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In the Spotlight

Monday, December 30, 2013

CPTC Staff Ensure Honduran Student Takes GED



It seemed like an impossible request. The daughter of a Honduran missionary was going to be in Wash. state for 12 days and during that time needed to somehow take and pass the GED test.

Despite the complexity of the request, when Honduran missionary Mike Pettengill called Clover Park Technical College, Administrative Assistant Catheline Rivera-Acevedo was more than willing to do everything in her power to help his daughter succeed.

“I had only recently started working in the department,” said Rivera-Acevedo, “but after hearing his story I felt compelled to do what I could to help him.”

With help from Jean Carmack, CPTC’s GED Testing Examiner, Catheline was able to provide Mr. Pettengill and his daughter with the information necessary to take the GED. Mr. Pettengill’s daughter did very well on her test and was able to receive her GED.

This is normally where a story like this would end, but Mr. Pettengill was so moved by the compassionate service he received from Catheline, that he wrote a letter detailing his experience and how much it meant to his family.

“My name is Mike and I am a missionary living and serving in Honduras. I am writing to express great pleasure with the assistance I received from your employee Catheline.

By way of background...my 17-year-old daughter has been schooled in Honduras for five years and is preparing to apply to colleges in the US. We had planned on a 12-day trip to WA to visit family and supporting churches. I wanted my daughter to take the GED while we were on this trip. I had no experience with the GED or what was needed to apply or take the exam. I started calling (from Honduras) WA testing centers. Before I reached Catheline I had called 10 other WA GED testing centers and had spoken to 20 various staffers. Most were unhelpful, unwilling to listen and frustrating. Living in Honduras makes us a little different than most people you deal with and the other people I talked to would simply explain that my daughter couldn't take the test or that they had no idea what to tell me.

Catheline took the time to hear our situation and she did not know what to do with us either. However, she was willing to provide us with good service and was willing to think outside the box. She made several phone calls on our behalf and came up with all the answers we needed.

As of right now my daughter is sitting in your testing center taking her final GED test. She took the orientation and all five tests in two days. All of this was thanks to the hard work and dedication of Catheline. She provided us service when others would not or could not.

Thank You,

Mike Pettengill
Missionary to Honduras

This story is a reminder that even the smallest acts can make a huge difference in the lives of others.

So we would like to say thank you to both Catheline and Jean for making such a heartwarming story possible and for upholding CPTC’s commitment to providing students the help they need to succeed.





Monday, December 23, 2013

CPTC Students Install New Security Cameras in the Learning Resource Center

Students in the Electrician Low Voltage Fire/Security Program at Clover Park Technical College (CPTC) worked together to install a new security camera system in the Learning Resource Center.

The system consists of 19 cameras throughout the building connected to the college’s LAN system, allowing security and Learning Resource Center staff to monitor the building 24/7.

 “The goal of this project is not just to ensure that our property is secure, but that our students feel safe as well,” said Elaine Holster, faculty librarian at CPTC.

A total of six students were able to complete the project in a matter of days, compared to the month their instructor expected the project to take.

“There have been challenges,” said David Bryner, an Electrician Low Voltage Fire/Security student. “But we had a good team this quarter, and being able to solve these problems was part of the fun.”

The project was made possible by the CPTC Foundation’s Transforming Lives Campaign, which aims to supply the tools and technology CPTC students need to train for today’s workplace and which allocated $20,000 to the installation of a new security system.

 “The students have been able to get valuable real-world experience while we get a top-notch security system,” said Holster. “It has been a win-win situation for everyone.”


If you would like to learn more about the Transforming Lives Campaign, please visit their website at http://www.cptc.edu/foundation/transforming-lives.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CPTC's Phi Theta Kappa Chapter Hosts CollegeFish Honors in Action Competition

On Dec. 3, 2013 CPTC's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, Beta Omicron Gamma, hosted a two day CollegeFish Honors in Action Competition.  


CollegeFish.org is a web tool created by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society to aid students as they plan their future after community college, either through transfer to a 4-year institution or by entering the workforce. 

Joshua Hancock, the Phi Theta Kappa Training and Development Specialist from the organization's international headquarters, provided two lunchtime presentations during the competition.

Fifty-five students from the following CPTC programs attended the CollegeFish presentations:
  • Pharmacy Technology
  • Early Care & Education
  • Culinary Arts
  • Medical Assistant
  • HVAC
  • Architectural Engineering Design
  • Graphic Technologies
  • Dental Assistant
  • Massage
  • CNISS
  • Welding
  • Human Services 



Monday, December 16, 2013

CPTC Students Show Off Their Skills at the 2013 "Glitz and Glamour" Fashion Show


On Dec. 10 CPTC Cosmetology students participated in their second annual "Glitz and Glamour" fashion show. 

Students from all five quarters of the program styled either mannequins or live models to demonstrate the skills they've learned at CPTC.

"This show allows our students to share their abilities with the campus and the community," said instructor Denise Klug. "It allows them to have a little fun and really take pride in their work."

If you couldn't make it out on the 11th, we've got you covered with some of the show's highlights.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Department of Labor Grant Supports Expansion of CPTC Hemodialysis Technician Program

Thanks to a recently-awarded Department of Labor grant, CPTC’s Hemodialysis Technician program is updating its curriculum to integrate the latest in technology.

CPTC received a portion of this nearly $12 million grant through its collaboration with The Health eWorkforce (HeW) Consortium, which consists of eight other colleges in Washington and one in Northern Virginia.

HeW is dedicated to elevating national Health Information Technology workforce development efforts and training more than 2,000 veterans, TAA-eligible workers and others for promising careers in healthcare and Health IT. In order to achieve that goal, HeW is developing Health IT training programs that will be distributed throughout the country.

Hemodialysis instructors teach to the exacting industry standards, including the latest in Health IT 
The $600,000 in grant money received by CPTC is allowing the program to implement online and hybrid instruction provided by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Instructor Ken Markovits and Curriculum Developer Matt Beil also designed original hemodialysis-specific material to help students to become skilled users of the Health IT systems they will have to work with daily in their profession. 

“Technology is becoming an increasingly important aspect of modern healthcare,” said Markovits. “It is important that our students to learn to become proficient with these programs in order to be better caregivers.”
Students become familiar with the use and operation of the dialysis machine in the lab. 
In order to accommodate the expanding program a second Hemodialysis instructor and CPTC alum, Tammy Schuler, was recently hired straight out of industry.

“I am excited to return Clover Park as an instructor,” said Schuler. “Ken has been a great mentor and I am looking forward to continuing to share the knowledge I gained in the field with my students.”

Schuler has been with CPTC since April 2013 and will be teaching the new evening Hemodialysis section starting Winter Quarter 2014.


For more information about the expanding Hemodialysis program and the grant, visit www.cptc.edu/programs/hemodialysis .

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CPTC Winter Break Schedules

The following is a list of CPTC programs and services and their adjusted schedules for Winter Break. If you would like to add to the list, please contact Elizabeth Glavish in the College Relations Department at elizabeth.glavish@cptc.edu. 

  • Cascade Cafe: Open 12/9-12/11 from 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., open for breakfast 12/12 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Bldg. 8 Coffee Cart: Closed until 1/2
  • Clover Perk Corner: Open 12/9 - 12/10 from 7:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • Bon Sucre: Open 12/11 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m
  • Learning Resource Center: Closing at 6 p.m. 12/11, will reopen Jan. 2 at 7:00 a.m.
  • eLearning Center: Open 12/12 from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., 12/13 from 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., 12/16 -12/20 from 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., 12/30 -12/31 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Associated Student Government: Closed 12/23-1/1
  • Student Programs/Event Services Office will be open throughout Winter break.
  • Assessment Center: Closed 12/13, 12/24 - 12/26 and 1/1
  • WorkFirst Office: Open 12/23 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Closed 12/24-12/27, Open 12/30 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Open 12/31 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Closed 1/1
  • Veterans Resources Office: Open 12/13 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Closed 12/16, Open 12/17 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Open 12/18 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Open 12/19-12/24 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Closed 12/25, Open 12/26 - 12/31 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m., Closed 1/1, open 1/2 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Bookstore: Closed 12/24-12/25 and 1/1. The store will also be closed one day during the week of 12/23 for electrical work. We are scheduled for 12/26, but please check with us if you are planning to come by on either 12/23 or 12/27. Our phone number is 253-589-5614. Open 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on the 12/16 - 12/18. Open 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on 12/19 - 12/20 and 12/30 - 12/31. Open 1/2 and 1/6 - 1/7 from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Monday, December 9, 2013

CPTC Students Build Machine to Quickly and Efficiently Cool Soda

A group of CPTC HVAC students recently built a machine capable of cooling a can of soda to a temperature of 40 degrees in 10 minutes. Instructor Joe Lyon gave the assignment to the students involved with the project — Robert Renfro, Jan Carlo Villanueva and Jay Areneain — to challenge them to go above and beyond what was required in the classroom.

“Our group was able to finish our final project for this quarter fairly quickly,” said Renfro. “Rather than have us sit around until the quarter ended, Joe came up with this project. He gave us a problem, then said go find the solution.”

The machine gets to work cooling a can of soda
Despite being able to cool things so quickly, the machine costs only around three cents an hour to run. To put that into perspective, the machine could run for 12 hours straight and would cost less than a bag of ice.
While the machine runs smoothly now, building it was not without complications.

“The hardest part was finding all the pieces that we needed to work with,” said Villanueva. “Fitting everything together to suit our needs was like putting together a puzzle.”

Despite initial challenges, the team is proud of what they were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.

“It is great to be able to successfully complete projects that allow you to adapt all the skills you have learned in the program to solving a real problem,” said Areneain. “It reminds you that all the studying is worth it and at the end of the program you will leave with a solid skill set.”

Friday, December 6, 2013

CPTC Gives the Gift of Hope with Annual Holiday House

Every year CPTC’s Foundation hosts the Holiday House Program, an annual volunteer activity that distributes December holiday assistance to eligible CPTC students in the form of food, gift cards and holiday gifts.

Holiday House started more than 25 years ago with the goal of easing the strain of the holidays for CPTC students by providing gifts and food to those with financial need.

This year Holiday House Program was able support 72 families, helping 125 children have a fantastic holiday season.

“Anytime you help someone in need, it is a success,” said Instructional Program Assistant Debbie Gurner, member of the Holiday House Committee. “I was a recipient of the Holiday House Program when I was a student at CPTC, and it feels amazing to be able to give back to the program and help current students.”
Holiday House gifts help make the season bright for CPTC students
Holiday House is able to continue to bring holiday cheer to students and their families largely thanks to contributions from staff, CPTC programs and community members. For example, every year, the Lakewood Partners in Business holds a Chocolate Auction to raise funds to support Holiday House.  Typically they raise about $5,000.  These funds come to the CPTC Foundation and 100% go to help fund Holiday House. 

People in the CPTC community adopted 37 of the families, who and are now able to enjoy the holidays without worrying about whether they can afford gifts or food. 
Students from the Health Unit Coordinator Program drop gifts off for their adopted family
“This cherished activity eases one financial stress to help our students to stay in school” said Debbie Ranniger, Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

So we here at CPTC would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who helped make this holiday season a truly joyous one for our students. You all rock!


If you are interested in helping out with next year’s Holiday House, please call the hotline at 253-589-5745.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter is Here - Stay Safe CPTC

It's that time of year again. Snow and ice can be seen on Western Washington roads. Here are some helpful tools to help you prepare for the winter weather. 

CPTC School Closure Alerts
  • Sign up for our emergency alert system at www.cptc.edu/prepare and receive text message alerts if CPTC is closed or has a late start.
  • Call 253-589-5707 to get an update of CPTC's inclement weather message, including school closures or late starts. 
  • Visit CPTC's homepage at www.cptc.edu and look for a school closure report in our banner located at the top of the page.
  • Check Facebook and Twitter regularly for school closure updates.
  • Check flashalert.net for updates on CPTC school closures. You can also subscribe to receive email alerts regrading future CPTC closures.
Pierce County Snow Routes
  • If you take public transit to school, make sure you visit www.piercetransit.org to check if your bus is running its normal route, or if it is forced to use an alternate snow route.
WSDOT Winter Driving Alerts
  • For winter driving tips, weather alerts and traffic advisory visit WSDOT's website at www.wa.gov or tune into your local highway advisory radio station.





Wednesday, December 4, 2013

CPTC Instructor Returns to South Korea for Peace Corps Reunion

CPTC Communications Studies instructor Dr. Phil Venditti recently traveled to South Korea as a guest of the South Korean government. He and other Peace Corp volunteers were invited back to the country as a way to thank them for helping rebuild the country and to showcase how far South Korea has come since then.

From 1966 to 1981 South Korea had more than 2,000 volunteers serving in their country, and is to date the only country to have hosted this type of revisit. Over the past five years South Korea has held eight re-visits, and Dr. Venditti was able to attend the last trip.
Zenith Towers in the South Korean city of Busan
Dr. Venditti spent a week in Korea, where he and other volunteers were able to go back to the sites where they once worked to see the progress of the nation they helped build. Since this was the last trip sponsored by the government, volunteers had the honor of meeting the Speaker of the South Korean National Assembly, Kang Chang-hee.

Dr. Venditti also attended a dialogue with 12 former Korean ambassadors to the U.S. and U.S. ambassadors to Korea, who reflected on their experiences and discussed how the diplomatic relationship between the United States and Korea has evolved over time.

 “The whole experience was very rewarding,” said Dr. Venditti. “It was fascinating to see the changes that have occurred in Korea and humbling to know that as a member of the Peace Corps I had a hand in effecting some of that change.”

Dr. Venditti will be giving a presentation on his time spent in Asia, including his trip to Korea, and will discuss the differences in East Asian cultures and how they compare to Western society. Dr. Venditti’s presentation will take place on Dec. 11 at noon in the McGavick Conference Center.

CPTC Board of Trustees Host Community Open House

Dr. Lonnie L. Howard talks with visitors during the Clover Park Technical College Open House on Dec. 3 at the Lakewood Campus.

Janet Holm (L), outreach coordinator for Clover Park Technical College, greets Coy Anglin as he arrives at CPTC's Open House event on Dec. 3. The event welcomed Dr. Lonnie L. Howard to the CPTC community.


On Dec. 3, 2013 the Clover Park Technical College Board of Trustees hosted an open house at the Lakewood campus to welcome Dr. Lonnie L. Howard, CPTC’s new president.

More than 100 people attended the open house, including staff, students and members of the community. Dr. Howard was able to share his goals for the college and gather feedback from individuals that in the coming months will help shape his overall strategic plan for the college.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

CPTC Featured in News Tribune Column

CPTC was recently featured in an article by Tacoma News Tribune columnist Dorothy Wilhelm. Dorothy is substituting in instructor Phil Venditti’s public speaking classes, something she never dreamed she would have the opportunity to do. Dorothy mentions how her students have inspired her and how at 80 years old you can still learn a thing or two.

“If you become a teacher, by your students you’ll be taught,” said Wilhelm. “In these times when we’re constantly connected by technology, I’ve been honored to be touched by these amazing people.”

Check out Dorothy’s article on the Tribune’s website!

Monday, December 2, 2013

CPTC Students Build Giant Gingerbread House to Kick Off the Holiday Season

CPTC students recently worked together to create the ultimate symbol of the holidays – a 12-foot-tall gingerbread house. Students in the Sustainable Building Science program built the house’s framework, and Pastry Arts students created the rest, from the gingerbread siding to the sugary window panes.

The Rainier Room Gingerbread House as it nears completion
It took over 300 pounds of gingerbread and 200 pounds of royal icing for this gingerbread giant to come to life, an ambitious undertaking for CPTC students.

How many Pastry Arts students does it take to get royal icing out of the mixer? 
“Figuring out all the details involved in constructing the house has been a challenge,” said Jenn Blessing, a Pastry Arts student. “However, being able to work with other programs to make this project a reality in such a short time has been amazing.”

It takes a precise hand to cut the gingerbread siding for the house.
This is the first time that CPTC Pastry Arts students have created a confectionary masterpiece of this magnitude for the holidays, but it will not be the last.

“This type of project teaches students to not only become better artists, but also how to be better time managers,” said Shelley Newman, Pastry Arts instructor. “I definitely think that this is going to become an annual tradition within the program.”

You can't be afraid of heights while working on this rooftop.
The house’s grand unveiling will take place during the Foundation’s Candy Cane Lane Benefit Dinner on Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. in the Rainier Room. Seating is limited, so visit www.cptc.edu/candycane to purchase your tickets.  
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