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In the Spotlight

Thursday, December 17, 2009


These six brave, capable students in Clover Park's public speaking class delivered speeches Thursday morning, 17 December to the assembled membership of Lakewood United at Burs Restaurant:
  • Courtney Clemons
  • Lisa Condon--Medical Assistant
  • Shanelle Fountain--Human Services
  • Louis Green--Low-voltage Electrical
  • Crystal Bunni Leimkuehler--Pharmacy Technician
  • Konstantin Pavenko--Landscape Management

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What a Veteran-Friendly Campus Means

There are many things we can be proud of at Clover Park Technical College. One recent addition to our campus that we can feel the swell of pride for is the way we serve those who serve our country: our veterans. We have several veterans services, including one that opened in October, the Vet Corps Program.

In the collection of Washington's veteran-friendly campuses, our college has been designated a "pioneer school" and is known as a beacon to the other 46 schools in the state that have also received funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs to set up Vet Corps Programs.

Kara Hayes, Vet Navigator of the program, invited me to see the Veterans Resource Center, located in Building 22. "Between Phil Terry and Mike Anderson," were the landmarks she gave me. So on a very chilly December afternoon, I walked into the softly-lighted cave of an area, impressed by the way such a large space had been transformed into a warm, welcoming environment for veterans, or, for that matter, any student. Off to one side, there was a well-lit bank of nine computers. To the right of the computers, there was a door leading to an area for anyone needing the quiet and space of a small meeting room.

On this particular day, two Vet Navigators from other Washington colleges were there, to share with Kara about their programs and learn what they could about CPTC's. One Vet Navigator works out of the Workforce Education Office, a "one-stop" set-up for their veterans, and has a veterans club on campus. The other is not yet located in a designated area, and works out of their student government office, but does have a program for vets who would like to become involved in a Rotary apprenticeship. Both were as dedicated to their veterans as Kara is to ours.

"We'd like to eventually offer workshops for vets," Kara said, "and introduce them to programs such as 'Troops to Teachers,' which is geared specifically to vets who have come back from Afghanistan or Iraq and are looking to transition into a civilian career in education."

The state's Department of Veterans Affairs is affiliated with Americorps, whose goal is to conserve the air, water, and recycle. Vets with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) who work outdoors find it's a great stress reliever. Projects to restore streams and plant trees, as well as the opportunity to become involved with Habitat for Humanity are some options available through CPTC's Vet Corps Program's partnership with Americorps.

All things considered, it doesn't get more vet friendly than CPTC's Veterans Resource Center in
Building 22. Hats off to the Center and Kara!

Contact Information:
Kara Hayes, Veterans Navigator
Kara.hayes@cptc.edu (253) 539-5966
Building 22
Hours: 0900-1600 or 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Veterans Resource Center, guiding veterans to resources in the community and...
* Online applications for the G.I. Bills and Post 9/11 G.I. Bill
* Online applications for service-connected disability benefits
* Online applications for VA healthcare
* Online applications to all WDVA grants assistance programs
* Online application for volunteer opportunities

You may want to visit the Veterans Resource Center if you:
* Are family of a member of active duty Army, Marine, Air Force, or Navy
* Recently exited active duty and would like help getting started with the paperwork for your GI bill, VA healthcare, or filing disability claims
* Are a veteran interesting in pursuing a new career
* Are a CPTC continuing education veteran
* Are a returning CPTC veteran student
* Are a student veteran at CPTC and desire to work, study, and play in a calming and relaxing
* Are a veteran student and desire fellowship with other military family members, active or veteran

Monday, December 14, 2009

RESULTS: Benefit dinner & auction for slain officers at Clover Park Technical College

Over $60,000 was raised Sunday night in the McGavick Student and Conference Center for the Lakewood Police Benevolent Fund.

Officials are estimating that they have raised enough to put the children of the fallen officers through college. It was a great event, and some of the best silent auction material I've seen in all my years of benefits and events.

Around 400 people throughout the night were in attendance. Seattle broadcast TV stations covered the event including KING and KOMO. Wonderful to see the Lakewood community come together.

David Stickland, event services
Clover Park Technical College

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thank You from the President

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

I want to thank all those who participated in today's gathering at curbside to express the College's sympathy, appreciation, and support for the fallen police officers, their families, colleagues, and friends as they made their way past CPTC in the memorial processional. I am proud of you all, standing shoulder to shoulder, demonstrating our solidarity in a collective embrace at this most difficult time.

Thank you, all, for your willingness to respond in such an outpouring of sympathy for our fellow community members, as well as those who came from all parts of the country and beyond.

-- John --

John Walstrum, Ph.D.
President, Clover Park Technical College

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Photos from the Procession at Clover Park Technical College

Hanging Ribbon for Procession at Clover Park Technical College

Associated Student Government and the Human Services program did an outstanding job hanging ribbon for the procession.

Benefit dinner & auction for slain officers at Clover Park Technical College

A benefit dinner and auction for the families of the 4 slain Lakewood Police Officers will be held on Sunday, December 13 from 3-7 p.m. at the McGavick Student Center at Clover Park Technical College. The event is sponsored by the Lakewood Police Independent Guild Fund.

A raffle and live auction will kick off at 5 p.m. while the silent auction starts at 3 p.m. (with tables closing every 30 minutes). Food will be available throughout the event. Businesses wishing to help sponsor the event or donate items for the auction should visit our Facebook page: Lakewood Police Benevolent Fund Live Auction and Dinner. For more information contact Toni Kester at (253) 686-2004.

Main Entrance to the McGavick Student Center

Monday, December 7, 2009

Public invited to view memorial procession and ceremony at Clover Park Technical College

Doors open at 8:00 a.m., public encouraged to arrive early due to surrounding street closures

December 7, 2009 Lakewood, WA – The memorial procession and ceremony at the Tacoma Dome will be made available to watch live on television on the campus of Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood.

Viewing will take place at the Sharon M. McGavick Conference Center (Building 23) and in the Rotunda (Building 3). A campus map is available online http://www.cptc.edu/cptc/pdf/CampusMap.pdf

“We have an extraordinary opportunity to show our support, appreciation, and sympathy for the Lakewood police officers. Clover Park is making our facility available to the public in an effort to support our community,” said Dr. John Walstrum, President.

The public is encouraged to arrive early due to surrounding street closures starting at 9:00 a.m.

Street Closure Information

Campus Security office just received word from Lakewood Police Department on the route for the Memorial Procession, for Tuesday, December 8.They said, Any traffic leaving CPTC Campus between 10:00 am & 12:00 Noon on Tuesday December 8, 2009 is best to use the following route:

Exit through the East Gate at Bldg. 3
RIGHT (South) on Lakeview Drive SW
LEFT (East) on 100th St. SW
Right (South) on South Tacoma Way SW to 512 and Interstate 5.

Posted on behalf of Mike Anderson

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday House history and more

Our History:
Photos from 2008

Prior to 1987, Clover Park Vocational Technical Institute (now Clover Park Technical College) had a Special Needs department operated by Carmen Croppi and Carol Kunzman. Besides the endless number of services they offered students, they also headed up a campus-wide effort to gather food items during the holidays, which were then divided up into "food baskets" and given to the neediest students at the school. Christmas 1986, Carmen and Carol were able to gather enough food to create 25 baskets. That Christmas, while teaching the Insurance Secretary program, Linda Wight recommended 11 of her students as "needy" for possible access to those few food baskets.

In 1987 Linda moved from the classroom to the counseling office. She presented an idea to her supervisor that had incubated during those rough holidays in the classroom. Her proposal was to start "Holiday House" and spend the year raising funds, having fund raisers, and collecting food, plus adding professional clothing and new or gently used toys and gifts to the food donations. That first "Holiday House," December 1987, 30 staff and faculty volunteers, saw their tremendous effort come to pass when over 100 students lined up for help.

Why did Linda think there needed to be a "Holiday House?" The obvious answer has been stated: too many people in need with too few resources available. Half of her classroom students would have taken half of the Special Needs department food baskets if they had all qualified. She loved helping people, and she knew co-workers felt the same way. But the final reason was what Oprah now calls paying it forward -- two of her sisters, single parents -- had great need but were beyond my financial means to help. Holiday House was born and lives, hopefully for eternity.

"When I first started working at Clover Park, I was a single mother with two boys. I received a Christmas card that contained three, five dollar bills. That $15.00 was a God send for me at a time when I was working two jobs to survive. Over the years Holiday House has grown from shopping in bulk, and shopping on Thanksgiving Day, to providing gift certificates and toys. I have worked with Holiday House for more than 20 years now," said Linda Wight.

“I have a newborn and a three-year-old and I wasn’t’ going to tell them about Christmas because I have nothing. I drove away with a car load of food and gifts. I just needed to say thank you to someone." Anonymous student who sent a thank you card.

Another anonymous student cried when she was given a few items and wasn’t on the list to be helped. She was sent by her instructor to see if she was on the list. Committee members scrambled to gather a few canned items, a couple of toys, and a blanket. She was very appreciative.

Thank you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Why Would Students Reach for More?

My daughter, a college student, talks about "shaving minutes" to make time for important things outside the demands of her school work, her full-time job, her boyfriend. Going back to college is an arduous undertaking, and the rewards are great. But she's finding, as many Clover Park Technical College students have, that the world on campus beyond the classroom is rich with opportunities and its own rewards.

But in a world of shaved minutes, why would students add more to their plates? After all, what's in it for them?

The answer is that getting involved in campus activities opens the door to not only making new friends, but to students stretching beyond their comfort zone to acquire new abilities they would not develop otherwise, skills that will serve them well in the world beyond CPTC.

New friends not only enrich a student's personal life, but may also turn into a job lead or a strong recommendation from a faculty advisor, both of which can help a future resumé stand out among others in today's difficult job market.

In addition to the social aspect of student involvement on campus, there's also the opportunity to grow in an area of interest. Getting involved in a student organization, club, or activity provides students with a way of connecting to issues near and dear to their heart, or connecting in some way to what they would like to do after college.

"I like to think of it as connecting to students' goals," says Claire Korschinowski, director of student programs at CPTC. "Often, students can learn the interpersonal and transferable skills necessary to be successful in their careers."

Such skills may include:
* Learning about running a meeting
* Dealing with all kinds of people to put on an event on campus
* Learning time management
* Meeting deadlines
* Dealing with a budget
* Learning how to be a facilitator

Trying out management skills students may not have ever used before in a safe environment leads to developing confidence on a whole different level than in the classroom. And in today's workplace, qualities such as confidence, teamwork, and leadership are more important than ever.

Lina Wilson-Mays, Secretary of the CPTC Associated Student Government (ASG), says, "Being an ASG leader has made me feel good about myself to the point where I want to reach for the stars." She adds, "I take a little more pride in how I communicate and how I dress and how I see life. It helps me realize I'm capable of succeeding."

For those who are carving out this bigger world for themselves during their college experience, they can take comfort from the conclusion of studies that show when students are involved on campus, they are more likely to be successful, accomplish their goals, and graduate.

Students don't have to sign up for everything. They simply need to put themselves out there in areas where their interests lie, and then, world, stand back.

Dianne Bunnell
Clover Park Technical College

To become involved, check with Claire Korschinowski in Bldg. 23, Student Center, about student programs such as...

College Committees - Faculty Tenure Review, Diversity, Health & Wellness, Policy & Procedures, and the President's Council
Clubs & Organizations - Find out how to begin a student club, or join one already established
Student Government - Attend Student Council meetings, or apply for an officer position
Student Activities Board (planning events for students) - Student volunteers are needed for events, or openings on the Board
Volunteer Opportunities for Students - College 101, new student orientation
(New!) Student Ambassador Program (under development) - student-led, to connect new students to campus life (tours, assistance on first week of the quarter, being a connection to face any barriers at the beginning of an individual's college experience)
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