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March 13
Ken Zontek is officially tenured

YVCC's Board of Trustees granted tenure to long-time history instructor Ken Zontek at their March 2015 meeting.​

February 15
Shaw co-authors paper

Heidi Shaw (Psychology) co-authored a commentary on an article entitled, “How to learn about teaching: An evolutionary framework for the study of teaching behavior in humans and other animals” by M. S. Kline. The commentary, entitled “More examples of chimpanzees teaching,” will appear in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38(1), 2015.

February 06
Walker receives stipend to study Russian history

Monty Walker has been selected for a stipend of $2,406 for curriculum development. Funding is from the U.S. Department of Education, distributed through Title VI National Resource Centers for faculty at community colleges and minority-serving institutions to develop and incorporate greater content about Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia into the curricula. This stipend will be used to fund conference, workshop, and lecture attendance at the University of Washington's Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies with the ultimate goal of creating a Russian history course for YVCC.​

December 05
Anderson and Zontek publish book reviews

Ken Zontek and Eric Anderson both published book reviews in the latest Pacific Northwest Quarterly (Winter 2013/2014, Volume 105, Number 1).  It describes itself as “A Scholarly Journal of Northwest History,” and is published by University of Washington. Ken reviewed Indian Resilience and Rebuilding; Indigenous Nations in the Modern American West by Donald L. Fixico.  Eric reviewed Coming Full Circle: Spirituality and Wellness among Native Communities in the Pacific Northwest by Suzanne Crawford 0’Brien.​

February 12
Walker attends conference

MontyWalkerAtlanta.pngMonty attended the 94th annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, from February 1st until the 4th. While at the meeting, Monty presented a poster that highlighted the diversity found on the Yakima campus, geography courses available at YVCC, and climate change awareness. Participation at the AMS meeting derived from an earlier trip to Washington, D.C., in May of 2013. In May, Monty spent a week studying the process of global climate change via lectures, workshops, and field sites observations. Funding for both the Washington D.C. and Atlanta trips were paid for through AMS, the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

February 11
Faculty Lecture: Buffalo Nation
Buffalo Nation
P1020841.jpgPresenter: Dr. Ken Zontek, YVCC history instructor February 26, 2014 • 7:00pm • Parker Room

America’s first National Bison Day, part of an effort to make the buffalo our national mammal, occurred on November 2, 2013. Ken Zontek’s lecture, Buffalo Nation, will describe the efforts that saved the buffalo from extinction and subsequent leadership by Native Americans to save the iconic species as a free ranging animal. Zontek will shed light on the pivotal role played by Native Americans, women, and Westerners as opposed to the Eastern elite. The lecture will frame bison restoration in the larger context of species restoration in the modern American West.

Ken Zontek’s book entitled Buffalo Nation (University of Nebraska Press, 2007) won the American Library Association’s Best of the Best University Press Award in 2008. The book captures the results of field work ranging from the Northwest Territories to New Mexico, and years of research. Zontek has written several articles and reviews concerning wildlife and Native Americans. Previous lecture venues include the Smithsonian, Museum of the American Bison and American Bison Society. 

The event is sponsored by YVCC’s Arts and Sciences Division and Phi Theta Kappa Student Club.

November 19
Dr. Jeske attended regional political science conference

Dr. Timothy Jeske attended the annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association in Vancouver, British Columbia from October 17 – 19, 2013.  Dr. Jeske has been a regular participant in the conference since 1982.  He has served on the association's executive council twice and was President of  the association in 2005 – 06.  This year's conference was well attended by Political Scientists from the US Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Western Canada, and had the largest number of panels and presenters in conference history.  Dr. Jeske participated in panels addressing political theory, the Supreme Court, public policy issues of the region, and international relations theory.  Academic conferences provide faculty an important opportunity to engage in intellectual and professional development and by participating in this conference, Dr. Jeske is able to bring back to his classes new ideas and information.

October 31
"Leadership Gathering: A Community Conversation...

​about the Land and it's Future in Yakima Valley"

Join Chican@ Studies and Sociology instructor, Maria Cuevas at the upcoming event cosponsored with  Heritage University. The Conference is scheduled for Thursday, November 7th at 9:00a-2:00p in the Smith Family Hall Auditorium.

I will present with two former students, Elizabeth Lara and Noel Solano, on the "Relevance of Chican@ Studies in Our Schools" at 1p.

Contact Maria Cuevas at for additional information or flyer.

October 09
Diversity Series Kickoff Event

 YVCC 2013/2014 Diversity Series – Worldviews, Knowledge and Practice

Kicks Off on October 17th

Yakima Valley Community College will host the 9th year of the college's annual diversity series. This year's theme Worldviews, Knowledge and Practice will host various letures and events. Diversity Series events are free and open to the public.

October 17th: Quetzal East L.A.

The Seasons Performance Hall, 7:00pm-8:30pm

Quetzal is an ensemble of highly talented musicians, joined for the goal of creating good music that tells the social, cultural, political, and musical stories of  people in struggle.  Martha Gonzalez (lead singer, percussionist, and songwriter) calls it an "East LA Chican@ rock group," summing up its rootedness in the complex cultural currents of life in the barrio, its social activism, its strong feminist stance, and its rock and roll musical beginnings.  Besides being a rock band, the group and its members participate in a much larger web of musical, cultural, and political engagement. Their sound, developed and influenced by the traditions of Chicano music of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement to Mexican musica ranchera, salsa, Chicano Rock, R&B, and international popular music. For members of Quetzal, however, music expresses the ultimate struggle for dignity. For more information visit:

September 18
Dr. Timothy Jeske awarded Leadon Award - Spring 2013

LeadonAward-2013-DSC_3686sm.jpgThe recipient of the Robert M. Leadon Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2013 was Dr. Timothy Jeske, Political Science instructor.  In his acceptance speech Dr. Jeske said, "Receiving this award is a bit like winning a lottery.  Any of the faculty are deserving of this recognition; often the most deserving are not nominated.  So, thank you for this award but truthfully much of what I have learned about teaching and learning has been derived from borrowing from my colleagues at YVCC.  If excellent teachings an art – then the YVCC faculty are a particularly artistic group!  I am proud to be recognized for teaching excellence by such colleagues, peers and friends.

About this blog
No, this isn't actually my picture. I just haven't gotten around to updating this section. It's good to know that someone is reading every last word though. Thanks!

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