More than 150 students participated in the Honors Program during the 2014–15 academic year. Out of that group, ten students challenged themselves to graduate as Honors Scholars. These students completed at least 35 credits of Honors coursework, all while maintaining a minimum 3.5 GPA. In addition, they showed their dedication to the campus community by serving as club leaders, mentoring students in the scholarship application process and planning events to encourage other students to become Honors Program participants. Each earned a scholarship for their final quarter at Highline and were recognized at Highline’s Commencement ceremonies on June 11.

Amanda Aldrich

Amanda AldrichAmanda Aldrich earned an associate degree with an emphasis in American Sign Language. She intends to transfer to UW Tacoma where she has received a merit-based scholarship worth $5,000 a year. Her long-term goal is to start a therapy ranch built specifically with wounded veterans and first responders in mind.

Ya-Ching Chang

Ya-Ching ChangYa-Ching Chang is an experienced businesswoman in her home country of Taiwan. She came to the U.S. to pursue her degree and move a step closer to her dream of setting up a foundation to improve opportunities for young businesspeople in Taiwan. She graduated with an associate degree with an emphasis in accounting and will transfer to Penn State to study economics in the fall.

Tha Dah Hser

Tha Dah HserTha Dah Hser was born and raised in a refugee camp in Thailand. She is ethnically Burmese (Karen), though she has never had the opportunity to visit her home country of Burma (Myanmar). While earning an associate degree with an emphasis in Human Services, Hser served as a TRiO Student Ambassador, a mentor in the Burmese community and member of the Honors Leadership Team. In these roles she became known for her positive attitude and passion for helping others. Hser recently earned a Leadership 1000 scholarship, which is worth $5,000 a year for up to four years. She will transfer to the University of Washington to study social work. Her long-term goals include earning a Master of Social Welfare and traveling to Burma as a volunteer.

Michelle Jensen

Michelle JensenBorn and raised in Des Moines, Wash., Michelle Jensen greatly enjoyed her time at Highline. She earned an associate degree with an emphasis in mathematics and plans to transfer to Western Washington University next fall to pursue her bachelor’s degree in math and master’s degree in education. Her post-education plans involve becoming a high school math teacher who will inspire an interest and love of math in all of her students. She has received a Presidential scholarship, a Math Scholars scholarship, and a Leadership scholarship, all from WWU.

Brendan Newell

Brendan NewellBrendan Newell earned an associate degree with an emphasis in English. During his time at Highline, Newell served as a Writing Center tutor, Honors teaching assistant and member of the Queer-Straight Alliance. He intends to transfer to Western Washington University where he will double major in English and Queer Studies. He can see himself working in many different environments, but ultimately wants to help make queer people more visible. He will seek to incorporate queer people into genres of fiction where they are underrepresented and also advocate for the inclusion of the works of queer people in history courses so that a more developed history can be understood.

Rebecca Ring

Rebecca RingRebecca Ring has overcome several obstacles, including homelessness, to pursue her education. Ring thrived at Highline as a scholar, Phi Theta Kappa participant and president of the Environmental Club. She earned an associate degree with an emphasis in political science. She received a Highline Academic Achievement award and represented Highline on the All-Washington Academic Team. Ring will continue her education at UW Tacoma where she will work toward her goals to improve food access and alleviate poverty in the U.S., with a long-term goal of seeing food access recognized by the U.S. government as a basic human right.

Moeka Tamura

Moeka TamuraMoeka Tamura traveled from Japan to the U.S. to pursue an associate degree with an emphasis in biology. During her time at Highline, Tamura contributed to the campus as the founder and president of the Future Healthcare Leaders Club and as a member of the Honors Leadership Team. She received several awards, including a Highline College Foundation scholarship (merit based), ISP Academic scholarship, ISP Leadership scholarship, and CLS Student of the Month scholarship. She will transfer to the University of Washington or the University of British Columbia to pursue her dream of becoming a medical researcher in the field of regenerative medicine. She aims to help people in the world by discovering a new technology to move IPSCs (Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells) towards their practical use.

Khue Tran

Khue TranKhue Tran is an international student from Vietnam and a member of the International Leadership Student Council. She earned an associate degree with an emphasis in art and intends to transfer to Art Center College of Design in California or to the University of Washington. Her dream is to be a cartoonist or background scene designer.

Laura Yanez

Laura YanezLaura Yanez served as Highline’s student body president for 2014–15. Over the past six years, she worked her way from ESL student to Honors Scholar, all while immersing herself in volunteer and leadership opportunities on campus. She was named a 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar and a member of the All-Washington Academic Team. Yanez also earned scholarships from the Pride Foundation and Greater Seattle Business Association to help fund her education at UW Tacoma where she will major in social welfare. Someday, Yanez would like to return to Highline to serve as Vice President for Student Services.

Olga Zhosyan

Olga ZhosyanOlga Zhosyan was born in Russia and moved to the U.S. at the age of 10. She entered Highline with the goal of focusing on classes and finishing her degree quickly, yet she immediately became immersed in the college as an Honors student, Phi Theta Kappa participant and member of the Honors Leadership Team. She juggled these commitments while working, pursuing nursing prerequisites and volunteering at a hospital. Zhosyan will transfer to the University of Washington School of Nursing in the fall.

Questions? Contact Jacque Clinton at (206) 592-3277 or