Pierce Pioneer

Serendipitous By Design

Veronica Lu / Staff Photographer
Dino-Slofer sharing his words of wisdom on how he got his business started thanks to his experience at Pierce.

Daniel Dino-Slofer, a Pierce College alumni and successful business owner, shares words of wisdom to share with equally aspiring students.

Many college students simply want to collect their degree, and find a comfortable job with reliable pay. But 32-year-old Dino-Slofer, who graduated from Pierce College in the Spring of 2019, went above and beyond the expectations set by the surrounding culture, and now runs his own successful company.

Being a student at Pierce College, Dino-Slofer never thought of himself as the entrepreneur type. “I never imagined I would get very far after graduating, in terms of being my own boss or doing something that I set my mind to,” he said. “I always thought that I would just get a job right out of college and work for someone else.”

Despite his concerns, Dino-Slofer went down a different path. Although much of what Dino-Slofer has accomplished was organized after he graduated, his journey through college was quite unique, if not also hindered by unfortunate technical difficulties. 

Dino-Slofer was on the verge of obtaining his degree in media design and production when his program got cancelled. After spending three years as a student at Clover Park Technical College  he was forced to either choose a different program at the school or complete his degree somewhere else. Dino-Slofer decided to finish his program at Pierce College. 

“I made a choice to come to Pierce,” he said. “And not only did I complete my degree, I decided to go on to get my certificate in social media marketing and project management.” Dino-Slofer attributes his success to this transfer to Pierce, saying that it was his experiences, the support and quality in the courses that he took which led him to start his own small business.

Dino-Slofer now runs Lucent Designs, a freelance photography and digital design company. The staff consists of Dino-Slofer himself, and two co-workers, Akari Nori and Andera Bautista. Dino-Slofer states that each team member is proficient in different categories of photography. “I specialize in landscape photography. Akari, she specializes in portraits, and Andrea she specializes in urban photography.”

While Dino-Slofer lives here in the Pacific Northwest, Nori and Bautista currently reside in Canada and Japan, respectively. This gives the company very different perspectives, and much variety in content between the three locations.

Dino-Slofer’s inspirational, outgoing personality has not gone unnoticed by his fellow students either. “(Daniel is) always in the background, taking pictures, and he’s usually doing it on campus. Chances are if there’s any event going on, he’s covering it.” said an friend of Daniels, who. 

Yet another friend, Ren, who wished his last name to be undisclosed, has known Daniel since he first started attending Pierce College. “He was very outgoing when I initially met him, and that still hasn’t changed.” said Ren.

Dino-Slofer’s innovation and success can speak to many young minds, and be an encouraging light when it seems that students dreams may never come to fruition. Dino-Slofer offers some words of encouragement to current and future students who wish to become entrepreneurs like himself. 

“Whatever your dream, whatever your goal is, go for it, even if you don’t entirely have a complete plan in your mind. Take the first steps, get things started. Seek out the information you need to start your own business, your own freelance or whatever thing you want to start, and as you get better at it, it’ll come naturally.”

Off the record

Business Professor Gerhardt wants his students to connect through talking stick

Professor and Business Department Coordinator Paul Gerhardt wants the students in his classes to see and appreciate the wisdom of Native Americans.

He is a creative professor who brings a Native American talking stick into his human relations class to recognize indigenous cultures, which are often ignored or overlooked.

He said before starting a class activity, in Native American culture, whoever is holding the stick will be able to talk, and others are to show respect and listen.

Gerhardt walked around the room with the talking stick, asked a question and one person at a time would answer. Whoever was to answer that question had to first repeat what has been said by the person before them and state their own answer.

This might seem like an unusual class activity, but it created an atmosphere where students began to make connections, talking out feelings to strangers and soon-to-be classmates and friends.

Gerhardt uses creative ways to connect with his class, showing his understanding that people have different personalities and learning styles.

“Meet people where they are at,” said Gerhardt.

He said he was a community college student himself, so he understands the challenges his students face. Gerhardt said he tries to be a resource for the success of his students and works hard in the classroom to make their educational experiences exciting and meaningful.

Curt Warmington, English professor at Pierce College, teaches in the classroom next to Gerhardt.

“I hear a lot of laughter and passionate dialogue coming from his classes. His classes have a lot of great energy and make great use of experiential learning,” Warmington said.

Gerhardt invites guest speakers to share inspiring message, such as Pierce alumni Greg Marks, to speak about hope and attitudes for success. Other repeat guests include Choi Halladay, vice president of Administrative Services, who spoke about ethics and Chancellor Michele Johnson, who shared the importance of teambuilding through stories of success at Pierce Community College.

His passion for student success is present every day. 

“I want to make sure that each of you has the tools and the information  to be successful,” Gerhardt said, encouraging his students at the end of class.

New Business and Marketing Certification draws variety of Students

Online courses emphasize relevant social media, networking, and marketing skills

The Business Department knows that many college students have extremely busy lives outside of school. To provide flexibility for students wanting to build and enhance skills that they can implement in their workplace immediately, a new online-only program is being offered.

The new Business and Marketing Certification provides unique opportunities for a variety of students on campus.  For example, business entrepreneurs and owners who don’t have a lot of extra time to do the traditional classes are able to work around their busy schedules. The classes give them important networking and social media tools, enabling them to develop their companies further.

The certification was designed to allow students to complete the work at their convenience.  The program has a total of 39 credits, which are split up into 13 credits over three quarters.  In just under a year, students can develop additional skills that will help them toward their business degrees and can be applied to businesses that they currently own.

Students who are in specific career-driven programs, such as the Digital Design Program, can also benefit from the certification.  The courses will give students in-depth information on business, marketing and social media skills that are not covered in other programs. Many businesses today expect employees to have these skills.  

Professor Taryn Givenchy teaches the program. She has previously worked for several newspapers, was the director for a large non-profit in Seattle, and has built up her own personal company by implementing her social media and marketing skills. 

Interpreting for the world market

Translation is more than just word;it’s also about knowing cultures

Tamara Kelly
Staff Writer 

Written translation is a 15 billion dollar business and interpreter’s jobs have reached the double digits, in spite of the current recession. While some jobs are being outsourced and eliminated, Translators are a booming industry.

Natalie Kelly, author of ‘Found in Translation’ has made interpreting her life’s work.  Kelly who is also Chief Research Officer for Common Sense Advisory spoke about the industry to the new students pursing a carrier in translation.

Kelly’s main point was that as translators, they need to remember they’re “Working with people and serving people.” As an interpreter there is more to the job than just translating from one language to another. It’s also about knowing what fluctuations need to be addressed in translating and some of the cultural issues that don’t translate well.

One example of this is how the number 13 is unlucky in America, but the No. 4 is unlucky in some Asian cultures.  As a translator knowing simple faux pas like this can make the difference between being employed and being asked back again.

Companies all around the world mainly use translators in two ways. Written translation and onsite interprets. Written translation makes up about $15 billion of the market, while $5 billion of it is onsite interpretation.

“Of those [world wide] companies only about 29% is located in North America and Canada. Europe is the biggest market ­– the biggest percentage of the market.” Said Kelly.

“English is becoming less important each year in terms of the overall content that is on the web.” Kelly went on to explain, most companies need at least 12 languages in order to reach 80% of the population on line.

“Companies like Coke-Cola, Chevrolet, and other local companies are starting to realize they need to have websites in several other languages in order to reach their market.” Said Kelly, “Companies can easily have their sites translated and get their products and services sold to them.”

Another market that is opening up for interpreters is something called Trans creation. This is when a translator creates a word that isn’t available in another language. Computers have not been able to do this task, making it something that relies on people to do.

As the needs of companies go global so do the skills of their employees. Making the demand for translators and interpreters a fixed necessity for an expanding business.

Leave a Comment