CAMPUS BRIEFS

International Education Week

A series of events will be held on campus from Nov. 16 through Nov. 20 to celebrate International Education Week, a “joint initiative between the U.S. Dept. of State and the U.S. Dept. of Education to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange. 

In addition to presentations and discussions from several Whatcom faculty on topics ranging from the Berlin Wall to Chinggis Khan, as well as Fulbright and study abroad opportunities for faculty, there will also be a study abroad fair in the Syre foyer during the week.

The Spanish club will also host a free salsa dance class on Nov. 16 from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in the Syre Auditorium. No experience is required to participate 

Event supports veterans

The college will be closed in observance of Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11, but on Nov. 12, “Listener: Talk Music,” will present music and poetry in the Syre Auditorium at 7 p.m. The event is free, but $3 minimum donations, which will benefit local veteran’s services, are suggested.

Nov. 17 College Fair

Representatives from 15 Washington universities and colleges will invade the Syre Student Center on Nov. 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a once-a-year college fair. There will be a prize drawing, as well as information on university application processes and how to snag scholarships.

Nov. 18 Transfer Fair

A college transfer fair will be held on Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Heiner Center foyer. Eleven different colleges, including Western Washington University, the University of Washington, and Washington State University, will have representatives present to give transfer info and answer questions from students.

New Financial Aid Director

Jack Wollens has been introduced as the new Director for Financial Aid at Whatcom after spending the last three years as financial aid director of Bellingham Technical College. He also worked in financial aid at Loma Linda University in California, and has a business management degree from Andrews University in Michigan.

Fun in Seattle!

The International Friendship Club will be taking a day trip to Seattle on Nov. 21. The trip, open to all Whatcom students, will give them the chance to visit landmarks like Pike Place Market and the Space Needle, as well as do some holiday shopping.

Cost is $5 per student, which covers transportation (a chartered bus) and parking. Those attending should meet at the flagpole in from of Laidlaw Center at 9 a.m. on Nov. 21. The bus should return to Whatcom around 8 p.m. Those interested in the trip can sign up in the International Office in Syre 201.

Phi Theta Kappa

The induction ceremony for new members of Whatcom’s Phi Theta Kappa is Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. in Heiner 209. Paul Schroeder will be the guest speaker.

Roberts releases new CD

Whatcom music professor Dr. Christopher Roberts’ latest CD, “Last Cicada Singing,” is now available for purchase in Whatcom’s bookstore. There is also a copy of the CD in Heiner Library available for checkout. The album is a series of solo compositions for the qin, a zither-like Chinese classical instrument Roberts studied while living in Taiwan. The album sells for $8.95.

Avoid failure with success workshops

Two more hour-long student success workshops will be held in LDC203 from 1 to 2 p.m. on each remaining Monday in November. Topics covered will include test-taking strategies (Nov. 16) and stress management (Nov. 30). Those with questions should contact Entry and Advising at (360) 383-30 

Career Center Open House

There will be an hour-long “open house” for the Career Center’s new office on Thursday, Nov. 12 between 12 and 1 p.m. in LDC 116 (Entry and Advising) to allow those interested to explore the new office and see what the Career Center has to offer. Treats will be provided.

 The Career Center features computerized career exploration, job searches, career assessments, resume writing, interview tips, and a resource library. For more information, contact the Entry and Advising office at (360) 383-3080.

“Don’t Trash Transit” rally

A rally in support of maintaining the WTA’s current level of transit service will take place on the Bellingham Public Library grounds across from the courthouse between 7:30 and 10 a.m. on Nov. 19. WTA’s board of directors will be in the council chambers of the courthouse that morning to consider a draft budget for 2010.

The rally, sponsored by the Amalgamated Transit Union, is to voice opposition against a proposed 14 percent reduction in county bus service starting next year.

Upcoming performances 

The musical group “Bottom Line Duo” will perform with bass and cello on Nov. 18 at 11:30 a.m. in Heiner Auditorium.

“Elephant Engine High Dive Revival,” a spoken word performance party featuring Buddy Wakefield, Derrick Brown, and numerous other performers, will take place on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m., also in Heiner Auditorium.


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COUNCIL NOTES

New Arts Club Proposed

Derek VanderGriend showed up at this week’s council meeting to propose the new club, Whatcom Art Awareness Community, with an art teacher as an advisor. They meet Wednesdays from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. to discuss upcoming show events, as well as show and critique each other’s art. There are currently 15 members. Funding would come from selling student pieces, or having donation jars at local art shows. Any other funding would come from the committee board.

New Sports Chairs

Chris Scrimsher proposed getting 30 new chairs especially designed for WCC, to be used mainly for sports events. Designs may still be suggested, but he did bring an example design in a dark blue with the WCC Orca logo on the back. “Many colleges have these chairs,” Scrimsher said, “and Whatcom is a step behind in bringing them on the field for a more professional look.”

Table Tennis Club

A new table tennis club was proposed. A group of 20 students already play and attend meetings on Friday’s from 2 to 4 p.m. Anyone can join, and tournaments will be held. The $2 entry fees for tournaments  will be used to purchase equipment such as balls and paddles.

Graffiti Still a Recurring Problem

Carl Adams, of Whatcom’s facilities, came to the council meeting with a request.  “Please tell your peers to not write on the walls and help spread the word,” he said.  Adams said newly painted stalls are already being marked up again by graffiti, and would like this all to stop because of the high number of resources it is taking to paint over the graffiti.


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WHATCOM VOICES

WHAT RESOURCE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ON CAMPUS THAT’S NOT ALREADY HERE?

Courtney Addler

 

Courtney Adler

“We need more places to hang out.”

 

 

Nathan Barton

 

Nathan Barton

“A larger library, comparable to Western’s.”

 

 

Derek VanderGriend

 

Derek vandergriend

“I think we need more bike racks.”

 

 

Ian Campbell

 

Ian Campbell

“More computers, because I find  myself standing in line quite a lot.”


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