17 Graduates Offer Advice, 115 Receive Recognition

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2018-03-15T09:34:01+00:00 July 7, 2017|News|
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17 Graduates Offer Advice, 115 Receive Recognition

  • Highline College Commencement Video 2017 Waweru

Graduating students, together with friends, family and Highline College staff and faculty, packed the ShoWare Center in Kent on June 15. Together, they celebrated during the college’s 2017 Commencement ceremony.

Before the ceremony got underway, graduating students shared advice for current and future Highline students.

Among the advice: ask questions, use campus resources and never give up. There were surprising suggestions, too, all of which can be viewed in the 4-minute video. Thank you to the 17 students who participated in the video.

This year’s commencement offered a significant first in Highline’s 55-year history.

The first students in the college’s applied bachelor’s degree program in Youth Development graduated. The program started a couple of quarters after Highline’s three initial bachelor’s degree programs, which welcomed their first graduates in 2016: Cybersecurity and Forensics, Global Trade and Logistics, and Respiratory Care.

Congratulations to the 37 students who earned bachelor’s degrees in 2017:

Marlena P. Afereti
Yan V. Bakumets
Latisha A. Black
Justin L. Black Crow
John C. Burnett
Teresita P. Capuli
Marianne Scrudato Carreño
Elouise D. Cassatt
Sorakdet Ieng
Danielle R. Chilcott
Kendall F. Evans
Richard W. Gibson
LaTayna Givens
Mellisa D. Hill
Lorena Jimenez-Sepin
Jennifer E. Jovanovich
Navdeep Kaur
Dmitriy Koval
Ioannis Manousaridis

Jaimie D. Owen
Kennedy J. Onzere
Olajide D. Osadare
Patricia A. Perkins
Jose A. Ramos
Christopher W. Rattie
Saidah C. Roper
Jonathan D. Roy
Yana A. Rzhiskaya
Amy S. Scott
Jason Sesmundo
Brenia N. Sherrod
Gursharanjit Singh
Gregory A. Smith
Matthew J. Thorson
Jordon J. Triggs
Gail J. Warner
Ricky S. Xiong

Close to 600 students participated in the ceremony, representing just a fraction of the 2,235 students who graduated as part of the class of 2017. In addition to the 37 bachelor’s degrees awarded, students earned 1,608 associate degrees, 730 certificates and 196 high school equivalency diplomas. Some students earned more than one degree or certificate.

Graduates’ ages ranged from 17 to 79, with roughly 70 percent self-identifying as students of color. Nearly 350 identified as immigrants or refugees, 198 as international students and 39 as veterans.

A remarkable 705 students graduated with honors with GPAs of 3.5 and above. During the ceremony, 115 students — nine more than once — were recognized for their academic achievements with the following premier academic awards and honors:

One key component of commencement each year is choosing a student speaker. While many apply for the honor, only one is selected. This year, Ashley Nichole Lewis earned the honor.

A member of the Quinault Nation, Lewis is a multiple recipient of the Highline College Academic Achievement Scholarship and also received the Muckleshoot Tribe Scholarship and the national Udall Scholarship, a first for a Highline College student. She will pursue her bachelor’s degree in Aquatic Fisheries Sciences and Native American Studies at the University of Washington.

Commencement is also a time to recognize the outstanding contributions of students to on-campus services and activities as well as outstanding scholastic achievement.

All-Washington Academic Team

Karina Abramchuk and Salome Munyaka earned statewide recognition for their accomplishments as Highline College students. The two were named to the 2017 All-Washington Academic Team for their academic achievement, community service and involvement on campus. Annually, up to two members from each of the state’s 34 community and technical colleges earn scholarships and recognition for their achievements.

Highest Scholastic Achievement Award

The Highest Scholastic Achievement Award is presented each commencement to the graduating student — or students — who has attained the highest GPA and who has completed all degree requirements by the end of the spring quarter of the academic year of graduation. At this year’s commencement, an unprecedented number of students — 37 in all — graduated with perfect 4.0 GPAs, qualifying them as Highest Scholastic Achievement scholars:

Elizabeth A. Abramchuk
Celeste R. Andreotti
Ryan L. Bohlman
Gabrielle C. Cacace
Grace A. Dalrymple
Irina I. Dashkel
Melanie I. Felton
Reina X. Godeck
Irina Y. Golub
Junming Guan
Gillian S. Hinch
Thu Le Thanh Ho
Kathryn L. Howland
Tran B. Huynh
Hawa L. Jagana
Amandeep Kaur
Anastasiya Khatskevich
Hiryti T. Kidane
Carson F. Low

Fualilia C. Matautia
Jessica A. McCarthy
Lauren A. McCuistion
Valerie L. McNolty
Yeongjoo Nam
Jessie A. Nguyen
Harmony M. Nuccitelli
Boo Y. Park
Khoi H. Phan
Luan T. Phan
Sarah Schoenfeld
Jason Sesmundo
Spencer R. Stenger
Lyubov D. Topova
Nhi Lam Tran
Justin C. Tronson
Arthur P. Winkler
Manhua Zhu

Honors Program Graduates

During the 2016–17 academic year, 18 students challenged themselves to graduate as Honors Scholars as part of their participation in Highline’s Honors Program. These students completed at least 25 to 30 honors option credits, depending upon their degree, all while maintaining a minimum 3.5 GPA. In addition, they showed their dedication to the campus community by serving as club and student government leaders, participating in service learning, and much more:

Latisha Black
Nguyet Duong
Kendall F. Evans
Gabrielle Fuller
Karen Kanazawa
Teran Long
Nancy Mburu
Salome Munyaka
Huyen Nguyen

Nhan Nguyen
Vanessa Primer
Ronald Scott
Wong Pui Shan
Nhi Tran
Giang Truong
Yalan Xu
Yingqian Yu
Jing Zhang

Next Step Scholarship (University of Washington Tacoma)

Salome Munyaka was selected as the University of Washington Tacoma’s 2017 Next Step Scholarship recipient from Highline College. The scholarship provides up to $6,000 in support each academic year for two years, for a total value of $12,000. She will pursue her bachelor’s degree in business.

Shirley B. Gordon Award for Academic Excellence

Reina X. Godeck won the Shirley B. Gordon Award for Academic Excellence. With a 4.0 GPA, Godeck earned a $4,000 scholarship for the 2017–2018 academic year. The award is based largely on academic achievement, but also considers the student’s community service activities and community college experience. Dr. Shirley B. Gordon was Highline’s president from 1976 to 1990. Godeck will study accounting at the University of Washington Tacoma in the fall.

Scholastic Achievement Awards

A number of students received special recognition for their outstanding scholastic achievement to various programs on campus:

Tristan Curfman, ACHIEVE Transition Program
Rabab Al-Hashemy, Business Technology
Leslie L Wall, Business Technology
Reina X. Godeck, Economics Department
Julie Bradbury, Geoscience
Leslie A. Smith, Geoscience
Jordan Julaton, Hospitality & Tourism Management
Jessica Strand, Journalism
Olivia NB Sullivan, Journalism
Micah Oh, Mathematics

Outstanding Contributions, Service and Activity

The following were selected for special recognition for their outstanding contributions to on-campus services and activities:

Unouna Pauu, Student Employee of the Year
Alexis S. Kongmanivong, AANAPISI Student Ambassador
Fuifui Ah Kuoi, AANAPISI Student Ambassador
Madison Williams, ACHIEVE Peer Navigators
Everlyne Maina, African Student Association
Norhan F Almaaroof, Arab Students Association
Khalid M Almustafa, Arab Students Association
Elizabeth A. Abramchuk, Arcturus
Gabrielle Fuller, ASHC Student Government
Billy Chandler, Between the Lines Club
Innocent Muhalia, Career and Student Employment (CASE) Center
Kathleena Ly, Career and Student Employment (CASE) Center
Katrina Miyamoto, CLS & MCA Leader of Excellence
Jeremy Morales, CLS Design Team
Tien Le, CLS Design Team
Maegan Gomez, Community Leadership Consultant
Kelly Ngigi, Community Resource Consultant
Mahlet Tiruneh, Community Resource Consultant
Nina Tran, Cooking Club
Annika Mayes, Cru
Melanie I. Felton, Cru
Nora Nur-Art, Health, Wellness & Happiness
Mary Kiando, Highline Bookstore
Redeen Duran, Highline Table Tennis Club
Rachmiel Duran, Highline Table Tennis Club
Jeff Ryan, Hospitality & Tourism Management
Michaella Clemming, Inter-Cultural Center
Ederly Beausilien, Inter-Cultural Center
Jocelyn Andrews, Knitting & Crocheting Club
Geneva Alfonso-Mendez, Latinx Student Association
Yasmin Azzam, Math Resource Center
Caitlin Anderson, MESA-ASEM Student Social Club
Harper S. Vilani, National Poetry Month Committee
Vanessa Primer, Non Traditional Student Club
Julie Bradbury, Non Traditional Student Club
Liban Hussein, NSBE
Janice Balangue, Nursing
Kenneth Njuguna Waweru, Outreach Student Ambassador
Ekaterina Tsygankova, Outreach Student Ambassador
Fuifui Ah Koui, Pacific Islander Club
Karla Bustamante, Pathway to College
Samuel Robbins, Pathway to College
Keni C. Gonzales (Chino), Space Jam Club
Konner Hancock, Thunderword
Merry Ruat, TRiO Student Support and Retention Services
Ahmed Wafai, TRiO Student Support and Retention Services
Walter Heyman III, Umoja Scholars
Mackenzie Tinsley, Umoja Scholars
Chloe Knowles, Unified Sports
Anna Cook, Unified Sports
Dario Antonio Consiglieri, Volunteer Initiative Team
Maria Toloza-Meza, Women’s Programs
Audra Ezell, Women’s Programs
Destiny Ezell, Women’s Programs
Jennifer Tucker, Women’s Programs
German Platonov, WorkFirst Services

Advice from Highline’s Graduating Class of 2017

Watch behind-the-scenes footage as this year’s graduates offer advice on succeeding at Highline College. Thank you to the following for participating:

Justin Scott
Saidah Roper
Sarai Manzano-Diaz
Maryana Rikhard
Kenneth Waweru
Devon Adelman
Francisco Argueta
Gary Roberts
Brenda Aguilar
Danny Nguyen
Fatai Faaumu Jr.
Emily Huynh
Eddie Nelson
Christalyn Peralta
Miguel Manzano
Fathieh Mohammad
Salome Munyaka

Note: Students are listed in order of appearance.