Pierce Pioneer

Run, walk Sept. 23 to help support local vets, homeless, food banks

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On Sept.  23, the Washington State Trail Running Club is hosting the 13th annual Run and/or Walk 4 The Poor Challenge Benefit at the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom campus.

            The benefit helps and supports local disabled veterans, the homeless and food banks, said club president, Anthony Quinn.

Runners can participate in multiple events: a half-marathon, 8K and 1-mile youth race. The event runs 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Fort Steilacoom Park. Cost of the race is $15-$45. You can register for the event at tinyurl.com/yb7bsgnf.

Day of race registration will be available. A $2 day-of-discount for race entry will be given to those who drop of a donation of non-perishable items and canned goods.  The event is certified by Road Runners Club of America.

Quinn encourages students to come out and volunteer for this event.

Doug Carlson, of the Athletics department said about participating and volunteering for the event, that “they support the health and wellness.”

The club is celebrating 20 years. Its motto is “The Challenge Never Ends.”  He said it has been constantly advocating with the Fort Steilacoom Park System.

He said the local community-based sports club advocates and promotes worthy community causes. 

Quinn, who is also the director and race event contact, welcomes new members to the club for fun, fitness and friendship. Contact Quinn at 253-376-5737 or [email protected]

Golf scramble puts money in students’ pockets

Annual fundraiser raised $46,000 in August

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Every year the Pierce College Foundation hands out thousands of dollars in scholarships. Recipients are not just Science, Technology, Engineering and Math students or enrolled in the criminal justice program. They are veterans, military dependents, homeless — the list is endless.

One of the major fundraisers for these scholarships is the annual golf scramble. The 24th scramble was held Aug. 10 at the High Cedars Golf Club in Orting.

The foundation traditionally has been the beneficiary of some generous donors who use the scramble and the auction at the dinner banquet afterwards as a way to contribute to the fund.

Nicole Ferris from the foundation was one of the volunteers who coordinated the event. Due to a very successful fundraising event earlier this year, the foundation is making some changes to how the money raised is distributed.

“What we want to do is meet the greatest need of the student. Scholarships traditionally have been tuition-based, but we are expanding so it is more about the cost of attendance and everything that rolls up into that,” Ferris said.

Volunteers also contributed to the success of the event. Staff and students fill various key positions, from handling raffle drawings to directing traffic. For the donors, it is a way for them to put faces to the names they helped.

“We rely so much on our volunteers to make this happen. Our donors really live to interact with our students. They are the ones who benefit from the donor’s generosity,” Ferris said.

Pierce College Chancellor Michelle Johnson is enthusiastic on how the event benefits the students.

“Our students are here, showing the golfers how they have been committed to helping be part of this. That is the key part, showing how it helps students. We have always had a student speaker who talks about the impact,” she said.

John Gibson, owner of Cool Cycles Ice Cream Co., had a prime location in the middle of the course. He is a Pierce alum and received a scholarship during his term there.

“When I first went to Pierce College, I had no confidence at all. All I wanted to be was a businessman. Now I build a million-dollar apartment building and have 5 different companies. It all started at Pierce College,” Gibson said.

At the end of the day, the event raised about $46,000. It is money waiting in a scholarship or grant, ready to be put to use.

“I would encourage every student to apply for a scholarship. You’ll see something around October. That is when we do our next review,” Ferris said.

Information for applying is available at pierce.ctc.edu/foundation-scholarships.

New students mingle, meet over ‘New Raider Welcome’

Guest speaker Tom Krieglstein encourages students to look for new opportunities

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It’s a new quarter and for many students coming in, it is their first time on a college campus. A community college does not have the same challenges and pressures that a university has, but it is still different than high school.

Sept. 14 was a day just for them. Guest speaker Tom Krieglstein helped the Running Start students and those fresh from high school break the tension. According to his website, Swift Kick, the entrepreneur, speaker, and professional travels to colleges giving presentations on “how to build a culture of connection.”

His message was not centered around the academic’s expectations. His approach used a mix of his own stories with interactive exercises to get the audience engaged. By the end of the morning, they knew things about each other that otherwise they may have felt shy about sharing.

They knew that the worst thing they ever did on a dare maybe wasn’t really as bad as they thought. They learned each one has a super power that is unique. One student shyly admitted to twirling a baton, while another has an IQ of 158.

There were two parts of the presentation that had a significant impact. The first was a video about a young man, Matt Harding, who randomly would pick a location and set up his cell phone to record as he danced. Then, he would post the video on YouTube. People would jump in and join Harding at later events.

Harding later received a job that allowed him to travel all over the globe for a year —  expenses paid — doing what he did originally. Only this time, it was people in the countries Harding was visiting that jumped into the video.

The second half of the presentation, “Take a seat, make a friend,” was a video put together by SoulPancake.

Strangers were invited to sit and talk in a large bin, containing plastic balls with questions written on them. Some of the questions mirrored the same ones the students answered.

Krieglstein encouraged students to look for opportunities. Going to college can be more than just showing up for classes and finishing assignments, he said.

“When I graduated from college, I already had a billion-dollar business going. I started by selling textbooks on Ebay that no one needed any more,” Krieglstein said.

After having them team up and create their own secret handshakes, it was time to break for lunch, catered by Lancer Hospitality.

Around the room, tables from various support teams and other groups on the campus were present.

Sitting at the Veteran’s Center table were William Cole III and Holland Cooley. Cooley, who is usually at the Puyallup campus, was here to welcome new students.

The center’s primary mission is to be a support system for students who are military veterans. Part of that support is a revised program, Vet Navigators.

“We want to be a resource of resources for veterans. Whether they need help with housing, mental health, anything for transitioning to civilian life,” Cooley said.

“Having an actual presence on campus gives better communication between vets and staff,” Cole said.

A new support group, ASPIRE, was also present. Miguel “Aki” Smith is the retention manager and Kiana Fuega is the outreach specialist.

The organization’s goal is to serve and support students on campus who are of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage.

“These groups historically are underserved and we want to expose then fill gaps in services. Language is not the only barrier, Sometimes the barrier to a successful education can come through stereotypes. For example, often the perception is that Asian students do not need preparation or assistance when coming to school,” Smith said.

“ASPIRE seeks to reach across those cultural barriers to successful academics,” Smith said. By assisting with goal-setting, personal growth, and development, they will reach, support, retain, and see their students graduate.

At the WorkSource table, Jayna Petterson had pamphlets with information on the criminal justice program and the B-tech program. She enjoys events such as this because students can get a lot of information at once.

Because she is also connected to WorkSource, she has funding connections. “Students can look here for additional, possible funding resources,” Petterson said.

HEC class blends Polynesian culture with fitness

Hot hula stresses family, low-impact benefits

When most people first hear of hot hula fitness, the assumption is the fitness class consists of hula hooping in a hot room.

Hot hula is a Polynesian-inspired, dance-based fitness activity that is somewhat similar to Zumba, but with a more structured and repetitive choreography that students build upon with each successive lesson.

Marisa Gibbs, an instructor of hot hula fitness, said she felt invited into the Polynesian culture by past coworkers. She said she was inspired to teach after attending a Polynesian cultural festival in Tacoma, where she first learned about the program.

Gibbs speaks highly of the benefits of hot hula fitness, stressing that there are many emotional rewards, such as boosted levels of confidence, that accompany the physical benefits. The fitness class itself is based around the idea of “‘aiga,” the Samoan word for “family.” The class is held in a large group setting that focuses on supporting the accomplishments of other members rather than competition, she said.

The exercise itself is very low-impact and for any fitness level, according to Pierce College’s program support supervisor Lucinda Werley, who took the class last spring with her daughter.

“The activity is perfect for those looking for a place to begin in personal fitness, and it so gentle that it can even be enjoyed by women in their first and second trimester of pregnancy,” Gibbs, said

Hot hula fitness is currently only hosted at the Fort Steilacoom campus in the HEC multipurpose room, meets 6:30-7:30 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday through Oct. 25. Program developer Tracy Clark said it won't be back until the spring quarter.

“It will only hurt you if you don't try,” Gibbs said about prospective members. “(There’s) nothing to lose from trying; don’t be afraid to cut loose.”

hula dancers
Debbie Denbrook/Staff Photo
Marisa Gibbs is the instructor of this class. Keilani Santos (black and gold skirt), Lori Stewart (in purple), Megan Kelly (orange skirt), Lani Hendrick (green skirt), Penelope Lacy (blue and black skirt), and Mictoria Coolidge (blue skirt) have fun learning the dance the hula.

hula dancers
Debbie Denbrook/Staff Photo
Marisa Gibbs is the instructor of this class. Keilani Santos (black and gold skirt), Lori Stewart (in purple), Megan Kelly (orange skirt), Lani Hendrick (green skirt), Penelope Lacy (blue and black skirt), and Mictoria Coolidge (blue skirt) have fun learning the dance the hula.

hula dancers
Debbie Denbrook/Staff Photo
Marisa Gibbs is the instructor of this class. Keilani Santos (black and gold skirt), Lori Stewart (in purple), Megan Kelly (orange skirt), Lani Hendrick (green skirt), Penelope Lacy (blue and black skirt), and Mictoria Coolidge (blue skirt) have fun learning the dance the hula.

hula dancers
Debbie Denbrook/Staff Photo
Marisa Gibbs is the instructor of this class. Keilani Santos (black and gold skirt), Lori Stewart (in purple), Megan Kelly (orange skirt), Lani Hendrick (green skirt), Penelope Lacy (blue and black skirt), and Mictoria Coolidge (blue skirt) have fun learning the dance the hula.

hula dancers
Debbie Denbrook/Staff Photo
Marisa Gibbs is the instructor of this class. Keilani Santos (black and gold skirt), Lori Stewart (in purple), Megan Kelly (orange skirt), Lani Hendrick (green skirt), Penelope Lacy (blue and black skirt), and Mictoria Coolidge (blue skirt) have fun learning the dance the hula.

hula dancers
Debbie Denbrook/Staff Photo
Marisa Gibbs is the instructor of this class. Keilani Santos (black and gold skirt), Lori Stewart (in purple), Megan Kelly (orange skirt), Lani Hendrick (green skirt), Penelope Lacy (blue and black skirt), and Mictoria Coolidge (blue skirt) have fun learning the dance the hula.

Pierce Pioneer Hallway Hassle – Budget Cuts, Land Development, New Student Advice

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Pierce Pioneer Hallway Hassle – has Pierce helped you be successful?

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Pierce College recently won the Leah Meyer Austin Award from the "Achieving the Dream" non-profit for $25,000. Some changes Pierce went through to achieve this included requiring the college success class and re-designing English and Math classes.

Student Government hosts Q & A

State Representatives discuss textbooks, open education resources

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On May 18 local state reps came to sit on a Q & A panel moderated by Terrell Engmann, Leg. Senator, and Zoe Sundberg, Student President.

Beginning Jan. 2018, students in Washington can view required textbooks and course materials during class registration. Local state legislation recently passed a law requiring community and technical colleges to indicate required materials in the online registration process.

            Melanie Stambaugh, R-Puyallup, said she met with the student liaison at Pierce College, Puyallup, who asked her if it was possible to include the cost of textbooks with registration. Seeking a solution in the rising cost of materials that students encounter, Stambaugh then brought the idea to fellow Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden, who sponsored the bill and brought it forward for a vote.

“I’m proud to say that the idea from a student at Pierce just became the law this past session” said Stambaugh.

House Bill 1375, passed on Feb. 14, 2017, will help students better budget their education and decrease the likeliness of students dropping out of college due to unexpected costs.

            Currently, students can navigate their way through a syllabus and locate a textbook or ISBN number and purchase materials ahead of time through a third party.

Others are not so lucky. As class materials can vary in cost from zero to more than $200, students who are unfamiliar with the registration process might end up with sticker shock when it comes the campus bookstore. As a result, students may end up dropping classes.

            As the new bill is implemented, students should expect to see links to the school’s bookstore website or other websites to price out the materials prior to registration. If open education resources are available, those will be indicated as well.

Classes that do not have an assigned instructor will not have a textbook noted during registration. However, once an instructor is assigned to the course, the required course materials must be updated promptly. The bill is meant to incentivize professors to utilize less expensive materials.

Engmann reminded the legislators how textbook costs have increased drastically over time, affecting students negatively.

“Students now feel a need to advocate for themselves to find alternatives that can serve as less of a burden,” he said.

Online resources have shown to be cheaper and more accessible but the adoption of these resources into curriculum seems to be a common point of confusion,” he said. 

Engmann, Sundberg, and vice president Jacob Smith, participated in this year’s Legislative Voice Academy where they brought forth a remedy to the solution.

“We came up with idea of employing a position at each institution that specializes in connecting students and faculty with open resources,” Engmann said.

Engmann addressed the panel in its stance on open education resources and awareness of current efforts in Olympia surrounding this issue?”

Stambaugh, a prime sponsor of Open Education Resource Legislation for the past three years said she is a fierce advocate of expanding open education resources. She said she has been communicating with Pierce College and other two- and four-year institutions to learn of their current open education resource options, how they are being implemented and where they can expand.

“The first two years, the model that I used was based off the University of Massachusetts Amherst that funded faculty grants for them to develop open education resource,” she said about the bill she sponsored.

The success was by doing a 10k investment over one year (4 quarters), of students utilizing those open education resource materials; they saved $70k dollars for students. That is a huge return on investment and that is the value that OER investment could have for students.”

As Stambaugh praised open resources, she said there were challenges during the model. “Let’s say one faculty member develops a math curriculum that isn’t necessarily expanded upon. Other faculty members don’t maybe understand the benefit of learning how to create their open education resources for a different class or different subject area.”

However, she said there is a benefit of having a campus liaison with and an institutional knowledge that faculty members can go to when they are trying to develop open resources.

“More legislators are gaining an understanding of the value. We could potentially make it work this year, if not maybe next year, when we have a supplemental budget,” Stambaugh said.

Bobi Foster-Grahler and Psychology professor Jo Anne Geron remember when the Fort Steilacoom campus had different groups and spaces for the LGBTQ community over the years.

Staff would like to see club’s return, Puyallup campus offers assistance

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Foster-Grahler said there used to be educational forums on LGBTQ issues for the staff, which later was available for students. Foster-Grahler and former faculty member Sharon Cramner started the Safe Zone Sticker Project, where some of the faculty and staff would wear symbols indicating that they were safe people for LGBTQ students to approach.

But much of the Gay Straight Alliance clubs didn’t last, Foster-Grahler said.

“I think it's because the students are here for maybe two years and they're just kind of getting their feet on the ground. I think also with the LGBTQ community there's a stigma that is attached to that,” she said. “One of the reasons I really wanted to do the Safe Zone Sticker Project was because students had expressed some pretty blatant hatred against (LQBTQ) at Pierce College. People getting their cars keyed, people being yelled at in classrooms about 'you should die' kind of stuff and faculty not being able to stand up against that. So I think there's that fear factor that can come in.”

Social stigma, a lack of continuous club leadership and the challenges of starting and maintaining a club also have an impact, said Rhiannon Webber, student leader of the Gay Straight Alliance at the Puyallup campus.

“One of the main challenges (of starting the Puyallup campus club) has been that there was no legacy information from any of the previous clubs and that we've had to figure things out as we go, without really knowing if certain things have a chance of success,” she said. “Another challenge has been that there have been major changes to the way that the Office of Student Life at Puyallup interacts with clubs, and how clubs are expected to interact with (Student Life), since this last fall (2016), so both the (Gay Straight Alliance) and (Student Life) are still working to figure out what works best.”

Changes could have a positive benefit.

Foster-Grahler said, “Our student government has changed the rules on clubs. It's not so you have to do these 17 things or we'll kick you out. Now it's like there's four things and ‘Let's just try to keep you going.’”

The need for an alliance is very apparent, Webber said.

"There are definitely LGBTQIAP+ people at the Fort Steilacoom campus who would like a Gay Straight Alliance to form, and there are people at Puyallup who take classes at Fort Steilacoom who would like a similar space there that we have here."

April Spaulding, program director at SafePlace in Olympia, said, "I think finding community is really important, so like surrounding yourself with other people who identify as LGBTQ. I think that's super important, especially because coming out can be a really hard time with families. Sometimes people's families reject them. If you're still living at home, sometimes families kick you out of the house. That's why around 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBTQ...finding community is probably the number one thing to do to kind of create that secondary family."

Educating the Pierce College community on LGBTQ issues is equally important to creating safe spaces, Webber said.  The Puyallup campus has made strides in this department.

“We've been able to spread a lot of information about the LGBTQIAP+ community,” Webber said. “This year, we've had a series of panels wherein student volunteers share their experiences as related to various topics, such as "Gender 101,” common myths and misconceptions, and lesser known identities. After each one, there are people who approach us with more questions and we often hear that people are thankful we explained something they were afraid to ask about.”

Foster-Grahler is an advocate for LGBTQ education on the FS campus.

She said, “I would like to see the college more blatantly insisting on a culture of inclusivity and talking about issues because my belief is, no matter if we talk about it or demonstrate it or show it in the classroom or in the hallways, it's still there. We still have LGBTQ staff, we still have LGBTQ students, community members that come in. It's like people being afraid of talking about Black Lives Matter. So if we don't talk about it, it's still in the room with us. So why don't we have an informed discussion and learn from each other? I think that having a presence of the LGBTQ community helps our community be stronger.”

Webber said she is available to help the Fort Steilacoom community start a Gay Straight Alliance or  LGBTQ club. Contact her for assistance through her email,[email protected].

Hey, Can we talk?

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Communication is a wonderful thing. In today’s world, technology takes microseconds to send information to a select few or to the masses.

Emails are sent out to the students on the campus daily. Most of the time they barely get recognition.  There are announcements for Student Life events, Canvas notifications for those whose teachers use it, and emergency alerts as needed.

Among them recently was a notification about a “Code of Conduct” meeting. Details were provided about location and time, but very little else. The very small handful that showed up learned that the Pierce College Student Conduct Code is being revised in places. The meeting was to garner feedback for the changes before being implemented.

There is also a buzz on the campus about the purchase of a food trailer. Was it purchased? What is the purpose? Where did the money come from? Details have been hard to pin down.

Current students have been trying for about a week to get classes set up for the next quarter. Because class codes and details about class times have being reworked, this has been a complicated process for some.

At least the Legislative Panel hosted by the student government was promoted, sort of. That promotion was done for those who walked by the table where they were handing out voting ballots for the outstanding faculty.

Those interested in coming to the Standing Rock play also found problems. Unlike other productions, tickets for this show were available only online – regardless of student or guest

Overall, they are a symptom of a larger problem. The community still needs to know what is going on.

Yes, it is the end of the quarter and for many, graduation is just around the corner. Campus life is busy.

It takes just a few minutes to take the time to send out an email, to post a sign, to get the word out.

The community does want to know what is going on. Details are important; they determine the course of action if someone is going to participate or not.

We all have a responsibility to tell people what is going on in their world. Things that happened, events coming up, changes in policies, all of these deserve their own spotlight.

Gaining Speed and Momentum

Raiders Softball finds a winning edge through the midway point of the season

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The Raiders have had a solid start to the season but have begun to catch fire during the midway point. In the past ten games the Raiders have an 8-2 record. Pierce had an eight-game winning streak come to an end against Edmonds in heartbreaking fashion with a 19-1 loss. Despite their recent success with the eight-game winning streak, Pierce is still 15 games out of first place Douglas who are undefeated at 24-0.

Pierce had one of their better performances during this streak on April 25 against Shoreline. The Raiders more than double Shoreline in hits with 15 to six. Emily Bishop and Tavian Taketa were the leading scorers for the Raiders on the day with three runs apiece. The Raiders pitching staff was dominant giving up only a single RBI the entire game while the Raiders offense enjoyed different results putting up 13 RBIs on the board. Taketa was perfect offensively with four hits on all four of her at bats. The second inning featured Pierce at its most deadly with eight bigtime runs adding to their 2-0 lead from the first. The Raiders prevailed with a 14-1 beatdown of their Northern division foe.

The Raiders hopes of winning the division has all been eliminated with their back-to-back losses to Edmonds. In the first match-up, Edmonds was nearly unstoppable on offense. Edmonds had their best inning during the second putting up 11 runs. The game lasted only five innings due to their massive 19-1 lead over the Raiders. The Raiders struggled to produce any kind of success offensively only putting up two hits on the day. Each team struck-out four batters. The second game gave fans more of a competitive edge. Pierce gained confidence early entering the second inning tied 2-2. Momentum was shot down when Edmonds put up a quick three runs in the third inning. Edmonds continued to add to their lead entering the final inning up 7-2. The Raiders tried to complete the comeback but fell short only earning two more runs.

With nine games remaining in the regular season, everyone is crucial in the hopes on a postseason berth.  

Battle for the West Rages On

Raiders deal with mid season struggles

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After starting strong for the 2017 season, the Raiders have hit a midseason wall. In the past ten games Pierce has won only three of their matchups. Despite having a record of 3-7, the Raiders have outscored their opponents 68 to 57. The Raiders best performance in this stretch was on April 15 at home against Green River.

The game was short lived due to the barrage of runs from the Raiders. Pierce came out of the gates swinging with eight runs scored in the first two innings. Tyler Fujimoto was the winning pitcher on the afternoon. Fujimoto was impressive with eight strikeouts and giving up a mere three hits. Matt Scheffler lead the Raiders with three hits in the game. Four Raiders each put up two runs. Pierce won the game handily 12-0 in one of their bigger shutouts of the season.

The good fortunes for the Raiders were short lived. Pierce battled cross town rival TCC in one of their worst performances of the season. TCC doubled the Raiders total for the game in hits with 12 vs six. Pierce had only one RBI compared to TCC’s ten. TCC again doubled Pierce in another statistic with eight strikeouts over four. Pierce jumped to an early 1-0 lead for the first two innings. After that it was a TCC spectacle. TCC outscored the Raiders 10-0 in the final seven innings with four coming in the eighth to put the dagger in the match.

Currently the Raiders are in third place of the Western division with a 9-8 conference record and a 21-12 overall. The Raiders have their work cut-out for them having to compete and overtake TCC and Lower Columbia who both have 15-2 records.   

Attention all Veterans

Veteran’s Artistic Collective

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For students and veterans who are looking for a little camaraderie and a place where they can truly express without judgement? Denise Hartley, one of the professors of humanities and English here would like to introduce to you a group where you can do just that.

She is the main sponsor of a group for veterans that is for those that want to share their experiences with any kind of art be it music, painting, story writing, screenplay writing, or anything else related.

When asked what is the main purpose of this group, Hartley explained, “[Art..] makes us human… aware of our own humanity, and makes us ultimately feel not so alone and isolated in the world we live in […today].”

Any one who knows Professor Hartley knows that she has a desire to reach out and connect with veterans on a different level. She has been teaching since 1991 and here at Pierce College since 1997. She enjoys living here the most because of the diversity and the amount of support for the veterans the area has. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 9% of the population of Washington State is made up of veterans alone; that is over 645,000 veterans just in this state.

She has never had the experience of serving in the military. However, her great-grandfather fought in World War I, her uncle, a sergeant, was fought in World War II, and her father is also a vet. Sshe grew up listening to stories and they were was enough to inspire her to get more involved in understanding and assisting veterans.

Hartley does agree that there is some type of disconnect with today’s society and the ability to comprehend and reach out to veterans. There is always a “Hollywood” stereotype involved that does not truly convey what veterans experience overseas and coming home. Her favorite example is when a member of the military comes home safe and sound. She believes that expression through art can help break down that stereotype.

To be clear, this group is not just about telling war stories. Not every veteran can “open up” and talk about their past experiences easily. There is no pressure for anyone to talk if they do not want to. Professor Hartley understands that not every veteran is comfortable talking about their experiences. That is one of the main reasons for this group. It is a place where veterans from all walks of life can join and rekindle the bond of brotherhood/sisterhood they once had when they were in uniform. Active duty soldiers are welcome, too.

At this moment, there is no set time and day when the Veteran’s Artistic Collective will meet. Professor Hartley understands that everyone has a life. All she wants is for veterans and current members of the military to know she is here for you. She hopes to restart the group in the summer or fall quarter based on when schedules allow. The project is so important to Hartley, she is willing to give up her own time to make time for veterans.

If you are interested in more information, please feel free to contact Professor Hartley at [email protected].

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