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Secret Study Spaces

Now that you have settled into winter quarter, I hope you’re able to keep up with studying. Studying can be hard, especially when finding the motivation and time to do it. I find that many students prefer to study on campus because once they go home they get distracted. There are plenty of great places to study on Clark’s campus including: the library, Scarpelli Hall, Hanna Hall, and the Penguin Union Building.

Did you know we have secret study spaces as well? If not, I’m here to clue you in!

Area #1: The STEM Building. The stem building has lots of little study spaces on all three floors. They are tucked away, usually with a nice view of Portland to the south, or Mt. Saint Helens to the north. Try exploring the STEM Building one of these days and find a spot that works for you.

Area #2: Upstairs in Gaiser Hall. Gaiser Hall connects to the Penguin Union Building, and there are some quiet corners upstairs to use as a study space. If you walk passed the Cashier’s Office you’ll see a staircase. Follow the stairs to comfy couches and quiet hallways to get some homework done.

Area #3: Frost Arts Center. There is an awesome student gallery at the front entrance of the Arts Center. If you keep walking through the building you’ll come to an outdoor atrium that’s closed off from the rest of campus. There are benches and chairs to use, especially in the warmer months. While you’re there you can check out the new musicals and plays featured in the Decker Theater.

Area #4: AA-5. The Applied Arts complex on the south side of campus has plenty of study places. A quiet one is located upstairs in the AA-5 wing. It’s tucked away at the end of the building, and there are chairs and tables set up to use for homework and studying. There is also a computer with a printing station for student convenience.

Area #5: Beacock Music Hall: The great thing about studying in the music hall is the background music while you work. There are always students using practice rooms, so there is soft classical music to listen to while you study. I recommend sitting in the back part of the building facing inward to the campus, and not toward the red parking lot.

I hope this helps with your studying goals and staying on track in class! Come visit me at the Information Desk in Gaiser hall to ask questions or say hello!


Posted by Ambassador Yuki


Remaining Successful Through Winter Weather

Because the Pacific Northwest has weather that can be unpredictable to say the very least, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about ways to stay successful through anything we could encounter. With Inclement weather on the way, I would like to point out some ways so stay safe, as well as reduce confusion with class times and closures.

First I would highly utilize the RAVE alert system. This system is set up to notify students and staff that are signed up of any alerts. Students can utilize text messaging or email, and it is not only a way to receive updates about inclement weather, but other emergency notifications as well.

Starting this quarter the RAVE system has been updated so that students will be able to receive notifications automatically. Because the system does not pull your personal phone number from any other department, I would recommend going to so you can update and start receiving texts.

Another great option to get around safely in the winter months is by taking public transportation. Some people feel unsafe driving when roads are less than favorable, and C-tran could be very helpful on your way to classes or job. The Clark College Bookstore has discounted C-tran bus passes that are added on top of your photo id. With that discounted price, it will cover your bus rides in C-zone for the full quarter! There is a limit on how many are available, so I recommend to check in with the bookstore for prices and more information.

The last thing that I want to reiterate, is to plan accordingly. I know that it is something that shouldn’t have to be said, yet every winter, I see myself and many other students forget that different weather changes a lot. When it’s cold and icy, leave yourself enough time to get to campus safely, the commute may be slower because others and yourself may have to drive a bit more cautiously. Remember that sometimes the parking lot and sidewalks can get slippery when it is frozen, try to wear shoes with better traction. These small changes can change your whole day, and when everything goes smoothly on your way to class, you are going to be better off in class as well.

I hope you all have a wonderful quarter! Be safe!



Posted by Ambassador Kody

Student Success Services

Hello Clark Penguins,

I am very excited to write my next blog on Student Success Services. I know that most of us once in a while get to the point when we just feel like giving up. If you are that kind of person, I have some good news for you. Hang in there. You’re not alone. Many students are going through the same feeling you have. I have been looking around for some resources that are available to you at Clark. All of these services are FREE. Well, in other words, they get covered by your tuition costs.

The first place to go to if you are struggling or need help with a class is the tutoring center. Take advantage of it because it is very helpful. I often times go there for my Spanish class and all I could say is that it is awesome. The tutors are amazing and want to make sure that you understand the material. They are willing to work with you and give you the necessary practice you need. In addition to this, some classes have extra credit points for visiting the tutoring center. Clark College has different places on campus for tutoring in specified areas of study. For instance, the Language & Writing Center is located in Hawkins Hall (HKH) 102 and this is where you would go for essay assignments, research papers, scholarship essays, foreign language practice, and more. The STEM Help Center is in Bauer Hall 101/102 and tutors provide assistance with all levels of math, chemistry, physics, biology, and other STEM subjects. The Accounting & Business Lab is in the AA4 building in room 106, and I think that the name speaks for itself. We also have some tutoring in different subjects at the Columbia Tech Center (CTC) campus, room 336.

A few other resources that are available for you at Clark are:

Disability Support Services – this place assists students with disability accommodations and services (for more information, visit or call (360) 992-2314)

Health Services – provide free or low-cost services to students, help with health education and exams, primary care and counseling/mental health care (call them at (360) 992-2614)

Counseling – assists with personal counseling to currently enrolled students at no charge, and is available by appointment, so if you need help with something, please feel free to call them (360) 992-2614)

Advising – assists students with academic advising and educational planning, and it is good to visit the advising center once in a while to make sure you are on track for graduation (they have walk-in hours and appointment days; visit their website: or give them a call: (360) 992-2345

Students Success sessions and workshops, which are offered quarterly and some topics include: Time Management, Career Exploration, Tips for Taking Tests, Money Management, and many more.

These are some of the Student Success resources offered at Clark College. I recommend using them in order to be even more successful in your educational goals!

I hope you all did great on your finals and have a wonderful winter break and holidays.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Elvira Manelyuk.

Posted by Ambassador Elvira

Microbiology Class

Hey Everyone;

It’s that wonderful time of the quarter; time to register for winter quarter! Whether you’re excited or nervous about picking out which classes, there is a class that you might consider taking: Microbiology.

I took this class last fall and it was a BLAST. I had so much fun with this class. My favorite component was the lab. We got to do all kinds of professional-lab-like things. We streaked plates; which is where you take a loop tool and scrape bacteria off a surface or from a test tube and then you put the bacteria on a petri-dish and let it grow in the incubator. We also got to learn how to do several lab tests.

I took this class with Rick Davis. He is an awesome teacher. He is super fun and really gets into the material. My class was in the new STEM building. If you haven’t been inside, you should swing by and take a peek. It is a beautiful building with some really cool features. The lab is state-of-the-art and the lab equipment is brand new. The microscopes were brand new dual ocular, which means they had two eyepieces instead of one (not the easiest to look through with glasses).

My favorite project was the “unknowns” project, because it was almost like being a real-life lab technician. For this project, we were given a bacteria sample in a test tube that was an unknown species. To figure out which species it was, we had to do several tests. The first was to stain the bacteria and look at it under a microscope. After that we ran several diagnostic tests, such as the bile esculin test, and used the process of elimination to figure out what species of bacteria it was. My bacteria sample was found to be Lactococcus lactis, which is commonly used to make cheese.

This was my all time favorite class here at Clark. I learned a lot about how microbiology fits into our everyday lives. So, if you need a science credit, I would highly recommend this one. You’ll have tons of fun and learn a lot.


Posted by Ambassador Rachel

Foodies Rejoice

As we approach finals week, we grieve the loss of our beloved Mighty Bowl food cart. Ever a staple for the diets of many penguins, the Mighty Bowl has always been ready to peddle a hearty lunch to those who mistakenly (or purposefully) left home without one. Friends, grieve no more! With the opening of the Tod and Maxine McClaskey Culinary Institute, we now have an equally delicious (and more affordable) option to fulfill our culinary cravings. The brand new, state of the art facility houses Clark’s revamped culinary program, which offers degrees in cuisine and baking at half the cost of other local schools. Every fall, about twenty five lucky students will be selected for the program. By combining skilled instruction with real world experience, the Institute produces qualified culinarians who are competitive, desirable employees and skilled crafters of fine food. The latter proves to be a great boon for the rest of the campus. In addition to a staple menu of classic comfort foods furnished by an in-house food service, the facility curates a rotating special item created by the culinary students themselves. Whether you prefer a classic burger with garlic aioli and bacon, exquisite roasted chicken with a side of Brussels sprouts, or something lighter like a fresh salad, the menu is sure to please. I have personally sampled the hamburgers and they are 100% Nathan approved! There are also a number of breakfast offerings for those early morning classes. If you just need something to boost your enthusiasm for finals, try a drink from the coffee bar along with a pastry handcrafted by the baking students. (The soft pretzels are to die for!) If you’re still not convinced after all that, then you can always get your mighty bowl fix at their new downtown location. Or, stop by the culinary institute sometime this week and give it a try for yourself! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.




Posted by Ambassador Nathan

Practice, Practice, Practice!

I have a question for you:

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

I also have the answer:

You practice.

This is a famous joke about the importance of practicing to achieve your goals. As a music major, I often hear my professors encourage me to practice the skills I learn everyday. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that practice is necessary for every ability you want to improve, even if it’s not as active as playing an instrument or singing. Today I am going to share with you what different types of practice can look like, as well as provide some tips on how to create lasting practice habits.

The most obvious forms of practice we think of revolves around athletes or musicians. Athletics require lots of muscle memory and steady fitness progress, which has to be constantly maintained. Music entails proficiency of note reading and precise performance ability, which takes multiple tries to improve.  What about the many other areas of study that are out there? How important is practice in those areas?

I know that through your academic career teachers and professors will remind you again and again to study. Is studying the same as practice? In many ways it totally is. Studying means that you go through material that must be learned not only to grasp a new concept, but to retain and use it successfully. Helpful study habits are all over the internet these days but the bottom line is, there is no set formula for “the best” study habit. Everyone has a unique way of growing in knowledge and abilities.

Having said that, I’m going to make some suggestions that may boost whatever habit you’ve already established, and hopefully encourage you to keep up the good work!

  1. Be confident enough in what you’re practicing that you are able to teach it to someone else. 

One of the best ways to retain information is to successfully pass on what we know to others. So, at some point in your practice, ask a friend or family member to let you teach them what you’ve learned. Ask for feedback and questions. This is also a great way to pinpoint areas you still need to work on.

2.  Get your senses involved. 

Many people have heard of the different “learning styles”. Some learn best by hearing instruction, some by visual stimulus, and others by hands-on projects. I recommend engaging all of your senses if possible when practicing. Take in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures of things associated with what you need to learn, if available to you. That way, you have multiple examples and situations to prompt information retention.

3. Practice/study until you “hate” it. 

All this means is to overdo your practice. In many other areas of life, overdoing it is not recommended. It really is for practicing though. Always lean on the side of being over prepared. Know what you’re learning backwards and forwards, inside and out, and every way in between. Be able to do whatever you’re doing in your sleep. This sounds silly and redundant, and it’s true that the hardest part of practice is just sticking with it. There are going to be many moments when practice and studying is boring and tedious. Ultimately it’s worth it, you just have to make it through the tougher moments.

These steps are just ideas. I have found that when I follow them, my confidence is boosted, and we perform at our best when we are confident.

Hope all you Penguins are doing great this quarter! Make sure to come visit me at the Info Desk or in the Welcome Center.

– Abigail Volk




Posted by Ambassador Abi

Clark College ASL Department

One of my favorite things I had the opportunity to explore while here at Clark College was ASL and Deaf Culture. I started with Deaf Culture, where I walked in worried about not ever having been exposed to Deaf Culture previously, and didn’t know what to expect. I walked in and over the time in the class, I found a whole new awareness, not only of Deaf Culture today, but what created and influenced it throughout history. We took a look specifically at American Deaf Culture, where I learned more about many other cultures, like the difference between collectivist and individualistic culture. We covered some current issues that Deaf and Hard of Hearing people face. I was able to learn that many Deaf people don’t feel like they have a disability, and learned more about how the community more closely adheres to a language minority. This helped me to make the decision to take ASL classes as well. Being a person that interacts with the community, I never realized how much educating myself can truly impact someone else’s day.

I continued on to take ASL 201, and though I thought there were definite times that I struggled, I realized just how much I am able to learn when I push myself. I am now focusing on getting my credits for my degrees completed and then plan to return to complete the next classes in the sequence. I will be applying what I have learned into my future plans by incorporating a more aware design to my business, making it more accessible and welcoming to the Deaf community.

In Deaf Culture I learned a lot more about the necessity for programs that assist with Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, and as a student leader I have used the knowledge to understand the value of what Clark College offers to Deaf and Hard of Hearing faculty and students.

The Disability Support Services (DSS) office is a great resource on campus. They are here to make Clark College accessible to our students. Some of the resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students are interpreters or captioning for videos. If you identify as someone who needs assistance or have had accommodations in the past, I highly recommend dropping in to the office located in the Penguin Union Building (PUB) 013 early. I say early because some accommodations can take time to arrange and you want to make sure to have everything completed in time for your first class!

Hope your finals go well and have a wonderful winter break!


Posted by Ambassador Kody