Bert's Alerts—Oct. 30, 2020
CWI in the News
College of Western Idaho (CWI) Department Chair of Nursing, Allison Baker, participated as a panelist during a webinar hosted Oct. 15, 2020, by the American Journal of Nursing and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
Baker, joining panelists, Madelyn Bodin, a Nursing student from The University of Iowa; Michelle Buck, a Senior Policy Advisor at NCSBN; and Carrie McDermott, from Emory Health Care, had the opportunity to share how CWI’s Nursing department has taken advantage of a recent shift in fulfillment of clinical hours for students.
“Clinical hours are critical in nursing programs and allow students to apply the theory they learn in class and apply it to real-world situations,” said Baker. “Our students are required to complete 400 clinical hours in order to graduate.”
This past spring, due to COVID-19, many of CWI’s Nursing students were removed from clinical opportunities. To offset this, the Idaho Board of Nursing offered an option for students to fulfill clinical hours working as a Nurse Apprentice or with a New Graduate Temporary License.
“As missing clinical hours is detrimental to meeting program and course outcomes, this was a great alternative for our students to fulfill the clinical hours required to successfully complete the program and graduate this past spring,” added Baker.
The webinar, “Practice/Academic Partnerships in the Age of COVID: You Can Do This!”, was viewed by nearly 1,000 educators and individuals from private practices from across the United States.
Congratulations to Tim Curry, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Faculty of Distinction for October 2020. Curry is an Assistant Professor in the Health Science department and has been with the College for nearly eight years teaching Health and Wellness, Global Health, Exercise Assessment and Design, and Applied Kinesiology.
“I teach because I enjoy the process of passing knowledge to other people, especially when you get to see an "Aha!" moment when something clicks,” said Curry.
Curry is an Exercise Physiologist with training in both clinical and sports performance work. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with a minor in Biology from Western State College, now Western Colorado University, a Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology from University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, and is a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist with The American College of Sports Medicine. Curry was offered a teaching position at CWI while working in Salt Lake City, Utah, in a sports medicine practice.
“I was looking for a way to get into teaching at a college level. CWI provided an opportunity for me to not only do that but also design an entire exercise science program – a pretty unique opportunity. After my in-person interview and a chance to see the area, I was sold. Because of CWI, I have been able to find a place I love to live and a job that provides the flexibility to do what I enjoy.”
In addition to small class sizes and professors who are focused on teaching, Curry appreciates how CWI provides an opportunity for all to pursue higher education regardless of their state in life or past education experiences.
“In our programs, we spend a lot of time with direct application and hands-on work which helps prepare our students to not only move forward to a four-year institution but also to take field-specific certifications which enhance their ability to get a job during or after their time at CWI.”
"Tim is an asset to not only our Health Science department, but to the College overall," said Health Science Department Chair, Aaron von Lindern. "His ingenuity is unmatched as he is constantly figuring out new ways to improve our processes for building student success. Tim takes great pride in the Human Performance Lab where he offers first- and second-year students hands-on learning opportunities they would be unlikely to gain until their third or fourth years in a university setting. Most of all, Tim is generous with his time and talents as he will go out of his way to help his students and fellow colleagues."
"Tim, to me, is the pinnacle of everything you want in a professor," said Ryan Hughes, a student of Curry's majoring in Exercise Science. "He teaches at a fast pace and in-depth, but at the same time, he is more than willing to take the time to help his students with questions. What I respect most about him is his vast array of knowledge in a multitude of different sports and different types of fitness – a quality I think is rare. He is very studious, intelligent, well versed, detail oriented, and the type of person who has that perfect level of brains and brawn – something I aspire to be myself."
Curry, originally from Kansas City, grew up in Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys running, hiking with his wife and dog in the city and foothills, and mountain biking.
“Mountain biking is the greatest sport in the world! I am a former cross country mountain bike racer and still try to get out and ride as much as possible. Additionally, I volunteer with the Boise Brave High School Mountain Bike team as the assistant head coach.”
Three nursing students worked fast to stop the newborn mother's hemorrhaging, who just gave birth to twins. The students quickly stabilized the patient and stopped the bleeding when a woman's voice came over the intercom congratulating the team, but the voice was not a woman. It was Sean Muldoon, a Nursing Operation Specialist, who looks like a six-foot-tall linebacker, using a voice modulator in the College of Western Idaho's (CWI) new state-of-the-art simulation lab.
"I feel very thankful. A lot of schools are struggling financially, but CWI has supported the program, and our students are going to be able to do up to 50% of their clinicals in these simulation labs," said Allison Baker, Department Chair of Nursing. "This is great because our clinical placements out in the community are not guaranteed with coronavirus."
Additionally, the depth and breadth of student training has increased with the new labs.
"The clinical experience for our students has been enriched and enhanced by simulation and virtual simulation," said Cathleen Currie, Dean of Health.
The manikins are incredibly lifelike in appearance, and they were cast from real people to make the students' training more realistic.
"We have stethoscopes that are paired to a device to simulate a person having an asthma attack. It is stuff you can't plan for in a hospital – if you want your student to know how to handle a seizure, you can give your manikin a seizure; you can't do that in real life," she said with a smile.
The new technology delivers a more realistic training scenario.
Our previous manikins felt like you were talking to a large plastic doll – with these new manikins, it feels like you're talking with a real person, and you can hear people talk back through the audio system," said Jen Mimish, Assistant Professor in the Nursing program.
Special attention was also placed in the design of the rooms to give a realistic feel to a medical facility.
"The new rooms feel like a real hospital room, and that really changed the experience of students to help make the rooms feel like the hospital instead of a classroom," Mimish continued.
CWI Nursing students have a great success rate with a 96.5% pass rate from NCLEX-RN exam, and these new labs will continue to help students excel in the program.
"It's very exciting, this is really a place where you see those light bulbs come on – you really see students connecting what's happening, so it's very rewarding to see what happens in here," said Mimish."
College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) efforts to support Latinx students with the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) initiative will be recognized during a national webinar in November.
The webinar showcases research completed by Michelle VanBeek, Adjunct Professor for Northwest Nazarene University, for her dissertation studies exploring the academic benefits of CWI’s Dual Credit program and CLEP.
Stephen Crumrine, CWI Dual Credit Director, started the innovative partnership with CLEP in 2014, with CWI covering the testing center fees at Boise State University, while Boise State provides lunch and a campus tour. Idaho Department of Education also supports the cost of the CLEP exam through Advanced Opportunities, and students can earn up to 12 credits in Spanish 101-201 – which gives them a great jump start to college.
“CWI Dual Credit is excited to see Michelle’s dissertation work represented on a national level,” said Crumrine. “Michelle reached out to CWI in 2018 after hearing about our initiative to help support Spanish speaking students by utilizing the CLEP exam for Spanish. CWI began the Spanish Speakers Initiative six years ago with Canyon Springs High School in Caldwell. Since, we have grown to serve students in dozens of high schools across the state and have partnered with Idaho State Department of Education and Boise State University to ensure we can offer this opportunity to every Spanish speaker in the state.”
Hundreds of high school students have earned thousands of college credits while saving time and money prior to college thanks to this program.
“We are proud of our work supporting students, and we are excited to see it highlighted academically,” added Crumrine.
Register to watch the Boosting College-going Mindset for Latinx Students webinar on Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. Central.
Southwest District Health is offering free COVID-19 tests to all faculty, staff, and support staff at College of Western Idaho.
Employees will have to schedule a test, the health district cannot accommodate walk-ins at this time, and must be showing signs of COVID-19 to get a test.
The health district is providing testing Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Please call 208.296.1030 to request a screening and schedule an appointment for testing.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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!
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.
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!
- Adam Eichten – Senior Specialist, Multimedia Tech, Information Technology