Bert's Alerts—Nov. 20, 2020
What’s Next? Careful how you answer that question! It is 2020, after all!! It is, however, the question we have been getting the most here in the president's office, throughout senior leadership, and Cabinet.
Let’s start with what we know:
We will stay the course for Fall 2020 instruction and campus operations. We have been purposeful in our approach; the five modalities of instruction give our students the ability to adapt as their circumstances dictate. Our faculty have been great in leading this effort that speaks directly to our core purpose; serve students.
Gov. Brad Little addressed the state on Friday, the 13th, (please hold your comments!) and moved us back to a Stage 2. I have re-confirmed with the Governor that higher education gatherings (classes) are not subject to this protocol, so we can and will continue with our in-person class offerings and on-campus essential employees only, so long as we follow COVID-19 protocols.
How many of you have watched The West Wing? I love that show! The energy, the writing, the frenetic pace – it reminds me of CWI! I love when President Bartlett, played by Martin Sheen, knocks the table or desk with his ring and says, “What’s Next?” It is his way of telling those around him, "We’re moving forward!"
Moving forward to Spring 2021, it HAS to be better than 2020, right? We hope! But hope is just that- hope. In the meantime, we work. Work for this Spring term will mirror our approach for this past Fall term, while fully utilizing the five modalities of instruction:
COVID-19 restricts us in many ways, but we as an institution have adapted and we will continue to do whatever we must in order to serve our students and each other in the safest manner possible. I implore you as we begin to move through these colder months – please practice strict protocols that can best protect you, all with whom you come in contact with, and your loved ones.
Continue to follow the Be Safe, Be Mighty plan:
- Wash your hands.
- Wear a mask.
- Use sanitizer on surfaces both in the home, your vehicle and in the workspace.
- Avoid any gathering where physical distancing is not being practiced or enforced.
- Avoid large gatherings.
I know this will be difficult during the upcoming holidays. It will. We must do all we can to best position ourselves to continue our work of serving students. If we do these things, we will not be forced to pull a number of these instructional options back and go fully-online. This is what our students have clearly said is their desire: give us in-person, give us options. Their dreams must not and cannot be derailed during this pandemic simply because we refuse to do some measures that are squarely within our control. It is in our control to be mindful of our actions, our travels, the size of our gatherings, how we interact with friends and family over this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
So, what are we controlling? Our expenses and operations for starters. I am proud of the way we have responsibly responded to this crisis. We at CWI are in very sound fiscal shape. We are not talking furloughs, layoffs, and/or further cutbacks. We are making the sound decisions that allow us to continue to support our students, staff, and faculty in a way that best provides success in these conditions.
We are turning the page to a new chapter. Three new trustees joined our governing board the past week. We will have a board that proudly represents a diverse composition that is un-replicated anywhere in Idaho; five women, three women of color; all five, along with the 1000+ employees, dedicated to the success of our 32,000+ students. I ask you to join me in this journey to do all you can to be proactive, be positive in your outlook, your speech, your approach to your craft, and do all you can so we, collectively, can keep “doing” for our students through this fall, next spring, and beyond.
Three students in College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Heavy Equipment Technician program were each awarded $500 after completing internships with Modern Machinery, a heavy equipment company located in Nampa.
The internships, completed this past summer, gave students, Tanner Stallions, Joseph Pilgrim, and Dee McMurdo, an opportunity to utilize and solidify the skills they were taught at CWI in the field as they serviced machines, changed out injectors on engines, replaced a charge air cool, and performed several pre-delivery inspections.
“We are fortunate to have industry partners like Modern Machinery who support student success in our Heavy Equipment Technician program,” said Diesel Technology Department Chair, Alex Beal. “This gift shows students how industry supports our programs and the great partnerships we have.”
Stallions, Pilgrim, and McMurdo plan to use the money toward their education.
College of Western Idaho (CWI) Board of Trustees welcomed three new trustees during their monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the Nampa Campus Administration Building.
Cherie Buckner-Webb, April Baylon-Mendoza, and Samantha Guerrero were sworn in by Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration, Cheryl Wright, during the meeting. Chairperson Molly Lenty, who was nominated to lead the Board during the Trustee Officer Election portion of the meeting, welcomed the new board members along with Trustee Annie Hightower. Additionally, Buckner-Webb accepted the nomination of Vice-Chairperson and Baylon-Mendoza will be the Treasurer and Secretary.
“I’m thrilled to welcome the new trustees who each come to the Board with a wealth of knowledge, diverse backgrounds, and enthusiasm to benefit CWI,” said Lenty. She added, “I am honored to have been selected by my peers to serve as Chairperson, and to know I'm following in the footsteps of great leaders who have served before me. The College is at an important moment as an organization, and I look forward to working with this new board to lead the way to further success."
CWI’s Board of Trustees is made up of five volunteers who are elected at large from within Ada and Canyon Counties for staggered, four-year terms.
“I’m excited to work with our new board members to find new and innovative ways to empower CWI students and the community,” President Bert Glandon said.
Students listened as Luis Granados described a Pythagorean triangle when a group of visitors arrived in his classroom at Breaking Chains Academy of Development in Nampa.
Granados, Executive Director of the organization helping youth break the chains of gang violence and provide educational opportunities; surprised by the visit, took a step back from the whiteboard and greeted the guests.
Nampa City Council member, Jean Mutchie, highlighted the life-changing work being done at Breaking Chains Academy and introduced Patrick Tanner, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services, who presented Granados with a full-ride scholarship to the College for a year. The sound of clapping filled the room as students and visitors celebrated the announcement.
“It’s an honor to further my education, not only to effectively run our organization, but also to set the bar for the youth we have here,” said Granados. “People say, ‘you can’t be what you can’t see,’ so when they’re finally able to see someone from their neighborhood who looks like them, talks like them, and knows their family attending College, that bar gets set higher and they realize they can achieve it.”
CWI is a resource for students and is pleased to assist in their continued education.
“He is often the very inspiration that his students need,” said Tanner. “This is why we at CWI are so pleased to support Luis and the students. While they may have faced some tough circumstances in the past, they are committed to being a part of a new community of leaders in the Treasure Valley.”
In addition to Mutchie and Tanner, Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling; Nampa Council member, Victor Rodriguez; and Nampa Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Mitch Minnette, were in attendance along with a videographer from Idaho Public Television – working on a documentary of the organization.
”I have big dreams for these guys. I have big dreams for the school – dreams of expanding growing adding services; adding longer education hours to support teenagers who work during the day to support their parents and grandparents,” Granados added. “I’m just dreaming big; I dream big not just for the school, but for the community to build bridges.”
Congratulations to Andrea Schumaker, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Faculty of Distinction for November 2020. Schumaker started at the College in 2009 as a Specialist in One Stop Student Services. Making the shift to faculty five years ago, she has worked as both an Assistant Professor and, currently, as the Department Chair for Physical and Agricultural Sciences.
Raised on a farm in Idaho and a University of Idaho graduate, Schumaker says agriculture paired with education has always been her passion.
“I love taking something I am passionate about and sharing that passion with students,” she said. “It's inspiring when students send me a picture of some veggies they grew and harvested or the wild yeast they collected to bake some fresh bread or when they share a jar of sauerkraut they fermented for the first time. Introducing them to the powerful world of food and the role it plays in their daily life is seriously the best! Every semester, I have a student come back and tell me one of my classes actually changed their life.”
Alongside teaching an Agricultural Science capstone class, Global Foods, Fermentation, and You Are What You Eat, Schumaker spends countless hours tending to and harvesting produce from the campus garden located at the Nampa Campus Academic Building. Food from the garden helps feed students and is featured in the College's annual Farm To Fork event.
“What does Andrea not do,” expressed a colleague. “She is enthusiastic, focused, and driven. She strives to help both her students and her colleagues. Her work on the Farm to Fork dinner brought together students, other faculty, and community partners. It raised awareness of work done at CWI and raised funds to continue that work. This event, and the community garden, is a great way to combine education in the classroom with real life experiences!”
“I have enjoyed my time at CWI. Over the past 11 years, I have made some of my very best friends! The faculty at CWI really care about students and are the best at what they do! I have had the privilege to work alongside some of the best mathematicians and scientists in the field. They have a passion about their subject matter and a powerful way of sharing that passion with their students!”
Schumaker and her husband have been married for 14 years and have two daughters. She loves food and everything about it – growing, harvesting, preserving, fermenting, cooking, and eating it, noting she equally loves the delicious cold beverages that accompany food.
"I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends whether it's camping in the summer, a fire on the patio in the fall, building a snowman in the winter with my girls, or planting the garden in the spring. My secret obsession is drag racing (we are rebuilding a 1968 C10 pickup) and listening to Sturgil Simpson.”
Thank you all for your dedication and commitment to keeping each other, our students, and our campus open and safe. Below will find information on important and relevant topics to help you continue to stay healthy. These efforts, in addition to continuous self-screening, and symptom awareness, will help ensure the College is able to stay open and serving students.
When making plans for Thanksgiving, keep in mind the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household. However, if you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website in advance to learn how to take steps to make your celebration safer. The CDC provides guidelines for those hosting, attending, and traveling this holiday season.
Flu vs. COVID-19
As we enter into the winter months, influenza (flu) is also a concern. There are some key differences between flu and COVID-19. COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer. Another important difference is there is access to a vaccine to protect against flu.
Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.
Southwest District Health reached out to share some new channels for testing, specific to students, staff, and faculty of schools. BINAX Now testing will be providing no-cost, rapid testing at the Caldwell location for students and staff. Please keep in mind:
- You must be symptomatic to receive a test.
- Walk-in visits cannot be accommodated at this time.
- Please call 208.296.1030 for an appointment.
Albertsons Companies is working to ensure the safety of area school’s staff and students. Free testing for all teachers, school staff, and students – regardless of insurance status – will be available through the COVID-19 Test Voucher. Visit scheduletest.com or call Southwest District Health at 208.455.5300.
Developing and planning for a vaccine has been a priority since the pandemic started. The federal government, through Operation Warp Speed, has been set on making one or more COVID-19 vaccines available as soon as possible.
Although CDC does not have a role in developing COVID-19 vaccines, CDC has been working closely with health departments and partners to develop vaccination plans for when a vaccine is available. With the possibility of one or more COVID-19 vaccines becoming available before the end of the year, CDC has developed 8 things you need to know about status of those plans. Closer to home, Gov. Little has established an advisory committee to plan how to distribute the vaccine in Idaho.
Thank you all for taking time to stay informed, and if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to COVID19_Questions@cwi.edu.
College of Western Idaho buildings and One Stop Student Services offices will be open reduced hours the week of Fall Break, Nov. 23 – 28.
Campus buildings will be open Monday, Nov. 23 through Wednesday, Nov. 25 during the following hours:
Canyon County Center
7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Nampa Campus Aspen Classroom Building
7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
All campus buildings will be closed Thursday, Nov. 26 through Saturday, Nov. 28.
One Stop Student Services Hours
Monday, Nov. 23
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 24
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 25
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 26
Friday, Nov. 27
Regular business hours will resume on Monday, Nov. 30.
Sign up to participate in December’s Employee Wellness Challenge, the Hydration Challenge, by Tuesday, Dec. 1! As a participant of the Hydration challenge, your goal will be to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water (64 ounces) each day Dec. 1 – 21.
Visit the Culture and Employee Engagement Committee site on myCWI for all the details including:
- how to sign up
- participation requirements
- tracking resources
- submission information
- valuable tips, information, and resources to get you started
Submit your participation data by Thursday, Dec. 31, for your chance to win some awesome prizes! Prizes include Get Drinking and Hydro Flask water bottles to help you track your water intake.
Remember, for each 21-day challenge in which you submit your participation data, you receive an entry for the grand prize drawings at the end of April (8 possible entries total). Grand prizes include Apple AirPods, Garmin watches, gift certificates, and more!
College of Western Idaho’s Culture and Employee Engagement Committee (CEEC) was overwhelmed with frighteningly fantastic pictures of employees dressed up for Halloween!
Help us decide on this year’s winners by voting for your favorites! Voting closes Friday, Dec. 4.
Brighten the holiday season for children in the Treasure Valley by participating in College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) 12th annual Giving Tree. This year, CWI’s Criminal Justice department, Psi Beta Honor Society, Psychology Club, and Veteran’s Association have partnered with 3rd District Guardian Ad Litem Program, a non-profit program advocating for abused and neglected children, to gather gifts for children in foster care.
“This year more than ever, amidst all the uncertainty in the world, we are so happy to be able to brighten the holidays for children in need in our community,” said Stephanie Breach, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice.
Unwrapped gifts will be collected now through Dec. 11 at trees located near the security desks at the following campus locations:
- Ada County Campus Lynx Building
- Canyon County Center
- Nampa Campus Aspen Classroom Building
- Nampa Campus Administration Building
Contact Heather Schoenherr at email@example.com with questions.
Due to the campus closures for Fall and Winter Breaks, College of Western Idaho's Business Office will not issue employee reimbursement or vendor checks on the following dates:
Nov. 23 - 27
Normal processing of checks will resume Nov. 30, with the first check run on Dec. 3.
Dec. 21 - 25
Normal processing of checks will resume Dec. 28, with the first check run on Dec. 31.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Susan Kodesh at 208.562.2099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com to verify receipt of your application.
Welcome to the following individuals who are new to the College. We are happy to have you here and look forward to working with you!
- Sok Peng Lim – Adjunct Faculty, Economics