Bert's Alerts—Feb. 5, 2021
College of Western Idaho (CWI) students, Hailey Stephensky, Carly Edwards, Natasha Lima-Rivas, and Annie Colombatto, recently volunteered their time at the South Meridian YMCA THRIVE Center, a program created to assist neurodiverse children and adults. Completing nearly 50 required service-learning hours for their Foundations of Social Work (SOCW 202) class, the students were able to apply concepts learned in the classroom to community needs.
“My service-learning experience with the THRIVE Center was so enriching,” said Colombatto. “Learning about what the YMCA does to help the neurodiverse community really opened my eyes to the different areas social workers can promote change.”
Service hours included creating curriculum for classes and camps; collecting fun, healthy, and affordable recipes to teach adults with autism how to cook; providing resources to teach life skills; and creating a pamphlet on current legislation impacting our community.
“We were able to create fun content for their different classes and camps, which I loved,” Colombatto continued. “We were even able to create a handout for parents/caregivers showing them how they can help advocate for their neurodiverse loved ones. I'm glad I was able to help serve their community even with the constraints of COVID right now.”
Congratulations to Julie Wagner, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Student Achievement Award recipient for January 2021.
Wagner studied Biology at CWI, she was an INBRE Scholar, then an INBRE Fellow earning an NIH-sponsored Bridges to Baccalaureate Fellowship, a partnership with Boise State University.
"When I moved to Boise, I wanted to go into the medical field. Dr. Suzanne Oppenheimer, Assistant Professor of Biology, suggested I apply for the INBRE Scholars program,” says Wagner. Without her support, I wouldn't be where I am today, and without support from Dr. Brian McClain, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, and Holly Paquette, Assistant Professor of Biology, I wouldn't have found my love for research and microbiology."
Wagner’s dedication and hard work were evident early in her educational journey at the College.
“Julie was an exceptional student in my Anatomy and Physiology class and an inquisitive and productive member of my summer research team. Later, she served as an assistant in my teaching lab,” said Oppenheimer. “I have watched her grow from a hesitant student into a confident biology major and research biologist.”
Wagner is currently a student at Boise State University on the B2B track and works in a research laboratory. She plans on attending graduate school for microbiology. She was also recognized in January by Idaho INBRE for her work in the program.
“Julie is amazing,” continued Oppenheimer. “She has the inquisitive mind of a scientist and just needed a bit of encouragement and a few opportunities to really fly!”
College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) alert notification system, CWI Alerts, was established to notify the CWI community of any potential emergency situations.
To ensure you are receiving and continue to receive CWI Alerts, please review and update your personal information via the Employee Toolkit on myCWI.
- Login to myCWI.
- Click on the My Toolkit tab in the top right.
- Select My Toolkit for Employees, then Update Personal Information.
To receive CWI Alerts via text message, your personal cell phone number must have Cell Phone indicated as the type. If your cell phone number is listed as anything other than a Cell Phone, you will not receive alerts sent out via text.
Contact the Help Desk with questions.
With the announcement of the College’s new brand, there have been a number of questions and requests related to accessing the new brand files. Please keep in mind, the timeline for rollout is a phased approach and the original CWI brand is still valid and in use. Utilizing the new brand ahead of our established timeline for release can cause brand confusion. To ensure a successful brand launch, it is crucial for all to demonstrate patience and roll out the brand thoughtfully and strategically.
Below is a description of the phased rollout. Feel free to contact College Relations with any questions or concerns.
- Fall term recruitment campaign kicks off with new brand elements for future student focused materials. This may include some specific items identified in Enrollment and Student Services to support those recruitment efforts. Please direct inquiries on which items are included to College Relations.
May – July
- Creation of new templates, resources, and tools. Vendors established for new letterhead, envelopes, name badges, event displays, banners, uniforms, etc.
- Access to new branded materials, as they become available, for employees to begin updating in preparation for Fall 2021 semester.
- Planning and coordination for installation of signage and wayfinding (exterior and interior) begins.
- Employees begin using new brand. While preparations can take place throughout the summer in advance of the transition, all items and materials institution-wide should remain in the current brand until Aug. 1, 2021.
Fall 2021 Semester
- Use of the new brand implemented institution-wide.
- In the meantime, please use current CWI templates available on myCWI or choose to reference College of Western Idaho in text without the logo.
A more detailed timeline for reference along with brand updates and information as work continues may be found on myCWI – Employee Resources / Communications and Marketing / CWI Brand. Stay tuned for on-going communication related to guidance and assistance as we make this transition.
Congratulations to Brittney Hernandez, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Staff of the Month for December 2020. Hernandez is a Manager for Student Advising and Success and has been with the College for five years.
Hernandez, originally from Wyoming, holds an associate degree in Psychology from Central Wyoming College, as well as a bachelor’s in Psychology and master’s in Mental Health Counseling from University of Wyoming. Prior to CWI, Hernandez worked as an Admissions Representative for Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming.
“At Northwest, my position required me to visit Treasure Valley high schools to help students explore post high school options. Each time I came out to talk with high school students here, my yearning to live in the Treasure Valley grew! During one of these visits, a counselor mentioned an opening at CWI. That day, I made it my goal to work at CWI which became a reality when I was hired in 2015!”
As a member of the Student Advising and Success team, Hernandez enjoys helping students move toward accomplishing their dreams.
“Every day is different in the life of an advisor. My main duty is to serve students by meeting with them in-person, via Zoom, or by phone. I often play a role in helping them identify classes to take the following semester, create education plans that include a graduation date, explore transfer options, and check out career opportunities. I also have the privilege of working with a fantastic group of people who truly bring joy to my work at CWI.”
“Brittney is an astounding supervisor,” commented Student Success Advisor, Nikki Houston. “While COVID has certainly put us all in a different setting and routine than we are used to, she has been nothing but flexible and compassionate toward me and members of our team. She prioritizes time to make sure her ‘squad’ is taken care of and shows us we are appreciated often.”
Hernandez and her husband met in Wyoming. Along with their two children, they enjoy exploring the outdoors, checking out new trails, and barbecuing in the backyard. She loves reading and trying new recipes.
Thank you to all who participated in the January 21-day Challenge – the Sugar-less Challenge! We had 46 of our participants submit their results for the goal of eliminating processed or added sugar in the diet for 21 days, only eating naturally occurring sugars from fruits and vegetables.
Participants who reached the goal for all 21 days were entered to win a Magic Bullet Mini Blender or Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide.
Magic Bullet Mini Blender
- Anna Martin
- Paul Belue
Complete Food and Nutrition Guide
- Rick Coonrod
- Patricia Williams
Participants who completed 10+ days of the challenge were entered to win a coupon for a free juice or smoothie from Tree City Juice and Smoothie Cafe. Participation prize winners for January are:
- Miranda Wilkett
- Ted Daniels
- Russell Hills
- Jessa Walker
- Aleysha McCoy
- Liz Otterness
- Jodi Hickenlooper
- Julia Kaufmann
- Brittney Hernandez
- Michael Jensen
- Josee Ward
- Stacy Hardy
- Tessa Calip
- Lindsey Zahller
- Shannon Grimsley
- Teresa Rich
- Deidra Bowman
- Angela Zaugg
Here is what participants said about the Sugar-less Challenge:
“Going forward, my family and I will be reading labels more closely,” said Basic Skills Education Supervisor, Liz Otterness. “Added sugar is everywhere. We even found it in our table salt!”
“I feel amazing! I think that from now on, I will be able to be more aware of sugar and the affects that it has on my health,” said Student Affairs Sign Language Interpreter, Janette Lovell. “I have noticed less mood swings, irritability, ability to better manage stress, and I performed much better in the gym this month! I would say this challenge was my favorite!”
“One of my favorite challenges! As someone who indulges in too much sugar, this was a huge wake up call,” said Dean of Social Sciences and Public Affairs, Courtney Santillan. “I'm happy to report I'm still eating A LOT less sugar than I was at the beginning of the month. Yeah!”
The February 21-day Move More Challenge has taken off with participants doing a minimum 15 minutes of intentional exercise each day from February 1-21.
Don’t forget to check out how you can get access to free personal training as a CWI Employee! Deadline to sign up is March 19. Visit the Culture and Employee Engagement Committee site on myCWI for all the Employee Wellness Challenge details!
College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Visiting Artist Series is proud to welcome artist, Rachael Mayer, for a virtual talk and cardboard loom weaving workshop Friday, Feb. 19.
Mayer is a fiber artist based in Boise, Idaho. Bridging her Bachelor of Art in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies and Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art, she creates work themed around communities, social networks, and systems. She uses her experiences traveling across the country with her family as a child and young adult to contextualize social constructions within landscape and topography. Mayer’s work has been exhibited across the United States. She has interned at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee and has been published in the Surface Design Journal.
All are invited to join us Feb. 19 from 1 – 3 p.m., via Zoom, as Mayer discusses her work with textiles and weaving, as well as her professional development as an artist. Her talk will be followed by a cardboard loom weaving workshop which will cover the basics of tapestry design, weaving with texture, and finishing stitches will be covered. At the completion of the workshop, participants will have created a wall hanging they can display in their home and will have the knowledge and resources to continue to weave in their free time.
Participants are asked to assemble the following materials for the workshop:
- Flat piece of cardboard (approximately 8 x 10 inches) + cardboard scraps
- Skinny yarn or twine
- Variety of colors, textures, and thickness of yarn
- Tapestry needle (optional)
- Masking or painters tape (if not purchasing a tapestry needle)
CWI’s Visiting Artist Series is made possible through a grant from Idaho Commission on the Arts, which is supported by National Endowment for the Arts. Visiting Artist Series workshops, featuring visual and performing artists, are free and open to the entire CWI community. Mayer’s talk and virtual workshop is suitable for all ages and will be sign interpreted in American Sign Language.
Zoom Link: Cardboard Loom Weaving Workshop
Meeting ID: 971 9776 9392
Contact Brenda Fisher at email@example.com to learn more or with questions.
Zoom continues to update its platform with its most recent release this week. To ensure you have access to the latest features, please update your Zoom desktop client regularly. Update by starting Zoom, clicking on your photo/icon in the upper right corner, then clicking on Check for Updates.
New is Version 5.5.0
Key Changes to Existing Features:
- Persistent Non-Verbal Feedback
Non-verbal feedback, which is now included in meeting reactions, will return to the previous behavior, in which they are persistent until the attendee or host removes them. This includes the Yes, No, Slower, and Faster options.
- Enhancement to Alternative Host Feature
If the original host joins after the alternative host, the original host will always regain control of the meeting and become host. In addition, the alternative host will change roles. If the co-host feature is enabled for the meeting, the alternative host will become a co-host. If the co-host feature is disabled, the alternative host becomes a normal participant.
- Blurred Background
Users can now choose to blur their background rather than selecting a specific virtual background, providing added privacy when a branded background is unavailable or unnecessary.
- Share mono or stereo sound
When sharing content and wanting to share computer sound as well, users can select between mono or stereo audio. Only the user sharing their audio will need to be utilizing this client version or higher.
Employees can access Internal Job Postings or visit Careers at CWI to view all external listings. Upon application submittal, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive an email, check your "Junk/Spam" folder, then email firstname.lastname@example.org to verify receipt of your application.