Friday, October 11, 2019

Meet Our Faculty: Leslie Seiferle

Leslie Seiferle

School of Applied Technology and Technical Specialties
Commercial Foods Certificate

What she teaches:
ServSafe™, Culinary Math, Stewarding (to include personal protection and equipment safety), Breakfast, Starch and Vegetable Cookery, National Restaurant Association Certificate Course for Nutrition, Meat, Poultry and Seafood Fabrication, Soup, Sauce and Protein Cookery, Cold Pantry and Bakery applications

Number of years teaching at SLCC:

Undergraduate degree:
Utah State University, Career and Technical Education

Utah State University, MEd, Career and Technical Education

Why working at SLCC matters:
SLCC provides an open door to college that can rarely be duplicated by four-year institutions. They also reach a far more diverse group of students than do most four-year colleges and universities.

Greatest professional challenge:
Since imperative skills as an educator require time employed in industry prior to a faculty appointment, one can tread the continuum of trailing in industry currency. Prior to teaching, the renewal of professional credentialing as an industry chef required ongoing practical applications of technical expertise in a closed-circuit evaluation environment. As an alternative, competitions surfaced as an opportunity for an immediate critique by respected contemporaries in an open forum involving students. Not only has this parallel provided for measuring up-to-date mechanical competence on the watch of a pupil, but in the veneration as an instructor who has relevance. Maintaining technical currency has required 30 competitions over a decade.

Greatest professional accomplishments:
In recognition of the professional challenges involved in a dual role as an educator and competent journeyman chef, I received a presidential award (Cutting Edge Award) at our own ACF Chef Connect educational conference in Minneapolis earlier this year. While the award stipulates leadership and service in multiple forms, the acknowledgement of involving students within my own professional development creates crosswalks among SLCC certificate students and master-level mentors for generations to come. Two of my students are also distinguished alumni recipients.

Advice for students or others:
My family justified education as an opportunity to internalize something that could never be bought, sold or taken.

Future plans:
Nonprofit work with sustainable agriculture and food safety constituencies, food security, mobile markets located in food deserts, crop diversity in order to protect global food security and minimizing food waste through old-world skills with modern relevance.

Since my father was a Marines aviator, we relocated every 18 months, so no place was home, and you will always be the new kid in school. The intention of that childhood was discipline as a product, an outcome, an achievement and not something applied from without. Influences to cook were primarily tied to socialization skill building, but as with many chefs, it was a grandmother who allowed you to stir the gravy first.

Horses. Gardening. Fly-fishing. Social dance. Dutch oven cookery. Animal rescue.

Chef Leslie Seiferle poses with her 2019 Cutting Edge Award.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Free Computers for SLCC Students? Thanks, Cyprus Credit Union!

Note: computers shown are not part of the giveaway.

Cyprus Credit Union has committed to donating 60+ gently-used computers to SLCC students each year.

The computers come complete with a monitor, computer, keyboard and mouse. SLCC students can download a free copy of Microsoft Office to use while they are current students and can access SLCC’s IT Support team whenever they encounter problems.

The application process includes filling out an online form located here:

Students answer a few easy questions like:

·      Do you have a tablet, iPad, laptop or other computer at home?
·      What do you usually use to do your homework?
·      Do you have access to wifi or internet at home?
·      Will you be able to have wifi or internet for the computer we give you? (students who don’t have wifi are told about special wifi students deals and are also coached on ways to cope without it)

Over just a few days, 90 students have already applied for a computer. SLCC has received nine computers so far.

Note: computers shown are not part of the giveaway.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Tanner Speaker Talithia Williams Advocates for More Data Transparency

It’s the stories, the human element, that have the power to bring raw data to life and highlight the relevance and meaning of otherwise static numbers and information, according to Dr. Talithia Williams, featured speaker for Salt Lake Community College’s 2019 Tanner Forum on Social Ethics.

It’s why Williams, a renowned expert on the application of statistical models to solve real-world problems, uses stories from her own life to make that point, either during her popular TED talk, “Own Your Body’s Data,” or her recent speech at SLCC’s Grand Theatre in front of more than 400 people. Specifically, she talks about being nine months pregnant and debating with a doctor who wants to induce pregnancy.

Audience members acknowledge using devices that collect their health data.

“’Why do you want to induce me? What data do you have to make this decision on?’” Williams recalls asking the doctor, who never came up with the science to support his suggestion. “’Oh, honey, don’t you worry your little head about that. Let’s just get you a room and induce you,’” he told Williams, who notes she had not identified herself as having a PhD and being an associate professor of mathematics and dean for Research and Experiential Learning at Harvey Mudd College.

“I had to ask to look at the data. … That’s when it became a tug of war,” she says. “’Well, I’m the professional. I know what’s best for your body. So, let’s just induce you,’” the doctor told her. “I said, I know what happens with inductions. You throw somebody into labor, next thing you know, you are 30 percent more likely to have a cesarean. And, so, we’re going back and forth with numbers and data.” She was not convinced that day by any data, or lack thereof, and left the hospital without being induced. “Advocate for data transparency,” she told the Grand Theatre audience.

SLCC's Marcie Young Cancio (left) leads a Q&A with Dr. Talithia Williams.

Williams met earlier in the day with SLCC students, and then gave an evening speech that focused on big data ethics and social consequences of data in society. As the first African-American woman to earn tenure at Harvey Mudd College, Williams also spoke about the importance of seeing more race and gender equity in mathematics and STEM fields.

Williams followed her evening presentation with an audience Q&A led by SLCC assistant journalism professor Marcie Young Cancio, who asked first about public interest in data as it relates to the popularity of her TED talk (more than 2 million views online). “I think what was so telling to me was, people appreciate transparency. So, they sort of appreciate me sharing my story – here’s what happened in our family,” Williams said. “Really, just being open and transparent about our life, but sharing that in a way that is going to get people excited to think about their own data is what has made it successful.”

Funded in part by the O.C. Tanner Company, the Tanner Forum on Social Ethics brings nationally and internationally recognized speakers to SLCC. The forum enhances the college’s mission as a community-based learning institution that provides opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the wider community to come together for the thoughtful examination of critical issues in contemporary social ethics.

Dr. Talithia Williams (blue dress) poses with members of SLCC's Mathematics faculty.