Whatcom digs archaeology

By Apple Parry

Whatcom Community College held its fourth annual Archaeology Fair in the Syre Auditorium on Oct 30, where Whatcom’s anthropology faculty and the Association for Washington Archaeology welcomed students and staff from Whatcom and Western Washington University to show a variety of educational displays.

The fair had tables from Whatcom students, Western students, cultural resource management firms, private firms, the Lummi nation, a few independent researchers, and a table of archaeology-focused books.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve got such good representation here,” said Dr. Jennifer Zovar, a Whatcom professor and organizer of the event.

Zovar’s archaeology class was in charge of the “Garbology” display table. She explained, “Archaeology is really the study of ancient garbage, and so, by looking at modern garbage, what can we tell about our own campus? The project they did for this fair was looking at litter patterns on campus and what we might be able to learn about changing habits.”

Dr. Zovar

Dr. Jennifer Zovar


Zovar and her class found that, “a lot of [the garbage] is cigarette butts.”

Zovar said one of the biggest takeaways from the event was that “a lot of Whatcom students come and are able to meet students and faculty from Western.”

Students that are “getting interested in archeology here at Whatcom have ended up transferring and going on to archeology careers, in part because of outreach events like this.” Zovar said, adding, “The connections you make at an event like this, it’s much different than the connections you make in the classroom.”

A slideshow was debuted this year, featuring pictures all related to archaeology and anthropology, which played throughout the event. Zovar said, “It just helps to see those sorts of hands-on pictures, you get to see the faces of the people doing archeology in addition to
everything that we’ve got going on.”

One of those faces is teacher and faunal analyst Alyson Rollins, who has been involved in the fair since the start. Her topic, faunal analysis, is the differentiation between animal bones and human bones. One of her goals for this fair was to give the larger community insight into what kind of jobs and opportunities are available in the real world.

Rollins said her favorite part about the fair is getting the opportunity to “touch base with colleagues that we don’t get to see very often,” and “getting to interact with my students outside of the classroom.”

Riley Campbell, a student, said “It’s cool to see how things change over time, and the different methods people use to make different things.” His project focused on the timeline of bottles and cans, how they have aged, and how manufacturers have changed the shape and materials they use to make them.

Riley Rieber, a Western student, started her first archaeology fair in charge of the hands-on station. This station lets participants experience firsthand how to use the same tools and techniques used by the people of the past.

Rieber said her station is interesting because “if you were trying to survive out in the woods with nothing but the things around you, you can learn from the past and apply it to today.” The activities included shaving bark off a tree branch, using rocks to shape other rocks, and learning which types of rocks are most useful in certain situations.

Zovar said “Western always brings this hands-on display, it’s usually the most popular because it’s so cool to try and use the tools that the peoples used so long ago and see how they really work.”

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At Whatcom, we dance if we want to

By Kaila Cove

Hannah Andersen, a professor at Whatcom Community College, runs the dance program at Whatcom.

Andersen grew up in Spokane, Washington, where she first learned how to dance.

At the age of 11, in the midst of Andersen’s dancing career, she changed from ballet dancing to competitive Irish dancing. Andersen was also the captain on her high school dance team.

“I wasn’t sure that I was going to be a dancer until I transferred to Western and took modern dance as a sophomore in college,” Andersen said.

Hannah AndersonProfessor Hannah Anderson poses with a skeleton she uses to teach.

Andersen decided that she to pursue her career as a dance instructor so she could fulfill her love for both teaching and dancing.  Combining her two passions allows her to provide knowledge to students through the means of dance.

“I attended college on the East Coast for part of the time, and I finished my dance degree at Western,” Andersen said. She also attended the University of Oregon for graduate school and graduated in 2017.

Andersen was introduced to Whatcom during her senior year of college, she said, “Part of my BFA [Bachelor in Fine Arts] project was to work with a learning contract program here at Whatcom and through that program to start offering beginning modern dance as an elective class.”

When Andersen had graduated, the modern dance classes at Whatcom had grown so that a professor was hired by the college to continue teaching modern dance. At the time, Andersen was teaching dance both at Whatcom and Western Washington University.

Throughout Andersen’s education, she received both a Bachelor in Fine Arts and a Masters in Fine Arts in dance.

“Then when I went to graduate school, I gained all the experience that I needed to be able to grow the dance program here,” Andersen said. She is part of many national dance organizations where she attends conferences and presents her research. Andersen also has a publication coming out next month on her research.

“I’ve been teaching dance since I was 16. When I went to graduate school, I knew that one of the skills that I needed to attain was the ability to write curriculum and really understand how dance can fit into higher education,” Andersen said.

Since then when Andersen returned to Whatcom last fall, she started to write several curriculums, such as Global Perspectives on Dance, which is a new five credit humanities class that is offered at Whatcom. This class uses time in the classroom as well as time in the studio. No dance experience is required.

Andersen believes that versatility is very important in dancers, “My passion is modern and contemporary dance is my specialties,” Andersen said. Andersen has taught a variety of dance styles throughout her career such as hip hop, ballet, jazz, improvisation, and modern.

Andersen has dance experience with local companies. “I was a dancer with It Must Have Been Violet Dance Productions, which is a local pick up company,” Andersen said.

Andersen also has her own dance company, Hannah Andersen Dance, where she holds auditions, workshops, and performances for the community. “I have been a member of Bellingham Repertory Dance, which is a local nonprofit dance company,” Andersen said.

Whatcom dance is putting on many events in this upcoming year. Andersen said, “We are having an African dance workshop on Nov. 28 in Syre center. I’m bringing up two guests from Seattle. It’s free and open to the public.” Andersen said that this event will occur on a Wednesday from 1:30-3:00 p.m. Whatcom’s dance program is also hoping to put on a show later in the spring.

Andersen has recently created curriculums for upcoming dance classes at Whatcom, “In the curriculum committee currently, I have a jazz class which should be running in the spring and Dance Performance and Choreography, which is a humanities class that should also be running in the spring,” Andersen said.

Andersen explained that she kept ending up back at Whatcom teaching dance throughout her teaching career, “The stars aligned for me to be back here and I am glad that they did.” Andersen said that teaching dance at Whatcom has grown her passion for dance, “Dance and myself are not separate and they never have been. Dance is my first language,” Andersen said.

Stephanie Rytter, a former student of Andersen’s enjoyed Andersen’s teaching, “I absolutely love Hannah. She brings so much to the table.”

Dance class

Kailee Kunz, a student in Anderson’s class, feels the flow of movement while practicing dance.

“She is open-minded and accepting of people as they are. She creates a safe space for everyone to grow and learn in,” Rytter said.

Alicia Silves, another former student of Andersen’s, said, “Andersen helped break down dances and made sure that everyone could do them to the best of their abilities.” She said that no two classes were the same due to Andersen incorporation of new moves or dances.

Zoe Kuchar, a student who has taken one of Andersen’s dance classes said, “She was constantly supportive, and her personality and humor made me look forward to the class.”

Minori Kosuge, who is a graduate from Whatcom Community College, also enjoyed Andersen’s teaching style, “Hannah is very welcoming to everyone even for people without dance experience, so everyone can join and enjoy dancing.”

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Support and service for Whatcom veterans

By Brock Seaman

The veterans center is a campus resource for veterans and veteran’s dependents to receive help navigating through college.

The veterans center is an area for veterans to study in groups or ask questions. It provides a safe space for all veterans. The aim of the center is to help all veterans succeed in their goals.

Jarid Corbit is the Assistant Director of Veteran Services at Whatcom Community College and himself a veteran. Corbit has worked for the veteran center for ten years.

Many of veterans admire Corbit for all the hard work he does for the center. Richard, a veteran, said “Jarid is amazing. Jarid pretty much holds this place together, usually when someone doesn’t know something Jarid usually does.”

At the entrance of the veteran center, there are sand bags portioning out a walkway and a massive bowl of candy. The inside of the center includes a wall dedicated to photos of veterans and their families. The center also includes areas to study and a couch with a TV and video games.

vet wall

A wall dedicated to Whatcom’s veterans, displaying photos, patches, badges, and other mementos.

The center is designed to be a comfortable environment. Katie Chugg, a Veteran Services associate, believes it’s important to make the center feel like a community area. Chugg believes that the wall of photos give veterans the feeling of ownership at the center, since it’s their office.

The center has helped many veterans through the process of their GI bill.

The GI bill helps veterans obtain financial help with their education, textbooks, and housing. Corbit has two major responsibilities at the center: One of them is reporting information to the Department of Veteran Affairs to maintain Whatcom’s eligibility to offer GI bill benefits, and the other responsibility Corbit provides academic advising for students involved with the Department of Veterans Affairs. .

Corbit acknowledges the challenges veterans go through, “the biggest struggles for veterans is the transition of the rigid world of the military to the dynamic experience of college.”

Corbit feels that having healthy environment encourages veterans to do better in their education. He said, “We aim to ease that transition so that each student veteran’s experience at Whatcom is the most positive that they have ever experienced in a higher education setting.”

Corbit said “I get satisfaction from successfully upholding my commitment to help students get a high-quality experience out of their education.”

Chugg feels the best part of her job is helping veterans she said “I work with pretty amazing students. I love seeing their hopes and dreams excel.”

The Safe Zone is a program that was created by veterans, veteran’s dependents, and veteran’s supporters in 2008, according to the Whatcom website. The program involves a sticker that any facility or staff member can place on their door or window. The sticker lets veterans know that the room is a safe place for them. This allows veterans to vent or discuss problems they might be facing to the facility member.

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Sustainability Club hosts a fall festival

By Apple Parry

In order to recruit new members, the Sustainability Club set up “Fall Fest,” a Halloween themed event in front of Heiner Center on Oct 30.

Fall Fest included games like pumpkin bowling and tic-tac-toe with potatoes.

pumpkin bowling

Sustainability Club members go “pumpkin bowling” in front of Baker Hall

“Through this community we can work together in a fun and creative way to inform others to do better for the environment,” Nano DeOliveira said, a Sustainability Club member.

The Sustainability Club focuses on making Whatcom Community College more environmentally conscious.

Brian Cope, a co-advisor for the club, said, “We always have a project that we’re working on, such as Fall Fest.”

Stephanie Hombroek, another member of the Sustainability Club, said their goal is to “move towards a sustainable future.” Hombroek said they participate community service, go on hikes to pick up litter, and have guest speakers who inform members about the environment.

Mariia Nepuliaera joined the club because of her concerns about the future. She said, “We only have 12-15 years until climate change is inevitable, and you can’t do anything to change it.”

DeOliveira added that the club is, “about creating a community of people that are like-minded in seeing the importance in preserving the natural ecosystem.”

Their goals for the end of the school year, Hombroek says, are to “raise awareness, to be as informed as we can, and take this [experience] with us in the future,” so that they can continue leading more sustainable lives.

They recently contributed to the community by handing out flyers with tips describing how you can recycle your carved pumpkins from Halloween.

The club meets on Wednesday s in Kulshan 224 at 4:00 p.m.

Cope said, “Every year we do something a little bit different.” adding that the president of the club, Justin Claus, “would like to have a conference by the end of the year.”

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Men’s soccer wins North Conference Title

By Kaila Cove

The Whatcom men’s soccer team has won the North Conference title, a competition between regional community college soccer teams.

The team has defended this championship title for the second year in a row.

Bakary Dibba, a forward on the Whatcom men’s soccer team, is satisfied with the way his team played, “We played extremely well, and that’s why we got the win at the end.”

Whatcom soccerLucas Leiberman, number six, keeps control of the ball at Orca Feild during a match

Dibba believes the team could win the conference next year because, “the team will be really strong and the chemistry is already there as well.” He hopes to play for Whatcom again next season.

Dibba gives credit to the team’s head coach, Jason Jorgensen, for the success in the game, “The coach contributes in everything as he’s the one who makes us wake up at 5 a.m. to practice all that is to get us better and prepared for our opponents.”

During the conference, Whatcom had won 11 games, tied one, and lost three. The team this season has scored 52 goals.

Jorgensen said, “It occurred with the boys having focus, determination, and knowing what was on the line. They played some of the best soccer in all the NWAC and that day displayed why they are one of the best teams in the country.” Jorgensen says that Whatcom men’s soccer is ranked 12th out of all the community colleges in the nation.

Jorgensen hopes that the team is able to reclaim the North Conference title again next year. He says it will “depend on what the players do in the off season and the new group of players coming in for 2019.”

During this game, Whatcom had the help of a guest, 9-year-old Tyson Barksdale. “He gave the pregame and halftime speech that helped propel the team to the win. Barksdale was given this experience as part of Whatcom’s participation in the 2018 Rotary Auction where he was gifted “Coach a Day” for Whatcom men’s soccer team. He kept it simple and said, ‘go out there have fun and do what you do best.’ At half time he said ‘you guys are doing great… keep it up,’” said Jorgenson.

Whatcom beat Shoreline in the title, winning game with a score of 8-0.


Midfielder Bekele Dowtry dribbles the ball down the field while facing an opponent

A midfielder for Shoreline, Babucarr Cham, said, “My team played really bad.” He said that most of the team’s key players were injured.

“Unfortunately Shoreline had not won a game all season up to that point and were playing their last 2018 game,” Jorgensen said.

“My opponents are really good, and they had a complete squad,” Cham said. He felt the title winning game was very intense.

Jorgensen said, “We just try to install our knowledge and give back the lessons we learned in our years. The rest is up to the team come game day.”

“They push themselves daily to be the best, and this in itself helped each player in the program contribute not only to the conference winning game but the entire season,” Jorgensen said. He explained that each player on the Whatcom men’s soccer team has helped contribute to the success of this season by bringing a unique dynamic that makes this team whole.

In the end on Nov. 11, Whatcom ending up losing in the NWCA championship game with a score of 0-2.

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The official student newspaper of Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington