A Few Minutes With … Dawn Barth

Photo of Dawn Barth

Dawn Barth

Spend a few minutes this week learning more about Dawn Barth and the work she does to keep our campus and greater community safe. 

Current position: Interim Manager of Risk and Environmental Health and Safety Programs and COVID-19 Compliance Officer 

Work life before Lane: Holds a master’s degree in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation and worked as a rehabilitation specialist. 

Prior work at Lane: Began as an hourly employee in November 2007 as a data entry clerk assisting with conversion of credit lines to electronic recordkeeping and eventually, landed in a health and safety specialist position in 2004-05. That position evolved over the years and now includes her current position. 

Personal look: Dawn’s husband works at OSU and they have four children: a daughter, who is an LCC grad; a son, who is a current LCC student; a son who lives in Salem: and a son who is a first grader. She also has her own photography business and enjoys portrait and sports photography.

Q: What interested you in your current position?

A: The position has evolved a lot. I think that’s what’s most interesting. It’s always changing because what I work with in risk management is never the same thing. You’re planning and then something different comes up, like a pandemic or wildfires. One of the most interesting workshops I’ve attended was in Florida about hurricane response and preparedness and what they’ve learned. They have to be prepared every year. Even though we don’t have hurricanes here, there’s so much we can learn and apply from people who are preparing for similar responses to a disaster.

Q: What does a risk manager do when there’s not a pandemic?

A: The risk manager’s job is to evaluate programs and processes on campus to make sure we’re doing the best we can to work and learn safely. My goal is to be proactive rather than reactive. I want to try to identify potential problems and fix them before we have an accident or an injury. I work with the safety committee and emergency planning team to identify those items. Sometimes I do have to react. If we have property damage or if someone wrecks a (college-owned) car, I am the liaison with the insurance company to get claims processed and investigated. Since December, that has included workers’ compensation, as well as property and students.

Q: How have you had to alter how you approach and do your job in the remote work environment?

A: It’s a little bit different and it’s looking at things differently. When you’re in this little bubble of our campus, you look at how to keep this safe but now, I’m looking at how we keep safe at a bigger level. With the pandemic we can’t just look at our campus. We have to look at what we are doing to contribute to the overall health and wellness of Lane County. Also, in addition to risk manager, I’ve been appointed by President Hamilton as the COVID Compliance Officer. There’s where a lot of my time is going. In that role, my job is to ensure compliance with what the reopening committee puts in place. Any department that has submitted a reopening plan, I’ve had to go in and inspect those plans and make sure plans are safe for employees and students. I’m also LCC’s liaison for Lane County Public Health anytime there is an exposure with one of our students or employees. I also work with other agencies including officials from Eugene City, UO, the hospitals and Public Health to determine the threat level. Right now, COVID Compliance is at least 95 percent of what I do day to day.

Q: What are some ways that risk management and planning directly impact our campus(employees/students/community)?

A: It’s important that we are proactive in what we’re doing. I like to know about things before they become a problem because I can’t be everywhere all the time. If someone sees something: stairs crumbling for instance, I need to follow up on that and get that repaired. We do have routine building inspections, but something could happen after an inspection that we need to know about. Risk management takes all of us because anybody could see something is a concern and bring it to my attention. That is how we work together to be part of a solution.

Q: What do you think people may not realize about your role/risk management on campus?

A: Not everyone realizes the resources they have available to them about educating themselves on safety. People are surprised when they find out about the Safe Colleges online software. You have access to that full library of training all the time. It doesn’t have to be assigned to you. It doesn’t cost us anything extra. There are some great topics on there: first aid, CPR, AED use. When we’re all at home more, wouldn’t it be great to know or refresh your CPR and first aid skills or learn how to use a fire extinguisher. Some of these are less than 10-minute videos and that training is at your fingertips. It’s helpful for you not just at work. We want you to feel safer at home because that affects your work life now more than ever. To find the Safe Colleges, type in the Lane website: lanecc.edu/SafeLane. You’ll find a whole list of resources.

Q: As you talk about the work you do, there’s passion in your voice. Where does that passion come from?

A: I’ve always been one to want to know more. I will say the world looks a lot different to me since I started doing risk management. I notice people on roofs without safety equipment and notice a lot of other things I don’t think I’d notice before. For instance, I was out at the coast at a glass blowing place and they made people wear safety glasses, but they let people wear flip flops. It was unreal that they didn’t make people wear actual shoes. When you’re in it day to day, that’s the stuff that jumps out at you and it drives my family crazy. They say: ‘Mom, only you!’ But, I see what happens when you don’t take precautions and I see the value when you do.

Q: Have you started any new work practices to help you better adapt to our remote work environment?

A: Other than becoming a zoom expert and finding better angles and appropriate backgrounds, not really. (Laughs)

Q: What are you most looking forward to when we can use the term: post-pandemic?

A: It’s going to be nice to be with people again. For a lot of years in my position, I was a department of one. It was just me. I had a boss, but there was really no one else that did anything else that had to do with what I did. When good things happened, I didn’t have anybody I could celebrate with. When they added workers’ comp to my position late last year, I moved to HR, so I’m now part of a work team, and it’s been nice to have that camaraderie. In this remote world, we’re missing out on that camaraderie or that feeling of accomplishment and being able to do things together. I was just feeling that and then, we went remote. I will enjoy being able to walk down the hall and say something funny or have watercooler talk and just to be able to share with people and get to know people outside of work.

A Few Minutes With …

Welcome to a new Lane Blog, “A Few Minutes With …” — a short Q&A feature to help employees meet or reconnect with colleagues and learn how different roles on campus help fulfill our institutional mission. During these remote work times, the blog will also provide an opportunity to share how colleagues are adapting in our remote campus environment and to share ideas and resources. 

New employee Q&A features launches Nov. 24 and will be shared weekly on Tuesdays during the regular term. Read the first Q&A in the series, featuring Dawn Barth. 



It’s fall, y’all!

I hope everyone’s fall term term is off to a good start. One of my new (academic) year resolutions is to check in here more regularly and continue to engage Aspiring Leaders at Lane.

Weekly update

On Friday, Oct. 12, the college will honor its founding president, Dr. Dale P. Parnell by renaming the Center building in his honor. Parnell had the vision for community college while principal of Springfield High School and served as Lane’s president from 1965 to 1968 and went on to hold state- and national-level positions to advance access to public education. 

The dedication ceremony of the Dr. Dale P. Parnell Center for Learning and Student Success is planned for noon, Friday, Oct. 12 on the plaza in front of the building. Parnell’s children and other family members are expected to be in attendance. Copies of the book, “The Parnell Years,” will also be available.

Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!: Community College Trivia Edition 

Q: Who was responsible for the creation and development of what we know now as the associate degree?

A: Dr. Dale P. Parnell. Parnell served as the president of what is now the American Association of Community Colleges (part of the title that noted “junior colleges” has since been removed) from 1981-1991 and was instrumental in advancing community college policy, including the creation of the associate degree and strengthening community colleges as economic drivers and responsive to workforce development needs.

Q: When is Lane Community College’s “birthday”?

A: Oct. 19. On Oct. 19, 1964, voters approved the creation of Lane Community College in a special election.

Want to know more about the college? Visit the archives in person, or online at: https://www.lanecc.edu/archives


Thanks to all employees who were a part of making Fall In-service a great success by sharing your expertise during the breakout sessions. Aspiring Leaders alumni made up the majority of presenters with six of the 2017-18 cohort among them.

Weekly challenge

This one is a repeat, but it’s pretty simple: read The Lane Weekly. It’s an easy way to receive information about what’s going on, not only on campus, but in our community. In next week’s edition you should find information about a community forum on suicide prevention and the opportunity to support a Lane faculty member in a community theatre production.

Have something to share in The Lane Weekly? Submit online at: https://www.lanecc.edu/mpr/lane-weekly-submission-form

Already read The Lane Weekly? Then, here’s a challenge for you: subscribe to The Titan Times, the student newsletter, and stay up-to-date on the weekly need-to-know info for students. Use that information to remind them of deadlines and opportunities to get engaged. Through The Titan Times, you’ll also learn more about the wealth of student clubs on campus in the “Spotlight” feature.

Want to share an upcoming event/opportunity or student deadline info? Send to: TitanTimes@lanecc.edu


Let’s commence!

Commencement is Saturday on our campus and 3,000 revelers are expected to celebrate the Class of 2018 during the ceremony in Bristow Square.

This week, you’ll be able to watch Bristow Square transform into the staging area for the ceremony that starts at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Thanks to the Aspiring Leaders of past and present who have stepped up to help out with this year’s commencement — whether it’s the event itself or a willingness to help support a graduate with the cost of a cap and gown. More than 20 people: managers, faculty, classified, part-time, full-time, timesheet and even a board member offered to help students cover costs of a cap and gown. (So far, one student will now participate in graduation because the cap and gown was made available.) Even more employees help to make the event a celebration for our graduates. Faculty and staff will participate in the procession, as well as provide support at the event. (There are still opportunities to help out Saturday. Let me know if you have the time/interest: sillsm@lanecc.edu.)

This year’s commencement features two keynote speakers, who will no doubt inspire the class of 2018:

  • Guest Keynote: U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley
  • Student Keynote: Michael Weed

ASLCC President Wilgen Brown will provide the student welcome, while faculty will be represented by Aliscia Niles (ABSE instructor).


We’ll also have a special guest, who will be the recipient of our new Alumni Achievement Award. This year’s recipient got his start in our cooperative education department and is now helping to shape the future of education in our state. (That’s the only big hint I’ll give until Joan’s press release goes out.)

In all, it’s an impressive lineup that features the fulfillment of our mission: students’ success. That success takes the stage, literally, Saturday. Thanks for all you to every day to support that success.

Let the week of celebration commence.

Weekly challenge: engagement

Find a graduating student and congratulate them for their hard work. Maybe, even engage them in more conversation: What are their plans after Saturday? How was their experience at Lane? What do they hope other students get to experience here? If you learn something that could help improve students’ experience at Lane, kindly pass it on to the Lane employee who would benefit most from knowing it. If you’re not sure who the right person is or how to kindly share this information, you can pass it on to me and I’ll see that it gets to the right ears/eyes. 



Employee engagement

Every Tuesday, the what’s what on campus is sent to your inbox.

But, I hear that folks don’t read the Lane Weekly. (And, I realize even fewer will read this!) 

The Lane Weekly is our employee newsletter and an easy way to stay engaged with what’s going on around campus — and score a new-to-you UO vest. Don’t know what I’m talking about? You missed out! Other than serving as a quirky electronic bulletin board for folks looking to unload used furniture or find housing for rent, the Lane Weekly is a way to connect with events and accolades. It’s our very own news feed.

For instance, did you know that …

  • Kerry Levett received the Oregon Women in Higher Education’s “She Flies With Her Own Wings” Service Award at the group’s conference last month. Congratulations, Kerry! 
  • U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley will be on campus for a town hall meeting from 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21 in the CML.
  • You can give your feedback about the campus master plan now through March 14. Learn more here: https://goo.gl/forms/ROG5wL1tC23kGSAP2

Got a submission? There’s a nifty form that you can fill out: https://www.lanecc.edu/mpr/lane-weekly-submission-form

For those who are adamant non-readers of the Lane Weekly, what other ways do you think that employees could become more engaged in what’s going on around campus and celebrate the accomplishments of our co-workers? Let us know by leaving a comment or email me directly at: sillsm@lanecc.edu.

Weekly challenge

Here’s an easy one this week: Read the Lane Weekly!

Quick update

Weekly update

Rob Johnstone, a national researcher on the guided pathways movement, was on campus Monday, Feb. 5. His keynote and small group sessions with faculty and staff were well-attended. Surveys to participants for their feedback on the sessions will go out later this week. Here’s a copy of the guided pathways implementation graphic Rob shared during the presentation and breakout sessions from the American Association of Community Colleges.

On Friday, Feb. 9, the current cohort has its seminar and we’ll hear firsthand from students about their experiences at Lane. The session also features an overview of the results of the Employee Experience Survey by Sarah Lushia, chair of the Diversity Council. All Lane employees were invited to participate in the survey to provide their feedback on their experiences at Lane.

Upcoming sessions include topics of: governance and Lane’s history; library resources, facilities and sustainable practices and leading through change. 

Please contact me if you haven’t filled out a survey about your Aspiring Leaders experience and would like to participate: sillsm@lanecc.edu. (I’ll send you a copy of the link and you can respond anonymously.)

Weekly challenge

The challenge this week: what kind of trainings would you like to see on campus? Let me know. Email: sillsm@lanecc.edu.






Learn about guided pathways

Rob Johnstone comes to campus Feb. 5

Rob Johnstone, a national expert and researcher on guided pathways, will be on campus Monday, Feb. 5 for a keynote presentation and breakout sessions.

What are guided pathways? In short, it’s a model of restructuring student services and scheduling to create a more clear path for students to meet their goals.

Have questions about what it is or wondering which campuses have implemented it and whether it’s been effective? Johnstone is a good person to ask. There will be break-out sessions for faculty and classified staff and opportunity to ask him questions.

Johnstone advises that the keynote address will provide the necessary background for more productive breakout sessions. You can review the agenda and other relevant linked information about guided pathways on the events page.


The community’s college

Lane is the community’s college and there’s an opportunity to give your input about the community by participating in Lane County’s strategic planning process.

The county is currently seeking input to update its 2018-2021 strategic plan through a survey. There is also an open house where you can learn more about the framework of the process from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24 in Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Avenue, downtown Eugene.

If you can’t make it to the open house, here’s a link to the survey: http://bit.ly/LaneCoSurvey

You can read more about the county’s strategic planning process and the 2014-2017 strategic plan by clicking this link: https://www.lanecounty.org/cms/one.aspx?portalId=3585881&pageId=4081129

Weekly update

Our current cohort met on Friday, Jan. 19 for a special presentation by Lida Herburger and Deborah Butler on Appreciative Inquiry, a reflective planning tool they illustrated using a “4-D Cycle” –

  • Design: Consider, “What should be?”
  • Destiny: Consider, “What will be?”
  • Discovery: Consider, “What is?”
  • Dream: Consider, “What could be?”

Last year, a team of employees was trained in Appreciative Inquiry practices and several of the trainees are going through the certification process, which requires them to give a presentation. If you’re interested in learning more or in a training for you or your department, email sillsm@lanecc.edu.


‘Make a career of humanity …’

“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr., March for Integrated Schools, April 18, 1959.

Imagine someone reading words you uttered and history showing you lived by those words. We do not need to imagine when reading the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Next week will be a short one as we pause Monday to reflect on his contributions and how our communities can work together toward healing and equality. In the coming days and weeks,  there are opportunities to engage in conversations and events that seek to build community learn from one another. Later this month, free events sponsored by Oregon Humanities’ Conversation Project seek to engage communities in conversations on the following topics: 


On Monday, the local NAACP chapter has organized a march and community program. Those interested in the march are encouraged to start congregating at Autzen Stadium at 9 a.m., so the group can organize and leave the parking lot at 10 a.m. to begin the march to the Shedd Institute downtown. At the Shedd, there will be a program from 11 a.m. to noon featuring community leaders, the youth council and activists who will share their vision and hopes for our community.

On Wednesday, March 17, Lane will have our own MLK Celebration featuring Nina Turner. Turner is a former Ohio state senator and contributor on CNN and other news programs. Last year, she was also tapped to lead Bernie Sander’s group that reaches out to potential leaders. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public. Please extend an invitation to your colleagues, family, friends and neighbors and help us create community here at Lane. Some of our students have stepped up to volunteer for our MLK Celebration event. If you’re interested in volunteering, let me know by emailing me at: sillsm@lanecc.edu. 

Weekly challenge

The motto, “A Day On, Not a Day Off” has been adopted to designate the holiday as one of service to honor King’s legacy. How do you plan to make it a “day on” through service to your family or community? Share by leaving a reply for us.



Hello, 2018

Have you forgone resolutions this year? The new year ushers in reflections on what was, what is and what will be. May we carry the resolve of reflection with us into the days ahead.

Weekly updates

Jan. 19: Current cohort monthly seminar on strategic planning at Lane and interactive planning exercises using Appreciative Inquiry with Jen Steele, Deborah Butler and Lida Herburger. 

Jan. 25: Alumni book club at 3 p.m. in Building 19, Room 142 to discuss selection, “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg.

Training opportunity

An interactive training on the gender spectrum, Gender 101, will be offered at two times on Jan. 19:

  • 10 a.m. to noon;
  • 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Both sessions will be held in the Gender Equity Center in Building 1. The training is presented by Jenn Burlington of TransActive Gender Center. Check out http://transactiveonline.org for more information about the TransActive Gender Center.

The presentation is sponsored by International Programs, Gender Equity Center and Diversity Council. Employees will receive two hours of cultural competency professional development credit for attendance.

RVSP is requested to secure a spot: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfZV24PiLICg-RXcd42dCsedf9X2Lsx8gB66OxnrmbOGHVSWA/viewform


Weekly challenge

Leadership author, John C. Maxwell offers these tips on developing listening skills as a leader in an article he wrote in 2014 for the magazine, Success. In the article, he shares a story of the importance of not only listening, but asking the right questions.

The full essay and listening audit can be read in this link: https://www.success.com/article/john-c-maxwell-a-1-week-leadership-listening-challenge

Below is an excerpt of his listening audit:

The Listening Audit

The first step is to take an honest look at your current approach to communication. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

1. Am I open to other people’s ideas?
2. Am I open to changing my opinion based on new information?
3. Am I actively seeking feedback and input in order to move the team forward?
4. Do I act defensively when criticized, or do I listen openly for the truth?
5. Do I ask questions in every conversation?

At the end of each day, reflect on the day’s interactions—every meeting, conference call, phone conversation and so on—and calculate the percentage of the time that you spent listening as opposed to the time you spent speaking. How much of the day were you actively taking in information? At the end of the week, tally up your percentages and get an average. Set a goal to increase your listening percentage in the upcoming week. Be sure to track your progress.

What you are trying to develop are these five strengths of a listening leader:

Connecting. In my book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, I write about the Law of Connection, which states, “Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.” You cannot connect with other people when you are the one doing all the talking! Do this intentionally. Stop, make eye contact and be fully present, and you’ll find yourself truly connecting—not half-listening.

Building confidence. Take time to listen to each person on your team. New people, in particular, offer a fresh perspective that can lead to valuable insights, but they may not feel they have the right to contribute their thoughts. Shake their insecurity by soliciting their ideas and taking those suggestions to heart. Henry David Thoreau once said, “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought and attended to my answer.” Don’t you feel the same way?

Soliciting ideas. Great leaders create an environment of innovation. That requires actively seeking out new ideas. I often find that listening precedes great periods of creativity in an organization. In the words of Richard Branson, “Any organization’s best assets are its people, and if you are ready to help the team to achieve its goals, you can start gathering information on how to move things along just by paying attention to what employees are saying.”

Taking action. With your new focus on intentional listening, you will probably find that you have an abundance of good ideas at your fingertips. Just hearing them isn’t enough. Good ideas have expiration dates. You need to act before they become dated, irrelevant or otherwise spoiled. A bonus: Members of your team will see your responsiveness, feel valued, trust you with their ideas and keep bringing them forward.

Reflecting nightly. Maximize your new habits by taking time before bed to think and reflect so you can process and apply what you have learned.

Do you want to increase your leadership capacity? Work on applying these practices on a consistent basis. Pastor and speaker Robert Schuller once said, “Big egos have little ears.”

I challenge you to become the opposite—a small ego with big ears. Because that’s the kind of person who truly excels.

Source: https://www.success.com/article/john-c-maxwell-a-1-week-leadership-listening-challenge