Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Afternoon High School welding class kicks it up a notch

Students in the Afternoon High School
welding class constructed
the barbecue as a class project.
High School Principal Peter Hauschka reports the Afternoon High School welding class banded together to build and craft a barbecue.

"Seeing that he was working with a group of all high school students, Rick Houston [welding instructor] thought it would be a good idea to incorporate some project-based learning into his regular welding instruction," said Peter, "so he decided to have the students use their developing skills to weld and fabricate all of the parts to build the large barbecue. It would help connect the students in a real way to the craft of welding," he said. "It also gave them something they can all be proud of."

The hand-crafted barbecue is being put to good use, reports Peter. Students have conducted an initial "field test," smoking fish and pork, using cherry wood left over from a tree pruning job. The Afternoon High School students celebrated last Friday and used the new barbecue to cook dinner.

Kudos to Rick Huston and his students for a job well done.

Exploring the current state of technology

On Thursday, Jan. 21, students in the Information Technology career cluster engaged in a round-table discussion with advisory committee members and learned how they entered the profession, the necessary skills employers are looking for in employees, and the techniques needed to launch a successful career in IT.

The students were treated to an exceptional and uplifting informational session," said Emmett Peterson, information technologist instructor, who, along with others in the department, coordinated the event.

During the session, students discussed a variety of topics related to job search, necessary skill sets, the importance of internships, volunteering and the value of interpersonal and soft skills in the workplace, said Peterson.

"Students came away with a positive and excited attitude ready to hit the ground running and succeed in their chosen field," he said.

Way to go!

Urstad says thank you to Bates family

"The celebratory retirement party was a highlight of my days at Bates. Thanks to all of you who attended the party. To have so many of my Bates friends in attendance made the party very special to me.

Thanks to those who planned and set up the party. Thanks to those very nice people who said very nice things about me. Thanks for the wonderful presents and thanks to those who attended the party. I’m proud to have worked at Bates for almost 25 years." - Karen Urstad

Congratulations, Karen! You will be missed!

Employee social celebrates the new year, staff and faculty

Click to enlarge.

Informational Bulletin: Pertussis

From the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.
Recently, several school-aged children in Tacoma have been diagnosed with whooping cough (pertussis). In an effort to control the spread of this disease, we would like to bring your attention to the issue and ask you to be aware if symptoms of this disease occur in your child.

• May start like common cold, including runny nose, low-grade fever and mild cough
• Then severe coughing that often leads to vomiting and/or fits of coughing
• May or may not be a “whooping” sound when inhaling after coughing

Seek Medical Care:
• Anyone with a cough that lasts more than two weeks or with severe uncontrollable coughing followed by vomiting
• If you suspect that your child or anyone in your family might have whooping cough

• Immunization is the best protection against whooping cough
• Included in the DtaP and DTP vaccine
• Children less than 7 years of age should get five does of this vaccine at ages 2, 4, 6 and 15–18 months, and at age 4–6 years
• A booster for adolescents (Tdap) is recommended at age 10–11 years
• Vaccination is about 80%–85% effective
• Adults should receive a booster vaccination (Tdap) to help protect against pertussis (especially adults who have contact with infants)

Thank you for your attention to this matter and for your help in keeping Pierce County residents healthy. Should you have questions or would like further information about whooping cough, contact Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department at 253.798.6410.

Classroom on the World: South Africa

Archbishop Desmond Tutu will
speak at the Tacoma Dome on
Friday, May 13, 2011.
On Tuesday, Feb. 8, you're invited to participate in the World Affairs Council's Classroom on the World series, South Africa: Transition to Democracy through Reconciliation. A perfect way to help prepare for Archbishop Desmond Tutu's event at the Tacoma Dome on May 13, this program is designed to provide teachers with a background of apartheid and materials to use in the classroom. Presenters will also discuss the role Archbishop Tutu played in mediating South Africa's transition to democracy and modeling what a vibrant, peaceful community should look like.

The program begins at 4 p.m., with registration beginning at 3:15 p.m. at the college's Downtown Campus Auditorium. The cost is $20, which includes three clock hours, teaching resources, and a buffet dinner.

To register or for more details, click here.

Benefits Bulletin

Did you know the employee portion of the Social Security Tax will decrease from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for all of 2011? This provides a great opportunity for you to increase your Deferred Compensation Program (DCP) deferral amount by 2 percent. Even better, your take home pay may still increase since there is no tax withheld on your deferral amount.

Need to know more about Washington State’s Deferred Compensation Program? The DCP Overview provides a quick summary.

If you are not currently participating, remember that everyone has good intentions about saving for retirement but life can get in the way sometimes. For just $30 a month, you can start saving for your future and reduce your taxable income. All you have to do is complete the Participation Agreement form.

Want to know more? Check out the Enrollment Booklet and Investment Guide on the publications page.

Discover The Smart, Easy way to Save with the Deferred Compensation Program.

Interested in Weight Watchers Points Plus program on campus?

Click to enlarge.
Thinking about losing weight? An overhaul of Weight Watchers' point system gave birth to a new program called Points Plus. This program takes into account a food’s protein, carbohydrates, fat and fiber. It also considers how the body processes food.

If you're interested in participating with a group at Bates, contact Robin Stanton, x7009. If there are enough participants, the group will set their meetings based on participant preferences for the following options:

Option One: 12 week program
  • Requires at least 15 paying members
  • $144 for the 12 weeks and they are willing to split it into three payments
  • Includes 14 weeks of e-tools (tracking and motivational tools, recipes)
Click to enlarge.
Option Two: 17 week program:
  • Requires at least 20 paying members
  • $186 for 12 weeks (again, can make payments)
  • Includes 19 weeks of e-tools