Bert's Alerts—Oct. 23, 2020
As we head into November and the final stretch of the fall semester, I encourage you to take a moment to watch my latest vlog as I focus on our plans for this spring.
The College is in a great position financially and continues to empower our students and our community with high-quality education, while supporting a safe environment to foster teaching and learning. In-person and on-campus work will proceed while non-essential operations will continue remotely. Thankfully, President’s Cabinet has not been faced with a discussion of furloughs or layoffs – a testament to our entire team at CWI for continually staying focused on operating as efficiently as possible.
I look forward to the Spring 2021 semester and am confident the variety of modalities developed will continue to support and advance student success. I’m so proud of our CWI family for continuing to provide outstanding educational opportunities to our students during the pandemic. Visit CWI's Be Safe website for the most up-to-date information highlighting the College’s protocols, resources, and important announcements.
As always, thank you for your commitment and passionate dedication to #mightyCWI!
Students in Daniel Johnson’s Powersports and Small Engine Repair Technology classes at College of Western Idaho have always been encouraged to learn as much as they can about the technology, sport, and enjoyment behind motorcycles, ATVs, and UTVs. On Monday, Oct. 12, that encouragement was expressed by way of a class field trip south of Kuna to explore local Bureau of Land Management off-road tracks used and enjoyed by powersport machines and their riders.
Unfortunately, and much too often, these same public lands are taken for granted and abused by a minority of local Idaho outdoor enthusiasts. To show the class’s commitment to responsible use of our public lands, time was on-site was spent collecting hundreds of pounds of trash recklessly left on the ground including shotgun shells, mattresses, aluminum cans, pizza boxes, and televisions.
A great time was had by all! The class left these public lands with a deeper appreciation of the enjoyment behind the powersports industry while leaving behind a cleaner place to enjoy the Idaho outdoors.
Congratulations to Kristin Cook, College of Western Idaho (CWI) Associate Professor of Mathematics, on receiving the Innovative Educator for Mathematical Ways of Knowing award from the Idaho State Board of Education (SBOE)!
Cook was recognized on Thursday, Oct. 22, during a virtual award ceremony hosted on Facebook at SBOE’s General Education Summit.
“Cook is an exemplary instructor,” said Emiko Quintana, Mathematics Department Chair. “She continuously makes sure to learn about new and engaging technology and techniques to use in the classroom, and she has been instrumental in providing new and innovative ideas to our math gateway courses.”
Within mathematics, Cook’s passion is for statistics. The award she received recognizes the work she does with students in her Math 153 class – specifically the final project students complete using the statistical methodology they learned during class. “Statistics is great because students apply what they learn to their everyday life,” she said.
Cook has been teaching at CWI for the past nine years and enjoys helping each of her students learn and excel in her math classes. She was surprised by the award.
“I feel like this is an honor and something I wasn’t expecting. I feel it does recognize what I do in the classroom, that I care about each student and how I want them to be successful, especially in the classroom,” she added. “I believe anybody can do math.”
Her passion has helped grow the popularity of math classes at the College.
“She has been a leader in our Math department related to our statistics course, a general education math course which has grown in popularity over the last several years,” said Kae Jensen, Dean of Math and Science. “Additionally, she works closely with our four-year partners to ensure students are receiving everything they need and more to prepare them for transfer to another school. Kristin’s quiet, focused approach has served the CWI Math Department and our students very well.”
Thank you to all who have completed the 2020 Employee Survey – an important component measuring employee engagement throughout the institution and helping to guide College leadership in decision making surrounding this engagement.
CWI leadership has decided to extend the submission deadline. Employees now have until Monday, Nov. 2 to complete the survey which should take 5-10 minutes to complete. All data collected is reported in summary form, ensuring confidentiality. Please refer to the email sent to employees from Newmeasures, LLC for the survey link. For help accessing the survey, contact Human Resources at HR@cwi.edu.
Thank you for your participation and support in this effort.
Join the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) online to view and comment on plans for I-84 in Canyon County, Oct. 12-30. The online meeting will provide information for the I-84 improvements between the Franklin Road interchange in Caldwell, Exit 29, and the Karcher Interchange in Nampa, Exit 33.
Participants are invited to participate at their convenience to comment, ask questions, and set up one-on-one phone calls with the project team. Input gathered will help ITD finalize designs to help improve safety and traffic flow. All materials shown in the presentation videos will be available for download.
ITD looks forward to your participation. For questions, text “84Corridor” to 47177, call 208.334.8002, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
College of Western Idaho (CWI) is excited to welcome renowned poet, Jimmy Santiago Baca, to campus virtually as part of the Writers and Words Series for a workshop and reading Tuesday, Oct. 27.
During Spring 2020 semester, CWI graduate, Travis Hill, contacted Baca via Twitter to request an interview for a presentation he was giving on the poet in his English 241 – Creative Writing Poetry class. Baca responded, and the two developed a relationship. Hill encouraged Baca to contact his professor, Abby Wolford, to plan a visit to CWI.
“If you are ever in Idaho, I am sure CWI would love to have you do a reading, a Q&A, whatever,” Hill wrote to Baca.
At the beginning of March this year, Baca indeed reached out to Wolford to arrange a reading and workshop for students for the upcoming fall semester – then COVID-19 happened, and travel ground to a halt.
“I hated to see this reading not happen,” said Wolford. “Nearly all of us in the English department teach his poetry. What a fantastic opportunity for students to be able to work with Jimmy Santiago Baca – so, we moved it online.”
Moving the workshop and reading online, as Zoom webinars, opened up a lot of possibilities and a lot more seats – 500 to be exact! Because of this, the reading is open to the entire community with a special invitation to CWI students, faculty, and staff to attend the workshop portion of the webinar.
Baca first began writing poetry while incarcerated as a young man after being convicted of drug possession. He served six and a half years in prison, three of them in isolation. Baca had been homeless since the age of thirteen and therefore had never had the opportunity to be educated. While in prison, he taught himself to read and write and began writing poetry.
“We often work with College of Idaho to bring in poets,” said Wolford. “Working together has allowed us to bring in many well-known poets in the past. College of Idaho professor and poet, Diane Raptosh, specifically teaches a class on writing in the prison system and will be bringing many of her own students to the event.”
Baca’s first book was published in 1979. He has since written numerous books of poetry, a memoir, novels, and screenplays. He has four books coming out in the next three years. In addition to the American Book Award, Baca is a recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature. A documentary on Baca’s life, A Place to Stand, is available in the Kanopy database in the CWI Library.
The workshop portion of the webinar, which begins at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 27, is limited to CWI students, faculty, and staff. To reserve a seat, please contact Abby Wolford at email@example.com.
The reading, which begins at 6 p.m., is free and open to the public. Registration to reserve your seat on the webinar is required.
Calling all College of Western Idaho students! Plan to join us virtually for this semester’s Advisor-Palooza, an exciting event for you to connect with your Student Success Advisor in preparation for Spring 2021 registration.
Be there to:
- Ask questions
- Meet advisors from different specialties
- Schedule an advising appointment
- Update your major
- Discuss summer and fall registration
- and WIN great prizes!
Advisor-Palooza will be held Wednesday, Oct. 28, and Thursday, Oct. 29, via Zoom from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Visiting Artist Series is proud to welcome Sarah Nguyen for a virtual lecture, Q&A, and hands-on workshops for students and the community Oct. 29, 30, and 31.
Nguyen is a multi-media artist. Storytelling is central to her hand cut-fiber panels. The intricate compositions are mostly landscape-based and feature symbolic motifs—flora, fauna, and an ever-changing moon—to elicit childhood memories of myths, fables, and folklore. Her work has appeared in numerous national and international solo and group exhibitions and publications and has been included in nationally-recognized exhibitions in museums and festivals including the True/False Film Festival, Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum of Asian Pacific Experience, the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, and Kansas City’s 2018 Open Spaces curated by Dan Cameron. In addition to exhibiting and working as a fine artist, Nguyen works as a book designer for Pleiades Press and Magazine and as a freelance illustrator, where you can find her work featured on numerous book covers and in children’s books.
VIRTUAL LECTURE AND Q&A
Thursday, Oct. 29
Join Virtual Lecture and Q&A via Zoom
A virtual, hands-on workshop for CWI students
Friday, Oct. 30
1 - 3 p.m.
Workshop participants will investigate the role shadow and light play in our perception of the world. Participants will learn how shadows have been used in art history, as a narrative tool, and as a medium of expression for artists. Traditional, as well as non-traditional, methods of creating will be explored and utilized.
To participate, students are asked to have the following:
- a single light source (lamp, flashlight, etc.) in a fixed position
- a wall on which to project shadows in a room where lights can be dimmed
Contact Goran Fazil at email@example.com to register and to pick up art supplies for this workshop by Oct. 29.
Join Shadow Play Workshop via Zoom
A virtual, hands-on workshop for the CWI community. Suitable for all ages.
Saturday, Oct. 31
10 - 11 a.m.
In numerous cultures across the globe, shadows have been employed as a popular medium for entertainment. In this family-friendly workshop, participants will explore traditional and modern shadow theater, resulting in making their very own shadow masks.
Participants are asked to assemble the following materials for the workshop:
- pencils and erasers
- thin cardboard (file folders, cereal boxes, etc.), 4 pieces per person
- a single-point light source (any type of clear bulb, desk lamp, phone or regular flashlight)
- scarf or belt
- printer paper
- white sheet or blank wall to project a shadow onto
Join Shadow Masks Workshop via Zoom
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 public. This leacture, Q&A, and both hands-on workshops are free and will be sign interpreted in American Sign Language.
Join College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) International Club for a virtual Cultural Meet and Greet Friday, Oct. 30, from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. to learn about the club, different cultures, and to meet and mingle. Meet and Greet participants will be eligible for a drawing of one of four gift certificates to a local ethnic restaurant including Kibrom’s Ethiopian & Eritrean Restaurant, Pad Thai House, Bombay House, and Boise Boba.
The International Club is a student organization focused on educating others on diversity and promoting friendship and fun with a diverse student membership. The purpose of the International Club is to create a comfortable, welcoming environment for international and refugee students at CWI and to help support club members’ academic success and well-being. Club membership is open to all CWI students, including students enrolled in Basic Skills Education, English as a Second Language classes, and CWI alumni.
To attend the Cultural Meet and Greet, please RSVP at the link below. Following your RSVP, an email will be sent to you with instructions on how to join the Zoom meeting.
Something is brewing! It is time to showcase your creative costuming and spooky talents by participating in College of Western Idaho’s Culture and Employee Engagement Committee’s annual Halloween Costume Contest.
Contest categories are:
- Best Zoom Group Photo
- Best Individual Costume
- Best Individual Costume with Themed Zoom Background
- Most 2020 Individual Costume
- Best CWI Team Spirit Costume – You “otter” do this one!
- Best Dressed Pet
- Most Creative Zoom Halloween Story (follow the link below for details)
To enter, send your photo(s) along with the category you would like to enter to firstname.lastname@example.org by end of day Wednesday, Nov. 4. Employees will be given the opportunity to vote for their favorites! Prizes will be awarded to individuals. Group winner can claim bragging rights. Stay tuned for more details!
Sign up to participate in November’s Employee Wellness Challenge, Goodnight, by Saturday, Nov. 1! As a participant of this challenge, your goal will be to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night for 21 days straight, Nov. 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 Monday, Nov. 30, for your chance to win some awesome prizes! Prizes include essential oil diffusers and a variety of non-GMO, pure, plant-based oils to help you relax and sleep.
Remember, for each 21-day challenge you participate in you get one 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!
Calling all aspiring artists, designers, and creatives! Current College of Western Idaho students are invited to share their talent and skill by designing a logo for the 2021 Connections Project. The Connections Project, an annual event put on by the College each spring, is dedicated to showcasing student work and accomplishments.
For those ready to take on the challenge, original logo designs must be submitted by Friday, Nov. 13, at 11:59 p.m. Submission instructions as well as a style guide are available on Blackboard in myCommons/Engage/Connections Project. The winner will be announced at the beginning of spring semester. The winning logo will be used for marketing efforts surrounding the event, and the designer will receive a $150 cash prize!
Contact Karen Brown at email@example.com with questions or more information.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Stay secure by observing the following best practices while on and off campus:
- Handle and safeguard business information like you would your own personal information. Business information containing personally identifiable and proprietary information should not be shared carelessly or sent using unsecured methods such as email.
- Don’t use your work email for personal use. Employees who use their work email address for personal use put organizations at risk. Many organizations have likely had their email credentials compromised without realizing it. The majority of these come from breaches of social media, gaming, and dating sites. These findings point to the fact many employees use their company email addresses to register for personal online accounts.
- Make sure you lock your workstation when you walk away. Using Microsoft Windows, you can accomplish this by holding down the Windows key, usually located lower left of keyboard, and pressing the “L” key. For Mac users, use Control-Shift-Power. For older Macs with an optical drive, use Control-Shift-Eject.
- Ensure your password is just as smart as the device used. We are all guilty of using our favorite password then adding numbers and characters to it. Instead, avoid using obvious personal information that can be found on social media. Use different passwords on different accounts. Try using a password manager to generate and store your passwords.
- Use the secure print option when printing documents. Documents will not print until you swipe your ID card at a printer to retrieve them, this prevents them from being left unattended. Secure print also allows you to print from your workstation and retrieve your documents from any printer on campus using your ID card.
Contact Mike Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208.562.3193 with questions or for more information, and stay tuned for more tips and information on cybersecurity awareness in future issues of Bert’s Alerts.
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!
- James Francel – Associate General Counsel, Operations
- Melissa Martin – Landscape Technician, School of Math and Science
- Amber Eubanks – Assistant Director, Student Engagement
- Camille Johnson – Manager II, Accounting – Business Office