News at WWU
The recipient of the 2015 James W. Scott Research Fellowship, Jessica Leslie Arnett, will speak about Alaskan Native sovereignty during the talk, “Between Empires and Frontiers: Sovereignty, Land, Labor and Belonging in Territorial Alaska” at 3 p.m. on Friday August 14 in Western Washington University’s Western Libraries Special Collections on the sixth floor of Wilson Library.
This event is free and open to the public.
Arnett’s research examines territorial Alaska as a geopolitical space in which the legal and political frameworks of settler colonialism and imperialism converged. Her research addresses ways in which Alaska Natives leveraged the tensions produced by this entanglement in their claims on sovereignty, land and belonging.
Arnett is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Minnesota, a 2015-2016 Andrew Mellon Dissertation Fellow, and a short-term Newberry Library Consortium for American Indian Studies Fellow. Her research interests were shaped by her own experience of being raised in Alaska from an early age.
Prior to her presentation, Arnett will spend a week conducting research at Western’s Center for Pacific Northwest Studies as part of the opportunity given to her by the James W. Scott Research Fellowship. The fellowship was established to promote the use of Western’s archival collections and to forward scholarly understandings of the Pacific Northwest. Funding for the fellowship is awarded in honor of the late James W. Scott, a founder and the first director of the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies and a noted scholar of the Pacific Northwest.
For more information about this event or the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, contact Ruth Steele, the CPNWS’s Archivist, at (360) 650-7747 or Ruth.Steele@wwu.edu.
CJ Seitz has been hired as director of Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in downtown Bellingham.
“We’re excited to hire CJ to lead the SBDC,” said Steve Swan, Western’s vice president for University Relations and Community Development. “Her work was impressive while she served as interim director and she really set the tone for future success.”
Seitz was hired following an extensive search, and served as interim director after former director Jennifer Shelton moved to Seattle last winter to explore new opportunities.
“I’m honored to be able to continue our good efforts and to keep moving this organization forward,” said Seitz. “We have a talented staff and Western Washington University is a great place to work. I love being immersed in Whatcom County’s innovative business community and helping entrepreneurs to succeed.”
Seitz first worked as certified business advisor for the SBDC from 2005-2009, providing counseling to more than 300 businesses, with that effort generating more than $10 million in new investments and creating more than 300 jobs in Whatcom County.
Prior to rejoining the SBDC team, Seitz served as the Northwest Area director for the Employment Security Department (ESD), for Whatcom, Skagit, Island and San Juan counties. Serving for three years during the recent recession, Seitz was responsible for ESD’s service delivery in its Bellingham, Mount Vernon and Oak Harbor centers, serving the region’s job seekers and employers through the WorkSource system.
Seitz has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Western.
Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center is part of the most comprehensive small-business alliance in the U.S., with more than 1,000 active SBDC programs across the country. Western’s SBDC receives support from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Whatcom County, the Port of Bellingham, and the City of Bellingham.
Since 1983, Western’s Small Business Development Center has given back to the business community and helped to shape the economic future of Whatcom County by providing free, confidential advising, technical assistance, and research to business owners and managers in an effort to help businesses thrive.
For more information about the SBDC or its services, contact the center at (360) 778-1762.
Western Washington University has been selected to participate in the new Peace Corps Prep Program, which, with undergraduate coursework and community service opportunities, prepares students to work in international development.
“Western has been our number one university for mid-size schools for the last three years in a row, and has been in the top ten for mid-size schools for the last 10 years,” Nys said.
Each school designs its prep program to specifically replicate the Peace Corps’ approach.
A typical Peace Corps Prep Program consists of two years of coursework with a focus on international development, internship or volunteer experience related to Peace Corps’ project areas, and foreign-language study.
Schools are selected to join the program based on their demonstrated interest in promoting international learning and service opportunities to their students.
The Peace Corps Prep Program was established in 2007 to offer more targeted educational and skill-building opportunities to undergraduate students who have an interest to serve with the Peace Corps or within the international development and service communities.
After students complete the program, they gain knowledge and experience to make them more competitive Peace Corps applicants. All Peace Corps Prep graduates receive a signed certificate of completion from the Peace Corps.
For more information contact Stephanie Nys at (206) 239-6618 or visit http://www.peacecorps.gov/.
Since 1943, Western Washington University has been hosting the Marrowstone Music Festival, a comprehensive 2-week orchestra-training program. The festival, put on by the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, includes chamber music studies, master classes, private instruction and performances. This year, the festival takes place from July 26 to Aug. 9.
“The music students and faculty come from around the country and are always impressed by the natural surroundings,” said Eric Kean, senior viola instructor at Western. Kean also teaches viola and chamber music at the festival. He has been teaching at this festival since 2003.
Marrowstone is divided into three divisions for students. The pre-college division for students ages 14-18, the University division for students ages 18-25 and the fellowship program for advanced collegiate music students. Students accepted into the fellowship program receive a full scholarship to attend the festival.
Most of the day at Marrowstone is filled up with festival and concert orchestra rehearsals. At the end of each day, the faculty performs a chamber music concert.
This year Western music professors Grant Donnellan, Eric Kean, Francine Peterson and Jeffrey Gilliam will be teaching at the festival.
If you want to see a faculty chamber concert, the Marrowstone chamber orchestra or Marrowstone festival orchestras, there are a series of six concerts from July 30 – August 9. Here are the dates for the concerts:
- Thursday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Western’s Performing Arts Center, performance by the Faculty Chamber musicians.
- Saturday, August 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Western’s PAC, performance by Marrowstone Chamber Orchestra.
- Sunday, August 2 at 3 p.m. at the Mount Baker Theatre, performance by Marrowstone Festival Orchestras.
- Thursday, August 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Western’s PAC, performance by Faculty Chamber musicians.
- Saturday, August 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Western’s PAC, performance by Marrowstone Chamber Orchestra.
- Sunday, August 9 at 3 p.m. at the Mount Baker Theatre, performance by Marrowstone Festival Orchestras.
If you want to purchase tickets, or find out more information about the concerts you can visit marrowstone.org or call Western’s box office at (360) 650-6146.
Western Washington University’s Border Policy Research Institute is currently involved in a two-year research project examining the movement of freight across the Canadian-U.S. border at three crossings that serve the northern end of the I-5 corridor, including Pacific Highway, Lynden and Sumas.
The research project, which is a collaboration between Western and the Whatcom Council of Governments, involves Western students documenting the number and types of freight vehicles crossing the border, and then analyzing the compiled data.
“There’s not another place on the Canadian border where students do this kind of thing,” said David Davidson, interim director of the BPRI. “It’s very rare that a student group is allowed to do this.”
The data being gathered will be put into simulations that will assist planning at the border crossing; the information also will help to determine system improvements to expedite freight traffic across the border.
The two students who are gathering data this summer were hired by the BPRI and had to go through a vetting process with both U. S. and Canadian officials in order to be allowed to gather data at the border crossings. The second part of the study, which will take place next summer, will involve about eight Western students who will be stationed inside the inspection booths next to U.S. and Canadian customs agents.
The Whatcom Council of Governments assembled several funding partners to support this project, including the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Transport Canada. Both the BPRI and the Whatcom Council of Governments also are contributing funds.
Housed at Western Washington University, the Border Policy Research Institute is a multi-disciplinary institute that undertakes research that informs policy-makers on matters related to the Canada - U.S. border. Priority focus areas are trade and transportation, economics, environment, immigration, and border security. The University established the BPRI to further a mission of promoting research, academic programs, and public programming on critical policy issues affecting the Pacific Northwest. The BPRI works closely with academic programs at the University and collaborates with many public and private entities within the Pacific Northwest.
Western Washington University’s Board of Trustees this week approved Western’s 2015-2016 state-funded operating budget, which includes funding for Western’s new cybersecurity program at Olympic and Peninsula colleges.
The Washington State Legislature appropriated $1.5 million in its two-year biennial budget for the program, which will offer baccalaureate completion degrees in computer and information systems security.
The program will be based at WWU’s Western on the Peninsulasinstructional center at Olympic College-Poulsbo.
The rise of cyber-attacks coupled with a shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals is creating serious consequences for individuals, corporations and government agencies seeking to protect sensitive information. Nationally, cybersecurity jobs now account for 10 percent of all Information Technology (IT) jobs. Also, cybersecurity job postings have grown 74 percent nationally from 2007 to 2013. That growth rate is over two times faster than all IT jobs.
“As cyber threats continue, all organizations that maintain electronic records will need employees with the skills to keep the data safe from hackers. Cybersecurity is a program that Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula employers have requested and Western is pleased to serve the Peninsulas in this way,” said Candice Merrill, director, Western Washington University on the Peninsulas.
Western’s West Sound presence was established in cooperation with its partners, Olympic College and Peninsula College, to help address the higher education needs of the many place-bound residents throughout their respective service areas who would otherwise have very limited access to public four-year degree opportunities. The cybersecurity program will expand that access by enabling graduates of the Kitsap-Olympic region’s community colleges, Olympic College and Peninsula College, to complete Western’s BS in Computer and Information Systems Security (CISS) without relocating to Bellingham.
The benefit to completing the bachelor’s degree is that graduates will have the technical skills and education the vast majority of potential employers seek; specifically larger businesses and local, state and federal government positions. The CISS degree will prepare graduates for high-demand professional roles such as computer network security administrator, secure software development specialist, or digital forensic practitioner.
Western on the Peninsulas, at Olympic College Poulsbo, offers four-year degrees, continuing education courses, free educational lectures, local literature book groups, and youth programs.
Classes will begin during the 2016-2017 school year. For more information contact Kathy Johnson at the Western on the Peninsulas office at (360) 394-2733 or Western.Peninsulas@wwu.edu.
Western Washington University’s IDEA Institute, in partnership with the Ohio-based Innovation Engineering Institute, will host a five-day intensive Innovation College from Sept. 14 to 18 on Western’s Bellingham campus.
Designed for professionals in all industries as well as entrepreneurs and students, the course focuses on how to enable innovation in any organization by everyone, every day. Participants will learn a systematic approach to innovate, from brainstorming to product development to problem-solving within an organization.
Through five days of hands-on labs and more than 100 pre-work digital classes, the course will introduce students to the principles of innovation engineering and how to increase the speed of innovation and decrease risk through systems thinking.
Students will practice the creation, communication, and commercialization of meaningfully unique ideas, including work with patents, marketing messages and data mining for economic, social and cultural trends.
“[Innovation engineering] is about making innovation accessible and enabling all people within organizations to use these skills— making innovation not just in the realm of organizational gurus or a few senior leaders of a company,” said Denny Organ, a Western instructor who teaches innovation engineering courses.
An industry-tested field of study developed by the Eureka! Ranch and the Innovation Engineering Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, the innovation engineering movement consists of hundreds of practitioners in organizations globally and has curriculum offered in more than 20 universities in the U.S. and Canada.
For additional details regarding Innovation College at WWU, including registration information, or to receive a free consultation on how the program can make a positive impact on your organization, please visit www.wwu.edu/ee/conference/innovation.
Western’s IDEA Institute offers an entrepreneurship minor and is currently developing the Innovation Engineering series, a three-course university version of Innovation College. This fall, Western will offer the first course in the series, a 4-credit, quarter-long course titled “DSCI 397x: Innovation Engineering I: Create.” For more information on Western’s IDEA Institute, visit www.wwu.edu/idea.
Seth W.R. Brickey has been appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee to serve a one-year term as the student trustee at Western Washington University.
“Seth Brickey is an outstanding student leader who will provide a valuable perspective to the Board of Trustees,” Inslee said. “I appreciate his willingness to work on behalf of students to ensure they continue to receive the excellent education for which Western is so well known.”
Brickey, a junior at Western whose hometown is Juneau, Alaska, will serve as student trustee on Western’s Board of Trustees from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. He is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Geology.
“Western has been fortunate to have a strong tradition of student leaders serve on the Board of Trustees. With his impressive leadership experience and unique perspective on Western, Seth Brickey will be an excellent representative for students and a valuable addition to the Board,” said Western President Bruce Shepard.
As a trustee, Brickey will represent all the citizens of Washington, but also provide a student viewpoint that has proven to be invaluable to the Board.
“I am honored to be appointed to this position. I have been proud to be counted a member of the Western community, and hope that alongside the other distinguished trustees I might help to perpetuate Western Washington University’s legacy of academic excellence,” Brickey said.
At Western, Brickey has worked with Residence Life as a resident advisor. During the upcoming academic year he will serve as an assistant resident director with WWU Residence Life. In addition he has served as program director, Rainbow Glacier Camp; president, United Youth Courts of Alaska Board of Directors, and as a legislative intern for Alaska state Rep. Beth Kertula.
At Western, Brickey is a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society; an All Nations Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Scholar; recipient of the WWU Native American Academic and Leadership Scholarship, and 2012 WWU Marine Science Scholar. He has been a student leader with WWU Campus Christian Fellowship.
Western Washington University is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The results, released in The Chronicle’s eighth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of more than 43,500 faculty and staff at 278 colleges and universities. Only 92 institutions achieved the recognition for specific best practices and policies.
“We’re proud to once again be recognized among the best places to work in higher education. The credit for that goes directly to our outstanding faculty and staff, who share a deep dedication to serving our students and creating a caring and inclusive environment. Mutual respect and collaboration are defining aspects of our campus culture, so working at Western does feel like being a part of something bigger than oneself,” said Western President Bruce Shepard.
Western, which now has been recognized five years in a row, won honors in three categories:
- Collaborative governance
- Teaching Environment
- Tenure Clarity and Process
Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with Western Washington University included among the large universities with 10,000 or more students. The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.
“Western is a great place to work because of university employees’ dedication, professionalism and appreciation for the importance of providing the best campus possible for our students,” said Chyerl Wolfe-Lee, assistant vice president for Human Resources.
To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.
Great Colleges to Work For is one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country. For more information and to view all the results of the survey, visit The Chronicle’s Web site at http://chroniclegreatcolleges.com/.
In September, Hafþór Yngvason, director of the Reykjavik Art Museum in Iceland, will start as the director of Western Washington University's Western Gallery and Public Art Collection.
The Western Gallery director is the principal curator of the university's visual art collections, chief of which is the acclaimed Public Sculpture Collection, comprised of 36 outdoor and indoor sculptures created by internationally known artists. The university also has noted collections of 19th and 20th century prints and drawings, a chair collection and a recently acquired collection of works by Northwest artists.
Yngvason was attracted to the position at Western by the Public Sculpture Collection.
“This is without doubt one of the very best such collections in the United States,” he said, adding that he has always been interested in showing art in common places where “people experience the work as part of their daily life.”
Yngvason sees the Western Gallery and Public Sculpture Collection as important catalysts for stimulating interest in art in WWU students as well as residents and visitors to the region.
“The gallery program has not only to respond to the community, it has to engage the community,” he said of Western Gallery exhibitions.
Yngvason has curated several exhibitions and large-scale public projects at the Reykjavik Museum, including Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower in Viðey, Iceland. He has written extensively on art for U.S. national and regional publications, and edited several books, including Conservation and Maintenance of Contemporary Public Art (London: Archetype Publications Ltd., 2002). Before his appointment in Reykjavik, Ynvason served for 10 years as the director of public art at the Cambridge Arts Council in Cambridge, Mass.
“I think art on campus has other benefits by promoting understanding, creativity and critical thinking,” he said. “These are abilities that any educational institution is eager to develop in its students and art engages those abilities naturally.”
In 2010, Western received more than 175 works in various media by Northwest artists, a gift from Virginia Wright, Safeco Insurance, a member of the Liberty Mutual Group, and the Washington Art Consortium. Selections from this collection are on public view in the lobbies of the Performing Arts Center.
Previous longtime director Sarah Clark-Langager retired in August 2014, necessitating the search for a new director.
The gallery is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. For current exhibition information, visit westerngallery.wwu.edu or call 360-650-3963.