CWI News – June 30, 2023
Greetings CWI Community,
With a month left in the summer semester, I want to thank all our faculty and staff for your hard work. It has certainly been paying off, as we had a 6.2% increase in credit hours delivered during the semester.
In addition to the new CWI students on campus, this week we hosted 85 eighth graders for Micron’s Chip Camp. This is the first time Micron’s Chip Camp has been held at CWI, and I am inspired to see these students, many from rural school districts, participating in this experiential STEM learning. I see many future CWI students in this group and thank Micron, as well as everyone on campus who helped make this event possible.
Again, I thank you for your dedication and determination to serve our students and community. I hope you all have a great weekend!
CWI in the News
Idaho News 6: The Micron Foundation and CWI partner for Chip Camp
The College of Western Idaho (CWI) community was in full force at CWI Night, Thursday, June 29, as the Boise Hawks played against the Glacier Ridge Riders in a nail-biter of a game. More than 150 tickets were sold for the CWI section — raising $775 to help fund student scholarships!
Students, faculty, and staff from around campus came out to support the Hawks at Memorial Stadium, where they saw President Gordon Jones throw out a ceremonial first pitch.
Throughout the game there were noticeable signs CWI was in the house — from our new "Let's Get Started" advertisements to Hawks’ mascot, Humphrey, sporting some CWI swag. The College’s Enrollment team was also set up with a booth at the stadium to meet and engage with prospective students and signing several members of the community up for a chance to win the SCORE Big scholarship and a new CWI baseball jersey.
The CWI section along the third-base line was an incredible sight as our CWI community filled the seats and cheered on the Hawks to an impressive six runs! Those sitting in the CWI section also had a chance to take home CWI t-shirts and backpacks full of the College's awesome swag!
That wasn't the only thing to celebrate as incoming Advanced Mechatronics Engineering Technology student, Simeon Turcotte, was randomly chosen as the $1,000 SCORE Big Scholarship recipient for the night. Turcotte was awarded the scholarship by President Jones and the CWI Foundation board members on the field during the game’s fifth inning.
"I had some doubts and second thoughts about going to school this next year," Turcotte said. "However, winning the scholarship helped me feel more sure I should go to college. Having a scholarship waiting for me is also reducing the stress I was feeling about the financial part of going to college."
CWI Liberal Arts student, Grayson Blair, won the CWI baseball jersey and can wear it throughout the rest of the Hawks 2023 season. Those interested in getting their hands on a CWI-branded jersey of their own still have the chance! The CWI Bookstore is fully stocked with jerseys, offering various sizes.
Stay tuned for more information about upcoming CWI Nights.
Ten College of Western Idaho (CWI) students took their talents to the 2023 Skills USA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and represented the school well. From June 19 - 23, CWI students competed in seven different competitions and brought home five medals – four bronze and one silver. Additionally, three CWI students received Skill Point certificates which are given only to students who achieve a threshold score defined by the industry associated with their competition.
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit organization serving middle school, high school, and college students. In partnering with students, teachers, and industry, the organization works to provide a skilled workforce in America. Competitors who win gold in their state competitions have the opportunity to compete in The National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC). NLSC gathers over 16,000 attendees from all over the country with students competing in 110 different competitions. CWI students competed in seven of these competitions; Automotive Refinishing, Electronics Technology, Internetworking, Power Equipment Technology, Mechatronics, Welding Fabrication, and Welding Sculpture.
Competitions CWI students competed in at NLSC
- Jessica Tilford — Automotive Refinishing, fourth place and Skill Point certificate
- Martin Kay — Electronics Technology, third place and Skill Point certificate
- Sarah Ives — Internetworking, second place
- Kiel Skaggs, Cameron Vaughn, Jordan MacDonald — Welding Fabrication, third place
- Ben Morgan — Power Equipment Technology, ninth and Skill Point certificate
- Michael Hertel and Malachi Pender — Mechatronics, sixth place
- Cambridge Ward — Welding Sculpture
When students were not competing, they were welcome to partake in various workshops, browse the vendor expo, and watch other competitions. This provided chances for students to build connections with others from across the country and network with potential future employers.
Sarah Ives, CWI’s silver medalist in Internetworking, said, "simply being able to compete at NLSC was an honor, but placing second in the nation was the cherry on top of this incredible experience."
Congratulations to all of the CWI students who provided such a strong presence at NLSC this year! To get involved in SkillsUSA, reach out to CWI’s Skills USA Advisor, Kelly McDaid, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It has always been a dream of Health Science student, Alejandro Villacenor, to go to college.
Growing up in Caldwell, Idaho, Villacenor saw his parents and family members work in field labor throughout the hot summers. During his upbringing, his parents always encouraged him to stay in school and work hard in his studies so he could have a life that didn’t involve working in the heat or living paycheck to paycheck. He watched how hard his parents worked each day to provide a good life for him and his family and wanted to make them proud. He knew the way to do that was by going to college.
After finishing up his first year at College of Western Idaho (CWI), Villacenor believes he has made the right choice to pursue a degree at the College because of its affordability and the many opportunities already presented for him.
“I have accomplished much more than I could have ever imagined, and this is just the start,” said Villacenor.
One of those opportunities was participating in the College’s Honor Program, which propels students into leadership roles by engaging them in academic, social, and civic opportunities. Villacenor joined because he wanted to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who could help motivate and support him along his educational journey.
“The Honors Program has prepared me for college by giving me a small community where I can turn to if I ever need help as well as providing resources on how to navigate the college experience.”
In addition to having a community of students supporting him and his educational goals, Villacenor knows he has faculty members in the Honor Program whom he can rely on.
“The Honor Program instructors are great and very helpful. I know Honors Program Advisor, Michal Yadlin, would go out of her way to help me with anything I needed. She is very diligent in making sure we are all doing okay and if we need help with anything.”
Villacenor has also been able to network outside of the classroom from his involvement in the Program. He was invited to events such as CWI Nights at the Idaho Steelheads to meet with College leadership and donors, and Opening Doors Benefit to sit at President Gordon Jones’ table.
“CWI has allowed me to not only grow in education but as a person overall.”
The Program has also helped him find his passion in life — physical therapy. Having always enjoyed working out and finding how the body works fascinating, Villacenor realized, with Yadlin’s help, he could turn this interest into a career by becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant through CWI, and then go on to pursue his Ph.D. in Physical Therapy and become a licensed Physical Therapist.
“I want to use my knowledge to help people become the best version of themselves they can be.”
Villacenor recommends those who qualify for the Program apply for it because the opportunities are limitless, and it will bring them experiences that will elevate their education and find their journey to a career.
“I have accomplished goals that I can truly say I am proud of and excited to share with others my experience.”
To be in the Honors Program, a student must be a first-time, full-time (12 credits) degree-seeking student, complete 13 credits of honors-designated courses with a C or higher, maintain a 3.25 GPA per term, be involved in community events around CWI, and more.
Applications for CWI’s Honors Program are currently being accepted through Tuesday, Aug. 15. Honors Program students receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Through its resources and equipment, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Law Enforcement program helps provide officers and students with the technical skills and operational knowledge in tactical medical (TAC-MED) training to save lives. The College offers unique equipment no other agency in the region has, which has become critically important in this life-saving training. The opportunity to train on this technology and the expertise of CWI's instructors, not only benefits students but has inspired officers from around the state to travel on to campus for this certification, they will then be able to train those on their team, helping save lives in their own communities.
CWI’s hemorrhaging mannequin is a $52,000 piece of equipment that simulates someone who has multiple wounds on their body from a shooting or an explosion and is bleeding out different limbs. Trainers can control the bleeding on the mannequin through a phone application. The equipment gives students hands-on training on what to do and how to handle a real-life situation.
Students are instructed to assess the mannequin all over the body for different injuries and perform the correct life-saving measures, such as tourniquets, applying a chest seal to a chest wound, managing the airway, and more. At the same time, a simulated chaotic scene goes on around them like emergency vehicles’ lights and sirens going off and sounds of gunshots and screams.
The program uses a female mannequin. According to Law Enforcement Program Director, LeRoy Forsman, some estimates indicate that females may be up to 80% more likely to die in combat because of male combat medical personnel who did not properly assess the injured female’s body for fear of being inappropriate. The mannequin is designed to look like a female, so students can overcome that worry and not miss a life-threatening injury.
During the week of June 5, CWI’s Law Enforcement Program hosted 10 Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) student instructors for a five-day TAC-MED training course. New trainers were able to utilize the mannequin and gain skills and an understanding to then instruct field officers around Idaho on the skill set of recognizing, assessing, and treatment of life-threatening injuries.
“POST really values our relationship with CWI, it is such a huge benefit. This TAC-Med training is a great program,” said POST Regional Training Manager, Jeff Sklar.
“Because of this type of training, we have seen several law enforcement officers save lives here in the Treasure Valley,” Forsman said.
The mannequin was purchased with money from a Perkins V grant, which aids opportunities for Career and Technical Education in Idaho. Forsman has plans to apply for another grant to increase the capacity of training classes.
Jacksons Food Stores and College of Western Idaho (CWI) are proud to announce the completion of a partnership delivering innovative leadership and communication training to more than 70 Jacksons employees. CWI collaborated with Jacksons to develop customized training that took into consideration the company’s history, vision, mission, and values, as well as the specific needs of their employees.
The partnership contributed to the professional growth and development of team members from across the entire family of Jacksons Companies, teaching skills that further strengthened individuals and the company.
“This partnership with Jacksons is a great example of CWI working with our local business community to meet the needs of an evolving workforce,” said CWI President Gordon Jones.
“The team members at Jacksons Companies are among the most talented in Idaho. We have an obligation to continue supporting them as they progress into the state’s next generation of corporate and community leaders,” said Shane Wright, Jacksons Senior Vice President of People & Technology. “We’re thrilled that CWI shares our passion and commitment to providing innovative opportunities for our team.”
Team members from Jacksons Food Stores, BevCo, the Store Support Center, Capitol Distributing, and Jacksons Energy all participated in the training. The 6-month program included units focused on Leadership Development, Effective Communication, Conflict Resolution, and Financial Acumen — all to provide a well-rounded training experience for all participants.
Training tailored for Idaho employers is becoming a core offering from CWI as it continues to lead the way in addressing the educational and economic needs of the state. Interested groups should contact CWI’s Office of Strategic Initiatives' Executive Director of Employer Education, Autumn Braase at email@example.com.
Congratulations to College of Western Idaho (CWI) Enrollment Counselor, Maria Zavala, who was named the College’s Staff of the Month for May 2023.
Zavala works alongside CWI’s One Stop Representatives to help a student begin life at the College. She is an expert at helping students navigate through the admissions process, providing information about the different programs CWI offers and applying for financial aid. Zavala also often visits local high schools, Southwest Idaho Juvenile Detention Center, Idaho State Correctional Institution, and community events and gives tours to share information about the College with prospective students.
Prior to CWI, Zavala worked the night shift at an assisted living facility. She credits her brother, Jesus, who is a former employee, for encouraging her to kick-start her CWI journey and come back to school to finish her Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts. Once she was at CWI, Zavala become a Presidential Ambassador and found out about an opening as a One Stop Representative at Nampa Campus Micron Education Center, her first position at the College she began a year ago.
Her favorite memories at CWI are being able to help students. Whether it is helping those apply for school and seeing the relief on their faces once everything is completed, to witnessing a student’s joy after letting them know their school expenses will be covered by scholarships.
Zavala also shares great memories of life with her coworkers at the College because of their encouragement and dependability.
“CWI is a great place to work because of my co-workers from the Admissions and Enrollment teams,” said Zavala. “One Stop has continued to be my rock in supporting me and motivating me to be my best. The Enrollment team has welcomed me with open arms and through storytelling we have all built a strong bond and deeper understanding of each other.”
Those who work alongside Zavala hold her in high regard because of her strong dedication, willingness to go above and beyond, and positive attitude toward her duties. Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment, Jamie Barajas-Zepeda, said Zavala has become one of the easiest employees he ever supervised in his 20 years of experience supervising employees.
“Maria is an individual who has lots of heart and is very passionate about any student’s education, family, and culture,” said Barajas-Zepeda. “Maria is one of those individuals who always has a winning attitude and embraces all challenges especially those which encourage collaboration amongst students, staff, and faculty.”
Zavala truly enjoys working at CWI and continuing to work alongside those who have a passion for helping others and changing lives.
“Because of CWI I was able to earn my degree, which many thought I wouldn't accomplish. I have been able to switch careers, doors have opened, and I have made genuine connections and have the best friends I could ever imagine,” Zavala said. “Ranging from department to department I know I can rely on them to lift me during the hard times and celebrate the good times. CWI has truly changed my life.”
Originally from Malta, Idaho, Zavala is the youngest of four children. Her parents immigrated from Mexico to the United States to give her and her siblings, “the American dream.”
Outside of the College, Zavala enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching television shows, and exploring Idaho’s beautiful scenery, like going to hot springs, camping, and hiking to waterfalls.
Want to attend a summer concert at the Ford Idaho Center for free while supporting College of Western Idaho (CWI) students? We have the opportunity for you!
The Idaho Center has partnered with the College to support the CWI Food Pantry program. Food and monetary donations will be collected throughout the Idaho Center’s summer concerts, which spans from Sunday, June 4, through Tuesday, Sept. 26.
The Idaho Center has requested a minimum of two volunteers at each concert. Volunteers will work a two-hour shift to collect and assist guests with food donations onsite or monetarily through the CWI Giving website. After their shift, volunteers get to stay and enjoy the concert — free of charge!
Non-CWI friends and family are welcome to volunteer and enjoy the show, too. The maximum number of volunteers per show is four.
On the day of a volunteer shift, a representative from the Idaho Center will meet with volunteers as they arrive at the venue. More information about shifts will be sent to volunteers after they sign-up.
Volunteer Opportunities and Concert Shows:
|Sunday, June 4
|5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
|Wednesday, June 14
|5 – 7 p.m.
Thursday, June 15
|5 – 7 p.m.
Friday, June 23
Concierto de Estrellas
|5 – 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 8
Slightly Stoopid and Sublime
|3 – 5 p.m.
Friday, July 14
Hank Williams, Jr.
|5 – 7 p.m.
Wednesday, July 26
|4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 27
|6 – 8 p.m.
Friday, July 28
|5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 29
|5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 1
String Cheese Incident
|5 – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 5
|5 – 7 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 10
|5 – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 12
Michael Franti & Spearhead
|5 – 7 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 14
Young the Giant
|5 – 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 18
|5 – 7 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 28
|5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 9
Steve Miller Band
|6 – 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 26
|5 – 7 p.m.
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!
- Cassidy Zoellner — Plumbing Industry Teacher, Workforce Development
- Jojo Spring — Tutor, Tutoring Services
- Mercedes Lynch — One Stop Representative, Enrollment and Student Services
- Molly Valceschini — Teacher, Adult Education
- Phoebe Seibel — Tutor, Tutoring Services
- Sylvia Chapman — Teacher, Adult Education
- Callie Surber — Advisor, Student Advising and Success
- Glenn Karn — Director of Workforce Development Operations
- Jessa Walker — Financial Aid Officer, Financial Aid
- Josh Little — Tutoring Lead, Tutoring Services
- Kenna Conklin — Tutor 2, Tutoring Services
5-Year Service Awards
- Julia Bennett — Instructor, Communication
- Gabriela Boyland — Adjunct Faculty, Geology
- Lynda Cartwright — Teacher 03, Adult Education
- Jessica Concie — Transition Coordinator, Dual Credit Program
- Karla Cordova — Administrative Assistant II, Health
- Jeff Fortner — Law Enforcement Teacher, Law Enforcement Program
- Dan Garrity — Instructor, Marketing Communication Program
- Shelly Henson — Advisor, Degree Services, Registrar’s Office
- Danielle Luna — Administrative Assistant III, E&SS Administration
- Kari Meyers — Program Manager, Program Management Office
- Deborah Reed — Adjunct Teaching Faculty, Math Solutions Center
- Linda Wilson-Hill — Adjunct Faculty, English
- Therese Woozley — Adjunct Faculty, Communication
10-Year Service Awards
- Carolyn McFarland — Nursing Assistant Program Industry Teacher, Workforce Development
- Mary Melkonian — Senior Accounts Receivable Specialist, Accounts Receivable
- Beth Parker — Nursing Assistant Program Teaching Assistant, Workforce Development
- Brad Watkins — Shop Assistant, Heavy Equipment Technology Program
15-Year Service Awards
- Kim Bettencourt — Assistant Director of Admissions & One Stop
- Autumn Brackley — Senior IT Program Manager, Enterprise Application Service