Whatcom welcomes new student life director

By Nate Kahn

As Whatcom students become immersed in the everyday routine of their classes, Heidi Farani, the new Interim Director for Student Life and Development is getting adjusted. Farani says she is enthused about her roll on campus and ready to strengthen the Whatcom community.

“I am super passionate about community building and relationship building. As the Director of Student Life and Development, I also oversee athletics, housing and the rec center. I want to be involved, I’ve been to a couple soccer games already and a volleyball game, I’m really excited about seeing how our athletes are doing and how they represent our college,” Farani said.
“I’m really excited that there’s a new rec center on campus, and I’m excited about working with the staff there to see what kind of events and activities we can get going.”
Farani graduated from Western Washington University with her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Child Development with a K-8 teaching certification. Farani received her masters in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education in 2004.
Prior to Whatcom, Farani worked at Edmounds Community College, outside of Seattle. Farani was drawn to Whatcom, because of her admiration for student wellness and educational achievement.
“I chose this opportunity because I am passionate about student life and development and I love Bellingham,” Farani said.
Farani is getting oriented on campus, while planning student activities for fall and winter quarters.
“We’re going to follow the tradition of getting the offices on campus to decorate and having a little competition to get a festive feeling on campus,” Farani said.
Farani said how Student Life has scheduled a Fall Harvest and Halloween celebration on Oct. 29. The celebration will include a trip to the local pumpkin patch, possibly a corn maze, bringing pumpkins back to campus, a pumpkin carving contest, and a scary movie.
Farani oversees the organization of on-campus events.
“We actually have three different groups of student leaders right here in the Office of Student Life,” Farani said.
Farani said how the three braches of student life are the  Associated Students of Whatcom Community College, which is the student government, the WCC Student Ambassadors, and the Programming and Diversity Board that does most of the event planning on campus.
Farani said she values the student involvement on campus, she encourages students to become of the school community. By viewing Whatcom as a collective of people, not just an educational institution, students have an increased feeling of solidarity and inclusion.
“From my experiences, students who get engaged with campus outside of class tend to have even more academic success, because they experience a sense of belonging,” Farani said, adding how it’s a “really valuable experience.”
Farani said she is determined to make a significant mark on the Whatcom campus and community by connecting with students, and hearing Whatcom voices in order to create results and improve campus.
“Students should connect with me and let me know what they hope for from this position or from Student Life and Development on campus,” Farani said.
Farani says she seeks to make an impact and provide “opportunities for activities, events, community building and that sense of Whatcom pride and Whatcom engagement.”
“My door is usually open and people are welcome to come in meet me and ask questions, Farani said.

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