BASSP Senior Headed to Washington State Recycling Association Annual Conference!

We’re very excited to share that BAS in Sustainable Practices senior, Andre Turner, received a scholarship to attend the Washington State Recycling Association Annual Conference this spring!

Andre has been working all year to improve waste diversion practices at Cascadia as part of his internship and capstone projects.  Specifically, Andre has meticulously audited our landfill, recycling, and compost bins and has found that as much as 80% of our waste could be composted.  This research provides the data driven support Cascadia needs to change our waste collection system to something more efficient and we hope to make these changes over the summer.

Thank you Andre for your hard work and congratulations on your scholarship.  We are excited to hear what you learn at the WSRA annual conference!

BAS in Sustainable Practices senior, Andre Turner, audits our waste!

BAS in Sustainable Practices senior, Andre Turner, audits our waste!

Friday Letter, 1-5-18

Welcome to Winter Quarter. Let’s be thankful that we are not in the same blizzard situation as the east coast.  Although it’s been a short week, I know that everyone has been extremely busy.  Thanks to the help desk volunteers, the Kodiak Korner staff, and the International Programs staff who have done extra duty this week.

We know we’re full and enrollment is good. On Wednesday we received a message that all on-campus parking lots were full by 10:30am and that the Truly Shuttle was being heavily utilized.  I am hopeful that the $29M loan to build new parking will be authorized by the legislature this month and we can proceed with those projects.

Legislative activities have consumed most of my time this week. Tuesday night was a Kenmore send-off for the 46th district legislators.  Wednesday night was a send-off for the 1st district legislators (which we hosted with UWB, the City of Bothell, and our student governments), and yesterday morning was an entire eastside breakfast with legislators.  From all of these events, what have I learned?

I’ve learned that there is momentum to add a few more dollars to the capital budget this session to fund the community colleges’ construction list as far down as our project. If we indeed receive our $3.5M in design money in the next 2 months, our Best Case Scenario is to open CC4 by January 2022 (4 years from now).  I’m not sure if “construction project” and “best case scenario” have ever been used in the same sentence before, but we can hope.

There are other initiatives being discussed about raising full- and part-time faculty salaries and adding conversion faculty positions to each community college, but I don’t have a prediction on their outcomes. I will be lobbying for those things however when I am down in Olympia this quarter.  My first visit is on Monday when I’ll be meeting with a least 7 different legislators to review Cascadia’s and the system’s priorities.

I want to conclude today with interesting and happy news about the success of our baccalaureate students in Sustainable Practices. I’m quite happy that within 6 months of graduation we have students doing this kind of work:

  • Sales Associate at Recology in Bothell
  • A student launched his own company offering regulatory and sustainability consultation for the cosmetics industry.
  • Sustainability Educator at City Growers in Brooklyn, NY
  • Employee Transportation Specialist with Swedish Medical Center
  • Parks Maintenance employee with Carlsbad (CA) Parks and Rec
  • Solar System Designer with Artisan Electric

Have a great weekend.

Waste Not!

If you’ve walked past the campus garden beds at any point during the last two weeks you might have noticed one of our students seemingly staring at a blue tarp on the ground and wondered ‘what is that guy doing?’.

Andre Turner August 2017

That guy is BAS in Sustainable Practices senior, Andre Turner, and he is completing a Waste Diversion Internship this summer in partnership with Cassie Lubenow, Sustainability Coordinator for UW Bothell.

A Waste Diversion Internship?

Specifically, Andre is sorting and weighing the contents of several waste bins (landfill, recycling and compost) across campus to determine if we’re putting our waste in the right place.  Using the right waste container saves limited natural resources, reduces our greenhouse gas emissions and saves us money!  With the information Andre collects we’ll be able to identify which types of waste stations and signage are most effective and use this to guide future changes to our waste collection system on campus.

Thanks Andre!

Andre Turner August 2017 - 2

We’ll share the results of Andre’s efforts toward the end of fall quarter.  Meanwhile, please do your part and put YOUR waste in the right place!

Questions about Sustainable Practices at Cascadia College?  Please contact Jodie Galvan, Assistant Director of Sustainable Practices, at

Friday Letter, 5-12-17

I am off-campus today at an all-day seminar in Bellevue with Leadership Eastside. I am an observer/evaluator for a community-led team that is trying to support educational initiatives on the eastside.  My goal today is to hear about the work of these folks and help guide them to productive outcomes.  This is just one way that I work in the community to build support for higher education (in general) and Cascadia (specifically).

Yesterday I was in Olympia with Erik Tingelstad and Brian Bansenauer. We successfully made it through the State Board’s approval process for our new Bachelor’s degree in Mobile Applications.  Yay for us.  Congrats to Erik and Brian and the rest of the team for putting this together.  Our next step is to gain approval through our accrediting agency and then start building the specific curriculum.  We hope to enroll students in Fall 2018.  We are on the road to our second Bachelor’s degree and I am extremely proud of the team.

Thanks to those of you who attended the budget workshops. Hopefully this clears up where we stand (as of today) on new expenditures and the current situation.  For those who could not attend, we have a tentative budget we hope the Board will approve, but we are still unsure of our revenues.  If we fall into a deficit situation, our proposal is to rely on reserves (which are healthy) until we can “right-size” to a sustainable budget.  If we operate with a positive margin, we will assess the stability of our revenues and consider investing in additional human resources.

UWB is sponsoring their annual undergraduate Research and Creative Practice symposium today from 10am until 4pm. I am happy to report that four of our BASSP students are participating with support from faculty sponsor Abigail Lynam.  Tanya Saxby and John Kuykendall have an 11:15-11:30 presentation on Incorporating Sustainability Education across Horizontal Disciplines in Higher Education (…sounds so Cascadia, doesn’t it?) AND Dylan Kline and Alicia Bradley have a poster presentation from 10am until 12:15 on Chemical and Fecal Coliform Analysis of North Creek and the Horse Creek Tributaries.  You can find Tanya and John in UW1-103 and Dylan and Alicia on the top floor of the ARC.

Speaking of UW, leaders at the Seattle campus and I are in discussion of bringing a fall training to campus for 30 Cascadia employees on providing support for undocumented students. Their Leadership without Borders: Undoc Ally training has become popular and they have included us in their constituency to assist in our learning.  If you are interested in this training (sometime in Fall), please let me or Samantha know.  More to come.

I hope you programmed the number for campus safety into your phone last week. 425-352-5359

This week’s safety question is: Do you have a bomb threat checklist next to your phone?  Once upon a time these were distributed to employees so that they could follow a protocol in the event of a bomb threat.  Next to my phone I keep a folder of emergency related information that I review periodically.  I hope you might create something similar to stay fresh on the protocols that are most important to us.  Also, please check out for a ton of info that might be helpful to you. Spend some time with the site.  I was able to find the bomb threat checklist in about 30 seconds.

Have a great weekend.

Recyclemania Poster Contest!

Cascadia College is hosting a poster contest to promote smart, easy, and efficient ways that everyone can participate in recycling programs going on all around us. All students are invited to submit original works that deal with recycling or repurposing objects in their daily lives– in school, at home, and everywhere!

Draw it, paint it, collage it, photograph it…anything you want to do to express your recycling ideas–just do it!

Entries can be submitted directly to the judges at:
by April 14
, and prizes will be given out at Cascadia College during an Earth Week Celebration on April 20th, 2017.

Don’t forget to include your name and some contact information so we can let you know if you are our lucky winner!

 Say it loud and say it proud–we want to see what recycling means to you!

Friday Letter, 3-3-17

March is a turning point for us. Spring officially begins as does Spring Quarter.  It’s also a time where we will turn to budget writing and tenure approval.  As we wrap up Winter and Winter Quarter, I hope everyone is ready for more sunshine and flowers.  I have sunshine in my pocket and a good song in my feet, so we should dance a little.

I was in Olympia this week showing the flag. I mean that literally.  We have Cascadia pennants that we give to legislators.  They are extremely popular and I noted over 20 proudly displayed in the legislative offices I visited.  I was also able to work with several senators, aides, and policy people this week to help craft some ideas to get our system’s capital budget completely funded.  The minority leader of the Senate Capital Committee now has some ways to work with his counterparts to hopefully get enough allocation to the CTC’s to fund our CC4 design money.  Let’s hope he succeeds.

I want to thank all of the faculty and staff who have helped to facilitate the Community Conversations program in the Center this quarter. This program allowed people to share their views, concerns, and optimism during open forums at lunch time on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Some days were well-attended, some not.  Regardless, it was a good opportunity and I thank those who helped get us there.

I want to highlight two inspiring initiatives shared with us by our UWB partners. The first is a letter of support from the UWB School of Nursing regarding the LGBTQ population.  You can read it here.  I back every word of this letter and it represents Cascadia’s official outlook as well.  While the letter points people to the UWB School of Nursing if they need to report or discuss issues, I would direct our campus to talk to Dean Erin Blakeney who leads our Bias Incident Response team.

Second, UWB is offering free tax help. Attached here is information about how to access this service.  I appreciate the students and faculty from the business school reaching out to include us in this service.

Next week is busy and I’ll have a lot to report. I’ll be addressing the mayors from all of the eastside cities on Tuesday.  They’re meeting here at UWB.  On Wednesday is the Bothell State of the City address.  Thursday I’ll be attending the UW Regents meeting as they discuss the Master Plan and UWB’s relationship with Cascadia.  Also on Thursday night, I’ll be addressing leaders, parents and young people from the eastside Scouting programs. And finally, I meet with the corporate leadership of Brown Bear Car Wash on Friday to talk about our shared desire around sustainability.

I know we are all constantly moving and focused on our students and institution. Thank you for your passion.

Have a great weekend.


Friday Letter, 1-6-17

Welcome to a cold 2017. I hope the first week has gone well for you.  I also hope you enjoyed the holidays and took some time to rest.  For me, I took some time off; I’m not so sure I rested.  I took a 3000 mile road trip through 8 states, 70 degrees of temperature variation, with 4 drivers, 3 colds, 2 holidays and 1 truck.  The trip was fantastic and reminded me of how beautiful our country is.

I can’t say that my carbon footprint was excellent, but that leads me to share some of the good work Jodie has been doing with Meagan’s team. Take a look at this site:

It’s intended to pool information about careers, internships, and campus sustainability information in one spot. It’s comprehensive and well considered.  I appreciate now being able to easily share all of the great things we do to foster our value of sustainability.  Thanks to all those who helped.

Sustainability also means thinking about the long term. As you know, our master planning process is well under way in conjunction with UWB.  We are presenting opportunities for your feedback and the next one occurs on Tuesday, January 10, from 1:00-4:00 pm.  The president’s conference room has been reserved so that any employee or student can stop by to learn about the campus master plan and to give feedback on the three design approaches.  Thanks for your participation.

One of our other commitments this quarter is to hold space for Campus Conversations in the Center for Culture, Inclusion, and Community. These safe space opportunities for conversation happen on Mondays and Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00 pm.  If you are willing to host/facilitate one of the hours, please let me know. I am particularly interested in filling open slots later in the quarter.  These hours may or may not be well-attended, but they provide a time for students and employees to share concerns, suggestions, and encouragements about our changing world.

In that same vein, I am excited that over 80 employees have signed up for this year’s cultural competency learning opportunities. The Cavolines, skill builders, and TED talks have filled nicely.  If you are still interested in participating, please contact Samantha Brown.

Finally this week, I am happy to report that we are making progress on the campus Diversity and Equity Summary that I promised to deliver during Convocation. We hope to distribute this document in about two weeks.  It is a compilation of all the campus efforts currently underway and how they relate to the strategic plan.  We have approximately 15 (fifteen!!) initiatives being implemented through various parts of campus.  As I looked over the draft this week, I was happy to see all of these efforts reported in one place and happy to now fully believe that we are tackling issues of diversity, multi-culturalism, equity, and social justice on multiple fronts.  I look forward to sharing that with you after we fine-tune some of the details.

January is a busy month for my office. Legislative events in Olympia, a tour of JBLM, chamber events, and community events keep me off campus at least two days each week during January.  Let’s chat in the hall when you can and here’s to a great Winter Quarter.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Letter, 10-28-16

This is the last Friday Letter of October and soon we plunge into November, our month of Thanksgiving. I am thankful that for the next three weeks I have the opportunity to hand the pen and ink over to Terence, Meagan, and Rosemary.  I will be traveling to Germany for a week on a short vacation to visit family…followed by 4 days in Boston where I will attend a seminar at Harvard for “experienced presidents”.  This is an invite only seminar (I had to apply) and is my professional development activity for the year.  It should be an interesting experience and I will have a lot to share when I return.

In the meanwhile, each of the executive team will take a turn writing the Friday Letter…something we did a couple years ago and was a nice change of pace. They all have some messages and thoughts to share. During my time away (Nov 4-16), Terence will be the acting president.

The remainder of today’s letter focuses on faculty-related pursuits.

I want to give a shout out to Abigail and Jodie for their work on helping to steer the Bachelor’s students towards a successful Campus Climate Conversation this week. Mobius was packed and many instructors from many disciplines brought classes.  The “teach-in” was student led and facilitated.  It was a nice example of staff providing student guidance and I’m thrilled by the response it received.

Another shout out goes to faculty member Tasha Walston who recently began teaching for us in English. She invited activist and former political prisoner Josh Harper to visit her consent-themed English 101 sections to talk about animals and consent and his journey to understanding the rights of non-humans. The students were listening for content and preparing to perform a rhetorical analysis of his talk. As well, Josh will be giving a different talk to the Humanities 101 sections titled “The Personal and Social Cost of Mass Incarceration” where he’ll be using an intersectional approach to explore the history and systems of power at play in our mass incarceration system.  Interesting topics that play off our values of pluralism and our mission of integrated education.

And finally, a number of faculty were involved in summer work groups. Since this is my last Friday Letter until December, I decided to provide a brief synopsis of the work by these groups. I think it important for all of campus to be aware of how we continually try to improve our systems and I want to thank the faculty for their input and design on these projects.

Group #1: Core Teaching Practices The summer Cascadia Core Teaching Practices work group (Tori Saneda, Peggy Harbol, Chris Gildow, Anne Tuominen, Jessica Weimer, Debra Waddell and Nataša Kesler) produced two documents:

  1. Cascadia Core Teaching Practices” – this document gives detailed descriptions of Cascadia’s student-centered approach, including what our learning outcomes look like in the classroom, and explains the key elements of our learning and teaching environment: assessment of student learning, student access and integrated education. (ERIC’S NOTE…I think every employee should read this.)
  2.  “How to use the Course Outcomes Guide” by Tori Saneda– is a step by step guide written specifically for faculty to help them use course outcome guide to prepare their courses and plan assessments.

TLA now uses the Cascadia Core Teaching Practices  document to help plan and guide its work. To introduce a wider audience to the documents they are conducting a Core Teaching Approaches workshop series. This fall they presented Core Teaching Approaches 101 and plan Core Teaching Approaches 102 & 103 for Winter and Spring.

Group #2: Intercultural Scholars

Chari Davenport, Michelle White, Sarah Zale, Kristina Kellerman and Jessica Weimer attended the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication at Reed College in Portland, Oregon in preparation for their work on infusing intercultural competency into the Cascadia curriculum. Their summer work lead to the development of a CANVAS archive of readings and assignments. Look for a version of this site to be shared out soon.  Throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, members of this group—Cascadia’s Intercultural Scholars—will be piloting activities in their courses and facilitating discussions and workshops focused on developing student, faculty, and staff intercultural competency.

Group #3: Basic Ed

Dave Dorratcague undertook substantial ESL Course Outcome Guide revisions during Summer 2016 to bring our ESL program into alignment with new federal and state mandates, emphasizing pathways into college and careers from Basic Education for Adults. Previous ESL COGs were based on the Washington Adult Learning Standards. A number of changes in Basic Education at the federal and state level required that we update the ESL COGs to address new standards and expectations. All six levels of ESL are now required to align with the College and Career Readiness Standards and integrate math and employability skills. Dave wrangled all of those requirements into new COGs that reflected up-to-date ESL practices. The new COGs are scheduled to go to SLC for a first read in early November. I also appreciate all of Kathy Biagi’s summer work on behalf of Basic Ed for Adults and she provided a great synopsis to our Trustees earlier this fall.

Group #4: Instructional Design

Lindsay Custer, Robyn Ferret, Jessica Ketcham, Sharon Saxton, Natalie Serianni, Anne Tuominen with the support of Brandy Long worked on instructional design and hybrid module development for English 101, Sociology 150, and Math 141.  During the summer, these faculty developed a set of course designs/assignments, most of which are already in use. Lindsay and Anne established a shared space in Canvas for a SOC 150 teaching repository and added to it some key classroom assignments/activities that have the potential to become common assignments across sections of SOC 150. The English faculty developed a common ENGL 101 “diagnostic assignment” that is being piloted in all fall hybrid and online sections. An online module guides students across these sections in writing a summary of the same Washington Post article. Students’ responses are assessed with a five-dimension rubric that is aligned with a set self-guided activities. Sharon consolidated in WAMAP both problem sets and a course design that guides students in testing their understanding of course topics and asking their questions before they come to class, enabling faculty to customize face-to-face classes around what their students need to learn in order to progress through a pre-calculus class. Her work will support flipping face-to-face math classes and teaching more effective hybrid courses.

Thanks for the great work. Have a great few weeks and I’ll check back when I can.

Friday Letter, 9-30-16

Week one. Done.  And a busy week it was.

Today’s letter contains Celebrations, Updates on our Bachelor’s Degrees, and info on DIA’s and Cavolines.

Let’s start with celebrations. Over the last few weeks, we realized that we are not very systematic about how we announce and celebrate retirees.  Gina Lorenz’s retirement is next week.  Deborah Pontillo has announced her official retirement as of November 2.  (Many of you know she is a founding faculty member who has struggled with health issues over the last years, but has retained her status with us.) Dede Gonzales will retire on December 2. Kathy Biagi has let us know that she will be retiring in April. And Catherine Crain has announced her retirement effective in June.

We will celebrate each quarter in which someone retires so as to honor them and help us cherish not only the employee’s contributions, but this wonderful next step in life. (Given that the retiree will endure a celebration in their honor.) I’m always looking for a good reason to celebrate, and I think this is one.  All of these folks have made valuable contributions to Cascadia.  The Friday Letter will be used to announce these retirements and celebrations.

I think we should also celebrate Lindsay Custer. I recently learned that she received the happy news that she had a chapter published in a new book. The chapter is “Undoing Gender: Making the Invisible Visible.” The book is Teaching Gender and Sex in Contemporary America. Take a look at the link: Congrats Lindsay.

Thank you to all of the staff and faculty involved in our Bachelor’s programs. Erik T, Brian B, Rosemary S and I traveled to Blaine this week to meet with the State Board and present our Statement of Need for the new Mobile Applications BAS.  The meeting went well and I am impressed by all of the work needed to make this application possible.  As well, we now  have 18 students entering Year 4 of the Sustainable Practices Degree and 21 students entering the next cohort (or Year 3).  Many of these new students (13) earned associates degrees from Cascadia and 6 of them have served in the military.  The program seems to be doing well, again due to the hard work of faculty and staff.

This year we will not have three all-day DIAs (Days of Inquiry and Assembly) related to pluralism. Instead, we will return to our routine: three half-day DIA’s on three different topics.  Our next one is on Wednesday, October 12 from 9:00am-12:15pm. The theme is Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and in a few days you will receive the full agenda of activities/presenters from Samantha Brown. Doors open at 8:30am and a light breakfast will be available at that time. The program begins promptly at 9:00am. You have each received an Outlook invitation from Samantha that will show on your calendar. Your RSVP by October 5 is key to ensuring enough coffee, food, chairs, and materials for all. When you RSVP, please click the option to send Samantha your response. If you do not see your invitation, email Samantha ( and she will send it to you. I look forward to seeing you there.

And finally, I want to make you aware that within a couple of weeks you will be receiving a catalog via email announcing our opportunities for Intercultural Development training this year. We looked at your suggestions from last year’s process and have hopefully made improvements that will be embraced and excite you to participate again.  The catalog offers multiple options for participation, including Cavoline-style groups as well as opportunities for film watching, book reading, skill building, and TED talks.  More to come on this!

Thanks for a great first week. Have a great weekend.

There’s still time to start your BAS in Sustainable Practices this fall!

There are still a few spaces left in the Fall 2016 cohort of Cascadia’s Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Sustainable Practices.  This integrated two year program includes time in the field and in the lab learning how to incorporate the ecological, social, political and financial elements that contribute to our region’s sustainability challenges and solutions.  This program will prepare graduates for a variety of in-demand positions such as:

Application materials are available online.  Contact Jodie Galvan, Assistant Director of Sustainable Practices, with any questions.