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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Disability Awareness Week 2014

To request ADA Accommodations for any of the Disability Awareness Week events, please contact the DRC at 801-957-4659.

Monday, September 15:
12:00 pm
Employment and Disability Panel Discussion
Taylorsville Redwood Campus
Student Event Center

Tuesday, September 16
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Assistive Technology Fair
South City Campus, Attrium

Wednesday, September 17
6:00 - 8:00 pm
"Going Blind: Coming Out of the Dark About Vision Loss" Film and Panel Discussion
Taylorsville Redwood Campus Technology Building 203

Friday, September 19
Samuel Comroe

7:00 pm
Comedy Show
Samuel Comroe
Taylorsville Redwood Campus, Student Event Center

One of today's up-and-coming young comedians. Sam shares hilarious and insightful stories of his life with Tourette Syndrome. He is the winner of the 2012 Just Sayin Comedy Contest, performs at the Improv in Los Angeles, and has been on Conan.

SLCC grants specialist also handy with a lasso

Ann Crissman has been known to lasso a budget or two while employed at Salt Lake Community College since November 2011 as a grants and contracts officer in the Office of Sponsored Projects.

And she can also handle a lariat for real, able to rope an ornery chair at 20 paces.

Crissman’s job at SLCC focuses on securing and managing federal funding by writing and monitoring grants that tap into funds from, for example, the U.S. Department of Labor. Other money streams she manages flow from the State of Utah through agencies like the Department of Workforce Services.

She handles grants that range in value from as little as $4,000 to two current federal grants each worth about $2.8 million, designed in part to help laid off or displaced workers train for new jobs or retrain to evolve in an existing job.

“My role in it is leading the program managers,” Crissman said.

Her big thing with grants is compliance, making sure managers of the programs at the college know what they can and can’t do with the money, relying on “volumes and volumes” of rules set by the school, state and federal government.

“I monitor all of that and help the grantees conform to, meet and exceed the grant requirements,” she said.

Some of those regulations are embedded in her mind, but her expertise is in being resourceful and knowing where to find the answers.

“Because if I were to try and stick all of that into my head I would explode,” Crissman laughed. “I don’t know how else to say that.”

If you benefit from a grant, you want Crissman on your team.

She will look at an existing grant and what its expected outcomes are in terms of types of curriculum offered, number of participants and finishers in the program and the percentage that will get jobs upon completion. After her careful analysis, she’ll meet with the program managers and go over their performance with the grant.

“I’m able to sort of get into it and give them different ideas on how to increase recruitment or outreach or even to say, ‘Hey, have you thought of trying this?’” she said. “Grants are a lot of work (to manage alone).”

It helps, Crissman added, when someone like her comes from the “outside” with knowledge of similar grants and then approaches a program manager with new ideas on how to make the grant work better.

“I have a hefty background in fixing things,” she said, referring to her previous employment with Unified Fire Authority, which when she started needed help with a backlog of issues with grants. To clarify the word “fixing,” she described it like taking something that’s going 5 miles per hour and getting it up to 60 mph, or to get that acceleration speed up to “boom.”

Her experience working with firefighters prepared her for a kind of baptism by fire just days after she started at SLCC when she was handed a grant that was floundering. Adding fuel to the fire was the fact that people knowledgeable about the grant had recently moved on from SLCC, leaving Crissman and a colleague to handle it on their own.

“We spent every night on the phone,” she said. “It was the day before Christmas Eve and everyone was walking out – they were letting everyone go at noon. … We had an audit deadline that day. … Through it all, it was really kind of fun.”

Getting that grant in order meant that more contractors, electricians, home builders, people in construction and anyone with a “green energy” component to their business was getting the training and education they needed to stay current or ahead of regulations and client expectations.

And for Crissman, mother of two grown children, it was fun. Really.

Outside of analyzing grant budgets at work she finds fun on the golf course (she’s a “good” golfer who could be “great” if she could improve her putting), researching family history (she’s gone all the way back to the time of Charlemagne’s rule in Western Europe, finding Methodists and Quakers in her background along the way) and practicing her lassoing skills on the family dog.

“I can’t do it off of a horse,” said Crissman, a burgeoning roper. “But if I’m just standing … the chair, dog, sometimes my own head when you really screw up.”

Thursday, August 28, 2014

SLCC staff serve up pasta at the Utah Food Bank

How will you use your community engagement leave time?

As part of the Government and Community Relations 2014 retreat, we decided to use community engagement leave time and volunteer as a division at the Utah Food Bank. Led by Vice President of Government and Community Relations Tim Sheehan, we donned hairnets and plastic gloves to package pasta for distribution.

While we were there, we were struck by the enormity of what the Food Bank does. Each day, one in six Utahns are at risk of missing a meal. In 2013, the Utah Food Bank worked to ease hunger by distributing more than 36 million pounds of food, the equivalent of approximately 28 million meals, to people across the state. To do this, the food bank relies on ninety staff and some 57,000 volunteers.

This is a great time for you and your division to get involved in our community! September is Hunger Action Month, when Feeding America, the Utah Food Bank, and a nationwide network of food banks unite to urge individuals to take action in their communities. We challenge all full time staff to use their community engagement leave time to volunteer at the Utah Food Bank or with other SLCC partner organizations (you can find a list here). Follow this link to learn about ways you can participate in Hunger Action Month or this link to volunteer at the Food Bank.

If you already used community engagement leave to volunteer with SLCC partners, we encourage you to leave a comment or submit a blog about your experience!

See "Maleficent" for Movie Under the Stars at Jordan Campus

The Salt Lake Community College Student Association presents Disney's "Maleficent" for Movie Under the Stars September 5, 8:30 p.m. at the Student Pavilion Amphitheater on the Jordan Campus. Admission is free and there will be popcorn and drinks. Bring your blankets and chairs!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Alternative Fall Break 2014

October 16-18

Service Opportunities

Utahns Against Hunger/Real Food Rising
Urban Farm, 1050 W 500 S, SLC

Salt Lake Community Action Program/Meals on Wheels
Wheeler Farm Cove, 900 E 6185 S, Murray

Utah Food Bank
3150 S 900 W, Salt Lake City

Interested students must attend one of the following mandatory orientations:

Taylorsville Redwood Campus, STC Rm 050
Mon. September 8, 10:30 am or 3:30 pm
Thurs. September 11, 11 am
Mon. September 15 or Tuesday, Sept 16, 5:30 pm

Jordan Campus, Student Pavillon Rm 206
Tues. September 9, 3:30 pm

South City Campus, Alumni Room 1-147
Wed. September 10, 1:30 or 2:30 pm

Applications are accepted September 17-24, 2014.

For more information:

Problem solver ‘making things happen’ at SLCC’s South City Campus

In the Salt Lake Community College staff directory Amir Sadeghi’s title is listed as “specialist,” which doesn’t quite capture what he does at South City Campus.

But even Sadeghi isn’t sure how to frame his job description.

For example, his cell phone rings on Wednesday afternoon in June. It’s someone who needs access to a walk-in cooler to store food for an event that night. At other events he might need to find someone to set up tables and chairs or, in lieu of available laborers, he’ll do it himself.

Sadeghi settles on “event management” as a catch-all for what he does, which includes being in on security issues and making sure event planners follow rules set in place by the College.

“I make sure all the events pretty much follow regulations and make sure they have what they need for a successful event,” he said. “A little keeping in line and making things happen.”

So, anyone who has planned or worked on an event at South City Campus over the past year has worked with Sadeghi, who has a knack for carving away the fat of any situation and getting to the meat of the matter. It’s an approach that might be a refreshing addition to, say, politics – that is, if he had the stomach for it.

“I do not like politics. I don’t trust politicians,” he said. “Anyone who speaks a lawyer’s language, I do not trust.”

Sadeghi doesn’t hold anything against lawyers doing their job, it’s the language they use that seems to permeate too many discussions between elected officials that runs counter to how he likes to communicate.

“I’m a very straight-forward person,” he said. “I like to get to the point and solve the problem. I don’t like to play games and beat around the bush.”

So, politics are out as a future career path for this student at SLCC, where he is studying to earn an associate degree before moving on toward a degree in mathematics.

“I’ll get my math degree and see where it takes me from there,” he said. “I’ll always try to work on (creating) opportunities, and when doors open I’ll work through them – but I won’t jump.”

Thoughtful and methodical are two words that describe the man who spent six years of his childhood in Iran, his father’s birthplace and current home. Sadeghi’s mother is from Peru, where he traveled recently for five weeks.

“I’m going there for myself,” he said before embarking on the trip to Peru. He said he wanted to see a lot of sunrises and enjoy the trip without worrying about taking photos all the time or sharing it all on social media, as is the trend these days.

At home he likes to play soccer with his cousins and friends. Or, if you’re walking down a certain street in downtown Salt Lake City, you might hear him relaxing in his apartment while playing flamenco-style music on his classical guitar.

“I play for myself,” he said. “I don’t pick it up to try and please anyone. I just go to that little relaxing place, get away from the world, even if you’re on a busy street.”

But he does please people at work, where he started as a cashier and flexed his customer services muscles – revealing a rare quasi-boast from him.

“I did love the cashiering job simply because of the interaction I had with students,” he said. “I was good at it. I have natural customer service skills.”

He was a cashier for about 18 months before being encouraged to take on his current position.

“I think I’ve made people pretty happy so far – and I’m still here,” he said. “People tell me thank you and I help them out a lot, and they’re grateful.”

Sadeghi has never been a “money guy,” preferring a simpler life, happy to accept a simple and humble ‘Thank you’ from those he helps. But he spends the gratitude as soon as he receives it.

“I don’t carry it,” he said. “I enjoy the moment and I let it sit there. I don’t take it with me, because you have to take one challenge at a time. If you carry that with you, it makes you too cocky.”

The word “simple” keeps popping up in a conversation with Sadeghi, who notes that he’s an “open book.” Again, it’s refreshing.

“I’m a very simple person,” he said. “If something doesn’t need to be said, I keep it to myself.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hypnotist and comedian Chris Jones performing at Taylorsville Redwood Campus

Hypnotist and comedian Chris Jones will be performing August 28, 7 p.m. at the Salt Lake Community College Student Event Center on the Taylorsville Redwood Campus. The event is free and open to the public. Jones has performed at colleges all over the country and offers "a performance unlike any other."