Category Archives: FEATURES

Getting baked

By Matt Benoit
Horizon Editor

Late Nights at Library returns with extended hours, baked goods for all
Linda Lambert, library director at Whatcom, says her favorite thing to bake is chocolate chip cookies. Always.


“I love chocolate,” she says, adding that her favorite recipe is “chocolate coma cookies,” from a mystery novel by Carolyn Mott Davidson.
Lambert is just one of about a baker’s dozen of library circulation staff, Late Nights at the Library (4)librarians, classified staff, and work study students who can and probably will be baking up a storm of tasty treats for this quarter’s “Late Nights at the Library,” where the library will be open for extended hours in preparation for student finals and projects.
This year’s dates are Dec. 3 and 4, with a second “batch” on Dec. 7 and 8. The library will be open until 10 p.m., 1 hour later than normal hours for the quarter on Mondays through Thursdays, and 5 hours later than normal Friday hours.
Lambert says “Late Nights” have been occurring since 2005, when she had the idea to offer a basic package of ideas summed up in the library’s flyers for the event: cookies, coffee, and librarians. The library would offer extended hours, and, at the same time, cookies and other baked goods.
The event costs $600 each year, and is paid for through the Associated Students of Whatcom.
“I’m making chocolate peanut butter bars,” said Julie Horst, a reference librarian at Whatcom. Horst said the bars have a peanut butter base and are covered with chocolate. “They’re extremely addictive,” she added, mentioning that they’re loaded with fat, sugar, an entire pound of powdered sugar, and she doesn’t even have to actually bake them.Late Nights at the Library
One thing that most of the staff loves to bake are chocolate chip cookies. Kim Struiksma, administrative assistant in the library, makes her grandma’s top secret chocolate, chocolate chip cookies.
Jon McConnel, librarian, bakes chocolate chip cookies because he has a good recipe and, he added, it’s easy. “It’s what I bake for myself; it’s what I bake for the students,” he said.
“I bake my aunt’s recipe for 10-cup cookies,” said circulation desk librarian Linda Compton-Smith. She always makes the recipe, she said, describing the cookies as having a full cup of each of the ingredients—including peanut butter, chocolate, and coconut among others—in each batch.
Laurie Starr, another circulation desk librarian, says her recipes vary. She has made everything from snickerdoodles to double chocolate oatmeal cookies, and is thinking of making salted peanut bar cookies, which she described as butterscotch-like in nature. “It’s always fun,” she said of the baking.
The library usually never runs out of treats altogether, but Lambert said Ara Taylor, who manages the reserves at the circulation desk, has baked up things at home and run them to the library on the few occasions they’ve run short on treats.
Lambert said the one type of baked good seems to be consumed faster than others.
“Brownies always go first,” she said.


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Students work out

By Jorge Cantu

 Horizon Reporter

 Life in college is a sort of juggling act, where students try to balance jobs, family, friends, hobbies, and school. So how are students able to stay fit and healthy? And how do they manage their time to do this?
 
The gym at the Pavilion on campus is free, yet many students still join other gyms around Bellingham.
 
Pavilion (1)Kevin George, a 22-year-old student at Whatcom, manages to work out on a regular basis at a gym he pays monthly for. He goes to Bellingham Athletic Club about three to four times a week.

“I usually go in the mornings before class,” George said. “I find that it’s a great way to wake me up and get my day going.”

 
Elon Langston, also a Whatcom student, is on the basketball team for the upcoming season. He gets regular workouts by going to practice, but also goes to Bellingham Athletic Club. The gym is a regular thing for him. “I try to go at least four times a week, although it’s hard with school and work to find time,” he said.
 
City GymLangston works at the Pavilion building on campus, where he monitors people going in and out of the gym. “I use the gym here only sometimes,” he said. “It is too small and usually too crowded to get a decent workout.

George said there is a positive side to having the gym though. ” It’s good because it is free,” he said.
Krystal Kern works at the new All Time Fitness gym off Cordata street. As a personal trainer, she recommends that students work out three to five times a week, and for at least an hour at a time.
 
“The majority of people who attend our gym are Whatcom students,” she said. “It is very close to the college and open 24 hours a day.”
Kern said it is also essential to make working out a priority and to have some sort of fit schedule every week if wanting to achieve results.
 
anytime fitness bryan and krystalAlicia Alvarez, a 46 year old Whatcom student, has stuck to TaeBo and other various workout tapes to achieve results. “I make time for working out, I make it a priority like I would taking a shower,” she said. “It’s the only way I am able to stay fit and healthy.”
 
Along with hitting the gym, another component of staying fit and healthy is simply eating healthy.
 
George noted that he makes up his meals at home a head of time, before going to school and work.
 
“I eat tons of sandwiches, basically trying to get my protein and vegetable intake for every day made sufficient,” he said. “But even if I don’t have a sandwich, there are tons of cheap healthy bars and snacks offered at almost any store and gas station.”
 
Alex Macleod, 21, is another student who is into eating healthy. “After gaining weight in high school, I made a decision to make working out a priority,” he said. “The only way I do not work out in the mornings is if I have a test to study for, but usually my homework is done the night before.”
Langston had a different view of eating healthy, though, “I eat whatever man,” he said. “I’m a college kid and don’t have mom cooking no more, so I eat whatever I get.”
 
Any time fitnessKern from All Time Fitness said that people tend to drink their calories. “Sugar is the one that really gets people!”
 
Bryan Hargrove, a personal trainer who works at All Time Fitness, commented on some of the cheap healthy foods students can get. “Trader Joe’s doesn’t use any preservatives or additives in their foods, which tend to be pretty cheap. They also don’t use shelf life extenders, which tends to make the food cheaper,” he said. “Also, produce in season seems to be cheaper, and always a good source of nutrition.”
 
“Staying healthy can be tough,” George said, “But once you realize that your health should be as important a priority as anything else in life, then you find the time to make it a lifestyle.”

 All gyms encourage you to call and set up a meeting.

Any Time Fitness (360) 306-5858
Student Price
$49.99/month with 24 hour gym use
$50 off 1 yr contract (which means $35.00/month)
$39.99 for key FOB

Bellingham Athletic Club (360) 676-1800Student Price
$129.11 for 3 months
Bellingham Fitness (360) 733-1600
Student Price
$29.99/month with no contracts

City Gym (360) 647-1511
Student Price (prepaid) $ 30.00/month

Gold’s Gym (360) 671-4653
Student Price
$39.99/month – A 12 month commitment
$59.99 Enrollment Fee
Pavilion At Whatcom Community College
Student Price
FREE with Student ID


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This is only a test….

EXAMINING THE PLACE FOR EXAMS, WHATCOM’S TESTING CENTER

by Matt Benoit

Horizon Editor

Behind the wooden double-doors of Laidlaw 133 lies a room absent of most sound, filled with desks and numbered chairs that are usually at least half-full with students making up faculty exams, doing GED testing, or taking math and English placement exams. This room is Whatcom’s Testing Center.

Named after Norma Stevens, former program manager for drop-in advising and testing services, the testing center has given out over 10,000 tests in the last four academic quarters.

Lisa Anderson, testing center coordinator, said that Stevens, who retired from Whatcom a few years ago, worked to improve the standards and environment for testing at the college, and helped secure the funding and space for the current testing center.

“Our previous space was small and inefficient to meet the growing needs of our students,” said Anderson in an e-mail.

Students needing to make up exams from faculty must make advanced arrangements with their instructor and arrive with enough time to complete the test. GED Testing is available by appointment and requires a mandatory enrollment session prior to testing, along with a one-time $75 fee.

Individual and ESLA placement testing is available on a drop-in basis, while math and standard English placement testing requires a group testing appointment and a one-time fee of $20. Group tests are normally held in a different location, and Anderson said two to three placement test sessions a day are common during finals weeks in order to accommodate new students for the next quarter of classes.

 Individual placement testing is not offered during finals week, as Anderson explained that the center dedicates all its time and space to faculty finals, facilitating anywhere from 300 to 500 tests during that week. 

Community proctored exams for non-students are also available on a limited basis.

With all this testing, does cheating ever occur? Anderson said that although she believes the testing center does a great job at preventing it, it can be hard to determine the difference between a student’s honest mistake and an attempt to smuggle in unauthorized materials for a test.

“We try to give the student the benefit of the doubt when these materials are discovered during check-in,” she said. “What happens in the check-in room stays in the check-in room, unless the attempt is really flagrant.”

Repeated attempts at taking in banned materials are documented for faculty, Anderson said, adding that only a few students tend to get something past. She usually documents at least seven situations a quarter, but said that how the students cheat will remain “a trade secret.”

Still, Anderson said cheating is something that makes the staff of the Learning Center feel very badly. “We work here because we like students and want to play a part in helping them succeed,” she said, adding that students’ reactions to being caught range from tears to anger.

“I think many students would typically not cheat but have found themselves unprepared for a variety of reasons and then make a bad choice,” Anderson said. “We strive very hard to not personalize the situation, stay supportive, non-judgmental, and professional.”    

 

 

Testing Center Hours for Fall Quarter (through Dec. 10)

Mondays: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesdays: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Wednesdays: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursdays: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fridays: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.          

A photo I.D. is required for all testing, and any fees must be paid in full prior to testing with a receipt of payment required to be shown.


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Remembering Debbie Nutt

NuttpicMatt Benoit

Horizon Reporter

When Debbie Nutt was acting as Activity Director for Whatcom’s Title III grant some years ago, she designed and implemented hands-on training for faculty and staff, which included helping them design their own Web sites. One faculty member, in picking a background for her site that she really liked, soon found out the background she’d picked was actually an “illegal plant.”

“Debbie, in her real subtle way, mentioned that there were lots of backgrounds to choose from and never made this individual feel embarrassed,” said Becky Rawlings, human resources director, in a written remembrance she was to give at Nutt’s memorial service on Oct. 31. “She was so professional and provided options that were much more appropriate.”

Nutt, who most recently worked as associate registrar at Whatcom, died from cancer on Oct. 21 at age 59. She was remembered by those who knew and worked with her as a kind and professional woman.

“She was a quiet leader who was extremely focused,” said Rawlings. “Any project that she was given to do, she met the challenges. When I talked to employees about Debbie, there was incredible consistency in describing her: classy, humble, quiet, modest, a great sense of humor, an excellent teacher and someone who could do anything.”

Mike Singletary, registrar, has worked at the college since 2008, and described Nutt as a coach, mentor, and teacher who had lots of patience and was “very supportive” to new staff, he said. “She was a great resource because she had worked in different areas on the campus.”

Nutt started at Whatcom as a business student in 1984, and began working for the college as a business lab assistant in 1986 while continuing her studies at both Whatcom and Western, Rawlings said.

She worked as an instructional technician in the business lab before taking her first full-time position with Whatcom in 1989 as activity director of a Title III grant, which she worked on with Judy Hoover.

In 2002, Nutt became the Associate Enrollment and Information Services Director, and had worked as Associate Registrar since 2006.

“She was a very wonderful person,” said Vivian Hallmark, who knew Nutt for 20 years and worked with her in the registration office. “Classy lady, professional—treated students, faculty, and staff all the same—very helpful to all of them. She wrote down everything, and made things very easy for people to learn.”

Hallmark said that she and Nutt would often talk about their children, who were about the same ages, as well as baking.

“Debbie was a great baker,” she said, adding that Nutt used to bake pies with her husband for several area restaurants, including The Cliff House, as a side business venture. Hallmark also touched on how knowledgeable Nutt was in the advancement of technology at the college, working with the Title III grant and also helping work in the IT department on Web sites.

“It was really nice working with her,” she said. “It’s very hard to lose a person that has a lot of knowledge about the college, and it’s gonna be very hard to replace her.”


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When teachers can’t teach

College asks faculty to develop an instructional preparedness plan

By Emily Huntington

Horizon Reporter

Last fall, Barry Maxwell, a political science instructor, had kidney stones, and was unable to administer the final for his classes. This fall, Tim Watters got pneumonia and was in the hospital for a time.

What happens to a class when the teacher can’t teach?

Maxwell, one of four division chairs at Whatcom, explained that because it happens so rarely that instructors are out for more than a couple days, the college doesn’t have a more strategic plan. If an instructor is sick, he or she can either cancel their class, or trade favors with another instructor. Sometimes, they will call Western and see if any professors have time to teach a class.

“It’s trickier when you don’t know how long they’ll be gone,” Maxwell said. The college has never had to refund students’ money due to classes being canceled – even when an instructor dies.

Harold Helton, a history professor, died in the middle of a course last winter. What happens then is much like what happens when an instructor is sick indefinitely. Because there are so many instructors who can teach a variety of subjects, it’s never really difficult to find a replacement. Since there are so many history professors, they were able to substitute another teacher and keep the class going.

In Maxwell’s case, if no one had been able to administer the final, he would have given his students the benefit of the doubt and graded based on work turned in throughout the quarter. The hard part, he said, would have been the oral presentation, because a substitute wouldn’t know his students and it wouldn’t be fair to give that responsibility to a stranger. Luckily, Maxwell recovered and was there for the last day of classes.

The college is asking faculty to complete an “Instructional Preparedness Plan” for each quarter in the school year in the event of a campus closure or excessive flu related absences. Such a plan would indicate how teachers would communicate with students, and how they would  provide instruction – whether it be via e-mail, Moodle, or some other technology. The college is also hiring additional staff as needed for student and faculty training and tech support. Teachers are encouraged to get necessary training, inform students of the plan, and then test out the plan with students.


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