Monthly Archives: April 2011
No activities scheduled.
Cafeteria menu – Special: Tuna melt. Soup: Clam chowder.
4 p.m. – Raider softball vs. Highline. Doubleheader. Heritage Rec Center. Free.
6 p.m. – Family Movie Night: Tangled. See this Disney take on the classic Repunzel fairy tale. Activities start at 6 p.m. in L244. The movie will follow at 7 p.m. Free tickets in C210.
Cafeteria menu – Information not available.
Look ahead…Raider baseball takes on Green River in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mount Tahoma High School. Free.
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Volunteer Fair. Connect with local non-profits and volunteer projects. Dining bay, Cascade. Free.
Cafeteria menu – Special: Szechuan chicken with rice. Soup: Stuffed baked potato.
No events scheduled.
Cafeteria menu – Information not available.
Look ahead…Family Movie Night on Friday will feature the new Disney animated hit, “Tangled.” Activities will start at 6 p.m. The movie will follow at 7 p.m. Free tickets in C210 in Puyallup. The movie will be shown in L244.
Raider Nation, it’s time to help out a Washington State school.
Bridgeport High School (northeast of Chelan in Douglas County) is one of six schools across the country vying for President Obama as its graduation speaker in the 2011 Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge. They need your vote before 9 p.m. Friday to get into the final three.
The school of 200 students was deemed worthy based on its application and the high academic standards maintained by students in recent years. The school has worked very hard on college prep programs and providing students the support they need to succeed.
The town of Bridgeport sits on the Columbia River with a population of 2,400 and is made up of mostly migrant laborers. Bridgeport High is competing against much larger schools (with much larger voting pools) in such cities as San Diego and Pittsburgh.
Before going to the voting page read quick instructions below:
• The webpage below will bring up the six finalists’ short videos and essays in random order.
• At the bottom of the page, you will see blue boxes numbered 1-5. Click on 5 for the highest ranking or on 1 for the lowest ranking, then click “next” to go to the next school, rank it, until all six schools have been ranked.
• You can vote until 8:59 p.m. PDT on Friday, April 29.
• At the end of the rating period, the three schools with the highest average ratings will be submitted to President Obama for final selection. The top three schools will be announced on Monday, May 2, with the winner being announced later that week.
Vote now at http://www.whitehouse.gov/Commencement.
8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Blood drive. Donate for a good cause. Dining bay, Cascade building.
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Pong Madness. Go mad from the abundance of ping pong. Cafeteria. Free.
Cafeteria menu – Special: Stromboli served with Caesar salad. Soup: Vegetarian minestrone.
Noon – Free Concert: Arrest My Sister. This L.A.-based band promotes inclusion for people with disabilities. Music with a message! College Center.
5 p.m. – Coffee Night. Free coffee and cookies before a night of classes. College Center.
6 p.m. – Distinguished Alumni Celebration. The Pierce Foundation will honor four alumni who have distinguished themselves in their years after Pierce. Arts and Allied Health theatre.
Cafeteria menu – Information not available.
Look ahead…Learn about local volunteer opportunities at the Volunteer Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday in the Cascade building at Fort Steilacoom.
On April 27, the Foundation honored four alumni who have distinguished themselves in their years following Pierce College. These four individuals, the 2011 Distinguished Alumni award recipients, have built businesses, championed veterans, excelled in the arts, and proven that hard work, commitment, and education pave the way for great things. This year’s honorees are John Simpson, a Pierce College professor and photojournalist, Patrick Hughes, owner of Hughes Group and the 2010 Minority Business Owner of the Year, John Lee, director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, and Debbi Needham, an author, musician, and teacher of gifted students at Parkside Elementary School in Des Moines.
John Simpson is not a man who understands the word “can’t.” Once he decides to do something, he’s in all the way, whether it’s embedding as a photojournalist with wartime soldiers or teaching history to Pierce College students.
“I’m aware of my limitations and I take it right to the limit,” he said candidly. “You’re in a black and white situation. You’re either there or you’re not. There’s no second-guessing. You play the game or you get off the field.”
It’s a simple philosophy, but one that has guided Simpson’s life. After 21 years in the Air Force, Simpson was in the reserves when he took a part-time job at Pierce College correcting reading tests. He took some fill-in classes at Pierce before earning his master’s degree and began working in Pierce’s Alternative Learning Center before teaching two history classes. He was soon hired to teach full-time.
During this time, Simpson became interested in photojournalism.
“I would look at photos and think, ‘I could do a better job,’” he said. “I spent a year reading everything I could about photojournalism. I think I checked out every magazine they had at the library.”
Since his first photo job (a $10 gig at Fort Lewis), he’s been embedded with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan seven times. His work was nominated for an Emmy Award when it was featured on KCPQ news. Whatever the challenge, he’s jumped in with both feet. It’s a lesson he shares with his students.
“If you think you want to do something, do it,” he said. “There are so many opportunities out there. Take one. Take two. You’ll never learn if you don’t take the opportunities that are there.”
If you ask Patrick Hughes how he managed to transform his one-man janitorial supply business into a multimillion-dollar company with 150 employees spread over a dozen states, you’d better be prepared for an interesting answer.
“I failed at selling Amway twice,” he said with a bouncing chuckle. “I like to say that. It’s funny, but it’s actually true!”
Hughes started his career in the Army, where he worked as a logistics officer, ensuring soldiers had everything they needed. In 1986, he was stationed at Fort Lewis and took classes at Pierce College (then Fort Steilacoom Community College) to advance in the ranks and earn an associate’s degree.
Over the next decade, he was back and forth to Fort Lewis between other deployments around the world, and, in 2000, he opened a part-time janitorial supply store in Lacey.
“I went to the Army during the day and to the store at night and on the weekends,” he said. By 2003, when he retired from the Army, the company was thriving. He won his first government contract shortly after and set about establishing the reputation that would help him continue to grow and expand.
Last year, the national Small Business Administration named Hughes the Minority Business Owner of the Year by, an honor he likens to the Heisman Trophy in college football. He is the first person to win the award from Washington State.
But, Hughes isn’t sitting back relishing his success.
“It’s all about the journey you’re on and there’s still so far for me to go,” he said. “I’m here to help others go further…It’s what you do in the community that speaks volumes to being successful.”
Before John Lee was drafted into the Army in 1968, he was doing poorly in college and had been “flopping around” for several years, unsure of the future and his place in it. Before long, he was a Vietnam veteran, feeling just as lost, only now with a wife and two young sons to support.
“I was at Fort Bragg then, 28 (years old), with two boys, and I realized I had some broader responsibilities,” he said. “I began slowly chipping away at college. It took me 15 years to finish my undergraduate degree.”
Now, as the director for the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, Lee uses his experiences to help other veterans facing the same hardships and difficulties. He understands the obstacles faced by current veterans returning from war, facing the effects of trauma, and needing to support their families in difficult economic circumstances.
He remembers his time at Fort Lewis, balancing work, family, and Pierce College classes, as one of the most difficult of his life. At times, he felt overwhelmed and, on a few occasions, he thought about giving up.
“Pierce taught me I could do this,” he said, noting that the culture was pro-military and faculty were flexible around his military schedule.
Today, his message to veterans is simple: Do it now. Don’t wait.
“I remember a lot of times saying, ‘I’ll (finish my education) next year,’ but next year becomes two years,” he said. “As you mature and grow up, your life doesn’t get less encumbered. It gets more so…Now is the time to start, even if it’s just one course. Pretty soon, you’ll see light at the end.”
With her boundless energy, it’s natural to wonder if Debbi Needham is part-hummingbird. At any moment, she’s buzzing about any of a dozen projects, whether it’s art, writing, music, raising exotic birds, or teaching gifted students at Parkside Elementary School in Des Moines. It’s also easy to see how, in spite of her success as an adult, she struggled in high school and the rigid atmosphere of traditional education.
“I was really bored. The big world was more exciting to me,” she said. “I got my GED at (age) 16 and I went out to live.”
After a few years working with bands in Tacoma, Needham realized she needed a college education to be successful. At age 19, she started at Pierce College and took a journalism class that would change her life.
Her instructor, Michael Parks, saw she was a gifted writer and encouraged her to join the campus newspaper staff. Before long, she was the paper’s editor and winning awards from press associations for her work.
After college, she worked as a journalist before the demands of having a special needs child began to affect her ability to meet deadlines. She decided to go in a different direction.
Today, she teaches the top 2 percent of South Seattle students in a free-flowing, intellectually challenging environment that is well-suited to her spontaneous, creative personality. She has also written two young adult novels, plays in punk band, Klondike Kate, and is politically active on behalf of teachers’ and workers’ rights.
“I can’t see myself living without doing,” she explained. “That’s what makes life colorful.”
For more information, visit the Pierce College Foundation website.
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program on Monday named Pierce College Fort Steilacoom to its list of the nation’s 120 best community colleges for its high standards for learning, college completion without delay, and serving as a training ground for jobs that pay competitive wages.
Pierce is one of only four colleges in Washington to be named to the prestigious list. The others are Spokane Falls, Spokane, and Walla Walla community colleges.
“Pierce College faculty and staff make an ongoing commitment to students and to delivering programs and services to help them succeed at the highest levels,” said Denise Yochum, president of Pierce College Fort Steilacoom. “Earning this recognition from the Aspen Institute validates the quality of people and programs we have here, as well as the motivation and hard work of our students, who truly value education. It’s an honor to be recognized on a national level for the work we do at Pierce College.”
The winners were presented Monday by Dr. Jill Biden, a professor at Northern Virginia Community College, and Arne Duncan, education secretary at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.
Inclusion on the list makes Pierce College Fort Steilacoom eligible to compete for the $700,000 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which was announced at the White House’s Community College Summit in October.
“The country is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of community colleges in educating our way to a stronger America. I am inspired by all of today’s community college students—the workers who have returned to school to improve their job prospects, the mothers who juggle jobs and childcare while preparing for new careers, and those who work diligently while at community college, preparing to transfer to a four-year institution,” said Biden.
Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is now eligible to submit an application containing detailed data that demonstrates that it delivers exceptional student results, uses data to drive decisions, and uses that information to continually improve over time.
Aspen will conduct site visits to each of the ten finalists in the fall. And, based on the evidence, the prize jury will select a grand prize winner and two to three runners-up, to be announced in December.
The full list of eligible institutions can be found at www.AspenCCPrize.org.
8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Blood drive. Dining bay, Cascade building. No zombies or vampires, please. All humans welcome.
Noon – Free Workshop: Choosing Careers and Majors. Get tips for finding online information on wages, job forecasts, education requirements, and more. Olympic 205.
Cafeteria menu – Special: Taco salad. Soup: Corn chowder.
Noon – Lecture: America and the Emerging Economies. Multipurpose Room, College Center. Free.
Cafeteria menu – Information not available.
Look ahead…At noon Wednesday, Arrest My Sister will perform a free concert in the College Center at Puyallup. More than music, the band shares a message of inclusion for people with disabilities.
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Easter basket sale. Proceeds benefit the Book Fund. Fourth level Cascade.
6 p.m. – College Movie Night: The Eagle. See the story of a Roman soldier trying to honor his father’s memory. Free admission and snacks. Cascade 332.
Cafeteria menu – Special: Chicken alfredo ciabatta. Soup: Clam chowder.
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Serve to Conserve. Celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Sign up in C210. Transportation and lunch provided.
Cafeteria menu – Special: Fish n’ chips. Soup: Clam chowder.
Look ahead…Saturday, Raider baseball hosts Lower Columbia College in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. at Mount Tahoma High School. Free.
All day – Intramural kickball signups. Get in early to snag a team! Cascade 418.
1 p.m. – Free Workshop: Writing Effective Essay Exams. Learn how to express and organize your ideas on paper. A106F.
Look ahead…Roll up your sleeve and drop a pint for a good cause at the blood drive from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Cascade building at Fort Steilacoom. All welcome!
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Easter basket sale. Proceeds go to the Book Fund. Fourth level Cascade.
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Keep WA Beautiful. Celebrate Earth Day a day early. Cascade. Free.
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Easter crafts. Free egg decorating, crafts, and more. Children welcome. Dining bay, Cascade.
1 p.m. – Free workshop: Scholarship Pizzazz. Learn how to make your scholarship application stand out. Olympic 203.
Cafeteria menu – Special: Baked ham, roasted red potatoes, veggie, and roll. Soup: Stuffed baked potato.
Noon – Fused: Jump In! Free performance by world champion jump roper Peter Nestler. Multipurpose Room, College Center.
Noon – Free Workshop: Overcoming Test Anxiety. Learn tips and tricks for taking tests. A106F.
Cafeteria menu – Special: French dip. Soup: Broccoli cheese.
Look ahead…Serve to Conserve! Sign up to celebrate Earth Day by scouring a local greenbelt. Sign up C210, Puyallup.