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* McKinzie Strait in new external affairs position

While Shoreline Community College now gets less than half of its budget from the state of Washington, each one of those dollars is critically important to the mission of serving students. To help ensure the college has a strong voice with those holding the government’s purse strings, Shoreline has hired someone experienced in legislative matters, McKinzie Strait.

McKinzieStrait.jpg“I’m excited to bring McKinzie’s skills here to help Shoreline meet the needs of our students,” Shoreline President Lee Lambert said. “Legislators are going to continue to face some very tough decisions. We need to have a consistent presence with those decisionmakers.”

With the title of Executive Associate to the President for External Affairs, Strait will develop and implement political engagement strategies with federal, state and local elected officials as well as other key government officials and policymakers. Strait comes to the college from the office of State Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-32nd Dist., where she served as legislative assistant. She was also a policy intern for State Reps. Kevin Parker, Jeannie Darneille and Marko Liias.  A University of Washington graduate in Political Science, Strait also worked at the public relations firms of Waggener Edstrom, serving as account coordinator on the Microsoft Business Division team.

“Community colleges play a key role in our society. Shoreline is demonstrating thought leadership in higher education and I’m excited to join that effort,” said Strait, who will serve on the President’s Senior Executive Team (PSET).

Lambert said Strait will spend much of her time focused on the Legislature.

“The state budget keeps getting tighter, true, but it is still a huge part of our funding and we need to fight for it,” Lambert said. “In addition, we need to look at the regulatory environment for options that can help us be more effective with the state money we do get. As we’ve seen in recent years, lawmakers have little wiggle room on budget, but they can help us serve students in other ways.”

Lambert said there is more to the appointment than just having someone to prowl the halls in Olympia.

“The state has limited resources so we need to look other places for help; we can’t just put it all on students’ tuition,” Lambert said.  “While the federal budget is tight, too, there are grants available. We have strong, competitive programs here at Shoreline and we need start making our case for those grants. In addition, there are significant dollars available from private foundations. We have been successful in getting some of those and we need to expand those efforts.”

To that end, Strait and Brandon Rogers, Special Assistant to the President for Grants and Contracts, will work closely together, Lambert said.

“To be successful with many of these grants, both federal and private, you need a great grant writer plus you need someone who is working with those funding agencies and groups to understand their goals and help tell our story,” Lambert said. “Brandon is a terrific grants-and-contracts writer and now we’ve got McKinzie to help with that effort.”

Lambert said that bringing Strait and Rogers to Shoreline is part of a conscious effort to help the college now and in the future. “Conditions are changing and changing fast,” he said. “We are adapting to those changes.”

* Garnsey-Harter to head virtual college

The Shoreline Virtual College is now under the direction of the person who co-chaired the effort that brought the initiative into existence.

AnnAtDesk.jpgAnn Garnsey-Harter, Ph.D, has been named Director of the Virtual College and eLearning Services for Shoreline Community College.


“Shoreline is fortunate to have a person of Ann’s experience, expertise and energy leading this key initiative for the college,” Daryl Campbell, Vice President for Administrative Services, said on Monday, July 16, 2012 in making the announcement.


For the past 15 years Garnsey-Harter, has focused her career on online education. She’s held positions at Washington State University, the University of Idaho, Edmonds Community College, North Idaho College and Shoreline Community College. She has worked in all facets of online education, including teaching, instructional design, in-depth system administration and program management.


“I believe Shoreline is headed in the right direction in using technology to increase access to higher education,” said Garnsey-Harter, who holds master’s and doctoral degrees in English from Washington State University. “I’m very excited to be part of bringing high quality education and training to more people.”


Garnsey-Harter has been Shoreline’s Director of eLearning for the past three years. The department is responsible for coordinating online, hybrid, and web-enhanced courses. More than 80 percent of all Shoreline students take a class that includes some online component. Garnsey-Harter and the eLearning department administer the technology that forms the foundation of online education at Shoreline, including the Blackboard learning management system, Blackboard’s Collaborate web conferencing system and lecture-capture software called Tegrity.


Under Garnsey-Harter, Shoreline has become a recognized statewide leader in online education.


“We were the first in the state to use Blackboard’s Mobile platform and we’re the third heaviest user of Tegrity in our community and technical college system,” said Garnsey-Harter. She presented on the success at a national webinar this past fall, was given at the Faculty Champion Award at the national Tegrity User Conference this past spring and just presented at the Blackboard  World 2012 conference this past week.


Garnsey-Harter also chairs the statewide eLearning Council, where she focused on how to comply with state and federal regulations around serving out-of-state online students. 


“Shoreline is one of the few colleges in the system that has made significant progress on this issue, gaining approvals to serve students in 34 states,” Garnsey-Harter said. “The college now serves as a resource to others in our state on this topic.”


The virtual college concept was launched by President Lee Lambert in the fall of 2010. Lambert appointed a Virtual College Leadership Team that included Garnsey-Harter as co-chair and produced a blueprint document for how the college could move forward. Since then, Garnsey-Harter has co-chaired the implementation team for the blueprint’s recommendations.


“I have spent the past 15 years dedicated to increasing access to quality education using innovative educational practices and leading-edge technology tools and services,” Garnsey-Harter said. “Now, we’re getting a chance to take the next step in serving students.”


President Lambert said he’s pleased with the appointment.


“Ann has great interpersonal and organizational skills that she uses in a highly collaborative style,” Lambert said.  “She’s been co-chair of the team that made Shoreline the first community college in the state to have a mobile app. That app has now been downloaded nearly 3,000 times in more than 20 countries.


“Ann is the right person to be at the helm of this key strategic initiative and to move it and the college forward.”

SCC/Jim Hills