Congratulations to Samantha Grapes, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Staff of the Month for September 2021. Grapes is the Senior Coordinator of Course and Curriculum Management in the Registrar’s Office and has been with the College for nearly 12 years.
Whether she is taking classes, reading a book, or watching a documentary, Grapes has always enjoyed learning. Earning a Bachelor of Science in English from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2007, she has more recently completed an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice at CWI and has started taking classes for a Master of Arts degree in History through Idaho State University.
“Criminal justice has been a passion of mine since having a sibling spend time in the criminal justice system,” she said. “I am currently working to combine my degree in criminal justice with a degree in history by focusing my graduate portfolio on the historical roots of our prison system and the impact of racial bias on our drug laws.”
Grape has been able to extend her love of learning and education into her career at as the Senior Coordinator of Course and Curriculum Management at CWI. In this capacity, her primary responsibilities include oversight and creation of the annual college catalog, assisting faculty with updating and creating course and program curriculum, and serving as the primary administrator the College’s online catalog and curriculum inventory management system.
“Through supporting our faculty and helping guide them in creating curriculum, I feel like the work I do contributes to improving the lives of our students through education, even if it’s in a small, non-direct way. Because of CWI, I have found a profession that gives me a feeling of accomplishment and allows me to help others in our community.”
As a member of the Registrar’s Office, Grapes has had the opportunity to work at each of CWI’s commencement ceremonies from the very beginning.
“Our commencement ceremonies are always a highlight of my year! I remember setting up hundreds of chairs on the lawn at the Nampa Campus Academic Building for our first CWI commencement ceremony in 2010. That ceremony was the only one the College has held on campus. No matter the venue, being a part of that celebratory atmosphere is always enjoyable!”
“Samantha embodies all five of CWI’s core values,” said Dean of Health, Cathleen Currie. “She is always available to support faculty and staff and share her wealth of knowledge in a patient and generous way. Most recently, she assisted the Professional Nursing department in developing an entirely new program. She is well respected throughout the College. CWI is blessed to have her expansive positive energy – she is contagious!”
“CWI is a great place to work because of the people I work with,” said Grapes. “Yes, this statement may seem cliché, but it’s true! Everyone here is so supportive and appreciative of each other. There is a real sense of community, especially with those of us who have been here since (nearly) the beginning.”
Outside the office, Grapes enjoys getting out in nature and taking photos, listening to podcasts, and watching movies. She is a self-proclaimed spinster and has two cats.