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In the Spotlight

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday Wellness: How to Go Organic without Going Broke

Prices for organic foods have dropped in the past five years, but organic items are still generally more expensive than conventionally grown foods. If you would like to buy organic anyway, here are some tips to make an organic diet more affordable:
  • Make a gradual transition over the course of a year to familiarize yourself with prices and products.
  • Comparison shop to find the most economical organic items. Within the same city, organic produce prices vary greatly. Sometimes the large supermarket chains will win out, while other times natural food stores (chains or privately-owned) can be more affordable. By shopping around, you'll get a general idea for which foods are cheaper at certain stores, or which location offers the most deals overall.
  • Create your meal plans around the most affordable produce, meat and grain products.
  • Improvise recipes if an organic ingredient isn't available or affordable. You might find something else that works just as well, or even better than the original ingredient.
  • Invest in organic meat, cheese and milk (over produce and grains) if your grocery budget is tight. Conventional meat and dairy products often contain hormones and show the highest concentration of pesticides.
  • Find local organic growers and buy directly to save money. Farmers markets often offer organic items.
  • Select seasonal produce as much as possible. If you want strawberries in winter, for example, buy frozen (or else your pocketbook will suffer). Frozen organic produce is often available at big warehouse stores as well.
  • Prioritize your produce. Certain produce items tend to be highly contaminated with pesticides (try to buy these organic), while others tend to be relatively low in pesticide residue (save money and buy these conventional). Here's the scoop:
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently completed an analysis of conventionally-grown (non-organic) produce to measure pesticide residue levels. Based on the results of almost 43,000 tests, EWG estimates that consumers could reduce their pesticide exposure by almost 90 percent if they avoid the most contaminated foods and ate the least contaminated foods instead.
The Dirty Dozen: Top 12 Foods to Buy Organic
If you have budget constraints, your money is doing more for your health when you put it towards organic varieties of the following fruits and vegetables (listed in descending order, starting with greatest levels pesticide contamination):
  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Sweet bell peppers
  4. Peaches
  5. Strawberries
  6. Nectarines (imported)
  7. Grapes (imported)
  8. Spinach
  9. Lettuce
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Blueberries (domestic)
  12. Potatoes
The Clean 15: Save Your Money & Buy Conventional
If going totally organic is too difficult or pricey, play it safe and eat the following conventional produce items to minimize your exposure. These are known to have the least amount of pesticide residue (listed in ascending order, starting with of lowest levels of pesticide contamination):
  1. Onions
  2. Sweet corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Eggplant
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cantaloupe (domestic)
  12. Sweet potatoes
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Watermelon
  15. Mushrooms
When eating conventional foods, be certain to peel away edible skins and outer leaves (such as those on lettuce) as pesticides are often concentrated there. Remember to wash all produce (conventional and organic) thoroughly with a natural fruit and vegetable cleanser. Peeling and washing can help reduce (not eliminate) pesticide exposure, but also results in the loss of valuable vitamins and nutrients (like fiber).

Women Veterans Conference

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs hosted the 2012 Washington State Women Veterans Conference on Saturday, June 16, 2012.  Shema Hanebutte, Coordinator of Student Success, represented Clover Park Technical College by presenting on a panel speaking to women veterans and those who support them.  Shema shared her story of being a woman veteran seeking education after military service and she spoke of non-traditional careers for women veterans.  This event provided services and resources to an estimated 500 participants.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Disability tip of the week

There has been a lot of press about autism in recent years, but much of this press is filled with misinformation about autism and people with autism. The article linked here answers questions about what autism is and isn’t.  http://autistichoya.blogspot.com/p/introduction-to-autism-faqs-of-autism.html
·         Here is this blog’s definition of Autism:

Autism is a neurological, pervasive developmental condition. It is a disability. It is usually considered a disorder. It is not a disease. It is a lifelong condition that spans from infancy to adulthood. Autistic people usually share a variety of characteristics, including significant differences in information processing, sensory processing, communication abilities or styles, social skills, and learning styles.
·         And check out question number 10, which specifically addresses how to accommodate a student with autism in the classroom (this tip can be good for all your students and students with other disabilities as well!):
Allow for sensory breaks if necessary. Allow a student to walk around a room during a test or to stim during potentially stressful situations. Give visual aids, both for schedules and for assignments and class material. Establish and keep a strict routine. Give specific, explicit instructions for assignments both in-class and outside of class. Create measures to prevent and address bullying. Implement a strategy for meaningful inclusion and integration of the student with the mainstream.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday Wellness: How to Get the Benefits of Vitamin D

Are you getting enough vitamin D? Chances are, you may not be, even if you spend a lot of time in the sun. New research shows that many Americans are woefully deficient in this key nutrient, a deficiency that’s linked to a host of ailments, including type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and —yes — obesity. In fact, studies have found that a deficiency in vitamin D can hamper a person’s ability to lose weight effectively. So how do you know if you’re deficient? And if you are, what should you do about it? Here are some suggestions.
  1. Get tested. Ask your doctor if you can have a vitamin D analysis done as part of your routine blood test. If you have a 25-hydroxyvitamin D level below 20 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter), you are considered deficient in D. Optimal levels are 30 to 40 ng/ml. Some doctors, however, feel that a level above 50 ng/ml is more desirable.
  2. Catch some rays. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because the body produces it after being exposed to sunlight. Studies show that spending 10 to 15 minutes in the sun while unprotected (that is, without sunscreen) two to three times a week can boost your vitamin D levels. If you’re planning to be out in the sun for more than 15 minutes, however, be sure to apply the appropriate amount of sunscreen.
  3. Eat vitamin D–rich foods. Eating a healthy diet can help increase your vitamin D levels. Foods that are natural sources of vitamin D are sardines, mackerel, herring, and salmon. Vitamin D–fortified foods, such as low-fat or fat-free milk, reduced-fat cheese, and some whole-grain cereals, can also help you get more of this vitamin into your body.
  4. Consider a supplement. Consult with your doctor about taking a daily vitamin D supplement if you cannot get adequate amounts of vitamin D from foods and/or sun exposure and especially if you are pregnant or considering pregnancy. The recommended intake by the Institute of Medicine in 2010 is 600 IU daily if you are 19 to 70, and 800 IU if you are older. Many researchers, however, suggest that 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day is a better goal for everyone. While vitamin D supplementation is safe up to 10,000 IU a day, make sure you consult with your doctor about taking the appropriate dose. Recently, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) proposed that postmenopausal women not take low-dose calcium and vitamin D supplements daily to ward off bone fractures. The USPSTF said there was no evidence to support using the low-dose supplements — defined as 400 IU of vitamin D with 1,000 milligrams of calcium carbonate — as protection against fractures. There was "inadequate evidence" as to how higher doses — meaning more than 400 IU of vitamin D paired with 1,000 milligrams of calcium — might affect bone fracture risk, the task force noted. To make better use of a vitamin D supplement, take it with your largest meal. Researchers believe that the nutrient, which is fat-based, is absorbed better with food that also has some fat content.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Financial Aid Workshop

Financial Aid Workshop
Presented by EOC representative Jessica Moore

Looking for funding to pay for your education? Need assistance completing your FAFSA?

Join us for an informative workshop on the basics of financial aid.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with Jessica Moore, please call the CPTC Advising Office: 253-589-5548

DATE: Tuesday, June 26th
TIME: 10:00am-12:00pm
LOCATION: Building 16, Room 105

If you would like assistance completing your 2012-2013 FAFSA, please bring the following items with you to the workshop:

  •  Your Social Security number
  •  Your driver’s license number, if you have one
  •  Your W-2 forms and Federal Income Tax return. 
  •  If married, spouse’s W-2 and Federal Income Tax return.
  •  Your current bank statements and records of stocks, bonds and other investments
  •  Your records of other untaxed income received, such as Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF), welfare or veteran’s benefits
  •  Your business or farm records, if applicable
  •  Your alien registration number, if you are not a U.S. citizen
  •  If you are a dependent student, you will also need:
    •    Your parent(s)’ Social Security number(s)
    •    Your parent(s)’ income and financial records (as listed above)

Not sure if you are a dependent student?

Visit: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/help.htm to determine your status.

2012 Graduation Photos

More photos on our Facebook album.

Friday, June 15, 2012

5 Healthy Summer Habits

With this new onset of the summer season comes many health concerns that you should be aware of before you plan your summer activities. The heat and sun can lead to many serious illnesses and accidents. Make sure you start your summer off right by knowing how to keep you and your family happy and healthy during this fun time of year!
Here’s a list of 5 things you should know for having healthy summer habits.
1. Sunscreen is important. This is not new information. However, make sure you choose sunscreen that does not have cancer causing ingredients in it. Recent studies warn against the ingredients PABA, benzophenone-3, homosalate, octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC) and 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4- MBC) due to the possible link to skin cancer.
2. Summer is a great time to get the necessary amounts of Vitamin D. While you can get small amounts in your diet, the best way to reach your needed Vitamin D levels is by sun exposure to the skin. Make sure the skin does not have sunscreen because it may interfere with the absorption of Vitamin D. 15-30 minutes is adequate unprotected exposure for Vitamin D. Be sure to practice safe sun habits. If you have any questions consult with your physician.
3. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Summer is a time of plenty when it comes to fruits and vegetables availability. Farmers markets are up and running. There are so many options available during this time of year that you can get creative and have fun! Vegetables and fruits have many properties for protecting your health from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and much more! By eating more vegetables and fruits you can give your body the vitamins and minerals it craves and protect your cells from the damage free radicals cause.
4. Avoid long periods of vigorous activity during the heat of the summer. Make sure you take frequent breaks and drink lots of water to keep hydrated. Summer can be a dangerous time for long periods of activity outside in the sun and heat. Keep your family protected by offering shade, frequent breaks, and lots of fluids. Make sure you drink plenty of water. Summer is hot and in a lot of places very humid. These factors can lead to dehydration very quickly. Remember to drink plenty of liquids and water is by far the best option for prevention dehydration, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke.
5. Increase your social and activity calendar! Summer is an awesome time for getting together with friends which has shown to increase your happiness and fulfillment in life. It also offers a great time for increasing your activity level with offering many options for activities that get you moving from swimming to tennis to golf. What do you enjoy? What makes you happy in life? Studies have shown that people who are happy and active life longer, healthier, and happier lives. What can you do this summer to increase your health?


U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Regina Benjamin

Two CPTC representatives participated in a reception June 14 at Seattle University dealing with "Tobacco on College Campuses." Vice Admiral Regina Benjamin, MD, America's Surgeon General, and Dr. Lawrence Deyton, Director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), received information at the event concerning a potential "Smoking Recovery Fund" at Clover Park Technical College.

If implemented, the Fund would provide financial incentives for faculty, staff, and students who quit smoking or help others quit. Seed money currently being held by the CPTC Foundation would be augmented in part by beneficiaries of the Fund, who would contribute some portion of the money they would otherwise have spent on cigarettes. A major study by General Electric Corporation suggested that combining health information with financial incentives was three times more likely than information alone to help its employees quit smoking.

Research indicates that the cost to an employer of each smoker on its payroll is between $3,400 and $5,000 annually. The overall financial burden of smoking exceeds $650 for every Washington household, including those which include no smokers, and smokers in the same positions as non-smokers in the workplace earn up to 50% less over the course of their working lives. CPTC's Smoking Recovery Fund would be intended to offer considerable short- and long-term financial and health benefits to the college's staff, faculty, and students.

Dr. Benjamin reviews CPTC proposal

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Clover Park Technical College Commencement Set for Saturday

Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson and ASG President Jonathon Russell to address record number of Clover Park Technical College graduates

Clover Park Technical College’s Class of 2012 will walk on Saturday morning – obtaining a degree, certificate, or diploma.

A record 1,244 students are graduating. More than 400 will walk. 66 percent of our graduates are female. The average age is 30.5 years. The oldest graduate is 72 years old; the youngest is 17. The average graduating class GPA is 3.43.

Degrees and certificates are being earned in nearly all of our programs from Accounting to Welding with 51 percent earned in healthcare-related fields.

Most of our graduates live in the greater Lakewood, Tacoma, University Place, and Puyallup area. Some come from as far North as Bellingham; as far Southwest as Winlock; as far Southeast as Richland, and as far West as Bremerton.

Facts about the 2012 Commencement:

·        1,244 students are graduating in June. More than 400 will walk
·        Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson will address the graduates
·        Jonathon Russell is the student speaker
·        The ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 16 at the Tacoma Dome
·        No ticket is needed to attend

Video - first slab of concrete for the Health Sciences Facility

The historic first floor slab concrete pouring crew. Note the red whirl-bird leveler being ridden in the distance to the left. In the middle foreground the wheelbarrow-like device is being pulled to automatically self-level the slab with laser technology. Amazing.

Special thanks to Deam Lamb for recording this video and describing what we are watching.


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