Phins up, all in! Faculty/staff kick off fall quarter

Shoreline Community College employees show “‘phins up” during convocation in the theater, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015.

Shoreline Community College employees show “‘phins up” during convocation in the theater, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015.

More than 300 Shoreline Community College employees participated in the first all-day

convocation to kick off the 2015-16 academic year.

The day started bright and early at 8 a.m. in the college theater with welcoming comments from Board of Trustees Chair Catherine D’Ambrosio, followed by a heartfelt message from Associated Student Government President Ashley Cowan.

Then, President Cheryl Roberts came to the stage and drew a figurative line around the work that has gone over the past year, what is coming for this new academic year and the common theme that ties it all together.

“Student success; being world class at student success is at the core of what we do,” Roberts told the capacity crowd of faculty members, classified employees and administrative exempt staff members.

At the theater, nearly 50 new employees hired over the past year walked on stage and were introduced. One of the highlights of the annual fall event is the announcement of employee honors, including: Administrator of the Year, Classified Star of the Year and the Faculty Excellence Award.

Administrator of the Year for 2015 is Mariko Kakiuchi, Director of High School Programs and Youth Re-engagement.  Classified Star of the Year for 2015 is Barb Kristek, Secretary Supervisor in the Humanities Division. The Faculty Excellence Award went to Shana Calaway, a faculty member in the Mathematics Department.

The crowd then moved to the gymnasium where they broke into 20 groups and led in an exercise by consultant Tom Mesaros as part of the ongoing strategic planning process. The groups reviewed draft strategic goals and gave input that will be used as the process works toward eventual adoption, likely in January.

As the exercise wrapped up, the more than 300 employees were on the move again, this time to the PUB Main Dining Room for lunch. During the meal, President Roberts reviewed what has come to be known as the campus refresh, a series of projects with some being done now and some that will drape across the next several years. The work is all designed to update the learning- and casual-space environments to enhance learning.

“We have a beautiful, inviting campus,” Roberts said. “These projects will help make the interiors of our buildings beautiful and inviting, too.”

Roberts also touched on the work around creating a community standard statement. During the past year, several instances of defacing posters for the Muslim Student Association and the Queer Film Festival occurred on campus. The defacements brought a swift response from Roberts and the campus community. Roberts formed a committee to develop “language that captures our values and clearly states what we mean by a respectful, inclusive community of learners …”

An online survey to review the draft statement and give feedback is available now through Oct. 9. A finalized statement is expected later during fall quarter.

Rachel Evans from the Public Information Office rounded out the lunch program with a primer on tweeting, hashtags and how to use Twitter to engage with others about the event. Evans said #OW15 is being used for tweets related to opening week and convocation.

After lunch, Bayta Maring, Director of Institutional Assessment, took the room on a deep dive into the data that illustrates why some Shoreline students reach their academic goals and other do not. The final session of the day was a presentation by Neil Peterson and Tim Kniffen from the Edge Foundation on method of coaching or interacting with students and others that can help bring more positive outcomes.

Roberts said she was thrilled with how the day unfolded.

“I’m just so heartened by the response and engagement that everyone gave to this day, which was our first attempt at this,” Roberts said. “I think today truly illustrated just how committed all of the employees here at Shoreline are to the success of our students.”

Opening Week 2015 continues through Tuesday, Sept, 22. For details on upcoming opening week events, go to

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