Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Microsoft Me: Information Technology students tour Microsoft campus

Last month, a group of lucky students were treated to a rare tour of the Microsoft campus in Redmond.

Information Technology Specialist Instructor Emmett Peterson accompanied his students and students in the Computer Networking Systems Technician class as they spent a long and exciting day touring various test labs and state-of-the-art data centers, which house thousands of servers and hundreds of thousands of virtual servers.

Following the tour, the group participated in an invaluable question and answer session with Vince Wanamaker, chief system administrator, and his team of the Windows Embedded test lab division.

Student Ashley Landron noted that she enjoyed talking to the Microsoft technicians. "It showed me that as long as you put your mind to something, anything can happen."

During the tour, students learned about the education, skills and certifications they need to become successful in the information technology field. The students were thankful for the opportunity to tour Microsoft's headquarters, Emmet remarked. "They commented on how much they learned during their time at Microsoft, and they even received some cool Microsoft gifts," he said.

"I found the tour to be absolutely fascinating," said student Clarence Hollins. "It rekindled my passion for the IT field. In addition to getting an opportunity to view some of Microsoft’s facilities, we were privileged to receive first-hand instruction from a manager and his team. Their insights about thinking and working outside of the box were priceless," said Clarence.

Information Technology students tour Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Wash.

Dental Assisting students host Dental Day in the clinic

Six dentists, three instructors, donated supplies, and a class of eager students. That's all it took to help make a difference in the lives of more than 53 people who couldn't afford dental care.

On Friday, Dec. 2, the Dental Assisting career education program, in tandem with Pierce County Dental Society, organized Bates Dental Day, a follow-up to Project Homeless Connect, an annual event that provides on-site services like dental care, to those in need.

"At Project Homeless Connect, about 400 people are screened, but only a fraction of those that need dental care get to be seen due to the lack of dental chairs," said Dental Assisting instructor Patty Reno, who noted there were just three dental vans present at Project Homeless Connect, with each having only two dental chairs.

The students, dentists and instructors performed extractions and fillings. The dentists volunteered their time, and longtime local dental supply company, Burkhart Dental Supply, donated all of the supplies used at the event.

“Especially during this time of year, and because of the economy, people are seeing a change in their medical and dental coverage. There have been efforts cropping up across the state to fill the gap, but there is an unmet need,” Bates' dentist Dr. Abbie Hage said in December about what motivated the Dental Assisting program to hold Bates Dental Day.

"Our students received a great community service experience and real-life chairside experience with multiple local dentists," said Patty. "They were also exposed to working with dental x-rays, practiced with sterilized instruments, and were back-up assistants to the chairside dentists," she said. "It was a busy and rewarding day!"

Special thanks goes to instructors Patty, Teri Amundsen and Flossie Hollie for their significant contribution to make sure this day was a success for all involved. "They all worked extra hours to organize, set up, support the Dental Assisting students in chairsiding with various doctors, and even assist the doctors themselves," said Dr. Hage.

Way to go, Dental Assisting career education program!

Community meeting will address MLK neighborhood's future

Shared from Forward Tacoma:

The City is developing Subarea Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Martin Luther King Jr. neighborhood (MLK). The MLK neighborhood on Tacoma’s Hilltop is well positioned for economic revitalization and densification and is one of the City’s 16 mixed-use centers that are identified in the City’s Code as Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) receiving areas.

On Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012, from 5 - 7 p.m. at the Evergreen State Community College, Tacoma Campus, Lyceum Room (1210 6th Ave.), the City will host a community meeting to discuss the Subarea Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

For more information about the project, visit