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* Strait gets added duties and title

McKinzie Strait is adding some responsibilities to her plate as Shoreline Community College takes sharper aim at resource development

McKinzieStrait.jpgSince joining the college a year ago as Executive Associate to the President for External Affairs, Strait has developed and implemented political engagement strategies with federal, state and local elected officials as well as other key government officials and policymakers. Her government-relations background came as legislative assistant to State Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-32nd Dist., and as a policy intern for State Reps. Kevin Parker, Jeannie Darneille and Marko Liias.

Starting Aug. 1, Strait is adding the words “and Resource Development” to her title and will take on a new role with the Shoreline Community College Foundation, supervising Foundation staff and supporting the Foundation board.

“McKinzie brings a tremendous amount of energy to our resource-development efforts,” Interim President Daryl Campbell said. “I’m excited for this opportunity to tap into that energy.”

Strait will join Lynn Yaw in the Foundation-office area and Yaw will now report to Strait. Strait will report to Ann Garnsey-Harter, recently appointed as Interim Executive Director for the Virtual College and Resource Development. Joining Strait in reporting to Garnsey-Harter is Brandon Rogers, Special Assistant to the President for Grants and Contracts.

“This gives us some alignment around resource development,” Campbell said. “The Foundation board recently elected Mark McVeety as its president. Mark and I have met around how the college and Foundation can develop a more collaborative relationship. With the drive that Mark, Ann, Brandon and McKinzie have, and coordinating with Jim Hills’ efforts and his staff in the Public Information Office, I am very excited about the possibilities.”

Strait said she’s looking forward to the new role. “Resource development is a critical need for the college and I’m excited to be a part of that,” she said. “At the same time, I’ll continue to do the government relations work that I also love.”


* Wagner is new Director of Student Life

Wagner mug WEB.jpgJames R. Wagner, Jr. is all about helping college students; helping them deal with living away from home for perhaps the first time, helping them find co-curricular activities that enhance and broaden the college experience and even helping find themselves during a time of discovery and growth.

Over the past nine years, Wagner has served students at Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, the University of Idaho and now, Shoreline Community College students are about benefit from all those experiences.

“I really wanted to come to the community college environment,” said the Tacoma native who takes over as Director of Student Life on May 22, 2013. “The students at a community college are much more diverse and have a variety of goals. That sort of environment inspires me.”

Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs James Jansen said Wagner’s diverse experience is the right match for the environment at Shoreline.

“He has worked in student-activities and residential-life positions,” Jansen said. “He has supervised staff and students, developed programming, managed budgets and worked closely with faculty.”

At Shoreline, Wagner will provide staff oversight for student governance and student engagement activities. He will report to Associate Dean of Student Services Kim Thompson, who reports to Jansen.

Wagner is coming from a position at the University of Idaho as coordinator of housing and summer conferences. Before that, he was assistant director of student activities at Eastern and was a residence hall coordinator at Central.

“While I want to get back into student activities, the planed housing project at Shoreline is also very exciting to me,” Wagner said. “I do have a lot of experience in residential life, here at Idaho, when I was at Central and when I was at Washington State University, I was (a residential advisor) at International House.”

Wagner earned a BA in Sociology at Washington State University in 2002, an MS in Family and Consumer Sciences at Central Washington University and is working toward a doctorate in Organizational Learning and Leadership at the University of Idaho.

SCC/Jim Hills

* Blacksmith back as safety & security director

If the new Director of Safety and Security at Shoreline Community College has a familiar name that's because it belongs to the previous director: Robin Blacksmith.

“I’m excited to return to Shoreline Community College,” Blacksmith said. “The work here is important and I have missed the community; the faculty, staff and students.”

Blacksmith came to the college in September, 2008, following a 21-year career as a crime prevention and community service officer with the Everett and Edmonds police departments. She has also been an instructor at the Criminal Justice/Police Training Center on security methods and personal safety.

Blacksmith left in September, 2012, for a regional security position with a large financial institution, but decided to come back to the work she has loved for two decades.

“We’re very fortunate that Robin’s availability coincided with our failed search for her replacement,” Vice President for Administrative Services Daryl Campbell said. “I want to thank Sgt. Edwin Lucero for the fantastic job he has done as interim director and I’m happy to have both he and Robin working together to make our campus a safer place to learn and work.”

During her first tour of duty, Blacksmith was responsible for a host safety and security related initiatives, including:

  • Establishing an Emergency Management Response Plan that was adopted by the Board of Trustees in January 2012.
  • Bringing the college into compliance with the federal Clery Act on crime reporting.
  • Working with Shoreline Police and the King County Sheriff’s Office to host emergency-situation training on campus.
  • Mapping the campus and the interiors of all buildings in a manner that is available to emergency responders.
  • Establishing and posting campus evacuation routes.
  • Working closely with Student Services on the Behavioral Intervention Team.

“Robin did a lot of great work on campus,” Campbell said. “In light of our recent experience with a campus lockdown, I’m looking forward to having her pick up right where she left off.”

Blacksmith’s first day back on campus will be March 4.

SCC/Jim Hills

* SCC student carries Olympic torch in South Korea

Andy running.jpg

Andy Bryant (center) carries the Special Olympics torch in South Korea Jan. 23, 2013.

Showing the Olympic spirit has become something of a habit for Shoreline Community College student Andy Bryant.

Andy Bryant flame.jpg

Flame on

For more information about Andy Bryant, the Torch Run and to follow the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games:

Bryant is one of 10 International Special Olympic Athletes chosen to travel to South Korea to carry the Flame of Hope throughout the country prior to the Jan. 29 opening of the 2013 World Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Bryant will be accompanied by nine law-enforcement officers from all over the world as he runs in what has become known as the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg.
Bryant is a student in Community Integration and Employment Program, a specially funded program of the Office of Special Services at Shoreline Community College. CIEP provides wrap around services to help student job-seekers explore individualized career paths, build skills for the world of work and transition to and retain employment.
On his journey to Korea, Bryant will be accompanied by Officer Patty Finch from the Centralia Police Department. For the past 31 years, law enforcement personnel have partnered with and sponsored Special Olympics at the local, national and international level.  At this event, there will be 95 international law enforcement officers running the final leg in different teams along with the Special Olympians.
The Flame of Hope Final Leg Teams will visit 40 cities and towns across South Korea as they make their way to Pyeongchang for the opening ceremonies. To promote awareness along the way, Bryant has four speaking engagements, including one in Seoul City Hall Square. Bryant and the other runners will bring the flame into the stadium to officially start the 2013 Winter Special Olympics. 
Bryant is no stranger to the Olympics or running.
In 2002, Bryant ran the torch for the opening of the Winter Olympics in Utah. He is a regular competitor in the Washington State Special Olympics and is unbeatable in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter events. Bryant has completed numerous half- and full marathons and run the Boston Marathon three times. In his first attempt in 2007 he ran 3:06:00 finishing in the top 6 percent.  Since then, Bryant has dropped his marathon time to under three hours.
As for competing in South Korea, the 30-yearold Bryant will stick to torch running, even though he does compete in skiing events here in Washington.

* Founding faculty member Margaret Svec dies
Margaret Svec was a pioneer for women in higher education and one ofMargaret Svec 004.jpg the founding instructors at Shoreline Community College.

Svec died in her sleep late Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, according to her friend and neighbor Nancy Katz. Born April 10, 1913, Svec was 99 years old. Katz said plans to celebrate Svec’s life are pending.

As a young girl, Svec was living with relatives and her widowed mother and dismissed the thought of attending college.  “Not many women had the opportunity to go to college during those times,” she said during an interview in 2010. But her teachers in Des Moines, Iowa, encouraged Svec to apply for scholarships. 

“My high school teachers kept telling me I had to go to college,” she recalled.  “They believed in me and never stopped encouraging me to get a college degree.”

Svec enjoyed writing poetry and in 1931, won a national high school competition that included a full scholarship to Drake University. At that time only two years of college were required to teach so Svec went to work in Newton, Iowa, teaching elementary-school science. 

Her mother remarried and Svec followed them to Seattle. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Washington, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and went on to earn her master’s degree in English at the UW. 

Degrees in hand, Svec wanted to head back to the classroom, this time, a college classroom. At a time when women were not commonly hired as college professors, Svec wrote to Drake’s president and landed a spot teaching freshman English

“The president of Drake University carried one of my poems in his wallet for years,” Svec said. Later, she won a poetry contest at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair and dedicated the award to the president of the university.

In 1941, Svec came out West again for a teaching position at Everett Junior College, where she taught English for 15 years as one of the original faculty.

 “All the men had gone to war, so there were positions open for women,” she said. “Year after year, I saw students succeed who might never have been able to enter or complete an education beyond high school, as they obtained an education equal and often, superior, to that in a more prestigious institution.”

In 1944, she married Jerry Svec.  “I went from Peck to Svec,” she said, adding that they made their home in north Seattle. In the mid-1950s, the 60-hour weeks were taking a toll and she left Everett to have more time at home with her husband.  She continued to teach part-time at the University of Washington before landing a full-time job in 1964 at the then-new Shoreline Community College.

Svec was thrilled to be teaching what she loved and inspiring women to complete their education.

“It was really wonderful,” she said, recalling her favorite lecture, “Racism, Sexism, Ageism and the Unholy Trinity.”  In the mid 1970s, Svec helped establish a women’s center at Shoreline.  The center was opened in 1978 just before she retired.

“I never forgot my struggles trying to get an education,” she said. “My commitment to both the community college concept and the progress of women through the Women’s Center occupied the rest of my life.” 

Although not happy about retiring at age 65, Svec found a way to continue inspiring women to get advanced degrees.  Over the years, she supported the Women’s Center by giving over 100 lectures on women’s issues and serving as mentor advocate, donor and advisory committee member.

Svec was honored at a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Center in 2003.  Barely visible behind the microphone, the diminutive Svec brought smiles to the more than 100 people there to applaud her work.  The director of the center provided copies of one of Svec’s lectures, “The Making of a Friendship, Why Women Are So Good at It,” written in celebration of Women’s History Month in 1988.

The Shoreline Community College Foundation established The Margaret Svec Endowed Scholarship to help women pursuing transfer and professional technical degrees or certificates. While a number of students have received financial support from the scholarship, hundreds more have benefited from her classroom lectures or friendly conversations.

“I now hope that, as one dedicated person, in a small way I can make a big difference in the lives of women who will benefit from the quality education they will receive at Shoreline,” she said. 

Ritva Manchester, Foundation manager, said earlier this year: “Margaret never forgot Shoreline Community College and our students. She has always been a dear friend to the college. The Margaret Svec Scholarship has provided generously for many women students pursuing transfer and professional-technical degrees.”

Also earlier this year, Lynette Peters, Women’s Center program manager, visited Svec at her home.

“She looked me straight in the eye and emphasized once again how thankful she was for all of her friends,” Peters said. “Her friends and the study of friendship was her passion.”

SCC/Donna Myers, Ritva Manchester, Lynette Peters, Jim Hills