, in hopes their children will rebel and fall in love.

This reverse psychology, of course, backfires on them, but the result is great fun and fantastic music. Some of the most popular songs from “The Fantasticks” are “Try to Remember” and “Soon It’s Going to Rain.”

“The Fantasticks” is the winter production of the Pierce College Theatre program. The musical is directed by Fred Metzger, who leads a talented cast of both students and community members.

For ticket information, call the Pierce College Theatre Line at (253) 964-6710. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling the Theatre Line.

February 6, 2009

Pierce College offering study tour of Japan this summer; Deadline to register is Feb. 15

Filed under: General — Amanda Haines at 2:50 pm

Update (March 27, 2009): The deadline has been extended to April 20th, 2009.  There are two spots open.

Take the trip of a lifetime!  Join a 2 1/2-week study tour to Japan, led by Pierce College’s Japanese language instructor Kazuko Howard.

The study tour will focus on Japanese language, culture, and contemporary life.  The program will consist of classroom instruction and visits to various sites in Tokyo plus a trip to the historic cities of Kyoto and Nara.  Instruction and lodging (in student guest houses) will be on the beautiful campus of Tokyo’s Tamagawa University.  Participants will earn seven Pierce College credits for studies in Japanese vocabulary and conversation and in Asian thought, culture and way of life.

Study tour activities will include:

  • Visiting Tamagawa classes and joining in many student club activities, such as tea ceremony, flower arranging, calligraphy, and martial arts;
  • Seeing the sights in Tokyo, including the Imperial Palace, the Kamakura Buddha, and the Edo Museum, as well as various parks, gardens, museums, and shrines;
  • Participating in Japanese cultural events, such as attending a professional baseball game, visiting Akihabara, Tokyo’s high tech electronics district, and shopping in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku area;
  • And, traveling by bullet train to Japan’s old imperial capital of Kyoto and to Nara, two cities known for their historic shrines and temples.  

Tour size is limited to 14 students. Knowledge of Japanese language is not required.  

The application deadline is Feb. 15.  Applications will be accepted until March 3, but the airfare for registrations received after Feb. 15 may increase.

For more information or to reserve your place on the trip of a lifetime, contact Mary Meulblok in the International Education Office at Pierce College via phone at (253) 964-6725 or via email at mmeulblo@pierce.ctc.edu.

February 2, 2009

Artist Bill Colby featured at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Fine Arts Gallery in February

Filed under: General — Amanda Haines at 9:45 am

LAKEWOOD – Throughout February, the Fine Arts Gallery at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is highlighting the innovative works of local artist Bill Colby.

A reception celebrating Colby’s work will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday. His works will be on display through Feb. 27.

Colby taught art at the University of Puget Sound from 1956 until his retirement in 1989, and previously served as a lecturer on Chinese and Japanese printmaking through the Washington State Commission for the Humanities. He is currently a member of the Impromptu Gallery in Tacoma.

Colby’s art reflects great inspiration from nature. He uses etching and woodblocks, textures and changing patterns to reflect natural landscapes and features. His art reflects great inspiration from nature.

The gallery is located at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, 9401 Farwest Drive SW, Lakewood. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to noon Friday.

For more information, call Gallery Director Jennifer Olson-Rudenko at (253) 964-6535 or visit the Web site at www.pierce.ctc.edu/art.