CWI Compass Connect - March 15, 2022
College of Western Idaho's (CWI) new Work-Based Learning Center is an exciting resource connecting students and the business community to combine classroom learning with hands-on work experience.
"This is such a great opportunity for the CWI student population," said John Russ, Director of the Work-Based Learning Center. "Students feel supported, encouraged, and are able to see how their education connects directly to career opportunities. I’m excited to lead the vision of the Work-Based Learning Center and look forward to students and employers benefiting from the Center.”
The Work-Based Learning Center offers a connection between students and employers by combining instruction with practical work experience. Students choose the correct academic pathway to support their goals by working with staff through one-on-one assistance, finding hands-on internships, job shadowing, apprenticeships, and providing employers with tools for financial assistance.
"I can't thank the staff enough at the Work-Based Learning Center for all their encouragement and wonderful resources," underscored CWI Biology graduate Rachel Pender, who recently accepted a full-time position in the anatomic cytology lab at St. Luke's as an apprentice. "It's made this whole process so much more enjoyable, feeling like I have people rooting for me."
Assistant Vice President of Economic Development, Christi Gilchrist adds, "Students succeed when the classroom learning experience connects to employment and career opportunities. With faculty busy teaching and businesses busy running their businesses, the Work-Based Learning Center is the connector for students and employers. The center would not be possible if the Idaho Workforce Development Council had not engaged in a statewide endeavor to focus and define Work-Based Learning."
The development of this center illustrates CWI's commitment to empowering the community by providing this student and employer centric center focusing on connecting CWI students to employers in key sectors of the economy.
Russ added, "The creation of the Work-Based Learning Center, will also strengthen CWI's impact on the local economy, employment and community engagement. Employers are excited to have a single point of contact with the College to get the word out about the many opportunities they have to offer."
Visit the Work-Based Learning Center online, or call 208.562.2562 to learn more.
Congratulations to Assistant Professor of Business, Ryan Hanson, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Faculty of Distinction for February 2022. Prior to CWI, he worked in the IT Services industry for a decade while earning a master’s degree in Business Administration from Northwest Nazarene University.
“Education runs in my family,” Hanson said. “Both of my parents worked in the Nampa School District and believed every child had the right to a good education. I found that same mission at CWI focused on adult learning. I believe education is the great equalizer. It opens doors for individuals and their communities.”
Over the past seven years as CWI faculty, Hanson has taught a variety of Business courses including Business Communication, Business Statistics, Personal Finance and Business Math, and Business Software Applications.
“Ryan has been a fantastic teacher throughout the various semesters I was fortunate enough to learn from him,” said student, Gabby Minor. “The availability and flexibility he offers his students is essential in our educational success at CWI, and for that, I cannot thank him enough. He is a stats wizard and truly shows instructional excellence while providing a go-getter attitude each day. As stats course content begins to rear its teeth, he is encouraging supplying his students with the tools necessary to conquer it. I will always recommend Ryan to current and future students. Thank you!”
“I am always amazed at the caliber of students we have at CWI,” said Hanson. “Community Colleges are often perceived as being for lesser students, but that is just not true at CWI. Despite being open to all, CWI attracts and develops very capable individuals who go on to succeed in their chosen fields, both professionally and continuing on to a four-year degree.”
The spirit of the CWI community is something Hanson finds unique.
“Offering low barriers to a first-rate education, CWI empowers students from all walks of life to reach their goals. I think one of the best things about CWI is we have former students who have come back to teach here. Our impact on their lives was such they wanted to come back and be a part of the CWI community again. The legacy we are beginning is going to be amazing to watch!”
Hanson was born and raised in Nampa, Idaho. He and his spouse have four kids ages 16, 14, 13, and 8. He enjoys camping with his family, reading, and woodworking when he can find the time.
Are you interested in natural resources research or management? If so, you may be interested in a new program at College of Western Idaho (CWI) created specifically for second-year, Biology–Natural Resources majors.
The Pathways Program provides appointed students the opportunity to intern with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Students will work with local and regional biologists on the Service’s environmental review process creating content on fish, wildlife, and plant species of concern in Idaho.
Appointments will be made for one academic year, October 2022 through May 2023, during the candidate’s sophomore-equivalent year at CWI. Eligible students include those enrolled at the College during the 2022-2023 academic year and working toward a bachelor’s degree in any field of natural resources research or management including botany, ecology, environmental science, fisheries, wildlife biology, and other related fields. Students must be eligible for financial aid and the federal work-study program and be able to work up to 10 hours per week. Eligible students should be planning to transfer to a four-year college or university in Idaho to continue their studies in natural resources research or management.
Successful candidates will participate in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service meetings, complete federally sponsored trainings, and network with potential employers. Most work will be completed remotely, so students must have a computer and internet connection capable of meeting U.S. Department of Interior information technology and security requirements. In addition, there is opportunity for regional field work and/or temporary employment during the summer of 2023. Outstanding candidates may even be eligible for additional internships or employment once they have left CWI, and enroll in a natural resources-related program at a four-year college or university in Idaho.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Idaho has offices in Boise, Chubbuck, and Coeur d’Alene. Whether your plan is to transfer to Boise State University, Idaho State University, or University of Idaho, there will be an office nearby where you may be invited to participate in additional experiences. Careers in the natural resources field are rewarding but very competitive. Gaining experiences by way of internships or volunteerism is a great way to begin your career as a natural resources professional and may be an entry point into federal service.
For more information, contact Dr. Steven Lysne at email@example.com.
College of Western Idaho (CWI) President Gordon Jones had the opportunity to speak to 80 students Wednesday, Feb. 9, as part of the Business department’s Local Speaker Series. President Jones answered questions from students attending in-person and via Zoom about his background and path to CWI and posed the question, “What’s your why for CWI?”
“What an incredible opportunity this was to connect with students and hear from the new leader of our vibrant community here at CWI,” said student, Flora Koenig.
Next up in the Local Speaker Series is Adam Haynes of Rolling H Cycles who will speak to students Wednesday, March 2.
Storyfort and College of Western Idaho are proud to present A Novel Life – a dive deep into processes, practicalities, passions, and how the conception and writing of a novel gets done. This year’s event will feature bestselling authors Jason Mott, Jennifer Haigh, and Jonathan Evison.
Friday, March 25
FireFusion Studio & Delia Dante Gallery
14th and Main in Boise
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
A Novel Life, geared toward writers and readers 16 years and over, is free and open to all.
Contact Dave Nicholas at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to learn more.
Planning to visit One Stop Student Services during Spring Break?
Monday, March 21 – Thursday, March 24
8 – 5 p.m.
Friday, March 25
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, March 26
The Nampa Campus Micron Education Center (NMEC) One Stop will be closed during Spring Break for painting.
Regular business hours will resume Monday, March 28. Visit One Stop Student Services online to view additional hours and locations.
College of Western Idaho’s Student Affairs and Latinx Student Services invite you to celebrate Women’s History Month in March.
Learn about the history, achievements, and strength of women by watching the following films, available March 1-31 for free using your CWI login:
Then, plan to join Poder of Idaho and guest speaker, Estefania Mondragon, March 29, as she shares stories and experiences of migrant women with toxic masculinity and assaults.
Women's History Guest Speaker – Tuesday, March 29
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Nampa Campus Academic Building, 2nd Floor Atrium
Contact Student Engagement and Programs Coordinator, Natalia Rojas, at email@example.com with questions or to learn more.
Plan to join us in April as College of Western Idaho (CWI) celebrates culture, collaboration, education, innovation, and achievement during its seventh-annual Connections Project! This year’s event will feature poster displays on campus, in-person mini talks, and a live awards ceremony Thursday, April 28. CWI students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate.
Showcase your hard work and accomplishments! The wonderful projects and signature assignments you have completed or are currently working on can easily be entered in the Connections Project. Any project or assignment completed after the Spring 2021 semester is eligible.
Submissions may include, but are not limited to, class projects, art, research, service learning, and community projects or collaborations. Individual or group work submitted in the categories of posters, recorded or live mini talks, or club projects or presentations. A Connections Excellence Award and cash prizes will be given to the top entries in each category. Submissions are due by Friday, April 8.
Faculty and Staff
Take part in this year’s event by sharing this opportunity with students, volunteering as a judge, helping to hang posters, or joining the Connections Project Committee.
Volunteer opportunities are available for employees as well as students.
Contact Connections Project Committee Lead, Michal Yadlin, at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or more information.
College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) food pantries are a vital source of support for our campus community. As our students may know, focusing on your studies while wondering where your next meal is coming from is difficult. In 2019, a CWI survey revealed that 40% of our students have experienced food insecurities, which negatively impacts student success.
The CWI food pantries are stocked on a volunteer basis, and for this reason, it is not always easy to keep them filled. Fortunately, ours is a generous community. A number of students, faculty, and staff have generously given from their hearts and their wallets to help ensure students have the food and hygiene items they need.
Recent CWI food pantry heroes include:
- Courtney Santillan
Dean of Social Sciences and Public Affairs
At the beginning of Spring 2022 semester, Courtney donated $250 worth of food and hygiene goods to help us kick off the new year with full pantry shelves.
- Jaime Barajas
Assistant Director, Admissions and Recruitment
Jaime’s family buys noodle cups and ramen each time they go grocery shopping and collect them in a box at home. Once the box is full, they donate it to a shelter. This past fall, they chose to donate to the CWI pantries.
- Joe Welker
Associate Professor, Accounting
Joe holds food drives in his classes every semester. He and his students have donated many bags of goods to the pantries.
- Steven Fairweather
Security Guard, Canyon County Campus
Steven and his wife watch for sales and regularly buy an extra case or two of canned goods to share with CWI students.
- Kory Sparks
CWI Graduate, Professional Nursing
Last semester, Kory was looking to complete a community health project assignment for one of her nursing classes at Boise State. Lucky for us, she decided to partner with CWI’s Student Nurses Association to coordinate a food donation competition between the two nursing cohorts, faculty, and staff. The competition resulted in close to 500+ food and hygiene items for our pantries.
- Stephanie Ritchie Breach
Former CWI faculty and Faculty Senate President
During the holiday season, Stephanie and her family created and donated approximately 100 hygiene kits filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving products, soap, and shampoo.
We want to shout a loud and grateful THANK YOU to these members of our CWI community and many others who privately add items to the pantry shelves, care about our students, and help where they can. Your donations do not go unnoticed, and we appreciate you!
Those wishing to donate to the CWI food pantries, please do! Grab-and-go lunch items and snacks are the most utilized items. Canned vegetables, pastas, sauces, and other items a person might take home to make a meal do not move as quickly through our pantries. Please be sure to check expiration dates on donated items.
The College is actively seeking local businesses and organizations who might want to sponsor the pantries for a month. If you know of a potential sponsor, please contact Christy Babcock in Counseling and Wellness Services at email@example.com or 208.562.2371.