Bert's Alerts—Jan. 10, 2020
Thank you for attending the all employee in-service and participating in the presentation on the CWI brand. I am very excited for what’s ahead with CWI’s brand and continue to remain humbled by the fearless approach you take every day in empowering students to take bold steps in bettering their lives. Thank you to those who were busy serving the needs of students and were unable to attend the morning activities. College Relations will be providing access to a video of the presentation; look for communications soon on how to access this video.
Entering a New Decade of Student Success & New Brand
CWI has empowered thousands of lives, careers, futures, and our community; the successes and accomplishments over the past ten years have been monumental. Serving just 3,618 students in 2009, to now, more than 31,000, the dedication and determination of faculty and staff has allowed the College to overcome challenges, maneuver obstacles, and adapt with innovative ideas. Looking ahead to the new year and the start of a new decade of student success, it is an exciting time to be a community college!
As we continue this momentum of adaptiveness and innovation, our brand will play an important part in CWI maintaining its position in the community as an affordable, accessible education and training resource and prevailing as a leader in higher education for the future. Look for continued communication this year as we progress through the development of CWI’s new brand and for opportunities to participate. If you have any questions about the brand process or would like to be involved, please contact College Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we phase out of the 10-year celebration, please take a moment to update your email signature.
According to IT, using a branded signature is important for several reasons:
- Ensures emails are safe and valid, especially to your regular contacts
- Bad actors (faceless bad guys) usually don’t include your branded signature when spoofing email addresses, allowing your contacts to more easily recognize the email did not come from you
- Reduces overall likelihood of your email being mistaken as spam
Instructions on how to update your email signature to a branded signature block were included in the email sent out Thursday, Jan. 8, from the Office of the President.
Here's to a fantastic spring semester!
Congratulations to Jordan Barno, a Studio Arts major and winner of College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) 2020 Connections Project logo contest! Barno’s logo submission was chosen out of over 50 entries and earned her the $150 prize. Her design was chosen for its originality, branding, and usability. The new logo will be featured in all upcoming Connections Project marketing for 2020.
Barno moved to Idaho when she was six years old, and while she was homeschooled, she did take some classes from various places which included a graphic design class for three years during high school at the Dennis Technical Education Center. She will transfer to Boise State University to pursue a degree in graphic design after graduation this May. While discussing her years of homeschooling, Barno said she felt CWI was the perfect jump from homeschooling because of the small class sizes and being able to get to know her teachers better.
Barno first heard about the logo competition in one of her art classes where a member of the Connections Project was visiting and was wearing a t-shirt with last year’s logo on it. When the competition was mentioned, she thought to herself, “I could do that!”
Her logo inspiration came from the Connections Project motto, “Connect, Educate, Inspire” and her CWID (Connection with Ideas) course. The words connect and connection in these instances led her to think of lines, further leading her to think of the geometric design used for the logo.
Once her design was chosen, Barno was given the opportunity to work with the College’s Communications and Marketing team to further develop the logo. Development included adding color and changing the back of the design originally meant to look like pieces of the brain coming together, but could have been misinterpreted as pieces falling off. The completed geometric design of the brain gives a feeling of connection.
Karen Brown, Assistant Professor of Art History and Humanities, helped create the Connections Project logo design competition two years ago. Brown shared this method of choosing a logo “provides a way for students to gain experience and understanding of how marketing works at the College, in addition to some of the complexities of designing a logo and presenting it to the public”.
The logo selection process begins when student submissions are sent through an anonymous jurying process. The jurors consist of members of the Connections Project team including staff, faculty, and students. Once members have chosen their top three or four entries, these votes are pooled together to determine the finalists. The Connections Project team then collaborates with Communications and Marketing to choose the most viable image.
The Connections Project logo contest provides the opportunity for students, like Barno, to shepherd their design from the initial stages, to a product that will appear on ephemeral objects such as the webpage, as well more permanent ones like posters, programs, and t-shirts. Keep an eye out for future updates regarding this year’s Connections Project which will be held at the Nampa Campus Academic Building on April 23, 2020. This event is free and open to the public.
Beta Sigma Pi, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society, is proud to announce their creation of a new training for faculty. This training, a PowerPoint available to faculty on Blackboard, is focused on cultural competency, diversity, inclusion, and equity in higher education.
The training was created as part of Beta Sigma Pi’s Honors in Action project, a requirement to achieve five-star chapter status, a 48-point plan for achieving success and a pinnacle achievement for PTK chapters. Using the five-star chapter plan as a guide to success, chapters can enhance their working relationship with the college administration by becoming active on the campus and in the community.
During the Fall 2019 semester, leaders of Beta Sigma Pi conducted a campus-wide, anonymous survey on student’s perception of stereotyping on campus. Among 205 participants, nearly nine percent of students reported they had experienced discrimination due to negative stereotypes, 62 percent did not believe stereotyping to be a problem, 21 percent had a slight issue, 14 percent reported average occurrence, and three percent reported moderate to severe stereotyping. Seventeen percent of students surveyed reported they had noticed themselves stereotyping a member of the campus community, almost one fifth of total participants.
“We all have biases,” explained Vice President of Leadership, Rheanna Palmer. “While Beta Sigma Pi knows the material we have provided in this training are not new, the solutions provided may be. Our hope, through this training, is to increase CWI faculty’s awareness of stereotyping, snap judgments, and unconscious bias on campus.”
All faculty are encouraged to participate in the training, available via Blackboard. Following review of the material, participants will be asked to complete a short, 10-question quiz on the content. Results obtained from the quiz will be used by Beta Sigma Pi leadership to complete the write-up for their Honors in Action project, due Jan. 16.
College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) web team is excited to unveil several improvements to the College’s external website featuring increased accessibility and implementation of an enhanced, AI-driven search tool. While these changes may not be noticeable to the average user, they are important to overall site functionality and the user experience.
CWI’s external website, cwi.edu, has undergone several accessibility improvements to ensure users have an equal opportunity to access and utilize the information provided on the site. The CWI web team has attended accessibility trainings, made site improvements, and added an accessibility focus to regular maintenance and future development processes while continuing to provide accessibility training to all web page contributors. CWI’s website accessibility score provided by Siteimprove has gone from 78 percent to 99.6 percent accessible as of December 2019.
Highlights of the upgrades include:
- Homepage updated with full-screen videos and images with a pause button, redesigned calendar section, and increased news coverage
- Headers and menus updated to provide better functionality to users who only use a keyboard to navigate with a skip to main content link and visible focus
- Image carousels rebuilt to manually advance allowing users to control movement of slides
- Tab and accordion content areas upgraded so content can be read with a screen reader and accessed using the tab and arrow keys on a keyboard
- Tables and iframes enhanced to include information to help users understand content
- Content Links, identifiable with a combination of text color and underlining, now use descriptive text to open a link in the same tab
- Buttons altered with a new design including hover and tab states that receive visible focus when using the tab key on a keyboard
- Images include alternative text descriptions to provide users with screen readers added information about content
- Headings on all pages reorganized to be meaningful and in descending order
- Flashing and Changing Text replaced with static text
AI-Driven Search Tool
The website’s AI-driven search tool has been enhanced with improved search capabilities including:
- Autocomplete to infer the search term and predicts the most relevant content
- Easy access to previous searches and the ability to save search results for later
- Related search terms by keyword and topic
- Suggestions for additional results
- Incorporation of CWI Academic Catalog results
- Searchable faculty, staff, and department information
- Filters allowing users to narrow search results by file type, date, and category
- Continuous learning – the tool will improve with use to deliver most desired results
If you have questions or want to learn more about site accessibility or the AI-driven search tool, contact College Relations at email@example.com.
The College of Western Idaho (CWI) Foundation scholarships application period opens Nov. 1 for the 2020-2021 academic year. One application makes applying for scholarships at CWI easy and provides students with a number of scholarship opportunities in the College’s academic and career-technical programs. More than 300 students received scholarships through the Foundation during the 2019-2020 academic year.
Students interested in applying for scholarships must have the CWI admission application completed, be accepted, and have myCWI login information. The application closes Nov. 30, 2020.
Visit the Grants and Scholarships page to learn more or apply.
After more than six years of service, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Law Enforcement Director, Brett Reid, has announced his departure. Reid came to the College in 2013 from College of Southern Idaho where he was the Coordinator and an instructor in the Law Enforcement program. Prior to his time in higher education, he had a career of more than 25 years in the criminal justice field as a police officer, corrections officer, and probation and parole officer.
Originally hired at CWI as the Dean of Business, Education, and Exercise and Health Science, Reid also served as Dean of Social Sciences and Public Affairs before joining CWI’s Law Enforcement program in 2016.
“Several moments stand out in my mind during my time at CWI. Among these moments are those I spent working side-by-side with talented faculty and administrators at what seemed like Mach speed toward accreditation.”
Reid has accepted a director position with the Southern Idaho Regional Communications Center in Jerome, Idaho, which serves as a dispatch center for 41 different emergency responder services including law enforcement, fire, and EMS services.
“Dispatch services are so important to the safety and well-being of not only our officers, fire fighters, and emergency responders, but to our communities. As we all know, the people who live in these communities are our friends and family who deserve to feel safe and secure each and every day.”
Although excited for this new endeavor, Reid says his time at CWI has been fulfilling.
“My time spent in the Law Enforcement program as both the coordinator and director has been tremendously rewarding. I feel there is no higher calling than to play a part in training those emergency responders who are willing to lay their lives down for others.”
Since its inception in 2015, the College’s Law Enforcement program has trained eight classes of students preparing them for careers in the law enforcement field. Many of these students are now working for agencies throughout the community.
“Our Law Enforcement graduation ceremonies were among the most special moments in my life. What I will miss most about CWI is the students and the many wonderful friendships and relationships I have built over the last six years.”
“If it weren’t for Brett’s relentless encouragement to join the Law Enforcement program, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today,” said 2017 graduate, Josh Argyle. “Not only do I have a career serving my community, but one that helps me grow as a person and allows me to build confidence in myself and my abilities – all of which make me a better, stronger, and more ethical individual. Brett inspired me to the point I now ask myself, ‘What would Brett do in this situation?’ He is a mentor, a role model, and a lifelong friend.”
Reid’s last day at CWI is Jan. 15, 2020.
Congratulations to Jessica Concie, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Staff of the Month for October 2019. Working as a One Stop Student Services Representative at the College since June 2018, Concie’s desire to help students stems from her own experience of being a non-traditional student starting her college career at CWI in 2010. Her focus aligns perfectly with CWI’s philosophy, “One Student at a Time”, because that is precisely what her job is. She loves working with students and tailoring her work to each of their individual needs. She constantly receives recognition for going the extra mile and connecting students to the right resources and/or department.
“I sat next to Jessica for almost a year,” said a colleague. “I watched as Jessica listened intently and emotionally supported desperate, confused and frustrated students. Jessica cares deeply enough to follow through. Their worries and struggles were lifted as she pushed forward for them; planting the flag of hope in their hearts.”
Concie is passionate about CWI because it is where her journey to success began. She knows whole-heartedly she would not have accomplished all she has today without CWI and wants this for current and future students. Concie earned an associate degree in Psychology at CWI and her bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with an emphasis on Psychology and Gender from Boise State University. She has recently began considering the pursuit of a master’s degree in Human Resource Development. Her goal is to become an advisor so she can work with students on a more personal level. She appreciates CWI’s presence in the community providing students the opportunity to have a thorough and robust education to help the Treasure Valley grow economically. She feels like she helps play a small part in this and cannot imagine being anywhere else.
Born in Spokane, Washington, Concie was raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, where she experienced a great childhood. She moved to the Treasure Valley 26 years ago and considers herself an Idaho native. She is a mother to three sons and a daughter ranging in ages from 12 to 22. Her kids definitely keep her on her toes. As they have gotten older and more independent, she loves when they come to visit and when they do things together as a family. She has learned the importance of experiencing new things and new places over monetary possessions. In addition to advancing in her career, Concie would like to travel to places she has never been. She loves birds and owns an African Grey Parrot named Zoey.
Congratulations to Michal Yadlin, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Faculty of Distinction for December 2019. Yadlin is an adjunct faculty at the College in the Integrated Studies and Visual and Performing Arts departments teaching CWID (Connecting with Ideas) and Humanities courses.
Yadlin grew up in California and moved to Idaho to attend College of Idaho where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and master’s degree in Teaching. After teaching middle school in California for a few years, she returned to Idaho and began teaching an Effective Studying course at College of Idaho. She went back to school to get a master’s degree in History from Boise State University prior to beginning her career at CWI in 2014. In addition to teaching at CWI, she also teaches in the Multidisciplinary Studies program at Boise State.
Yadlin recently took on the role of Advisor for the College’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Beta Sigma Pi. She is also an Adjunct Faculty Senator and has presented twice at the annual Treasure Valley Adjunct Conference. When not grading, meeting with students, prepping classes, or working on behalf of adjuncts, Yadlin tries to travel as much as possible. When in Boise, she loves reading, hiking in the foothills, and enjoying all the coffee shops the city has to offer.
The results are in from the College of Western Idaho’s Culture and Employee Engagement Committee’s (CEEC) 2019 Halloween Costume Contest! CEEC received many fantastic submissions from across the College. Congratulations to Kayla Adams for Best Individual Costume and to the Business Office for Best Overall Group.
Best Individual Costume
- Kayla Adams
- Rena McKean
- Andrea Sprengel
- Justin Vance
- Tracy Painter
Best Overall Group
- Business Office
- CWI Sign Language Interpreters
- Arts and Humanities
- Human Resources
- Social Sciences and Public Affairs
- Ada County Campus One Stop
- Workforce Development
- Nampa Campus Micron Education Center One Stop
Thank you to all who participated! If you are interested in getting involved and serving on the CEEC, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following positions at the College have been posted recently. Employees can access internal job postings by visiting cwinternal.silkroad.com or view all external listings on cwijobs.silkroad.com. Upon application submittal, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive an email, check your "Junk/Spam" folder, then email email@example.com to verify receipt of your application.